ZS180 noisy gearbox - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 16-10-2016, 12:00 Thread Starter
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ZS180 noisy gearbox

Hi, this is my first post prompted by the purchase of a mk1 ZS180. I've just got this car but am not new to ZS's as this is my fourth 180.
It's done just 57k and has a documented FSH but on the drive home a gearbox noise became apparent. I noticed it on the test drive but one I had before made a similar noise and didn't take it on the motorway and should have! Daft mistake to make I know....
The noise becomes apparent at above about 30 where it's only noticeable when on the over-run, i.e. keeping constant speed. It gets louder with speed and at a constant 50 (on the M1 roadworks) it's annoyingly loud. Under hard acceleration its less noticeable and at 70+. So it appears at about 30 and gets louder with speed, not revs. It disappears when I back off the throttle and disappears when the clutch is depressed. There is no noise below 30 or when stationary (does this ruke out input bearing) and it doesnt change with electrics on (ruling out alternator bearings).
I haven't checked oil level yet but will despite the full SH.
One clue might be that CV joints were replaced a couple of years back - wrong oil put in?
So, any idea's what's making the noise?
I'm disapointed after my return to ZS's now that kids are mostly out of car seats
Any help greatly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 16-10-2016, 19:54
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You said it - check the oil. I'd drain out the old stuff, see how much there is and refill with new. I've done this on 'fsh' cars before and found less than a liter of sticky black stuff. I guess g-box oil checks are often skipped as it's a bit of a pain, and rarely needs any unless leaking. You could also jack up the front wheels and give them a spin and the drive/ suspension parts a waggle to check nothing's amiss...

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 16-10-2016, 20:08
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Hi and welcome to the forum (and back to the ZS).

The service schedule for the gearbox oil is 90k or (IIRC 6 years) but as your car is under 60k I bet it has never touched so will now be thick and black.

I would change it but make sure you use the correct spec (MTF90 IIRC).

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 16-10-2016, 21:07 Thread Starter
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Thanks GNU and James, I will change the oil asap. My worry though is that the noise is caused by something worn (a bearing) and changing the oil will not reverse this. My Focus has done 110k and has a silent gearbox. Car drives superb apart from noise and gearbox changes are smooth. Does anyone know what part of the gearbox is likely to be causing the noise?
Thanks!
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 17-10-2016, 21:33 Thread Starter
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That can't be all the knowledge out there surely!?
Has anyone had similar symptoms with their ZS180? Looking for some reassurance that it's not serious....
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 20-10-2016, 13:58 Thread Starter
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Ok, so I checked the oil and it was full to filler plug. I drained the oil and put in MTF94. It is still noisy as I expected.

I have now realised that it makes a whining noise from moving off but it just gets easily noticeable at 20mph and gets noisy by 50mph. The whine gets louder with speed, and goes when I dip the clutch, back off the power completely or put in neutral while moving.

Any ideas of cause and how to fix?

I'm seriously pee'd off by this partly because I should have noticed it before I handed over the cash and partly because it's such a good example otherwise.

There must be someone out there who has experienced this? Help please.....
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 20-10-2016, 18:51
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If you're sure it's internal to the gearbox, output bearing or the like, it'll be a difficult job to repair. When this happened on my fsh R200 who's g/box was just about empty of oil, I just replaced it with another g/box from the breakers (and a new clutch). Been fine since.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 20-10-2016, 18:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkingcars View Post

...The service schedule for the gearbox oil is 90k or (IIRC 6 years) but as your car is under 60k I bet it has never touched so will now be thick and black...

James
To clarify, level check is annual/ 15k miles. This must be oil change, and it's pushing it imo judging by the state of oil I've drained out of lower mileage cars. I thought it'll be more like 60k...

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 20-10-2016, 19:22 Thread Starter
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Thanks GNU but I don't like the idea of changing the gearbox! I have done loads of online research and cant find anyone posting what I describe. Input bearing problems are described as a rattle on idle - mines totally quiet. It must be a bearing but what I want to know is can I just turn the stereo up and ignore it or is it going to die soon? If it will go on for thousands of miles then I will take it apart next year......

The oil in there is clean and there are no leaks so no reason to believe it has been run dry. Could the box just be knackered through being thrashed?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 20-10-2016, 19:57
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Originally Posted by Toomanyzeds View Post
.......I have now realised that it makes a whining noise from moving off but it just gets easily noticeable at 20mph and gets noisy by 50mph. The whine gets louder with speed, and goes when I dip the clutch, back off the power completely or put in neutral while moving......
What happens when you are at 50, select neutral and coast with the clutch up?
(obviously try this on a straight private road where there is no other traffic)
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 20-10-2016, 20:19 Thread Starter
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No noise at all, all quiet. i have standard exhaust so it is quiet.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 20-10-2016, 21:30
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Originally Posted by gnu View Post
To clarify, level check is annual/ 15k miles. This must be oil change, and it's pushing it imo judging by the state of oil I've drained out of lower mileage cars. I thought it'll be more like 60k...
I have just checked RCL 0571 07/2003 which was official service schedule I have for the MG TF which use same PG1 gearbox as the ZS, it states change the gearbox oil at 7 years or 105'000 miles, there is no mention of checking it at any time.

http://www.the-t-bar.com/community/d...ancechecksheet

Last edited by Talkingcars; 20-10-2016 at 21:31. Reason: To add link.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 21-10-2016, 19:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkingcars View Post
I have just checked RCL 0571 07/2003 which was official service schedule I have for the MG TF which use same PG1 gearbox as the ZS, it states change the gearbox oil at 7 years or 105'000 miles, there is no mention of checking it at any time.

http://www.the-t-bar.com/community/d...ancechecksheet
Good luck with that then...

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 21-10-2016, 20:50
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Good luck with that then...
Just saying that was the official line.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 21-10-2016, 20:53 Thread Starter
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The discussion about oil change is missing the point, if your gearbox has oil in it I don't believe it should have premature problems. So,
returning to my request for help, do any of the 200+ people who have read my post know anything technical about gearboxes??
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 21-10-2016, 21:04
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The mileage/time interval for gearbox oil changes given by Talkingcars is correct.

The change interval for the gearbox oil was extended to 105000 miles when Rover started using MTF94 for factory fill of the PG1. MTF94 is very long life formula oil - no need for frequent changes, and made the Rover gearboxes effectively 'fill for life' (there being relatively few that would reach 107 thousand miles ).

Previously, on standard life oils, the recommended change interval was something like 30 or 40 thousand miles.

If you drain the oil from a PG1 filled with MTF94, and use a standard 75W80 to refill, you would need to reduce the time before the next change accordingly. There should be no problem with using MTF94 for 100 thousand miles (provided it is checked and topped up if necessary - lack of oil is the biggest killer of gearboxes rather than lack of oil changes), but obviously it will do no harm to change more frequently.

I changed the oil in my ZR soon after I got it (around 40K), but as the oil that was drained out was still fairly clean and clear, I think I wasted my time and money.

As an aside, the IB5 box fitted to K series engines of 1.6 litres and below from July 2003 had no dedicated drain plug, and was designed to be filled for life (regardless of mileage) with only topping up required when necessary.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 23-10-2016, 10:21
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Originally Posted by Toomanyzeds View Post
The discussion about oil change is missing the point, if your gearbox has oil in it I don't believe it should have premature problems. So,
returning to my request for help, do any of the 200+ people who have read my post know anything technical about gearboxes??
People are discussing around the points made? You are not getting the quality service you expect from this free forum? Take that attitude and I suggest you pay someone to have a look. I'm out of here...

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 23-10-2016, 19:24 Thread Starter
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i thought these forums were where people shared knowledge and helped each other.......maybe my gearbox problem is rare and no one has any experience of it, so I'll follow your advice and take it to a garage.
Didn't mean to offend, just getting frustrated by the talking around.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 23-10-2016, 20:04
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Not sure why you are feeling put out by the replies to your query? As has already been pointed out, a noisy gearbox is usually caused by a lack of oil and/or failed or failing bearing(s) within it (quite often the result of having been run short of oil in the past).

If you are certain that the noise is within the gearbox, and you have changed the oil and ruled out lack of oil or degraded oil, which leaves the probability that it is a bearing issue in the gearbox. There are only two possible solutions - dismantle the gearbox and refurbish it by replacing any bearings which look/sound suspect, or you replace the gearbox, neither of which you seem willing to contemplate.

As to "talking around; forums are places for discussion. This is what they do. A forum isn't a place for simply 'asking a question and immediately recieving the definitive answer from a qualified expert'. The posters here were trying to help, and in doing so it was necessary to clarify some faulty information (other people may consult this thread in future - it isn't just for you and you alone).

Perhaps you just didn't like it because the gist of most of the posts was telling you something you didn't want to hear?

Last edited by Man in the Car; 23-10-2016 at 20:11.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 30-10-2016, 19:54 Thread Starter
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I don't set out to offend people.......
I have previously said that I don't want to replace the gearbox (who does?) but of course will if it comes to that. What I am trying to get help on is the cause - I like to understand the problem before going off on the wrong course of action. If it's a noisy bearing that is likely to go for another 20k miles then that would be nice to know. It was silent 10k mikes ago according to the owner before last who I have no reason to doubt. If it's just a bearing then I can probably fix that but if it's a gear then I think I'd go recon box.
Thanks for trying, I'll post again if I find out the cause...
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