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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all ive got a 5 speed zf tranny in my truck. The problem im having is it is getting hard to shift. First to second and third to fourth. It doesnt grind but is super hard to pull into gear. When it does go into gear it makes a loud click. Ive been running 10w30 oil in it because i dont care to much for automatic tranny fluid. I know with the temperature getting colder it is going to be stiff for the first 20 minutes or so till it warms up. I can handle all the rest of the mechanics but I have no clue about trannys. It has 350,000 clicks on it. I change the fluid twice a year cause i use my truck hard. Someone was telling me that up till 92 or something the zf's had the fill plug down too low so when you top it up you should pull the stick and dump another litre in. Is this true? I guess the answer im not looking for is its fubared, but its the only thing i havent replaced on my truck yet. If anyone has any suggestions or know of a reputable shop where i can get it checked out let me know thanks

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90 F250 Dana 60 up front,welded rear,7.3 Diesel,3" exhaust,4" skyjacker suspension,3" body lift 38" swampers,cb and custom bumpers and nerf bars. You either make it or break it!
 

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I think its the fact that you're using the wrong oil. Its asking for ATF for a reason. The synchro rings use friction to slow down or speed up the main gears to match them up and allow you to shift. Now when you go and pull on the shift lever you're pulling the shift collar into the synchro which is pushing on the main gear and the friction property's of those synchro rings is going to make everything slow down or speed up to the same speed and allow the shift collar to engage.
ATF is pretty thin, when the synchronizers slam together and against the main gear most of that ATF that happens to be in there slams out, and the resulting soft metal on cast gear can make a little friction.
Using 10w30 in there is gonna not let all this happen, its a lot thicker and it holds onto the metal a whole lot better than the ATF does, if theres oil that really likes to hang onto the metal between the synchro and the gear its not going to be able to do its job properly.

But thats only my opinion. Its possible I have no idea how a transmission works. I say drain and flush that sucker and put the right oil in it.

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Dan
91 Cherokee, Slightly Wrinkled.
69 Ford, big tires.
72 Datsun 510, old and ugly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dan I was actually thinking the same thing. Switching back to ATF that is. Ive been running 10/30 all summer because I was told by several shops you can do that with the zf tranny. They said you cant do it with the transfer case because the oil is to thick for the pickup screen, and the bearings end up burning out. So i figured they have had experience with this before so it shouldnt be a problem. So I guess when in doubt read what the manual recomends(LOL)
How well does ATF and oil mix? Should i flush my tranny before changing back to ATF or will it be fine to drain and refill with the right fluid? thanks

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90 F250 Dana 60 up front,welded rear,7.3 Diesel,3" exhaust,4" skyjacker suspension,3" body lift 38" swampers,cb and custom bumpers and nerf bars. You either make it or break it!
 

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Flushing is a good idea because it also says in your tune-up manual somewhere that mixing oil is bad. Actually it says that in pretty much any lube, technical, mechanical manual. Flushing. Many people flush with a cleaner type product. I assume that it had addative and cleaners that will help out with the flushing. I have never used these because I have never mixed my oils. When I buy a new truck, I will usually change all the fluids and then change them again the next day. My shop loves me! This I feel get all of the bad oil out. It's also pretty hard telling where your oil leaks are from if they all look and smell the same. At least with gear oil, the smell is different.

A problem too is that your clutch might be:
1) low in clutch fluid. Check the master cyclinder. If you keep having to put in clutch fluid, you probably have a leak in your slave cylinder. If you have an internal type, you have to pull tranny and change out. Mine leaks a lot. About a litre a month. The good thing is that the clutch oil hasn't splattered all over my clutch plate. Now that I'm done school, I can get back into the shop to fix her all up.

2) with 350 thousand or so clicks, your clutch might be a little wee worn. You can lift the rubber boot an d look inside. You may or may not be able to see the actual amount of clutch plate left there. You can also measure the amount of clutch movement too. If you decide to change your clutch, also change the master cylinder, chnage the three little rubber plugs at the top of the back of the tranny. The rubber is probably pretty old remember and will leak a lot. Cost is about $150 tranny, $100 Master cyl, $10 plugs. Oh ya also chnage the rear main oil seal while you're there. Refer to the "weird oil leak" topic in the ford section.

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I have a secret club called T.U.R.N. It stands for Team Urban *******. Davey and myself are the founders and leaders of the club. Latest News: Ford (French Off Road Domination) takes first place in the third annual ******* Training Weekend. He also took first place in the open fire pit steak cooking contest.

[This message has been edited by Stephan (edited October 22, 2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should have mentioned that the clutch was put in last year along with the slave and master cylinder. I check the fluid regularly and its always up. Im goin to change back to atf this week and see how that works hopefully it does but im thinkin 350000 kms of 4x4ing and haulin a camper and not to mention the previous owner pulled a fifth wheel, has got to take its toll sooner or later.

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90 F250 Dana 60 up front,welded rear,7.3 Diesel,3" exhaust,4" skyjacker suspension,3" body lift 38" swampers,cb and custom bumpers and nerf bars. You either make it or break it!

[This message has been edited by ONE BIG FORD (edited October 23, 2001).]
 

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hey hows it going ? any ways switching to ATF is definatly a step in the right direction , 10-30`s ok for summer but not winter, Id run it in winter if I was towing a heavy load for a long trip with little shifting. If the atf doesnt help , it is in the clutch for shure, bad clutch master, or slave, lucky for you, you have the external slave ... but changing oil is the first step, seccond check the clutch....in the tranny too much friction or oil drag (caused by thick oil) will cause hard shifting, worn syncro rings will have too little friction and it will grind. and a good shop to check out is down there at Berts Automotive - 464 0037 I dont work there anymore, but I know thats one of the few places that wont rip you off or bull sh$t you

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White 88 Ford F 150, Long box, 96 Front clip,Carburated and Points ignition 302 Solid axle Front, 14`` Suspension lift, 39.5 Swampers, 1179 RTI------ UNDER CONSTRUCTION 86 Ranger Extcab, 351 v8 9`` Rear (full width)Dana 44 front(full width) Spooled front and rear, 4 corners on coils, undetermined lift height, Will roll on 35x16 Boggers
 
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