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  1. #1
    VXRacing ahead Warren G's Avatar
    Join Date
    24th December 2009

    Default Vauxhall M32 6 Speed Rebuilds

    M32 / M20 Gearbox Information / Repairs / Rebuilds / Upgrades


    There is a very common issue with these gearboxes - the symptoms can vary, some complain of whining but no movement in the gearstick, and some complain of movement but no whining! But this is what you should be looking out for:

    - When disengaging the clutch in 1st gear when pulling away - while holding the gearstick, it will move back into you hand, sometimes 10-20mm! (the greater the movement the worse it is)

    - When driving along in 5th and/or 6th, when applying the accelerator the gearstick 'twitches' compared to 3rd and 4th which will have nothing (Rare cases this can also twitch)

    - Whining sound from glove box area in 1st, 2nd,5th, 6th Gears

    - Corsa's (Only) when turning right at 30mph+ you get a what is best described like a disc rubbing noise

    The problem with the Gearbox that gives all of the above symptoms is all down to one bearing - the bearing on top of 6th gear. The bearing rollers wear which causes the movement in the gearstick, and also pits causing the whining...

    Additional issue could be a constant whine, all gears clutch engaged or disengaged and gets faster with speed. This is caused by pitted pinion bearings

    In 2010-2012 Gearboxes he have seen more issues with pitted pinion bearings than early versions – this is due to GM changing the bearings to FAG and NGBC, oppose to the earlier Timken Bearings.

    The cause is a combination of thing; but mainly down to a poor gearbox design, Oil temps that can hit well over 115 Degrees C, Lack of Oil service schedule are all issues that lead to bearing failure.

    Common understanding is that high torque output causes the bearings to fail on remapped cars etc – this simply is not the case as we have cars running 350-400LBFT without issues, yet we see low output engines (1.3 CDTI / 1.8 Non Turbo etc) with issues. The greater the power the more heat will be generated, but a high % of cars we repair are run of the mill cars, which end up doing long distances on the motorways, where you spend 95% of time in 6th Gear, this transfers the engines torque all the way down the input shaft, across to the 6th Gear (closes to the end on the output shaft) then back down to the Final Drive.

    The common bearing that fails causes issues sits on top of one of the two output shafts on this 6 gear gearbox. Gears 1, 2, 5 and 6 are all on this shaft – hence why the issues are typically in mentioned gears. On the other output shaft Gears Reverse, 3 and 4 are situated, In very very rare cases we have seen issues with these gears instead but this is only for >1% of repairs we have carried out.

    When driving with the Gearbox issue we advise to use avoid using 5th and 6th and stick to 3rd and 4th gears mainly, as this will transfer the engines torque across the other output shaft taking load off the failing bearing.

    If left, the outer bearing race can start to spin, which causes the casing to ware, if left further you can punch a hole in the casing. At this point it is highly unlikely that we will repair your gearbox due to the internal Damage caused.

    The advice is always catch the issue early, and book in for a repair to extra costs.

    We have seen companies advertise ‘Uprated bearings’ for the M32 Gearbox, the bearings offered are what GM fitted in later Gearboxes (2012 onwards) these SNR bearings are the same diameter as the Timken bearing, be it a slightly different design – we have seen these fail in the exact same way. We do not deem these to be an upgrade or fix for the Gearbox as some companies state. Also the SNR bearings also have a plastic cage to hold the roller bearings in oppose to the Timken’s metal cage, for this reason we only use Timken bearings when carrying out Repairs

    Another issue we see with the M20 / M32 Gearbox are issues with 3rd and 4th Gears, popping out of gear or crunching into gears, this is often down to either a bent selector fork or damaged engagement gears, check Repairs for pricing


    Having carried out in excess of 500 Gearboxes in the last 5 Years we are pleased to be able to offer one of the best warranty’s on work carried out – Which is 1 Year or 18,000 Miles Warranty subject to terms and conditions. We use bearings manufactured by Timken who are leading bearing manufacturer to the Automotive Industry. And Fuchs Titan Sintofluid 75w80 Gearbox oil with all our repairs

    Bearing Replacement:

    We have upgraded our pricing structure to now include both pinion bearings to be replaced as part of our Normal repair service, though we can still offer the single bearing replacement service if requested (£399)

    Normal bearing replacement service includes replacing the faulty ‘6th gear’ Bearing and both Pinion bearings, this involves removing the complete gear set from the car, removing both output shafts gears sets and replacing the inner and out races, while also changing the failed end bearing. Casings Cleaned and Full inspection carried out. If the Bearing has been failing for a while, and or high mileage or gearbox oil is deteriorated / Burnt there is a chance extra bearings are required. Extra bearings are priced at £33 each (replacing all 3 will then get you to the full repair costs)


    Full bearing replacement service is for customers who have high mileage (~80,000) or would like a for peace of mind Full ‘6’ Bearing service, The same initial process is carried out with Gear set removal from the vehicle, Full inspection, Clean with all 6 bearings Replaced


    Gear Selection issues, If carried out same time of above repair no extra Labour costs

    For 3rd and 4th Gear selection issues we have put together a repair kit, this consists of new Genuine 3rd Gear, 4th Gear, Hub, 2x Synchro ring sets which solves the common (ish) issue with these gears, sometimes we may require to replace the Selector Fork also (£55)

    £430 / £150 with Gearbox Repair

    For 2nd Gear selection issues we replace the 2nd Gear and Hub with Genuine Parts also

    £480 / £175 with Gearbox Repair

    All Prices include VAT, Parts (as mentioned) and Labour

    Prices Given are for Drive in, Drive out services at our workshop, unless otherwise stated

    Gearbox supplied only , subtract £150 from quoted prices

    Upgrades (Fitted at the time of Repair)

    MTech Short Shifter - £145 (Q Shift) / £100 (L Shift)

    Mfactory LSD Helical - £699

    Mfactory LSD Plate - £839

    6th Gear Ratio Change - £90 (£150 If ECU Cruise Control Programming Required)

    Gearset Ratio Change - (Enquire)

    Gearbox Oil Breather - From £130

    The 6 Speed M32 / M20 Gearbox is fitted in the following models (some may not be listed)

    Astra H 2.0 Turbo VXR Z20LEH
    Astra H 2.0 Turbo Z20LEL / Z20LER
    Astra H 1.6 Turbo Z16LET
    Astra H 1.9 CDTI Z19DT Z19DTJ Z19DTH
    Astra H 1.3 CDTI Z13DTH
    Astra H 1.7 CDTI Z17DTL Z17DTH
    Astra J 1.4 Turbo A14NEL A14NET
    Astra J 1.6 Turbo A16LET
    Astra J 1.7 CDTI A17DTR Z17DTS
    Corsa D 1.6 Turbo VXR Z16LER A16LER A16LES
    Corsa D 1.6 Turbo Z16LEL
    Corsa D 1.3 CDTI Z13DTH
    Corsa D 1.7 CDTI Z17DTR A17DTS
    Insigna 1.4 Turbo A14NET
    Insignia 1.8 Z18XER A18XER
    Insignia 1.6 Turbo Z16LET A16LET
    Meriva A 1.6 Turbo VXR Z16LET
    Meriva B 1.4 Turbo A14NEL A14NET
    Mokka 1.7 CDTi A17DTS
    Vectra C / Signum 2.2 Z22YH
    Vectra C / Signum 1.9 CDTI Z19DT Z19DTH
    Zafira B 2.0 Turbo Z20LEH
    Zafira B 2.0 Turbo Z20LER
    Zafira B 2.2 Z22YH
    Zafira B 1.9 CDTI Z19DT Z19DTH
    Zafira B 1.7 CDTI A17DTR A17DTS

    Punto 1.4 Turbo
    Punto 1.9 CDTI 1
    MITO 1.6 CDTI 1.9 CDTI
    Bravo 1.4 Turbo

    Mito 1.4 Turbo
    Mito 1.6 CDTI

    Last edited by Warren G; 23rd January 2016 at 05:51 PM.
    WG Motorworks

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    Remapping - Servicing - Repairs - Tuning - Conversions - Diagnostics

  2. #2
    Do you love him or hate him? wezzel98765's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th February 2010


    These guys are absolutely AWESOME!

    Would recommend them highly. Located not too far from myself, I will certainly be taking my car there any time!

  3. #3
    VXR Nothing comes close coreythorny's Avatar
    Join Date
    4th March 2011


    Where exactly are you located mate

  4. #4
    The Easter Kitty... The Caretaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    18th September 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by coreythorny View Post
    Where exactly are you located mate
    East Kent I think mate,

  5. #5
    VXR enough Tricky 21 Jan's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th January 2012


    Where exactly are you located mate

    Been looking around at having my box checked out.
    VXR #1 gone
    VXR #2 gone

  6. #6
    The Easter Kitty... The Caretaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    18th September 2010


    What would you say causes this?

  7. #7
    VXR Nothing comes close coreythorny's Avatar
    Join Date
    4th March 2011


    I've also had it, in every gear when driving let off the throttle and the gear stick twitches slightly, back on throttle twitches again.
    I thought that was normal?
    It's been in VX with inspections on clutch/box which they said box was fine also my gears never crunch or pop out.
    Can say on whining because my car makes too much noise but I've never noticed ote

  8. #8
    VXR Nothing comes close coreythorny's Avatar
    Join Date
    4th March 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by Corsa__VXR View Post
    What would you say causes this?
    Pretty sure it's down to the small area of the box and amount going on inside the oil heats up very quickly and boils losing its lubricating/coolin properties damaging the bearings.
    That and people slamming it into gears

  9. #9
    VXR enough
    Join Date
    17th November 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by coreythorny View Post
    Where exactly are you located mate
    Isle of Sheppey, ME12
    Corsa VXR
    Focus RS

  10. #10
    VXR enough vxrtommy1's Avatar
    Join Date
    20th April 2011


    saved!!! and pm'd you

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