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ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

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Neveragain55
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ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

Post by Neveragain55 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:55 am

Well..........

What can I say, all of you geniuses in this forum and others that don't even know I exist have all collectively helped me beat a problem I've been struggling with for years.

The dreaded "harsh shifts" from neutral to 1st to 2nd gear in these sharks that most of us have either suffered with or heard about.

See my post's: "Transmission dipstick/filler tube nut won't come off"
And: Transmission dipstick/filler tube follow up (pics)" for the back story.

I have the: ZF4HP22 EH, 5 solenoid, 8 pin valve body.

Long story short, I followed the path of a few forum members from both in here and other BMW forums and I wound up dropping the valve body out of my transmission.

I patiently, carefully, methodically took each solenoid out, cleaned it, and put everything back together while systematically cleaning everything.

I didn't have any solenoids that had a metal mesh filter at the end but there was one small rectangular shaped metal mesh filter in the solenoid section that housed the main pressure regulator solenoid.

It wasn't completely gummed up with metal or gunk but it did have some small debris of fine metal shavings & crud so I blew it out with brake cleaner and put it back together.

It's important for me to note that I didn't do a complete overhaul of the valve body, nor did I do a complete teardown & rebuild with news seals, gaskets, and check balls.

All of these items were in amazingly good shape for the miles my car has.

All I literally did was disassemble just the smaller sections that house the solenoids, and I used two full cans of brake cleaner spraying the hell out of everything until I could see no more "gray" gunk. (of which there wasn't a ton to begin with)

I bolted the valve body back into the tranny along with a new filter and pan gasket. I poured in one gallon of regular Dexron III ATF in to replace what I had drained, and fired her up.

I waited a few minutes for the fluid to work it's way through the valve body, and I went through all the gears including reverse, and she was butter, ABSOLUTE butter!!!!!!!:D :D

The harsh, abrupt gear changes from 1st to 2nd were gone.

Best weekend I've had in a very long time.

I can't begin to thank this entire community for all your help & support because it would never have gotten done without all of you that replied to my many posts regarding this issue.

Shogun, wherever you are............thank you.

I've attached another picture again of the little metal mesh screen that "I think" was the culprit.

I don't think I could say with 100% certainty that - that was it alone as much as I think everything I did collectively led to smoother shifts.

Thanks again gang..................
Attachments
Valve Body 7.jpg
Valve Body 7.jpg (90.21 KiB) Viewed 32718 times
1989 635 CSI L6
1977 Datsun 280Z
1994 Acura Legend LS Coupe
1979 Suzuki GS750E
2003 BMW K1200GT

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sansouci
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Post by sansouci » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:57 am

Shogun lives in Japan

We are happy that you succeeded in solving a problem and reporting back on your findings. It adds to the collective knowledge base that of all of us share.
--Ken
Sansouci
84 E24 633Csi Auto, Bronzit/PearlBeige 6997510
93 E32 740il M60 Auto, Alpenweis/Ultramarine
60 528i M30 5-speed Green/Beige (crushed)
71 240Z 4-speed White/Blue (rusty & sold)
65 396 Chevelle 4-speed, Marina Blue/Black (stolen)

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Post by GripGreg » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:20 am

+1 on what Ken said! Congrats,,,,Greg =D>
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Neveragain55
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Post by Neveragain55 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:27 am

Thanks guys, and I promise to report back on many issues that I fix & resolve as I know it will only serve to help others that may be in the same predicament......
1989 635 CSI L6
1977 Datsun 280Z
1994 Acura Legend LS Coupe
1979 Suzuki GS750E
2003 BMW K1200GT

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Post by olympia57 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:21 am

Great result and first class feed back on the cause and solution.
Don
1981 635 series 1

ntnha2001

Post by ntnha2001 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:16 pm

Could you please post the step by step as how to drop the valve body of the transmission, and the removal of the solenoids and and mesh for cleaning. Details with pictures will be of great help.

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sansouci
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Post by sansouci » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:12 pm

If you can't wait for pics, visit Shogun's posts on bimmerforums' E32 sub forum. Also some you tube videos are helpful...
Sansouci
84 E24 633Csi Auto, Bronzit/PearlBeige 6997510
93 E32 740il M60 Auto, Alpenweis/Ultramarine
60 528i M30 5-speed Green/Beige (crushed)
71 240Z 4-speed White/Blue (rusty & sold)
65 396 Chevelle 4-speed, Marina Blue/Black (stolen)

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Neveragain55
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ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shift fix with pictures (part 1)

Post by Neveragain55 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:56 am

Ok, I'm probably going to have to post this in a few reply's in order for all of it to fit because I can only post 4 pictures at a time.

I'll write everything down that I did in this post and start it with pictures.

Step 1 was to loosen the dipstick/filler tube nut which started this entire journey. It's an extremely difficult nut to get off, and if you Google it you will see that many BMW owners suffer with the little bastard.

Olympia57 advised me to heat it up & cool it down rapidly in successions and that did work. I heated it up & cooled it down twice, and with the assistance of my legs & feet the nut finally broke loose.

Step 2 was of course to loosen the 6 nuts & aluminum clips that hold the transmission sump/pan to the tranny. They came off fairly easy and it was pretty straight forward.

Step 3 was to unbolt the 3 torx head bolts that hold the filter in place. (easy)

Step 4 was to un-bolt the other 13 torx head bolts that hold the valve body to the lower transmission while pushing them through the top of a cardboard shoe box used as a template to know where they went when I re-assembled everything. They are different lengths so you want to do this.

Step 5 was to use (non-chlorinated) brake cleaner to completely spray the valve body down to assess what the damage was if any.

Step 6 was used to un-bolt each clip that holds all of the solenoids in (one at a time) to check for crud, dirt, metal shavings, and to see if any of the solenoids had the same metal mesh screen that Shogun had in his valve body rebuild write-up. (none of mine did)

Step 7 was to clean the one, rectangular, metal mesh screen that I did find underneath the largest solenoid which happens to be the pressure regulator solenoid. (I found this by accident by the way)

Step 8 was to clean everything as thoroughly as I could, and pay close attention to put everything back the same way I found it right down to what orientation the solenoids where sitting in before I took them out.

Step 9 was bolting all of the bolts back that held the solenoid sections in place to the value of 8 nm torque.

Step 10 was spraying down the entire valve body with brake cleaner until there were no traces of the thin, grey sludge that you "will" encounter.

Step 11 was to bolt the valve body back to the lower part of the tranny making sure that each bolt went back into the hole it came out of, and to follow Shogun's suggestions about torqueing everything to 8 nm starting from the center bolts working outwardly in circles.

Note: make sure the steel shift lever (that's connected to the shift cable) goes right back into the grey plastic shift rod that resides in the valve body, as well as making sure that the speed sensor and your 7 or 8 pin socket all go back to their respective homes as well. Also make sure you re-connect the female end of the 7 or 8 pin connector that plugs into the male end that sticks out through the cut-out hole in the lower body of the transmission. I used dielectric grease on this fitting to keep moisture out.

Step 12 was to put the new pan gasket on, bolt it back into place, and finally screw the dipstick/filler tube nut back on.......with tons of aluminum anti-seize so that - THAT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN!!!

Step 13 was to fill the sump back up with ATF fluid, I used good ole fashion, no frills Dexron III.

Step 14 was to start the car, and allow the fluid to work it's way back through the valve body for a few minutes before I attempted to move the gear selector.

When all was said & done she shifted like butter, and I'm still over the moon with the way it all went.....except for that damn dipstick/filler tube nut.

I took the liberty of using some of Shogun's pics from his valve body rebuild thread because I didn't take pictures of all of the steps the way he did, so I used his pictures where I didn't take any.
Attachments
VB d.jpg
VB d.jpg (100.51 KiB) Viewed 32604 times
VB c.jpg
VB c.jpg (126.7 KiB) Viewed 32604 times
VB b.jpg
VB b.jpg (122.62 KiB) Viewed 32604 times
VB a.jpg
VB a.jpg (102.97 KiB) Viewed 32604 times
Last edited by Neveragain55 on Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:10 am, edited 4 times in total.
1989 635 CSI L6
1977 Datsun 280Z
1994 Acura Legend LS Coupe
1979 Suzuki GS750E
2003 BMW K1200GT

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Neveragain55
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Post by Neveragain55 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:59 am

More pics in order....
Attachments
VB h.jpg
VB h.jpg (98.72 KiB) Viewed 32602 times
VB g.jpg
VB g.jpg (109.19 KiB) Viewed 32602 times
VB f.jpg
VB f.jpg (85.4 KiB) Viewed 32602 times
VB e.jpg
VB e.jpg (123.75 KiB) Viewed 32602 times
1989 635 CSI L6
1977 Datsun 280Z
1994 Acura Legend LS Coupe
1979 Suzuki GS750E
2003 BMW K1200GT

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Neveragain55
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Location: Connecticut

Post by Neveragain55 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:01 am

Yet more pics in order...
Attachments
VB k.jpg
VB k.jpg (104.06 KiB) Viewed 32601 times
VB j.jpg
VB j.jpg (102.66 KiB) Viewed 32601 times
VB i.jpg
VB i.jpg (108.37 KiB) Viewed 32601 times
1989 635 CSI L6
1977 Datsun 280Z
1994 Acura Legend LS Coupe
1979 Suzuki GS750E
2003 BMW K1200GT

ntnha2001

Post by ntnha2001 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:43 am

Excellent instructions with pictures! Thank you so much for your effort and help!
I' ll do mine next time I change the filter and transmission fluid.
Bravo!

ntnha2001

Post by ntnha2001 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:51 am

I have an '85 E24 with an auto transmission problem that I have not been able to figure out the cause and fix it.
The car shifts to all gears but the REVERSE. The REVERSE does not engage at all. Will this excersise fix this problem, or just the hard shifting?
Any help will be greatly appreciated because I cannot drive the car now that it can only go forward.

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Neveragain55
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Post by Neveragain55 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:05 am

I'm glad to help and it's only fair after all of the help I've gotten over the years.

I've seen a few posts on no reverse and from what I gather, that could be anything from a check ball being stuck or not performing it's job sufficiently due to the fact that it eroded away over the years, to yes....crud blocking certain passages in the valve body.

Full disclosure here, I am by no means an expert on all things transmission related and this excercise I just completed with the valve body was my first attempt to ever fix anything transmission related.

I know for a fact that if you Google: "BMW E24 no reverse" you'll find dozens of threads that will lead you to discussions on the subject in many forums and I guarantee you - you'll stumble across someone else who had the same issue and fixed it.

Try cleaning your valve body first as you can't make it worse if nothing else. If that doesn't work....scour the internet.

Good luck with it.
1989 635 CSI L6
1977 Datsun 280Z
1994 Acura Legend LS Coupe
1979 Suzuki GS750E
2003 BMW K1200GT

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Post by Pod » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:45 pm

Thanks for taking the time to post this :D

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sansouci
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Post by sansouci » Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:08 am

F
If you see a lot of aluminum "shrapnel" when you drp the pan, one of the clutches may have disintegrated requiring a rebuild.
Sansouci
84 E24 633Csi Auto, Bronzit/PearlBeige 6997510
93 E32 740il M60 Auto, Alpenweis/Ultramarine
60 528i M30 5-speed Green/Beige (crushed)
71 240Z 4-speed White/Blue (rusty & sold)
65 396 Chevelle 4-speed, Marina Blue/Black (stolen)

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Neveragain55
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Post by Neveragain55 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:08 am

Your absolutely right Sansouci,

Many years ago I had a early 80's Camaro Berlinetta with Chevy's horrible 305 with an automatic transmission that slipped & shifted like garbage.

I took it to a local trans shop thinking a fluid change would help, and the technician came out to the waiting area with my pan to show me the "ocean" of shavings that had collected.

He told me it was a complete waist of time to even try to change the fluid because the transmission was shot so I returned the car to the dealer I bought it from and wound up with a really cool Barracuda.

Lots of shavings usually spells lots of trouble.
1989 635 CSI L6
1977 Datsun 280Z
1994 Acura Legend LS Coupe
1979 Suzuki GS750E
2003 BMW K1200GT

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Re: ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

Post by ronnieg » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:00 pm

Thanks for the detail. I have a harsh first-to-second shift when it's warm, so will put this on my list.

How long did the entire operation take you?
Happier in a 635

JOK729
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Re: ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

Post by JOK729 » Thu May 25, 2017 10:42 pm

Hi Guys, I decided to take this project on yesterday. Bigger job than I thought. Long story short, I just added the new fluid, warmed it up, and come to find I have no reverse or neutral. Actually goes right into Drive when selecting R or N.
Obviously I put something back improperly.
Does anyone have any ideas as to what ?
Any and all input is appreciated. Unless you want to kick a guy while he's down. ](*,)
Ugh !!!
Thank you in advance.

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Re: ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

Post by JOK729 » Thu May 25, 2017 10:44 pm

Oh, It's on a 1988 635csi
Thanks again

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sansouci
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Re: ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

Post by sansouci » Fri May 26, 2017 4:53 pm

Diagnosis at a distance is dangerous. With that said,
What was the color of the old fluid? Was there a lot of stuff adhered to the bottom of the tranny pan? Some say that the fluid is a great solvent and it could wash some crap to the valve body and cause a problem. Others suggest if your check ball or any of the small valve orifices are eroded, you will fail to get proper function. I've seen pics where the check ball is reduced from standard spec to where it drops through the paper gasket in the VB..
Hard to say without an autopsy.
Sansouci
84 E24 633Csi Auto, Bronzit/PearlBeige 6997510
93 E32 740il M60 Auto, Alpenweis/Ultramarine
60 528i M30 5-speed Green/Beige (crushed)
71 240Z 4-speed White/Blue (rusty & sold)
65 396 Chevelle 4-speed, Marina Blue/Black (stolen)

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Mark Shutt
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Re: ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

Post by Mark Shutt » Fri May 26, 2017 6:12 pm

I'm hoping to tackle this job in the near future with the help of this thread! drives spot on being lazy but if driven hard can be harsh which spoils an otherwise great driving experience!
1988 635csi Auto Highline, Royal blue with Lotus white.
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=26461&p=189478#p189478

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Re: ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

Post by Mark Shutt » Sun May 13, 2018 4:19 pm

just on with my valve body clean and found this little filter, not sure where it fell from can someone help? starting to regret tearing it apart now as it's so clean with very little sludge and non in the valves, all clean as a whistle!

Image
1988 635csi Auto Highline, Royal blue with Lotus white.
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=26461&p=189478#p189478

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Re: ZF4HP22 EH Harsh Shifting "FINALLY" Resolved!!!

Post by Mark Shutt » Sun May 13, 2018 5:23 pm

think I found a home for it! again, a bit disappointed on how clean it was :D I hope it will be worth the effort, new gasket and filter for sump and will have new oil of course.. is it OK to mix Dexron 2 with 3? I have a gallon on 2 it would be shame not to use it..

my main complaint was a harsh shift from 2nd to 3rd when really giving it some beans, apart from that it's smooth as silk, car has 69k on clock.

Image
1988 635csi Auto Highline, Royal blue with Lotus white.
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=26461&p=189478#p189478

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