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Help - looking for guidance with Gearbox troubles

 
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markgw



Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 48
Location: Gloucestershire

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:54 am    Post subject: Help - looking for guidance with Gearbox troubles Reply with quote

Hi,
Looking for some advice with a recent gearbox gremlin.

In the last week, at the end of a journey, the box wont move out of drive. The selector wont go into Neutral or down into 3 and makes a lot of noise.

It sounds a bit "graunchy" almost like trying to change gear in a manual without a clutch.

It's only happened twice - both times with the dear wife driving. Other than the obvious (take her keys away), I'm giving her the benefit of doubt that it's a problem and not how it's being driven Wink

Both times, the only way out is to turn off the engine. But then, it makes noise again for a few minutes when its been put into park before restarting.

Mileage is just north of 100k and everything is completely standard.

Any advice on how to diagnose how serious this is would be very welcome.

Well used to DIY maintenance etc. but never played with an Auto box before.

Thanks
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oilit



Joined: 13 Feb 2008
Posts: 237

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: Help - looking for guidance with Gearbox troubles Reply with quote

markgw wrote:
Hi,
Looking for some advice with a recent gearbox gremlin.

In the last week, at the end of a journey, the box wont move out of drive. The selector wont go into Neutral or down into 3 and makes a lot of noise.

It sounds a bit "graunchy" almost like trying to change gear in a manual without a clutch.

It's only happened twice - both times with the dear wife driving. Other than the obvious (take her keys away), I'm giving her the benefit of doubt that it's a problem and not how it's being driven Wink

Both times, the only way out is to turn off the engine. But then, it makes noise again for a few minutes when its been put into park before restarting.

Mileage is just north of 100k and everything is completely standard.

Any advice on how to diagnose how serious this is would be very welcome.

Well used to DIY maintenance etc. but never played with an Auto box before.

Thanks


I would speak to ashcroft transmissions, in my opinion they are very helpful, know their subject and will cut out a lot of messing around. a browse of their website and/or a call will help determine if a common issue or user error Smile
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Rich1968



Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Towcester, Northants

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know little about auto g'boxes but would change the oil and filter first.
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markgw



Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 48
Location: Gloucestershire

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.

Tried Ashcroft, and their main expert is on holiday for a while. But they were able to suggest checking cables and wiring first.

Thinking about the oil change for the box - interestingly, the Ashcroft website mentions that they see a lot of problems occurring after a gearbox service. Something about the disturbance stirring up a lot of muck.

I've also read that someone did a partial change by passing a thin pipe down the dipstick channel, sucking out the oil and then refilling it. I can't see much benefit in this if the old (dirty) filter is left in there.

So far (touch wood) it hasn't done it again. I would never dare suggest its user error, but I might see how it goes for a week or two before biting the bullet on a fluid and filter change.
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oilit



Joined: 13 Feb 2008
Posts: 237

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am told the biggest issue with auto gearbox filter and oil change is cleanliness (i.e. the lack of it) - and any debris or muck getting into the box can cause extensive damage.
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markgw



Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 48
Location: Gloucestershire

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just out of interest - regarding the oil level.

I'm following the manual to the letter to check the level, and it seems to be over-filled.

ie. Engine cold, start and leave in P.

Fluid should be between the upper and lower level on the dipstick.

I've tried mine many times, and its about 20mm above the maximum.

I've not topped it up, so this is how it came to me. Thing is I'm reluctant to suck some fluid out.

Beginning to think the only way forwards is to do a full fluid and filter change and start again from a known point.
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Captainbeaky



Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 115
Location: Madeira, Portugal

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are stories of people changing transmission oil and having problems.
What many ( mechanics included) don't realise is that you need to be utterly scrupulously clean when doing a fluid and filter change.

The parts tolerances inside an auto transmission are absolutely minute. A human hair can cause problems, so a moments inattention when changing the oil or filter can have severe consequences.

Often,a transmission develops a fault, and the owner tries an ATF change. The trans then finally goes pop, and it's the oil change that did it!

An over-filled transmission can give you all sorts of weird issues - I had similar issues on an old ford that had been badly overfilled.

That said, the ZF4HP22 transmissions in the 50th are very very reliable, and seldom give any cause for complaint. 100k is a low mileage for these transmissions.

What does the ATF look like, and how does it smell?
Pop a drop onto a clean white tissue.
It should be bright red, and clear, and be slightly sweet sickly smelling.
If it is at all brown and burned smelling - it's overdue to be changed.

I have had a car that you swear needed a new transmission suddenly drive properly once the oil was changed.

If you have an oil extractor, then it's only a moment to drop the level so it's back on the dipstick, and see if the problem recurs.
20mm over the "max" mark is very overfilled.

ATF is cheap ( the 4hp22 doesn't use anything fancy), so its not a bad idea to change the oil and not the filter ( just whip out the drain plug, drain the oil and then refill), and see what happens ( in particularly bad cases, I do multiple flushes to get as much of the old oil out as I can, because you can't drain the torque converter, and thus cannot do a full oil change)

Ashcrofts are a good place to go - but all bets are off if the trans is overfilled!

Mike,
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MikeB



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 116
Location: North Warwickshire

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To check the auto box oil level the engine should be running so the torque converter is full. Start up from cold then check the level. You'll find it's 20mm or so lower when the engine is running.
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Captainbeaky



Joined: 23 Jan 2014
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Location: Madeira, Portugal

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did you get on with this?
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markgw



Joined: 03 Nov 2010
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Location: Gloucestershire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took a few weeks holiday, so left it and forgot about it for a while Smile

Short answer is that I cannot make it happen again, but the boss has managed to make it happen once more.

The only thing I can find is that the oil level seems to be about 10mm higher than it should be.

Strangely, I've now been told that not only does the selector jam, but also there are "strange" things happening with electrical items as well - one time the lights wouldn't come on, another time the radio wouldn't turn on...

So I think next step is just to syphon out some oil (making really sure it's not lower than it should be). Oh and take the keys away.

Ashcroft were really helpful on the phone, but didn't really have anything else to offer. Their advice was to just do a visual inspection and keep an eye on it.

If it starts to happen more often, then only option would be a strip down and I don't fancy the costs of that when I can't make it happen.

If I ever find out what it is, I'll let you know.
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Captainbeaky



Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 115
Location: Madeira, Portugal

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The electrical gremlins have got me thinking...

Check your earth straps are ok.

I've had control linkages jam because there wasnt an earth lead.
In my case, it was the steering column, which developed an odd notchiness as the headlights dimmed - I put in a solid earth strap from the battery to the engine and chassis as a test, and the problem disappeared - two new earth straps later, all is good.

There is no electrical system that can stop the Gear lever from being moved out of drive - so you've not got any electrical control problem - remember these aren't complex cars, they are staggeringly simple. So something unusual is happening, and it should be pretty obvious.

Have a really good look at the earth straps - there should be a strap from the battery to the chassis, and at least one from the chassis to the engine - I can't remember, but I think there should be two - one on the engine, and one of the trans? Check they they haven't corroded, and have good contact.

Check the shift lever is all free underneath - it's not fouling on something is it?
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Owner of GB386 50th Defender v8 - being rebuilt.

2013 Honda NC700X
2005 Honda XR250R
2007 Smart ForTwo Turbo.
2010 VW Transporter camper.
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