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Discussion Starter #1
All, the summer repair season continues. My ZF transmission began to WHINE immediately after a drain/fill and filter change, performed by me 2 years ago.

2 suspects are: Dextron 6 causes fluid to flow differently, causing transmission oil pump to whine. Or, filter / gasket kit I paid $14.96 for was not adequate, flows too little or too much (or installed incorrectly), again causing transmission oil pump to whine.

Incorrect level is also a possible culprit, but I think is not the case here.

Help me out here. I may try to put Dex III / Mercon back in. Also, what is a good, reputable ZF transmission filter? Some say that brand matters for this. Or tell me any other info about this. Thanks.
 

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If I hear a whine of any sorts emanating out of my transmission after a job, I personally would not drive it.

The repair was from 2 years ago, so some sort of damage may have been done already.

Having said that, I suppose it's still possible to fix the issue. Here's what I would do, if this happened to me:

Double check my work:
-Oil pick up tube may not be properly seated or installed. I would take the pan off and check the condition. I would visually check the pick up tube positioning as well as try to wiggle the tube by hand. If the installation looks suspect, or if the tube wiggles, then I would suspect the pick up tube as the main culprit for causing oil starvation.
-Visually check as well as wiggle the oil filter to see if it's seated properly. If the filter is loose, oil may not have flowed properly, causing oil starvation.

Inspect the existing trans oil:
-Is the oil discolored or does it smell burnt?

New install:
Trans oil: I imagine Dexron VI probably won't hurt the trans. However, I usually use DexIII/Merc.
Oil filter: It's a simple contraption. Any decent brand trans filter designed for this particular trans should be OK. I personally used generic one sold by a Rover specialty store last time I serviced my trans.

I would do all the above steps ASAP, btw.
 

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It was designed to have Dexron 3 so why put anything else in? An upgrade isn't always a good idea (ask any Windows user.....).
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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+1 on Richard G.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone, I tend to agree that Dex6 was an unnecessary change, although the certifying body says it's certified for all III applications, this particular transmission may be a corner case where it runs better on III. I was led to believe DexIII is out of production, but it is not. After it began to whine 22 months ago, I stopped driving it regularly thinking it will die soon. So only a few thousand miles since that time. It sounds no different today than when it first started whining. I would guess no further damage. The thought that it may be reversible is exciting. I took it to the area's favorite transmission shop and the guy was not interested in diagnosing a faint noise until it breaks. If it breaks, he wins so I understand that.

I remember being particularly sure I did a great job on the filter and gasket install, the prior fluid was pink and it shifted silently and perfectly before I cracked it open. SIGH. But maybe there is hope out there someplace.

Anyway, later in the summer I will open this back up. It sounds like there is no preferred filter.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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their is one other thing , make shore that none off the pipe work is touching the frame or body any where as this can cause a noise to go through the vehicle?
 

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When time comes to replace the trans fluid, be sure to do about 3 full fluid replacement in succession. After a round of replacement, drive around a few miles and then replace again. Torque converter traps quite a bit of fluid, so the action of draining the trans does not do a good job of getting all the fluid out.

Also, be sure to check the fluid level while the vehicle is level and after going through all the gears with the engine running. After filling the trans, it will easily take another quart after going through all the gears.
 

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I don't know very much about automatic gearboxes, but some can be very sensitive regarding the fluid you put in!!

And especially with a german made gearbox I would be very careful, germans can build automatic gearbox who shift really smooth, but the quality is crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When time comes to replace the trans fluid, be sure to do about 3 full fluid replacement in succession. After a round of replacement, drive around a few miles and then replace again. Torque converter traps quite a bit of fluid, so the action of draining the trans does not do a good job of getting all the fluid out.

Also, be sure to check the fluid level while the vehicle is level and after going through all the gears with the engine running. After filling the trans, it will easily take another quart after going through all the gears.
Thanks. Well, here is the update. I purchased some NAPA DEX III/Mercon fluid (8 quarts on hand). I drained and opened the pan. Well. The fluid, which had 2 drain/fills about 5,000 miles ago, was pretty dark red. The magnet was full of stuff. There was evidently a good deal of (microscopic) suspended matter in the transmission. Visual confirmation of stress. That's the bad news. It is probably dying.

Better news. I installed new filter and refilled 3-4 quarts of DEX/MERC. Drove around. It did not eliminate the noise, but just 1 drain/fill did noticeably reduce the bad noise and lockup release when rolling to a stop. The bad behavior was about 50% better, not just being optimistic, really better. So the fluid probably isn't great yet, but I plan to do another drain/fill tomorrow, add more magnets & maybe change filter again at the end of the season.

I noticed my local Land Rover dealer of course stripped out the ATF fill plug last year - thanks noobs - temp 8mm hex plug there now. No wonder the job took half the day, they were probably running around calling a lifeline on that ****.

This P38 was in some ways quite minty upon purchase in 2017. Flawless paint, ran, steered and drove as new, good brakes. It was garaged since knew and owned by wealthy owners who fully maintained it (I have no reason to question this - okay the brake fluid was dirty, so just one reason). It had a missing trim piece (found) and the subwoofer was blown (fixed!) and sunroof leaked (fixed!) but superb ownership given this P38 was 19 years old when I got it. It drove as new when I tested it, like a big BMW 740iL or a big Bentley, quiet and smooth and fast. Then once I started messing with it, it admittedly never drove that well again. I am not wealthy nor a professional mechanic, and the P38 can sense that acutely. I do garage it, for me a great extravagance.

But today the P38 and it seems to run well enough to use again. I am optimistic the condition MIGHT stabilize and the vehicle can get some 10,000s miles more use. I really hope it can.
 
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