Gear box oil change
When was the last time you changed the oil in your gearbox?
If you are following the recommended service intervals you will be changing the engine oil every 3000 miles or 6 months but when was the last time you thought about the oil in your gearbox?
According to the VW service guide you should be changing the transmission oil every 2 years.
I remember doing mine but I cant remember when I did it and as the box was starting to whine I thought it was about time to do it and add some molly slip while I was there.
Hopefully the following how to will make it easier for you to tackle if you have never done it before.
The process is exactly the same for a Beetle or a Type 3 but in a Beetle you will need to work around the frame fork which sits beside the filler plug.
Here is how I did the change on my van.
What you will need;
- 17mm plug socket
- Drip tray
- Wire brush,
- 4.5 litre bottle of EP90 gearbox oil
- 0.5 litre bottle with nozzle
- Empty bottle
- A funnel
- Disposable gloves
- VERY important: Used gearbox oil has a really bad smell so keep it off your skin, hair and driveway.
First up you want to get the rear of the van up off the floor but don’t use jacks or ramps as the van has to be as close to level as possible for re-filling. I used a couple of lengths of hard wood.
Make sure it is secure before climbing underneath (handbrake on/ in gear/wheels chocked).
The fill plug is on the nearside of the gearbox. Clean round about it with a wire brush so that dirt doesn’t get into the gearbox;
Then loosen the fill plug with the 17mm plug socket and wrench.
You need to loosen this one first because if you drain the oil from the box then find out for some reason the fill plug won’t come out you will be in trouble.
Have the drip tray ready for when the plug comes out as there may be some spillage.
Next thing is to get the old oil out. The drain plug is situated at the rear of the box, right in the middle below the flywheel.
Again, clean up the area around the plug.
And start loosening the drain plug. Make sure you have the drip tray well positioned under the gearbox because the oil comes out thick, fast and smelly;
I left the oil flow to slow to a trickle;
and then Jacked up the front axle so that the van was level and every last bit of old oil drained out.
IMPORTANT BIT: Put the drain plug in now or you will use a hell of a lot of oil. Easily over looked but you only do it once.
The problem you have now is getting oil into the box. It’s impossible to pour from a 4.5 litre bottle in such a confined place.
You could use a small hand pump but I pour from the big bottle into this.
It then makes it easy to get the oil in 1 bottle at a time.
After 2 bottles of oil I added this moly slip to the box.
The nozzle that comes with the tube helps.
To get every last bit out of the moly slip tube I emptied the last of it into the oil then added the oil to the box.
Keep filling the gearbox with oil until it starts to pour from the fill hole, again, make sure you have the drip tray underneath to stop your driveway getting covered;
Then fit and tighten the plug.
Usual thing apply with old oil. Pour it into an old bottle so that you can transport it to an oil bank;
DO NOT put it down the drain or in your wheely bin.
With everything done, make sure you can select all the gears with your engine idling then go for a drive and make sure the gear change is nice and smooth.
I went for petrol to get a drive and the noise was getting quieter the further I drove and first and second were easier to select.
All in about 1.5 – 2 hours and cost about £10 – £15.
A job worth doing.
This guide was written by Dave Campbell who runs Rewound and found who has made it his mission to visit and photograph as many film and TV locations as he could find.