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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Couple quick Q's I have on my [recently purchased] '05 HSE..

1. I have a building in which I store all of my collector cars. Sometimes I'll get one of them out and have it out for a few days and leave the RR in the building. I noticed that the first time I did this with my L322, when I came back after a few days the battery was near dead. I had to use my jump box to get the truck to start. Thing is, there is a huge cellular phone tower right next to my building and I think it is what used to cause my old P38s to go dead after they sat in there for about a week or so, as I recall that they had a problem with rogue radio waves keeping the BECM awake- or something of that nature. I was under the impression that the L322s were not plagued by this, but perhaps I'm wrong? Also, I do have an ADT alarm system in the building but I believe all of the sensors are hard wired, so there shouldn't be any RF interference from that. Cut to the chase => I replaced the battery (was the original LR one) with a brand new Interstate and everything is a-ok, although I have not left the truck in there again since, so no idea if it is in fact what killed my last battery (I would have just re-charged the original one, but since it was six years old and winter is approaching, I figured I may as well just put in a new one for peace of mind). So can anyone shed some light on whether or not the L322s are sensitive like the P38s were?

2. I'm going to roll 100K miles tonight on my way home from work. I have all records for the truck going back to when it was PDI'd (brand new) by the dealer. No trans services are in the paperwork since it's a "sealed for life" unit, so I'm debating whether or not to do a tranny service at the 100K. I was a mechanic for Mercedes-Benz for over a dozen years and we used these ZF electronic 'boxes as well (6HP26 or 722.6 in MB lingo) which were also "sealed for life". Although we eventually began doing flushes at 50K intervals (because trannys were grenading left and right), however on cars that were at or above 100K, the general concensus was to leave them alone, and as a matter of fact, my folks' very own '99 ML320 that they drove to 220K never had a tranny service in its life and to this day it still is serving its present owners faithfully. So this leaves me with the question about whether to not touch my RR tranny and 'chance it' or to service it and 'chance it' :? since these seem to be the weak point of the driveline. I can obtain Pentosin ATF1 from my local supplier at reasonable cost, so that's what will be going into it, and as I have read, I think it will take 6-7 litres for a service with filter replacement? Anyhow, sorry to be long-winded, I am just curious to hear what everyone here is doing. My LR dealer says to service it, I'm more of the mindset to leave it alone, but it's one of those ****ed if you do, ****ed if you'd don't circumstances...

Thanks all!
 

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2. I'm going to roll 100K miles tonight on my way home from work. I have all records for the truck going back to when it was PDI'd (brand new) by the dealer. No trans services are in the paperwork since it's a "sealed for life" unit, so I'm debating whether or not to do a tranny service at the 100K. I was a mechanic for Mercedes-Benz for over a dozen years and we used these ZF electronic 'boxes as well (6HP26 or 722.6 in MB lingo) which were also "sealed for life". Although we eventually began doing flushes at 50K intervals (because trannys were grenading left and right), however on cars that were at or above 100K, the general concensus was to leave them alone, and as a matter of fact, my folks' very own '99 ML320 that they drove to 220K never had a tranny service in its life and to this day it still is serving its present owners faithfully. So this leaves me with the question about whether to not touch my RR tranny and 'chance it' or to service it and 'chance it' :? since these seem to be the weak point of the driveline. I can obtain Pentosin ATF1 from my local supplier at reasonable cost, so that's what will be going into it, and as I have read, I think it will take 6-7 litres for a service with filter replacement? Anyhow, sorry to be long-winded, I am just curious to hear what everyone here is doing. My LR dealer says to service it, I'm more of the mindset to leave it alone, but it's one of those ****ed if you do, ****ed if you'd don't circumstances...
I'm just picked up an '04 which rolled 100K. I have NO records at all - but got a reasonably good price (I think). Anyway, I spoke to the dealer and the indy mechanics specifically about the flushing. The dealer guy said, "Don't do it." He's reasoning was pretty good (gunk in the transmission could break loose and destroy it) and he suggested that if you wanted to change out the fluid, only change 2 quarts (or litres) every 2 to 3 months - thereby reducing the possibility of gunk-break-loose but replacing the fluid over 9 months or so. The indy guy said, "Sure, it's $300 for the flush - not just a filter and fluid change." He's reasoning was pretty good and he said you don't want to just change the fluid and filter, you want to power flush that thing so it's clean inside.

So.... I'm still on the fence about it. Your a mechanic (I'm only a shadetree guy), what's your opinion about a power flush really cleaning the transmission? Can it do it to where one can fill comfortable that the gunk is out? If so, I'll be at the Indy shop next week - $300 is nothing for that. Then I could service the transmission after that myself every 30k.

I'm very interested, ZUNDFOLGE, in what you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the link. Good information.

As to my own opinion, I'm torn. There is the possibility of fresh fluid loosening debris within the valve body, etc..and causing problems, in which case one would certainly argue to leave well enough alone. On the other hand, depending on the kind of driving the PO did (and what kind you do), it may be beneficial to change the fluid and filter. As to an actual 'flush', I don't know. I left the dealer before the 722.9 transmission came out in MB which requires a 'flush' rather than a drain and refill.

I bought two 5 litre jugs of Pentosin ATF1, a new filter, o-ring and pan gasket. I may just wait and see if I experience any odd symptoms from the transmission at any point and will change it then. I'd be upset if I went ahead and serviced it and then had a major problem. I think at the end of the day, we should all resign to the fact that we have a good chance of going through trans replacement on higher mileage trucks, whether we change the fluid or not, so the best advice I guess, in my mind, is to set $3-5K aside for that inevitability :roll:
 

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As to my own opinion, I'm torn.

I'd be upset if I went ahead and serviced it and then had a major problem.

so the best advice I guess, in my mind, is to set $3-5K aside for that inevitability :roll:
Appreciate the input and opinion - and glad to see someone with experience has the same concerns - it would really be a bummer to service the tranny and then that service caused the failure.

Another option on the planning for failure is an extended warranty. When I purchased mine, I contacted the Hal Moses (a sponsor? of the site) and got a quote for 5yr 100k major component coverage for $2,500. This takes my unknown engine/tranny/drive train to 2016 and almost 200k. Since I have no idea how well the truck was serviced (although considering the shape, I think it was well cared for) it seems like an inexpensive insurance policy.
 

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I changed mine at ~95K and I am glad that I did after seeing what came out...thick black fluid and a fair amount of shavings. I dropped the pan, changed the filter, gasket, o-ring and refilled rather than do a full flush (I wanted to make the process of reducing from a thick old fluid to a clean thin fluid gradual as I've heard the issues described above as a result of a full flush). I'm at 101K now and it has shifted smoother since the fluid change...I plan to drain/refill without dropping the pan at about 120K miles to get the fluid gradually thinner rather than to just do a full flush at one time. I'm not a tranny expert but this is the method I chose and so far so good.
 

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I think about this issue quite a lot..... I got mine at 98,000 with a mostly unknown service history. Was advised by my (very trusted) independent mechanic (fully qualified on all Land Rover vehicles with years of experience at a dealership before starting his own business) to leave it alone, for the usual reason - If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Loosened gunk will almost certainly do some harm. I'm at around 137,000 now. Drives almost as smoothly as the day I bought it - Very slight 'judder' when I am almost stopped. I would say around the 1 mph speed. I'm pretty sure this is 'engine'-based, and nothing to do with brakes / suspension. Sometimes I have a very slight judder as I move from a stopped position. So, possibly issues with 1st gear? I've got some new spark plugs, to the best of my knowledge they have never been changed - I'm not an expert, but I'm thinking this judder may possibly be related to the plugs.

I would love to do some sort of 'preventative' maintenance on the Transmission, but I'm not 100% confident that a flush / power wash, etc, would be wise. A small piece of dislodged, left behind, debri could cause major problems....

If I had a vehicle with no more than 50,000 miles, I would DEFINATELY do a complete Transmission flush, etc, every 30,000 miles.

Any thoughts on my slight 'judder'?
 

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Hmmm..... After reading those posts (thank you, BMWRover), I'm leaning towards doing the transmission. Personally, I didn't notice any real debate occurring. The photos are pretty clear. I plan to tow (around 4,000 lbs), so my opinion is that if I don't do the regular maintenance on the transmission it WILL burn up one day (just completely unsure of when) and if I do the maintenance the tranny MIGHT burn up one day soon after the maintenance.

My plan is to have the Indy shop power flush it for $300. Then, since I average 25,000 miles a year, I will do the maintenance the next four times. I'm assuming I won't keep the truck after 200,000 miles but who knows - this is only a "plan".

Naturally, if my MIGHT turns into DID an appropriate thread will begin. However, as I learned many years ago in statistics, cause and effect are often hard to trace. In other words, if my MIGHT turns into DID it may have nothing to do with the flush. Hopefully, it will always be MIGHT. :)
 

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Bought my 05 with 50K. Dropped pan replaced fluid filter at 60K, then drain/refill again at 70K. Will do this again at 80K, then again at 90. Then at 100K i'll replace the filter again. Doing this in small increments to slowly replace all fluid. Once I do the 100K service, I'll do fluid every 15K and filter every 30K.
 

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I am also torn about flushing my transmission fluid on my 05. It currently has 76k miles on it. I will be towing a boat pretty frequently in the summer. Round trip tow is less than 4 miles. I am guessing this is actually harder on the transmission than longer tows. I have gotten differing opinions as well. Some say change it others say not to.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I guess I would change the fluid if:

1. You tow a lot.
2. You do a lot of city driving where the transmission is shifting constantly.
3. You're an aggressive and/or 'sporting' driver, using Steptronic a lot.
4. You call shenanigans on your transmission...
5. You accept the fact that you'll probably put a trans in the truck at some point.

Don't change it if:

1. You don't tow anything.
2. You do mostly highway driving, which is easier on the trans.
3. You don't want to spend the $150 or so on fluid and parts and don't want to get dirty.
4. See point #5 above :lol:

As I understand it with the ZF 'box in these trucks, you will get 6-7 litres of fluid out during a service, so oddly, that means most of it is held in the pan rather than the torque converter (someone correct me if I am wrong). Typically, the converter is where most of the fluid is held, but I've not looked at the tranny in my RR, and am recalling back to transmissions built in-house by Mercedes-Benz back in the day which, conveniently, had a drain plug not only on the pan, but on the converter as well. Generally, a Mercedes passenger car tranny held 7-8 quarts of fluid with about only 2-3 quarts in the pan and the bulk in the TC.
 

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Hmmm..... After reading those posts (thank you, BMWRover), I'm leaning towards doing the transmission. Personally, I didn't notice any real debate occurring. The photos are pretty clear. I plan to tow (around 4,000 lbs), so my opinion is that if I don't do the regular maintenance on the transmission it WILL burn up one day (just completely unsure of when) and if I do the maintenance the tranny MIGHT burn up one day soon after the maintenance.... :)
I would just do a fluid change and not flush. There are many threads about this at bimmerforums. Even the BMW Master Techs debate it. One important part of the fluid and filter change is to pull the transcooler and clean it out as well as the water coolant side.
 

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Heat kills these trannys. They run regularly between 210 and 240 degrees here in southern California. From what I've been told, that's simply too hot for longevity.

I have 127k on my MKIII - run larger than stock tires (since 50k miles) drive the snot out of the truck (off road mostly) and live where traffic just simply sucks. I am just now putting in my third trans.

Factory unit lasted until 80k miles. Then I bought an EBAY special (2 year, 25k mile warranty rebuilt) and it just let go this morning.

So, now I'm going to see if I can have it built to a heavier duty spec. We'll see.

I really believe the heat is what's killing these tranny's.
 
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