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Old 10-07-2011, 05:07 PM
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Transmission issues summary

Let's sort the problems with transmission since quite a few of you experienced problems and got it fixed. I know it will be hard to pin point to the problem based on symptoms since most of the fixes included the entire rebuilt, but let try the best we can.

Fixing the transmission is not easy job and it's very costly. If we can fix only what is broken at one point we might save some money.
For example fixing the valve body is much easier and it doesn't require to take the tranny out of the car. The torque converter fix/replace does not require opening up the tranny... and so on.
I will create a table after I get info.

__________Torque converter____||___ Valve body___||____ Clutches___||____ Low oil level____||

Symptoms__________________________________________ _____________________

So, if you would like to help please reply with your transmission problems and what you did to fix it. Also, please include what ATF you're using.

For example, I have sometimes a hard downshift from 2nd to 1st and a slip sometimes from 3nd to 4th. I would like to know if doing the valve body will fix my problem or not.

I am updating as I receive your input. Please comment if I didn't get it right:

EGS Firmware update
Symptoms: 1. Hard downshift from 2-1 mostly related with changing/flushing the tranny oil.
Repair: EGS module update, check for available firmware updates/patches
Suggestion: use GT1 or go to a shop, cost is around $200

Torque converter
Symptoms: 1. whining/grinding noise that I located to the area of the Torque Converter. No Fail Safe message and no slippage.
2. vibration at certain speeds
Repair: Reman TC
Suggestion: replace TC before the bearings brake apart and causes damage to the transmission
Links: http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...questions.html
http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...r-failing.html

Transmission (inside):
Symptoms: 1. downshifts started to get very rough and also 1-2-3 shifts seemed rough
2. it began as slipping and jerking under certain stop & go traffic situations. Sometimes would end up in 5th gear and in trans failsafe. Car had about 95K miles on it at the time. It seemed to worsen over a few months, so taking the initial easy approach

Findings: broken O-ring in one of the clutch actuators. Some of the O-rings seemed brittle but the friction disks all seemed perfect and no problem with any bearings either.
Repair: ZF repair kit $900 which includes one needle bearing in the A/B clutch and the main output bearing as well as the friction disks
Suggestion: ZF repair kit $900
Links: http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...long-post.html

Symptoms: Failure to engage reverse gear was a common problem with early 5HP24s
Findings: the F-clutch piston seal, which was bonded/welded in one piece to the back of the pressed metal piston, would wear badly and eventually leak.
Repair:
Suggestion: ZF repair kit $900
Links: http://www.rangerovers.net/forum/6-r...england-3.html

Low oil level:
Symptoms: 1. downshift from 2-1 very rough sometimes, rough shifting up when pushing hard on it. Driving normal at light/normal load.
2. It goes to fail safe mode once when cold, then weeks later it didn't want to lock up and the engine just reved when I pushed the accelerator.
Findings: Oil level low
Repair: add oil when the temperature is right (30-40 C).
Suggestion: stop and add oil before is not too late.
Comment: The oil level is very critical and it is based on oil temperature. When you add oil make sure you fill it up fast enough before the temperature does not go over its limit. In summer time when the oil temperature is close or at the required level the top up procedure has to be done very quick.
Links:


Transfer Case/ Drive Shaft :
Symptoms: engine revs and no move and a metal noise associated. Car rolls in Park.
Findings: 1. The drive shaft splines or/and the transfer case output coupler splines are shaved.
2. Axle out from the differential (replace the lock ring)
Repair: Replace the drive shaft and the TC coupler. Cheaper solution: patching by buying a longer shaft or an adapter to push the drive shaft in the transfer case more where the splines are in good shape.
Suggestion: move the AC drain hose lower so the condensation does not fall on the shaft/TC connection to avoid rust.
Comment:
Links: http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...sfer-case.html
http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...ft-flawed.html
Axle out:
http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...-problems.html

Last edited by fmugur; 02-08-2012 at 06:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2011, 06:48 PM
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2001 X5 3.0

I have a '01 BMW X5 3.0. I was driving on the freeway and as soon as I came out, it started losing power. The RPM's would hit red and I'd move a few feet. Now it barely moves. It has the original ATF. I opened the fill plug and drained a couple quarts and put in 4 thinking that it may have leaked a bit but I am still having the same problem. Any ideas?
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savad View Post
I have a '01 BMW X5 3.0. I was driving on the freeway and as soon as I came out, it started losing power. The RPM's would hit red and I'd move a few feet. Now it barely moves. It has the original ATF. I opened the fill plug and drained a couple quarts and put in 4 thinking that it may have leaked a bit but I am still having the same problem. Any ideas?
Have you checked the output from the transfer case to the front driveshaft, to see if the splines are damaged?

The transmission requires precisely the correct amount of fluid, so you can't just throw some fluid at it and not expect to have problems.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:37 AM
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I'm interested in this topic as well. The OP asked for some input on issues and remedies. This would be a good table to have for trouble shooting the trans... Am I wrong?

I'm interested because my trans is almost at 150K. I changed out the fluid at 90K w mobil1 and so far no problems. Am I playing on house money or can frequent changes help prolong the life?
And what might be some things that could be fixed before it goes to prolong the life, if any?
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:03 AM
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Whistle

Florin , here is my $0.02.

At 93k miles my '03 4.4i started to make a whining/grinding noise that I located to the area of the Torque Converter. I had no Fail Safe message and no slippage.

Changing the fluid fixed it briefly but then the noise returned and it started to slip going uphill but still no error message. The downshifts started to get very rough and also 1-2-3 shifts seemed rough at that point.

I took the transmission off and found the bearing in the Torque Converted had failed. At that point small debris showed up in the pan and I decided to overhaul the transmission as well. I found one broken O-ring in one of the clutch actuators which may have been because of the debris in the transmission but I cannot be certain of this. Some of the O-rings seemed brittle to me but the friction disks all seemed perfect and no problem with any bearings either.

Just to be sure I changed one needle bearing in the A/B clutch and the main output bearing as well as the friction disks. In addition, I overhauled the control unit but it seemed a bit superfluous. I refilled with fluid from the dealer. So far the car is perfect, I did a couple of 300 mile dashes with it. It shifts very smoothly and is even quieter than before.

So, I think the problem was precipitated by the failure of the torque converter and I am pretty sure that any subsequent problems were caused by this. I am tempted to say this might well be at the heart of most ATs going bad but I clearly have no scientific basis for that. I will probably refresh the fluid every 30,000 miles from here on (just a drain and fill).

Best, YMMV :-)
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL View Post
Have you checked the output from the transfer case to the front driveshaft, to see if the splines are damaged?

The transmission requires precisely the correct amount of fluid, so you can't just throw some fluid at it and not expect to have problems.
Thanks for the quick response. How would I check the output from the transfer case to the front driveshaft?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savad View Post
Thanks for the quick response. How would I check the output from the transfer case to the front driveshaft?

Thanks in advance.
There is a known problem with the output from the transfer case wearing the splines. If the vehicle won't move, see if the output shaft is turning (while it is in gear with someone else in the driver's seat and their foot on the brake). You are looking to see if the output shaft is spinning but not driving the driveshaft. Don't get under the vehicle, be safe.
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriX5 View Post
Florin , here is my $0.02.

At 93k miles my '03 4.4i started to make a whining/grinding noise that I located to the area of the Torque Converter. I had no Fail Safe message and no slippage.

Changing the fluid fixed it briefly but then the noise returned and it started to slip going uphill but still no error message. The downshifts started to get very rough and also 1-2-3 shifts seemed rough at that point.

I took the transmission off and found the bearing in the Torque Converted had failed. At that point small debris showed up in the pan and I decided to overhaul the transmission as well. I found one broken O-ring in one of the clutch actuators which may have been because of the debris in the transmission but I cannot be certain of this. Some of the O-rings seemed brittle to me but the friction disks all seemed perfect and no problem with any bearings either.

Just to be sure I changed one needle bearing in the A/B clutch and the main output bearing as well as the friction disks. In addition, I overhauled the control unit but it seemed a bit superfluous. I refilled with fluid from the dealer. So far the car is perfect, I did a couple of 300 mile dashes with it. It shifts very smoothly and is even quieter than before.

So, I think the problem was precipitated by the failure of the torque converter and I am pretty sure that any subsequent problems were caused by this. I am tempted to say this might well be at the heart of most ATs going bad but I clearly have no scientific basis for that. I will probably refresh the fluid every 30,000 miles from here on (just a drain and fill).

Best, YMMV :-)
Thanks Louis. I updated the main post. Did you find anything wrong with the valve body?
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL View Post
There is a known problem with the output from the transfer case wearing the splines. If the vehicle won't move, see if the output shaft is turning (while it is in gear with someone else in the driver's seat and their foot on the brake). You are looking to see if the output shaft is spinning but not driving the driveshaft. Don't get under the vehicle, be safe.
I lifted the X and put it in Drive. The rear tires spin but the front do not. The front shaft doesn't turn either. I played around with it, going from reverse to drive to 5th and so on. Suddenly, all four wheels turn but rather slowly considering the RPM. Also, as I'm accelerating, the tires "brake" and stop and start going again. I turned off the DSC and the same thing happens.

I'm just don't want to replace the transmission.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:23 PM
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Lately, I have been reading about the ZF transmission. The more I read the more confusion although I feel more confident that if I have to do it I will try to do it myself. That's thanks to Phil posts on a few forums and Louis here on this one.
Phil seems to be an expert and very generous sharing knowledge.
Now, here is my tranny problem. One day coming from work one of the hoses from the heat exchanger came out and all the ATF was dumped on the road. I should have stopped the second I noticed but I didn't know what happened and I tried to make it on top of an overpass so I don't create traffic jam. I replaced both hoses and put new filter and amsoil ATF. I didn't have any problem before and the transmission was never serviced (215000km). Now I got a hard downshift from 2nd to 1st sometimes and sometimes a hard shift from 3rd to 4th but most the time works very well. Where would the problem be, on the body valve or the clutches? I just had the engine out in the spring and I am not looking forward to take the tranny out. It looks like some people fixed the hard downshift by reman the body valve.
Any tip is appreciated.
Thanks
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