E46 Fanatics Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

21 - 40 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
2002 330 Ci
Joined
·
728 Posts
This guy has good tranny vids. This one explains one reason for gear monitoring codes.

He mentions in this one how it only happens when hot.

 

·
Registered
2001 325i Sedan
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
This guy has good tranny vids. This one explains one reason for gear monitoring codes.

He mentions in this one how it only happens when hot.

Thanks. I've read quite a bit about that problem but it seems to manifest as slipping. On mine, the problem is it does not downshift, usually from 3 to 2, unless I press hard enough to do a forced kick-down, which it WILL do. So, I suspect/hope this is NOT my problem.
 

·
Registered
2002 330 Ci
Joined
·
728 Posts
Thanks. I've read quite a bit about that problem but it seems to manifest as slipping. On mine, the problem is it does not downshift, usually from 3 to 2, unless I press hard enough to do a forced kick-down, which it WILL do. So, I suspect/hope this is NOT my problem.
Hope it is not something too in depth. The problem with auto trannys is when seals and o rings start to go you don't really know which ones until you start pulling them apart. In some cases you do, but you never know 100 percent till you crack it open.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
Here's some background information and how I'd be trying to diagnose the issue.

1. The fluid level has to be pretty low for the car to suck air and for clutches to slip. If three quarts comes out when you remove the fill plug with the motor stopped, there is plenty of fluid in there.

2. The filter intake is at the rear of the filter, at the rear of the pan. If driving hard, this is where all the fluid is going to flow, especially accelerating up a hill. To suck air would mean very little fluid in the pan.

My conclusion from this is that fluid level is not the issue.

Looking at the codes, my first thoughts are that you are getting clutch slippage in 4th gear. More testing needs to be done. If the transmission senses slippage (incorrect output v's input speeds) it will try and change to another gear. This would explain to me what you are having the downshift hesitation, ie it tries to shift to 4th, detects a problem, then shifts immediately back to 5th. If it detects a problem there it will probably select limp mode, which is turning off all the electrics to the transmission.

It's probably not a solenoid issue or EDS damper issue. In 4th, the none of the gear selection solenoids are activated. The only solenoids that activated are EDS 1, which controls the transmission pressure, and EDS 4, which controls the TC clutch. All of the others are turned off. That's why 4th is limp mode, as you can completely remove all electrics from the transmission, select D, and it will select 4th.

Here is how I would diagnose:
Test in manual mode only. It's too hard to figure out what is going on in D or S.
Put INPA (or other tool) when you are driving to see the transmission temp.
Get the car up to operating temp and then go to a place where you can select WOT in each gear to see if you can get obvious slippage, auto selecting of the next gear, or limp mode. If it goes into limp mode, stop, turn off, restart. It should be fine again and then test other gears. Also test reverse.
Look at the temp when the problem occurred. Is it different to normal?
Clear the codes between tests. With INPA you can very quickly look to see after each acceleration if an error has occurred.
In this way you can determine which gears are problems, and then hopefully which clutch is creating the issue.

If you can work out with consistency when the problem occurs, then you have a much better chance of figuring out the problem. If it is a clutch problem however, it doesn't really matter which one, the TX will need to come out for a rebuild. Not a bid deal if you can get the TX out, as that is by far the hardest part of the process.
 

·
Registered
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
"Bridge seals"? I assume those are similar to the "mechatronic seals" in the 6HP25, which are plastic "pipes" that carry oil to or from the valve body from above? Drop the valve body, remove old seals, install new seals, re-install valve body?
OT but the seal that goes bad on a 6HP is the one above the filter. A double d shaped ring.
 

·
Registered
2002 330 Ci
Joined
·
728 Posts
Here's some background information and how I'd be trying to diagnose the issue.

1. The fluid level has to be pretty low for the car to suck air and for clutches to slip. If three quarts comes out when you remove the fill plug with the motor stopped, there is plenty of fluid in there.

2. The filter intake is at the rear of the filter, at the rear of the pan. If driving hard, this is where all the fluid is going to flow, especially accelerating up a hill. To suck air would mean very little fluid in the pan.

My conclusion from this is that fluid level is not the issue.

Looking at the codes, my first thoughts are that you are getting clutch slippage in 4th gear. More testing needs to be done. If the transmission senses slippage (incorrect output v's input speeds) it will try and change to another gear. This would explain to me what you are having the downshift hesitation, ie it tries to shift to 4th, detects a problem, then shifts immediately back to 5th. If it detects a problem there it will probably select limp mode, which is turning off all the electrics to the transmission.

It's probably not a solenoid issue or EDS damper issue. In 4th, the none of the gear selection solenoids are activated. The only solenoids that activated are EDS 1, which controls the transmission pressure, and EDS 4, which controls the TC clutch. All of the others are turned off. That's why 4th is limp mode, as you can completely remove all electrics from the transmission, select D, and it will select 4th.

Here is how I would diagnose:
Test in manual mode only. It's too hard to figure out what is going on in D or S.
Put INPA (or other tool) when you are driving to see the transmission temp.
Get the car up to operating temp and then go to a place where you can select WOT in each gear to see if you can get obvious slippage, auto selecting of the next gear, or limp mode. If it goes into limp mode, stop, turn off, restart. It should be fine again and then test other gears. Also test reverse.
Look at the temp when the problem occurred. Is it different to normal?
Clear the codes between tests. With INPA you can very quickly look to see after each acceleration if an error has occurred.
In this way you can determine which gears are problems, and then hopefully which clutch is creating the issue.

If you can work out with consistency when the problem occurs, then you have a much better chance of figuring out the problem. If it is a clutch problem however, it doesn't really matter which one, the TX will need to come out for a rebuild. Not a bid deal if you can get the TX out, as that is by far the hardest part of the process.
Wow. That's a really good troubleshooting procedure. Very nice.
 

·
Registered
2001 325i Sedan
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
jjrichar,

Thank you for that detailed post! I will do as you suggest, though it will take a few days. I already have INPA, so should be able to do it easily.

Not a bid deal if you can get the TX out, as that is by far the hardest part of the process.
Getting it out is not too bad. Putting it back IN is a b***h! Already did a swap, when my original one died at about 198K. I'd be tempted to put that one back in, repairing it with (electrical) parts from the current one. Near as I can tell, the original one failed only because of a failed output speed sensor, which melted the wiring harness.

I am curious about rebuilding these things - I have the ZF rebuild manual. The use quite a lot of special tools and fixtures, especially for adjusting the clutches and bands. How do you do a rebuild properly without all that equipment?
 

·
Registered
2002 330 Ci
Joined
·
728 Posts
jjrichar,

Thank you for that detailed post! I will do as you suggest, though it will take a few days. I already have INPA, so should be able to do it easily.



Getting it out is not too bad. Putting it back IN is a b***h! Already did a swap, when my original one died at about 198K. I'd be tempted to put that one back in, repairing it with (electrical) parts from the current one. Near as I can tell, the original one failed only because of a failed output speed sensor, which melted the wiring harness.

I am curious about rebuilding these things - I have the ZF rebuild manual. The use quite a lot of special tools and fixtures, especially for adjusting the clutches and bands. How do you do a rebuild properly without all that equipment?
My additional 2 cents.... you have a spare so start digging in and rebuild that one.

You have a manual and there's plenty of resources online on how to do it as well.

I think it's worth it if you plan on keeping the car indefinitely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
jjrichar,
I am curious about rebuilding these things - I have the ZF rebuild manual. The use quite a lot of special tools and fixtures, especially for adjusting the clutches and bands. How do you do a rebuild properly without all that equipment?
A lot of the tools you can make yourself. I'm not sure if you have seen the project I did a few years ago, but if you are half handy, you can make all the tools you need. I show how to make them in the various threads in the project.

Project ZF 5HP19 transmission

Those tools I didn't make were the tools in the manual that are used for measuring the thickness of the clutch packs to determine the snap ring to be used. From what I've seen, the clutch components are manufactured with such small tolerances that once this is set in the factory, you won't need to check again with only friction disk replacement. Note it would be unusual to have damaged steel disks or other components that need replacing that would need measuring of this clearance again.

That being said, if you wanted to check, it wouldn't be hard to make a tool that compressed the clutch pack with 200N (20 kg) and then measure the gap between the piston and snap ring position to check the clearances.

If you are rebuilding, ensure you rebuild the valve body. Interestingly the most important part of this isn't the bits they give you in a rebuild kit. The most important bit is replacing the front lower control body, as this contains the main pressure control valve. For mine this is the most critical component to keep in good order to ensure everything else works fine. That and regularly replacing the fluid.

The video above showing the bearing movement of the bearing/sleeve in the F clutch is interesting. I just pulled out an old F clutch out of my shed to see what was going on. I think the F clutch in the video has failed due to a manufacturing fault. The crimps that hold the bearing/sleeve in place look like they aren't formed correctly in the video, which would allow the sleeve to move. Impossible in my opinion if the part was made correctly. I think this mode of failure is an outlier for this reason. Photo below of my old F clutch and the crimp marks in question.

929311
 

·
Registered
2001 325i Sedan
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
A lot of the tools you can make yourself. I'm not sure if you have seen the project I did a few years ago, but if you are half handy, you can make all the tools you need.
I like to think of myself as at least half handy. More important, I have two CNC mills and a lathe! :)

I show how to make them in the various threads in the project.

Project ZF 5HP19 transmission
I was pointed to that page yesterday, but only had time to watch one - the one about the movement of the ring and bearing the clutch pack. I will work my way through the rest of them.

Those tools I didn't make were the tools in the manual that are used for measuring the thickness of the clutch packs to determine the snap ring to be used. From what I've seen, the clutch components are manufactured with such small tolerances that once this is set in the factory, you won't need to check again with only friction disk replacement. Note it would be unusual to have damaged steel disks or other components that need replacing that would need measuring of this clearance again.

That being said, if you wanted to check, it wouldn't be hard to make a tool that compressed the clutch pack with 200N (20 kg) and then measure the gap between the piston and snap ring position to check the clearances.
I was hoping that would be the case. I could not imagine anyone going through all those checks just to do a refresh on one of these.

If you are rebuilding, ensure you rebuild the valve body. Interestingly the most important part of this isn't the bits they give you in a rebuild kit. The most important bit is replacing the front lower control body, as this contains the main pressure control valve. For mine this is the most critical component to keep in good order to ensure everything else works fine. That and regularly replacing the fluid.
I watched the 50skid video on rebuilding the valve body. There sure doesn't seem to be much in there that would be likely to go bad, unless it was gunked up with burned up oil or something.

The video above showing the bearing movement of the bearing/sleeve in the F clutch is interesting. I just pulled out an old F clutch out of my shed to see what was going on. I think the F clutch in the video has failed due to a manufacturing fault. The crimps that hold the bearing/sleeve in place look like they aren't formed correctly in the video, which would allow the sleeve to move. Impossible in my opinion if the part was made correctly. I think this mode of failure is an outlier for this reason. Photo below of my old F clutch and the crimp marks in question.
Yeah, my comment after watching your video on this was "Why didn't they make the parts so that CAN'T happen? It did look like there were "stops" cast into the basket that SHOULD have provided positive location of the ring, but didn't on your bad one. Sometimes s**t happens!

Thanks again. I'm going to try to make time to do the tests on the box tomorrow, once I get done dealing with the septic system, and a dodgy well pump relay. It's always something...
 

·
Registered
2001 325i Sedan
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
BTW - Is there a complete rebuild parts kit you recommend? Or individual source(s) you trust?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
I like to think of myself as at least half handy. More important, I have two CNC mills and a lathe! :)
Really, only two CNC mills? I think you're letting the side down a bit.:) I was living overseas and away from my workshop.

The tools I made I only had a circular saw, drill, and my foot as a vice. I suspect you might be able knock something out that will fit the bill.
 

·
Registered
2001 325i Sedan
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
OK, Looking at Eriksson, I see there are several parts kits, but not sure which ones are likely to be needed if I have to do a complete rebuild:

Overhaul kit - obviously required, as it has all the gaskets and seals
Clutch kit - are these likely to be necessary, given the trans was operating perfectly until it goes into limp mode?
Steel kit - my impression is these are not likely needed?

If I decide to rebuild my original trans, I would swap out the damaged wiring harness and output speed sensor from the one currently in the car. Probably all the solenoids as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
The clutch kit will contain all of the friction disks. Most likely not required. When disassembled, it's pretty easy to see which of the clutch packs need replacing. Probably only one. You then just purchase those friction disks only. Most often all of the others will show little if any wear.

Steels most likely won't need replacing, but inspection will tell.

The nice thing about rebuilding an old tranny like you plan is you can take your time and then simply swap out the electrics afterwards.
 

·
Registered
2001 325i Sedan
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
That is good news. Tomorrow for sure I will try driving in manual shift mode. Do I understand correctly that if it works properly when shifting manually, even when stressed at full temp, that the problem is almost certainly in the valve body?

I have a steep grade a few miles from home that will make it easy to go WOT in all gears, and that will get the tranny as hot as it will ever get quickly.

Also, what is the expected "normal" trans temp range?
 

·
Registered
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
Also, what is the expected "normal" trans temp range?

A great question I could NOT find a specification for. I did get a chance to look up the opening threshold for the little thermostat mounted in the "mounting plate" under the expansion tank. 17 11 1 437 362

80° C

Should be a few degrees north/south of there if the radiator and engine puller fan (Bd's & my favorite conversation. ;) ) is working correctly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
This may sound crazy but how old is your battery? Battery may cause limp mode.

I had limp mode twice. Codes were telling me that it was the solenoids. Both times it was due to the battery on its way out. I had no other issues with the car and limp mode just popped up out of no where. Battery had the right voltage when car was off and when on. After battery replacement, it never came back.
 

·
Registered
2001 325i Sedan
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I think we're on to something. Just finished beating on it for a while. I drove o an area about 10 miles away where I could safely drive it WOT in different gears, while watching trans temp with INPA. I drove it hard up a long steep grade, starting in manual mode. It worked fine, but the longer I did it, the higher the trans temp got. After several runs, covering perhaps 20 minutes, all seemed fine, except temperature was ~140C, which is a bit higher than I would have expected. I then switched to SD mode. After a few minutes, it went into limp mode. At this point, the temperature finally was more or less stabilized around 150-155C. At this point, ANY hard acceleration, would quickly put it limp mode. The gear select display, at various times showed (* indicates the limp mode symbol) S*D, *D, *4, *5, and even *2. I cleared the faults one last time, and drove back home very gently. Oddly, the temperature never came down from 155C. Could this be as simple as a failed thermostat?

So, what does this tell us? Just speculation, but 150C seems too hot to me. It operated perfectly fine up to something over 140C. My interpretation is there is likely nothing actually wrong with the transmission, EXCEPT something is causing it to run too hot. Near as I could tell, temperature was not at all dependent on what gear it was in.

Any other thoughts on where to go next? How is temperature controlled?
 

·
Registered
2001 325i Sedan
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
IF I am understanding this correctly... The trans oil cooler has a thermostat, sitting under the bottom of the engine coolant reservoir? For testing purposes, could I not simply remove the thermostat, and ensure trans oil temps are then significantly reduced? If so, then simply replace the thermostat with a new one?
 
21 - 40 of 67 Posts
Top