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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Was just in the parking lot today.... up until this point... 1st/2nd have been notchy and 2nd has been grinding! In the parking lot; I couldn't get it into reverse.... was going forward as in 1st... .then I found reverse... finally but 1st and 2nd were gone! Limped home in 3rd...
A quick google; confirms many others with this issue, apparently the shift fork for 1st/2nd breaks and the weak point is the rivet! Bleah!

I would appreciate anyone's experience with this; considering my problems with Volkswagen of America in the past... I have no faith that they would lift a finger to do anything nor have I heard any silent recalls or recalls on this particular transmission. Any info or experiences appreciated!

I am probably going to drop it and see what the repairs are going to be; a used one... seems like not necessarily a good idea... since the weakness is still there.
Google reveals a shop that has "fixed" the weak point in these transmissions; anyone care to comment on these guys? Never heard of them but looks like the fix I need for my issue!

USP Motorsports 02M/02Q 6 speed transmission rebuild program
USP Motorsports - Specializing in VW Audi & Porsche vehicles

Any and all comments appreciated! My poor bug is outside with out 1st and 2nd! LOL! :) The romance and dysfunctional relationship with the beetle, continues! :)
 

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You should also check out the shift linkage and make sure that its all in tact. Do you have 4-6 and R for sure? In my 5-speed I lost all but 3rd and 4th due to a broken shift carrier lever. The 6-speeds are different, but I've never seen this problem before on here.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I took the shifter off in the parking lot; while I have never touched the transmission or linkage.... that is certainly something to rule out... HOWEVER>>>everyone online has this same issue and they all point to this shift fork failure... apparently very common! Because of so many people with almost the same exact experience as mine; I have this sinking feeling, I will be pulling the transmission and shipping it out to get repaired. I guess, I am being forced to learn more and more about this beetle.... I am starting to get a very familiar feeling... it is starting to feel like my air cooled beetles! I had to replace; pretty much everything on these... including the transmissions! Well, at least the internet has tons of info on the issue; especially vwvortex! I think I am definitely on my own; I almost feel like not even talking to my dealer... maybe I will for the hell of it! LOL! My relationship with them; has been a disaster as well... so, maybe just more brain damage to endure!? Ironically enough; I got the turbo s, specifically.... BECAUSE it was a different transmission then the 5 speed which I had rebuilt on my 2000 1.8T; I am having a distinct sense of de ja vu! :) LOL!

I think; if I do end up dong the work myself: (very likely) I would like to find a place like the above tuning shop that would FIX the WEAKNess; that way I won't have to deal with the issue again! I guess like anything; the weaknesses will shake themselves out and then someone in the performance industry figures a way to strengthen them and fix the weakness.... sigh...
Any comments or experiences with the six speed appreciated! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After hours of research last night; it seems this is more widespread then I had a anticipated;, at this point... still trying to find the best "upgrade" solution, so this doesn't happen again.

speed shop blog about the issue:
VW 02M Transmission Shift Fork Issues | Blue Water Performance

discussion about the problem:
VWVortex.com - O2M-Anyone successfully strengthened shift forks?

example of a "fix" for the weak fork issue
VWVortex.com - 1.8t FWD 02M w/Upgraded Shift Forks and LSD option

still researching solutions; if you have upgraded your forks, had your transmission repaired or can tell me a good place to have the work done; please let me know! :)
(in the house, bug outside....I'm not going anywhere! LOL! :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Probably going to pull the transaxle with in the next couple of days; so far the rough estimates for repair or replace are:

new/rebuilt swap: $1900 to $2400 depending where you get it from; assuming this is direct from VW. (local dealer, 1stvwparts.com, gex.com,)

rebuilding/repairing from independent shops: $800-$1300 depeding on what hard parts need replaced or reinforced (forks). (USP Motorsports, Bluewater)

Do it all myself; I am not transmission expert but vortex how to guides, make it look doable....

quick call to the dealer; ran some basic prices on potential replacement parts:

1st/2nd shifter fork: $109.60
synchronizer hub: $269.60

inner rings $45.60 (4)= $182.40
outer rings $74.60 (2)+ $149.29

roughly $601.20...... I'm sure gear oil, seals and a clutch would be a good idea as well.

One thing is for sure; these Teutonic vehicles aren't cheap to repair! :)

While I'm in there;a Quaife LSD Differential (O2M) or Peloquin LSD Kit With Bolt Kit & Related Bearings Volkswagen 337/20AE 1.8T might be a option; looks like another $900-$1300 with a bolt kit. Anyone put one of these in their cars? Tell me if it is worth it and what your experiences are!

Open to any comments, suggestions or recommendations, experiences.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I appreciate the link (in my exhaustive web search; I did see them but the 02M in particular wasn't on their site); my concern from getting any of these "rebuilt" transmissions; is the glaring issue of the 1st/2nd shift fork weakness; until that fork is strengthened or replaced with a performance piece.... there is no guarantee is won't happen again... regardless of where I get it from (vw dealer, aftermarket rebuilder etc.).

VW apparently has updated the part (fork) but the rivet is still in place and is just a little larger then the earlier version that fails; imho, not good enough and frankly, this should be a recall issue. But just like so many VW related issues; unless there is a class action lawsuit; they will not address the issue adequately or offer a fix for those of us out of warranty.

So, at this point; I think I am going to drop the box and open it and see what damage has occurred; many, it seems are just fixing it themselves, or having a independent shop do the work and putting it back in..... with what seems like good results. At just 70k; I would have to assume everything should be in good shape, unless damaged by the fork failing... we will see.

If anyone else would chime in on LSD or any other recommendations about my situation; I would appreciate it.

UPDATE: got a email response from vince <[email protected]>; they do not do 02M work... However: they do seem to be on top of the 5 speeds and have allot of information about what improvements they make to create a better, more robust and reliable VW transmission.... addressing many if not all of the classic problems they have. Very impressed with the info on their site.

After days of researching; here are what seem to be the classic "fail points" on the 02M and possibly other standard VW transmissions as well (e.g. 5 speed)

1. Fork failure (e.g. rivets that hose the shaft/bronze for together) 1st, 2nd and 5th, 6th are held together this way. 3rd, 4th anecdotal evidence has show just breaking off. The fix: on stock forks, drill out rivets, tap threads, install hardened bolts, finish off with tig welds to eliminate failure from ever happening again (aside from breakage). Aftermarket solutions: redesigned shift forks made out out billet aluminum or stainless steel seem to be available.
2. Differential rivets coming loose, weak VW design in general; the fix seems to be installation of a upgraded aftermarket LSD (limited slip differential) Quaife or Peloquin brands, removal of the rivets and installation of strengthened bolts to secure better, eliminate possible rivet failure.
3. 1st and 2nd selector hub; fail point, wether this is in conjunction with the fork failure, or the supposedly "slow" nature of the VW transaxles shifting ability in general and subsequent "abuse" of drivers engaging in speed shifting or faster selection then designed.... in my mind, is up for debate. The aftermarket seems to have solutions for these as well; possible design improvement or strengthening.
4. Syncros; these seem to fail, wether driver "abuse", above fork failure, or inherent design weakness is still unclear to me; fix; seems to be to reinforce them, aftermarket upgrades or metal treatment, i'm not sure...

Positives about the 02M; over earlier 5 speed versions
1. obvious extra gear; lower rpms at high speeds,
2. gears are supposed to be wider and the trans is supposed to be stronger (aside from the fork issues), be able to handle higher horsepower then earlier designs.
3. inclusion of a 240MM flywheel/clutch; able to handle more abuse and is more reliable then the smaller 5 speed clutches, those seem to fail in stock form



These are just what I have gleaned from my unscientific googling; any info or corrections appreciated! :)

Transmission removal scheduled for this weekend. More info and pics coming soon! I can't wait to finally see what failed! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Started the transaxle pull today; I am posting pics of my process, not exactly a "how to" but just posting what I am doing... a catharsis of sorts! :) .... please bear with me! :)





Limped the Beetle; all the way in third, made it and now she must go on the lift! :)





I am so thankful I have access to a lift and tons of professional hand and air tools to make the job easier... was having a hard time getting motivated today to start the job (Saturday)! It has been over 100F for weeks and the failure of the transmission was just another bummer, in the sweltering desert summer heat of New Mexico! Bleah! :)





First; I thought I would pull the plug on the transmission and see if it revealed any info about the potential damage that occurred inside. This particular transmission's drain plus is a hex; others require special sockets, thankfully I had the right size in my toolbox! (14MM hex size)



A long 1/2" swivel head ratchet; alway makes things easier! :)





The fluid came out quick; I have been using Amsoil Synthetic and it didn't look bad, I don't think i have that many miles on it, since I put it in!





Looking at the oil as it drained; I could see "plumes" of fine metal shavings.... hmmm! Doesn't look terrible but indicates signs of my gears grinding; I have been doing this in 1st and 2nd... for awhile.





I dumped the majority of the oil and looked at what sunk to the bottom of the pan; oh, what have we here? Bronze metal shavings; these are fine metal particles but that is what the shifter forks are made of... the first indication that it has failed. All the posts on the internet of the 02M; seems are right! (more to come)! :)
 

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That can't be good.



But, your TS looks great, even on that rack.... :eek:
 

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Good work and research! Yes, I suggested vwtransaxles.com based on how they rebuild/improve the 5 speed--I was sure if they did the 6 the issues would be resolved and a rebuild would be better than new.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well, the trans came apart today and as assumed; the fork issue was it!



"ERR" transmission code



As I was working with the removed transmission I could hear something in side loose; "clunking" around! Part of the shift fork fell out when the case was split!



With the differential removed; you can see the fork and the missing piece; the rivet sheared off!



Fork missing piece (detail)



Fork removed; how the pieces go together



Fork pieces (detail)



missing piece (front)



missing piece (back)



rivet and piece

Its a shame the parts were so weak; so many have posted about this failure; the revised part is supposed to be better.

I initially was going to ship this out for repair but I definitely wanted to see what is wrong; now with the help of a co-worker who has many years of transmission experience; I'm thinking just fix here in the shop! My concern was that something would go wrong and not work correctly; then I'll have to take it out again.... I guess we will see! After getting it all apart; it doesn't seem so bad after all! :)

Now I am debating what to do; fix the stock forks or get aftermarket performance forks.... I am also debating the LSD upgrade.... open to comments and experiences! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
UPDATE: On the prowl for parts! Looking at some options below; if you have any experiences or opinions; let me know!

Issues with the 02M:

1. DON"T get a lightened flywheel; as it: "creates a noise from the main shaft", (quoting gary peloquin), seems its better to stick with stock flywheel weight, which i think is (22-23 pounds)
2. Pitch the expensive stock dual mass flywheel and get a aftermarket conversion kt; comes with NEW flywheel, pressure plate, disc and hydraulic throw out bearing. Dual Mass flywheels are expensive and from what I hear, prone to failure.
3. upgrade to aftermarket forks or at the bare minimum strengthen/fix the stock ones... by tapping and using bolts/welding.
4. upgrade differential or at the bare minimum remove rivets and install unprated hardened steel bots/nuts in their place.


Clutches I am looking at:

SPEC Clutch and Steel Flywheel Kit in 240mm for 6-spd (Stage I)
(SV871S.SV81S) ***** problem with this kit is the lightened flywheel... .

https://www.mjmautohaus.com/catalog...t_in_240mm_for_6-spd_Stage_I&products_id=1062

VALEO Clutch and Single-Mass Flywheel in 240mm for 6-SPD (OEM)
(52405615)

MJM Autohaus

Other possible upgrades I am thinking or dreaming about:

USP Motorsports Stainless steel clutch line - VW 02M transmission
http://uspmotorsports.com/product_info.php?products_id=452

Peloquin Differential - 02M - MK4 6spd FWD part # 02M 498 005A.
Peloquin Transaxles

Cryo treating the whole thing; probably way beyond my needs but a known process for strengthening and hardening internals
Cryogenic treatment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This afternoon; started looking at all the internal bearings, turns out they are all SKF/*** from Germany.... this kinda goes back to my aircooled days... when buying "German" replacement parts was always seen as better. I don't know if this is still the case but would like to get the "good" stuff for the rebuild..... .

http://www2.vsm.skf.com/en-US.aspx

Looks like they have transmission rebuild kits!

http://www.vsm.skf.com/~/media/Files/enUS/HeavyDuty/457650_07_2010.ashx

transmission kit application catalog:

http://www.vsm.skf.com/en-US/Catalog/~/media/Files/enUS/Automotive/457604_Web.ashx
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Started working on the 1st and 2nd gear primary fork today; this is just the beginning but should give you an idea of what the process entails.





bolts: went to my local bolt supply house and got: (12) 12.9 grade black oxide Socket Head Cap Screw (M8X1.25X30) and these are the foundation of the repair and strengthening of the clutch forks.




Here I removed the last of the failed rivet pieces off the bronze portion of the fork (shown) and the steel piece (not shown); I used a dead blow ball been hammer and a punch.





tapping: I started with knocking out the remainder of the rivets; drilling with a 17/64" drill bit and tapping threads 8mm by 1.25 pitch. Here is a drill/tap chart to see more info: http://fingerlakeswoodturners.com/Articles/DRILL and TAP CHART.pdf I used a 1/4" drive 8 point socket and a ratchet to create the threads.





clip de burring; I used a cp angle head die grinder with the scrotch brite pad to remove the burrs; a sand paper pad would probably have been a better choice... was trying to keep removal low.





threads finished: final product and foundation for the bolt to strongly connect to and create a good bond between the brass and steel areas.





drill brass fork: used the same 17/64 drill bit and enlarged it a bit with a rat tail file.





de-burring brass fork; with angle head die grinder and scotch brite pad... in this case minimal removal of the brass was desired.





cap screw in fork: I starting the bolt down the freshly created threads; until seating.





screw in place: bolt headed screw in place and secured the brass and steel parts. It feels like a strong connection; I am still worried that the rocking that took place after the failure of the rivet; may have caused the distortion and indentations between the brass and the steel parts. Before running down the botl; the two pieces rocked a bit and didn't seem perfectly flat facing each other... still debating wether to replace the 1st/2nd fork; I don't want to grind gears or have poor shifting in the those gears.... of course thats the fork that failed in the first place! My threading and drill were probably not perfectly straight either; this may contribute to the issue; It was kinda hard to clamp these down d I was trying to be careful to not damage them.... Later, I will cut the excess off and have the bottom welded; that way they will never back out or hopefully, the forks won't ever fail from a inherent weakness ever again! Here is to hoping! :)





more forks to work on! :) These are the rest of the "usual suspects" that need to be upgraded and finished... more to come! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Continuing on in finishing up the fork....





Using a straight die grinder with a cutting wheel attachment to cut off the hardened bolt...





Now just the jagged edge of the left over bolt end...





Then switching over to a high speed sander with a corse grit disc to knock off the top...





Almost there... majority of the bolt gone; just a little nib left to remove...





Lastly, to clean up the remaining burrs and flattening out... (later this will be welded to remove any possibility of movement in the future...)





Flattened; clean metal ready for welding....





This last section of the fork; has a roll pin but my transmission guy says its not under allot of stress like the fork portion; says will be fine... I don't think I could get a bolt in there without decreasing the structural integrity of this portion. Maybe if I put a much smaller bolt in it.... comments?





Here is the next victim: in this particular fork; because of the brass section... they didn't use rivets but just roll pins... why in the steel portion... go figure!?!
 

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Discussion Starter #15


The steel portion needs to be tack welded or it will move...



Once the steel section is tacked; the roll pins can be driven out..



Driving out the pin...



drill out the pin hole...



Tap out the new drilled hole...



Installed bolt.. has excess that needs to be removed..



Excess cut, ground and smoothed....



The bronze portion; punch out pin, drill, tap and install bolt.... both finished! The bronze portion with the bolt will use locktite; because it cannot be welded in place...
 

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Discussion Starter #17


Knock out the remaining portion of the rivet...



drill out....



tap the newly drilled hole...



bolt installed; end needs to be cut off and ground down...



finished and ready to be welded!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Today... I went and took the "upgraded" forks to have the them welded; the online guides, say to have them "tig" welded, the shop I went to... say "tig"? Ahhh, Mig, will be fine! $20 plus tax; minimum charge... they did the work as I waited! :) They also sprayed; some sort of liquid that would reject any splatters from the welding process and protect the steel shaft portion of the fork....





















Here they are; very close to finished, just need to lock tite the non welded bolts and grind down any of the heads that would be interfering with any of the gears...
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Working up a list of things I need to button it up! :)

Parts list:

PELOQUIN LSD 02M 498 005A

transaxle seals:
(SHIFTER SHAFT) SEAL [Part# 02A301227M]
Volkswagen
List Price:$9.90
Your Price:$6.04

((INPUT SHAFT) SEAL [New Part# 02M311113A]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$8.40
Your Price:$5.12


(larger seal for driver side shaft.) AXLE SEAL [Part# 02M409189]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$13.50
Your Price:$8.24


(drive axle output shaft seal passenger side shaft) AXLE SEAL [Part# 02M301189B]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$7.20
Your Price:$4.39


(SHIFTING SHAFT) BUSHING [Part# 1J0711067L]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$3.30
Your Price:$2.01

(NEED TWO)


(O-RING FOR SHIFT SHAFT HOUSING)SEAL [Part# N90354201]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$2.90
Your Price:$1.77


(COVER PLATE) SEAL [Part# N10129201]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$2.00
Your Price:$1.22


(SHIFTER SHAFT SMALL) SEAL [Part# N90305601]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$2.90
Your Price:$1.77

(TRANS BREATHER) CAP [Part# 014301485]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$1.50
Your Price:$0.92


(RUBBER SHIFTER SHAFT) CAP [Part# 02M301117B]
Quantity:

Volkswagen
List Price:$2.60
Your Price:$1.59

est total without LSD/clutch/fluids etc. : $35.08

Differential bolt kits:

LSD Bolt Kit-02M Transmission Only (6-speed)

VW part # 02M498088

ARP LSD Bolt Kit-02M Transmission Only (6-speed)

Mfg Part# 204-3003
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Ordered most of the seals from my dealer today; just a little more then www.1stvwparts.com; (turns out:1st VW Parts is a division of Auburn Volkswagen 3109 Auburn Way North Auburn, WA. 98002) $47.00 vs. the above price but that did not include shipping... would assume with the high price of shipping I would have been close. Using the website; vagcat.com, turns out in europe that this paste is only about $20, its amazing how much cheaper things are are certain things over there. I'm assuming its shipping and exchange rates but makes you wonder what the profit margin is on this stuff! I know the parts guy in my area; so, I figured if something is wrong; better to deal with him, then someone in another state. The one item that was spendy through VW was the rear main seal @ over $50 06A103171A; I think I saw this at my local Autozone for 35, FELPRO... so it a good product.
Another item that was expensive from the dealer; the manual has a "sealant" that you are supposed to: "Thoroughly clean joint surfaces and apply sealant AMV 188 200 03. Apply sealant uniformly but not too thick." Strangely enough; it comes in a 100 gram amount and costs over $70! If anyone has a equivelent that they have used successfully; let me know... I'm thinking some of the newer permatex high temp red silicon sealers they have now should work... if anyone has any advice, please let me know!

UPDATE: ECS Tuning sells the stuff; the price is nuts! I wonder whats so special about it?
http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/AMV_188_200_03/ES4967/



Was looking through my manual and looking over the transmission section and saw something that made me laugh! The "security" of these roll pins or what vw calls "spring pins" was and is pathetic! Whatever German Engineer thought this was a good idea or a bean counter figured it was a nice cost saving measure... its just a insult! Especially, to those of us who have had a whole car disabled by the poor strength of the some of the internals of the 02M... sorry, rantings of a lunatic here! LOL!
 
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