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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have understood that the weakest point in this vehicle ( series II) to replace is the expensive transfer box. Have learned from different forums that the cause of damage might be lack of oil. The casing may have minor oil leak and lost oil will evidently one day cause total damage to the dry transfer box.
I will change the oil and look at the case for leaks when getting the vehicle back to the traffic after being retired with pike tires on since March waiting for the next Winter to come ( which is late this year). grin:grin:
I think we can prevent the number of damaged transfer boxes by looking under neath periodically (daily bases) for oil spots. In that respect the damage could be predictable....plain:
 
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I see a lot of oil leaks from my engine, not sure I could spot a transfer box one in amongst those. That said checking the box level regularly would be a good idea so thanks for the tip :).

EDIT: just to add my transfer box was reconditioned / renewed for about £2k when it went - not a cheap thing to replace / fix.
 

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I changed the oil in my series 1, there is a post about it. There was around 300ml of the 700ml in the rear diff, the front was not much better. It is a synthetic oil by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have understood that diff oil changes have no intervals? . Have decided to change both for the first time in 137tkm. Lets hope there would be some oil left. No visible leaks seen anyway. Later once a year checking the oil level and adding in case needed might be the best way to keep the vehicle running. Hypoid 75W-90 ( about 600-700ml both) says (?) the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have just changed my transfer case and differential oils today at 141.900 km. Both had enough oil, almost up to the filling hole and the color was acceptable ( in my mind) . Some steel-goo was stacked in magnets.
Added 700 ml Hypoid 75w-90 oil in transfer case and some 600 ml same oil in Differential.
I think my oils should have been changed earlier, but I woke up too late as my manual is not informing me on the change interval. I contact the dealer but even they did not know when these oils should be changed.
I would say that you should change your power train oils at least in 50.000 miles ( 80.000) km intervals. Also auto transmission oil as only some 4 liters comes out at the time.
 
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I have changed mine on the 90K service. Not a very difficult job! I did have to use ingenuity and an oil extraction pump from Lidl. Next change will be at 140K miles. (I still have one bottle as I misread the instructions and thought that they would take 2 litres. (they only support 800 mil)
 

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I changed 2 months ago the rear diff oil, I still have to change the one in the transfer box. For the rear diff it took about 600ml of oil. I used Castrol Syntrax Universal Plus 75W-90 as indicate by the Castrol configurator.

What surprised me was the color of the old oil, it was dark brown and filled with some black residue. I also found some steel scrapings on the magnet, but nothing that would scare me. Is the black residue normal? The car had aprox 85000 km at the time of oil change.
 
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I changed 2 months ago the rear diff oil, I still have to change the one in the transfer box. For the rear diff it took about 600ml of oil. I used Castrol Syntrax Universal Plus 75W-90 as indicate by the Castrol configurator.

What surprised me was the color of the old oil, it was dark brown and filled with some black residue. I also found some steel scrapings on the magnet, but nothing that would scare me. Is the black residue normal? The car had aprox 85000 km at the time of oil change.

I will have to look into that. There is not mention on the service schedule to change the oil on the rear differential. I just saw the transfer fluid case.

IS it easy or a pain to change?
 

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It is much more easy compared to transfer case from access point of view, everything is in plain sight. I even managed to squeeze the new oil bottle inside, so no pump needed. I am curious if the fluid in your differential has the black flakes as mine.

I still have to do the transfer case fluid case, I hope I can do it this weekend. I am a little afraid that it will not be as easy as the one for the differential. :)
 

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It is much more easy compared to transfer case from access point of view, everything is in plain sight. I even managed to squeeze the new oil bottle inside, so no pump needed. I am curious if the fluid in your differential has the black flakes as mine.

I still have to do the transfer case fluid case, I hope I can do it this weekend. I am a little afraid that it will not be as easy as the one for the differential. :)
To be honest it was quite easy! Took me longer to find which plugs to open ( didn't have the workshop manual) than to do it.
I was also using and hex key instead of a proper wrench with the hex head :(


My car does not have leaks at all. I will change the rear differential when my next oil.

Apparently black flakes are ok... bits of metal is not a good sign: See video below

 

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Very good video, thanks for sharing. My plug and fluid looked almost identical (maybe my fluid was a little cleaner) with the one from the video. The steel scraping very small in size, like in the video, so they are normal, I am happy :) .
 
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Saturday I changed the oil in my transfer box, the oil that came out was black and on the drain plug magnet I found similar oil+metal particles as in the differential. The car has 89000 km (~55000 miles). There was no strange sound from the transfer box, I changed it as good measure. The oil I used was Castrol Syntrax Long Life 75W-90 as recommended by the user manual and Castrol oil configurator. It took about 700ml.
 

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this is on my to do list...

I wish Victor had a 4x4 because then he could do some nice step by step pictures ;-)

Of course should he want to do that - but sadly lack the car - I will generously offer to let him change the oil in my TB
 

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this is on my to do list... I wish Victor had a 4x4 because then he could do some nice step by step pictures ;-) Of course should he want to do that - but sadly lack the car - I will generously offer to let him change the oil in my TB
Very kind of you to offer T5NEL but since you're in deepest Englandshire and I'm in Scotland-that-threatens-to-go-Independent-AGAIN-shire sadly it's not to besmile:.
Don't think it's all that bad a job to do. BJS, a big mate of mine from the new Antara board, posted this pic of the transfer box drain and fill/level plugs. Ches has kindly posted the type and qty of the oil so they should make this thread a sticky.
 

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this is on my to do list...

I wish Victor had a 4x4 because then he could do some nice step by step pictures ;-)

Of course should he want to do that - but sadly lack the car - I will generously offer to let him change the oil in my TB
It is quite easy. Some videos they recommend using a pump. You could also use gravity if you have a long hose. ( from the top of the engine)


Just ensure that you are able to open the top plug ( fresh oil one) before you open the bottom one.


I used this:

 

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Hi guys, yesterday my transfer box decided that is time to show me its insides. A small hole (1cm diameter) appeared on the right side case cover and few bearing bits came out. The transfer box was taken apart and a local service and they found one bearing teared up inside, also other 3 bearings with same size were rubbish and could fail at any time. I have taken the broken case to a TIG welder and I hope they can do it. All the inside parts are OK except for one pinion that can be also repaired since it has only minor surface damage.

After seeing the insides of the transfer box, a good friend of mine that worked almost 50 years as a mechanical engineer told me that the bearings have an issue from the factory, either the bearings themselves, either the mounting procedure was wrong. So, sooner or later they will fail.

The only way to solve the issue is to inspect the bearings play and to change them if they start to have excessive play. Mine have ~5mm of play, so you can feel them with the hand. The bearing change should be a fraction of the cost of the transfer box since they are common bearings. The labor cost should be around 4-5 hours: it takes ~1 hour to take the transfer box out, 1-2 hours to change the bearings and ~1 hour to the transfer box back.

I state again that i have changed the transfer box oil last summer at ~90000 km. There was no grinding noise noticeable before the transfer box failed.

An idea that can be wrong: I think that the play could be checked without disassembling the transfer box at oil change using an endoscope and moving the internal axle by hand. the other 2 axles can be checked for play from outside - one is connected to the drive shaft and one is connected to the right planetary axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How many kilometers have you done with the Captiva?. Maybe there are different bearings used or mounting was depending on technician at the factory? I have understood that it is not all of them fail ?.
 

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How many kilometers have you done with the Captiva?. Maybe there are different bearings used or mounting was depending on technician at the factory? I have understood that it is not all of them fail ?.
Can't remember where I found the article, might have been JD Power or similar, but I remember seeing a graph that showed a design change tail end of 2011, a jump in failure rate for 2012 models and then the later model came in - you can guess which model I have.
 
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Mine had ~96000km, so not much. One week before the fail I have changed the flywheel + clutch kit + throw bearing. Also I changed the gearbox oil and transfer box oil. I am sorry that I ignored the metal scrapings at the transfer box oil change, there were lots of them. If the mechanic that changed the clutch had taken apart the transfer box (there are only a couple of bolts) he could see that the bearings are worn and that they need to be changed urgently.

I am not sure if this is due to the oil recommended by Castrol on their configurator - Castrol Syntrax longlife 75W90 full synthetic (fits most requirements in the manual, BUT it is not written that it is suitable for hypoid gears like the manual asks). My friend, the mechanical engineer told me that the bearings could not be worn because of the oil since the hypoid/ no hypoid has nothing to do with bearings.

I asked also at the service and it seems that also Opel/Vauxhal Insignia and Astra have an issue with some gearbox bearings, they fail after a short number of km.

Since there are so many models that are built in different locations with similar issues, I believe that Strad is right and there was some change in production - either on the bearing producer, either in the design of the transfer case and gearboxes. The mechanical engineer told me that judging on the way the bearing is worn, he think that is more probable that the bearing had to much play when it was assembled on the transfer case.

Now my car is in the service, I am waiting for a refurbishment offer from the service, they are trying to find the bearings. The transfer box hole in the case was TIG welded and now is solid. I paid the equivalent of only 30 euro to the welder. If the bearings and seals are cheap I will go with refurbishment, if not, I will order a transfer case from UK, it is cheaper compared to Romania.

By the way, does anybody have a bad transfer case? I need only the spiral gear that goes to the drive shaft. And of course I am willing to pay for it :)
 
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I don't think the oil would be the culprit either. Lack of oil... yes! Different oil... not so much.

You changed at 89.000 KM which is sooner that the manufacturer interval (90k Miles) so I would just put it to coincidence.
 
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