Fiat Ducato gearbox failure
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Motorhome Facts -> Fiat Ducato

Author: Pard

Location: Kernow

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject:  Fiat Ducato gearbox failure


I posted the following under 'Engine & Gearbox' on Tuesday last and it's attracted plenty of viewings but not one posting. Are the techies among you all on holiday? Or did I just post in the wrong place (probably!)?

"Having just suffered the failure of the gearbox on my year 2000 Hymer, mileage 47000, I'm wondering if anyone has experience of gearbox repairers in Cornwall or Devon?

Just before the breakdown, I was having some trouble selecting 4th, dropping down from 5th, but otherwise little problem. If I double-declutched, it worked OK. This came to an abrupt end when I found I could not engage any gear at all. I thought at first the clutch had gone, and the AA man thought the same. However, thinking on it some more I wondered about the synchromesh, and my brother mentioned the possibility of the thrust bearing. This is all a bit 'Greek' to me, and so I was left floundering, and in the hands of my garage to which the van was recovered on Tuesday last.

The garage - Vospers at Camborne - has investigated and says that one local gearbox specialist will simply not touch the Ducato gearbox as they are constant trouble, but aside from the renowned 5th gear failure on my model 2.8 (which I had a couple of years ago), and the newer model 2.3's uphill reversing troubles, I see little evidence to support that on MHF so far.

So the garage suggests my choices are either a new box at around £2600 + VAT + fitting, or a breaker's yard example. I'm not keen on the latter, but am even less keen on the former. Meanwhile I've placed the request for offers and quotes on but would be glad of any informed views on the subject!"

I spoke to a second transmissions company this morning and their reaction was similar although not initially refusing to work on it. So I have some small hopes that they might.

Am I the first motorhomer with a Fiat Ducato to have suffered a total gearbox lock-up? If so, how come the transmissions folk think so little of the box?

Come on guys - it's lonely here! Tell me the worst if you must...


Author: bigbazza

Location: South Cotswold“s

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject:  

Sorry can't help but at least it's a bump for you.

Author: tony50

Location: suffolk

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject:  Ducato gearbox failure

Why repairers are fighting shy of repairing your gearbox is I believe they think they have inherent weaknesses or have had perhaps some bad experiences , don't forget that the repairer is in business to make a profit , and if he believes repairing your gearbox is going to come back and haunt him ,ie . theres a distinct possibility it may fault again whilst under his warranty he ain't going to just help you. I'm sorry to be gloomy ,If I were you and could afford it I would shell out for a new genuine Ducato gearbox where at least you have a good warranty,when I had my own garage in my early days of business I soon leart not to repair modern gearboxes to my cost ! my advice is not to go the cheap way. you can PM me if you think I may be of further help,

Author: gaspode

Location: Exiled in Surrey

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject:  

Have you read through this recent topic?

Author: Pard

Location: Kernow

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject:  


Thank you bigbazza, tony50 and gaspode for the replies. Much appreciated and confirms my confidence that there's always someone out there with a concern to be helpful!

tony50 - I had rather come to the conclusion that I might have to vacuum the deepest of my pockets to see if I can excavatte enough change what I fully expect to be around a £3500 bill at the end of it.

gaspode - the symptoms are not the same as the time when I lost 5th gear, which I experienced and had repaired a couple or three years backl This time the van would hold 5th (and all gears) OK, rather than slip back into 4th, and the gear change had been working perfectly well.

However, I've just heard that my gearbox is now en route to D J Transmissions at Plympton who have agreed to check it out. Can I be hopeful, I wonder, that it might be a repairable fault?????? Probably not, but it seems worth investigation.


Author: EJB

Location: Suffolk (By choice)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject:  

A bit late but the Fiat forum is often worth a try.

Author: bognormike

Location: Sunny Bognor

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject:  

At least they are trying out local specialists - the garage I used said that I would need a new gearbox when I had the familiar (on here!) 5th gear problem, at a cost of £2k plus. I took the van away from there and found a (reasonably) local gearbox specialist (Briggs Motors at Fareham), who sorted me out for about £350. The specialists know what they are doing and should not give you the runaround; make sure the garage don't add on a large premium for subbing it out. Cool

Briggs said that the Fiat gearbox materials are made of cheese!!

Author: gaspode

Location: Exiled in Surrey

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:00 pm    Post subject:  

Pard wrote:
Can I be hopeful, I wonder, that it might be a repairable fault??????

I can't conceive of a fault with a gearbox built in 2000 that's covered 47000 miles that wouldn't be repairable unless the casing has been damaged or it's been run dry of oil. The question is how much will it cost?

Sounds like a selector problem to me. Confused

Author: TDG

Location: Bideford - a good place to test juddering Fiats and electric bikes.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject:  

bognormike wrote:
....... Briggs said that the Fiat gearbox materials are made of cheese!!

Ah Exclamation ...... interesting Exclamation

I had said-
"I have some knowledge of the Italians from my dealings with them on very large diesel engines and I have to say that the concept of good engineering practice is not something they ever seem very comfortable with"

To which Stanner replied-

"Given the history of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Weber, Dellorto, Lombardini, Piaggio, Lambretta, Aer Macchi, Ducati, Moto Guzzi etc etc.
I think that's a rather sweeping statement."

I think I feel better now Wink Wink Wink

Author: Pard

Location: Kernow

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject:  

EJB, bognormike, gaspode, TDG - thanks to you all for taking an interest!

EJB - I found the via Google, but - like MHF- didn't find much about jammed Ducato gearboxes. However, it is useful to know of its existence - so thanks for thinking of it.

bognormike - I prefer to use local too, although when living in Cornwall 'local' has to be stretched a bit on occasion, and so crossing into England for a specialist in Plympton, 60-odd miles away, is sort of local! I'm advised that the 'box, having been collected from Camborne this afternoon, has two stops on the way and so it probably won't actually get there until Thursday.

gaspode - I'm hopeful that you're right about the mileage factor, etc. When I spoke to DJ Transmissions first-off, I was told that problems tend to arise from the water draining from the scuttle directly on to the gearbox and creating rust and seizure. However, as a Hymer A-class has no such scuttle leaks, this doesn't hold up in my case. Hence some hope.....

TDG - not sure I can comment on those thoughts! Might it be a case of commercial vehicles designed under sunny skies and to undercut other manufacturers' prices don't fare quite as well in the damp of Britain and northern Europe?

Still it's sunny here today, and so I shall try to be chirpy.


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