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Transmission Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's transmission.

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  #1  
Old 04-28-2018
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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Default ZF voltage and hard shifting

The jolting hard shifting was intermittent last summer

Final dump station trip for 2017 to nearby park in October had it slamming into the gears- with a squawk
Of the tires. Not at all bus-like. But it went to hibernation anyway for winter.

Didn’t get the batteries back in till today. Bus has strong 13 volts but
Pink wire to ZF pad labeled 19 showed 9.5 volts. Per the cure of several cases of this tranny
Disease documented on the wog, I plan to bring the good voltage to the ZF pad
with a New wire from nearby positive bus,running through a fused universal relay tripped
By the ignition switch. Should be back to buttery smooth shifts by lunchtime.
***fingers crossed
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Last edited by globetrottin; 04-28-2018 at 09:37 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrottin View Post
The jolting hard shifting was intermittent last summer

Final dump station trip for 2017 to nearby park in October had it slamming into the gears- with a squawk
Of the tires. Not at all bus-like. But it went to hibernation anyway for winter.

Didn’t get the batteries back in till today. Bus has strong 13 volts but
Pink wire to ZF pad labeled 19 showed 9.5 volts. Per the cure of several cases of this tranny
Disease documented on the wog, I plan to bring the good voltage to the ZF pad
with a New wire from nearby positive bus,running through a fused universal relay tripped
By the ignition switch. Should be back to buttery smooth shifts by lunchtime.
***fingers crossed

If I remember correctly the good voltage goes to the TCM not the touch pad. I would have to read the thread to know for sure.
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2018
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kunzelj kunzelj is offline
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When I first test drove my bus the voltage was low and it was very slow to go into reverse.. voltage on the gauge was maybe 11V... alternator was shot.

Shifting on the road was normal though, but it was probably close to shifting into neutral.

Share the result of your upgrade.
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2018
Charlie Fox Charlie Fox is offline
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https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...read.php?t=479

8016 ZF notes Precision Transmission.txt

This doc says that after 1988 they added a relay to fix the low voltage problem.

Curious as to how this turns out. Just became caretaker of a 1989 FC.
Mine did shift a bit hard going up and down. Checked the fluid level, ended up adding 1 gallon of fluid and it's shifting much smoother. But it is still a bit low.
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  #5  
Old 05-09-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Fox View Post
https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...read.php?t=479

8016 ZF notes Precision Transmission.txt

This doc says that after 1988 they added a relay to fix the low voltage problem.

Curious as to how this turns out. Just became caretaker of a 1989 FC.
Mine did shift a bit hard going up and down. Checked the fluid level, ended up adding 1 gallon of fluid and it's shifting much smoother. But it is still a bit low.
Hmm!
Curious about adding a gallon, look in the Bluebox for a small ZF owners manual. There is direction on checking levels, there is a cold and hot running level. You may have overfilled, ZF likes to be within one or two quarts to be happy, there are a total of 8 gallons.

If you have the BB 12 volt relay modification, there should be a Bosch relay installed behind the left side carpeted panel near the floor, easy to find.
There have been several 89 and later without this relay.
Phillips screw hidden in carpet left side 1/2 way top to bottom.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2018
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Sounds like it is a voltage issue, Mark Braggdon posted the ZF procedures for the voltage, when he rewired his on his 87FC, these should be found with a Google site search. I took mine to Colmar PA and had it done along with a servicing. It requires a dedicated 12V lead to the shift module I believe, Colmar cured my issues. As for a proper check of fluid it should be done from underneath the coach on the right side of the transmission, there is a second measuring rod there which is ZF accurate. The top side was installed by BB and it is almost always off.
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2018
Charlie Fox Charlie Fox is offline
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Default zf fluid level

@Bill Pape...Yes sir, I did check the zf book and spent a bunch of time looking over the blog for info. Trans was rebuilt in Texas @Cummins Southern Plains Ltd. 15 years and 15/20k miles back. Took me 4/5 days to check and add fluid because I kept seeing the receipt for the rebuild...$12k in 2003(holy molie!). I was checking levels not running, cold start, running hot and adding 16ozs at a time.
I will admit I was checking with the doghouse dip stick. Right now, at running temp it just touches the min. hot level.

What made me start looking was it would shift harshly up and coming down was sometimes hard downshifts stopping for lights. Checked level hot and running and it barely touched the dipstick. Cold in the morning was barely over cold zone full mark. And as far as dipstick goes...dipsticks with minimum levels, those without...yes there is a lot of info out there, thankfully cause these babies are all different.

This being my first Bird to own, ride in and drive not sure how they drive and having that $12k receipt made me super careful.

Etiquette question...I don't want to hijack thread, I have more zf, Bird questions do I start a new thread with a bunch of questions or a bunch of new specific threads?
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2018
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Yes you can always start your own thread, or there are many old but relevant ZF threads you may continue.

These trannys are heavy duty beasts, I'm am surprised at a rebuild and more surprised at $12K, 15 years ago
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Fox View Post
https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...read.php?t=479

8016 ZF notes Precision Transmission.txt

This doc says that after 1988 they added a relay to fix the low voltage problem.

Curious as to how this turns out. Just became caretaker of a 1989 FC.
Mine did shift a bit hard going up and down. Checked the fluid level, ended up adding 1 gallon of fluid and it's shifting much smoother. But it is still a bit low.


Who was the previous owner?
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2018
Charlie Fox Charlie Fox is offline
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@Shaaksma I purchased CamperDaves Bird. We're tryin' to keep the few Bird's west of the Mississippi, west.

@Bill Pape Exactly heavy duty beasts. I read the invoice and they say the unit was run low on fluid and gotten hot....thrust washers in the pan, heavy metal transfer, accumulator piston slide melted and seized, ruined friction clutches, bearing spun in output housing(I'm writing this as a cautionary tale).....You can imagine the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I checked the fluid and it was low.

@John McGinnis After learning the 1st lesson on Bird ownership...nothing is to be taken for granted till you put eyes on it. Listened to Bill pulled the cover off and yup I don't see any added relays down there I will be checking the voltages. I had already went straight to the source, WOG, read and reread pretty much all I could find. The thread about the ZF black box under the drivers window scared the **** out of me $7k you think that window will ever be left open? Tomorrow is checking voltage and load sensor springs and adjustment.
But I will say it is running great shifting smooth, won't beat anyone across an intersection but once rolling from 30mph and up it holds it own with the cars, I am impressed by this motor and trans combo.
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