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I hope I can be of help to you today but first I just need top ask you a quick question so that my answer is better sourced for you as I strive for customer satisfaction at all times with the service I provide. I hope you can appreciate that I cannot see, smell our touch your car so I may even have to ask more questions as we go along.
1. Can you tell me if the noise sounds like a crunching sound like if you crunch the gears while driving?
2. Did this progressively get worse or just start one day?
I look forward to your reply.
Thank you in advance
Thanks for your speedy reply.
From what you have told me then i believe the problem to be a slightly worn synchro on first gear. The synchros are there to make the gear changes more clean as they are a brass cog with angled teeth on them and they spin seperate to the actual gear cog and when you are engaging a gear they help to align the teeth on the cogs so you get a clean gear change. As they are brass, they do wear over time and then you get not so clean gear changes and if they eventually break up then you find that you cannot select that gear at all when the engine is running. First gear though is designed so that you can't select it while driving fast and can only select it when nearly stopped so that you don't slip into this gear while selecting third otherwise the revs and speed would be too great for it and you would do serious damage to the gearbox.
For now though, it seems that the syncro is only slightly worn but the van is still drivable. The only way to cure this problem is to get the synchro replaced but to do this would involve removing the gearbox and getting it split and overhauled which is very costly. This would be something that i would probably do if it gets worse. Or you could get a relacement from a breakers but then you run the risk because this gearbox will also have wear on it and you don't know how long it would be until this one may need the same thing done.
I hope this has helped you on this matter, but if you require any further assistance with this problem you can still post on this thread even after you have accepted my answer as this does not close the question out As i do strive for complete customer satisfaction with the service that i provide. Also, if you require help in the future you can contact me on this site via my profile and i will be happy to assist you again.
Please remember to rate my answer as this is how i get paid and any feedback is very much appreciated.