Transmission help--slipping, not moving - Defender Source
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Old November 9th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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Chris Davis
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Transmission help--slipping, not moving

I have always been a manual transmission guy, but my 1988 RRC is an automatic and I just have never worked on automatics other than simple stuff like installing/removing.

Yesterday, while taking it out to fill it up for gas and run some errands, the transmission sounds like it is slipping as I am pulling up to a light. I get to the light, stop, light turns green, I give the truck gas and it doesn't move. Not at all. Just rev's and sounds like it is in neutral. I shift through all the gears and not only does it not change, it doesn't even sound like it is changing. No reverse, park, no nothing. Engine just revs. I shut off the truck for 30 seconds, start it back up, and it goes. It doesn't go far, maybe 1/8 of a mile, and it starts to do the same thing Shut the car down, start it back up a minute later, I have enough power to get it the rest of the way home (I had to repeat this proceedure a couple more times).

My wife, about a month ago, said that she put the car in gear and it would not go anywhere. Even park seemed not to work and the car would just roll (may or may not be related to the slipping--my guess is it probably is). I changed out all the transmission fluid and took it for a test drive and it worked great. It has been sitting for about a month (we drive the D90 and Mini) and then the above happened yesterday.

So.... Transmission issue? torque converter issue? No clue--not my area of expertise (yet). There are no grinding sounds, nothing audible or physical such as vibrations---it is just like everything outside of the engine just isn't connected or something...

Any advice is appreciated---

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old November 9th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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A slipping transmission does not usually make any sounds. It just doesn't engage. Have you checked the fluid again? Noticed any unusual excessive spotting in the driveway? How many miles on the box? It could also just be the shifter. Just a few guesses as to what to look for. I'm not a transmission person either.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 11:45 AM
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Any possibility its a problem somewhere else in the drivetrain? This could explain the park difficulties?
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Old November 9th, 2014, 11:59 AM
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Make sure the T-Case is in gear.
Could be the torque converter failed.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 12:02 PM
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Fluid is fine--no issues there. No leaking (at least from the transmission) and the axles/driveshafts/diffs are all good. Transfer case seems good when I get motion--I can shift into low and lock and all that and it works as it should. I shifted to low when I wasn't moving and I still wasn't moving. There are no sounds of grinding or anything at all. How many miles is anyones guess, but safe to assume over 200K.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 01:23 PM
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Probably needs a transmission. I'd just throw a used one in there since they are usually pretty reliable transmissions. Did you try locking the centre diff?
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Old November 9th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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Sounds like the torque converter quit.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 01:40 PM
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Typically, if the converter fails, the transmission isn't far behind and vice versa.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 01:43 PM
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Nothing to add...
A few days ago, I pulled out of my driveway in the Tdi LWB and suddenly I had no go.
Quickly checking everything, I must've bumped the lever slightly out of high range enough to get into neutral.
Scared me for a minute.


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Old November 9th, 2014, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
That moment when your ready for action and things go limp?

-Jeff
yep, you know what I'm talkin' about.

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Old November 9th, 2014, 05:03 PM
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sounds like the torque converter as Robert said. When the clutch packs go you typically loose one set of gears but not all. I have rebuilt a 4hp22 before and learned enough to vow to never do it again.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
sounds like the torque converter as Robert said. When the clutch packs go you typically loose one set of gears but not all. I have rebuilt a 4hp22 before and learned enough to vow to never do it again.
Was your rebuild successful? I've never done any real work to an automatic transmission other than replacing internal harnesses and valve bodies. ZF makes them too reliable!
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Old November 10th, 2014, 10:26 AM
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it has been my experience with zf transmissions where once they slip you're done.
first of all the deterioration of clutch disks begin due to normal wear and improper
maintenance, that residue flows thru the systemic the form of powdered slodge which
blocks valve body passages and sticks governors.
this begins the down hill fall into the abiss of failure.
if you pul the trans because of a suspected failure of the tt you may be wasting your time and money as the failure of the tt is only the outcome of failure of internal components.
my suggestion if you pull it, replace it or overhaul it, anything rover zf4hp22 up to 98 d1 will bolt on. flush the lines before first fill and by all means do a complete trans system flush immediately upon start up and verification it is a good unit.
this, will ensure you have clean uncontaminated fluid and then stick a yearly service regimen.
these trannies are robust but we don't realize how much we punish them specially off road. good luck.
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Old November 10th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
Was your rebuild successful? I've never done any real work to an automatic transmission other than replacing internal harnesses and valve bodies. ZF makes them too reliable!
Yes but the 4hp22 was out of my then wifes BMW 735 executive. It was a 4hp22 with eh.
The problem was with the "A" clutch pack and I replaced them and did a flush with a machine @ a buddy's shop and the car lived on. I hate smell and feel of atf with a passion.
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Old November 10th, 2014, 11:01 AM
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Check to see if there is any water or coolant mixed in with your ATF. Easy to tell b/c it will look like a strawberry milkshake. This will cause your tranny to be DOA in a variety of ways. This happened to our E30 racecar (which uses the same ZF 4hp22 transmission). Even after field flushing it out with 10 gal of fresh ATF, it remained DOA.
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Old November 10th, 2014, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down_shift View Post
Check to see if there is any water or coolant mixed in with your ATF. Easy to tell b/c it will look like a strawberry milkshake. This will cause your tranny to be DOA in a variety of ways. This happened to our E30 racecar (which uses the same ZF 4hp22 transmission). Even after field flushing it out with 10 gal of fresh ATF, it remained DOA.
That's exactly what took mine out. I flushed it thoroughly and replaced filter. It was never the same. I managed to get another 2500 miles out of it before it failed.
Luckily I was preparing for the big diesel conversion and had an R380 standing by.
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Old November 10th, 2014, 10:07 PM
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Oil and grease can't replace worn components, take a look at the rave, whip out your pressure gauge and see what it tells, your fluid should be as close to cherry red as possible, orangie is acceptable, never brown or black....no grainy residue either. And finally flush with the new replacement in place.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 02:20 PM
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How many miles on the beast? I have had 3 RRC ZFs rebuilt All had 120-150K miles at the time. First 2 went without warning. 3rd one went slowly over a period of a few weeks with various warning signs (not driven daily though).
If you have a good tranny shop a rebuild is no big deal but will cost you about $2K. Be sure they know what they are doing - that platform is in a ton of vehicles BUT the rover torque converters, etc...are very specific to the application. BTW AB has rebuilt ashcrofts for around $2500 for the RRC - if you are planning on keeping the RRC, then i would consider that option. Good luck!
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