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Author Topic: Automatic or stick shift  (Read 8963 times)
RafnaTyr
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« on: January 22, 2008, 01:06:18 am »

Hi,

I'm right now a happy owner of a Espace 2,2i with stick shift -95.
Car works perfect, but I'm thinking of replacing it with a newer one, but within tha Matra concept meaning I'll not by never then -01.
I've found a nice car with V6 but with automatic, and I'm not to found of them, drive nice but not as fun as with stick shift. Also I fear that gas consumption will be higher with an automatic...

But regardless, seems hard to find a stick shift so my question is how much more problem is it with the automatic gear box, often I read about the cars with automaitc that they've recently had service made on the gear box, or that it's repaired... I've seldom heard that for a stick shift. So any good advice or nice input???

Thanks
/Eje
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Eje Mähler - Sweden - || Grand Espace 2000 2,0 16v ||
 - || Espace J63 1995 2,2i || - Soon up for sale
Be well, drive safe, see you out on the roads :-)
Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 01:33:10 am »

Hi,

I'm right now a happy owner of a Espace 2,2i with stick shift -95.
Car works perfect, but I'm thinking of replacing it with a newer one, but within tha Matra concept meaning I'll not by never then -01.

FYI the Matra Espace continued until the end of 2002.

HOWEVER, and I am getting very subjective here, so please everybody, read this as my personal opinion:

If you really enjoy the *driving* in your J63, you will find the JE much more sluggish in feel.  Yes, all of them have more power, and nicer gadgets, a fantastic futuristic look etc, but if you compare the shear driving experience, I would choose a well-sorted J63

I have owned both, (2.1td 1994 and now a 2.2dci 2002) and have had both on a track multiple times, and have no doubts. The feel in the steering-wheel, and the way the much lighter J63 transmits the road to the driver is simply much better.

The JE is super comfortable, quieter, and in any way a "better" car, - just not for enthusiastic driving.

Should I ever go MPV racing, I would choose the J63 V6 manual.

For the power, I would love to have the more modern V6 24v in it, but thats just not possible - or at least I haven't heard anybody successfully doing that. 

I have the V6 24 vvt in my Peugeot 406Coupe, and it is a loooovly engine (and a lovely car, but thats another thing)

Now, lets hear the opposite opinion from all the JE V6 24 :-)

/Lennart
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 01:27:14 am by Lennart Sorth » Logged

Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
Murena 1983 1.9i silver // Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0d 2012 white // Smart 4two cdi 2010 blue //
renaultbiler
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 02:56:05 am »

If you enjoy the J63 and feel you can stick to that i would find one with the V6 PRV engine and manual gearbox - cheaper than the V6 24v engine (on later JE's) when it comes to service (no cambelt etc).
If you are thinking about a JE i would not buy one with the PRV engine (early JE V6's) because of the AD8 automatic transmission and its "poor" lifetime cyclus, go for a V6 24v with the LM0 auto-box (better fuel economy aswell). FYI: All JE V6 has only autobox-options.

I have to backup on the J63 VS JE on the handling, J63 is "easier" in many ways to handle/drive - when going on JE's i believe the short size is better on handling than a Grand is (Grand has longer distance between front and rear axle).

I have a Grand Espace V6 24v with LM0 auto box and it is a lovely car with much power and a nice gearbox - despite the question of driving and handling on J63 VS JE i would never go back to J63, the JE is safer and much more comfortable all in all and with a fantastic design.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 02:59:16 am by renaultbiler » Logged

1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 09:09:01 pm »

I agree with Tom on the whole issue. The Audi-boxes used in the automatic J63's are known for not lasting much more than 100 000 km before they need a rebuild. LM0 gearbox used in the 24 valve V6 engines of the JE, the quality is much better. It's a ZF 4HP20 gearbox, and except for a somewhat unpredictable shifting pattern at times, I think its a good box.

But we have some indications that it may not be suitable for city driving: In a recent e-mail conversation with Roy4matra, he expalined me about Renaults' experiences with these boxes in the UK. He could even tell me that BMW's with similar (though longitudal) boxes suffered from problems. And rather severe problems, actually, with boxes needing replacement after only 100 000 km or so.

We have a few 24v Espace's here in Denmark, and I have never heard of problems with the auto-box of a single one of them. Similarly, I have not been able to find reports of auto-box problems with these engines at the german Espace-Freunde.de forum. A well known automatic transmission specialist here in Copenhagen also knows this box for it's reliability in Peugeot 406's and Mercedes Vito's.

So I think the difference is down to driving patterns. Traffic is horrible in London (I'm told) with many starts and stops. The box then probably never warms up properly, and the clutches inside probably wear because of that. With a different driving pattern, there problems never occur. Motorway driving in particular is something this car and gearbox is excellent with. It's a great car, the Espace 24v  Smiley

- Anders
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renaultbiler
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 09:15:48 pm »

But we have some indications that it may not be suitable for city driving: In a recent e-mail conversation with Roy4matra, he expalined me about Renaults' experiences with these boxes in the UK. He could even tell me that BMW's with similar (though longitudal) boxes suffered from problems. And rather severe problems, actually, with boxes needing replacement after only 100 000 km or so.

Most probably because they (the gearbox) are scared shitless of driving on the wrong side of the road all the time and wants out of this insanity  Grin
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 09:33:44 pm »

Most probably because they (the gearbox) are scared shitless of driving on the wrong side of the road all the time and wants out of this insanity  Grin

 Roll Eyes  Cheesy
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'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
RafnaTyr
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 10:06:03 pm »

Woaw, Thank's for all the good advice m8:s realy nice to get so many replies that fast, it seems that we all share the same "insane" love for these nice MPV's  ;-). I thnik I'll try to find myself a V6 24v then, so I get that better gear box. I've found a nice -00 model with 116 000 km to it, full service book as well. Price here in Sweden they're asking 75 000.- and that sounds like a very good deal, espacially compared to Norway and Denmark I guess, since my friends over there says that cars can be very expensive. Came back from Oslo last week, and a pal there had ordered a new Audi quattro for some crazy sum of 800 000 .- (NK)

I sort of wish I could keep this one, the J63 as well, it's a quite funny car, drives great still...
But that JE I wrote about above seems like a really nice choise... So, is it a good deal would you say? (if I stay out off all city driving ;-) )
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Eje Mähler - Sweden - || Grand Espace 2000 2,0 16v ||
 - || Espace J63 1995 2,2i || - Soon up for sale
Be well, drive safe, see you out on the roads :-)
renaultbiler
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 10:32:15 pm »

Just check if its had its "cambelt-service" yet - It should due to age (5 yrs) rather than the mileage (120k). If not be prepared for around 10.000 sek + i guess for cambelt and spark plugs as the engine must down.

My car had cambelt change before i bought it but further investigation shows that they did not do the spark plugs on it  Angry so i'm up for a kozy day soon as i am experiencing a small misfire on low torque from time to time that boils down to one of the back 3 (changed coil first as it was easy + history of coil-problems on them). Anyhow its done 115k now so its time.

That the most troublesome part of being fond of Renault's - its a shitty service network! Being a Renault dealer doing cambelt and not doing spark plugs on this engine.... but nothing surprises me anymore about the Volvo shops! Luckily we have Renault import now and see a drop in part prices but still stuck with Volvo service network.  Undecided
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 10:34:19 pm by renaultbiler » Logged

1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Martin Tyas
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Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2008, 10:56:03 pm »

But we have some indications that it may not be suitable for city driving: In a recent e-mail conversation with Roy4matra, he expalined me about Renaults' experiences with these boxes in the UK. He could even tell me that BMW's with similar (though longitudal) boxes suffered from problems. And rather severe problems, actually, with boxes needing replacement after only 100 000 km or so.

In addition to a Grand Espace I also have a 5 Series BMW with a ZF auto box... but the 5HP22 which is a 5 speed rather than 4. It needed a major rebuild at 160,000km even though it had a full BMW service history before I bought it. I took it to a transmission specialist (as do most of the main dealers!!) and the old guy who owned the shop told me that the biggest problem was that the transmissions didn't get regular oil and filter changes. He reckoned that it was an easy way for the dealers to make extra money as they'd charge for the transmission being drained and re-filled every second service but never actually do it and that 99.9% of owners wouldn't even know because there is no dipstick or easy way to check that it had fresh oil. He also said that if the transmission oil in those ZF boxes was changed every 24,000km he would be out of business through lack of work.
I do however agree that the traffic density in the UK, not just in towns and cities but also motorways does also have a significant effect on the life of an automatic transmission.... just the number of gearchanges the transmission is constantly having to make.

Interesting thought of Tom's though about the transmission being on the wrong side of the road..... maybe that's also why the BMW's had problems with the ZF box even though they are straight down the middle... because they didn't know which way to jump.... I'd be scared more than shitless if I didn't know which side of the road I was supposed to be on  Wink
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2008, 10:48:37 pm »

I forgot about the cam belt service... it's a horror. 10 000 kr won't do it. Ours had it done (properly) in Germany before we bought it in 2005, but in December it will be four years ago (though only 60 000 km) so it will be due for the second change. I budget for spending some 30 000 kr or more on the car this year as it will also need a new set of summer tyres - and why not a new set of alloys too? We shall see Wink

So that's one of the reasons why the 24v is so cheap everywhere - plus fuel consumption of course, which we don't discuss. Do we? Cheesy

75 000 Skr for a 24v sounds reasonable enough, I think, but you can probably get it for 6-8000 EUR in Germany if you are prepared to drive down there. I prefer buying Espace's in Germany over Denmark as the selection is wider. The market is just much bigger.

Gearbox oil change - yes, I agree that's a really, really good idea, Martin. Interesting to hear your BMW experience. Not what one would have expected from a German ZF box, is it? I don't know why ZF says "sealed for life" on these boxes, and that was also among the subjects which I discussed with Roy. Its not possible to drain more than 4-5 litres off the 9 litres of fluid it contains in all, and there's no accessible filter to change, though.

Tom your spark plugs should be doable by lowering the engine only 5-10 cm, which is needed to get access to the bolts on the rear of the engine supporting the inlet manifold.

About the coil issue, I think the source of the problem is oil leaking from the top of the engine from the filler cap. This then creeps into the coil and as soon as one of them blows, you will be missing two cylinders and will have to pay for a whole new set of coils as it's one single component, which you can get only from Renault or PSA. So my advice is to unscrew the filler cap and look for oil sitting on the rubber gasket fitted on the plastic cover. If the filler cap isn't sealing completely, there will be a small amount of oil assembled there, and it will gradually leak down to the coils. A new cap is quite cheap even from Renault, so IMO it should be replaced if there are any doubts. Note that the filler cap consists of two parts and the spare part only has the bottom one. The top, with the nice handle has to be moved over to the new bottom. I broke a few plastic tabs in the process so I ended assembling it with superglue.

An engine diagnosis would also be advisable before purchase - any fault codes on the gearbox or engine should be checked and cleared, and if they reappear should be handled. Typical faults are temp sensors or solenoids in the gearbox, the latter need not be serious, but if the code is not cleared, the gearbox will not work correctly.

(Hmm, I think I got myself started there...!)

- Anders Cool

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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
renaultbiler
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 06:08:20 am »

I forgot about the cam belt service... it's a horror. 10 000 kr won't do it.

On the reciept from cambelt exchange on our car the price was about 12.500 NOK from Renault dealer - but only cambelt (as previously noticed).

About the coil issue, I think the source of the problem is oil leaking from the top of the engine from the filler cap. This then creeps into the coil and as soon as one of them blows, you will be missing two cylinders and will have to pay for a whole new set of coils as it's one single component, which you can get only from Renault or PSA.

This tripple coil is unique to the Espace version only as far as i have found out (Pugs are single coils along with Avantime etc). The tripple coils have also been suffering from weak sparks and replacement coils have been modified for better sparks.

Regarding the gearbox and faults stored, i dont think that general fault codes stored will do anything on its behavour exept serious faults that puts it to 3'rd gear only - BUT the AT computer is auto-adaptive that means it learns and stores a gear change pattern suited for exactly your car. If any key-component goes faulty on the engine or gearbox the pattern will not match the current status (torque etc). After exchanging key components that affects this (auto box components mainly) the AT computer auto-adaptive memory will have to be cleared with XR25, NXR or CLIP (battery disconnect does not clear this). New gearshift pattern is again learned by driving the car with repeated gearshifts through all gears.

The engine computer also have some auto adaptive parameters stored but this is cleared when disconnecting battery for a while. What is important is that after you have disconnected battery for any reason, the car is to be started and left running on idle speed for 10 minutes in order for the computer to work out the correct parameters.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 06:10:35 am by renaultbiler » Logged

1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Martin Tyas
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2008, 11:23:25 am »

Gearbox oil change - yes, I agree that's a really, really good idea, Martin. Interesting to hear your BMW experience. Not what one would have expected from a German ZF box, is it?

Well, I used to once think that too Anders BUT... having had to spend £1500 getting my ZF box repaired (and many of the parts fitted had modifications from the original... which tells it's own story) and having experience of ZF components in other applications I'm far from convinced that they are as bullet proof as you expect or have come to believe. I used to be in the construction equipment industry and we had horrendous problems with ZF axles in wheeled loading shovels. We had brakes failing after as little as 500 operating hours.... and when you have a 24,000kg piece of equipment with nearly 10,000kg of materials in the front bucket you don't need the brakes to fail  Shocked 
And it wasn't just brakes, we had crown wheel and pinion failures (over £3500 for the parts alone or £15000 for a complete axle Huh). Sometimes when the brakes failed it was because the piston had come completely out of the housing so in addition to the brake failure the hydraulic tank was emptied of 160 litres of oil into the axle and out of the axle breather... and you can't put your thumb over that to stop it!!
There were also cooler pipes within the axle to circulate hydraulic oil that helped cool the axle oil.... joints would fail and in one case the weld on one of the cooler pipe brackets failed which allowed the pipe to spring upwards and get a hole ground through it with the half shaft... and every time the cooler pipes fail in one way or another you also lose 160 litres of hydraulic oil as the tank empties through the axle.
ZF blamed machine overload and kept telling us that we we had the only customer with the problem... then you'd talk with dealers in Spain, Germany and the US and every one had the same issues.
In Europe they wouldn't supply the special service tools required to work on the axles so initially we had to rely upon ZF for repairs.... but they didn't have a rush in them.... 3, 4 or 5 weeks to carry out repairs was normal and no parts carried in the UK so they had to wait for them coming from Germany. And in the high production environment these machines are working 3 days downtime is critical never mind 3 weeks or more and when even £15000 for a new axle is insignificant compared to the cost involved with the loss of production.
Eventually we bought the £2000 worth of service tools through a North American dealer and had them air freighted in so that we could carry out repairs ourselves quickly and keep the customer operations going. That hassle went on for over 3 years and still wasn't resolved by ZF by the time I left the company. The machines were covered by a 3 year manufacturer warranty and we worked out that one particular machine in the customer's fleet of 11 had more money spent on it in warranty claims than the sales value of the machine when new... over £125,000 and almost all of the warranty expenditure was related to the ZF axles  Shocked

I don't know why ZF says "sealed for life" on these boxes, and that was also among the subjects which I discussed with Roy. Its not possible to drain more than 4-5 litres off the 9 litres of fluid it contains in all, and there's no accessible filter to change, though.

I'm not familiar with the 4HP20 in the Espace Anders but the ZF transmission in my BMW has a drain plug that is higher than the lowest level of the gearbox but it also has what could be described as a sump pan that is sealed with a rubber gasket... remove that and you definitely get most of the oil out  Cheesy.
The gauze (very fine wire mesh) filter is in the sump and the replacement filter comes with a new rubber gasket for the sump.

Martin
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 11:26:39 am by Martin Tyas » Logged

1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
renaultbiler
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2008, 12:38:16 pm »

and,

Tom your spark plugs should be doable by lowering the engine only 5-10 cm, which is needed to get access to the bolts on the rear of the engine supporting the inlet manifold.

...is why i am looking forward for a "cozy" day changing spark plugs  Tongue

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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
roy4matra
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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2008, 03:46:13 am »

I don't know why ZF says "sealed for life" on these boxes, and that was also among the subjects which I discussed with Roy. Its not possible to drain more than 4-5 litres off the 9 litres of fluid it contains in all, and there's no accessible filter to change, though.

I'm not familiar with the 4HP20 in the Espace Anders but the ZF transmission in my BMW has a drain plug that is higher than the lowest level of the gearbox but it also has what could be described as a sump pan that is sealed with a rubber gasket... remove that and you definitely get most of the oil out  Cheesy.
The gauze (very fine wire mesh) filter is in the sump and the replacement filter comes with a new rubber gasket for the sump.

Martin

Actually you don't get all the oil out, because there is a valve in the valve block that stops the torque convertor draining the oil.  Since the torque convertor takes probably more than half the oil in the transmission, you can see that even taking the sump off, you don't drain all the oil.  In fact if you have to remove a valve block, you had better be ready for more oil coming out otherwise you get covered! :-)

This is another reason that you should never put a new transmission on an old torque convertor - the dirty oil left in the torque convertor (TQ) will quickly contaminate the new 'box.  TQ's are sealed in as much as there is no way to drain them and make sure they are clean, so you always replace them too.
But Martin is correct, most autos have a fine mesh filter in the sump that can be changed, and if these and the oil are not changed occasionally then the transmission will suffer.

Roy
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Martin Tyas
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2008, 12:03:07 pm »

In fact if you have to remove a valve block, you had better be ready for more oil coming out otherwise you get covered! :-)

That's exactly why I leave it to the transmission specialist Roy Grin.... full drain including the torque convertor, new filter and seal plus fresh oil for £55.00.
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
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