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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 03-04-2015, 01:35 AM   #41
glhx
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Would you say that a valve body rebuild would be a good preventative maintenance item for the life of the transmission. If these are getting clogged and restricting flow they are bound to not last. Is there a way to make these channels flow better to get the fluid to the filter in your opinion? The information above is very helpful for anyone who replaces a transmission and might not have noticed these items.

Or

Or......is it like.....if your going to rebuild the valve body you might as well take the transmission out and rebuild the whole thing.

I'm going to change my fluid soon. Should I rebuild valve body while I'm in there?

Any information on a torque converter with a better seal?

Last edited by glhx; 03-04-2015 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:49 PM   #42
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My personal opinion is that a regular cleanout of the valve body would be a good thing to keep everything downstream of this working nicely. The problems associated with this are that to get a new gasket and other pieces, you need to buy a full rebuild kit, and only use a few parts. Also, if you pull everything apart, there is a risk of mixing up springs, orifices, etc. This to me is a real risk due to the number of parts.

So what are my thoughts on it, being aware this is based on a sample size of one.

- If the valve body has never come out of the transmission, give it a full cleanout and replace the parts that come in a rebuild kit. I'm of the firm opinion that downstream damage and wear (in the transmission itself) will only occur when the valve body is not working correctly. Ensuring the valve body is working well will in my opinion have very little damage occur downstream of this.

- After this, probably every 50,000km, I would drop the valve body, and just separate each of the 4 smaller valve bodies from the channel plate and clean these individually. I wouldn't remove any of the pistons/springs, but just wash the whole thing in solvent to clean out any gunk. Everything will come out without removing any of the smaller components. Also, I wouldn't separate the channel plate/gasket/spacer plate. Everything inside here seemed quite clean due to good flow of oil. Not separating this will not have you need a new gasket. There are other o rings etc in the valve body that come in the kit, but I wouldn't think there is the need to replace these on such a regular basis, especially if you keep everything nice and clean inside.

I don't have any information on a TC with a better seal. Like the O rings inside the transmission, I think the best way to keep these in good condition is to ensure you have the cleanest oil possible inside.

- My plan for maintenance of the transmission will be:
1. Oil drain and fill every 10,000 km (I won't drop the pan and change the filter). This is just to keep nice clean oil in the transmission.
2. Every 50,000 km, drop the pan and valve body. Clean as described above without replacing parts in rebuild kit.
3. Every 150,000, drop and pan and valve body, then rebuild the valve body like I've just done.

Last edited by jjrichar; 03-04-2015 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:30 PM   #43
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Another update, even though the spare parts list has all the valve body parts only coming in the entire rebuild kit, you can actually buy them separately. I'm going to rebuild the valve body in my wife's Audi, which has a 5hp19 FLA. The rebuild kit is about twice the price of the kit for my BMW, and most of the parts I wasn't going to use. I thought I'd ask the local ZF parts place if they would be able to get the parts just for the valve body. They informed me I could buy any part as an individual item. The total cost for the valve body rebuild will be a small fraction of the cost of using the kit doing it this way.

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Old 07-01-2015, 02:24 PM   #44
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Well, my woes are back but I don't think I will blame the TB. I think it is still a sensor problem. I replaced one, but perhaps I should replace the other- only I hate to drain the stupid trans again for the 3rd time in 5K miles

I'm not sure if there is a way to test the input/output sensors other than taking them out of the car..?
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:43 PM   #45
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What?
why are you rebuilding the valve body
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:28 PM   #46
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Thank you very much for the detailed illustration
I got an issue with my car transmission . It start with rough shifting , then now transmission fault and no change in D gears. But it is still possible to change between R -N - D.
I took the car to the BMW service . They intelligently said you need to change the whole transmission! Which costs 10k . I took it to repair shop he said it is probably valve body issue that has to be changed . But I don't know if it is really a valve body issue ?
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:32 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWinTheDriveway View Post
Well, my woes are back but I don't think I will blame the TB. I think it is still a sensor problem. I replaced one, but perhaps I should replace the other- only I hate to drain the stupid trans again for the 3rd time in 5K miles

I'm not sure if there is a way to test the input/output sensors other than taking them out of the car..?
Funny, I left the car just sitting in the driveway for a couple of weeks pondering what to do next (had cleared the trans codes prior) when I wanted to get a new reading on the malfunction... the light has stayed off for a couple of weeks now and the car drives just fine.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:02 PM   #48
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I have a harsh shift on occasion and i believe I have the problem that sonnax addresses with an oversize valve in the upper rear valve body.
http://www.sonnax.com/parts/2602#tabs1-instructions

It regulates the feed pressure to the pressure solenoid.
Its such a small aluminum part that bolts on to the valve body. Does anyone sell this part separately?
I would think that this part could be sold new with the valve for 40 or 50 bucks eliminating the need for a reaming kit.
Or maybe I could just send this piece to valve body pros to ream it for me?
Great write up, I will definitely be referring to it as I try to smooth out my ZF
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:08 AM   #49
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I'm assuming you've pulled the valve body and found wear on the valve spool (piston) in question, which is the pressure reduction valve #2. If not, this probably won't be the issue. Wear on the piston should be pretty obvious. Giving the valve body a good clean out and some new fluid would be the first thing to do.

This valve provides a datum pressure to EDS 1-4 as well as the modulation pressure valve, which controls the pressure throughout the entire transmission. Whilst this problem obviously occurs, as they have made this kit, I think it would have to be pretty extreme to have wear on this piston.

I've pulled apart three of these valve bodies, and spoken to numerous ZF techs and transmission shops, and no one has ever mentioned this as a problem. It obviously does occur, but I would expect that it is rare.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:51 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWinTheDriveway View Post
Funny, I left the car just sitting in the driveway for a couple of weeks pondering what to do next (had cleared the trans codes prior) when I wanted to get a new reading on the malfunction... the light has stayed off for a couple of weeks now and the car drives just fine.
Appears to be related to bad connection to the battery. Have tightened up both battery and connection under the hood and so far no hiccups ... which doesn't mean I didn't need a speed sensor but I may have left the connections finger tight instead of wrench-tight after putting it all back together causing arcs or shorts/voltage drops during certain operations.
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:32 PM   #51
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For those interested, I've updated the original post at the start of this thread. I had some problems after the rebuild of my valve body that was caused by a faulty part supplied in the rebuilt kit I purchased from ZF. It took me a long time to track down, with numerous drops of the pan and valve body, and a LOT of time. I spoke to numerous transmission shops as well as the local ZF reps, with no luck. Finally I shot an email to Erikkson industries in the US, who told me the most likely cause (a burst EDS3 damper). I'm not one to try and promote a business online, but I must give credit where it is due. Nat Wentworth at Erikksons was fantastic. If I lived in the US, and I wanted to get a transmission fixed, this would be my first choice. They obviously know their stuff compared to many others. The problem, as it turns out, is a known one, so it was disappointing that ZF couldn't identify it.

Also, the valve body design has changed slightly over time. The transmission I pulled apart for this thread was an older version, but my car has a newer one. The EDS damper that failed on me has also had it's design changed. The latest valve bodies have a different damper and channel plate to accommodate this. There are other changes as well, including 2 fewer orifices and bolt types.

For interest, here is the different testing I did. This is a portion of the email I sent to Erikksons. If people have questions on how to do this stuff, I'm happy to help.

"When I got home, the gear changes in my car were getting a little clunky, so I decided to rebuild the valve body to smooth things out. What I actually did was rebuild the valve body from the wreck transmission and install it in the car. As the upper front body was not the same, I cleaned the one from my car and fitted this to the wreck valve body prior to installation. I used the harness and solenoids from the wreck.

After installation the transmission ran like new, except that a clutch was slipping in reverse, 1st and 2nd when accelerating hard. The only clutch that is common to these is the G clutch, so I assumed this was the culprit.

I thought it might be an EDS3 solenoid problem, so I changed this. No change.

I rebuilt the original valve body (with the upper front valve body that had been re-installed) that came from my car and installed it. This included the original solenoids and harness. No change. Both valve bodies looked like new inside.

I've removed the valve body from the transmission since then numerous times to try and find the cause. Below is what I've checked.
- Checked the build of the upper front valve body, which is the only common component of the two installations.
- Checked the build of the other valve bodies.
- Checked the test output voltages for each solenoid coming from the TCM. I don't have any way of testing the PWM signal coming going to the EDS solenoids, but they all were 5 V (what I would expect from this type of signal) and they were all identical.
- Checked all solenoids for working order by numerous methods: Pressure testing using compressed air and a 12 V source, as well as pressure testing each solenoid when connected to the TCM and sending the test signal from the TCM.
- With the valve body removed, I applied compressed air to the G clutch port to see if the clutch was activating correctly. It seemed to be fine, no leaking noise or hissing. I have a serviceable spare to compare against it, and it seemed to operate identically. Also, with the clutch activated, I was able to measure the friction disk widths with feeler gauges. There is basically zero wear on the clutch disks, as I can compare them to the one from the wreck that still has the writing on the friction disks. "

Below is the documentation that was sent to me from Erikksons that explains the issue. They said they applied 120psi of air pressure to these to check they were OK prior to installing. Also there is the photo of the testing of the clutch pack. Notice the colour of the oil. It was changed out a few times in this process. The oil and gaskets I was going through was getting silly, so I devised a method to successfully reuse the filter, oil and pan gasket. If you have to do a bunch of testing like this, I'm more than happy to tell you what I found to work really well.











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Last edited by jjrichar; 08-17-2015 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:27 PM   #52
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I've replaced the dampers in my ZF 5hp19 transmissions with the new ones from the rebuild kit. I have only found 1 that had a hole in it.

I was wondering what they were for. Good article, thanks for posting it.



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Old 08-19-2015, 03:17 PM   #53
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Ah, it's back... 63 miles on the Odo since tightening the connections. Yesterday I let me wife drive... Today I backed out of the driveway, put it in D, drove about 30 feet, it clunked into gear and *!* failsafe mode with a bonus Service Engine Soon light... back to the drawing board. Could there be something happening during the adaptation period of the trans that lets it ignore slippage until it 'decides' how I drive? Trying to figure out why it runs perfect after transmission code reset for a while, then all of a sudden falls apart again....?
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:28 AM   #54
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BMWin, I just looked through all of your posts, and I didn't see anywhere you did anything to the gear position switch or connector. It will immediately go into limp mode if the gear selected doesn't agree with what the switch is telling the car. I've had this twice. Once on my car (dirty plug connector), which I just cleaned to fix. The other was on my wife's Audi Allroad (5HP19) and it was condensation inside the switch after being not driven for a while and the contacts degrading. All I did for this was have the ignition in position 1 and engine not going, then moving the gear lever back and forth through all the gears about 100 times to try and loosen things up. This was 4 years ago and it hasn't returned. It was going into limp mode everytime we drove it prior to doing this.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:58 AM   #55
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No I definitely have not seen any leads from my searches and posts regarding the gear position switch. Limp mode is randomly either a couple minutes after cold start or could be after a warm start.
Codes I pulled this morning ( *!* light was out when I started the car, was on yesterday, did not drive it just pulled codes. My XP laptop has a bad battery so I have to stretch a big long cord out to the car)

49 Symptom Gear Check
54 Gear Check 4

And the SES light came on with

204 Idle Speed
- LL engine speed deviation

And SES shadow memory:
204 Idle Speed
90 Teg_up_1
91 Teg_up_2
93 Teg_down_2

I might feel a little silly jerking the lever back and forth but I suppose it's not different than working the action on my Marlin .30-30 to smooth it out. Couldn't hurt, right?
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:01 PM   #56
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The Gear Check error is basically telling you there is a clutch slipping, which means a clutch is slipping, or there is a discrepancy between the input and output speed sensors (compared to what the car is expecting) due to a fault with one of these. This is the code I was having when my G clutch was slipping. When I told a ZF tech of this code, he immediately told me this was confirming a clutch slipping somewhere. If it is a clutch slipping, using manual mode to identify which gear is a good way of identifying which. The 4 at the end of the gear check is telling you that the problem is when 4th gear is selected. Can't help you on the engine codes.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:50 AM   #57
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Rest the codes this morn, hoping to see if I could figure out Reverse down driveway,[stop],M1,M2 (slightly hard shift 1-2),M3 coast toward stop sign, *!*M4 and u-turn,back to base.
Looks like a hard rebuild is in order
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:05 AM   #58
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BMWin, are you saying that it went into limp mode when you selected 3rd in manual, and then it went into 4th (limp) and stayed there? Does it reset each time you turn the car off and start again? Is this consistently the time it always fails or does it do it at other times? I can't help but think that it's some sort of electrical issue. Testing in manual mode is the best way to find when it fails, to then identify the clutch/solenoid, etc that is the problem. In each of the gears you select, when you give it some gas, does it accelerate normally or slip? You need to gather as much information as you can to try and identify when it fails to find where the problem is.
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:31 PM   #59
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today I checked in manual mode. R is ok, M1 is ok but it would not hold M2, shifting through M3 to *!*M4
When I turned the car off, it reset. I repeated this 3 times with the same results.
no slippage detected. M1-M2 shift a little harder than normal
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:27 AM   #60
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If I'm reading this right, it holds 1st OK, when 2nd selected it automatically then attempts to shift to 3rd, which it doesn't and then goes into limp mode, 4th.

If this is correct, then I suspect the C clutch is the issue, which is probably EDS2 (or the EDS 2 damper has burst) rather than a clutch problem itself.

The way the transmission software works is as follows: If it tries to select a gear but it gets an incorrect input/output ratio from the speed sensors, it will try and select the next gear (it also give the gear check fault). Because it's tried to select 2nd without success, it's tried to select 3rd, again without success due to the C clutch (EDS2) being common to these gears. It then selects limp mode as it's out of ideas.

This is my best guess at the issue.

Have a look at the video I posted (in the videos section of this project). It explains how to test the solenoids. If the solenoid seems to work ok, then the EDS2 damper is probably the cause. This would require you to pull the valve body apart.
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