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Toughguyhuh

E39 5HP19 transmission faults

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I'm after a bit of advice regarding troubleshooting the limp mode issue in my E39 with 99k miles. I bought it cheap as a project car, knowing there was a fault and since it's not my daily driver I'm not under any pressure to sink a lot of cash into getting it back on the road.

 

The codes it's giving are:

31 - EGS Sympton, gear monitoring

36 - EGS Gear monitoring 4 (P0734)

 

I have already dropped the sump and given it a new filter, gasket and oil. The oil that came out looked nice and clean and the magnets didn't have much in the way of shavings. I'm fairly certain hasn't been changed previously, since I have all the service records from new and there's no mention plus a couple of the sump bolts were properly corroded and seized.

 

I tested the solenoids in INPA and they all seem OK, but anyway these are deactivated when in limp mode and out of limp mode it goes into every gear. I also dismantled and cleaned out the selector switch to eliminate that.  The gearbox temp when I've had a run in the car gets to 97 and holds, which I believe is normal. Reading around suggests an issue with the manual selector valve as it's relating to 4th gear which seems to be where the problem becomes apparent. There's a distinct slip when changing into 4th, either up or down. You can turn off the car, turn it back on and the fault indicator goes out, but when I reset the error memory I can readily recreate the same fault code after some driving. After a particularly long test drive this morning, I had some issues going from P to R, first time that's happens - it was a really rough change. Does this sound pressure related?

 

So my next step will be to open the box up again - but that's where I need some pointers based on above. Where to start looking?

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The solenoids can be electrically okay but still not working properly because the rubber seals on them dry out and leak. Sometimes they have screens on them that get dirty. You could consider replacing those, other than that the only thing I'd consider is having the valve body rebuilt (if you pull it out of the car yourself you can probably save some money). That's about all you can do without pulling the trans out of the car.

 

Valvebody can be DIY rebuilt but it's not for the faint of heart and is probably something I'd leave to a transmission specialist that has an eye for typical issues, knows what feels worn out and what doesn't etc.

 

https://www.e46fanatics.com/threads/project-zf-5hp19-transmission-valve-body.928257/

 

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Thanks Carlton, I already took the valve body out on Friday and have ordered a pressure regulator valve repair kit from TransGo. Hopefully that will take care of it. I had already read the forum post you linked and also found a 50sKid video on YouTube, where he carried out the same repair. There's no visible damage to any of the parts but as you say, without anything really obvious to find, only a specialist would know what's good and what's not. If anyone is interested, the kit is TransGo 5HP-19-PR.

 

Just a shame I couldn't find the kit in UK so it's coming from US - no idea when it will arrive. BTW a new valve body is around £1.6k but there are used ones out there (not refurbished) around £150 so I'm not giving up even if theTransGo kit doesn't resolve it.

 

I'm going to price up replacement solenoids too, in case that's not the issue. I'll take them out and check them for any physical faults, guess it can't hurt.

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I’ve got a full 5hp19 here from a 530i sport 116k don’t know any history if it’s had oil swapped out or not, but I broke the car due to head gasket popped but box was great and have had it as a spare for 4 years in garage for my own 530i, I’d sell it for the same price as the valve body £150 if interested?

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48 minutes ago, e34m525i said:

I’ve got a full 5hp19 here from a 530i sport 116k don’t know any history if it’s had oil swapped out or not, but I broke the car due to head gasket popped but box was great and have had it as a spare for 4 years in garage for my own 530i, I’d sell it for the same price as the valve body £150 if interested?

 

That's good to know, thanks for the offer! I'll keep it in mind - presumably if it's been there for 4 years you don't mind waiting a few months until I know it's needed.

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No mate lol, it’s been here that long it’s a garage ornament now lol also got 2 zf5hp24 spares for my 540i that actually has a dead box on it now, just haven’t got round to doing the swap, bought one box off eBay and was told it was good and the second come up off someone I know and could be assured it was a very good box so rather than take my chances on the eBay one bought that but then have the 2nd incase that ever shits it’s self lmao!

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So just a quick update on where I am with this.

 

I took out the valve body again, this time I removed all 7 solenoids, tested each with 12v and gave them a cleaning with brake cleaner. They were all very clean anyway and clicking happily and I could see the pistons moving, so I'm assuming they're OK. The seals looked fine too.

 

When I put everything back in and refilled the trans fluid, I noticed it took another 3/4 of a litre than previously. Hmmm, I thought. Maybe it was actually low on fluid? The temp held steady so it wasn't overheating.

 

But no, once back on the road for a test, it came back with Gear monitoring 4 & 5 (P0734 and P0735). There was a whirring sound at one point when I was manually shifting from 3 to 4 and 5 and it felt like a clutch slipping, but that only happened once. After turning the engine off and on, the trans cleared the limp mode and drove fine until it was time for 4th and 5th gears, where it borked again.

 

So perhaps it's one or more clutch packs slipping? I got a quote of £300 to refurb the torque converter but I'm not convinced that's causing the problem and I haven't had a P0741 code in all this time.

 

I'm now going to drop the transmission, take it apart and see what I can see.

 

@e34m525i I may still pm you about your spare box...

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On 11/03/2021 at 13:20, Toughguyhuh said:

So just a quick update on where I am with this.

 

I took out the valve body again, this time I removed all 7 solenoids, tested each with 12v and gave them a cleaning with brake cleaner. They were all very clean anyway and clicking happily and I could see the pistons moving, so I'm assuming they're OK. The seals looked fine too.

 

When I put everything back in and refilled the trans fluid, I noticed it took another 3/4 of a litre than previously. Hmmm, I thought. Maybe it was actually low on fluid? The temp held steady so it wasn't overheating.

 

But no, once back on the road for a test, it came back with Gear monitoring 4 & 5 (P0734 and P0735). There was a whirring sound at one point when I was manually shifting from 3 to 4 and 5 and it felt like a clutch slipping, but that only happened once. After turning the engine off and on, the trans cleared the limp mode and drove fine until it was time for 4th and 5th gears, where it borked again.

 

So perhaps it's one or more clutch packs slipping? I got a quote of £300 to refurb the torque converter but I'm not convinced that's causing the problem and I haven't had a P0741 code in all this time.

 

I'm now going to drop the transmission, take it apart and see what I can see.

 

@e34m525i I may still pm you about your spare box...

No probs mate it’s here if needed

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I finally got the transmission out of the car and onto the bench this morning. I had to leave it over the weekend with a liberal quantity of WD40 soaking into the starter dowel as the bell housing was properly stuck on it. After some bashing with a long extension and levering with a crow bar it came free. I'm going to start taking it apart but before I do, I want to make sure I have all the bits I need.

 

I've been looking at the overhaul kits out there and would like to use a ZF kit but I'm really struggling to find a kit that doesn't come from either US, Poland or China.

 

From Poland is around £310 with a question mark about VAT/additional fees. US is cheaper but will take longer to come in.

 

Does anyone know where I can source ZF parts in this country?

 

PNs are 1060 298 023 01 (friction rings kit) and 1060 298 030 01 (overhaul kit)

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I was lucky for my 5hp24 got a full set of new frictions and a full zf rebuild kit with all the seals for less than £50 on eBay! 
 

Worth hunting for they come up cheap sometimes, still haven’t used mine tho, and have 2 replacement boxes, and the one on the car still remains dead, the joys of having 3 e39s, this one remains bottom of list unfortunately!

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Thanks, I'll try Dartford. I got a price from Sussex Autos of around £305 plus VAT.

 

£50 would be nice though!

 

I did stumble across this Chinese seal kit on Amazon for £9.40 incredibly. But I'm pretty sure I want ZF parts.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07Z8YXGDH/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A3E84QPEDD6C7T&psc=1

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Well I just bought the Amazon kit for £8.74 delivered. My thinking is that it gives me some spares in case I need them, for almost no money.

There's still one left if anyone else wants it...

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Yes I've seen that video thanks, and will see if I can identify the wear as he does, but it wasn't only happening when warm so I'm going to replace all the seals with an overhaul kit and new friction rings as I'm hoping that it's these which have worn enough to cause the slipping.

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I’ve had a look at the F clutch drum and checked for wear on the sleeve but it looks good, no gap from the lip of the drum to the edge of the sleeve, so not the issue that Gary Ferraro shows in his videos.

 

But the clutch pack sits with a big gap inside the lock ring, about 4mm, which makes me think that the friction rings are quite worn. The rest of the clutch packs also have a gap but not quite as much as the F clutch.

 

I’m now waiting for the overhaul kit and friction rings to arrive but I’m pretty happy I actually found something rather than still not knowing the cause of the slipping.

2B7FAA95-DFB8-474A-BCB7-795E5C921347.jpeg

0B3316A5-5CA0-459B-9B18-63BC17E9908D.jpeg

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Hi, you can easily remove the snap ring that holds the clutch pack and inspect it, gear monitoring usually means bad clutches or worn bushes. I am not too familiar with 5HP but I uprated/upgraded my 6hp26 gearbox. See the gap you have there that is excessive(due to wear and tear) OEM clutches shouldn't cost too much for this gearbox. Some overhaul kits come with clutches and/or steels. If you measure the thickness of the steels(some clutch packs have different thickness clutches at different places, a pen and a paper would be handy) you might be able to save some money on the steels as they don't wear out as the clutch packs. You have to have an up-to-date bushing kit installed. Look upon Garry's videos, he will explain and show how it's done. An overhaul kit would be the best option as it comes with the necessary parts like o-rings and gaskets. There might be specific parts that need to be changed, but once you do a lot of searching online it's all there. Also, worn clutches/bushes could be caused by a leaking mechatronics unit.... there should be an overhaul zip kit for it. 

You can look up specific gearbox symptoms on the  Sonnax web page, it will also suggest a possible cause for certain issues. 

 

Enjoy

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The overhaul kit finally arrived from the US.

I had to pay £9 customs charge and around £30 VAT plus Parcelfarce added a handling fee but all-in it came to around £230. That's about £140 less than the best price I got in UK which was £368 delivered, so I guess a 3 week wait from Remco US isn't unreasonable.

 

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I suddenly have a lot of work after many months of nothing at all, so it's going to be some time before I get the overhaul done but I'll tackle it piece by piece as I get time. I still have to get the studs out of the exhaust manifold before I can fit everything back together...

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Do you know the history of the transmission, ie has someone opened it up, and messed with it before you got the car. For instance, you could be looking at 4 clutch bands, when there should be five, if there is a big gap in the clutch pack.

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I don't know the history, unless I trust the file of receipts for previous work - where there is no record of any transmission work being carried out. Also, when I first replaced the trans oil it looked as if the pan bolts had never been removed, no evidence that anyone had been in there, so I'm working on the fact that the transmission was untouched from new. The correct number of clutch rings are present and correct, I guess they must be worn but I don't have any measurements to work from so it's just assumption at the moment.

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Thought I'd give a short update on where I am. I finally received the overhaul kit from US, in fact they shipped me the wrong kit so it's just as well I bought the cheap o-ring kit too. Fortunately the friction ring kit was correct.

 

Once I had the trans disassembled I went about methodically replacing everything that needed replacing and when it came to the E clutch pack, well let's just say I think I found the cause of the faults. Basically the friction rings were reduced to shiny metal discs, there was no friction material at all on most of them. I'm frankly surprised that there wasn't more gunk on the magnets and in the pan but I guess most of the bits were stuck in the old oil filter.

 

So I've now got the trans back together and will be fitting it in the coming weeks. I'll be very surprised if the fault is still present after seeing those E clutch discs! In case it's not clear, new discs on the right, old discs on the left.

 

IMG_4073.jpg

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Given the friction rings have been reduced to shinny metal with only 99k, could there be a fault elsewhere in the transmission, such as insufficient hydraulic  pressure.

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Apparently the E clutch is usually the first to wear out since it’s the smallest set of rings taking pressure. All the other sets looked fine and still had plenty of meat on them.

 

It’s possible the fluid level was low for a long period of time before I got the car, which would certainly have been a factor.

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