automatic boxes

Submitted: Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 16:29
ThreadID: 139075 Views:4750 Replies:14 FollowUps:44
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Hi all

After buying a Disco 3 and now presently it's in the shop having its auto box rebuilt again after having it rebuilt about 80k ago (reputable auto shop in Melbourne). I have been discussing the longevity of modern auto gearboxes that constantly tow, with the mechanic and l'm led to believe it's just the way it is with these ZF autos and yes, it had the metal pan fitted and how it came about was that it started to shudder in 3rd only after l had it serviced- preventative maintenance (don't want to go into how it was serviced, it was serviced properly according the specialist)- all correct oils were used etc etc...

What feedback l am after is whether Toyotas also have the same longevity problem with their autos all things being considered i.e proper servicing and the like.

I previously had a 105 cruiser and wanted a bit more comfort and value for money both of which l have in spades, l really like the disco and planning on keeping it but don't really want to have this expense in another 80k. If l keep it, l will be changing the oil/filter every 40k without fail from now on.....

Please, l am not after a hate Discovery thread and a us vs them brand argument- i like each brand equally as much and being 6'6" and a far more practical interior and comfort for all including third row passengers (the disco suits us more on these points)- l am just after some real life experience with 80, 100 and 200 series cruisers and the reliability/longevity of these cars in regards to their auto gearboxes for towing.

I have always had manuals in the past, this being the first auto and must admit it's a nice way to travel not having to change gears - getting lazy and enjoy having a cuppa whilst on the road.

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Reply By: Member - John - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 16:38

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 16:38
Hi Jack, sorry to hear of your troubles, as you tow a lot, do you have an extra trans cooler and trans temp gauge? The auto may be getting very hot and destroying itself that way. All the info I have read says that heat is what kills autos. Just out of curiosity what cause did the "reputable auto shop" say and any warranty, should have lasted more than 80K? Cheers.
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: mechpete - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 16:45

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 16:45
not unless its factory will ya get that extended warranty
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Follow Up By: jack1971 - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 17:52

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 17:52
Didn't include - bought the car with receipts showing where it was done and went back to the shop to discuss and they are doing it again. It's a shop in Thomastown Vic. Not going into names but they have a very good name/rep. L asked today about a trans cooler and they said no need for these type. Not interested in temp gauges - surely in this day and age one shouldn't need that type of gear? Previous owner was a lovely couple who upgraded to the disco 4 and had spent lots of $$ of TLC on it- no warranty - but wasn't expecting any - that's life with a second hand car.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 21:52

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 21:52
You say you're not interested in a temp gauge.....why not ?
A scan gauge or similar tells you temp and many other things....a great bit of gear for people who said, temp kills autos ( and motors ) and if the temp goes up, you either back off or possibly damage the auto !!
FollowupID: 901877

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:28

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:28
Gronk is correct, any auto running high temp with no cooler is making the engines, reserve of cooling vastly reduced, which means the engine is near to the limit too. When either engine or the auto or both fail, the whole rig stops for some unfathomable reason.
The Scangauge or similar WILL allow some monitoring so wiser driving can be implemented.
If overheating engine or trans, a slower speed with lower gear setting means the engine speed and cooling fan will be higher and therefore passing the fluids to be cooled through the heat exchangers more often in the same time. This means the temps will go down.
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Follow Up By: Karl F - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:34

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:34
I too would highly recommend a big transmission cooler and temp gauge - just Google it there is a lot of info about trans coolers and temp gauges and changing fluids.

I have a Navara D40 auto and destroyed one gearbox and now have a new new and fitted an extra transmission cooler in addition to the factory one, a temp gauge to monitor the temps and change the transmission fluid every 20 000 km.

FollowupID: 901888

Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 12:04

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 12:04
High temp kills manual boxes as well I had 5th gear do a bearing on a TD5 disco which by the manufacturer claims is caable of towing around 2t in 5th. A 40 deg day so lots of heat reflectting back of the road towing a 1.4t pop top, apparently the oil temp is usually 15 deg hotter around that bearing which is normal. So maybe a warning monitor could have saved me $3,500 back then.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 17:23

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 17:23
"What feedback l am after is whether Toyotas also have the same longevity problem with their autos all things being considered i.e proper servicing and the like."

I had a 120 Prado diesel auto, 5 speed, 176000km over 7 years half of it towing our 2300kg van without issue. I did out of schedule fluid changes and fitted a trans cooler and trans fluid temp gauge (Scangauge) after one trans overheat episode early in its life.

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AnswerID: 627723

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 17:30

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 17:30
Jack, the previous advice about heat problems in an auto is very good.

Now I own a little Ranger then has a zf designed box made under licence to Ford. It has performed faultlessly with over 100,000K of towing 2500kg and loaded to 2900kg.

There are a few things I have done to limit the chance of a failure. I have a scan gauge so I monitor the temp the box, an aftermarket fluid to air trans cooler is installed, the fluid is changed every 50,000 K and that has now happened 3 times, each time the fluid has been in good condition with no sign of wear. The fluid degrades quickly the higher the operating temp.

One of the main reasons an auto breaks is the torque converter lets go and metal bits are pumped for through the box.

My advice is to join a landcover forum and see if it is a common problem as I don't know which zf box the Landrover is using. From my experiences as a truck driver, ZF boxes are as good as the rest.
AnswerID: 627724

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 17:38

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 17:38
The same ZF box that Ford uses - the Ranger uses the Ford version of the ZF and the Falcon and Territory used the ZF box.
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Follow Up By: jack1971 - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 18:00

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 18:00
Excuse my ignorance but what do you when temps go up? stop on the side of the road? - the mechanic said no need for a external cooler but will ask again if it can be done to the disco 3.

Did ask about using manual mode and he was of the impression is was a good idea but can't remember if you can hold it in 5th while cruising (that's what l did with our kluger (press the o/d button to turn it off) with a van and also what l did with our cruiser with a van - didn't use 5th gear just kept it in 4th and sit back and wait......... it was a 1hz! - car is at the shop at present.
Ta for the replies..
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Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 21:51

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 21:51
In a D3 the car will tell you in the form of a dash display if the the gearbox is getting too hot and you have no choice but to wait by the side of the road until the car tells you are able to proceed.

The D3 has a good transmission cooler as part of the radiator and most do not add an extra cooler but some have also added and extra one.

On the road you just tow in drive and let the gearbox do its thing. If in tight hilly areas it is better to go to Sport mode as it changes the shift points and hangs on longer in each gear. Don't compare your D3 with the Toyota as far as gearbox usage is concerned - they are different vehicles with different gearboxes and require different management - if you use the LR technique with the Toyota you may cause issues, and if you follow the Toyota technique with the LR you will not get the best out of it.

If there gearbox had failed after 80,000km then I would say it is an "abnormal" occurance or poor repair/maintenance.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 06:01

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 06:01
Jack, there are a couple of ways to reduce temp in the box.

One as you said is to stop, another way is to reduce speed if the vehicle is working hard. On hills make sure the torque converter is locked up and not producing to much heat, this can normally be attained by using manual mode and dropping a gear, the box should drop gears earlier and will maintain those lower gears, it just won't change back up gears, so you will have to manually do that or shift back into drive mode. If you are on mountainous tracks at slow speed use low range, often the engine has heaps of torque in high range to pull up the hills, but the torque converter is slipping and the box is heating.

Best to get plug in temp gauge read the box temp.. They just plug into the obd2 port.

Heavy trucks have all the temps displayed engine, gearbox and diffs because often you have to back off with high ambient temps and heavy loads.

FollowupID: 901881

Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 18:03

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 18:03
Hi Jack,
Like others I am very sorry to hear of the issues you are having with the automatic box. As others have commented I also have a ScanGauge to monitor transmission temperatures in my 200 Series. Absolutely essential I feel! You can select an appropriate gear and throttle level to keep temperatures down when the system is working hard. Also Toyota indicate that you should not drive in overdrive 6th when towing. I select direct drive 4th. This locks the torque converter at 80km/h and above. With this arrangement the transmission temperature never gets above the low 70 degree mark. I have also had simple drain and refills, not flushes, about twice as often as recommended by Toyota. As always my fingers are forever crossed. Trust you get things sorted.
Landcruiser 200 VX Diesel + Tvan Murranji

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AnswerID: 627725

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 19:07

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 19:07
Ta Robert

Not overly fussed about the rebuild, just that it started straight after l had it serviced. The mechanic has been exceptional in his communication and explaining everything to me-he tells me the disco 4's aren't much different/better with towing - he does only European makes not toyota's and the like, hence why l'm trying to find out if the other makes suffer the same issues with long term towing . l didn't pay for the first rebuild but l'm up for about 4500-5k.

The disco's are awesome value for money and l can't justify the cost of an older 100 series or paying so much for a 200 series, looked at few but the resale/toyota tax is outstanding!-l'm still a Toyota guy at heart -you can't beat their reliability over the long term, just that the disco is so darn comfortable and competent but as the disco doesn't do alot of kms-sits in the shed as the second car-holiday car - our corolla/my work van does most of the running around.

l also recently had the radiator removed and cleaned out at the same time just for preventative measures, as the gearbox is cooled by the radiator also.

Such is life! Thanks...
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:14

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:14
A simple drain and refill, as you put it, is only a "part dilution" of contamination and degradation of the auto fluid. Because surface deposits remain and any metallic particles on the magnet will remain in the box with just a drain and refill. Hardly worth it. Like swimming in the non urinating end of the local pool.
Unless a fluid change of all fluid exiting the converter is achieved and caught in a drum and only fresh fluid administered to the auto will there be a significant cost/life benefit. Most places only do what you are having done and charge for a fluid change which it is not.
Pan off and clean, new filter and THEN refill and exit of all fluid is the only sure way to have the best possible outcome.
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Reply By: RMD - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 19:53

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 19:53
Because the problem began straight after the "so called" service, I would immediately suspect the auto fluid despite the reassurances what was used is correct. United to rebuild car and some 4wd autos and nearly everytime such problems arise it was incorrect fluid used. One auto I did had been serviced by the makers dealer, they used fluid which was cheaper/cost effective for them but caused the clutches to slip straight after the service. An auto fluid traveller/seller sold it in my area. Not suitable for autos at all. The mechanic/ dealer has no idea how to check. I find it difficult to believe the mechanic claims an auto cooler is not required in your case. At certain times and atmospheric conditions they are an essential item to have fitted.
If you don't have any temp gauge for auto fluid and tow heavy items like caravans, then you have no idea what temp it runs at at sometimes. Perhaps it would modify your use pattern if you were alerted to above normal temps happening. P.S. A friend has a 105 cruiser and all its life it has towed 3 ton. No auto problems at all, ever. It and a cooler for the auto.
AnswerID: 627727

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 20:12

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 20:12
yep, thought of that - that would be the obvious solution.. Proper oil used -all mechanics agree - "life guard 6" if my memory serves me correct - it's the right stuff.
Still thinking the toyota's make a better box...... but appreciate the replies - there're alot of discos out there can't all be bad - just how it is.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 22:13

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 22:13
To have a problem after 80,000km and now having a rebuild of the same box is NOT "how it is" at all. Almost inexcusable.
There has to be a particular reason or set of conditions which are present to cause the issue, and as you said many Discos are all OK. Unless you saw the correct fluid poured into the transmission you do not know what fluid is in there after the service despite a consensus of mechanics agreeing. The fact the box is now being worked on means no "lifeguard at all" to me.
Many boxes rebuilt in Australia use clutches from a dubious/lower quality than OE overseas supplier of clutch plates, trans shops use them and not OE parts. Many of the ones I rebuilt, the person I did the work for, if possible, bought damaged autos from Japan, most were Japanese origin, and we used the low KM internals instead of the recognized standard rebuild issue done in OZ with maybe sus parts. Never had any problem with the low km, used plates and internals.
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 22:00

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 22:00
Jack, the differences are that Toyota use Aisin-AW transmissions, built in Japan, to specifications that make them suitable for use in every extreme working environment, which includes the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

But the ZF's are designed and built in Europe, for European and British conditions - which are nowhere near as severe as the operating conditions in the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

In addition, there is nowhere in Europe, that these transmissions are subject to the towing loads, that they get in Australia.

Finally, the "sealed for life" transmission is a marketing stunt, which system guarantees a short life for the transmission.

If you want a ZF auto transmission to last, you need to drain and flush the transmission every 60,000kms, when doing regular towing.

And you also need to use the specific ZF transmission fluid, which has additives designed to counter the wear that these transmissions incur.

If you scroll up the following page, you will find the cute term, "technical imperfections", describing the faults and weaknesses of this particular transmission.

ZF 6HP Transmission

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 627728

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 22:07

Monday, Sep 16, 2019 at 22:07
"Finally, the "sealed for life" transmission is a marketing stunt, which system guarantees a short life for the transmission."

No where does LR claim this gearbox is 'sealed for life' - if you look at the service schedule it indicates 240,000km or 10 years (yes far too long) but adds this qualifier.

"The maintenance items listed, are those recommended for vehicles operating under normal driving, road and climatic conditions. More frequent attention may be necessary if the vehicle is subject to stop/start operation, extremes of temperature, dusty conditions, off road driving or frequent towing of trailers. "

Definitely not sealed for life.
FollowupID: 901878

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 01:33

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 01:33
Ozziecruiser, this previous ExplorOz discussion has a number of Disco 3 owners stating they were told the transmission was "sealed for life" - but then LR changed their tune after problems with constant heavy towing started appearing all-too-often, and then advised that as a "service enhancement", the transmission oil needed to be changed regularly.

Disco 3 transmission problems - 2009

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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:04

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:04
I see, dusty conditions mentioned here and at other times as a service issue for "sealed for life" transmissions. Seeing most if not all run the auto before a transfer case, how does "dusty conditions" play any part in the servicing. If the dust can get in then fluid can be pouring out. No part of an auto's system is subjected to dust. They do have a breather filter for expansion reasons. Off road usually is easier on an auto because low range is being used, only hauling through sand will elevate the temp, measures to control temps is easy to fit. Therefore, off road is usually a reduced factor, not an increase.
FollowupID: 901883

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:29

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:29
People may have been told that they are sealed for life - but told by people who have no idea who have probably read it on forums like this.

The service is timing is as I indicated above - taken straight off the service sheet from 2005 so has not changed.
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Follow Up By: jack1971 - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:34

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:34
Thanks for the replies guys - starting to get off topic here l feel.... anything that says sealed for life is a pot of shit, my opinion/old oil never ends well, l'm no mechanic but know too many instances where it hasn't ended well- end of story, it's not the discussion here. l'm just after owners of other brands of autos and their experience with autos and l'm starting to think it's just part of the game with newer autos in general.

Won't be towing anything over 2 tonne with my disco again -period and will probably look around for a troopie/100 series manual once the kids leave home and l don't need the extra 5 seats.

Thanks again, guys!

FollowupID: 901887

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:38

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:38
Go to and ask your question there where there are plenty of people who are familiar with these gearboxes - from experience not the internet.
FollowupID: 901889

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 10:42

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 10:42
Hi Ron
One would think the ZF gearbox’s are a great unit.
I was reading about the 8HP70 it seems they are in the Maserati, Rolls Royce. Iveco Truck just to name few.
They must be good to stand up to the punishment and horsepower of the above vehicles.
FollowupID: 901895

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 11:07

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 11:07
Cruiser 3 - There's nothing basically wrong with most ZF engineering - but the problem is that marketing and sales and vehicle design people interfere with manufacturing engineers recommendations.

All autos have a recommended maximum torque capability, and recommended oil change periods and recommended lubricants.
But sales, marketing and vehicle design engineers then try to extract the maximum from transmissions, by installing transmissions with minimal spare capacity, as regards torque capacity and oil capacity.

Then these sales and marketing people decide they can upgrade GCM's to gain a greater edge in sales.
Then vehicle owners decide they can run those transmissions in operating conditions that the original engineers never considered - extreme dust, deep water, high ambient temperatures, and heavy towing loads over vast distances.

Most Europeans are staggered at the vast distances in Australia. You could go through 10 countries in Europe in the distance we go from one State to another.
Perth to Adelaide is the approximately same distance as Rotterdam to Athens - and you're at highway speed all the way, Perth to Adelaide, unlike Rotterdam to Athens.

Then - ZF issue "licences to build" on their transmissions to other companies such as Ford.
But Ford are notorious for "cheapening" the construction materials and methods in anything they build, as the bean counters rule inside Ford.

Thus, Ford utilise pressings instead of castings, thermoplastic and nylon components instead of aluminium, reduce the number of components to save money, reduce the thickness of materials to save money - it goes on and on.

As a result, performance and life of transmissions then starts to suffer - particularly when the mode of use becomes severe.
The manufacturers don't really care too much if you blow a transmission long before you think it should have gone - it's more money to them, as they then get to sell more transmissions and parts.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 901896

Reply By: Member - neville G (QLD) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:33

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:33
Hi Jack
You have asked for other people,s experience an this is mine
I had an 05 land cruiser auto, after four manual cruisers, my dealer talked me into it. The best thing that I ever did motoring wise, I towed a 3ton plus caravan all over this great country of ours for 300000k,s without any sign of trouble, it was a truly great machine, sold it Jan this year and so far as I know it is still performing well
Cheers, Neville G
AnswerID: 627730

Reply By: pedro the swift - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:52

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 09:52
Cannot comment re Toyota or Disco! My vehicle is a GQ Patrol 1990 358000kms 4.2
Auto box rebuilt at 100000kms due to converter slipping a bit at speed in top. Converter clutch facing upgraded and all new seals installed. External cooler fitted (as recommended by mech.
Auto serviced at about 280000kms. Due again. Has given no problems. Don't do much towing, only trailer sometimes heavy loaded.
Would definitely recommend external or additional cooler. Temp monitior sounds like a good idea too!
AnswerID: 627731

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 10:34

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 10:34
Torque converter slippage is governed by the design of the torque converter vanes, and the speed that the torque converter operates at.

In the old days, torque converter specifications were supplied with a "stall ratio" number.
This is the maximum amount of torque a torque converter can produce when stalled - because torque converters multiply torque.
You rarely see "stall ratio" mentioned today, it seems it's no longer an important number, as it once was.

You can have "sloppy" torque converters with a high stall ratio, where there's a substantial amount of slippage, with a vastly-increased amount of torque output - as compared to "stiff" torque converters with low stall ratios, where slippage is minimised, and torque multiplication is reduced.
"Sloppy" torque converters will produce more heat because of their increased amount of slippage.

It's all to do with turbine and stator vane angles and shape, and the amount of oil recirculation within the torque converter.
Most vehicles today have relatively "stiff" torque converters to try and reduce slippage and heat buildup.

But - the operating speed of the torque converter is also important, as regards slippage.
As the RPM of a torque converter increases, slippage is substantially reduced - until, at maximum RPM, slippage is relatively minimal.
As the RPM of a torque converter is reduced, slippage increases, torque output increases - and heat buildup increases.

As most people tend to try to keep engine RPM's lower to improve fuel economy, they are generally operating their torque converters at a higher rate of slippage, than they would be, if the engine RPM's were much higher.

This is where lock-up torque converters come into their own. When towing at highway speeds, lock-up TC's eliminate slippage completely, and thus reduce heat buildup.
But accordingly, a locked up TC when towing at highway speed, places more strain on the motor - so this is the reason that the TC unlocks, once the towing load on the motor becomes much higher, as in climbing long steady grades.

Steep grades make it fairly obvious, that there's a need to unlock the TC or change back - but long steady grades, where the slope doesn't seem all that great, impose considerable load on engines and drivetrains, because the load increase is subtle, but very steady, and leads to rapidly-increasing heat load on the engine and transmission.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 901893

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 11:29

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 11:29
Wow, ok. Hence why no overdrive/keep it in 4th gear with a manual. Was just watching a you tube video on explaining manual gearboxes in 100-105 series, showing the size of the 5th gear and why they fail and why the turbo box is much stronger. my 105 manual was ok but l just left it in 4 th all the time whilst towing 2.5.tonne of caravan and put a brick on the pedal - ha ha.
Again thanks..
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Follow Up By: jack1971 - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 11:38

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 11:38
Those Patrols seem like a mighty fine thing - a mate has a GU/GQ? the newer shape with a 4.2. non turbo and he can't kill it - definitely stronger in the driveline from what l've heard.
For the extra effort of pressing an extra pedal a manual will be my next choice - you just get lazy when you have an auto - the disco is a fine 4wd, just alot more things that can go wrong-will miss if l end up selling it. My wife likes driving it rather than having to drive the tractor as she called the cruiser - it was compared to the disco.
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Follow Up By: pedro the swift - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 17:34

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 17:34
Read and understood,Ron. Great info!. what mine was doing was slipping out of lockup in top gear even on a level road at 100-110kkm/hr. Just a quick rev up and the back to normal. Mech. said at lockup there is a clutch faceing on the converter which does the lockup and this can wear over time causing it to slip. This was replaced with a wider facing to spread wear load. Have had no further problems.
FollowupID: 901903

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 21:31

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 21:31
Pedro the swift
The lock up clutch facings cannot be replaced in a sealed torque converter. They are all made and welded together during manufacture. Usually, most times, nearly always, the torque converter is simply replaced with a new one. Only by setting it in a lathe and cutting the unit open at the seam can ANY work be done to repair a torque converter. There is no way to easily replace any internal part of a torque converter. Unless they did the above, bigger lockup clutch plates could not have been fitted. Be aware slipping of the torque converter is not the same as slipping of the lockup clutch OR slipping of the autos normal gear train clutches. 3 different concepts there.
FollowupID: 901912

Follow Up By: pedro the swift - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 23:23

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 23:23
Apparently cutting the torque converter open is exactly what was done. The mech. doing the work explained it to me.
FollowupID: 901914

Reply By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 12:38

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 12:38
Take it to another shop or drive the car differently.
The ZF6hp and the ford equivalent 6r80 are behind a monstrous amount of commercial (rangers/F150's/transits) and high powered vehicles worldwide (aston/bmw/jag/rolls/bently/audi/range rover/landrover/mustang/falcon etc etc etc), and are in demand in drag cars because they are programmable and rebuildable. People who lock them in high gears to tow kill them quick, and people who tow in 4wd country slowly in high range kill them - they like low range early, like all boxes with transfer cases, they don't lock the torque converter in the lower gears. It is nice that we have the ability to lock high gears - can't do that with Aisin boxes which hunt all day long (no offence, just my experience with them), hence the aftermarket availability of torque converter locks for aisin boxes and none for ZF's. They are actually a great box to tow with, especially in sport manual mode, but like anything, if not given a degree of mechanical sympathy they will fail.
The Ford 6r80 box is actually the heavier duty box, with bigger input shafts and is standard rated to 800nm rather than the ZF's 600nm, but both can be built to take much more than that quite reasonably. Find a local performance shop gearbox shop and they will know all about it. The aussies are actually the ones pioneering extreme upgrades for these boxes because they are running 800-1100 hp in their ford drag cars with these auto boxes - different to what we do, but the trickle down of knowledge will help no doubt.
For the record I am at 160k km in the Ranger auto with one oil change and a lead frame assembly under warranty which was a batch issue. Very happy with it.
AnswerID: 627737

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 12:52

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 12:52
Thanks for that - i will be asking the mechanic a few more questions when l pick it up later this week - rather keep than sell it, just want to know how to treat it when towing with it and not continually be worrying about it when it next shudders.... The previous owner did all the kms towing until l had it serviced.
FollowupID: 901901

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 17:45

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 17:45
And everyone one on here has advised you how to tow with a Toyota gearbox not a D3 ZF.

Learn how to drive the ZF not the Toyota box - as I suggested go to AULRO and ask and learn on there.
FollowupID: 901904

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 19:29

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 19:29
OzzieCruiser - Would that be the AULRO section of the forum, where they have a 60 page discussion on the ins and outs, faults and foibles, woe stories and glee stories - all on the Disco 3 & 4 auto transmission?? [;-)

Disco 3 & 4 transmission - AULRO

FollowupID: 901907

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 19:46

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 19:46
Wow. If that’s the brains trust, god help you all. I hope by page 60 they worked out that the Ford boxes run different tranny oil to the zf’s.
FollowupID: 901908

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 20:20

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 20:20
This discussion is getting heated a bit like my poor old box did.............

It's all good that LR forum, l just wanted to know how other brands of autos faired with towing. I know Landys are far from perfect and neither is anything in life, l'll ask the shop what habits to get into, to help the box tow a bit easier and go from there.

Again thanks for all your replies..
FollowupID: 901910

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 20:50

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 20:50
Yes Ron that is correct but of course you have only picked one line of discussion when there is heaps more threads based on nearly 15 years of experience and changing experiences - at least Jack will learn the pros and cons and how to use the vehicle from people's personal experiences rather than arm chair warriors with Mr Google forming their experience base.
FollowupID: 901911

Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 09:18

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 09:18
AFAIK ZF Australia rebuilds these boxes with a good warranty.

Why have an automatic shop repair the box when the manufacturer will supply a rebuilt box which you can be sure will have the right components in it.

They might be a bit more expensive but there is a reason for that.

AnswerID: 627744

Follow Up By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 09:23

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 09:23
From ZF web page
Resource-conserving remanufacturing of used ZF units such as clutches, torque converters or transmissions. Assembly and testing processes as in volume production.
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Follow Up By: jack1971 - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 19:42

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 19:42
ta for that - they are based in nsw (if that's the same one your're thinking of) - bit far to take a car and/or gearbox. Had a chat to them just for curiosity sake in regards to towing with them - they just said to check your owners manual as each application of each gearbox is different and has different demands depending on what car it's in -blah blah blah - they are right but no definitive answer though but l guess they can't say anything that would bite them in the bum - so to speak...

Already read the owners manual when l bought the car.

I haven't towed anything heavy with the car except for a camper trailer 1.3 tonne to qld and our old caravan- 2Tonne for a bout 50 kms before we sold it just to get an idea what it was like to tow with compared to our old 105 cruiser (with air bags at rear)- night and day! Handling was noticeably better. Nice not to have to put on the WDH either with the air bag suspension which is an awesome bit of kit.
FollowupID: 901929

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 21:36

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 21:36
The place to rebuilt ZF gearboxes in Melbourne is A & B Automotive Remanufacturing Pty Ltd in Dandenong. I believe they are the authorised ZF service agents in Melbourne but you will need to confirm that.

They are familiar with the D3.
FollowupID: 901935

Reply By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 20:44

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 20:44
I had a 2005 D3 and did 275000km and with the metal base plate fitted at 80000km had regular 40000km services at specialist auto centre. Yes the box was not changing properly at 80000km but after that perfect. I towed a 2000kg camper for 175000 km of the life and no issues at all. Always used sports mode when towing.
Sorry to here yours is broken.
Mark And Helen QLD
Living the Dream

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Follow Up By: jack1971 - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 21:00

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 21:00
Perfect Mark, thanks for that.
Don't have it now? looking at the photo - how did you find the disco overall. It's a mixed bag with me -don't know what l'd replace it with - dollar for value wise. Such a nice/quiet ride but here in Ballarat nobody wants to touch it (auto /radiator clean out)- have a good indie that did the work that only does LR but if he is unable to fix them - not sure - no way l'm going to a dealer, which there is one now in Ballarat.
FollowupID: 901933

Follow Up By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 21:14

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 at 21:14
Disco was best car I ever drove, except when things went wrong. My problem was I blew the water housing on top of the motor and overheated the motor. To cut a long story short it was my fault and then it used water but we could only work out it was burning it through a cracked head. I traded and now have a Ford Everest. Not quite as good but tows beautifully. My wife says if I didn’t break the D3 we would still have it now.
Mark And Helen QLD
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Reply By: swampy - Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 09:33

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 09:33
Heavy duty high hp transmissions in different brands of cars canbe very different.
One OEM builds differently to another OEM !!
Drag racing boxes canbe 100% custom made . Irrelevant

Remember car companies can specify the lowest spec trans from supplier .
Its all about bottom line .$$$$$

When all else fails fit a GMTH 400 . Will handle 400hp easily . Goes into motor homes etc . Modern units are 4L80E or 6L80E .
Down side of modern heavy duty trans is size and weight .
The above trans donot fit mid size or smaller vehicles .

A stock th400 will do 300,000kms easily . Quality of some modern trannys is pathetic by comparison .
AnswerID: 627750

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 10:41

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 10:41
Mentioned this to the mechanic about the old school autos that you mentioned and he totally agreed. Might have to go back to the old kingswoods/valiants v8's.... l did mention/show a suburban with a 454 auto to the better half and no reply - at all............
Classic reg-sits in the shed except for trips away, 4 x 4, drinks like a fish - who cares if the reliability is there. Any bloke is happy to work on them.

Might just roll up with one and face the music.

Thanks Swampy - l have been looking at older 4 x 4's

Going completely off topic - have you seen a company called ICON (derelict/toyo old 4wd's)- a yank making some magnificent cars.
If money were no object..
FollowupID: 901943

Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 20:05

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 20:05
Good relative info there. Most people have never dismantled and repaired autos and only go on mechanics viewpoints. Most mechanics have never pulled one apart either and don't know how they work and usually only go on hearsay unfortunately.. Many here quote what the mechanic says or backs but many mechanics are not knowledgeable enough to be advising their customers, who HAVE to believe them because they are the perceived experts.

I like you comment about the building of trans to suit$$$$$$.
A Holden traumatic looked the same outside but had different internals to suit the budget and the engine power.
The only reason the posters auto began to suddenly slip/ shudder is, it was filled with the wrong fluid. The transmission didn't suddenly alter, all after a service. Very common occurrence.
FollowupID: 901953

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 20:47

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 20:47
I can only go by the invoice and the rep of the mechanic, which he has a very good rep here in town. In the end, l have a reco'd box but yes the wrong fluid seems to be the only reason for it - no one can give me a definitive reason for it (what a suprise) but it does and has happened before to other cars with similar boxes. That;s life, no point harbouring on about it. No one will ever know why........

Manual box is next and l can do the service myself-easy.

FollowupID: 901954

Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 23:02

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 23:02
Putting it simply,
If the auto is/was working correctly before the service and not afterwards then the fluid is a suspect. Of course they will diagnose a rebuild, which may or may not be needed. However, IF they decided then and there to drain and flush out the serviced fluid and allowed you to drive it carefully WITH the correct fluid in there and possibly even flush that out fully and refill again with correct fluid, it may have restored the performance to the same as when took it there. You were not given the opportunity of that option. Yes a few litres of fluid, but quite a bit cheaper than a rebuild/changeover unit. Maybe the box might have to be replaced down the track, any box might have to, even a rebuilt one. I always think of saving a dollar while retaining reliability. You accepted the course of action, possibly many would robustly discuss the sudden change of the auto to achieve a more positive outcome.
FollowupID: 901957

Reply By: Member - DOZER - Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 10:11

Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 10:11
I havnt read the other replies, but here goes, ive owned many landcruisers, and none of them have had automatic transmission problems. Some were turbo petrols, some boosted 200 series cruisers, but to be honest, i dont tow too much, 2.5 tonnes 10kms each week is different to 3.5 tonnes up the great devide....the ZF boxes were never reliable in any of the cars my kids owned, BMW, Rover etc....
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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AnswerID: 627765

Reply By: Member - DOZER - Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 10:14

Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 10:14
Install an extra cooler if you havnt already. Change the oil as you suggested, by having the box serviced, dont worry too much about flushing it, more preventitive maintenance makes them last longer..
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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AnswerID: 627766

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 11:15

Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 11:15
thanks dozer! precisely the info l was after.......

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