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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 03-30-2009, 10:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ZF 6 speed failure

I was going up a mountain pass in 6th towing my toyhauler (6500#'s) going 75. All engine vital in spec, and very pleased how well the truck was performing. I got to the top of the hill, was on the downside just coasting, flicked on the exhaust brake, just about to take my exit when all of a sudden I hear this awfull squeeling, grinding, crunching sound. I pushed the clutch in and coasted off the highway. Climbed underneath to check things out, and all looked and seemed fine. Babied it up 6 miles to the camp site, and started to have troubles shifting and keeping it in some gears.

I thought these things were 'almost' bulletproof, but I guess I was wrong.
Any thoughts on what or why it failed? Maybe I pushed it a little too hard for too long.

The real bummer is, the purpose of the trip was to look at a replacement motor for the other rig in my sig that failed on me. Hasn't been a good month!
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, got the tranny out and it seems as if the input shaft bearing(s) went. I can move it side to side and in and out.
After I installed my new South Bend clutch about a year and a half ago, the tranny was noisey in neutral with the clutch out. After reading many posts, this seemed to be normal (gear rollover). In my experience, that sound means that the input shaft bearings are gone. Maybe I should have gone with my instincts instead and had it looked at.
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76' (updated) E series 24' Motorhome - 94' 7.3IDI w/ATS turbo (Brand spank'in new turbo spec motor ) ZF 5 speed, LUK clutch, Borg Warner 1356 transfercase, dana 60 front, 3.73 gears, 245/75/16, and its a 4x4 too!

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Old 04-01-2009, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How many miles are on it? What gear oil have you been running? Just curious I haven't heard of any failing recently... Its always the auto guys crying about blown transmissions!

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The truck has 155,000 miles on it and i'm running regular atf not syn. Since i've had it, i've only put 30,000 on it and haven't changed the oil, so who knows if it's ever been changed. Even after the failure, the oil was still bright red, but did have a horrible smell. Not burnt, but not good!
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76' (updated) E series 24' Motorhome - 94' 7.3IDI w/ATS turbo (Brand spank'in new turbo spec motor ) ZF 5 speed, LUK clutch, Borg Warner 1356 transfercase, dana 60 front, 3.73 gears, 245/75/16, and its a 4x4 too!

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Old 04-01-2009, 01:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rednexx View Post
The truck has 155,000 miles on it and i'm running regular atf not syn. Since i've had it, i've only put 30,000 on it and haven't changed the oil, so who knows if it's ever been changed.
The first thing I did when I bought my truck with 122k miles, was change ALL the fluids. I wasn't taking any chances of "when" or "if" they were all changed last. And ATF doesn't exactly smell good....even when it's new.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I put a South Bend dual disk clutch in last year. I've noticed that the clutch is louder when the pedal is pushed than in neutral with the pedal out. When the dealer changed my last clutch they didn't replace the pilot bearing, but the input shaft didn't move for me. So maybe I should have replaced that bearing anyway.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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6 speed failure?

Good day Rednexx,
I too changed clutch ( spicer) and have the noise at idle / clutch out, and was told the same story as you. I did have one mechanic suggest the input bearings / shaft were at fault as he surmised the transmission was left hanging on the shaft for a moment or two during re-istallation.
Keep us informed on your outcome. I would rather pull the transmission out etc than have a failure.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, I got the call from the tranny shop. Not good news. Once he pulled it apart, he found that 3rd and 4th syncros had come apart. Pieces everywhere and that some ofthe gears were discolored. His reasoning for the discoloration was heat and asked if I towed at all and recomended that I don't pull hills in overdrive. All the main bearings looked good, but the intial estimate of $1800 would be about $3000. I told him I had a line on a used one from an auto wrecker for $1500 and he said that would be a good deal. He sent me on my way without charging any money, so he seems like a pretty fair guy to me. I'll be picking the used one up tommorow and should be good to go.

Hey Cowcop, all this happened in your neck of the woods. I was heading up the Coquihalla (Larson hill). We all know how many trannys that highway has eaten. Luckily my turn off was the Coldwater exit! Thank god for BCAA!
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76' (updated) E series 24' Motorhome - 94' 7.3IDI w/ATS turbo (Brand spank'in new turbo spec motor ) ZF 5 speed, LUK clutch, Borg Warner 1356 transfercase, dana 60 front, 3.73 gears, 245/75/16, and its a 4x4 too!

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Old 04-03-2009, 12:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey rednexx; sound's like you are going to have your hands full for a couple of day's. Oh well that will keep you out of the saloon's.

Did you get the motor for your Motor home?
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I was going to ask where you were going to get your parts from as I have a bad feeling I'm going to have to replace my syncros also here soon. But with a used tranny in your future you won't be getting any parts.

How can a straight gear trans have heat discoloration? other than poor oiling or a lack of maintenance (which I'm sure I am guilty of myself) it doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What baffles me is that the tranny gave me no signs or warnings. It was quiet (except for gear rollover?) and ****ed perfect.
Lack of maintenance i'm guilty of, but the fluid was right up, still red and no odd smell.
I use the truck mainly for my daily driver and only tow heavy half a dozen times a year. Every vehicle I own (pick up, motorhome, 2-5 ton trucks, 1-1ton flatdeck and a motorcycle) are all standard, and this is the first failure.
I'm going against all better judgement by buying used, but at least I'm getting a 4 month warranty. Hope It doesn't bite me in the a$$!

Bill1013, no I didn't get the motor. the compression was low (280#'s) and not consistant. I have a line on a 96 powersroke f350 4x4 complete truck for +/- $1000. The front dana 60 is worth that, so not a bad deal if the motor runs OK. Lots of mods to shoehorn that one in, but it's no fun just bolting things back in without a fight!
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Early 99 F-250 Superduty X/C SB, 6 speed, South Bend Con OFE clutch, 4" turbo back exhaust, Ebpv Brake Mod, DIY Tymar, Hutch Mod, 2" leveling kit, 315/75/16's, DP tuner ( 60tow, 80econo, 120race, 140extreme), Warn premium hubs, Autometer pyro, boost, tranny, and fuel pressure gauges. AE if anyone in the area needs.

76' (updated) E series 24' Motorhome - 94' 7.3IDI w/ATS turbo (Brand spank'in new turbo spec motor ) ZF 5 speed, LUK clutch, Borg Warner 1356 transfercase, dana 60 front, 3.73 gears, 245/75/16, and its a 4x4 too!

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Old 04-04-2009, 09:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, I got the new (used) tranny in today. I filled with Royal Purple synthetic fluid and changed t-case also. It seems to shift and sound (gear rollover) exactly the same as before, so I guess the sound is normal for that clutch. I'm going to put a temp gauge in too just to see how hot these things get. I was told that 180* should be the max. Tomorrow I'm going to do the diffs also. Hopefully it will hold up to the little abuse that I put it through. I'll be going to pick up my trailer next weekend, so I hope all is good.
Wish me luck!
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Early 99 F-250 Superduty X/C SB, 6 speed, South Bend Con OFE clutch, 4" turbo back exhaust, Ebpv Brake Mod, DIY Tymar, Hutch Mod, 2" leveling kit, 315/75/16's, DP tuner ( 60tow, 80econo, 120race, 140extreme), Warn premium hubs, Autometer pyro, boost, tranny, and fuel pressure gauges. AE if anyone in the area needs.

76' (updated) E series 24' Motorhome - 94' 7.3IDI w/ATS turbo (Brand spank'in new turbo spec motor ) ZF 5 speed, LUK clutch, Borg Warner 1356 transfercase, dana 60 front, 3.73 gears, 245/75/16, and its a 4x4 too!

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Old 04-05-2009, 03:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Get yourself a Magnefine filter and stick it in the tranny cooling lines heading up front. That'll intercept a lot of the fine metal flakes that may still be in your tranny cooler and possibly floating around in your new Royal Purple.

Here's what you'll catch. It might head off another failure.

ZF 6 speed failure-magnefine-1.jpg

ZF 6 speed failure-magnefine-2.jpg

ZF 6 speed failure-magnefine-3.jpg
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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well i have heard of clutch and dual mass flywheel failures but not regular trans failures. I even had a friend that dished the center section of the oem clutch disk three times and it did not harm the tranny. He had to speed shift it back to the shop but it still worked. The last time the warranty ran out so he had the luk solid flywheel and clutch installed. It ran great after that. I hope you replacement tranny treats you well.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'll share my problem. I had 180k on my ZF6 w/LUK upgrade. Ive towed a few very heavy loads (GCW 23-25,000) from Oregon to Connecticut. I have a temp gauge installed on my trans. One cross country trip running empty I noticed temps that rivaled a full load @ high speed, weird. On the return trip back to CT. with a GCW of 16,000 my temps were out of control 220+ I stopped 10+ times just to let the trany cool down (does not include fuel stops). I researched what could cause this, I first thought it was my trany cooler, it was. Well not really it turns out that there is a oil pressure regulator inside the trans between the oil pump and the output oil cooler line. when that regulator failed the oil bypassed the oil cooler and dumped back into the sump. This is a big problem because the return line from the oil cooler lubes the input shaft bearings. Thankfully I didn't cook any thing of ruin my bearings I just had to buy a $20 regulator and some anaerobic sealant. the magnet inside the trany caught the bearing and spring from the regulator.




I would have to assume my unit failed because I "used to" like a hard down shift with the exhaust brake applied in the snow and kick the dually sideways. I have put another 10k on my rig without problems. The first 180k I ran straight dino, which may have caused my problem due to higher viscosity at low temps and my driving habits. Now Amsoil.

PAT

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