New and the Old

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 21:00
ThreadID: 131349 Views:4107 Replies:7 FollowUps:37
This Thread has been Archived
Just some recent comments about what different things happen to modern transmissions, engines, bearings and electronics.

I embrace change, some do and some don't but that is what we do . Just looking at the change in 4wd’s and heavies I have put forward a thread on this.

I know there have been problems with common rail engines but most of these have been forced onto us by emission laws, the same as happened when unleaded first came in.

So here are some pluses in change. I have a common rail and change the oil at between 7500 and 8500 k depending how much towing I do. I should do it by oil analysis as the oil is still hard to see on the dipstick. Bloody Ford motors, I can go to 15000k if not towing by there recommendation. My old banger small diesels were very dirty at 5000k.

The trucking industry American engine manufactures are starting to come to grips with the new emission laws and the Europeans have been on top of it for awhile. Cummins suffered badly with one of their engines and cat has given up with the on road scene.

These engines have far better fuel economy than old school by a long way and fuel is now being upgraded to match them. I see that some are putting aftermarket injector cleaners through their engines when Caltex and Bp already incorporate this in their up market diesel fuel.

I came from greasing a (HIT) load of idler bearings on dozers every morning, to never having to play pump the grease up in those idlers again because of modern tech sealed bearings. NOTE! Dozer idlers operate in maximum adverse conditions day in and day out.

Split rim and locking rim wheels. Great in heavy machinery and low speed gear but on modern vehicles they are a huge pain, They come with these problems, they are hard to balance, often the wheels are out of round, tubes can rub on the internal rim rust and they are heavy. I think my best day was when the people I worked for swapped from rag tyres and splits to safety rims and radials.

Transmissions. I have seen some awesome advancements in transmissions from the latest amt’s to the electronic auto units. It blows me away what they can do with this, from predictive terrain box shifts to fuel coasting technology and braking.

Batteries are another one that come up, the rate of technology
change is awesome and I can’t even pretend to keep up.

I purchased a new common rail electronically controlled transmission vehicle in 2012 that many said would have problems, to date and touching wood not one problem and it tows 2.5t plus most of the time. No faults, no trans high temps, no high engine temps and hell it goes anywhere that other 4wd’s do.

Ok everybody put in your findings and experiences as someone said the forum input was dying.
Back Expand Un-Read 2 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Will 76 Series - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 22:43

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 22:43
Well, got to say I don't have much. I agree with your comments the modern 4x4 machine is a remarkable bit of engineering. The days of diff locks, locked hubs and manual gearboxes have certainly moved on. I think one area that needs a massive overhaul is the fuel industry and the inconsistency of particularly diesel fuel quality between the different companies. The other interesting observation is the smaller engines yet having more torque, the new dual cabs are a great example of this with much better fuel economy as well.
AnswerID: 594870

Reply By: GREG T11 - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 22:55

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 22:55
I reckon all the tech is great, but your question should be how long do you plan on keeping the vehicle. Today's tech is limited to a lifespan of x, What x is open to conjecture . Perhaps it is not the motor that karks it first perhaps it maybe the electrically assisted oil pump that disintegrates beforehand that leads to a blown motor. A couple of autos before warranty due to a poor design of cooling ( existed in various forms for 10 + years ) .
In this day and age of high turnover own it for 2 years and it is someone elses problem it is very hard to judge but I would be surprised if we see the days of 500,000 k vehicles that were common place in the past.
Still yet to see Ford come out and advise an oil change on their auto," FILLED FOR LIFE " says it all .

AnswerID: 594871

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 00:34

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 00:34
The only reason people turn over their cars is they are too well off. I go to campsites and see young families in a 60k+ car pulling a 40k+ camper loaded to the gills with thousands in gear and toys followed by their own personal gps guided drone. When I was their age I was driving a high km piece of junk and sleeping 4 under a tarp. Lack of money breeds high kilometre cars. Nobody really wanted them back then either. Today's cars are much more reliable than anything I had in the 70's or 80's. My 2 crd's are now 8 years on and half a million kms between them and you guessed it, I haven't got the spare cash to swap them out....not that I really want to, I still like driving them.
FollowupID: 863414

Follow Up By: gbc - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 06:55

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 06:55
Name a brand of auto box that isn't sealed - Toyota didn't have a service scedule for my 2003 hilux auto. I've no clue how you can single ford out.
FollowupID: 863425

Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 09:53

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 09:53
The zf 6hp26 gearbox (and its variants) fitted to Fords, Land Rover, Jags and other makes is not sealed for life - in most cases it is a myth but I do not know the official position of Ford. Certainly ZF indicate the box needs a service around 80,000kms (not sure of exact number, maybe a little more or less) - is not sealed for life.

Sealed for life was claimed for the LR version but was a myth - the service schedule has it at 240,000km or 10 years BUT in arduous conditions changed earlier - this includes the usual towing and offroad use. BUT also includes commuting and around town use.

So Ford may claim sealed for life - a claim made for its own unknown purposes but the maker ZF claims different.

FollowupID: 863441

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 11:29

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 11:29
ATF replacement interval on the current Mazda BT50/Ford Ranger is 250k/10 years. So confident is the manufacturer that they don't have a drain plug in the pan.

There is no doubt I will be getting an off-schedule ATF replacement at some time done due to heavy duty in hot climates and/or water crossings (the book says replace the fluid if "the component" has been immersed in water). Dealer's mechanic says that the only way to drain it is to remove the pan and wear the spillage.

When it comes time I think I will get a drain fitted.


Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 863448

Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 11:52

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 11:52
I did mine at 50000K as it is used for towing in hot climates. Although the box sits between 97 and 109 degrees towing, the trans fluid was clean and the box in good nick.

Good to see you will be giving the box a flush and new fluid. Best to drop the pan and change the filter and also have it flushed which includes the torque converter so you get a complete clean. The fluid has to be heated so the thermostat opens and the fluid flushed through from there.

Most manufacturers now claim their autos are sealed for life but it all depends what we a using them for so putting g around town and light work the synthetic fluid would not get hot and lose it's lubrication qualities.
FollowupID: 863450

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 12:17

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 12:17

I have a Scangauge and get the same temperature range in normal duty.

But I have seen 130 deg on a long steep pull in hi first and second on a windy sealed road. I would have used low range to help keep the temps down but could not because of transmission wind-up. No suitable places to stop, either, though I would have if it got much higher.

High temps like that are another reason to at least take a sample of ATF to inspect or test. Pretty hard to do with no drain plug.

Mine's at 27000km. I told my dealer what I do with the vehicle - heavy load, tow 2.2 tonne in hot climates - and he said do an ATF change at 80k. Seems a bit long to me, though you said yours was ok at 50k, so maybe 80 will be ok. I have some time to think about it :-)

Yes, I've read about the need to heat the replacement fluid to get a complete flush. It's not a DIY job. Not for me, anyway.


Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 863452

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 14:00

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 14:00
You have to remember that the ZF 6HP26 is a ZF design, and built by ZF for the likes of Range Rover and BMW - but Ford build the same transmission themselves, under licence to ZF.

Ford modify the ZF transmission design - with cheaper components, as Ford always do.
The reworked ZF transmission that Ford build (in Livonia, Michigan) is called the 6R60 and the 6R80. The 6R80 has a heavier torque converter with increased torque capacity.
The 6R80 is fitted to the Ford Ranger, the Ford Territory and the Mazda BT-50.

The BMW ZF transmission is sealed for life - the Ford is not.
However, the drain and refill process for the ZF and the Ford 6R is absolutely painful and convoluted, and best left to the expert auto tranny shops.
The drain and refill process is due to the exceptionally complex oilways and valving that makes it difficult to get the oil in or out of the ZF transmission.

The ZF transmission is basically a good transmission - but it has its weaknesses.
The input shaft is prone to severe wear under constant heavy load - but there's aftermarket billet steel shafts available.
The solenoids have poor ability to cope with overheating, so keep the oil temperature down.
Regularly operating at over 100 deg C will definitely shorten the Ford transmission life.

There is a posting on the New Ranger forum where a Ranger owner states his oil was "completely cooked" at 97,000 kms - and after a 12 hr drive through the Pilbara, his scangauge showed 115 deg C.
He states his auto tranny shop told him 90 degs C is the recommended temperature working limit for the 6R80.
I stand by my 6R80 maximum temperature statement - the same advice is regularly re-stated on multiple auto tranny repair websites.

The most important thing with the ZF/Ford auto trannies is to ensure that you use the ZF Life Guard oil - which has special additives tailored to this transmission.
Using any other variety of transmission oil will result in poor transmission performance and reduced transmission life.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 863461

Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 15:22

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 15:22
Ron, the internet is a wonderful place for information.

According to many internet bases transmission charts my gearbox should have failed between 16000k and 48000k at the temps it runs. I wonder which one is right.

The 6R80 cheap box fitted to the Ranger and BT50 is sealed for life. That or my owner manual that the manufacturer printed is wrong, that or one of those multiple websites got it very wrong.

As for servicing the people who did mine didn't take long at all. A convoluted painful drain and refill is 54mins by the book. BTW the recommended aft is Mercon lv.
FollowupID: 863469

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 17:03

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 17:03
The 6R80 Service Manual repeatedly states:

"Verify the transmission fluid is at normal operating temperature, between 91°-102°C (195°-215°F). If the transmission fluid is not at operating temperature, drive the vehicle until the operating temperature is reached."

So I'm not sure where third parties (auto trans service shops) stand when they say a 90 deg temp working limit.

If the manufacturer's "normal" range is up to 102deg, then surely there must be reserve capacity built in for temporary transitions to higher temps during heavy duty cycles. One would hope so, anyway. I certainly do because I see regular excursions above 102, albeit for short times.


Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 863476

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 18:00

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 18:00
Just tried to edit my Follow-up above, but it won't let me :-(

The 6R80 Service Manual says a DTC will be stored if the trans temp exceeds 120, so that's an indication. Although there's no indication to the driver.

It may be of interest to note that my old vehicle, a 2007 120 Series Prado, had a Trans Overtemp light which cam on at 150deg on the Scangauge. But I don't know where that was measured. The 6R80 is measured in the pan, I think.


Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 863481

Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 19:07

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 19:07
Frank. I just reread my response and I stated aft instead of aft but I am not worried as others will work it out very quickly.

BTW. Ron you stated in another post about a certain diesel engine that was just plain cheap. Well I owned one of those cheap diesel engines that I did up in 1983. I ran into the owner of the engine which is still being worked and he who told me the only problem he had is, it did a water pump and cost a grand total of $186 plus the cost of the plane that flew in the part. That hurt.

That engine is over 75 years old. it used chrome moly rods, which was the latest technology. I did that engine up with the latest pistons, rings and bearings as technology and design had improved a heap since the engine was first produced. I can still easily buy any part for the same engine.
It was common rail in the sense of the description with no injector pump. You know what engine I am talking about.

What I laughed about was the chain driven oil pump in the Rangers and BT50's. That cheap 75 year old engine has a chain driven oil pump as do the most of the high performance modern 4 stroke motor bikes.

I don't know how that engine survives as it was a cheap thing and not painted yellow.

Just think about all the broken/leaking batteries that you couldn't leave on concrete or they discharged. My oem battery is 3.5 years old and I was have seen that Ford batteries are crap and fail.
The soluble oil that destroyed radiator hoses (people don't even carry them now as a spare). Fan belts that last for eons, engines/ gearboxes and diffs that don't bleed all over the floor.

Engines that don't need oil changes as often because that run cleaner due to the injection system. BTW erg/dpf and scr don't pump rubbish down into the sump, otherwise that oil would not be clean like it is. I should do an oil analysis of mine after 7500k of heavy work, as I said I still have problems seeing where the oil is on the dipstick because of it's clarity as I can see it doing a lot more K's.

Yes there is a problem with dpf/egr and scr but that will be ironed out in the next 5 years.

Many of the heavy end of the market are getting great fuel consumption and really extended oil changes, steer tyres can go over 200000k before needing replacing.

Me I am a believer in new technology. 2 steps foreword and 1 step back.
FollowupID: 863484

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 21:29

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 21:29
"Frank. I just reread my response and I stated aft instead of aft but I am not worried as others will work it out very quickly."
Slow One, I think your autocorrect has got the better of you. "aft" instead of "aft"? But you are correct, I knew what you meant:-)
Just to be clear, I am not looking for an argument and nothing I posted was meant to dismiss your well-made points. Just pointing out what the available manufacturer documentation says.
FWIW, I told the dealer for my previous vehicle, a Prado, about the Trans overheat episode I had, and that I was contemplating a trans cooler. The response was "Toyota designs its Australian vehicles to work to full load in Australian conditions. Toyota does not recommend an after-market transmisson cooler."
Yeah, right. I installed one anyway, test drove the same hill with the same load and did not have the trans overtemp problem.
When the warranty expires on my BT50, I will do the same. Can't do it in the warranty period because it involves removing the trans cooler from the engine coolant circuit and replacing it with air cooling only. Mazda will have warranty conniptions about that.
With the Prado, you could add an air-cooling element to the existing water cooled circuit. Not as much of an engineering change so they weren't concerned.
Mazda have a long way to go towards recognising the needs of the 4WD/Outback touring and towing segment with the BT50. Don't know what Ford is like with the Ranger.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 863498

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 23:15

Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 23:15
The experience with the ZF was related to a xr8 2006 model back in 2010. logbook servicing and in immaculate cond owned by a 55 year old hoon with a gt of the same vintage and a Fairmont of the same era for the wife.
The problem relates to the V8 where there is no solution to bypassing the factory trans cooler but run the risk of having more dramas due to line pressure resulting in computer related drop outs.
At the time it was my belief being old school that and pro maintenance that NO mechanical object is going to last long if does not have a fluid change at some point in its life. Hence I made a couple of calls to the good old Ford dealers around the northside, One of the three recommended that it should e changed at 100-120,000 ks. At $8000 a box me thinks this a good investment. The most expensive part once again was the fluid, as Ron N said you use substitute liquid gold in it..
I also had a issue with Limp Home Mode arriving at the most inconvenient times, like in the middle lane of a freeway or just 20 metres down the road from take off at 30 kmh. Apart from that it was a great car the diagnosis was a TPS sensor at $480 which I might add did NOT fix the problem.
That it why I refer to FORD, it happens to be my worst experience with a modern car and from someone that owned a JEEP for 7 years that is saying something..

Further not long after I made it someone elses problem a came across 3 others that had catastrophic blow ups in later Fg Xr8 autos due to the inadequate cooling/milkshake .
Beware, the current Rangers are not immune to this either, nor a newbie where if the oil is drained you would do in a normal service the electric oil pump designed to lubricate the turbo after shutdown starves and wears leading to potential disintegration which if ongoing ends up in the engine. Big DOLLARS.
So that's tech for you they go better, are safer and if looked after properly might be longer lasting than your latest TV !
FollowupID: 863586

Follow Up By: Geepeem - Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 07:57

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 07:57
My new truck has an Allison 1000 transmission. It is NOT sealed for life. The owners manual gives a service schedule for "normal" operation and "severe" operation. Severe is defined as mainly city driving in hot weather, mainly hilly or mountainous driving, frequent towing, high speed competitive driving or used as taxi, police or delivery. Under severe the transmission fluid needs to be drained and filter replaced every 72,000km. Under normal the transmission fluid requires changing at 156,000km. My use is probably not severe but I will change the transmission fluid/filter at 72,000km regardless.
It makes sense to me to change auto transmission fluids based on type of use. I cannot comprehend how any auto transmission can be sealed for life. It doesn't make sense.
FollowupID: 863596

Follow Up By: Slow one - Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 10:40

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 10:40
The sealed for life is just a figure of speech. They all have refill intervals and warnings about the type of application the vehicle is used for and the fact they have to be serviced much eariler. Mine has the 240000k figure and I have seen others at 250000k.

The allison has come a long way and I was just talking to a mate yesterday afternoon that drives one in an Iveco. He is real chuffed with it.
FollowupID: 863598

Follow Up By: Slow one - Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 10:49

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 10:49
Greg, If it is a PX ranger you are talking about I have to ask where this electric oil pump is. Mine does't have an electric oil pump. It does have a chain driven one.

I agree with you on the fluid change interval being reduced. At what K's will depend on the vehicle application. I will be changing my diff and transfer oils next service because of the application I use it for.
FollowupID: 863600

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 21:59

Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 21:59
Sorry Slow One, my bad. Here's the link

Technical Bulletin

In case you missed our December Extra Bulletin…

Service warning: Mazda BT-50 / Ford Ranger new generation 5cyl diesel models UP0YF1 – When draining the oil, ensure that the total drain time does not exceed 10 minutes.

Field reports indicated that there may be an issue with the variable-flow oil pump fitted to Mazda’s new generation BT-50, 5 cylinder common rail diesel engine.

A new feature in the BT-50’s engine is the variable-flow oil pump that helps maximize fuel efficiency. Rather than the conventional fixed-flow gear drive oil pump, it is accomplished with a chain driven oil pump located in the sump that matches the oil supply to the engine load. The variable-flow pump changes its capacity based on the engine’s demand for oil, by rotating the eccentric outer ring. This prevents wasting energy to pump oil that is not required to maintain engine operation.

These variable-flow pumps are much like power steering pumps, using vane elements in their design with the added ability to control flow rates at varied engine speeds. When the vehicle has the oil drained for an extended amount of time, the oil drains not only from the sump, but internally from the pump assembly. The vane type design appears to be less tolerable to being allowed to drain out and recover from that state thereafter.

Reports to Autodata are that if the engine oil and filter are changed in service and the oil is left to drain longer than 10 minutes, the oil pump may fail to prime and leave the engine in a critical no lubrication situation. Attempts to prime the pump by increasing the rpm fails to solve the problem, and will lead to component failure from lack of lubrication.

Autodata – Handy hints

This info was passed on verbally to me by my nephew who is a mechanic on xmas day . Time and a few beers on the day led to a seniors moment. It only took me three seconds to find it though.

FollowupID: 863759

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 22:11

Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 22:11
Also have a read of this site. There area few laughs to be had in amongst it.

View topic - Oil change warning! Do not drain too long ... › ... › Ford / Mazda › PX Ranger / New BT50
FollowupID: 863760

Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 00:54

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 00:54
Slow one - All you have to remember is yesterdays vehicles were low tech and high tolerance.
Todays vehicles are high tech and low tolerance.
They won't tolerate the variance in operating conditions, or put up with abusive treatment that the old vehicles did.

Old Bosch-type mechanical fuel system injectors have a single orifice that tolerated dirt and carbon buildup - and water in the fuel.
CR injectors have multiple orifices that are extremely fine.
They clog up, and stick, and wear, with carbon from combustion, and with varnish and gums that come from the fuel, which is heated to higher temperatures in CR injectors.
They operate at such high pressures they can suffer from shattering of the highly hardened components if even the tiniest amount of water or dirt gets into the injector.
You need to clean CR injectors very regularly - as little as every 50,000kms.
The clearances in the CR injection systems between the pintle and body are around 2.5 microns - one ten-thousandths of an inch.
Even the tiniest amount of fuel varnish will affect injector performance adversely.

The early diesel bangers suffered from dirty oil rapidly, because they were gutless and everyone drove them flat to the floor, to keep them percolating at highway speed - or to keep up the pace, if you were towing.

The old mechanical fuel systems in the Jap vehicles were controlled by a butterfly valve in the intake manifold - and the variation in intake vacuum was measured by an aneroid (a diaphragm) attached to the fuel pump rack.
Low vacuum from wide open throttle saw the rack permanently slammed to the firewall and kept there.
This led to constant overfuelling - evidenced by the trail of constant black smoke pouring from your exhaust, that everyone behind could see - but you couldn't.
This constant overfuelling saw lots of carbon produced - and half went out the exhaust and the other half went down past the rings - turning your oil black and thick, within 5000kms!

Todays engines produce less smoke and carbon, because computers control the fuel injection more precisely.
However, todays EGR systems are a solution to emissions that we can do without. They are a constant source of trouble with carbon buildup - so no real gain on that front.

There's way too much plastic in todays vehicles. It breaks too easily and it degrades with heat and time.
I hate the stuff being used in radiator tanks and in important switches and engine and transmission solenoids.
Ford auto tranny experts will tell you that you should never run Ford/ZF transmissions at more than 93 deg C (200 deg F) or you will incur problems with plastic solenoids starting to melt.

There is little doubt that modern technology has produced improved engines, transmissions and performance.
Better materials in new types of steels and cast irons, and alloys, have resulted in superior performance and lower wear rates.
Newer oils have substantially improved lubricating abilities, and the newest engines and transmissions would have not been able to be produced without them.

The downside of all the latest technologies is a need for a plethora of sophisticated diagnostic equipment that the older vehicles didn't need.
Then there is the feature that no-one repairs anything any more - they just replace components and panels.
Major damage results in write-offs that would appall the old folks. You send the vehicle to the scrapper and go buy another one.

In terms of value and performance, we are far better off than our grandparents - who forked out huge sums to acquire vehicles that had poor brakes, poor steering, poor handling and crappy seats.
What they enjoyed was the ability to fix their vehicle when it stopped, and to abuse them mercilessly, which the old vehicles would tolerate.

In terms of roads and highways - the old folk would be stunned at what we have today.
This is where the comparison really ends - because we have such superb roads today, vehicles just last longer.
I often wonder how we'd go if we jumped into a time machine and took our current vehicles back to the 60's - and the roads and conditions of that era.
I don't reckon they would do as well as we'd like to think.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 594878

Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 02:16

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 02:16
That's pretty much sums it up
FollowupID: 863419

Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 05:34

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 05:34
Ron, the temp you quoted for the old ford auto boxes is just that old. The Ranger/bt50 6 speed auto runs at over 93c standard day in and day out and that is the norm.

The erg/dpf systems are a pain although mine will never be a problem. One of the new problems is the use of scr and the quality of some of the add blue. It is ok from the main stream suppliers with no problems occurring except if someone accidentally sticks it in their fuel tank, then it is a disaster. I have seen it done once and it was fixed before any problems could occur.

FollowupID: 863422

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 14:12

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 14:12
Slow one - Nope, the maximum oil temperature of 93 deg C for the Ford/ZF auto transmissions is regularly stated and re-stated, on dozens of auto tranny repair websites.

Here's a couple of links. Read the posts on the NewRanger forum by "SuperiorSurveys", particularly the one dated "Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:24 am" ...

New Ranger forum - 6R80 transmission oil change

ETE REMAN - Potential problems with 6R80 transmission

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 863462

Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 14:52

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 14:52
Ron, guess the tranny will cook and blow up shortly. I love forums for all the doom and gloom. To start with the guy in the Pilbara said his fluid was cooked. Maybe oil was and maybe it wasn't as Mercon LV goes black very quickly even when it is not cooked.

I guarantee I can cook the box if I don't operate it the way the manufacturer tells me to. Until then I will just sit back and enjoy a really good transmission.

No chance of the trans temp being below 93c as even on a cold day the thermostat doesn't open much before that. Guess Ford put the wrong thermostat into there cheap box.

Like I said times have a changed and oils have changed to meet them.
How come we are talking about Fords anyway or all the other manufacturers using old school gear.

FollowupID: 863464

Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 13:15

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 13:15
Yes, the Mercon LV goes black quite quickly, which can mask tranny oil problems.
Mercon LV goes black quickly, because the Ford/ZF trannies use a lot of carbon fibre components, as in clutch plates.

As the carbon is released from the clutch plate facings via wear, it rapidly turns the oil black.
In addition, Mercon LV is a very deep red colour, almost dark brown, when new - so it doesn't take a lot to darken it to near black.

Many auto tranny repairers now reckon the "sniff" test is better, rather than the colour test, because of the rapid Mercon discolouration.
With the "sniff" test, you smell for the burnt smell that indicates oxidation and oil breakdown.
The tranny advisor in the link below, reckons a blotter test is better.

Once again, the tranny advisor below, states that 200 deg F (93 deg C) is the ideal operating temperature for an auto tranny, and at 220 deg F (104 deg C) the tranny oil is starting to break down.

Manufacturers care little about how close to the edge your component is operating.
If your tranny runs at 110 deg c constantly, and it burns out, the manufacturer can simply say you overheated it.

They won't tell you that they've only allowed a 10 deg margin in the design, between normal operating temperature - and becoming overheated - and that the overheating is going to rapidly destroy your tranny.

This is what modern designs are all about - low tolerance in design, and operating closer to the edge, than the old non-electronic vehicles ever did.

AA1Car Library - Automatic Transmission Fluid
FollowupID: 863611

Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 12:59

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 12:59
Slow one you can cook the oil in your box following the manufacture/dealers recommendations. I had a Disco 10yrs ago and was told it was fine and within spec to tow up to 2 t in 5th gear. I was towing a pop top van which was the height of the vehicle when down and weighed 1.4 t fully loaded. I left Perth and the gearbox was stuffed before I got to Mt Isa $3,500 out of pocket I only used 5th from 100 kph plus and changed down when approaching inclines or hills. I never towed in 5th with my cruiser I traded in on the disco but was sceptical about the advice given by Landrover who were admit it was completely safe (should have got that in writing) and should have gone with my gut feeling.
FollowupID: 863660

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 14:11

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 14:11
This whole concept of long change intervals is nothing new ...... the factory manuals for many ford and holden vehicles list changing the diff oil only at overhaul ..... and many of those difs had no drain plug.

Having owned many old high mileage vehicles ...... I can tell you if ya dont change the diff oil with some regularity, you will be looking at an overhaul sooner than later ...... but it will be out of the warranty period.

The notion of a oil change in an auto box is another thing all together ...... in traditional auto boxes, only about half of the oil gets changed if its done by just pulling the drain plug or dropping the pan ....... so its a bit of hokus pokus there too. ...... most of the public think they have been getting an oil change in their auto box ...... but they have only been getting half an oil change.

Auto boxes have hopefully changed for the better ...... some of the early auto boxes where famous for shedding friction material in big chunks very early in their lives ..... and most of the early auto boxes required regular adjustments because of the wear on friction materials ....... so a lot of crap ended up in the pan and the filter ........ one hopes that modern auto boxes do not suffer from the problems of 50's american engineering that persisted in many boxes well into the 80's.

It is also probable that auto fluids have come a long way ....... Auto transmission fluids have always been one of the most advanced and finest no bull$#!^ lubricants on the planet ...... I expect the later versions perform better than the early dextron type oils.

It also has to be understood that all specifications and expectations of motor vehicles are, for them operated moderately loaded and on smooth improved surfaces ...... beyond that all bets are off.

All this taken in mind ....... its still stretching the boundries to leave any fluid in a vehicle for 10 years.

Yeh its been mentioned that the manufacturers are lengthening service intervals and the time fluids stay in the vehicle to manipulate cost of ownership and environmental impact figures ....... these long intervals are not designed with the long life of the vehicle in mind.

Anybody who has owned a vehicle from new, and continued to own it past its warranty period and beyond the free service/ flat rate service period will be only too well aware how hard they slug you for the first service out of contract.

They ( the car manufacturers and dealers) have determined that they can do bugger all during the contracted period, then slug the customer hard, for the first service out of contract when they change just about every fluid in the vehicle and a lot of parts that are just about worn out too.

OH and wonder of wonders ..... the second fill of all these fluids runs a shorter period than the first fill that would have been under contract.

OH yeh ...... so much about what is done and how things are spec'ed, has nothing to do with the long life of the vehicle and what is in the customer's interest.

FollowupID: 863666

Follow Up By: Slow one - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 17:39

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 17:39
Bantam I have to ask you which auto box you would have chosen in that era.

I will add 2 boxes to my list, the american valiant torqueflite that could handle big horsepower and was a great box and the much maligned 2 speed gm powerglide as it was another good box.

Sorry but my vehicle service schedule has brake and clutch fluid changes in the warranty period even if it is changed by a third party. No radiator fluid change as radiator inhibitors have improved out of sight. Had some garage jockey tell me me radiator liquid (in another vehicle)wasn't doing the job and had caused damage. It was Afloc 2000 and it had done exactly what it was supposed to do.

FollowupID: 863674

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 18:40

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 18:40
In the period I would have avoided auto boxes like the plague .... ( and I did)..... I never have been a lover of auto boxes and some of those in the 70's and 80's where so bad it was enough to turn anybody off all auto's for good.
In the period I and most of my mates where into 4 cylinders .... and the auto's in those where just awful.

Out of around 16 road vehicles I have owned 3 of them have been autos ...... The 302 Fairmont was an auto..... and it sort of went OK ... but it had plenty of power to deal with the inefficieny of the auto ...... The automatic 1300 Mazda 323 was a slug, inspite of its small engine it never got close to the fuel economy of my 808 waggon ...... The XF longreach was sort of OK but after pulling my 700kg boat and trailer back from the boat ramp ( up hill most of the way) it always smelt a bit hot ..... so much for its 1.5 tonne ( some would claim 2 tonne) towing capacity.
I drove a lot of XE, XF Falcons and the odd EA as taxis in the 90's ...... the variabilty of the drive was conspicuous ....... one in particular went like a shower of $#!^.( ex police car)..... but many would not pull the skin off a rice pudding ..... y'd have to put that down at least in part to maintenence.

My mum had a two speed clutchless manual Honda Civic ....... They went much better than you would think ..... mostly because they where light, had a good power to weight and enough rev range to support the two speed tranny. ...AND it was a manual shift .... that helped a lot... yeh and Honda drive trains where generally pretty solid ..... a mate had a crown wheel out of an early Honda accord that he used to show around ..... it was bigger than the crown wheel in lots of far bigger and more powerfull vehicles and one or two 4wds.

I have driven a couple of late model toyota autos ..... I have to say, I've been impressed .... they will get off the mark and thu the gears faster than you ever could in the manual and if ya keep ya foot in they will rev to redline before they change ....... would I buy one ...... still don't like autos

One thing that has come up of late in the newer vehicle is what I would consider premature clutch failures.
It is common to see RAV4s needing a new clutch in the 120 000 is range ...... possibly for two reasons .... the little 2.4 litre RAV motor makes more power then either the 253 out of the HQ or the 4.1 out of the XF ....... and they are geared pretty high in first ...... if ya wont to get em off the line you need to give em some berries and slip the clutch ....... and that is how the women drive em ...... they are a great car and a lot of fun ...... and lots of the women who have em like to make em go. .... all that on a 4 cylinder clutch.


FollowupID: 863681

Follow Up By: Slow one - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 19:12

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 19:12
i hope you see where i am coming form. You posted about yankee auto boxes and then I asked for you for one that worked for you in that era, I still have't received a real answer.

Have a pretty good remembrance of what was available in that era and that is what I am talking about. You see I don;t want to talk about brand or Toyotas but if you do I can give some very good examples of Toyota failures through the years. I am not on about that or examples except how good the new is against the old and i don't mean 20/30/ 40 years ago.

lets move at least to the last 20 years, that would be a huge advancement.
FollowupID: 863683

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 23:43

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 23:43
Pretty much no auto box worked for me in that era ..... the auto boxes the right up to the late 90s typified all that was bad about american automotive engineering .......clunky, inefficient and requiring constant attention...... the only reason they sold so many auto boxes in Australia behind sixes and V8s was because the manual boxes they where offering where even worse ...... three on the tree manual ... Oh please.
The american derived cars where persisting with crummy three speed manual and auto trannies for decades after the Japanese and European cars where running snappy four and five speed manuals that where a pleasure to drive.
I doubt that it was the transmission manufacturers fault ...... it was the American car company attitude of getting away with the cheapest they could, that dogs the American derived cars to this day ..... an attitude that put inadequate trannies behind many engines. An attitude that sees most of us driving Japanese and european cars today

FollowupID: 863693

Follow Up By: Slow one - Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 08:35

Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 08:35
Now you are on about manual boxes and steering column gear shifts. In case it escapes you the column shifts were there because of the bench seats, you could have 3 people sitting in the front seat. When buckets were fitted that shift could then be located on the transmission hump.

Still no answer on your good auto box from another country and that era.

4 speed auto gearboxes were fitted to many American vehicles from the early 80's. The yanks did most of the development work with autos and though that phase the boxes got better. Even Rolls Royce and Bentley used their autos. Then along came the Japs who copied and reverse engineered other countries achievements, just the same as the Chinese have done now. They then started to improve on the designs. Well they have also sat on their hands a bit and now the Europeans have taken over in the engine and transmission stakes.

All the Jap autos started out as 2 and 3 speed.

Oh please, don't be so selective and at least move to the last 20 years, even better the last 15 years. In other words that would be from around 1995 or 2000, that may get a better picture of what is present and the changes that have and are being made for what is perceived as better or worse

FollowupID: 863704

Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 10:36

Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 10:36
"Still no answer on your good auto box from another country and that era."

You lot do drone on - does it matter.

Move on.
FollowupID: 863711

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:05

Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:05
I dson't think we saw any improvement in auto boxes till those 4 speeds with lock up torque converters came along.

While they may have been around in the 80's in some of the better yank and european vehicles ..... like always Ford and Holden Australia continued with pretty much the same old crappy 3 speeds that had been around since the 50s.

Yeh ..... there where bench seats ..... lots of the jap and british cars had em too ..... but they had 4 speed on the collumn and better shift mechanisms ...... AND they had better clutches with less pedal pressure.

Serioulsy no respect for American car manufacturers ..... and no surprise they are all in trouble.

FollowupID: 863716

Follow Up By: Slow one - Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:31

Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:31
easy don't read it if you don't like it. Bantam has his points and I have mine, seeing I started the thread I guess I have a right to reply and so does the Bantam.
FollowupID: 863720

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 09:17

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 09:17
FWIW I read an engineer writing about oil life and he reckoned it's the additives that fail far earlier than the oil.
Of course oil picks up crud from the combustion process as well but modern filtration is much better than it used to be - if you pay for it.
AnswerID: 594889

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 13:01

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 13:01
Sigmund - Current engine technology puts low exhaust emissions at the top of the engine design list.
As a result, the noxious gases, carbon and other pollutants are kept inside the engine and forced down past the rings.
As a result, the newer oils have to have extra additives added, to neutralise the pollutants.
The biggest single increase in additives has been a big boost in detergent additives, because detergents are needed to cope with the pollutant load.

From 1935, only diesels used detergent oils - from the mid-1990's, even oils for petrol engines have detergents in them, to cope with the added pollutants, from the "low-emission" engines.
Multigrade oils are full of "viscosity improvers" that are long-chain polymers. The discovery of polymers in the late 1940's was a major advance in technology and earned the German chemist Hermann Staudinger the 1953 Nobel Prize for chemistry.

Long-chain polymers have unique "rubbery" properties. In fact, natural rubber and cellulose are polymers. The long-chain polymers used as oil additives have the ability to "uncoil" when cold, and "coil up" when hot.
This effectively makes their viscosity thicken when hot, and thin when cold - thus their use to improve oil lubrication ability - as oil loses its ability to lubricate when it's very cold and thick, or very hot and thin.

These long-chain polymers are very robust and difficult to fully degrade. But what happens with oil is that becomes overloaded with pollutants that have been neutralised - and these chemicals are not useful for lubrication.
Thus, the need for regular oil changes - to remove the neutralised pollutants and to add new oil containing a new dose of additives.

Fine filtration such as the bypass toilet roll filters will remove some of the neutralised pollutants, but not all.
Thus it's important to still occasionally change your oil (although at longer periods) when using fine filtration.

Auto transmissions slowly load up their oil with pollutants from clutch facing particles and fine metal particles from bearing wear - and the oil darkens with heat.
It's an excellent idea to drain and flush auto transmissions as soon as you see the oil developing a darker colour.
With heavy towing, this could be as little as 60,000kms.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 863453

Reply By: swampy - Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 10:06

Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 10:06
If every body is to believe that under normal conditions the Ford trans will do 240,000kms. This is very very unlikely . The oil and transmissions of recent are suppose to be better but not to that extent . Do people believe that the oil will keep particles in suspension for 240k.Just occasionally the oil does not suspend the particles ,there goes the tranny .. This service recommendation is excellent is if the owner is a little naïve. Great trans it still works does it not ..!!
50,000--60,000km oil filter and converter flush
oil additives still break down
Do Ford suggest EGR and or sensor cleaning NO
Do Ford inspect manifolds that fill with oil sludge /carbon NO
Can Ford install diff filler plugs at the correct height NO

Do modern car maker leave other items of there maintenance schedules YES

AnswerID: 594942

Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 13:08

Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 13:08
It always pay to remember these number of things below, as regards "manufacturers recommended maintenance".

1. The "recommended" intervals between servicing and oil changes are "average" conditions.
What constitutes "average" for most manufacturers is a car that runs on sealed roads constantly, and rarely comes into contact with serious amounts of dust or water on the road.
In the fine print of every service schedule is a rider that "servicing should be carried out more frequently in severe conditions".
"Severe" conditions are dirt roads, off-road work, deep water (more than rim depth), high temperatures, and regular, long-distance, high speed operation.

2. Manufacturers compete with each other intensely to advertise long periods between servicing. It's a big selling feature.

Every service costs serious dollars at your average dealer - and dealers love to find more things wrong, that need additional expenditure, when you present your vehicle for servicing.
They all have a multi-million dollar workshop to support, and employees to pay weekly, and they need to keep those big dollars coming in.

As a result of the "extended service interval" competition, services are being extended to limits that are sometimes unsustainable - particularly where operating conditions are less than ideal.

3. Manufacturers don't really care too much if your transmission or engine blows up.
They work on a percentage of them doing so, and they need the parts sales to provide substantial additional profits.
It's only when the number of trannies and engines blowing up starts to become a noticeable number, that they will do something to improve the problem before it impacts on sales.

Tranny and engine failures are constantly listed as "owner neglect or abuse" - the biggest cop-out around - and one that every manufacturer in the world uses as a standard reply to a complaint.
Fortunately, we have the internet and forums today to spread knowledge of recurring problems rapidly, so the manufacturers now have to get more inventive with their excuses.

Todays trannies and engines are more complex than ever, to provide improved performance and efficiency.
They don't tolerate abuse and neglect, like the trannies and engines of the non-electronic era did.
They perform quite well if you find out their weaknesses, and ensure those weaknesses are addressed, or attended to.

A lot of trannies and engines today are designed to use the bare minimum amount of oil.
This is a big saving to manufacturers. If they can arrange to design and construct a new engine or tranny that takes a litre less in oil - that's big dollars over 250,000 vehicles - and the savings goes straight to the bottom line as pure profit.

I see some owners on forums querying if there's any useful benefit in adding a large sump to a tranny or engine (aftermarket cast-aluminium sumps available for the 6R80 transmission hold an additional 2.8 litres).

Aftermarket cast aluminium sump for 6R80 transmission

The simple fact is, that oil is a substantial cooling medium, as well as a lubricating medium.
Adding an aftermarket cast sump (with fins) to a 6R80, not only improves the oil capacity and therefore the oils ability to retain and neutralise contaminants - it also adds a substantial amount of cooling capacity to the transmission - as nearly as good as a remote oil cooler.
This aftermarket product is basically a no-brainer if you are operating in extreme temperatures, carrying a sizeable load, and/or towing a heavy trailer or 'van, on a constant basis.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 863557

Follow Up By: Slow one - Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 18:56

Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 18:56
To start with Swampy why are you on about Ford as this is about old and new. Others have decided to target the ford auto box and I guess you will have to ask Toyota why their boxes are sealed for life and I am not picking on Toyota but they believe that is the figure.

The book states they do not need servicing if used in normal conditions until 240000k. Whether that is correct or not, you and I won't know until that figure is reached. They give complete warnings about adverse conditions and heavy towing for the box diffs and transfer case.

No they don't state servicing of the inlet manifold or sensors the same as other manufacturers. Mine will never suffer from that problem. VW also had a way of removing the problem, god bless them.

Ron, I won't go for a larger sump because of ground clearance and I have seen larger remote cooling header tanks fitted to trucks to reduce heat load, all they did was take longer to heat up and ended up with the same high temperatures. Heat under a vehicle is quite high and I have seen truck diffs that had to have coolers fitted because low profile tyres were fitted causing excessive heat in the diffs.
FollowupID: 863576

Reply By: pop2jocem - Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 12:33

Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 12:33
Maybe what we need to keep in mind is a term that became extremely unpopular when it was first coined.

"planned obsolescence" I think it was a concept first adapted to the auto industry by GM back in the 1930's

How long do you think Ford or any other vehicle manufacturer would keep going if we all kept our vehicles for 10 years and 500,000 k's minimum.

Remember the first object for any manufacturer is to make their product last long enough and require the minimum of maintenence and general running costs for a period of time long enough for customers not to desert them in droves, but not that long that they cost the Earth and last forever.

I get the feeling that some of us oldies don't like the idea that we can't just break out the spanners and with a few simple tools and materialS fix a stopped vehicle on the side of the road.
Personally I now carry a jack and wheel brace, a mobile phone and my membership card for the RAC.

AnswerID: 594962

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 22:34

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 22:34
When I was a young fella, I started out with Fords, then moved onto Mazdas and now into Toyotas.

The difference in the design, durability and general quality of engineering between the major american manufacturers and the japanese and the better european is dramatic.

While Ford persisted for decades to make a door handle that frequently broke and had an oil pump that had barely enough capacity with an inbuilt fault ....... both issues that the aftermarket parts suppliers sorted very smartly ...... other manufacturers ( particularly the japanese) did not seem to have such problems.

The thing that struck me when I first changed from the American car companies to the japanese .... was how well things fitted, and how much easier things where to do ..... and how much less I needed
my hammers.

The difference is this ....... the Americans ( and this is not just cars) what to make the cheapest product that the customer will tolerate ....... The japanese and the europeans on the other hand want to make the best product they can for the price ...... and they sucseed by spending more time in the design phase, this allows then to save money in manufacture and warranty claims. ..... and they have been taking business off the americans for years because of it.


FollowupID: 863636

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 23:10

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 23:10
I think we are now in a situation where the fuel injected petrol motor is very mature and stable ...... the better examples are incridibly reliable, require very little attention and run for a lot of KM.

But it was not always the case ....... when they baught polution gear in in the 70's ..... some of the manufacturers .... Ford and Holden for example suffered badly ..... with some of their engines suffering badly from power and fuel economy loss compared to the previous models. .... other manufacturers ..... like the Japanese did not seem to suffer as badly, because their engines where already more modern, more efficient and the polution gear was not just bolted on as an after thaught.

Diesel in now in that sort of phase ....... the early petrol motors of the 60's and 70's where very simple and pretty reliable ..... but they still required regular service ........ the diesel engines on the other hand where already mature in their form of the time, and where an excelent proposition..... particularly when diesel was 2/3 the price of petrol.
We are now in the situation where the ever stricter polution controlls have been imposed on diesel ....... and the technology is still srtuggling to find its feet ....... it may be argued that the polution expectations have gone a step too far.
Diesel has always been known to have problems with contamination ....... this is why pretty much every diesel engine has a water trap.

I believe the polution problem with diesel is not the engine or its systems ..... but the fuel we run it on ...... and the fuel is the problem ..... it simply has not developed sufficiently to support the expectations of the diesel engine ....... witness to that is the VW immission test cheating scandal .....all the manufacturers are struggling to meet emmissions.

One other issue with common rail is the failure of all the light vehicle manufacturers to fit sufficient fuel filtration systems to their vehicles ...... they are all too keen to blame the fuel companies ...... but there will always be contamination issues with diesel fuel in its current form.
look at modern earth moving equipment and heavy transport will see far more effort in the fuel filtration systems fitted.

We are seeing less problems with common rail than we did a few years ago ..... but I don't think common rail is as mature, stable or reliable as it should be

AnswerID: 595039

Sponsored Links