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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! New to the group today but need a bit of help 😊

I have a 13 plate 2.2ltr cdti 4x4 antara that's done just under 60,000 miles. Had it in for a service last week and all was well other than needing some new rear pads, chap also swapped my front wheels to the back due to the tread on the tyres.
Car came back all seemed OK but on the Friday noticed when turning right it sounded like I was turning the wheel at a dead stop (rubbing/grinding noise) didn't think much of it, Saturday went to Bristol for the day and we noticed we thought we could hear a low juddering but put it down to stuff in the boot.
Now Sunday comes round and the other half takes it paddle boarding with him in the morning, comes home and says for me to drive it to the parents (he normally demands to drive everywhere) so I get in go to take off and start screaming at him that's he broken my car! All I can hear is very loud rubbing noise from the rear and felt like the car was juddering almost fighting to pull forward! So I high tailed it to my cousin who is a mechanic and after a little while he said rear diff!

Yesterday we drained out the oil and the plug itself was coated in quite thick metallic looking sludge, and when it drained out there were tiny bits of metal in the oil pan (honestly we looked like we were panning for gold looking at it!) so he refilled it, took it on a test drive and it seemed OK 🤷‍♀️ said try it this morning and let him know!
Off I go on school run this morning and nope it's still doing it, maybe slightly quieter than before but defo still doing it 🤦‍♀️

Now this car still has over £4000 worth of finance on it so a couple of questions:

1. Can I just unplug the diff to make her 2wd for now as we really need 2 working cars not just 1
2. Will the car pass an Mot with only 2wd if its meant to be 4? Mot is due September
3. Am I better off trying to replace the diff or just leave it 2wd and run it for the next 2yrs that I have left on finance and then scrap/part ex it
4. Am I throwing money at a pile of scrap? (I have asked the finance company whether I can transfer the outstanding on to a new car, waiting to hear)
 

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2013 vauxhall antara 2.2 cdti 163
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This is a copy and paste of someone who did it.

Disconnect the battery connections
Jack up the whole vehicle and place on axle stands, I used 4 stands to lift the whole car. You need to ensure the car is safely supported as you will be working underneath.
Remove the engine under shield.
Drain the gearbox and transfer box oils, as the car was on my drive I didn't want any major oil spills, this proved essential in my case. I did this later in my process and wished I had done earlier.
Remove the 4 bolts securing the underside chassis brace. needed to remove the exhaust.
Remove the exhaust, 3 bolts at the engine. I removed the whole exhaust as the centre bolts were badly corroded, just pop off the rubber mountings.
Remove the prop shaft, don't hang the prop shaft on the front universal joint as it can be damaged.
Under the bonnet loosen the 3 nuts to the RHS front suspension strut approx 5mm, no not remove them, ensure they are still wound onto the threads.
Remove the front RHS wheel, remove the strut cable bracket, remove the two nuts at the bottom of the strut and knock them out whilst supporting the hub, under the car knock the drive shaft off the RHS transfer box splines. I left one bolt in the bottom strut hole to the top hub hole to support the hub.
Remove the transfer box support bracket by the RHS front wheel where the drive shaft is located. 5 bolts.
Remove the rear engine mounting bolt above and behind the transfer box. I found I didn't need to re-support the engine but check before you remove this bolt, good idea to support the engine whilst this bolt is removed then gradually remove the support checking the engine is supported by the front and rear engine mountings.
Remove the two bottom transfer box bolts to the gearbox.
Remove the rear mounting bracket bolts 3 are M12, 2 are M10. One is bolted into the engine, the others are either through or into the transfer box. I found it easier to access 4 of the bolts from the RHS removed front wheel and the engine bolt underneath. Mark where the bolts came from as they are all different, The engine bolt is inside the bracket and difficult to access. Bolts are either 15mm or 18mm heads.
With the mounting bracket loose you need to lift the mounting bracket clear of the top of the transfer box, this is awkward, you need to flex the harness cable above slightly to create clearance.
With the bracket clear you can slide the transfer box towards the RHS front wheel to clear the gear box then lower out of the car. Beware you get oil spillage and at this point you realise what a good idea it was to drain the transfer and gear box oils.
The starter motor bolts and power connectors can now be accessed.
Reassembly is the reverse taking the following into account.
The manual recommends replacing the O Ring on the transfer box to gearbox shaft, this was available from Vauxhall approx £7.
The manual recommends the mounting bracket bolts are torqued to 90NM, I did this and stripped the M10 thread into the top gearbox mounting, requiring a helicoil repair, so be careful the manual can be misleading. This did my bolts to the following torques, guided by the manual. At your own risk, please consider this is my opinion only.
M12 Main rear rubber mounting bolt 90nm
M12 lower 2 bolts to mounting bracket 90nm
M12 upper single bolt to mounting bracket 75nm
Two M12 lower transfer box bolts 75NM (underside of transfer box)
M10 Bracket Engine bolt and top transfer box to bracket bolt 60nm
M10 5 bolts to transfer box support bracket by the RHS front wheel 60nm
Rear prop shaft bolts 50nm, centre and front prop shaft bolts 25nm
When rebuilding I did all the main transfer box and mounting bracket bolts up lightly before finally torquing up.
Its a good idea to grease the engine undershield bolts before you put them back in, it stops them corroding.
I used EP75-90 gearbox oil for both gearbox and transfer box. I put 2.4 litres of oil in the gearbox and fill the transfer box to the fill plug (approx 0.8 litres).
I needed to replace the gasket on the exhaust flexible connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is a copy and paste of someone who did it.

Disconnect the battery connections
Jack up the whole vehicle and place on axle stands, I used 4 stands to lift the whole car. You need to ensure the car is safely supported as you will be working underneath.
Remove the engine under shield.
Drain the gearbox and transfer box oils, as the car was on my drive I didn't want any major oil spills, this proved essential in my case. I did this later in my process and wished I had done earlier.
Remove the 4 bolts securing the underside chassis brace. needed to remove the exhaust.
Remove the exhaust, 3 bolts at the engine. I removed the whole exhaust as the centre bolts were badly corroded, just pop off the rubber mountings.
Remove the prop shaft, don't hang the prop shaft on the front universal joint as it can be damaged.
Under the bonnet loosen the 3 nuts to the RHS front suspension strut approx 5mm, no not remove them, ensure they are still wound onto the threads.
Remove the front RHS wheel, remove the strut cable bracket, remove the two nuts at the bottom of the strut and knock them out whilst supporting the hub, under the car knock the drive shaft off the RHS transfer box splines. I left one bolt in the bottom strut hole to the top hub hole to support the hub.
Remove the transfer box support bracket by the RHS front wheel where the drive shaft is located. 5 bolts.
Remove the rear engine mounting bolt above and behind the transfer box. I found I didn't need to re-support the engine but check before you remove this bolt, good idea to support the engine whilst this bolt is removed then gradually remove the support checking the engine is supported by the front and rear engine mountings.
Remove the two bottom transfer box bolts to the gearbox.
Remove the rear mounting bracket bolts 3 are M12, 2 are M10. One is bolted into the engine, the others are either through or into the transfer box. I found it easier to access 4 of the bolts from the RHS removed front wheel and the engine bolt underneath. Mark where the bolts came from as they are all different, The engine bolt is inside the bracket and difficult to access. Bolts are either 15mm or 18mm heads.
With the mounting bracket loose you need to lift the mounting bracket clear of the top of the transfer box, this is awkward, you need to flex the harness cable above slightly to create clearance.
With the bracket clear you can slide the transfer box towards the RHS front wheel to clear the gear box then lower out of the car. Beware you get oil spillage and at this point you realise what a good idea it was to drain the transfer and gear box oils.
The starter motor bolts and power connectors can now be accessed.
Reassembly is the reverse taking the following into account.
The manual recommends replacing the O Ring on the transfer box to gearbox shaft, this was available from Vauxhall approx £7.
The manual recommends the mounting bracket bolts are torqued to 90NM, I did this and stripped the M10 thread into the top gearbox mounting, requiring a helicoil repair, so be careful the manual can be misleading. This did my bolts to the following torques, guided by the manual. At your own risk, please consider this is my opinion only.
M12 Main rear rubber mounting bolt 90nm
M12 lower 2 bolts to mounting bracket 90nm
M12 upper single bolt to mounting bracket 75nm
Two M12 lower transfer box bolts 75NM (underside of transfer box)
M10 Bracket Engine bolt and top transfer box to bracket bolt 60nm
M10 5 bolts to transfer box support bracket by the RHS front wheel 60nm
Rear prop shaft bolts 50nm, centre and front prop shaft bolts 25nm
When rebuilding I did all the main transfer box and mounting bracket bolts up lightly before finally torquing up.
Its a good idea to grease the engine undershield bolts before you put them back in, it stops them corroding.
I used EP75-90 gearbox oil for both gearbox and transfer box. I put 2.4 litres of oil in the gearbox and fill the transfer box to the fill plug (approx 0.8 litres).
I needed to replace the gasket on the exhaust flexible connection.
Thank you! Very helpful, now just to work out if it will be OK on the MOT 🙈
 

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The first reply is front diff/transfer box.

Yours is rear therefore much more simple. Yes un plug it and run 2wd. Mot will only be a issue with management light illuminated. When you have time or funds or both just get it reconditioned or replace with one off ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The first reply is front diff/transfer box.

Yours is rear therefore much more simple. Yes un plug it and run 2wd. Mot will only be a issue with management light illuminated. When you have time or funds or both just get it reconditioned or replace with one off ebay.
Thank you so much!
Do you possibly know which of the 2 cables to unplug? We are hoping to do this tomorrow 😊
Do you also know by any chance how much it is to recondition one? Trying to work out if its easier to buy a 2nd hand replacement or get the original reconditioned myself
 

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I dont remember off the top of my head. One plug will be for the actuator that engages the drive and the other will probably be just for the oil level, temp, pressure something like that. I cant see why unplugging both would hurt. I'd ensure they are tucked away and protected.
I'd be tempted to go 2nd hand for just a few hundred pounds on ebay. Just try matching part numbers so you know you are ok.
The diffs are mounted on spherical bushes which can get noisy. If you do swap it I would check these or replace at same time.
 
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Had a quick look on ebay. The plugs are simple. There's two to the ecu I'd unplug the one that goes to the clutch unit at the front of the diff. That's what engages the rear diff. That's where I would start and if in doubt wip em both off. Might throw a light on dash. Worst case scenario a vauxhall specialist could code it out.
 
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