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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2014, 08:15 AM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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ZF 6HP26 solenoid replacement help

My 2004 545i has the infamous surging issue. I've tried changing the fluid, resetting the adaptive learn, replaced the mechatronic to case seals, and the connector sleeve seal. My friend at the local dealership reset the learn with the computer; no pushing the accelerator to the floor or whatever (that did nothing, by the way). Next I was going to try replacing the solenoids. thectsc.com has them for $465 but the solenoids for a Ford 6R80 are only $30 each. If the 6R80 and the 6HP26 are the same transmission, why the price difference? Has anyone actually tried the Ford solenoids? I don't mind paying the $465 as long as there is a reason. The price I got was for factory Ford solenoids too.

Thanks!
Chris
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:11 AM
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This may help - I haven't read it all yet but it appears the solenoids have individual screens that can be flushed;

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sonnax-dev/...AutoChoice.pdf

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  #3  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:18 AM
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Can you describe the serging issue . If it's serging coming to a stop and slams from second to first . Then a transmission update should fix that . Costs about 100 bucks for the trany or 200 +/- to update the whole car ..
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:31 AM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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In 5th gear cruising (not accelerating or going up or down a hill) at 35+mph, it will start to buck. Like it wants to shift but changes its mind, every couple of seconds like clockwork. I tried it in sport mode, manual mode, and regular mode and its always 5th gear only. When in manual with 5th gear selected, the rpm doesn't matter it will always do it when just cruising. Seems less harsh when you first start the car after it has been sitting over night. Also when it is cold outside.

I did have all the updates done including the transmission update (my buddy at the dealership did it for me (cost me lunch, lol), and it took a good 4 hours to program everything!). Every once in a while if I am slowing down to almost a stop, then hit the gas real quick it will slam pretty hard still even after the updates...

Chris
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:43 AM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A B Able Truck View Post
This may help - I haven't read it all yet but it appears the solenoids have individual screens that can be flushed;

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sonnax-dev/...AutoChoice.pdf

***
I actually read that somewhere before . I was even considering trying the kit sonnax makes. It apparently fixes a lot of potential leaks which I'm sure could cause a problem like I am having. Then I figured while I had it all apart I might as well just replace the solenoids if they were only $30 each like the Ford ones.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2014, 02:20 PM
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Jaystyles Jaystyles is offline
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ZF 6HP26 solenoid replacement help

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb0003 View Post
thectsc.com has them for $465 but the solenoids for a Ford 6R80 are only $30 each. If the 6R80 and the 6HP26 are the same transmission, why the price difference? Has anyone actually tried the Ford solenoids? I don't mind paying the $465 as long as there is a reason. The price I got was for factory Ford solenoids too.



Thanks!

Chris

Can any one confirm this? Because if this is so then that would be an amazing cost effective solution to a pervasive problem bmw has ignored!

Last edited by Jaystyles; 08-04-2014 at 02:24 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2014, 03:32 PM
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Maybe this;

http://natpronet.com/trans/6R60.pdf

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  #8  
Old 08-04-2014, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb0003 View Post
In 5th gear cruising (not accelerating or going up or down a hill) at 35+mph, it will start to buck. Like it wants to shift but changes its mind, every couple of seconds like clockwork. I tried it in sport mode, manual mode, and regular mode and its always 5th gear only. When in manual with 5th gear selected, the rpm doesn't matter it will always do it when just cruising. Seems less harsh when you first start the car after it has been sitting over night. Also when it is cold outside.

I did have all the updates done including the transmission update (my buddy at the dealership did it for me (cost me lunch, lol), and it took a good 4 hours to program everything!). Every once in a while if I am slowing down to almost a stop, then hit the gas real quick it will slam pretty hard still even after the updates...

Chris
Your buddy is the man , hooked you up good . Well if you can confirm those solenoids the ford ones are a great deal . I guess you would have to contact ZF directly to get the confirmation ...
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:36 AM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
Your buddy is the man , hooked you up good . Well if you can confirm those solenoids the ford ones are a great deal . I guess you would have to contact ZF directly to get the confirmation ...
Yes he did! When all was said and done, I also had bluetooth, which I never had before. Apparently if you have the voice recognition option, doing the update enables bluetooth.

My next step after asking here was to try and contact ZF. I figured I would get the standard "we only recommend original parts...etc" reply since I guess Ford actually builds their own ZF transmissions under license...

On a side note, the Ford recommended fluid for their transmissions is under $10 a quart. I wasn't brave enough to try that though. I got it from the dealership.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2014, 05:50 AM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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Originally Posted by A B Able Truck View Post
Haven't tried them... I did call Transtar as they are local and another friend of mine has an account. They wanted around $800 for the kit that supposedly was the same for the Ford an ZF versions. My years of working in a body shop when I was younger told me to always check the dealership first because a lot of times they will surprise you. BMW doesn't have any tranny parts other than the sleeve seals, the pan, and the mechatronic as an assembly ($3000). That's when I tried and Ford an found the $30 solenoids. They are brown and black rather than the yellow, blue and black of the ZF. But if you look at the catalog page you posted AND Transtar's catalog, their kits work for both.

I almost want to just try the Ford ones so I can be that guy that figured out how to beat the system, LOL. I've never rebuilt a tranny with more than 4 speeds though...
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2014, 06:23 AM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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7G383A (3), 7G383B (3), and 7G484 (1) are the Ford part numbers. There are also about 4 different versions each of the 7G383's that are identified by a stamping in the case. As far as I have found, they only made one version each of the ZF solenoids. The Ford parts are from a 2010+ Mustang with a 6R80 trans. The 6R80 is built by Ford under license from ZF and based on the 6HP26. The solenoid arrangement is identical to an M(anual) Shift 6HP26 like the 04 E60. The other version of the mechatronic is an E(lectronic) shift which uses a solenoid to select gears rather than a cable. That's as far as my research has gotten me so far...
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2014, 09:41 AM
etnav382 etnav382 is offline
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^ Now this guy knows how to make quality posts, ask questions that can't befound with a simple search and contribute something new to the community. Welcome to bimmerfest!!! Also I will be following this thread closely because I need to replace some solenoids, also. Good luck!
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  #13  
Old 08-05-2014, 12:15 PM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etnav382 View Post
^ Now this guy knows how to make quality posts, ask questions that can't befound with a simple search and contribute something new to the community. Welcome to bimmerfest!!! Also I will be following this thread closely because I need to replace some solenoids, also. Good luck!
Wow, thanks! That really means a lot!
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2014, 06:42 PM
heyward heyward is offline
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Take the car on a test drive with a scanner hooked up with someone in the right seat monitoring all shift functions if it does not set a fault see what happens when the **** happens never seen solenoids get clogged unless clutch material or a drum is failing I have fixed a ton of these with a trans flush and a software update




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  #15  
Old 08-08-2014, 10:24 PM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyward View Post
Take the car on a test drive with a scanner hooked up with someone in the right seat monitoring all shift functions if it does not set a fault see what happens when the **** happens never seen solenoids get clogged unless clutch material or a drum is failing I have fixed a ton of these with a trans flush and a software update
I asked my buddy at the dealership about that and he said they didn't have any way to monitor it in real time. He said the running values are stored, but only BMW tech officers can read and review it. He said I could have them do that if a case were opened for me, but they wouldn't go over the data with me and would just tell me I needed a new trans. If there is some other type of scanner that will show a real time data stream for the trans, please let me know as my buddy at BMW is only familiar with what the BMW scanners can do.
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  #16  
Old 08-09-2014, 11:28 AM
heyward heyward is offline
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I use auto logic and u can look at real time , I am new to this site and not sure how to navigate around and not always around a computer or my phone . I don't see why the ford ones would not work , if it were me I would drop the valve body and inspect . Not that hard to do just need a special so it for the bolts
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  #17  
Old 08-10-2014, 11:52 PM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyward View Post
I use auto logic and u can look at real time , I am new to this site and not sure how to navigate around and not always around a computer or my phone . I don't see why the ford ones would not work , if it were me I would drop the valve body and inspect . Not that hard to do just need a special so it for the bolts
Yeah, I planned on just dropping it first and doing the vacuum tests in the pdf posted by AB Able Truck above. I ordered the sonnax zip kit just for kicks. It fixes some pressure issues which might help. It only does it when you barely have the gas pressed, and I'm sure this tranny is like every other one I've worked on where the pressure is regulated according to the throttle position. I wouldn't be so leery of just trying the Ford solenoids, but there are 4 different versions of each of the 3... and I have no idea what the differences are.
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  #18  
Old 08-11-2014, 09:25 AM
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Jaystyles Jaystyles is offline
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ZF 6HP26 solenoid replacement help

Chris,

I hope whichever path you take (ford solenoids or the sonnax zip kit) hope that you get some break through results to report after its all said and done. Good luck!

Last edited by Jaystyles; 08-11-2014 at 10:40 AM.
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  #19  
Old 08-11-2014, 11:23 PM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jaystyles View Post
Chris,

I hope whichever path you take (ford solenoids or the sonnax zip kit) hope that you get some break through results to report after its all said and done. Good luck!
Me too! Its so frustrating... Whatever It Takes Transmission has the whole Ford 7 solenoid kit for $132. They don't mention different stamping numbers on the solenoid like the Ford book does. And that kit is listed right next to the 6HP26 kit for $850. Of course there are a couple different kits depending on whether its a 26, 26A, or 26X or something. The sonnax booklet that came with the zip kit has the flow and ohm specs listed for both the Ford and ZF. They are identical, and they also don't mention different stamping numbers for Fords... I will keep everyone posted. I might just go get the Ford kit from WIT and compare it to mine... they aren't too far from me...

EDIT: I take that back. WIT doesn't have that kit in stock. The EDS solenoids are about $60 each and the other one is $30.

Last edited by chrisb0003; 08-11-2014 at 11:28 PM. Reason: new info
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  #20  
Old 08-12-2014, 08:49 AM
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You might ask these guys - it appears we have another great BMW indy in San Diego that is also an authorized ZF rebuilder (EGA referral).
http://www.dosebmw.com

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  #21  
Old 08-12-2014, 09:21 PM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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I think we have an answer... Look at the last page of the zip kit instructions. The Ford solenoids have different o-ring sizes for 2 of the 3 types of solenoid...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ZF6-6R60-ZIP-Booklet.pdf (1.45 MB, 209 views)
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  #22  
Old 08-17-2014, 11:20 AM
Amherst Amherst is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb0003 View Post
On a side note, the Ford recommended fluid for their transmissions is under $10 a quart. I wasn't brave enough to try that though. I got it from the dealership.
I can confirm the Ford fluid is fine and working well with our ZF 6 speed transmissions. The cost was $70 for a twelve quart case from the Ford dealer. It is labeled Motorcraft Mercon SP and the part number is XT-6-QSP.
8k miles on this fluid and my tranny has never been so smooth since I purchased the car used at 90K miles.
I recommend dumping the fluid twice when switching it over from another brand fluid to obtain a high percentage of change.
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  #23  
Old 09-26-2014, 02:12 PM
switz switz is offline
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Any updates on this? I plan on putting in new solenoids soon. Sounds like it's not worth the shot of just cleaning?
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  #24  
Old 09-26-2014, 06:37 PM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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I hope to have an update soon. I have been ironing a few things out on my other car so that I can drive it and not have to worry about getting the BMW done all at once. Just been really busy, but I NEED to get it done! There were a few people who said that doing a complete flush and filter change fixed their problem. It just didn't help me. If you use the Ford fluid like one person suggested, it is definitely the cheapest as well as the easiest thing to try first.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:28 AM
chrisb0003 chrisb0003 is offline
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FINALLY. I installed the Sonnax ZIP kit and the problem is ALMOST gone. While I had the valve body apart, I did all the vacuum tests suggested by the Sonnax instruction. Every single test failed before the kit. After the kit, everything passed except the pressure regulator valve test. It was, however, a lot better than before; as in it held no vacuum before and it held about 7 in/hg after - half of the recommended amount. Now the problem is barely noticeable and only happens when you just barely touch the gas and cruise. That makes sense because the pressure regulator solenoid is usually controlled by throttle position. The less throttle, the less pressure, so shifts are smoother on gentle acceleration and harder at full throttle acceleration. The kit did have an over-sized pressure regulator valve included and I installed it, but I guess my valve body was just too worn. They make another kit that has an even bigger valve, but you have to have a special jig and a special reamer that cost almost as much as a rebuilt mechatronics unit all together! About $1000 for everything from the FEW places online that have it! So my conclusion is: the problem comes from a worn pressure regulator valve. A new solenoid might fix the problem because pressure is controlled by cycling the solenoid on and off very quickly. New fluid might fix it because new fluid may have more viscosity and increase pressure. My feeling is, if your car is just starting the problem, GET THE ZIP KIT NOW! Before your pressure regulator valve gets too worn. If you let it go for a year and a half like I did, it makes sense that once a part starts to wear a little, the wear starts happening at an exponential rate the longer you let it go. Rock Auto sells the kit, and Sunbelt Valve Body or thectsc.com have the separator plate you need to replace. I had $180 in the kit and plate and $180 in BMW brand fluid. If you want to replace the filter/pan I think it was $100 or $150. If you just replace the solenoids or just change the fluid, I would be worried that that is only a temporary fix and your pressure regulator valve could continue to wear to the point where the kit won't fix it.

Be careful of check balls when separating the valve body halves. The Sonnax instructions do not tell you where they go and neither does the ZF service manual (ZF says the valve bodies aren't rebuildable, LOL). Take all the bolts out, but turn it over before you separate it. The check balls are in the top half! Use vaseline on all seals when reassembling. Yes, vaseline.
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