Geartech Opinion

Motorhome gearbox replacement

Geartech Midlands specialise in the repair and maintenance of gearboxes and differentials for motorhomes, campervans and smaller race transporters. We work on all makes and models, however the information below highlights some of the most popular A-class, coachbuilt or converted van derived examples.

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Very professional and quick service. Organised my gearbox to be looked at on Wednesday, by Friday the gearbox was ready to be collected. In that time they had noticeabley gone the extra mile with their service. Couldn’t have asked for more. Thanks Geartech

Tom Martin

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Your motorhome or camper should provide many years of memorable travelling experiences. However, they can often spend long periods with little use, therefore good maintenance is essential for safety and reliability.

We offer a removal and fitting service on most motorhomes and camper vans. Please call us on 01299 251 261 for prices and availability of appointments.

Pre 2006 motorhomes

Many spares for motorhomes earlier than 2006 have been discontinued and the availability of original gearbox parts is a particular issue. We see common problems with failed synchros on the Fiat Ducato based motorhomes including the Seascape and Landsleeper. The Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer are both a popular choice for a campervan conversion and suffer with similar common transmission failures.

What can go wrong

The cause of most gearbox failures can occur due to water ingress, causing the oil to emulsify. This attacks the fricton coating on the synchro cone of the gear. The synchro is a brake that slows the gear down to the speed of the drive-sleeve. When the coating fails, it loses grip and allows the gear and sleeve to crash together as they are operating at different speeds.

How to limit water ingress

Emulsified oil is often caused by rainwater from the windscreen. It runs down into the front gutter and exits via a rubber downpipe on to the road. Over time and exposure to the elements, this rubber degrades and shrinks allowing the water to be channelled into the breather for the gearbox. If the vehicle is standing for longer periods the water builds up, when you next start the engine it will mix with the gearbox oil.

Motorhome gearbox diagnostics

We begin with a complete stripdown of the gearbox to component parts. Once the fault has been identified we will supply a quotation. This service is free for a supplied loose gearbox. If you require us to remove the unit at our workshop please get in touch for a price and to make an appointment.

High quality workmanship as standard

Once our quotation is approved we machine and recoat the synchro cones. The molybdenum coating uses a process called metal-spraying which gives a permanent repair. Our official partner for this service is a British Aerospace contractor and turnaround time is usually within two weeks.

Gearbox repairs on later motorhomes

Post-2006 campers and motorhomes can suffer with  bearing failures. If the vehicle continues to be used with noisy bearings you can expect the oil to become contaminated with swarf. Major components inside the gearbox will prematurely wear and eventually it could result in complete gearbox failure. We can repair both 5 and 6-speed gearboxes in these later models including the Ducato, Boxer and Relay. 

VW Transporter campervans

Rear wheel drive, 4 and 5-speed, and 4×4 Transporter T2 vans are regular visitors to Geartech. Typical faults are bearing failures or jumping out of gear. We always use either new VW parts or high-quality, proven after-market brands.

The Volkswagen T4, T5 and T6 regularly produce failures with the top bearing which spin in the case causing the bearing hole to become oval. To repair, we machine the hole to a larger diameter, we make a top-hat sleeve with an interference fit to allow a much-improved later bearing upgrade.

Mercedes Sprinter-based motorhomes

Again, the main gearbox problems are bearing failures, crunching or jumping out of gear. These gearbox problems are repairable using reasonably priced, genuine Mercedes parts. We repair as many differentials as gearboxes on these Mercedes campers. Please get in touch to describe the symptoms you are experiencing.

Ford Transit motorhome and campers

There are many faults over the long history of the Transit but all are repairable. We have repaired many differentials and gearboxes across 4, 5 and 6-speed transmissions. 

A common VW Transporter gearbox modification is to exchange the standard 5th gear for a higher ratio. This mod is done to improve fuel economy, we can usually do this in-situ without needing to remove the gearbox.
Call Tony or Karl on 01299 251 261 to find out more.

Geartech VW Transporter T5 gearbox strip down
Dissassembled campervan gearbox
T5 Transporter gearbox repair by Geartech Midlands Ltd in Worcester
VW Transport T5 gearbox modification
Geartech VW Transporter T5 gearbox repair
Molybdenum coated gears

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Contact Geartech Midlands today with your enquiry or to arrange local free collection or delivery