1. Bill Overbaugh

    Bill Overbaugh King Trabi Forum Donor

    i wanted to let everyone know I successfully rebuilt my transmission this weekend!
    Some may recall that I had a worn out synchro ring (and shift fork) for third and fourth. It was worn more on the fourth side, and would pop out while driving any time any sort of torque was on the gear.

    I located two barkas transmission in Ireland,courtesy of forum member mbeamish THANK YOU

    This summer, we pulled the transmission out. What a chore that was! For non-barkas folks out there, these are actually transaxle a, like a classic VW bug. Barkas is front wheel drive, longitudinal mount. So the tranny is behind the engine, but the differential is built into it. So the input shaft goes over the differential to he gearbox in the rear, and the lower shaft goes back to the differential. The pinion gear is on the end of the lower shaft.

    The challenge taking it out is two fold. First, you have to pull the king pins and pull the wheel hubs it, extracting the half shafts from the differential. I don't have words to describe how hard it is to pull the king pins. Bounty flyer posted some great instructions on this. I'll follow up with a few more details and a description of how to build a puller. Then once it's all free, you have to drop the transmission, and frankly, it's not made to do that. I'm entirely convinced that you're supposed to drop the engine and transmission as a unit, and in fact, if I do it again, I'll do it that way. There is simply no room to pull the transmission back so the bell housing clears the clutch. I can't even describe how we actually accomplished it, aside from fiddling and fussing forever.

    Once we got the transmission out, I was disappointed to find that my replacement transmission didn't fit. It turns out, I believe, there is a different bellhousing for the four stroke engine, like mine, and the two stroke. Other than the bell housing, though, I saw no major differences.

    So this weekend we set the two transmissions side by side and disassembled them. We found a nut on one end of the upper shaft had loosened up, allowing the shaft to wiggle. A makeshift shim had been shoved in place, but that caused the synchro ring to get worn down to the point where you couldn't throw it far enough into gear.

    Disassembling the transmission was not that bad, really. The nut on the end of the upper shaft was a challenge. You have to remove the differential, remove the input shaft, then you can see the sucker. However, it is not a normal hex nut, but a slotted nut, like a castle nut, but with only one slot. So we cut down a 1 1/8" socket to make two ears on it that fit the slot, then we were able to turn it out with an air wrench. Once that came out, the rest came out quiet easily.

    It went back together, and when we bench tested it, we were stuck between two gears. Turns out the synchro ring was in backwards. I am absolutely positive we put it in the same way it came out. So there was a lot of evidence of previous owners really messing with this transmission.

    Bottom line for any barkas owners out there don't be afraid of these transmissions. You have to have mechanical aptitude, some ingenuity and a LOT of patience, but they are really not that much different from anything else out there.
    Andrew and Keri like this.
  2. mbeamish

    mbeamish Loyal Comrade

    Glad to hear you have got it solved. I assumed your van was a two stroke with an adapter plate. If it's a factory four stroke I think it's rare . Barkas only built a few thousand four stroke vans . You're right about engine removal . I learnt to lower engine and box together for 6-8 inches and then support the gearbox and unbolt the motor and pull it forward. Did you cannibalise the junk transmission? ( the clean one) I would be curious if you discovered why it was 'clunking' . We thought it was a diff fault
  3. Bill Overbaugh

    Bill Overbaugh King Trabi Forum Donor

    @mbeamish yep, we saved the good transmission and stole parts from the bad one I got from you. The gearbox was in actually very good condition. The differential however was a whole different story. The pinion gear was really torn up. The ring gear wasn't quite as bad, actually probably still useable. But the pinion gear is mounted on the end of the lower shaft, so that will be a lot of work if anyone ever rebuilds it.

    Anyway, I have tagged all transmissions and put the, into storage, so if anyone needs parts, give a holler.
  4. mbeamish

    mbeamish Loyal Comrade

    The barkas gearbox seems weak, most UK owners I have met have had transmission problems . I think partly it is a weak design for such a heavy van and partly because commercial vans and trucks tend to have been overloaded and thrashed by uncaring drivers . Our works lorry and vans get some serious abuse
  5. Bountyflyer

    Bountyflyer Premium Member Forum Donor

    Great news! Now you can take the wife to buy more antique chairs!

    I would have just taken the engine out first, than the transmission.

    The transmission is actually quite large considering how low the 3cylinded engine's torque supposed to be... Oil is a big factor. Normally people forget to change it or check the level. My carhouler Barkas was in an accident and broke the lips off the seal part of the outputshaft or the side of the differencial.

    I'm sure glad that now it works fine! Once in every two years you supposed to remove the kingpins and clean them up. Then they'll always be easy to remove! One other intersting fact. The king pin bearing can be used to replace the steering connecting rod slide bearing. It will involve some leathe machine work but after that your steering will greatly improove. Or just install an electric servo motor from a late model Renault...

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