Ducato - 5th gear popping out

Discussion in 'Fiat' started by Melchior, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Melchior

    Melchior Read Only Funster

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    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post here. I'm not new to internet forums but new to motorhoming and new to the Ducato. We've had it since August last year and done around 10,000km in it since then.

    Last week on the way to Le Mans I went for 5th and was quickly told by the gearbox that no, I'm not allowed that but can have neutral instead. All other gears OK. Rest of the trip was fine, just had to drive > 1000km without 5th gear.

    Having returned home and done some research I find that this is a very very common fault. I've found a few guides online to help and decide to do it myself. I'm no stranger to spanner twirling and it looks like a pretty simple procedure.

    However! (There's always a "but") I need to know from where and which parts to buy. I'm based in Netherlands and although there are lots of motorhomes here, I can't find online shops etc. which might be able to help.

    If any of you have advice/tips/tricks etc., please put it in this thread. Part numbers and current prices would be very handy. I've read that there are different 5th ratios available for heavier MH's, part numbers for those would be great too.

    In the meantime I will keep it updated here with my progress and post pictures of the repair (despite all the very helpful guides, I find no photos of the procedure at all).

    Greets from Netherlands!
    M
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    I cant help regarding the newer models, but with the older Fiats the job was very straightforward. It can be done easily with the gearbox in situ. Remove offside wheel, which on a LHD will be the nearside. The 5th gear sits high in the box and Fiat in there infinite wisdom put a plate over it to facilitate easy removal. Remove plate and bingo, there is the 5th gear. Undo bolt and slide out and replace with new. Job done :thumb:.
    Am not so sure about changing the gearing, as as far as I know the only difference in gearing was to allow 15" or 16" wheels.
     
  3. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Just remember that their will be swarf flying around in their somewhere, so flush it well - again and again if necessary.
     
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  4. Melchior

    Melchior Read Only Funster

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    I have had a reply from a seller on eBay who sells the 5th gear kits. He is asking me which gearbox I have - ME/MG/MGLU

    Since I've no idea I asked him how I might check visually and he has said I need to check with the manufacturer. Not sure that is quite accurate so I wonder if any of you folks can let me know how I can check this? I guess there is a sticker on the gearbox but if that is missing, is there a way to tell?
     
  5. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Here you go Melchoir.
    A discussion elsewhere on the very subject.

    www. motor home facts.com/ftopic-69907-days0-orderasc-0.html ...........(copy and paste into your browser, then close the gaps before hitting the enter button. :Wink:)

    >>Help from Garry<<

    Unfortunately, the superb photos he made available , no longer appear to be accessible from his links, which is a shame, as they showed each stage step by step.

    Ask him nicely via email, and he may send copies to you. :Smile:

    HTH,

    Jock.
     
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  6. Melchior

    Melchior Read Only Funster

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    Hi Jock,

    Great avatar, shame they aren't in a motorhome bed though :p

    I've seen Gerry's how-to during my trawling of the web for this problem. Indeed it is a fantastic writeup but I also found the pictures to be missing which is why I wanted to do my own.

    I'll drop him a line and see if we can get the photos back so new folks with this (ridiculously) common fault can get easy help in future.

    Was there ever ANY recognition from Fiat about this? Clearly their design is total rubbish but everything I've read says they just weren't or aren't interested and deny all knowledge of it.
     
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  7. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Melchoir, re the Avatar. :Smile:

    I'm not sure if Fiat recognised the problem or not. My mechanic chappie knew about it years ago, from his many years working on the Royal Mail fleet, which he still does today.

    Tam, on that other thread I linked you to, also carried out the 5th gear change, but didn't post any photos.
    I'd be pleased if you were to post photos as you got through each stage, as would others, I'm sure.

    Good luck with it, and don't forget to refill with the correct oil. From personal experience, (as you'll have read on the other thread), it certainly makes the difference.

    Cheers for now,

    Jock.
     
  8. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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  9. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Hi
    Im sorry to say that the only and I do mean the only way your going to replace your fifth gear like for like is when its in your hand and you can count the teeth and phisicly compare it with the new one
    We do have a system for identifying what should be in your box BUT

    5th gear conversions happen in two directions

    1,Is a change to improve the cruising characteristics of tte motor home and uses what we shall we call kit A

    2. Is a reversal of the above to improve the towing ability of the motor home and give less gear changes on hills,that uses what we shall call kit B

    Both kits A & B can be found as standard in some boxes, and to confuse things even more
    Hymer had Fiat change the standard gearing at Manf to what they specified.

    Now what should your box have, what has your box got now what will Fiat give you if you go by part numbers, you see where this is heading.
    To add even more problems to the equation Fiat Parts department have absolutely no idea about gear ratio's or any knowledge of what part is what and how many teeth etc why would they everything they sell is via what should be in the box, without a part no they couldnt even find a 5th gear in the wharehouse
    You are going to have to ge it in your hand and then go looking and at about £350 for the bits you dont want to be buying two or three sets now do you
    G
     
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  10. Melchior

    Melchior Read Only Funster

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    That's great, many thanks :)

    Hi Geo - Agreed totally about waiting until the bits are in my hand. I understand what you're saying about the Fiat parts desk too. Having owned a slightly unusual Rover in the past and being told my car does not exist, I've already experienced this phenomenon!!

    I always felt there is a huge ratio gap between 4th and 5th so am very sure it has the long 'cruise' 5th gear rather than the shorter 'tow' option. I'd like to keep it that way as it does allow higher speed cruising and the van is MGW 3400kg.

    Mrs M is desperate to go away in it this weekend so it seems my plan to get stuck into the gearbox is going to go on hold for a little longer.
     
  11. freelanderuk

    freelanderuk Read Only Funster

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    There is a write up about the 5th gear change in august 2012 MMM magazine if you pm your email I will scan and send you a copy of the article
     
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  12. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Yes please Chris. :thumb:

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
  13. freelanderuk

    freelanderuk Read Only Funster

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    On its way to you :BigGrin:
     
  14. Onderweg

    Onderweg Funster

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    Hi Melchior

    Found following message on a dutch camperforum:

    Here is the complete thread

    On this forum you will find a lot more about the "5th gear problem"

    Hoop dat alles goed komt :thumb:

    Paul and Ineke
     
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  15. Melchior

    Melchior Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Onderweg :)

    Can the people at http://www.debridge.be/ supply the replacement gear? I cannot read Dutch well enough to understand the thread you posted.

    My next step is to remove the cover on the end of the gearbox and remove the broken bits - only then can I know which gear is fitted (although I am sure it is the 'long' one) and start ordering the replacement.

    Can someone tell me which type of oil should go in the gearbox? To my surprise I didn't find that mentioned in any thread on this subject (but do know to overfill to 1.6 litres instead of the standard 1.2).
     
  16. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Hi Melchoir.

    I can't help with the spec or grading, but after having had an engine change, (insurance job) I commented to my usual servicing chappie about the notchy gear change since. He drained the gearbox to find mineral gear oil, and refilled with fully synthetic gear oil, which apparently is the correct oil to use. I have to say, it certainly made a difference.

    Also, to help avoid the 5th gear failure, he overfilled the box too, as that gear apparently, is only lubricated by oil splash, from the other gears. :Eek!:
    I also attached a really strong magnet to the outer lower half of the cover, to try and trap any future debris.

    HTH,

    Jock.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  17. Mel

    Mel Funster

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    I think they can replace the 5th gear

    It says the same as what others have put that you need to take the old one out first and you should be able to reach it from outside they mean via the inspection plate.
    Give them a ring they will speak english i think.

    Mel
     
  18. SUGGY

    SUGGY Funster Life Member

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    5th Gear faults .

    No one has mentioned the age of the Ducato's or engine size in previous posts ,

    Is there any particular year of manufacture of the Ducato that are effected by this 5th gear problem ? .

    I do remember reading of the early pre 2000 ( i think ) Ducato's that had reverse gear faults .

    Graham
     
  19. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Hi Graham,

    I believe it applied to the earlier Ducato 230 and 244 models, (ie, yours and ours). :Sad:

    The earlier productions of the newer X250 did suffer from juddering problems whilst reversing, (juddergate), as well as from water ingress to the engine compartment via the front screen scuttle, (watergate).
    Initially, Fiat vociferously denied any problems, whilst Peugeot/Citroen (PSA Group) put their hands up and accepted that there were problems, which they provided a remedy for. It's exactly the same vehicle, off the same production line. :Doh:

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
  20. Onderweg

    Onderweg Funster

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    Hi Mel,
    We just returned from our holidays so I am a bit late with giving a reply.

    First i assumed you living in the Netherlands would speak/understand Dutch :Blush:
    But it is like the Americans say: assume is "i make an ass of you and me" :Eeek:

    The firm mentioned is located in Belgium so i assume (again :Doh:) they can speak English :Cool: Personally i have not had any contact with this firm but it is highly appreciated on the Dutch forum i mentioned

    Paul
     
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