Troublesome Gearbox syncro's on 80 series Cruiser.....

Submitted: Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 15:12
ThreadID: 69411 Views:9574 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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Howdy folks, hows things?

Can I rack your brains for a sec?

A year and a half ago, my 2nd gear syncro's in my 1991 1HZ 80 series Cruiser started paying up. Had to ease it into 2nd & double clutch etc. So, I replaced the slave cylinder on the clutch & threw in some GOOD new Gearbox oil Castrol VMX-M (which apparently stays more viscous at high temps) which helped out dramatically. From memory, I also used a NULON gearbox treatment aswell. Now, a year & a half later & after a trip to Kimberleys & back, the old second gear is back to its ways.

Do I try & replace the oil again & Nulon? Would they have deteriorated that much over 1.5 years? Or am i facing replacing the syncro's/ gearbox overhaul?

Cheers for your thoughts....


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Reply By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 15:30

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 15:30
Will be interested in what comes out of this. Did the same as you only its the third gear this time.
AnswerID: 367943

Reply By: Member - David Will (VIC) - Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 15:43

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 15:43
Hi Rowen,

I just done the same thing with my 1993 cruiser g/box and went to do the oil again but before l got to do it second gear went pear shaped and blew the box up, lucky l was 2km from home when it happened, l found a gear which happened to be 3rd and drove it home much to a lot of crunching and grinding.
Mine had don 430,000km both on and off road.

I found a change over g/box and transfer case from Toyotawrek in ThomasTown for $950.00. they delivered the new box and 2 weeks later picked up the old box.

The one from the wreckers they said had 80,000km on it, it seams to be going fine just changed both oils and it was all nice and clean and now noises or grinding of gears.

Hope this helps,

David Will
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AnswerID: 367946

Reply By: Member - Axle - Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 15:46

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 15:46
Have you changed the oil siince the trip?, If not ,Try the castrol Syn Trans its works a absolute treat with most syncro's......

Cheers Axle
AnswerID: 367950

Reply By: Cruiser .- Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 17:53

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 17:53

Having had 2 x 80 series cruisers I think you will find that the nylon block/bush at the base of the gear lever might be worth looking at.

They break down and cause gear selection problems.

This may not be the cause of your particular problems, but it solved mine so dont discount it.


Cruiser .
AnswerID: 367982

Reply By: Al-one - Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 19:58

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 19:58
Unfortunately I think you may be up for a gearbox job. I had the same problem particularly with 1st gear becoming very difficult to engage on the move. The problem proven to be flatspots on the teeth of a fine toothed bronze ring that had something to do with pre-aligning the synchros. I had previously been through all the oil changes trying to save getting the thing repaired.
AnswerID: 368010

Reply By: Flywest - Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 22:23

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 22:23
Your no orphan - most of the 80 series seem to have probs with 2nd - specially when cold - the thinner auto trans fluid seems to help a lot, but probaby the best thing would be to pull the box and rebuild it with new synchro's.

I am told the cause is endemic in them from new - they DON'Tlike tyhe heavey oil spoecified in the owners manual for the gearbox.

Also - its a part of the constant 4wd feature - even thos they have a center differential - they still suffer from a bit of axel wondup on the bitumen, and this helps the 2nd gear change to be difficult when cold.

With the thinner auto trans oil when warmed up they change gear smooth as silk, but if you use the specified 75 w 85 gear oil and the box is cold - you do have to double clutch with a few rpm;s in between to get them to mesh smoothly.

Its just something you learn to put up with / get used too with the early 80 series 5 speed manual cruisers, - onset of winter cold temps exacerbates the problem of course - as well as new owners who do their own oil change and add what the manual specifies.

Dealers have been dumping the specified oil and replacing it with auto trans oil from new for years to mask / avoid the problem.

Thats my understanding of the issue - others are welcome to correct me if wrong.

Doesn't stop it from being damn annoying in traffic.

The rest of the vehicle is so damn good you tend to forgive it this one shortcomming tho.


AnswerID: 368052

Reply By: get outmore - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 15:55

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 15:55
i have been using V-XM for the last 2 changes and it really has made no difference. very hard to get it into second downshifting even with a double clutch and often hard to get it into 1st when taking off

AnswerID: 368118

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