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New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 4 weeks 2 hours ago #200392

Good day all and …….help!

Sorry it’s a long one – but at least gives the big picture!

I am the proud new owner of a 2003 Stepspeed with 36500 on the clock and which is currently languishing in the car park of my local mechanic and has been for three weeks, note I think he is scared of it and suggests I find a specialist!

As an FYI I have driven petrol CVT’s previously and extensively so do know how they are to drive and have a very basic understanding of the pulleys. Down side I am (or used to be) a spark!

I will summarise events below and having read a lot already I am looking forward to your guidance and advice as you all appear to have already been through the pain barrier and back several times.

Vehicle history – one owner from new with a very good service history – but nothing jumping out specifically about gear box oil and filters – but serviced by an MG specialist near Luton. Only issues in the service reports – loose flexplate will need gearbox out

Not MOT’d in 2020 or 2021 but had 33000 miles on the clock when MOT’d in 2019, last MOT Sept 2022 with 36466 miles – so I assume has been standing for a couple of years.

I bought it trade and checked the oil and water (at this stage was not aware of the gearbox dipstick – not that I could get to it with only a Swiss army knife! All was OK – I drove it up and down the road – it started brilliantly no smoke etc. and sounded very sweet, manual shift was Ok slight whine coming downhill – foot off the gas, so away we went to take it home – around 150 miles. Starting off with a quarter of a tank of fuel.

About 60 miles in – it had been running fine and I had been taking it gently – no temperature, smoke or noise issues, but I had to stop for fuel – the filler cap was encrusted (obviously not been off in years) and away we went again – after about 5 more miles it started to develop a misfire – I assumed the super duper fuel that had gone in had moved some crud from the fuel lines initially stopped and gave it a rev or two and it ran fine – only when putting it under load did it play up, kicking and bucking – suggesting then a blocked injector or breakdown on the HT / Plug side. I was in the middle of now where on a busy A road with a queue of traffic behind and had to coax it to a safe place to stop – this consisted of the car bucking and kicking and not being able to use auto as such I had to use manual and keep putting the revs up, this is when the fun started - I started to get a metal to metal grating noise – quite loud, even my wife in the car behind could hear it – all in all I limped along for about three miles until I could get off the road, I thought at this time – flex plate / broken / trapped spring, but… the noise changed with road speed not engine speed?

I was recovered and the next day – it drove gently to my local mechanic – nice and slow, no excessive noise, he took it for a test drive the day after and said yes metallic noise and he could see some broken spring in the bell housing, advising need to book it in with a specialist. A couple of days later – he tells me he went to move it and it went all of 3 cm and spilled its gearbox oil “I need a new gearbox” and this leaves me asking…. or do I, have I just lost the oil – a blown seal perhaps, and hence no hydraulic pressure, or am I looking at a big bill even so where do I go – I have tried some local dealers / MG specialists by phone and email and – no joy. I live in the North West between Liverpool and Manchester so all / any help and advice appreciated.

I am contemplating spending some money getting the seals checked / replaced, if I am wasting my time please let me know, also how are we fixed for filters and oil nowadays – again advice appreciated. regarding the flex plate - if I do not need the gearbox out / replaced, for a broken spring is it vital (MG Tf on a budget!)

Thanks in advance Paul (Feel free to tell me off or make comments such as more fool you etc. I have broad shoulders!).

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New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 6 days ago #200393

I will begin by stating that I have no experience of the stepspeed.
I do know a little about MGFs though. If I were in your situation, I would be resigned to removing the rear subframe which is either tedious and hard work or a very expensive undertaking. I would then fit the spare gearbox I had bought. An alternative proposal is to find an MGF specialist who can change a clutch without removing the subframe. (Rough Luck Racing seem well regarded- don't expect it to be done next week, though as they are busy people.) If they can change the gearbox for you then that will be the best solution. Broken bits and grinding noises in semi automatic boxes mean stripping and fixing anyway. There is limited knowledge out there, few spares, it is a big job and this is a case where if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing ONCE! Buy another gearbox.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Leigh Ping

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Re:New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 6 days ago #200394

Why not give Mgfntf bitz a call they are based in glossop they do work on MGF TF and carry spares both new and old, if they cant help mechanically they may well know a local gearbox specialist, Rough luck are very good but they are usually booked up months in advance, although a call to Jon may be worth while.

Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk

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New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 6 days ago #200395

Thanks Minimax,

It does appear that this is the way it is looking, I suppose I am hoping for some feedback on issues around bearings etc. Anything to protect the wallet.
Regards
Paul

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Re:New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 6 days ago #200396

Thanks Steve, I will give them a shout and see what they can recommend.
Regards
Paul

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Re:New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 6 days ago #200398

Stray springs where they ought not to be means without a doubt that this is not a simple matter of a dropped bearing or dry oil seal. It will certainly be both quicker and cheaper to find another gearbox than to strip and diagnose the broken one.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Phudd

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New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 5 days ago #200400

I'm not sure if I am understanding this correctly but, if you bought it from a reputable dealer and it broke down on the journey home, can't you return it to the dealer? Fixing this sounds like a serious and expensive business not to be entered into lightly.

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New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 5 days ago #200401

Hi Bruce, I bought the car trade and took the gamble.....I have spoken with the mechanic who has worked on this car for years and I think it is just a degree of bad luck, such is life and I can get used to bread and water for a while - I'll have to.
The following user(s) said Thank You: BruceTF135

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New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 3 days ago #200410

First of all I would say that I have no knowledge of Steptronic but had some expensive foray's with a power shift. From my experience only take it to someone who knows what they are doing, do not do as I did which was to rely on an ex main dealers mechanic with many years experience. Do the research and find someone who truly knows, if you have to wait for a truly experienced person to repair it just wait. In my case after spending nearly £3000 I gave up and scrapped the vehicle. The advice to find a good second hand one seems to be the best way to go, but equally it could also fail soon after fitting. A second hand one should have a decent warranty but that would not cover the cost of removing and refitting the whole drivetrain.
I have bought a good number of cars from the auctions (trade) including my last one that was written off last Saturday, generally because of a low purchase price you come out ahead even after a few unexpected repairs though.

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New to the Steptronic and boy do I need your help! 3 weeks 3 days ago #200411

Thanks and I 100% agree, I have seen on previous posts people with good knowledge of the steptronic and was hoping for advice from that kind of background. I have tried Austin Garages in Burton but they are not currently open due to a bereavement and have also tracked down a specialist in Leigh - Transmission Repairs North West, who have worked on these previously and await a call back. I have decided to wait as you say until the right solution comes along ......deep down I am struggling to accept that the box is dead, but at the same time kicking myself for driving it home. You live and learn eh!

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