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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,


I am new to the forum, so first of all I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed so much to make this forum such a valuable resource.

I've had a 03 4.4L L322 (ZF5HP24) since the start of the year, and have been gradually working through some needed maintenance.
I have suspected that the lockup clutch was starting to fail in the torque converter since buying the car - symptons included small fluctuation of revs combined with obvious droning/shudering when driving around town up hills etc. with constant throttle input.

Recently I was towing and after a few hills had the transmission go into the over-temperature mode, holding gears for longer etc. Transmission overheat warning came on also. I've tested my radiator as per the LR technical bulletin and it appears to be OK, So I decided that it would be a good time to remove the gearbox, replace the torque converter, oil cooler, and replace all the fluid.

Everything went fairly smoothly with the gearbox removal and replacement. Plenty of info on this site and others helped considerably. After everything was back together I refilled the gearbox as per the LR instructions, and using an IID tool to monitor the gearbox oil temperature. The torque converter, oil cooler, and oil cooler lines were all empty. Judging by the amount left in a 20L Drum, I think I've used around 15L, this includes wasting a little and draining a little out when I rechecked the oil level.

After finishing the job, I now have an obvious knocking noise coming from the torque converter area. I have driven the car a short way and the gearbox seems to be working fine. Changes gears etc. No obvious problems.

I've taken a video showing the torque converter noise, and I've since ran the engine briefly with the torque converter unbolted. (I wanted to determine for sure the noise wasn't from the engine) Skip to 1:20 on the video to hear the noise best after the engine fan has turned off.


After doing most of the preliminary work myself, I only had another pair of hands for a short time, so we worked quickly to remove the box, move it backwards and lower it just enough so I had the clearance to remove the old torque converter. I fitted the new one lying on my back, in an awkward position. I slid it onto the shaft, spun it a little until I thought it was engaged properly, and replaced the box.
If I was doing it again I would have taken them time to properly remove the box, inspect the shaft, carefully install the torque converter etc!

I'm assuming that I have done something wrong when re-installing the new torque converter, but I'm not really sure what.
As far as I'm aware I engaged the new torque converter properly, I don't think I drove it into the oil pump gears when I bolted up the bellhousing as there was still clearance between the torque converter and the flex plate after the bell housing was bolted up. Also, I could spin the torque converter easily by hand when I was lining up the bolt holes in the flex plate. Car drives, so obvisouly transmission oil pump is engaged and working.

I guess I'll need to take the box out again to see whats going on, but if the problems not obvious I'll be a bit confused.

Some specific question for anyone who might be able to help:
- When I refitted the box, I had a few mm clearance between the torque converted and the flex plate before I bolted it together - Does this sound right?
- Also in the video you might be able to see a wobble in the torque converter. This doesn't seem right to me. Does anyone know if this looks normal?
- Does the amount of oil I used seem about right? I can't find a published capacity including the torque converter, the cooler and lines.

Thanks for reading - I'd very much appreciate any advice, ideas or suggestions!

I'll post more information as I think of it, or as I make progress!


Cheers,
Nick
 

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Premium Member
2006-2009 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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694 Posts
The torque converter should drop in 3 times. Spin, drop, spin, drop, spin, drop. There are 3 splined shafts it must engage. It sounds an awful lot like you forced it in there and may have done some damage.

However, if when the engine and trans were bolted together you were able to spin the converter by hand without binding, that becomes less likely.

In short, not sure :(

As for the wobble, it's hard to say. Could very well be the welds are not perfect as that seems to be our main point of reference as far as runout goes.
 

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You seem to have the TC pushed in far enough, here is a picture of mine and you can see the weld line is in the same place within the inspection hole... It does sound like something is hitting... was it a new or recon TC?? has the flex plate been damaged?? hopefully when you get it apart you will be able to see something amiss...

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Like you say, the weld on the converter is obviously not perfect so I agree that this could make it look worse than it is, but the torque converter does seem to have a wobble.
I would have expected that the torque converter would need to run fairly true. But I have no real experience in this area.


I hadn't considered the flex plate being damaged. Is this possible/likely? How could you damage it?
The Torque converter was a rebuilt one ordered from torqueconveter1.com. This cost was comparable to having mine rebuilt locally, and I'd read of people having used these guys before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi ghur,
That's really interesting. Do you have any ideas what was causing the actual noise? Could you feel any slop in the gearbox shaft to indicate that the bearing needed replacing? I had considered pricing that bearing and if reasonable having it ready to change for when I pull out the gearbox. And I also had wondered if my new TC is not balanced well, or the shaft is out of round or damaged somehow...
I haven't tried tracing the noise with a stethoscope yet.
Thanks for posting the videos.
 

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I bought the car with the engine removed. The TC was still in place though, but not secured with any form of locking clamp to prevent it moving around. I thought nothing of it but after I had overhauled and re-fitted the engine, I noticed the noise immediately on start up. I suspect that the bearing was damaged by the TC moving around during the transporation to my house. It is quite heavy as you know and without it being held in place by the flywheel as it is under normal conditions, there is nothing to stop the jarring.

On removal, the bearing looked ok but on closer inspection with a jewellers loupe it was very obvious that the rollers were damaged. I suspected that there may have been some internal damage to the TC as well but nothing was said by the overhaul shop.

The bearing was around US$80 and very easy to fit except it is fitted from inside so the front part of the box has to be removed. Its a while ago since I did the job so cant remember exactly which parts need to be removed but its simple enough to work it out with the gearbox on the bench.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the extra info. I priced the bearing today at $126 AUD. ZF Part number 0735 298 136, which I got from a Post by RRPhil in another thread.
At this stage I'm planning to remove the gearbox next weekend and I'm undecided if I should buy the bearing to have it ready. If I can avoid having to wait for parts that will be good.

I don't know how likely it is that this will fix my issue though, Does anyone have any insight into how likely it is for a needle bearing to fail or wear in such a way to cause a knock like this?

Video with TC unbolted for reference (engine doesn't start till around 25sec)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Removed the gearbox today to investigate. The bearing that the Torque Converter runs in seems ok, so I continued to pull out the A and B clutch assembly.
IMG_3175.jpg

IMG_3173.jpg

This is the bearing between the B and C clutch. It's hard to believe that the gearbox still worked at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The O-ring that normally fails is still ok, which is why the gearbox was still working.

Should I be concerned about this wear on the C Clutch drum???
IMG_3180.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, an update.
I replaced the failed axial bearing etc. I also replaced the input bearing as I had already purchased it and I re-asembled and reinstalled the gearbox but unfortunately the problem still exists. I also carefully inspected the flex plate, and couldn't see anything amiss. Obviously I don't want to drive the car as is, so I have removed the gearbox yet again! I think I am going to try and source another torque converter, or get my original one rebuilt locally, as it's starting to look like the newly reconditioned TC is at fault. If anyone has any other suggestions they would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Final update to close this thread.
I arranged for my original TC to be rebuilt locally in Australia. I've re-installed everything and thankfully this time no strange noises!
I've taken a final video which shows the difference. You can see from the video that the TC is running a lot smoother also. I assume that there was an alignment issue with my first replacement TC.


I'm pretty happy to finally have it fixed after having the gearbox out 3 times!

I have now done about 1500kms no problems. Because I got my original TC rebuilt I got to see the lockup clutch condition, and it looked surprisingly ok. They replaced the clutch anyway, and also replaced an O-ring which had gone very hard. Overall it's a big improvement and the groaning and cattle grid noises have now gone. Also, my fuel economy has improved by at least 1L/100km which I wasn't expecting...

Thanks again to RRPhil and others for all the information on this site, which made the job a lot easier.
 
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