Cracked transmission housing

Aaron_Greer

Active member
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Location
Germantown, WI
TDI
Jetta 2001 TDI
So, our 01 Jetta TDI manual had an unfortunate meeting with a curb this morning. I had covered the original belly pan with sheet metal long ago so the good news is the oil pan was not damaged. Unfortunately the transmission housing has multiple cracks, see pics:




I haven't seen any other photos on here but have read about cracked transmission housings. I assume that I will need to buy a manual transmission or would it be possible to buy just the bell housing and repair the transmission? Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Aaron
 

Sbeghan

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Location
Triangle, NC
TDI
03 Jetta Wagon 5spd 390k mi
Buy a 2.0 manual transmission from a scrap yard. Swap bellhousing. Should cost you $100 plus shipping.
Or pay $400 for a TDI trans.
Or bondo?
 

ItAintRodKnock

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Location
Fraggle Rock, CO
TDI
01GolfTDi
Buy a 2.0 manual transmission from a scrap yard. Swap bellhousing. Should cost you $100 plus shipping.
Or pay $400 for a TDI trans.
Or bondo?
First option isn't bad, and if gone that route you can scrap the rest of the tranny and old bell housing for a Hardee's burger or something.
 

Aaron_Greer

Active member
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Location
Germantown, WI
TDI
Jetta 2001 TDI
Thanks for the prompt replies. The bell housing swap out is the first thing I thought of, pretty big job though. I would JB weld the cracks but I would be concerned those cracks would just continue thru the case over time.
 

Sbeghan

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Location
Triangle, NC
TDI
03 Jetta Wagon 5spd 390k mi
Well, JB weld will cost $10 and an hour at the most. Try it and monitor fluid levels. If it works it works and saves you hundreds of dollars and a lot of time.
 

jimbote

Certified Volkswagen Nut
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Location
spiral arm, milky way (aka central NC)
TDI
Tacoma 4x4 converted to TDI
Buy a 2.0 manual transmission from a scrap yard. Swap bellhousing. Should cost you $100 plus shipping.
Or pay $400 for a TDI trans.
Or bondo?
not as easy as it sounds to do it properly.... swapping bell housings requires reshimming of both the pinion and the differential .... simply swapping parts will reduce bearing life, gear life and could result in a noisy transmission that machines itself to powder in just a few miles....
 

turboboost1

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Location
NH
TDI
None, Did the buyback
If you go the JB Weld route, you need to drill small holes at the ends of each crack to keep it from propagating.
 

Dannyboy

Veteran Member
Joined
May 25, 2013
Location
Mb
TDI
2014
If you go the JB Weld route, you need to drill small holes at the ends of each crack to keep it from propagating.
X2 very good advice if he does go down that route
I won't even attempt to try fix a cracked bell housing. its alloy and fractures can extend deep into the grain without seeing it to the naked eye. Its lost some of its integral strength which JB weld wont give back, not even tig weld will give that back fully. As its load bearing,over time it will get worse and ultimately fail.
Play it safe and get second hand box or housing
 

Sbeghan

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Location
Triangle, NC
TDI
03 Jetta Wagon 5spd 390k mi
The "easy" aluminum fix is a bar of zinc, you're basically soldering the aluminum with zinc. Doesn't work out all that great and will prevent you from ever welding it. Welding it properly is a feasible option. I would consider aluminum stick as well as MIG or TIG. Just go fast, do a couple inches at a time and stop to let it cool down before continuing.

If you're going to trash it anyway give it a try to fix in place. If it doesn't work, you're not out much.
 

Aaron_Greer

Active member
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Location
Germantown, WI
TDI
Jetta 2001 TDI
If you go the JB Weld route, you need to drill small holes at the ends of each crack to keep it from propagating.
Yes this is exactly what I was thinking of doing. I am concerned that the cracks will propagate just the same as there are several and the area is load bearing. I appreciate all the responses. I am going to clean it up really well to be sure but I think I will try the surface fix (with stress relief holes) to prevent crap from getting inside and just keep an eye on it.
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
Drive it!

From what I saw in the pics, the crack is not in an area involving the transmission oil. The balance of the bolts securing the tranny to the engine will hold it just fine. The crack was impact imposed and will not affect support of the transmission to the engine.

JB Weld would be of no benefit with respect to strengthening! If the cracks were in the area of transmission oil, JB Weld would be helpful but would require a tremendous amount of preparation!
 

hughesjasonk

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2013
Location
New York
TDI
2002 Jetta MK4;
Have you thought about having the cracks tig welded? and like some one else suggested i would also drill holes at each end of the crack then fill it while welding up the crack.
 

CoolAirVw

Vendor
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Location
Kansas City Missouri
TDI
Jetta
I'll second what jimbote said... not every DIY'er can change a bellhousing successfully. But pulling it out and having someone weld the cracks might be a good option, or even if you know someone who will weld it in the car that might work also.

Also someone above estimates $400 for a used trans. That is unrealistically low. I usually pay at least double that. If anyone has tdi specific 02J GOOD USED 5 speed for $400 I'll take every one you got. I'll even buy the broken ones (for less of course).
 
Last edited:

jay.sejkora2011

Active member
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Location
Raleigh NC
TDI
2012 Passat SEL, 2009 Jetta Sportwagen,2006 Jetta TDI- Rollin coal, 2006 Jetta- sold, 2001 Jetta-sold
So. My 09 Sportwagen bellhousing

Contemplating swapping my 06 BRM DSG into my 09 after I saw this. At first thought, I figured the transmission would be toast. After further investigation, it may be salvageable. Need an opinion from a pro obviously...
The transmission has been hard shifting for a couple of weeks. Bucking. Reverse has been a trouble spot as well. I went ahead and started looking at the Mach unit but once i got under it to change my oil today I found a giant crack in my Bell housing.. Hoping that I can swap something here and be better off in the long run.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fHMuLL2bp9A57fS-doYBzMwj737MfoYf/view?usp=sharing
 
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