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  #1  
Old 06-09-2020, 04:21 PM
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Mechatronic Sealing Sleeve - Help

Hi guys,


I'm at a lost and am about to throw in the towel, but thought I'd ask the forum here first before going to an indy who will be pissed cleaning up my screw up.



Got a 2013 X5 35i with about 67K miles. 8speed transmission. Pursuant to advice I've found here and elsewhere it is recommended to replace the tranny fluid and pan around this time. Also common sense to replace at the same time the mechatronic sealing sleeve. I followed this guy's video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCvmdo1bLLw&t=1638s for the most part.



So, after much labor I was able to get out the old transmission pan and put in the new one. But I couldn't find the sealing sleeve to save the life of me. So, I just decide to fill up the pan with the new ZF fluid since I didn't think the sleeve was leaking.


Fill up the pan to full, turn on the car, go through the gear sequence, have it warm up to recommended temperature (all of this is guided via the Foxwell 510 by the way, amazing tool), then go underneath the car again to put in the remaining fluid. When I get underneath there I see tranny fluid dripping from somewhere. Turns out it's coming from electric cable going into the mechatronic sealing sleeve. So, I found the sleeve (right above the fill hole), and it's clear that the o-ring is kaput. Sleeve needs to be changed out. Thankfully I have the part.



So, I drain the $60 worth of fluid knowing that I have to take off the pan in order to access the sleeve. But I instantly run into two issues: 1) I can't for the life of me rotate the electric-cable collar off of the mechatronic sleeve; 2) every video/photo I've seen shows a white locking tab on the mechatronic unit that you need to pull down to release the sleeve. My transmission has no white tab whatsoever. Regarding the former issue the collar has a few chunks of plastic missing now from my screw driver when I was pressing on it to rotate.



My main questions are:



1) what am I doing wrong? Is there some reason why the electrical-wire collar won't come off the sleeve?

2) And why does this white tab not exist anywhere to pull on in the unit itself? I was thinking of pulling off the actual mechatronic unit to tackle the sleeve, but I'm just a novice when it comes to this stuff, and pulling this unit off seems out of my league.



I appreciate any insight and will post any photos that you guys want to see. I'm most fearful of the electric collar that is missing some chunks of plastic that looks really tough to replace.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2020, 05:25 PM
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First, photos will help. I only have experience with the 6hp and not the 8hp so seeing the mechatronic sleeve area and locking mechanism in the pan might be of use.

Second, the mechatronic locking ring harness can be on there TIGHT. I have also snapped off the tab (the one you pry on to start turning the ring) before on the harness. Not the end of the world, but sucks knowing it's broken. Funny how guys reach up there in a video and loosen it with their hands. Never works that way for me. At 13:12 in that video you can see how he uses an angled pry bar to start the harness turning. I had to do the same on both trans I serviced but had it snap on one of them because the harness was so tight ('06 e61 that had 182,000 miles for reference).
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2020, 09:24 PM
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Photos of the mangled collar and lack of white-locking tab are attached. Let me know if you need to see anything else.

I figure that if I can replace the sealing sleeve, the leak will stop, and I'll jerry-rig some solution so that the cable will always stay in place.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:05 PM
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Ouch! That locking ring is fubar'd more than I had issues with. Just the little pry tab broke off on mine. I'm sorry to say, that's not going to be an easy fix.

I tried to find any service info on the 8hp45 or 8hp70 but came up empty. So wasn't able to come up with anything in terms of servicing the mechatronic sleeve.
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2005 X5 4.4i Build 04/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)


2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2020, 10:22 PM
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Yeah, I was using a mechanic's pry bar, and basically it would not move and eventually chips came flying off. If I can't manage this on my own, I can imagine the look the mechanic is going to give me. But it is almost glued shut, I would bet my life on it.

Thanks for your help. I do love this car, but man, the little bit of maintenance I've been doing has been a PITA
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:23 PM
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This guy tears down what I think is your tranny. 8HP70? You don't mention the transmission model.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPjTY1KOmL8
In your second pic, there is a grey metal "tab" held with a fastener. Remove it, the tab can be pulled down. In the vid, it looks just under the sleeve. It is around 7:30 in the vid.
I have nothing for the connector issue.. :-(. Good luck!!
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:41 AM
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I have a ZF 8HP document, but I'm having trouble uploading it. Maybe because it is 29mb. Anyway, the tab that was there should've been turned to the left (counter clockwise). I suggest removing the bolt from the valve body that allows you to pull the locking tab down. Once that is done, you should be able to wiggle the sleeve out WITH the connector still attached. This will allow you to bring it down and work with it easier.
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:17 PM
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kuhllax24 - As noted by others, it seems you have the 8HP transmission, not the 6HP. So the internals are a bit different - see the youtube video posted by Spicehead. However, I am not certain that you are actually leaking from the sleeve at all. Here is why I say this:

It is not clear to me what you did (if anything) initially to the mechatronic sleeve. It seemed that you were intending to replace it, but then you "couldn't find the sealing sleeve to save the life of me." The sealing sleeve is pretty obvious - did you mean to say you couldn't find the white pull tab? Assuming the issue was that you couldn't find the white pull tab (and since it wasn't leaking to begin with), you then decided not to mess with the sealing sleeve. Later, however, you noticed fluid leaking in that area, and that is when you started trying to remove it.

Is that correct? If the sleeve wasn't leaking to begin with, and you initially never touched it - are you absolutely certain the "leaking fluid" was transmission fluid? Be aware that if you were running the air conditioning while waiting for the transmission temp to rise, the air conditioning unit for the back seats will have condensate drain out right in that area. On the 6HP26 transmission it is easy to think that there is leakage from the sleeve when it is actually a.c. condensate dripping down. Ask me how I know: I actually replaced the sleeve on the 6HP twice! In retrospect my initial replacement was just fine, but I was fooled into thinking that the condensate drainage was transmission fluid. Only after replacing the sleeve a second time did I realize that it was just water coming down. The condensate will drip directly off the wire leading to the sleeve. On the 6HP there is a slight dip in the cable and it functions sort of like a drip loop for a cable before it enters the wall of your house. I don't know about the 8HP but it seem logical the same might hold true.

If you've never actually removed the sleeve, and it wasn't leaking to begin with, I wonder if it is actually just fine. The locking connector is certainly banged up now, but I am not sure the internal orings are messed up. Try running the car without the ac on, and/or stuff a rag above the sleeve connector to sop up the draining condensate.

Let us know what you find. Good luck.
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Last edited by sgrice; 06-10-2020 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:15 PM
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Hey guys,

So after two hours of "labor", I was able to pull out the gray tab, pull out the sleeve, put in the new sleeve, and insert the connector. This was an intense PITA b/c there is virtually no room to work with where the sleeve and electrical connector connect into the transmission body. My wife was even helping me at one point since she has smaller hands.

The gray tab also had to be fiddled with quite a bit until it locked into place. Kudos to Spicehead for showing me the way. I couldn't find any videos on my tranny with the sleeve being replaced, so I was flying blind.

In any event, I reinstall the new pan, torque to spec and in the appropriate pattern, fill it up with 3L of tranny fluid, and give her a start. Now the the brake won't depress and errors are popping up stating the brake must be depressed. Car obviously won't start.

I had seen in the video above at exactly 26 minutes that in the valvetronic body there is a lever that acts as the parking brake, and if it's out of its position, will cause you all sorts of errors. So, I take out the fluid, take off the pan, and look at the locking mechanism. It's in the right place, but I move it around to make sure. I reinstall everything and try again. Still no luck.

I'm obviously at a loss. I can run codes from my Foxwell 510 and tell you what they are, but the car started up before I replaced the sleeve and took out the electrical connector, so it probably has something to do with that. I will note that I at one point started taking off the bolts to the mechatronic unit and got almost all the way there (body starting moving downwards), but decided against it ultimately and bolted it back into place.

I appreciate any help again fellas. If I don't hear anything from you all by tomorrow morning, I'm gonna take it to a shop, worst case the dealer, who will rub its hands together while laughing villainously.

P.S. I highly regret undertaking this. I just wanted to change out the fluid and pan for good maintenance's sake, and man did I paddle up shit creek. If I go to a shop this is gonna cost me a couple thousand, unquestionably. This is excluding the tow. If anyone is reading this in the future and is thinking of doing this maintenance, I would throw money at any mechanic who offered to do it for less than $1,000. Heed my warning and avoid my dumb-ass mistakes. Changing out the valve-cover gasket was a cake walk compared to this.

Last edited by kuhllax24; 06-10-2020 at 06:20 PM. Reason: I can't spell or grammar
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2020, 03:04 AM
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If you started pulling the valve body down without the PARK RELEASE allen screwed all the way in, the parking lever is likely out of position in relation to the valve body. These are 100% electronic transmissions, meaning, there is no cable gear select. You might not even be able to release it out of park to tow it to a shop. To see what I'm talking about, go to 1:24 of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C-eA8UPgkI

Anyway, remove the pan again, remove your wire loom and sealing sleeve again, unscrew all the large T40 bolts from the valve body and lower it. Screw the allen (shown in the video) all the way in. Line up the park hold cylinder (in the valve body) with the tang of the parking rod. See attached picture.
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