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Author Topic: Espace 24v ZF 4HP20 ( LM0 ) OIL TYPE when changing  (Read 32962 times)
renaultbiler
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« on: May 10, 2009, 11:36:18 am »

I am seriously considering to change the transmission fluid on my 24v as a precaution and "service".
By googling it i read YES and NO everywhere on this box, and doom day notes telling about broken boxes after replacing fluid - i'm ending up cross-eyed...
But with 137.000km on the clock the oil simply cannot be as good as new anymore, and the definition "Lifetime" (filled for life) might very well mean something like 150.000km down in Europe.

Since Renault Nordic took over they don't keep a single litre of their original LMO oil in stock (belive that!) so its a France order and takes a week or two.

I have a friend running his own Bosch service center and he insists on using "his" Valvoline Maxlife ATF on it, and thinks i am a real cone head for making such a big fuzz about it! I just want to make sure i do what ever i can to keep my favourite car through all times running good for many many km to come. Neither my friend or Valvoline has got the balls to guarantee (money wise) it wont fail with their oil inside withing a few thousand kilometres.

So, Renault not stocking the oil, easy access and good price on the Maxlife, it looks like i am going for it unless something comes up - i'm then doing 4 changes (drain and refill) on it with a short drive inbetween to get most of the old oil out, since it only drains about halv of total capasity from draining plug.

WHAT oil are you using on your ZF 4HP20 box if you have changed it Huh
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 11:49:23 am by renaultbiler » Logged

1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Martin Tyas
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Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 01:13:47 pm »

Tom

I have attached a ZF automotive transmission lubrication bulletin that provides you with details of alternative oils for the 4HP20... mainly from the OEM's who have utilised that transmission but also a ZF brand oil.

On page 3 there are some notes regarding the 5 and 6 speed transmissions in general but also specifically mentions the 4HP20 regarding the oil and oil change interval.

I have the oil changed on my old 5 series that has a 4HP22 but that uses Dextron 3. I take it to an auto transmission specialist and have the filter changed at the same time (they are about €40).... and as over half the oil in an auto box is within the torque converter, at the same time as changing the filter they open the valve within the transmission to drain all the old oil from the torque converter as well as the box and then there is the need for only one fill instead of several as you had planned.... ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) is expensive!!!

Martin
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
roy4matra
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 01:34:38 pm »

... i'm then doing 4 changes (drain and refill) on it with a short drive inbetween to get most of the old oil out, since it only drains about halv of total capasity from draining plug.

To explain or clarify this for others who may not understand why, here is the reason.

When you drain an automatic gearbox sump, you only drain the oil in the gearbox.  That still leaves the oil in the torque convertor.  This is often about half the total quantity of oil in the combined unit.  So if you drain the oil from the sump and top it up again, you will still be left with about half of the old (dirty) oil.  That is not a very good way to do an oil change, and since the new and old oil will mix on running, even doing the change a number of times will still not really clean it, but sort of dilute the old oil - the problem is that much dirt can remain.  This is one major reason why no oil change is recommended.

The better way to drain and refill, is to drain the sump, then remove it and remove the valve block and drain the torque convertor in which the oil is held by a valve in the valve block.  If you rotate the convertor by hand whilst the valve block is off, it will help to empty it, but you can never drain or clean it entirely.  This is why you must never change a damaged automatic gearbox without changing the convertor.  Particles and dirt from the damaged unit will be in the convertor and subsequently get into the new unit when run.

Once drained as much as possible, you can then refit the valve block, clean or change the filter and refit the sump.  Utmost cleanliness is paramount at all times.  If even a spec of dirt is introduced you can cause problems.  The valve blocks have some very tiny holes...

You must know what you are doing as removing and refitting the valve block could cause problems if you do not get it right.  Some have push fit external (to the valve block) pipes that have to be removed and refitted correctly; there can be operating rods that fit in special places that are released by removing, so have to be refitted correctly as the valve block is re-secured; and often there are different length screws that must all go back in exactly the same positions; so don't even consider this if you are not sure you know how to do it.

As for oil, you are right about using the same as the original and nothing less, since it will be mixing with the original.  As these boxes can be very susceptible to oil, I would not want the oil being a mixture of two types.

Roy
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 05:08:44 pm »

I took our car to an auto box specialist as soon as I got it home from Germany as I didn't beleive in "life time" oils. He agreed and replaced the amount of oil that could be drained off the box (4 litres I think), and we redid the procedure the following year.

Martin, the 4HP22 is a longitudal gearbox and you probably have much easier access to the internals. With the 4HP20 being a good deal more compact, it is not possible to change the filter without taking the box apart. For this you need to take the box off the car, which on the Espace apparantly involves taking the entire driveline out. At least according to the manual. Even now that I have had the box off the car twice within the last few months, I haven't had it done. I hope relatively frequent half oil changes will keep the box running.

And so far I think we're all right, since when the oil was changed first time, the mechanic said it was a bit dirty. Next time it was all right, and when it was checked in December, we decided to leave it for another year as it was clean. I could have had the box shipped to an autobox specialist for a complete oil and filter change this time, but honestly I forgot - and has decided to live with it for now.

Roy's comments about precautions when working on these boxes leads me to think that it's better to do as little as possible with these boxes, unless you go to an auto box specialist. If my box should fail at some point, I'm going to have it towed or drive it (if it still can) to Germany for a rebuild at one of the specialist workshops there. The 4HP20 is a common box on Peugeots and Mercedes Vito, so it should be all right. Browsing eBay, I have found at least one business in Berlin which has these boxes in stock already refurbished.

There's a very good document about this box in the vault on the Espace section:
http://www.matrasport.dk/Cars/Espace/vault/JE/AUTOBOX_ZF4_HP20_training.pdf

/Anders
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 05:19:14 pm by Anders Dinsen » Logged

'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
renaultbiler
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 05:38:00 pm »

Anders, do you know what oil was used on your transmission ?

I've found that the ESSO LT 71141 is available here so if the sufficient amount (12 ltrs = 3 or 4 drains depending on 3 or 4 litres draining each time) is in stock i will probably go for that even if it IS an expensive oil (somewhere around 250 euros in oil only).
I will have another check with Renault conserning delivery time on the LM0 oil (2 litres containers) as i think that is a tiny bit cheaper if i remember correct, got a 2 litre that i bought last year.

I am planning to do this 22 mai along with engine oil exchange, AC service (fluid exchange) etc.

The filter is only accessible after you split open the box so that is not an option to touch on these.

By the way off topic but much more pleasant Roll Eyes - just colored the leather front seat cussions with a diy kit from Buffalo Leather UK, FANTASTIC Grin
The Initiale seats are very nice but they wear off on the leather color from entering and exiting the car.
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
renaultbiler
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 06:07:28 pm »

UPDATE - just ordered 16 litres ESSO LT 71141 as there was plenty in stock and with a good discound deal it became a fairly decent price afterall. So no more wondering, simply play it safe!

I'm going to take some photos of the excange prosedure and drop it on here when its done.
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
renaultbiler
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 08:37:25 pm »

UPDATE of the really bad kind Shocked

Today - just a few days until sceduled oil exchange i suddenly got a horrible noise apparently from the transmision, appearing out of the blue when driving off and engaging second gear.... Metalic noise and present when driving aswell as in park/neutral. I gently drove 1 km to home and started and stopped it a few times but the same ugly noise.

Drained it and got approx 3.5 liters of oil - black oil. Then with the sump plug off i started it to drain another 0.5 liters, and the noise was now intermittent only for the 15-30 seconds i had it running. Stopped and started it once more, and noice COMPLETELY gone!

Now i have no other option than to do a couple of flushes at home to see what happends. Since i have only 2 liters at home i will get 8 liters shipped tomorrow so by tuesday night i will probably know the first result.

So with 137.000km, the lifetime oil crap is a real joke Angry

You can easily see the difference on the oil...... not good! And this is the exact identical oils as they have the same smell/cent only the new one smells stronger - kinda rotten fish or something.

There is some very small metal particles left in the bottom of the can used for draining, and i dont know if this is considered normal or fatal after 137.000km on the same oil.

Time will show!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 08:39:55 pm by renaultbiler » Logged

1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
roy4matra
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 01:08:15 am »

Drained it and got approx 3.5 liters of oil - black oil...

It is fairly normal for auto oil to go black; the important point is whether it is also burnt, or badly contaminated with metal particles.

The way an auto gearbox works is that there are a number of multi-plate clutches that work in the oil, and so the lining 'dust' that wears off the plates, mixes with the oil, making the colour much darker.  However, if the oil smells burnt, or is contaminated with metal particles, that is a sign that there is a problem.

Quote
So with 137.000km, the lifetime oil crap is a real joke Angry

As with all 'lifetime' statements like joints or bearings 'sealed for life' these do not mean 'forever' and the 'life' can vary depending on other factors like working conditions, damage to seals allowing ingress of water, or loss of oil or grease, etc. etc.  So the lifetime is not what it seems...

Quote
There is some very small metal particles left in the bottom of the can used for draining, and i dont know if this is considered normal or fatal after 137.000km on the same oil.

Time will show!

I could not make out anything from the photo unfortunately, but any metal particles in the oil can spell bad news I'm afraid, especially with that noise you described.  With fresh oil it may last a while longer but knowing the problems we have had here with these boxes, I would not rely on it at all.  Sorry.

Roy
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renaultbiler
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2009, 08:06:25 am »

I would say its neither burned or BADLY contaminated, only some particles (more like metal dust) is left in the drain can. Hopefullt this amount is what can be expected when never drained before with 137k on the clock, regardless - it is there.

I suspect the noise to have been from the converter, some time ago (1 year..) i probably had this sound a second or so when starting up cold but it only occurred a couple of times and never felt dramatic. I am fairly sertain it is linked to the converter, but converter or gearbox - if i have to take it out for converter exchange it will also be gearbox exchange.

The truth is that i never rely on an automatic transmission, and when buying this car i knew that soon or later it will need attention like rebuild or exchange. Perhaps this is the time.

Any tips on new or rebuilt ZF 4HP20 is much appreciated.

And for the record, i dont blame the car or Renault for this Cool I still LOVE my Espace !!! Truth is its a German gearbox Kiss
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2009, 07:47:55 pm »

The truth is that i never rely on an automatic transmission, and when buying this car i knew that soon or later it will need attention like rebuild or exchange. Perhaps this is the time.

I have the same opinion, though I think this gearbox is less problematic than some other Renault auto boxes.

Quote
Any tips on new or rebuilt ZF 4HP20 is much appreciated.

I have come across this company on eBay:
http://stores.ebay.de/GSB-GETRIEBESERVICE-BERLIN-GMBH

They don't list any ZF 4HP20 or Renault LM0 boxes at the moment, but they have had them before so they might be worth a call. They will need your old box back, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Quote
And for the record, i dont blame the car or Renault for this Cool I still LOVE my Espace !!! Truth is its a German gearbox Kiss

Haha! Indeed.

Have you read this training manual yet?
http://www.matrasport.dk/Cars/Espace/vault/JE/AUTOBOX_ZF4_HP20_training.pdf

/Anders
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'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
renaultbiler
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2009, 09:09:58 pm »

Yes, i've read that manual - many times..

Today i "found" the filler cap (speedo blind plate) and level plug and cleaned the area, so i am ready to do some oil filling tomorrow when hopefully the oil arrives. Then i think the first moment of truth is close.
If it turns out the gearbox seems okay (so far) i will still look for a new one and replace it along with cambelt service next year - unless i have a 100% trouble free year with the current box.

I have a friend in Germany - a Renault tech - now running his own independent repair shop. We discuss frequently tools and faults and he is a good source when i need parts.

He says that it is not abnormal to find tiny metal particles in these when they have passed 100.000km, and is also pretty certain that the sound experience is due to an oil level problem striking the hydraulic clutch.

I have never (shame on me now) topped up the transmission, neither do i know if this has ever been done in the history of the car even if it has complete service history from Germany from new -and with the previous owner as he frequently visited Germany and serviced the car at the same time. I saw today that it is tiny oil sweat around the driveshaft axles, and even if it is tiny it will eventually drain the box.

So, until i have filled it up and tested it i cross my fingers and have only one last sentence to all you coneheads still driving your car with the same "#%""&=)?&# lifetime oil" inside your gearbox, GET IT FIXED WITH GENUINE OIL ONLY - NOW - and i wish i had seen this thread myself a year ago! Grin
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
renaultbiler
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2009, 10:23:22 pm »

A new idea from my German friend, apparently he has been discussing my gearbox noise with another technitian at a German Renault dealer today - and there is a suggestion about a thin metal plate mounted between the converter and the engine, this could have a small cut and creates/created noise - Remembering this from previous problems on these cars - and by the sound of it i have to admit it could be something like that. And when that is said i do have a rather sharp starter noise just when the engine starts, and this has been like this as long as i've had it.

Well - since i have no oil yet i will be just sitting here and everywhere and typing my own comforts but preparing for the worst Tongue
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2009, 09:15:01 am »

That's right - it's covering the lower part of the converter and is removed to gain access to the bolts between the engine and converted. It shouldn't be difficult to remove it and look for obvious problems!

There's nothing worse than waiting for a verdict... I'll keep my fingers crossed that it will be positive!

/Anders
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
renaultbiler
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2009, 08:16:44 pm »

UPDATE - the gearbox is gone to hell!
It is spraying oil through the converter house so its game over. It is shifting gears nicely but the converter sounds like a jet fighter on asteroid collision or something.

Have running contact with GSF Berlin, they claim they can deliver a fresh LM0-005 on upcoming saturday already... if so it is a big WOW - 1349 euros + shipping. They then take the broken box as they go.

Will keep you posted - the good part about this is that we regardless will have a working car in good time before the summer vacation.

So i sing a big HALLELUJA always looking at it from the bright side about the fact that finally the gearbox broke down and most lightly i will have no gearbox problems again with this car Roll Eyes
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2009, 11:46:18 pm »

That's bad news indeed, but I like the way you look at it, and it's good to hear that you've found a new box at a fair price! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Getting the box off the engine is going to be your next big challenge, as it's probably very difficult unless you take the drive train out. Am I hearing anyone rumour "timing belt replacement"?

Maybe it's about time I wrap the plastic covers up for you and have them sent off... please e-mail me with your address.

Here's a photo of the converter on our box - as you can see, it's still dry and nice inside. I suppose yours is a good deal more oily!

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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
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