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The hole is roughly rectangular and you can see the differential gears. This hole isn't supposed to be there, so the oil spewed out as the vehicle was being driven.
The clutch was on the floor. It actually didn't seem that bad at all, still seemed to be lots of meat left on the disc. But I'll let the pros decide what needs changing, given the location of the failure.
Something obviously shot out of the transmission, something out of the differential shot a hole in the casting. Wish I knew what.
A boneyard tranny is the way to go. Even if your old one didn't "grenade", the cost of repairing a manual gearbox correctly and the usual reliability thereof is in favor of the used unit.
I hope you are at a VW mechanic, and not a national chain transmission place. Those are famous for declaring the case no good, then charging more for that than the original job, when a warranty situation is presented.
As far as re-using the clutch, make sure the thickness of the lining above the rivet heads is more than 50% of new otherwise don't re-use it. The cost of a set of clutch parts is usually far less than pulling the tranny again in six months should it come to that. Also look at the pressure plate for major brown/blue/purple spots or serious cracking (minor checking ok). Also see about replacing the rear main engine seal while the tranny is out. Lot of labor to go back in again.
The warranty company hasn't designated the local VW dealership as the repair depot. Instead an independent transmission repair shop in my town is responsible for all warranty repair work under this contract. It's owned and operated by a husband and wife team. They've got a good local reputation, that I know. They get a lot of work. I used to run deliveries to them on a daily basis. The shop is clean and well organized.
You're right about the cost of replacing the clutch. Pulling and reinstalling the tranny alone is about $500 labour cost. EEK!
There's still significant meat on the clutch disk, well above the rivets. Just a little bit of grooving on the flywheel, not so bad really. No discolouration on the flywheel. But there is a spray pattern on the clutch disk. It does look like the clutch might have been exposed to oil once the hole opened up.
I couldn't see the condition of the pressure plate - the clutch disk was resting on top of it and I shouldn't have been in the shop (for too long) anways. The throwout bearing made no noise and felt normal under the left foot (it's a cable pull, not hydraulic).
I'll wait and see what they say. If they can resurrect and warranty the disk with a thorough washing in solvent and brake cleaner, maybe it'll be good. But if they say it should be replaced, I'll scrape up the money somehow. I'd prefer a new clutch assembly if given a choice.
This might be ok. I'm a very technical hands-on kind of car owner and details don't frighten me. I'm accustomed to reworking SMT circuit boards through a microscope, so I know about patience.
I'll try to remember to ask about the engine seal. Makes good sense.
I'm borrowing my brother's digital camera tomorrow. He wants to see what the failure looks like (he's a Chrysler mechanic). If I get some good shots of the failure I'll try to post them.
Shop boss says it looks like the differential pin decided to go for a walk and took part of the casing with it.
That's just it. I picked it up at 211,571 km.
I only drove it for 4 days before having to take it in for this scary noise. I only put under 300 km on it. Mostly city speed driving (60 km/h or less). A couple of times I took it on the highway (100 km/h) for about 20 km.
It's a mystery to me!
It's a long weekend here, so hopefully it'll be ready on Tuesday. I'm chatting on a couple of Yahoo forums for WV. Hopefully nothing worse happens!