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Thread: ZF 6spd transmission oil cooler bypass kit

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default ZF 6spd transmission oil cooler bypass kit

    I've just been alerted to a potential problem with the 6psd heat exchangers that are mounted on the block in the Territory's and Falcons. In the BA/SX the transmission had cooling lines into the radiator which ruptured stuffing up the gearboxes. In the SY/BF the transmission cooling lines did not go to the radiator but to a separate heat exchanger on the side of the block where coolant was piped to the exchanger. I imagine this was in an effort to stop the corrosion problem that happened with the radiator systems and it would have worked except for the fact that they corrode and do exactly the same as the earlier radiator cooling lines. So my thoughts are to fit an air/oil cooling system in front of the radiator and totally bypass the ticking time bomb which is the transmission heat exchanger.

    I'm looking at this kit.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ford-Terr...-/140456176226

    Now I do know that the ZF is very sensitive to line pressure variation and if it outside certain parameters the ECU will put it into limp home mode. My question is, has anyone fitted a full bypass cooler to the ZF and if so how did it go? Was it the system above?

    Am interested to hear from anyone regarding this issue, as it is just a matter of time before my blows and destroys my gearbox. If I fit the bypass I've totally fixed the issue. If it messes with the ZF's head I'm in trouble as well. At the end of the day though I DO NOT want water in my ZF.

    Thoughts?????

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ZF 6spd transmission oil cooler bypass kit

    Fitted the kit and got the ZF serviced at the same time. It has 135000km on the clock and according to the mechanic, the oil looked new with no metal shavings on the magnet. So I'm pleased at the shape of my gearbox and expect to get many more miles out of it. Got the metal pan kit fitted too so that the next service will be around $300 cheaper. The transmission cooler had no ill effects and I think it is a myth that you can't put an external cooler on a ZF. Just make sure to fill the box up to the correct level using the correct procedure after installing the cooler kit. I now have no chance of coolant in the ZF and I'm more than happy. The gearbox will never get hot now, as it's cooling is totally separate to the engine.

    With a ZF, ANY coolant in the gearbox IS FATAL. The TCM is integral with the mechatronics module in the sump of the box. Coolant in there destroys the mechatronics module which I was quoted $5500 for plus installation and mechanical repair costs if it got water in it. BF and FG Falcons with the ZF have this design flaw with the normal Ford heat exchangers. This is fine when the car is in warranty, but once the warranty runs out, this scenario is a very costly one to fix. A transmission cooler like I've installed is a 100% guarantee to never have water in the box ever. (Unless you cross a flooded creek and stall or something - but you'd have water in the cab anyway and may be floating away and the state of your gearbox would be your least concern.)

    Just thought others should be aware of this issue as Ford are not interested in fixing the design fault.

    Also, don't believe the "sealed for life" message Ford push with the ZF. It is misleading. "Life" is defined as the life of the warranty period (100000km) which is the advertised life of the "Lifeguard Fluid" used in the ZF box. After that if you don't change the fluid expect issues eventually. Even BMW which use this same box don't push the sealed for life thing anymore.
    Last edited by TMC; 20-11-2011 at 07:01 PM.

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