Repair issues and fixes

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by Francois, Oct 7, 2019.

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  1. You could possibly use a thin fibre washer instead of the crush washer for more penetration if there's room for it.
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  3. I'd be terrified of introducing additional risk of loosening if I changed the washer material. I'll stick with the aluminium and be careful with the torque. I wish Votex had drilled the hex for safety wire like on some of the other aftermarket parts.

    On another note I reported this issue on Reddit yesterday and one MY19 owner who has had a replacement at 17,500 km said he thought that the gearbox housing had been slightly revised. Since your example is new it would be great if you can take some photos when doing the job. You might even find a magnet if you pass an old-fashioned compass across the surfaces.
  4. Loctite 609? I think it's 609 - the non permanent stuff. Non-permanent thread locker, anyway.

    There's another aspect. Stainless bolt into alloy can seize. You can use anti-seize, but at the risk if promoting loosening, I suppose. Would thread locker help to prevent seizure as well as prevent loosening?

    Like you, I wish I had known about this at 1000km rather than 3600km. There's 2600km of grinding that I'd rather hadn't happened, but better than 19 or 40k, I suppose. I will take photos. I received a notification yesterday indicating that my plug will be here early, too, by about 2 weeks! Happy days.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2021
    electriceddy and KiwiME like this.
  5. Just for reference, the torque spec is 33-44 lb-ft according to the Hyundai tech on YouTube, aka The Offroading Mechanic.
    I’ll try and do this job tomorrow if it’s not raining.
  6. Thanks. 45 - 60 Nm (no lb-ft on my torque wrench!)
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  8. While I'm waiting for the oil to drain out ...

    The Votex plug is the same length as the original, 12mm, but the original washer is 1.5 instead of 2mm thick.
    I think that's good as the torque spec will be applicable without risk of stripping.

    There's over 35mm of room from the washer surface to touching the gear wheel, including a fair amount of thread. That's also good in that it shields the magnet from oil turbulence, as I had mentioned before. I think it's going to be a good mod, kind of wish I'd bought two!

    There's been speculation on Reddit that the "new" Transys gearbox (that you will likely have) resolves some undefined issue with the motor flange fit. That's great if it's true and resolves the knocking problem but I see the lack of a magnet as being a separate issue. As I mentioned, they may have added a magnet but there's only one way to find out.

    John Lumsden and electriceddy like this.
  9. I'll be doing mine tomorrow. I have to raid my son's garage for ramps and a trolley jack and book an appointment with Mrs OK to get access to the car;)

    EDIT: The ramps are actually MINE, lent to one of his mates years ago and never returned to me. At least they stayed in the family!:)

    Did you give any thought to the SS/alloy potential for seizure that I mentioned?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
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  10. Is that because you would install magnet plugs in both the filler and drain ports? And how is the oil that you drained out - was it contaminated at all, even if it had not been in service long?
  11. Having just completed the job I'll mention that I did it differently this time. I couldn't get the car level enough with my two small trolley jacks under the rear lift points (just forward of the rear wheels.) Last time I placed them under the rear suspension arms but I had one slip slightly this time, which gave me a good fright. This wouldn't be an issue if you have two larger jacks that have a higher lift range, used at the designated rear lift points. I'm uncertain if you can use the centre of the rear subframe.

    1. Car placed on ramps to remove underside covers and drain oil. Fit and torqued new drain plug to about 33 lb-ft (pardon the units) with new 2mm washer.
    2. Fit a funnel with PVC tubing down to the filler opening and secured funnel near the 12V battery. The tubing was tight in the filler threads but would obviously need to be secured if loose.
    3. Drove car off the ramps.
    4. Used a trolley jack backed up with a safety jackstand to lift the left side about 20 cm, only just high enough to squeeze underneath to replace the filler plug when needed. The gearbox is narrow side to side so the tilt is not going to adversely affect the level.
    5. Poured a measured 1 L into the funnel. That seemed perfect, I just had a few drips.
    6. Squeeze underneath and installed the fill plug finger tight.
    7. Removed the jacks and drove the car back up the ramps.
    8. Torque filler plug to around 35 lb-ft and replace underside covers.

    Driving up and down the ramps the car makes a few clunking noises going in and out of D or R, which I am certain are completely normal so don't let that spook you.
    Regarding the corrosion issue I can only suggest that the threads will be flooded with oil and not exposed to air or water. But thanks for reminding me as I had missed your comment.


    Yes, one in each like a Leaf has.

    It looked darkish so I filtered it through a period-correct N95 mask over 2 hours. It didn't make too much difference to the colour and there was no obvious debris left behind in the mask.

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  13. Look forward to the follow up pictures a year down the road to see how effective the magnet actually accumulates.
    Thanks for the photos and write up. Interesting point on the Leaf dual magnet caps:)
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  14. I have just finished Kona's reduction gear fluid change at 4000 km.

    I used ramps at the front and jacked the rear with trolley jacks under the spring seats so that the bottom of the rear wheel rims were the same height above ground as the fronts on the ramps. I raised and lowered each side progressively to control the tilt and had safety stands under the rear jack points.
    upload_2021-11-25_12-29-42.jpeg upload_2021-11-25_12-31-10.jpeg

    I managed to do the job without removing the rear splash guard. Sadly but not unexpectedly there was no magnet in the drain plug.

    The appearance of the oil in the drain pan worries me. As I swirled it around it was clear that there was a lot of colloidal metal in the oil, so all that early wearing-in debris has been ground up into an abrasive, thin paste. Great. Not.

    4000km old fluid alongside a measured litre of new fluid (Penrite 70W/75 GL4+) for comparison. (I lost a bit of the old fluid due to clumsiness, hence the different levels in the bottle.)
    upload_2021-11-25_12-40-15.jpeg upload_2021-11-25_12-40-59.jpeg

    The rest of the job was as per KiwiME's posts. I, too, heard some graunching sounds as I very carefully backed the car off the ramps. I'm sure it was the little used friction brakes being woken up and protesting. Actually, they are pretty noisy when we reverse down our sloping driveway.

    My next oil change will be at 10,000km. It will be interesting to see what the magnet and the oil look like then.

    Thanks again KM for setting us down this path.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
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  15. Great work and thanks for taking the time to snap photos. I was hoping the old oil was perfect and you'd be cursing me for giving you the idea of going to all this trouble, but it was lucky you did! I have no doubt now that every Kona's gearbox oil is as equally contaminated. It's also pretty good evidence that there's no permanently-affixed internal magnet installed in the later version.

    My only note, acknowledging that you have safety stands but more as a warning for others who DIY this, is that I used the same size trolley jack in the same rear location under the lower suspension arm and it slipped out the back (not side) suddenly but caught the rolled edge of the arm preventing it from dropping further.

    Because the magnetic plug looks so pretty I'll probably order another one for filler plug in time for the next oil change. And the Penrite might even be on sale around the holiday season.
  16. Thanks. I was not expecting the oil to be clean, but I was also not expecting it to be as dirty as it was. The amount of colloidal metal floating around there is of concern. I am surprised that over a period of 3 years since the model was introduced the problem has not been identified by the manufacturer and some action taken to at least try to counter it.

    That slippage would have been a heart stopper :eek:. I used wooden blocks between the jack pads and the rear control arms to spread the load, prevent contact damage and prevent slipping.

    EDIT: DIYers, if you use trolley jack in this way be very careful when lowering the back end to just crack the lowering valve and let the car lower slowly at a controlled rate, a bit at a time on each side. If it lowers fully in a rush on one side it will undoubtedly slip on the other and could cause significant damage.

    I'm going to order another magnetic plug as well - thought about it when the first one arrived and cursed for not having thought of it when ordering. Also a packet of crush washers.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
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  17. This should go to Hyundai or its national importers. But how do you get then to listen.

    I had an issue with my Mazda BT50, and when I referred the service manager to the litany of in-forum complaints on the same issue as mine, his response was, if you want to put it politely, dismissive. More like "we don't read that crap." More fool them or more fool us?
  18. It's certainly not black and white from the importer's perspective. Gearboxes are intrinsically tough but will deteriorate on some curve. I'd estimate that the vast majority will stay functional well clear of the mechanical warranty expiration, only 3 years here in NZ. Clearly an oil change upfront and addition of a magnet will flatten that curve significantly. With completely clean oil all the time there would be almost no wear. The problem is that a TSB by the importer for doing the work we've just done on all examples in our respective countries could easily cost more than replacing dozens of gearboxes.

    It seems to be no easier to get owners to splash out $100 to improve the long term reliability of their expensive purchase. I've pleaded on our NZ Kona/Ioniq FB group, on Reddit and a one or two other forums for owners to carry out this preventative maintenance around 5,000 km but it's clear from the responses that it's not as urgent as sorting out the latest NAV maps. I've probably convinced four owners to take action.

    We had one Ioniq EV owner here (essentially the same gearbox) that had a recent failure around 75,000 km. The importer paid for the part only, I expect the minimum they could get away with due to the Consumer Goods Act.

    After giving it some thought overnight I think I might email the NZ importer. If I do I'll post it here as well for reference.
  19. I've talked to our local dealer service manager about this. He has not heard of this issue and concern. But said he will check it out, and will do an oil change if I want. He has been very good with me, listening, and checking out stuff that I have brought up from this forum.

    Hearing about this does concern me, though, as I don't want any more reduction gear problems (already had it replaced once along with the motor). Would not be good if it failed again after warranty ran out. I like our Kona, would like to keep for quite a while yet.

    Would like to hear, too, if after the initial oil change, subsequent ones still had dirty oil again. In that case, I might just sell/trade in my Kona early before the warranty runs out.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  20. I am contemplating the same, let us know the cost please, Thanks
  21. Well KiwiMe and OzKona, you have convinced me - thank-you. Just ordered four plugs and a pack of washers. I'll ask the dealer to change the oil and fit the plugs, after seeing your pictures of access requirements. I'll have more than enough washers - could send you some.
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  22. Noting that there's no evidence that it's related to the knocking problem, there's also nothing I can see inherently wrong with the gearbox design other than the lack of a ferrous debris collection magnet. If you changed the oil now and every 20,000 km afterwards I can't see that you'd have any problem for the life expectancy of the battery. With a magnetic drain plug the periodic replacement could be extended out much further but let's see how that plays out first.
  23. Not sure of your kms on your current car but I'd highly recommend booking it in ASAP whether it's $50 or $150.

    The silvery-grey condition of the oil in Ozkona's car was frightening. In any other normal reduction gearbox at 4,000 km I would have expected the oil to remain transparent, free of visible debris but the drain magnet would be loaded with fine steel particles, some splinters and a grey paste due to break-in smoothing of the hobbed finish on the gear teeth. In the Kona those particles remain unconstrained, continually circulating and being crushed again and again by ball-bearing raceways and gear teeth. Eventually particles are reduced to dust, blackening the oil in the process. Finely-polished bearing raceways will develop a matted appearance and the bearings will run noisier but not likely fail catastrophically. Gears are less sensitive but could eventually develop a faint whine as the geometric tooth shape departs from the ideal involute profile. The gearbox could survive the entire service life of the car under these conditions but it will be operating in an unnecessarily-deteriorated condition relative to the accumulated kms.

    Whether all this is a problem in regards to the specified maintenance schedule (120,000 km) is the main point of discussion. No matter what Hyundai's take is on this, in my view for the owner it's a completely unnecessary risk to take and Hyundai themselves only saved the cost of a magnet. If nothing else, get the oil changed once early on, before 2,000 km if possible.

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