4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Discuss the problems with your X5 (E53).
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sleepyfolk
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:41 am

Well the gearbox still doesn’t feel right. No trans fail error since that first one, have located a chap called Phil of 5hp24 transmissions ltd, it’s all he does and his workshop is like a lab - much more the sort of thing I expect of a gearbox workshop. Seems the likely plan now is to drop my box, whip out the valve block and send it off to him then he’ll send me a complete box and TC back.

Lost faith in the last place I went. Box doesn’t lurch badly but. I can feel the changes more, no slipping but I guess it’s just a matter of time :headbang:


Rain sensor I fixed still works though :rofl:
Last edited by sleepyfolk on Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:31 pm

When mine came back from rebuild the first time the clutch changeover sequence timing was wrong causing the revs to increase slightly as the clutch disengaged before dropping again as the new gear engaged. It took them a couple of attempts before fitting a different box and a brand new Mechatronics Unit to finally sort it. They never did tell me what was the issue with the old box, only that it had been scrapped due to internal issues!
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:10 pm

Phill posts on occasions on that well known x5 forum across the pond and is very highly regarded. I doubt if there is anyone better. Keep us posted
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sleepyfolk
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:21 pm

This morning was weird, there’s a slight slope at the end of the farm track and you often have to hold on until there’s a gap in the traffic before emerging onto the A30, today I trundled up the track as usual, went to pull out and had no drive at all, rolled back a bit and revved it a little more and crawled onto the main road and then slowly nursed it down to put some fuel in.
When I stopped for fuel the trans fail safe came up, when I got back in and started it up - all back to semi normal, still feel then gear changes but it changes and has driven normally all day!

Anyway, booked into Howard BMW on the 8th October to drop the box, courier that to Phil at 5hp24 Ltd on the 9th, then refit it on the 17th October all being well.

Luckily for me he had a rebuilt 034 box on the shelf missing a valve block so he just needs to refurb and fit my valve block and I’ll have a new gearbox and torque converter and all will be well with the world - that’s the plan anyway!
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marti
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:58 am

Whats your battery voltage before you start it up from cold???.....a bad battery will cause havoc.
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sleepyfolk
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:09 pm

The battery is on a smart charger regularly and is a fairly new Bosch S5 so should be ok, I don’t doubt there is something wrong with the box as it slipped and lost drive completely
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sleepyfolk
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:30 am

Well it seems to have a few bits in there doesn’t it!
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sapphireblack
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:48 am

Images like that are why i pay professionals to fix any issues I encounter. Scary for the likes of me :o
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sleepyfolk
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:34 am

Me too, turns out someone’s been in there before, the valve “block” is made up of 3 separate pieces, one of mine has 2006 on it which is slightly suspect in a 2003 car!
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sleepyfolk
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:39 am

Also turns out that Falmouth Clutch & Gearbox Centre are the same as loads of other sharks out there. The filter they used was just a cheap china copy and the rubber seal was missing between the filter and the box - glad I didn’t ask them to take it apart !
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:01 pm

Nice little Sunday afternoon re-assembly job that is :D
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:09 pm

If you came across this thread searching for 5hp24 gearbox information, please bear in mind that the technical details relate specifically to the BMW E53 4.6is which has its’ own version of the 5hp24.
There are many versions of the 5hp24 box and contrary to popular belief just because a Range Rover had a 4.4 BMW V8 in it it doesn’t have the same torque converter or gearbox internals so don’t get hoodwinked as I very nearly was by someone saying they’re interchangeable.

Gearbox nerds please continue reading here:

So, for anyone really interested in gearbox shenanigans this is what transpired. Just a note to say as well that Phil Winter of 5hp24 transmissions Ltd is winding down his business due to retirement but will still be doing the odd one here or there on more of a hobby basis so it’s still possible to use him. You can email him on phil@5hp24.com, 07850 422545. He doesn’t remove/refit the boxes - you need to get that done and pallet it up to him in Blackburn.
He was previously a consultant to the auto box industry in some form or other designing these things and set up 5hp24 as a sideline as far as I gather, certainly seemed to have far greater credentials than anyone else I could find.

I came across his details via various forums for vehicles that also have the same box fitted - Jag, Land Rover etc etc - all reports were positive and he was widely lauded as someone who was trustworthy and that would deal with the problem informatively rather than the rest of the teeth sucking idiots I came across who just want 2k so they can blast your gearbox out with a pressure washer.

I used Howard BMW & Mini in Redruth to remove/refit the box, they provided the pallet with a box for the gearbox to go in and a bracket to hold the torque converter in place. They also recommend Bristol Transmissions which is where they normally send them off to but obviously I can’t comment on them. Upon refitting they also fitted a new position switch and gearbox oil cooler and repaired a couple of heat shields whilst they were under there - £1017 inc vat. OK I thought given the ridiculous price of the position switches!

Phil recommended an excellent courier for pallet deliveries/collections https://www.speedshift.co.uk/ - they’ll take engines and gearboxes as long as the oil is drained.

So this is where we started :


PHIL SAID:
Once the sump pan was off I could see immediately that the filter was not an IBS Filtran (OE) unit but a cheap pattern part and, significantly, the O-ring that seals the filter to the suction port on the valve body was missing. Although the fluid level in the sump is nominally above this, potentially this could allow the pump to suck air during cornering, acceleration, etc.

The remainder of the transmission, though, is in superb condition. All six sets of clutch plates are ‘as new’, with their piston seals and return springs all in good nick. Each of the axial bearings appears unworn and the running seals are all in very good condition. The oil pump, drums, one-way sprag, shafts and gearing all look equally unmarked. I can tell that the transmission has been remanufactured at some point, but this has been carried out to a very high standard.

Other than the missing O-ring there are no further issues that I can see just by visual inspection and I would expect a transmission in this condition to last for a further 100,000 miles.
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The situation with the valve body assembly, though, is slightly confusing. The standard ‘350’ valve body assembly (which was the final production version which encompassed all the development updates introduced during the 5HP24’s production life) was designated a ‘353’ unit just for the E53 4.6is transmission because it featured a different upper valve block with modified B and E clutch valves:
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This upper valve block was given the new part number 1058 327 075 and the block was stamped with the last 3 digits of the part number to distinguish it from the standard upper valve block:

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On the valve body assembly that came out of your transmission the upper valve body has had the ‘075’ number etched by hand onto the block, which doesn’t look (to me) as though it came out of the factory like that:

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and what was clearly originally a ‘350’ assembly has had the number ‘353’ crudely etched over the top

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I’m not certain what to make of this and it clearly requires further investigation. The casting of the upper valve block has a 2006 date stamp on it (the last 4.6is transmission came of the production line in August 2003) whereas the other two valve blocks (there are three valve blocks that make up the valve body assembly) are marked as being manufactured in 2002. The transmission casings are earlier still but unfortunately the ID plate is missing from the side of the main case which would have had a serial number on it from which I could have identified its production date. I need to get the valve body assembly apart to see what alterations have been made to it and get to the bottom of this, and I will do this next.

Some time passed;

Although I was sceptical about the upper valve block from your old transmission being a ‘proper’ 075 unit, it does indeed have the larger KV-E valve and the smaller KV-B valve (which are unique to the ‘034’ E53 4.6is transmission). The valve body assembly had clearly been replaced at some point after 2006, for some reason.

Although the missing filter O-ring and Taiwanese filter may explain some issues since the filter was fitted, it wouldn’t explain the issues you were having before this, and there was no indication whatsoever from the condition of the disassembled components that the transmission was having any problems. Quite the contrary, in fact. It all looked to be in excellent order.

That really only leaves the torque converter, the valve body assembly, or something external, as the possible cause. The valve body assembly has to be the top of the list.

I’ve therefore replaced the two lower valve blocks (including fitting a Sonnax main pressure valve), the solenoids, the wiring loom and the duct plate and I know from the Hydra-Test that the ‘new’ valve body assembly is operating at 100%. The torque converter has been replaced with a re-manufactured unit from JPAT.

Your transmission ECU will have long-term adaptions stored for the previous transmission, but it should learn the new settings for this transmission quickly.

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I’ve since picked the car up and you only know it changes gear by the engine note you can’t feel a thing which is how it should be so I emailed Phil to say thanks and ask about future oil change regime:


Glad that all is well with your car. The solenoid adaptions will take a short while to adjust, but this is usually a matter of hours rather than days, so I should just take it easy for the first day or so, to give it chance to re-learn.

ZF recommend that the fluid is replaced every 100,000 miles or 10 years under ‘normal’ conditions, so you won’t need to worry about the fluid (& filter) for a while! The biggest killer of fluid is heat (due to oxidation). At elevated temperatures the fluid life halves for every 10°C increase in temperature so it’s important to keep the cooling system in good order. The normal running temperature for the fluid is around 100°C. It’s only when it gets beyond 130°C that the life is drastically reduced. ZF recommend that if the vehicle is used for:
Frequent motorway driving at high speed
Performance/sporty driving
Frequent trailer operation (towing)
(i.e. conditions that would increase the fluid temperature) then the change interval should be reduced to 60,000 miles or 8 years.

GEARBOX OIL;

Fluid used was 12 litres Mobil ATF LT71141 fluid. - Phil will not provide a warranty if any other fluid is used so sent the oil on the pallet with the box.

He warned me at the outset when I rang him after my second oil change at the gearbox centre I went to with the Taiwan filters (they said they only used OEM parts and oil) that on many occasions people are putting their cars in for a gearbox oil change in good faith and will be told that it’s “OEM equivalent”. Apparently there are very subtle differences in the friction qualities of the various oils that claim to be an “OEM equivalent” and as such he would only use what is in mine or ZF’s own.
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:58 am

Interesting article (being an Injuneer) and this has some sound advice about filters and oils - and about the replacement cycle if towing or ‘making progress.

Thank you for updating the thread :D
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:01 pm

Dare we ask what all this lot cost you.
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sleepyfolk
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Re: 4.6is gearbox - wish me luck!

Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:44 pm

It was £1017 for the indy that did the remove and refit - that included a couple of hours fixing my heat shields, £250 ish for a new position switch and about £100 for a new gearbox oil cooler.

The box and torque converter was £880 inc delivery and oil but I got quite a discount as he already had a refurbed box with the valve block missing and was able to take mine in for parts so I’m not sure what it would have been normally.

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