Only have 1st Gear - ZF Auto Tranny - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 6th, 2011, 05:28 PM
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Dave Johnson
'91 RRC
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Only have 1st Gear - ZF Auto Tranny

Summary: Using a 1992 RRC drivetrain for my Hybrid Project. Truck is now running, but only have 1st gear. No R, 2, 3 or 4. 1st works in L and H range. Tranny is original 4-speed ZF Auto with Borg Warner Transfer Case.

Details: I was the second owner of the 92 RRC. Tranny worked fine when last driven about 5 years ago. In fact, I had it rebuilt a couple of years before retiring it. Used the engine, tranny and tcase for my project and now that it is driveable, I quickly learned I only have 1st gear.

I put a gauge on the test port and it seems ok..a little below spec, but my tester is far from scientific too.
I am thinking:
1. Just needs to be driven a bit. Some of these ZFs are known to be slow in getting out of 1st after sitting a bit and this has been in Park for 5+ years. The lack of Reverse kind of kills this theory though.

2. Something Electrical. This model year was pretty straightforward but could i be missing something? The interlock solenoid works, with foot on the brake I get full movement of the shifter.

3. I fried it somehow. During the rebuild process it was flat towed about 30 miles w/tranny and t-case in neutral per the manual.

Hopefully someone has the answer out there...Thanks! I really want to get driving this thing...
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'91 RR Classic
'01 RR 4.6 HSE - Gone!
'00 Disco 2 - Gone!
'95 Disco 5-Spd - Gone!
'92 RR County SWB - Gone!
'63 2A SWB - Gone!
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  #2  
Old August 6th, 2011, 05:32 PM
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evilfij
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From ashcroft

I have a 4 speed ZF Auto and it sticks in first gear in the morning or when cold and is reluctant to change up from 1st gear. Once the gearbox has warmed up it shifts normally. Why?

The governor valve is sticking, which can be caused by contamination. i.e. clutch plates or other parts disintegrating. The fine debris finds its way past the filter and tends to accumulate in the governor, causing it to stick. A temporary solution is to remove and clean the governor. The problem will often recur as debris from damaged parts continues to build up in the governor. If the problem continues after cleaning the governor then it may be necessary it replace your Autobox.

We have noticed many customers reporting this fault starting a few days after an oil and filter change and after researching this using our experience and the expertise of others in the trade we have come to the conclusion that as ATF oil is a detergent type oil, when the oil is changed this will dislodge and stir up settled debris in the autobox which in turn jams the governor valve. In light of this although it sounds controversial it is debateable if changing the oil and filter is a good idea, some say if the box it going to fail it will fail if the oil is good or bad and their advice is leave it alone. I am still undecided but the truth is I get a lot of calls from customers thinking they are looking after the autobox by servicing it and a few days later this fault occurs.

------ Follow up post added August 6th, 2011 05:33 PM ------

Could also be the linkage is not working right.
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  #3  
Old August 6th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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kevin
1994 D90 300tdi #730, SIII 88
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When did you last change the oil and filter? Are you sure the pump was not damaged on the engine install? What gear selector does your trans have?
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  #4  
Old August 6th, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Dave Johnson
'91 RRC
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evilfj -yes..that is the problem i have had in the past, though reverse has always worked, even when first would be sticky. I will check the linkages again it appears that is all working.

kevkon-
I would have to check, but the tranny oil/filter were probably changed at about 100K or about 10 yrs ago - it has 115K miles now and has been sitting the last 5 of the 10 years.
I emptied the pan during my rebuild process and the ATF looked great so I didn't go any further. I may change the filter, just to rule out the simpler things...
The shifter is the stock RRC shifter.
The engine stayed connected to the tranny the whole time, so there was no real "install" process to damage the pump with. I basically put a D90/Series body on the rolling RRC chassis.

Thanks for the suggestions...
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Dave J.
'91 RR Classic
'01 RR 4.6 HSE - Gone!
'00 Disco 2 - Gone!
'95 Disco 5-Spd - Gone!
'92 RR County SWB - Gone!
'63 2A SWB - Gone!
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  #5  
Old August 6th, 2011, 09:22 PM
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kevin
1994 D90 300tdi #730, SIII 88
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Is this an electo-mechanical shift? What happens when you try shifting manually?
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  #6  
Old August 7th, 2011, 05:11 AM
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Randy Williams
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When you bolted the T-case up did you get the bolts in the right holes? A long bolt in a short hole will do this.
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  #7  
Old August 7th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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Dave Johnson
'91 RRC
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This was the early style non-electrical ZF.
Manually shifting to 3, 2, or 1 does nothing - stays in 1 no matter what I do. I do get reverse lights when I move shifter to reverse and i actually get that little (or sometimes big) thump when I shift out of park into R, but just no power.

The tcase and tranny have never been apart either...it was a completely functional drivetrain that i left in tact.

On the very slim chance it is related...My code display is showing 69 which is usually a failed Neutral switch. This doesn't suprise me because I bypassed that "feature" when I put it together...I bring it up only in case their is some hidden relation that isn't called out in any of the manuals.

Thanks again for suggestions...
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Dave J.
'91 RR Classic
'01 RR 4.6 HSE - Gone!
'00 Disco 2 - Gone!
'95 Disco 5-Spd - Gone!
'92 RR County SWB - Gone!
'63 2A SWB - Gone!
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  #8  
Old August 7th, 2011, 07:42 PM
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Dave Johnson
'91 RRC
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in case anyone is still mulling this one over, i get a tiny tiny bit of power/movement in reverse.
I only really noticed it when trying to back the thing out of the garage today. I have an ever-so-slight lip that i need to drive over, and in Low range and Reverse I was able to back it out under its own power instead of pushing by hand.

Parked in the grass I can see that it wants to back up...if i rev the motor i get just a little backward surge...enough to get it over the lip of my garage floor - not enough for anything else.

Checked my fluid levels again and they look good...i previously checked the pressure at the tranny and it was reasonably close to spec.

Thanks again for any ideas out there...
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_________________________
Dave J.
'91 RR Classic
'01 RR 4.6 HSE - Gone!
'00 Disco 2 - Gone!
'95 Disco 5-Spd - Gone!
'92 RR County SWB - Gone!
'63 2A SWB - Gone!
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  #9  
Old August 8th, 2011, 11:05 AM
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Clean the governor body.
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  #10  
Old August 8th, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Jake K.
95 D90 SW
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Fire it up and let it warm up. Back it outta the driveway and put it in gear. Drive it down the street like you stole it(high RPM's) and see if it will shift out of 1st. They will get hung after sitting sometimes and just need alittle help the 1st time around the block. If it still won't shift after a few miles then you most likely need a rebuild. Since you said you have 1st and alittle reverse...it leads me to think you've lost a clutch-pack.
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