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My gearbox and driveshaft have fallen apart – help!!

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by S3 Adj, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. S3 Adj
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    S3 Adj New Member

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    Hi everyone, I hope you can help.

    Last weekend I felt some nasty vibrations through the steering wheel every time the wheels turned, along with a clonking noise. Shortly after there was an awful knocking / banging from the front left wheel. The steering wheel was going all over the place and I honestly thought the wheel was going to fall off.

    I managed to limp the car home (only a few minutes away luckily), and since then an Audi mechanic came over to check it out. Turns out a plate attached to the gearbox had worked itself loose somehow. I am unsure as to exactly what this place is called or even connected to, but think it may be the driveshaft? The plate itself is circular, slightly domed and has 6 bolts holding it in. So, I ordered the replacement parts, and last night the mechanic returned with the new bits to put it right.

    Unfortunately the new bolts are slightly different to the old ones and wouldn’t go in at all. We resorted to using the old bolts, however 2 of these would not go in either, as they just wouldn’t catch the thread.

    Can anyone suggest anything to help me out here? I really don’t want to shell out on a replacement gearbox, but I’m not sure what other options there are. The mechanic suggested an engineering firm might be able to make a new thread, which would allow us to put the bolts in. I really like the sound of this as it should be much more cost-effective, has anyone tried something similar?

    Thanks in advance for any help / advice. If it helps I can upload some pictures of the plate in question, sorry for the terrible descriptions.

    Cheers,

    Adrian
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  3. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    Used gearbox is around £300, are you sure that's not the best route to take for a fix?
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  4. S3 Adj
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    S3 Adj New Member

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    Thanks for the reply Jojo.

    I didn't realise a used gearbox could be picked up for that amount, I had a 4-figure sum in my head! I will look around after work this evening to see if I can source one at a good price. Aside from eBay and Euro Car Parts, are there any other good places to look? Depending on what I'd be charged for an engineer to make new threads etc it might be the best way to go.

    Thanks again for the advice.

    Cheers,

    Adrian
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  5. ash_pearce
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    ash_pearce Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    i think the piece your referring to can be replaced look at this diagram...http://www.vagcat.com/p/B208/407210.png

    I had trouble re attaching my driveshaft mainly because there is a rubber gasket sandwhiched between the plate (no 10. in the picture) had moved out of line with the holes. just a thought but could that be the problem?
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  6. ash_pearce
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    ash_pearce Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
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  7. ash_pearce
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    ash_pearce Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    which should be part number 02M409355A depending on your gearbox
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  8. s3_kev
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    s3_kev Stage2'd!!!!!!

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    he cant surely mean the driveshaft end?? you dont need a new gearbox to fix that if your mechanic was anygood he'd be able to tap'n'die you some new bolt holes whats wrong with these people who call themselves mechanics hes obviously just a fitter
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  9. S3 Adj
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    S3 Adj New Member

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    Thanks!

    The first link looks about right, I'll check the rubber gasket in case it's moved out of alignment. The part I've replaced is between 7a and 8 in the first link, although it doesn't have a hole in the centre IIRC, it's domed instead. I've also replaced parts 12 & 13, but unfortunately the new bolts don't seem to fit.

    Sorry I'm so bad at describing the problem. If it makes it any clearer, you can access the part that needs replacing by removing the wheel - the bolts go into the replacement part which then tightens onto the plate behind.

    If I go with the repair option, our next step will be to attempt to make a new bolt holes. Is this something that can easily be done when there are existing holes already in place? How easy would it be to 'modify' the holes to take the new bolts?
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  10. ash_pearce
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    ash_pearce Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    unless your mechanic has knackered the threads i dont see why they would need to be re tapped. Also, are you sure he has the right bolts? They should be the same if he ordered the right part?!

    Whats wrong with the old ones anyway?

    I really struggled with mine, I could only get 4 out of 6 in place, spent about half an hour on one bolt. As i said mine was just the rubber gasket in the way.
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  11. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    "themselves mechanics hes obviously just a fitter"

    hmmm to me a fitter is a trained craftsman who works on machinery whereas a mechanic just does cars. In my book a good fitter would make 5 good mechanics
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  12. ash_pearce
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    ash_pearce Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    maybe he meant an exhaust fitter?
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  13. S3 Adj
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    S3 Adj New Member

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    I've got exactly the same situation you had - 4 out of 6 are in, the other 2 won't go in for love nor money. The bolts go into the holes okay, but when I try to turn them they just spin in place. Did you manage to at least get the bolts in the holes before the rubber gasket blocked them or weren't you able to get that far? How did you fix the rubber gasket in the end? Is it as simple as undoing the relevant bits and re-aligning everything?

    I don't think we've done any damage to the thread ourselves, but is it possible that damage could have been done as a result of all 6 bolts falling out and the connecting parts flopping about? The other thing is that the driveshaft itself is brand new, what would cause the bolts to come loose in the first place?

    We sourced the bolts from Audi using the car's number plate, but I suppose there is a chance the wrong ones were ordered / sent. They are slightly shorter and not quite as fat. I don't think there is anything wrong with the old ones, but I only have 5 of them and thought if I was going to replace the part I may as well get new bolts too. As it is I guess I'll either need to find another bolt that matches the old ones, or find some way of making the new ones fit if I go down the repair route.

    Oh, one other thing - when I turned the car on yesterday the traction control light came on. I moved the car up the road (drove fine) but obviously didn't push it as only 4/6 bolts were in place. The light didn't go off, could we have damaged something during the repair work?

    Thanks again for all the help. We'll be doing our best to fix the car over the weekend, I'll keep you posted.
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  14. ash_pearce
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    ash_pearce Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    same thing mate, the bolts go in but wont turn, I gave them a sharp hit with the hammer, not too hard though! This will push the bolts through the rubber into the thread. If the new bolts are 'not quite as fat' i would say they are a smaller thread in which case they are no good.

    Basically if your original thread in duff you could re drill and tap but you will then need bigger bolts, afaik you have M8 bolts next step is M10 which is quite alot more, you may struggle to get them to fit as I found cv boot gets in the way as it is with out the bolts being any bigger.
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  15. S3 Adj
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    S3 Adj New Member

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    I see, thanks for that - makes more sense now and I have a clear plan of attack! We did try using a drill very briefly yesterday but that just made the bolts turn in place faster! I'll see what results using the hammer will bring as that sounds like the best thing to try first. If I'm lucky I'll then have 5 secure bolts, and I'll just have to find one more from somewhere.

    If the thread is ruined, we'll go for plan B. Would I need to source the larger bolts through Audi? I know we have the tools required to make new holes but I guess this won't help unless I have bolts that will fit them!
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  16. ash_pearce
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    ash_pearce Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    I dont think audi will be able to give you the right bolt. If you do have to do plan b, try running an m8 tap through first you might be able to save the thread before drilling it bigger. iirc its an 8.5mm drill bit to to take an m10 thread, you'll have to check though.
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  17. s3_kev
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    s3_kev Stage2'd!!!!!!

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    you dont need to use bigger bolts if you have or can get hold of some time serts then you will have to drill out the old tread to the correct size then you tap a new thread the correct size for the time sert then you wind the tme sert into the new thread that you have made and hey presto same size thread and a good tread.
    http://www.timesert.com/
    #16
  18. s3_kev
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    s3_kev Stage2'd!!!!!!

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    [Apr 3, 2009]
    id say a craftsman is a craftsman not a fitter at all but thats my opinion.
    A mechanic can fix cars and can fix car parts rather then just replace parts when boken, also a mechanic sholud be able to craft parts when unable to obtain new parts a mechanic is an extremly skilled person.
    when i said fitter what i mean is purely a replacment parts fitter he works for a main dealer where all they ever do is replace parts when they fail.
    i love the fact you think anyone can be a mechanic, to be a proper mechanic is not an easy job we/they are underestimated
    #17
  19. nick-barnes07
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    nick-barnes07 Member

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    [Apr 4, 2009]
    i think he is on about the drive shaft its self, where it screws into th eside of the gearbox? was it the brand new driveshaft i bought for it?????? or the other side, are you on about the metal plate at the end of the driveshaft, that then screws into the gearbox or summat
    #18
  20. audia3vwgti
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    audia3vwgti New Member

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    [Apr 4, 2009]
    hi doesnt the driveshaft bolt to the diff
    if so cant the diff cup be unbolted to check the thread
    where the six bolts go
    #19
  21. HTC
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    HTC Active Member

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    [Apr 4, 2009]
    I would remove the drive shaft (or unbolt and push to the side) and remove the output flange completely.

    There's a centre bolt and then it pops off. Just replace the flange and whatever bolts you need.

    I personally wouldn't mess with different sized bolts and threads etc if you don't have to.
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  22. S3 Adj
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    S3 Adj New Member

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    [Apr 6, 2009]
    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks so much for all the advice, really was very much appreciated. I am delighted to say the car is now back on the road. We were able to get a new thread into the gearbox and the bolts went straight in. Cue much relief and a sense of satisfaction!

    While the car was at the mechanic’s, I also had a couple of other bits looked at, and the car is now running like an absolute dream.

    Thanks again for the help.

    Cheers,

    Adrian
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  23. sydneyc
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    sydneyc New Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    can anyone please help me?
    When I put my Audi s3 into gear thre is a clunking noise . I know this dprobably doesnt help but it sounds like it is coming from the prop shaft . How easy is it to fix a prop shaft?

    Please someone help me?

    Sydneyc
    #22
  24. gmanwrx
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    gmanwrx wanting a s3

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    Did you get vibration through the middle of the car when you pulled off with wheels on lock, I am having trouble with mine and think its to do with propshaft/diff or gearbox, any ideas guys?
    #23

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