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300 Tdi Loss of Drive


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My new disco is a '94 300 tdi, and it has no drive :( even with the difflock on.

You can push the clutch down, and it feels like the gears are engaging, but there is no forward or reverse motion. When in 3rd it sounds like a lot of grinding from inside the gearbox - however, the gear lever feels "sloppy" - not very precise.

Is there anything i should look at before condeming the gearbox?

My first thought is that the linkage has come adrift somewhere, and its not actually engaging.


Thanks all

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Assuming you've check the propshafts aren't spinning and thus the problem is definitely in the gearbox or transfer box ... then the grub screw in the selector on top of the gearbox is one possibility if the lever is all over the place, but normally the centre of the clutch is the most likely culprit for loss of drive and I'd certainly take the box out and check that before looking for a replacement gearbox.

Other possibilities for no drive on an early 300 box are a broken mainshaft (snaps clean off near the back of the box, though most will have gone and been replaced long ago), and/or stripped mainshaft splines where it goes into the transfer box.

In order I think I would:

- Take off the PTO cover on the transfer box and check if the shaft is spinning inside the gear when you try and drive it - in which case the splines are gone

- Take out the gearbox and check the centre of the clutch is OK

- if so then engage gears and check you are getting drive through the gearbox to the transfer box in all gears

This should let you narrow it down.

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75% convinced myself to source another box, and replace the clutch at the same time now. In the long run (and with the time scale i have) i think it may be a better bet TBH.

Any pointers as to how long it should take roughly to swap the box??

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Managed to escape decorating long enough yesterday to spend some time on it :)

Stripped centre console out, nothing wrong with linkages, so off came the PTO cover - shaft spinning happily in the middle of the gear :( not good.

So off came the transfer box, just the gearbox to go now. Going to phone a few local friends with Disco's they are breaking and source a replacement box today. Only trouble is, it needs a new rear crank seal before it can go back together :(


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Sorry - the gear in the transfer box would be equally as knackered.

It is easer to replace that gear than it is to replace the shaft out of the gearbox though

What ever you buy best to check by popping of the PTO cover and having a peer inside

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Does anyone know if i will need to replace the transfer box as well? or is it just going to be the splines on the mainshaft that are knackered??

You can replace just the gear as above, there will be nothing wrong with the rest of the transfer box though a run and an oil change would be advisable to clear any swarf out that might be in the oil.

From some time in 96ish the transfer boxes had the drilled input gear so a whole gearbox and transfer box out of a later 97/98 model would be a good solution - later ones had the stronger mainshaft fitted too.

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