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  #1  
Old July 7th, 2013, 06:55 PM
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Neill Thornton
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ZF Autobox Advice

So my D90 has the 4HP22 in it... it had been running sluggish on the freeway in 4th, almost like there was a slipping problem in the tranny (~1000 on the EGT, pedal floored, barely doing 60). But other days it would run just fine.

So today I pulled the pan and filter, going to replace it all. I'll post the picture from the phone in a second... the question is, should the top side of the filter, supposedly the "clean side" look like this??

Auto trannys are new to me.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 06:56 PM
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Neill Thornton
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Pic of the filter....
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Old July 7th, 2013, 06:59 PM
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Yuk! Does it wipe off or is it cooked onto the surface?
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Old July 7th, 2013, 07:04 PM
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Wipes off. You can see near the bottom where I already did that.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Looking on an IPhone, sorry.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 07:20 PM
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When you see 1000 degrees at WOT and only 60mph you should immediately back off the throttle... It should actually start to pick up speed and drop egt right away.

Since you said some days it's fine, I doubt transmission is the issue but clean fluid and a filter is probably in order. If the fluid was really burnt looking (and smelling) you will want to keep doing drain/refills until it looks fresh again. About 4 gallons should be about right. And if you keep riding so hard on that little TDI you'll cook fresh fluid in a hurry!

As far as the driveability problem, I have seen several with similar issues related to fuel delivery. Usually trash from the tank getting sucked into the line and making its way to the filter head. Once pulled a six inch long piece of RTV silicone (looked like a fishing worm) out of the fuel line after using compressed air to blow it to the end of the line. Not sure how that one even got enough fuel to start at all much less run and drive... but it did.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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My experience has been that if the ZF is failing (contamination of valve body, clutch packs, etc,) It won't shift out of certain gears until very warm (1st and reverse for instance). And then it eventually just stops shifting out of 1st. But that is pretty dirty by any means. I'd get one of the super magnets on the pan as well to try and trap the metallic particles coming from the clutches.

Maybe this could be a torque converter issue with the stator getting hung up but I can't think of a way to verify that.

This does sound more fuel delivery related. I've had similar where the throttle bogged down and after sometime, poof, big black cloud of smoke and everything returns to normal. Get a fuel/lubricity conditioner like XPD in the tank, change the filter. Next step is injectors.
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Old July 14th, 2013, 03:25 AM
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At 130,000 mile I had the same crud on mine and the bottom of the pan too. Since it's these extremely fine particles that cause problems in this trany, You'd think Zf would have had a real filter inside instead of a screen just to keep out big chunks. So is all that fine material, just metal or clutch fibers too?

Our '06 J**P CRD diesel has a small spin on filter inside the pan, besides a standard screen filter, it's about 1/2 the height and diameter of a standard pop can to catch the really fine stuff.

The problem of mounting an external filter on the ZF cooler line is that when the trany goes into 4th lock-up, the fluid direction reverses in those lines. Wix does make an inline filter that catches metal shavings by using magnets. The filter is made for 5/16' hose and looks like a in-line fuel filter, but it is not bi-directional to work with our changing fluid flow direction. Summit Racing has them and some filter types too. You could use an in-line canister type, BUT you'd have to keep the transmission "shifter" in 3rd to keep the fluid direction going one way through the filter. Then remove the filter system when you want to go into 4th, this is not practical.

It would be possible, with a couple on one way valves and a filter bypass hose, to restrict the flow through the filter to be in one direction only. The filter canister would also have to be able to withstand 90 psi as this is how high the output pressure of the ZF can be in the cooler lines.
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