ZF fluid level goes up and down - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 18th, 2005, 10:20 PM
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Jeff Hoien
1997 NAS D90
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Angry ZF fluid level goes up and down

Hello to everyone. I have a ZF fluid question. A while a go i changed the zf filter, orings and gasket and have had a hard time determining correct fluid level. Upon starting the vehicle, the existing atf on the stick drops off all the way down to the little black nubbin on the stick. After a minute or so the fluid comes back up and eventually reaches the high mark. Engine cold, neutral, idling. Why it does this i don't know but it is maddenning. So tonight i pulled the stick, and waited for it come back up to the mark and it did sorta. So i thought i would take for a drive, get it hot and then check it again...knowing that hot atf will always be higher on the stick...pulled the stick and there was no fluid on it Waited and it came back up the stick. So here's my question. has anybody else experienced this with their zf. Any logical reason for the up and down on the stick? I appreciate anyones response to this before i go totally mad
jeff
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  #2  
Old March 18th, 2005, 11:47 PM
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Chris Davis
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This is why newer trucks don't have an ATF stick--people don't know how to read them. I do not know what your manual says, but I would follow it. My ZF has a drain and fill hole on it. First, let me just say, that ATF fluid is very expansive with heat. Hot fluid reads a lot higher. With my truck, I have a fill hole, no dipstick. You fill it, you start the truck cold, you continue to fill it till it spills out the hole, then you plug the hole as fast as you can.

With previous trucks, with dipsticks, you start the truck cold, shift through the gears, put in neutral, check the level and fill accordingly. Hot fluid readings are false. Non-running readings are false. There is plenty on the net to explain why.
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Old March 19th, 2005, 12:14 PM
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Bradlee Duncan
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Yeah, the best thing to do is read your manual. It probably says that you should either check when completely cold or when fully warmed up or something like that.

My audi's ZF fluid is so sensitive that you need diagnostic equipment to check the exact ATF temperature while you check/fill the fluid. You have to have it between 35 and 40 degrees celsius or you will under or over fill it and screw up your transmission. If the temp is any hotter than that, too much will come out of the fill hole and you'll end up underfilling it. If the temp is colder than that, you'll end up overfilling it.
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  #4  
Old March 20th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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Jeff Hoien
1997 NAS D90
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thanks guys for helping me out on this...you're right about the fluid level being very sensitive...looked up alldata and they had lots of info on checking zf fluid hot and cold...i think i will stick with the hot method...
jeff
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Old March 20th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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David Marchand
'97 D90 SW Arles
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Jeff, it might be worth your while to contact Eriksson Industries in CT. They are one of the few that remanufacture ZF's for all makes, and would definitely be helpful in telling you what you need.h
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