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RedFord77
01-06-2014, 10:17 PM
Hello,

I just returned from a trip from Southern California to Wyoming, and then back. It was about 3000 miles roundtrip. The temperatures in Wyoming were as low as 10-14 in the mornings, and around 80 back in SoCal.

During the final leg of the trip, I thought the Sprinter was making allot of noise, and revving high to maintain my typical 80mph pace, especially up a hill.

The day after the trip, the sprinter still seemed louder than normal, so I checked the turbo hoses. One did seem to have moved, where it connects to the intercooler from the resonator.

Then it would barely climb a steep hill near my house when the sprinter had only been running a few minutes. When I got onto the freeway, it felt like it would not shift, and my top speed was 35 mph. I pulled off at the next exit. Turned it off, and back on, and drove home on city streets, shifting was back to normal.

Parked in my driveway (in park), and could hear a high-pitch sound especially as rpms increased, and it was from the transmission area.

I dropped the pan, and split the transmission filter. Here are the pictures.

My plan is to change the filter, and fluid, and also to drop the valve body, and do the procedure to clean up the solenoids, etc... This is by DoktorA.

I am having trouble getting the electric connector loose. Putting allot of pressure on it, to try and get the wires free so I can remove the connector.

Any advice? Looks like lots of shiny metal, but it might be ok with new fluid and un-plugged filter.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-8chd224gs9U/Usn34EIzzOI/AAAAAAAAKS4/DVt8PzxdnWk/w1147-h645-no/20140105_162455.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YpE8h4DZU24/Usn4BbWFHAI/AAAAAAAAKTQ/OERea-WXpK4/w452-h803-no/20140105_162518.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bF_q5mTvUJM/Usn4GVrR7sI/AAAAAAAAKTc/0c-476gQFpo/w1147-h645-no/20140105_162523.jpg

NelsonSprinter
01-07-2014, 12:00 AM
Thanks for the pictures ! It looks like a lot of metal filings and dark fluid.
When was it last changed?
You were experiencing Limp Home Mode with the max 35, not necessarily from a transmission problem, but some sensor sent the computer into self preservation mode, possibly from a turbo charged air leak
Are you having difficulty rotating the electrical connector to get it off? Mine was tough to turn as well, but wd40 worked for me

lindenengineering
01-07-2014, 12:33 AM
Sorry to dash your hopes BUT
That looks like "sparklies" NOT "fuzzies!--something is coming apart albeit slowly.:thumbdown:

So I will call in Mr Chopin to sooth the likelyhood of an impending expensive repair:-


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYB3yyu0UrQ.






Hope your service might slow down the transmission failure point.
Best of luck
Dennis

RedFord77
01-07-2014, 01:13 AM
Thanks guys. I bought the van with 138,000 miles and it now has 173,000. I don't know when the fluid was last replaced, but the previous owner was pretty meticulous. I will have to check his receipts. Prior to that it may have been a passenger van for an airport or something.

I got the front up on jack stands, which allowed me better access to the electrical connector, since I could lay on my side. It rotated counter clockwise and I got it free. I have a new socket to replace it with (with new o-rings). The silverstar transmission guy I spoke with help reassure me that I could turn it.

Next I dropped the valve body to do the NAG1 tech alert (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2476), by Docktor A. There was not much to find there, but the two speed sensors are magnetized so I cleaned some fuzzies off of them, and took all the solenoids out and wiped them, and put them back. They all looked good.

I live close to europarts-sd, and they are great guys. They have been real easy to deal with so I have the fuchs kit, $134, with the appropriate fluid, and two extra washers. So the torque converter is drained, and the valve body is ready to put back in.

I am considering waiting and writing to Doktor A, about doing the RSN fix, since I have it apart.

Since it is near possible death, part of me was considering going with the cheaper Valvoline MaxLife ATF (synthetic). The silverstar transmission person I spoke with said, any synthetic will work, that I don't need MB 236.12, but I do need full synthetic. Basically, part of me thinks that something is coming apart, given the high-pitch sounds, and slipping feeling going uphill. So the filter change, and fluid change may keep me going, but once something starts coming apart it may be too late. $7 per quart X 8 quarts = $56 vs $123 to use the Fuchs stuff.

NBB
01-07-2014, 01:24 AM
+1 for Dennis' take. If changing the filter makes the noises go away - SELL!! Otherwise I'd say you're screwed.

cahaak
01-07-2014, 02:35 PM
A fluid and filter change with cleaning such as you did can do wonders. Please give us a report once you get the van back out on the road again. You can get shell ATF 134 for a local distributor for a reasonable price. It is 236.14 and the latest spec and works well. You will probably have to buy in a full case (12 qts). I would also double check aby servicing of the tranny. Possibly it has not been serviced before and this service will make a huge difference.

Chris

RedFord77
01-20-2014, 06:48 PM
Here is an update:

1. Changed the fluid and filter, (including torque converter) with Fuchs stuff from europarts sd. $122
I toyed with using a cheaper ATF, Max Life ATF, because the flakes in the pictures are pretty big. I ended up using the MB approved stuff, hoping that new fluid, and filter would cure the issues. I have had this work previously on a Ford pickup. If a filter gets too plugged with fuzzies, the restricted flow of ATF through passages can cause shifting issues

2. NAG1 tech alert (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2476), by Docktor A, cleaned some fuzzies off the speed sensors. This section looked fairly clean. Be sure you get the electric plug removed before you drop the valve body. I did NOT do the DARF procedure, because I got an email from Doktor A, that said if I did not previously have the issue not to do it.

3. Replaced the electrical connector that goes into the transmission, and both o-rings.
-------------------------------------

The first drive, and first few days the transmission was smooth, and I was hopeful. My commute to work is 25 miles each way, and it seemed fine. When I initially pulled the pan, it was because I loud high-pitched squeal was coming. This sound was gone.

Around day three, and the van would not shift when accelerating onto the freeway, unless, I took my foot off-the throttle, almost like you would when driving a manual trans. I made it two exits, and after the next full stop-light, the van would not shift out of first. After I stopped and turned off the van, it drove and shifted normal and nice. By the way the van was cold, it was about 50F that morning.

I decided not to drive the van long distances, and had the same poor ability to shift, followed by first gear only until I shut the van off, two more times. The van has been parked since then.

Meanwhile the van was very loud, and had been most of the trip. I found the Fan-clutch to be the culprit. It was locked up, so that the van was always turning, and it makes allot more noise in the driver's seat. The bearings and races could be seen where the seal should be on visual inspection, and the fan did not free-wheel at all. Fortunately europarts SD is on my drive home. The noise had gotten louder during my trip. When I replaced my water-pump last summer, the fan-clutch was standing upright the entire month. The final day my son was playing in the garage and knocked over the fan ( I had just moved it and leaned it on something near me, since I was about to reinstall it). I recall Aqua Putanna's water pump thread saying that if a used viscous fan clutch was horizontal instead of vertical that the fluid would get in places and not return to do it's job.

I bought and installed a new fan and clutch. I had to remove the grill, get the lights to the side, and remove the big black radiator holding bracket on the top front. This allows one to tilt the radiator / condensor / transmission cooler enough to get a hand in there. My backs of my hands are still all scraped up, as it was a tight fit for my hands.

After replacing the fan-clutch the van is really nice to drive, and amazingly quiet and smooth. The transmission is really smooth, except it occasionally won't shift. It seems best when it is warmed up.

So I think I will order a reman transmission. Three times going into LHM and having problems shifting since the trans service, the flakes in the pictures are sparkly, not fuzzy. Doktor A, emailed that they should be .5 mm or smaller. Some are clearly bigger than that.

P.S. Someone shot a whole in my rear drivers side rear window while it was parked. :yell: :thumbdown: The tinting film, kept the window in place, but the window is shattered, because rear windows are designed to shatter. Any advice on a replacement rear window?

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-R3JRQGHE9BU/Utcnht_hyUI/AAAAAAAAKYQ/6vAKy1qJJWY/w1134-h638-no/20140115_162707.jpg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-V-R4hYCfUqY/UtcnbCe92II/AAAAAAAAKYE/N2NDOlVZGeA/w422-h750-no/20140115_162656.jpg

cahaak
01-21-2014, 01:20 PM
On the tranny, make sure that you have the correct fluid level in it. You will need a dipstick for this if you do not have one already. Low fluid may cause some of the issues you are seeing. The fact that it resets when you turn the van off and restart indicates that it is sensing some sort of error. If you can find someone near you with a code reader, you should get the code read as it is likely that it is throwing a code (but may not light the CEL). I think you can order the glass directly from the dealer and it is not that bad price wise.

Chris

Aqua Puttana
01-21-2014, 02:38 PM
Per comments, sparklies aren't good.

That said, others have reported that sometimes it takes 2 complete fluid changes to make a difference. For future readers, maybe the Valvoline MaxLife first change you considered makes sense. That can then be followed by an MB approved fluid change after a short time.

The fact that the transmission isn't locking you into a hard LHM 2nd gear and reverse only which requires a TCM specific communication to reset, to me is a good sign. Maybe time will improve things?

If you use the Sprinter for other than local trips then ignore what I said above because you need reliability.

Thanks for the info so far. Keeps us updated. vic

RedFord77
01-21-2014, 05:47 PM
Cahaak, I do have the dipstick for fluid level, and the level was ok, slightly high actually (there is a low temp checking spot, and high temp spot). Good reminder to make sure the simple stuff is done properly. I agree I should get the codes read, and maybe drive it a bit more.

Aqua Putanna, yes, I actually considered doing the $60 fluid change and then after a short time switching to the MB 235.12 (Fuchs 3353). I may drain the fluid into a clean container just to drop the pan, and see what it looks like.

Maybe I won't order the new reman tranny just yet, a couple more test drives and some code reading.

MillionMileSprinter
01-22-2014, 12:25 AM
For fun, I googled Valvoline MaxLife ATF (synthetic) and couldn't find anything. Am I missing something?

Aqua Puttana
01-22-2014, 12:20 PM
... Am I missing something?

:idunno:

2nd hit from Google.

http://www.valvoline.com/products/brands/maxlife/automatic-transmission-fluid/37

From the PDF.



The Valvoline MaxLife™ ATF Advantages:

• Synthetic fluid
...



Suitable for use in:
Ford MERCON®, MERCON®V, MERCON®SP and MERCON®LV applications
GM DEXRON®-II, DEXRON®-III and DEXRON®-VI applications
Nissan/Infiniti Matic D, Matic J, Matic K, and Matic S applications
Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II and SP-III applications
Hyundai/ KIA SP-II, SP-III, SP-IV and SPH-IV applications
Subaru ATF and ATF-HP applications
Toyota/Lexus Type T, T-III, T-IV and WS
Honda/Acura ATF-Z1 (except in CVTs) applications
Allison C4 and TES-389 applications
Mercedes Benz NAG1 applications
Volvo passenger car applications and STD 1273.41
Volkswagen TL52162

vic

MillionMileSprinter
01-22-2014, 12:51 PM
Thanks Vic. I found that, but the `synthetic` designation didnt pop out at me when i checked it out. In fact, even now, its kinda hard to find unless you read it very carefully.
Thanks!

RedFord77
01-22-2014, 06:54 PM
Vic posted the correct info.

I spent allot of time reading the old threads especially on transmission oil, so I will save someone the headache.

Valvoline MaxLife ATF is synthetic, and it states NAG1 (our transmission) on the bottle. It does not state MB 236.10 (original) MB 236.12 (current) or 236.14 (upgraded). Nor is it listed as ok on the BEVO site. Interestingly when I spoke with someone from Silverstar transmissions (who specialize in rebuilding Sprinter transmissions), the person told me that as long as the ATF was full synthetic it would work fine. Given they see lots of sprinter transmissions, I trust that this is the real world what works answer.

Either way I bought the Fuchs 236.12 fluid, for approximately $122 instead of $7 per quart x 8 quarts= $56.

MillionMileSprinter
01-22-2014, 07:14 PM
Advance Auto Parts has the Valvoline for 25 bucks a gallon. It seems like it would be good for that initial couple hundred mile flush before draining and putting in the 134.

Aqua Puttana
01-22-2014, 08:16 PM
There's plenty of threads discussing "proper" transmission fluid. I will say that in my opinion, buying Shell 134 fluid (which has the MB236.14 spec listed on the label) by the case from an industrial lubricant supply house can get you under the $7 per quart price.

Now back to the topic of extending the life of a transmission which has decided sparklies are an appropriate decorative lifestyle choice... not that there's anything wrong with that.

vic

halexh
01-23-2014, 03:39 AM
100,000 Factory Fluid

http://i39.tinypic.com/2aa0sjs.jpg

After complete fluid change and DARF it runs very smooth. I notice a slight rumble from the transmission on deceleration when the throttle is slightly applied. In my case the large sparklies probably came from a bearing somewhere.

Aqua Puttana
01-23-2014, 10:50 AM
100,000 Factory Fluid

http://i39.tinypic.com/2aa0sjs.jpg

After complete fluid change and DARF it runs very smooth. I notice a slight rumble from the transmission on deceleration when the throttle is slightly applied. In my case the large sparklies probably came from a bearing somewhere.
Thanks for the input and pictures. How many miles now since the fluid change and DARF?

I believe Sullyvan had some kinda ugly stuff show and his transmission seems to be holding in. (Sorry... knock/touch wood for Sully.)

vic

MillionMileSprinter
01-23-2014, 12:16 PM
There's plenty of threads discussing "proper" transmission fluid. I will say that in my opinion, buying Shell 134 fluid (which has the MB236.14 spec listed on the label) by the case from an industrial lubricant supply house can get you under the $7 per quart price.
Now back to the topic of extending the life of a transmission which has decided sparklies are an appropriate decorative lifestyle choice... not that there's anything wrong with that.
vic

Vic, I think that your "opinion" is actually closer to a fact. Spec Industries has it for 7.50 and buying it in bulk from a local distributor will probably cost even less.
And as far as getting back to the topic of extending the life of a tranny that appears to be dying- that's what I'm talking about. First you run the Valvoline for a hundred or so miles and then dump it. THEN run the ATF 134. Why put in the expensive stuff only to dump it in a few hundred miles?
Shoot, this should be in your "cheap tricks" thread.:professor:

halexh
01-30-2014, 04:12 PM
How many miles now since the fluid change and DARF?


A little over 3000 miles transmission shifts better now but I think the rest of the drive line has been beaten up (driveshaft/hanger bearings/differential). The shudder/rsn was very severe when I bought the van. The dealership it was at was going to replace the transmission before selling it. This should be a lesson to people procrastinating on service. One thing leads to another and with Sprinters the domino effect is never cheap.

EB66USAF
01-30-2014, 05:12 PM
I have read on another post somewhere that our older transmission dont like the thinner new spec. The 3353 seems to be a bit thicker. I think I read that on a MD forum about the 235.14 "134" ATF Has anyone had problems with "soft shifts" using the .14? I would like to use the latest and greatest but it may not be good.

Aqua Puttana
01-30-2014, 10:00 PM
I have read on another post somewhere that our older transmission dont like the thinner new spec. The 3353 seems to be a bit thicker. I think I read that on a MD forum about the 235.14 "134" ATF Has anyone had problems with "soft shifts" using the .14? I would like to use the latest and greatest but it may not be good.
No MB235.XX fluid is on the list for the Sprinter NAG1 transmission anywhere which I've ever seen. I presume that is a typo.

I recall reading that the MB236.14 fluid is thinner than the MB236.12 older formulation and I may have even mentioned that "fact" here at one time or another. Since that time I remember specifically finding specifications which listed both MB236.14 and MB236.12 fluid as having the exact same viscosity. I didn't save the link or data which showed the same viscosity. I class "thinner" as a myth until someone provides actual data.

This is my personal opinion based mostly upon what I've read, and on one complete change of MB236.12 Dodge Crossfire/Sprinter fluid followed 60K later by another with MB236.14 Shell 134 fluid. I noticed no change in operating one over the other.

The last I looked BEVO lists both MB236.14 (edit my typo :bash:) and MB236.12 as good for our transmissions. Use 236.12 if you wish, but I think MB236.14 is fine too.

:2cents: vic

EB66USAF
01-31-2014, 01:03 AM
vic

Thanks Yea that was a a wrong Number. I like real world experence and you have it!
Richard

RedFord77
02-06-2014, 07:57 PM
I am still driving my van, and have around 750 miles since the transmission fluid change. I have about 500 miles since getting the GDE programming. halex's pictures and experience are pretty similar to mine at this point. Although I owned my van for 40k miles before changing the trans fluid, and only due to strange behaviors.

Previously I had never felt RSN from my trans, and I feel it often now. At first, I kept thinking the pavement was rough. My van occasionally has wierd shifting especially when I first begin to drive it. One day, I came to a downhill stop sign, and the transmission acted like it was in nuetral. I shifted from drive to nuetral and back to drive and everything was fine. It also occasionally feels like it should shift and then doesn't when pushing the throttle hard and getting up to speed. Twice since the trans fluid change I have had it go into probably 2nd and not shift out. The trans no longer makes a high-pitched squeal which it did pre fluid change. The van does seem to be getting less and less of the miss shifts and slipping clutch feeling. RSN has gotten more noticeable, but based on Doktor A's advice I did not do the mod since I was not having the issue.

My intention is to recheck my fluid levels, since I only did it the night I changed the fluid, and someone in another thread, claimed that 1/4" to 1/2" while in the safe section of the dipstick cleared up allot of strange behaviors with his trans. Also I want to see if my fluid still looks nice and red, since halex, had his turn brown fairly quick.

The GDE tune feels nice, and I got 20.9mpg on my last tank; about .5 mpg more than I normally get. The tank before which had the trans problems + fan clutch was 13.9 my lowest ever. The van is more fun to drive, and did great on a mountain road climbing from sea level to 5000 feet, the first day I got the tune. RSN was showing up before getting the tune.

RedFord77
07-24-2015, 06:45 PM
An update:

I now have 199250 miles, and I took the pictures and serviced the transmission (filter, fluid, drain torque converter, clean valve bodies at 173,000 miles. I drove the van after those pictures without incident until now.

The van ran great after the first week. I had not realized I was slightly low on fluid the first week after the fluid change, and when the fluid level was low (using the MB tool), the van would occasionally act like it was in neutral.

Yesterday on my way home after having had no problems for 26,000 miles, the van began to act like the clutch would not engage. So I begin to go after a slow-down (0-15 mph traffic) and the engine revs as though I am in neutral. I feel some ... attempt to try and move, then it is like I am in neutral. I shut off the van, and restart. It moves, but then goes back to nuetral type behavior and begins to smell like hot trans fluid. No leaks. I manage to make my way over to the right shoulder. Everyone is in a hurry, and nobody will let me in, so my short windows of having drive usually end because cars drive past. Even with my four-way flashers on. It stops again. I put it in nuetral and start pushing. A couple guys push me to the shoulder. I shut it off, and the clutch feels normal. I drive further up to a wider spot in the shoulder.

Trans Fluid level using the MB tool seems near the top of the 80 degree mark. Fluid is grey and smells burnt, pretty close to what it looked like at 173,000.

I used my Green Diesel programmer to read two DTC codes

P2133 - Glow Plug Failure-Cylinder #1 (Unrelated and probably from the past)
P2228 - TCM DTC TRANSMISSION RATIO ERROR FAULT PRESENT

I drain the fluid tomorrow, and look at the filter.


Thanks guys. I bought the van with 138,000 miles and it now has 173,000. I don't know when the fluid was last replaced, but the previous owner was pretty meticulous. I will have to check his receipts. Prior to that it may have been a passenger van for an airport or something.

Next I dropped the valve body to do the NAG1 tech alert (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2476), by Docktor A. There was not much to find there, but the two speed sensors are magnetized so I cleaned some fuzzies off of them, and took all the solenoids out and wiped them, and put them back. They all looked good.

I live close to europarts-sd, and they are great guys. They have been real easy to deal with so I have the fuchs kit, $134, with the appropriate fluid, and two extra washers. So the torque converter is drained, and the valve body is ready to put back in.

Since it is near possible death, part of me was considering going with the cheaper Valvoline MaxLife ATF (synthetic). The silverstar transmission person I spoke with said, any synthetic will work, that I don't need MB 236.12, but I do need full synthetic. Basically, part of me thinks that something is coming apart, given the high-pitch sounds, and slipping feeling going uphill. So the filter change, and fluid change may keep me going, but once something starts coming apart it may be too late. $7 per quart X 8 quarts = $56 vs $123 to use the Fuchs stuff.

RB7
07-27-2015, 01:34 AM
If you have any more trans. trouble, I would call up Ted Reich at Transmeister in Orange, Ca.
He's local and bench rebuilds Mercedes transmissions and has done so for 30 years. You pull it and hand it to him. A former Benz dealer trans mechanic. He's not young anymore so he prefers to do the bench work only . He's a 1 man shop. He's a car guy and a racer. Even saw a couple SAAB Sonnets in his shop. A good sign--isn't Dr. A. into SAABs too? Transmeister has a web page.