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Rear Gearbox Mount Replacement

18051 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  sgould
Hope this is of some help to someone trying/planning to take on this task.

Recently purchased a 98' 93 2.3i for my wife to run around in (while we rebuild her classic beetle). Have to say I'm quite taken with it. The difference between my diesel company Astra and the Saab is fantastic!

Anywho, I digress.

The 93 was a bit of a chore to drive due to alarming 'snatching' when the throttle was applied or lifted off. The gear lever moved quite significantly in it's gaiter. If accelerating hard, there was a loud BANG as I lifted off to change gear. Finding gears was also a problem, and when slowing down from a cruise, it was very difficult to get out of 5th.

A bit of trawling the forums I suspected one of the mounts had failed. To check this do the following:

1: Handbrake on, chock the rear wheels front & back.

2: Pop the bonnet, get an assistant who can drive, or at least who can control a clutch.

3: While you look at the engine, get your assistant to select first, find the bite point, then feed in the clutch and some power. See if the engine moves.

4: Repeat in reverse.

With our 93 the engine only moved in reverse. It moved forward to a point, then suddenly leapt forward a good inch as more power was applied. Diagnosis. Rear gearbox mount.

Ebay, 2nd hand from breakers: £25 delivered.
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Changing the mount.

Unfortunatley it was only after I finished that I though of posting this, so I didn't photo any of the spannering. I do have some photos of the mounts old vs new though.


1: Get the car up on ramps/stands (I prefer both just for that little extra security). As with any under car job, make sure you are 100% safe BEFORE getting under. You will need a good ammount of height as I found there's a good ammount of brute force required later. However, make sure you can get a jack to the gearbox just infront of the sub-frame, and still have some lift height left on the jack for manouvre.

2: Pop bonnet, get tools out. If the car has been running, let it cool down, you will be working next to and putting your arm around the catalytic converter. They are hot.

3: The mount is attatched by three studs. Two which attatch mount to sub-frame, one which attatches gearbox to mount. The two nuts attatching mount to sub-frame are easy to get to and to undo. 17mm deep socket. Locate the two holes in the subframe under the mount. Undo the nuts, keep safe.

4: Top stud. PAIN IN THE ASS. I wasted two hours, endless WD40/Plus-Gas and knuckles with no sucess. It's 16mm for a start. To get to it, look down the back of the engine, 'twixt engine and bulkhead. Its in a counterbored hole in the gearbox bracket, under all the bulkhead pipes for your heater-matrix. You can't get a ratchet t o it with a straight bar, and mine was too tight to get it with a universal joint on my ratchet. Plan B.

5: i decided to take out the whole gearbox bracket with mount still attatched. The bracket is attatched to the gearbox by three 16mm hex head bolts. Get your jack in position and take the weight of the gearbox. Make sure the jack is position so that you can still get yourself fully under the car and get your arms in to the mount.

6: Undo the top two bolts on the bracket using a 16mm ring spanner. This takes time, as you can only get one step on the spanner at a time. I was lucky in that once the bolts cracked, they span out by finger.

7: Get under the car again, and undo the last bolt. This bolt cannot be withdrawn as it 'just' comes out enough before coming up agains the subframe.

8: There is a dowel/locating pin in the bracket which locates in the gearbox. Beware. Using a prybar eek the gearbox forwards enough (about 20mm) to free everything up enough to withdraw the entire bracket and mount assy.

9: The best way to get at it is to put your arm up through the space to the right of the cat (viewed from under the car, feet poking out of the front), then over behind the engine.

10: You will now have a mount and bracket. Get it in a vice, or if you don't have one do as I did and bolt it to a sturdy workbench, being careful not to damage that dowel. You can now undo the last nut.

11: Remove the old mount, take the opportunity to clean up the bracket, then fit the new mount. Make sure that the retaining cable it correctly located between mount and bracket. If your mount had failed, this will be all that was holding things together!

Old and replacement compared:

As you can see, the bottom plate had completley separated, save for a single bit of rubber. Not enought to contain 2.3 litres of torque!

12: Give the top stud a good torque, then back to the car.

13: Refit the reverse of removal, as always. Except you can guarrantee the gearbox will have 'settled' slightly while you've been cleaning and changing mounts. A bit of prying, get one bolt in then the next then the last, all finger tight. Then torque up and you're done.

All told, took me 4 hours, including time wasted trying the top nut in-situ. Give yourself 3 hours for this one.
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Spare jack to support gearbox
Ratchet with 16 & 17mm deep sockets
16mm Ring spanner
Pry Bar
Great stuff! :)

Thanks for sharing it. It's what this forum is all about. I'll make it a "sticky" at the top of the forum.
Great stuff! :)

Thanks for sharing it. It's what this forum is all about. I'll make it a "sticky" at the top of the forum.
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