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R380 5th to 4th gear

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The other half's son is looking at buying a 300Tdi 90. Several careful owners and 66000 miles on it but one slight uncertainty with the R380 box.

Third to fourth gear is fine, but from fifth changing down to fourth, it feels as if fourth is very slightly in the wrong place and it blocks going in, i.e. if you knock it out of fifth, let the lever return to centre and then try and pull it straight back into 4th, it won't go in. Once you learn where it is (slightly to the left of where you would expect i.e. needs a little left pressure on the lever), it is fine and engages smoothly (the gearbox is a good one generally, very smooth and still very tight).

I'm thinking perhaps the bias springs are a little out of adjustment, anybody got any thoughts on this? I don't think it is serious and the rest of the vehicle is in excellent condition for its age but just a slight reservation about any other more serious possibilities which I would welcome any informed input on!

Ta :)

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Yes Steve, it is the bias springs out of adjustment, exactly the same happened to mine about two years ago; I had to find third and get fourth from there.

But it is not as straightforward as the manual lets you think: by all means do the adjustment as per the book, but be prepared for things to get worse! At one time I lost first and second, then got them back and lost third, etc etc. It was so bad that I was convinced my gearbox needed reconditioning and even phoned around a few places. It seems to be a 'trial and error' sort of job. Eventually I got all five gears and have left it strictly alone ever since :)

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Cheers, thats what I am thinking. There is no crunch or other unpleasantness when you actually find the gear. I've done bias springs before (though on a Discovery) I imagine the procedure is much the same though I think in the end I ignored the book and invented my own procedure :)

I think he's going to get it anyway, seems like a good buy for four grand, all looks original and in very good condition. Would have been happy to buy it myself had I been looking for a 90 but four vehicles would be getting a bit silly :ph34r:

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Had a similar problem when I bought mine, changing 5th to 4th needed two goes to get it in, changing up to 4th was fine. I couldn't say specifically that it was in the wrong place as you describe though.

Anyway, changed the oil in the box (well I guess it was oil when it went in, was more like brown water when it came out!) and it's been fine since. Worth checking when the oil was last done, sounds like it might save you some hassle.

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I have the same problem & the way I get over it is to treat it the same as my old Hino truck. Come out of 5th then slight slap to left in the gate & it goes straight into 4th. I know it's not a perfect solution but it just becomes habit. As you say there is a solution but I believe in leaving well enough alone until I have to fix something (lesson learned from precautionary timing belt change, ended up having it go 3 times in 1 month & had to rebuild head now fingers crossed all the time).

It sound like a very good buy.

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