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Thread: ZF' Gearboxes in Jags

  1. #231
    Senior Member Jim_S-V6_2004's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechem View Post
    Disbelievers still think that gold fluids only are suitable, and that generic 6-speed multi-spec fluids are suitable.

    We all agree that your advice on this subject is usually spot on Jim, but I can't agree with this. You know, it's a stand point for me and I respectfully disagree.

    The international colour of Multi grade fluids for Hydraulic automatic gearbox fluid is red. It is the colour that is used to identify a compatible hydraulic fluid, especially in the early days of GM producing Dextron fluids. Companies that want to sell their fluids to more than one gearbox manufacturer, will dye the fluid red, because they can sell it for a Merc 722-6 for example as well as a ZF6 giving them a bigger sale for the same fluid. ZF do not endorse any fluid but their own, a short sighted view from them I think. Shell 1375.4 fluid fills Jaguars from new as you have found out, but I am not sure that they bottle ZF6 fluid for ZF.

    When making truly compatible fluids for the straight 6HP application, most manufacturers of oil will produce a fluid to the exact specifications and that includes the dye that they use. Febi, Mannol and Meyle make straight grade 6HP fluid that is yellow and 8HP fluid that is Green. If you was going to go to all the effort of exactly matching a fluid spec. why would you not dye it the same colour as the original? Any detection of red fluid on a warranty part, like a mechatronic unit, invalidates a ZF warranty instantly.

    So buddy, go easy on me,but we agree to differ on this one. But, not taking away all the great work that you have done on this subject which has helped many people to understand the gearbox fluid application.
    .
    Hi Richard good to see you how are you, and business?

    I think you've misunderstood. I got confirmation from Shell Support through Smith & Allan a long time ago and repeated the email here somewhere...

    Shell said they dye all ATFs they sell to the public red, but they do not dye fluids sold to manufacturers.

    They certainly would not supply ATF to any manufacturer in bottles surely? Only in huge drums, or full tankers!

    So, Shell M1375.4 is the only spec for ZF 6HP26 boxes. It was developed specially for the 6HPxx boxes by commissioning Shell to develop it, because their existing ZF LF5 wasn't performing as they wanted, or they would have used that. And as you say, ZF LF8 was developed later for the 8HPxx boxes. I've not researched that, obviously.

    I know you've tested another fluid and it's been good, but that's your customer's responsibility.

    The work I did was to identify and test a true dependable safe single-spec fluid because most of our owners wouldn't like to have to replace the fluid twice.

    So I've done that.

    The choice of fluid after that is entirely up to the owner and at the owner's risk.

    Shell M1375.4 from Smith & Allan is known only as Shell M1375.4.

    Smith & Allan are Shell's Official UK distributor, and the fluid states clearly that it is LF6, for ZF 6HPxx gearboxes, and it costs only £98 for a 20 litre drum, delivered. That's £5 per litre! It's less than coffee!

    Look, it's £74 for the 20 litre drum now!: https://www.smithandallan.com/produc...6-alternative/



    Contact them and ask for confirmation about the colour: 01325 462 228

    Email them: https://www.smithandallan.com/ask/?product=4267

    If I do it and write their response here, there will still be doubts and disbelief.

    See the latest review by Mr Joseph Pitt (are you here, Joseph?):

    Quote:
    Reviews of Smith & Allan ATF M1375.4 (Lifeguard 6 Alternative)
    5.00 Stars
    "It is not usual for me to write any reviews but after a professional ZF transmission fluid change from a very highly rated specialist I found that the fluid used by the specialist, although of a high standard was a "multi specification" and suitable for a wide range of vehicles and transmissions. I noticed minor issues with my transmission soon after and returned to the specialist who, whilst excellent in responding to my concern, checked fluid levels,test drove my car, added a small quantity of a rated transmission additive however my car continued to display unusual behaviour, flaring on light throttle, occasional harsh changes, lurch when taking up drive, occasional feeling of the transmission "hanging" in gear.

    Following a lot of research information suggested that ZF 6hp26 transmissions must use a single specification fluid. The Smith and Allan fluid comes up regularly as a viable fluid and is advertised as meeting the required single specification.

    As a final option before considering a torque converter replacement I purchased this fluid and changed my transmission fluid myself bringing the fluid to level, running through gears then dropping the fluid a second time and then final fill to level, adhering strictly to ZF's fill procedure. Whilst still early days the transmission immediately performed better, over the last few days I have noticed no unusual behaviour, far smoother changes and most importantly no flaring. I can therefore, based upon my initial experiences, highly recommend this transmission fluid."
    By Joseph Pitt, 8 May
    John and Craig use the Febi fluid at almost double that price if not more.

    It's also sold at £14 per litre, £280 for 20 litres.

    ZF LF6 typically costs £19 per litre, £380 for 20!

    Because of so many people disputing the spec without checking data sheets and confirming that ZF LF6 IS Shell M1375.4 and saying without factual base that generic multi-spec 6-speed gearbox fliid is fine (it's not), many are scared off and spend £300 for ZF LF6 fluid.

    What's worse, many are being supplied with Dexron fluid, ZF LF5 which is OK in 5 speed ZF boxes hence "5"!

    We know the wrong fluid causes rough gearchsnges, kicks and lurches, so why out that in when genuine Shell M1375.4 is already the cheapest available, at £5 per litre?

    It's a no-brainer, no offence.

    So to people looking for the correct fluid for the ZF 6HP19; 6HP21; 6HP26; 6HP28 & 6HP32 gearboxes...

    If you're afraid, use genuine ZF LF6 or let your mechie take the risk of using his preferred fluid and you demanding it to be changed again at his cost later.

    If you're satisfied to use Shell M1375.4 of any brand, as long as it is single spec M1375.4 and no other as well, go ahead.

    If you want to use a multi spec fluid at your own risk, go ahead.

    ---

    You made a boo-boo there by the way, Richard...

    I have a Merc W168 A160 with the 722.6 gearbox and it is misbehaving with Merc's latest fluid 236.14 - it needs 236.10 which is the fluid available at the time, for 5-speed Mercedes gearboxes.

    No offence, and none taken, I'm just clarifying and I think we're on the same side - apart from a few Commas (litres of, not grammatical!)

    By the way, I've tried a couple more mechies here and none can see the benefit of a fluid exchanger. Not even the BMW independent specialist I showed. They said they can't justify the price. Without knowing how much! "I know they are expensive! We only charge €40/€50 to change the fluid, so no thanks" they all said.

    All.the best bud.

    .
    Last edited by Jim_S-V6_2004; 23-05-19 at 09:17.

  2. #232
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    Well Jim,you make the very best case for the smith and allan fluid and I really respect your research. It is good that it states the 1375.4 spec and so I would believe that it is made for that exact spec. The only question is the colour Jim. If the Company spent so much time researching and developing an exact spec. fluid putting the correct additive pack into a straight grade and making it exactly like LF6 then why would you just dye it red, when it is just a dye, and a red dye would invalidate a ZF warranty? Can you imagine the research into the exact specification the amount of work done to make this exactly the same and then just using a red dye, because that is what they do for all fluids? If using Shell, why not just re-package the original fluid in the Smith and Allan Brand, so that it is yellow and matches the spec. exactly. As with LF6 fluid, and we know that ZF don't make their own.

    Thanks for the Cyprus update. As far as business is concerned, I'm getting a bit tired of covering the whole of the UK and Ireland, because the ATF machine is growing and my diary is full until mid July. I am looking at things at the moment, probably investing in more people is the answer, but the machine needs experience and understanding. Just look at this debate over one fluid!

    Interesting that you have issues with your 236.14 fluid,is it original Merc.? It was supposed to completely supersede the 236.10 as far as I was aware. The 236.15 (blue) has now superseded the green interim fluid, which was used 2011-2014. I was told, without any authority I will add, that the blue fluid can now be used for all, including 236.14. Maybe this newer blue hydraulic fluid would be better?

    Thanks for your reply and best regards.
    XF 3.0 D Luxury 2010. And no, chemical fixes can be handy, but do not replace technicians.

  3. #233
    Senior Member Jim_S-V6_2004's Avatar
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    Hi Richard.

    The info that they dye all.fkuid sold to the public red, and do not dye fluid supplied to OEMs, came from? Shell UK.

    I've said that several times and somewhere in this forum is a copy of that response, which I asked from Smith & Allan and they passed to Shell Support to answer. Which they did. And Smith & Allan forwarded it to me. Saying the above.

    And Smith & Allan are? Shell UK official distributor.

    Westway blend theirs to match ZF LF6. Shell do not.

    So? Westway's fluid is fine, but it's not the same as Shell original public red.

    There aren't any ZF boxes in warranty which need Smith & Allan fluid, remember "lifetime sealed"? It's only people like us who use cheap alternative equivalents and those are well out of warranty.

    I've said all of that.

    Febi and other M1375.4s are also red.

    You can contact Smith & Allan to get their response directly.

    So now I prefer others to contact Smith & Allan themselves and ask, and publish the response here, because if I do it, I fear I won't be believed. Again.

    I've even had disbelief to battery info, throttle pedal limits, political arguments, other stuff when I've given proof links that have been left deliberately unread.

    I should care really, should I?

    Just dumb of me.

    My interest in research started with our Volvo V70 which had a 5-speed Aidin Warner box. The Volvo fluid was £25 per litre. After months of research and agonising I found Comma JWS3309 for £85 for 6 litres. I guinea-pigged my car with heart in mouth... All good! Then... I found Toyota Type IV (same) OEM fluid was £14 per litre! Aaaargghh! But all good.

    Someone used Comma 3309 in a ZF 6HP somewhere! I can't find it now. It's a 5-speed fluid.

    I hope you at least agree that multi-spec fluid is not acceptable as a direct equivalent?

    Since Smith & Allan's Shell fluid is the cheapest available too, there's no challenge, it's down again to £78 for 20.litres delivered now.

    ---

    Yes I was told the fluid in the A160 was put in by Mercedes in an effort to stop some gearbox fault, a kick going into reverse was what it had when I got the car.. But they put in too much, almost 5cm higher level, and a well known A class specialist, Forrera, in the UK also told me it should be 236.10 (which is still available in Cyprus as well as the UK). Merc Cyprus only stock 236.14 of course... because 236.10 has been superceded by it!

    But motor factors stock 236.10, 236.12 and 236.14.

    I've not come across 236.15 but again, I will go back to 236.10 first in any case.

    It's a similar case to ZF LF5/LF6, we shouldn't use LF8 in 6HP nor LF6 in 4HP or 5HP boxes. They aren't superceding each other, they are for specific boxes.

    He told me my error is caused by the gearbox control module ("Front Transmission Controller") inside it, it's poorly made. So are the clutches, they split, it's not a true Merc and nor is the B Class which has similar quality problems.

    Very sad. We were just getting to like the car too.

    He has one (control module) but said it will fail again sooner or later. He said to change the fluid, put in just the right amount, and then try resetting the error code, but that it can last a day or 2 years.

    I've got the diag software and diag adapter, just need to find time to clear my old XP laptop and install it and try. I've got stuff on it that I don't want to lose.

    The car is 2003 with 230k kilometres and worth zilch.

    What to do?

    .
    Last edited by Jim_S-V6_2004; 27-05-19 at 05:31.

  4. #234
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    There aren't any ZF boxes in warranty which need Smith & Allan fluid, remember "lifetime sealed"? It's only people like us who use cheap alternative equivalents and those are well out of warranty.

    Actually there are. Our gearbox centre fit original ZF parts when things go wrong. A mechatronic unit or a torque convertor loses its warranty from ZF when any red fluid is detected. So they have to use a yellow fluid.

    I will now though start to recommend the Smith and Allan fluid as I believe that all you are saying is correct, with a very bad judgement on what colour to dye the fluid for the end user.

    Thanks for your time Jim.
    XF 3.0 D Luxury 2010. And no, chemical fixes can be handy, but do not replace technicians.

  5. #235
    Senior Member Jim_S-V6_2004's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechem View Post
    There aren't any ZF boxes in warranty which need Smith & Allan fluid, remember "lifetime sealed"? It's only people like us who use cheap alternative equivalents and those are well out of warranty.

    Actually there are. Our gearbox centre fit original ZF parts when things go wrong. A mechatronic unit or a torque convertor loses its warranty from ZF when any red fluid is detected. So they have to use a yellow fluid.

    I will now though start to recommend the Smith and Allan fluid as I believe that all you are saying is correct, with a very bad judgement on what colour to dye the fluid for the end user.

    Thanks for your time Jim.
    .
    Ah, warranty point taken Richard.

    But, please contact Smith & Allan, email is fine, and they should get you the same official response from Shell too, and that will give you the needed assurance when you talk to your own client mechies.

    Westway's M1375.4 is the undyed gold, and their price is the same as S&A's previous price anyway, £98 for 20-litre drum, £5 per litre. S&A's at £78 for 20-litre drum is £4 per litre.

    Not ZF's £19 per litre, £190 for only 10 litres, £380 for 20 litres!!

    .

  6. #236
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    My car just dropped off at Autotech Langley. He didn’t seem too sure what fluid would come in the kit, most likely ZF, but assured me it would be right for the car and they are very particular on this point. Said he’d photograph the container to show me.

    He said he’d also change an ‘electrical sleeve’ - is this the mechatronic (sp?) seal I’ve read about?

    Will post feedback when I collect later today.

  7. #237
    Senior Member Jim_S-V6_2004's Avatar
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    The one John / Craig mentioned is the Mechatronix Connector Sleeve Seal.

    I hope you're getting all the fluid changed?

    The kits only come with 6 or 7 litres.

    The gearbox and Torque Converter contain around 10 litres. You need 12 to 14 litres for a full flush.

    I'm sure they've got enough of all fluid types anyway, but I hope you gave them permission to use what they need?

    There is one more seal, the Mechatronix Adapter Seal. It's the rectangular seal which fits between the gearbox body and the Mechatronix unit. It's best to change that too but most owners don't read or ask and don't know of it. That seal has been known to perish and lose pressure. Better replaced.

    And finally there is a set of tubes. I didn't know about those when I pioneered mine.

    And it's always best to flush the gearbox to remove sticky sludge and gummy deposits from the valves before refilling with fresh fluid. The machine does that too.

    .
    Last edited by Jim_S-V6_2004; 12-06-19 at 10:17.

  8. #238
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    Thanks Jim - I’ve just called stating I want all fluid changed including the TC. The receptionist will call back once confirmed with John. Said I was happy to meet the cost of the any additional fluid requirements, plus filter/pan and the mechantronix seal.

  9. #239
    Senior Member Jim_S-V6_2004's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornershop View Post
    Thanks Jim - I’ve just called stating I want all fluid changed including the TC. The receptionist will call back once confirmed with John. Said I was happy to meet the cost of the any additional fluid requirements, plus filter/pan and the mechantronix seal.
    .
    Ah, you're very welcome, glad we spotted it and caught them in time.

    .

  10. #240
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    Just received a call to confirm they will be using genuine ZF Filter/pan, and approx 14 litres of ZF LG6 fluid.

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