Whine/grinding box

Hi all,

So since running through a good few pretty big puddles (could simply be coincidence but thought I'd better mention it) with a boot disintegrated on the inner passenger driveshaft CV (again could be coincidence) I have now got a whining/griding noise through most gears. It's hard to tell if it's in first but definitely through 2nd to 5th. It's only on driving i.e. acceleration or deceleration. Goes quiet when transitioning from acceleration to deceleration and back. Makes the tiniest noise when out of gear or clutch engaged. Jacked the car up and ran the engine in 3rd/4th/5th and it definitely sounds like it's coming from inside the gearbox somewhere, and doesn't seem to change much if you stop one wheel or the other from turning, but does change the sound a little. It can be felt through the gear stick, the steering wheel and the floorboards lol. Also where the boot has perished the grease is still present and correct and feels nice and sticky and slippery and as you would expect. Also fully changed the oil in case that was the problem.

I do have a new boot and grease for the inner cv, and further exploratory work to do such as removing the driveshafts and see if the noise persists.

Was hoping for some advice before I start randomly replacing parts. I've found a bearing overhaul kit of some description which seems to pertain to the diff? And there appears to maybe be a bearing overhaul kit or sumat for the whole gearbox?

Please help lol I love my car and don't want it to die and especially don't want it to kill me or the family lol


Senior Member

It could be that the synchromesh or baulk gears have worn.

When you changed the gearbox oil what colour was the drained oil and what type of oil did you use for the refill?
Was the gearbox leaking any oil?
Gearbox apparently wasn't leaking any oil. Oil that came out was basically black with no bits in as far as I could tell, but it was hard to tell exact colour as I assumed maybe no oil so chucked some power steering fluid I had laying around in just so it had sumat while I went to get new oil. Bought 80/90 oil from euros.

TRIPLE QX EP 80w90 Transmission Fluid 1 Litre
There is now a bearing kinda metal on metal squeeking at times, the grinding noise has got worse, and it kinda whirs/buzzes when coasting with even no gear selected. But noticeably worse when gear is selected and it doesn't matter what gear either. Also steering makes no difference. Wth lol
Don't suppose anyone has a cheap m32 box laying around they fancy almost donating lol god knows what money I'll have on payday but I've got to do something. My car insurance is almost up for the year and I can't afford to not run a car. Give a couple of mates a lift that basically pays my petrol each month so car being off the road is almost impossible :(


Senior Member
Rather than guessing at what might be the problem, I would get the car booked into a reputable garage to have it diagnosed.

Have you had the inner CV joint regreased and the boot replaced because this will require doing and the issue could be the CV joint itself.

If it turns out to be a gearbox issue, I think a reconditioned F23 would be the best option (ensure you get one with the same Alphacode - 'ST' for the Vectra B Z22SE) rather than trying to replace with an M32 - a lot of work involved in that, different gearbox mounts, driveshafts etc
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Oh not a straight swap then?? Damnit. You reckon the inner cv could be the problem? It sounds like sumat is getting chewed up in there lol and when I run the engine in gear on axle stands it defo sounds like it's coming from inside the box/diff


Senior Member
Eventually, if not already, the inner CV boot will leak the grease from the joint and it will seize - if the CV joint bearings are shot then it will require a new joint and this could be the problem. If you've driven through puddles with a split CV boot this will allow water and dirt in to the joint and it will start to corrode.
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Having just got home from work I pulled up and then found it impossible to get in any gear. Let the clutch back up and revved it a little thinking it might help it slip into first and it didn't. Once revs had settled I tried again and it went into first reasonably easy, and also every subsequent gear after that. It judders when you pull away and makes a kind of vibrating sound when putting it in 3rd and 4th.


Senior Member
If you are still driving the car, then one thing for sure is that the problem will only get worse. :mad:

It is almost impossible for any of us just sitting in front of our keyboards to diagnose. My advice, as in post #7, still stands - take it to a garage for diagnosis sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it the more the repair bill will be! :eek: