ZF hard shifting issue - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 15th, 2009, 10:04 PM
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Dana Hammersley
1997 Arles Blue #162
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ZF hard shifting issue

I have a 97 with 67,000 on it. when it is cold it will not shift out of 1st gear till around 3500-4000 rpms. If i let it warm up for 10 minutes or so it shifts fine. After the first inital hard shift it shift fine the rest of the day. Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old February 15th, 2009, 11:47 PM
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Andrew J. Hutton
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When was the last time you changed the ATF? Sounds like something might be gumming up some of the passages.
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  #3  
Old February 16th, 2009, 12:10 AM
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John
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when you put in R after driving it, do you feel the hard shfit, too?

when was last time the trans filter was changed?
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  #4  
Old February 16th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Dana Hammersley
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Changed the ATF twice in the last six months. First time I was a MAR came off the trail after putting it in 1st for a hill desent. would not shift even after reving up to 4000 rpms. Drained it put Lucas in, ran it up to 3800 and finally shifted. Shifted somewhat o.k. the rest of the weekend. Drove home drained and changed again. Shifted better, Now a months later still shifting hard only when cold. All yeah you know when you are around 22-2400 rpm and you push down on the throttle and it doesn't really shift down but the rpms go up by a couple hundred revs. Has something to do with the locking torque converter, It only seems to work every other blue moon or so. As far a putting it in R after driving it,( R stands for race right. mine did not come with that option.) lol . yeah it does shift hard into reverse.
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  #5  
Old February 17th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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Dana Hammersley
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What no responses? lol I thought you guys could figure this out, Just no tranny gurus I guess.
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  #6  
Old February 17th, 2009, 09:26 PM
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evilfij
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From the auto gurus (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.

We can supply rebuilt exchange autoboxes and offer a sameday fitting service, with free use of a courtesy car. Please call for details.
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  #7  
Old February 18th, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Dana Hammersley
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Thanks for your response and information.
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  #8  
Old February 18th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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David Marchand
'97 D90 SW Arles
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I have experienced the contamination issue. I had this happen to my 2nd ZF. My first ZF suffered from clutch slipping at full power (had about 90K miles). In talking to the local guys, Erikkson Industries who does ZF rebuilding, it seemed likely. Getting a reman unit is pretty straightforward. I elected to replace it rather than pay the labor twice to access the governor. If I have to go to a 4th ZF anytime soon, I might convert my truck to an r380 out of frustration.
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