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Discussion Starter #1
I just completed a valve body swap this past weekend on my 2004 545i's 6HP26 transmission and wanted to pass some useful information on to the group. I had not been experiencing any catastrophic transmission issues, but the car just felt sluggish most of the time. Changing gears from 1st to 2nd was kind of delayed and jerky, especially when cold, and there was usually a delay before the transmission would drop into a lower gear when I tried to accelerate while cruising. It also had a tendency to hang on to a lower gear sometimes well after I had let off the gas. I wasn't getting any errors. I just knew things could be better.

I checked into the Sonnax Zip Kits and it looked promising, except that I would need to obtain my separator plate number. Not that big of a deal, but a hassle nonetheless to have to open up my transmission and check before placing the order. I also noticed all the advice out there to change out your solenoids. Tons of people have reported excellent results after replacing them, so I wanted to do the same. I read all through schpenxel's thread and it was pretty convincing. But the cost of rebuilding the valve body and replacing the solenoids can start to add up. And I’m cheap.

So I started pricing replacement valve bodies and this is when it became really tempting to try a Ford 6R60 valve body in my 6HP26. I found a seller on eBay offering new take-off 6R60’s for $225. If only this valve body would fit, this was an awesome price. I took the plunge and bought it, swapped the TCU from my 6HP26 to it, and installed it on my car, along with a replacement bridge seal, sleeve seals, a Mechatronic seal, a replacement pan and about 8 quarts of fluid. This process was pretty straightforward, with the Mechatronic seal removal and replacement being the most difficult part.

After clearing the adaptations with INPA, it was time for a test drive. That first minute or so was pretty nerve-racking as the transmission was stumbling all over itself. But the next several minutes proved that the Ford 6R60 works just fine in a 6HP26. It shifts so much tighter now. The real proof is when I really step on the gas. It responds much quicker and feels much more powerful. The shifting is actually smoother under hard acceleration than it is under light acceleration, but I’ve only driven it about 50 miles since the swap and I imagine it’s still adapting.

So, if you’re considering rebuilding your valve body or replacing the solenoids, I would really look into just replacing the valve body altogether with a new 6R60. This seller seemed to have a lot of them.
 

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Interesting decision.

Did you follow the retraining process?

Please keep us posted. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Interesting decision.

Did you follow the retraining process?

Please keep us posted. Thanks.
What's interesting about my decision? I had strong reason to assume the valve bodies were identical in function and it turns they seem to be. This was much cheaper and faster than rebuilding my existing valve body and replacing the solenoids.

Other than resetting adaptations with INPA and going out for a drive where I vary the intensity of my acceleration, I'm not aware of any retraining process. Did I miss something?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tell me,
What are the pros of replacing it with a 6r60 if a 6hp26 would be in good working order?
I don't see any pros in a scenario where everything is already in good working order. My valve body/solenoids seemed to be a little worn out, so this was an economical way to swap them out.
 

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I don't see any pros in a scenario where everything is already in good working order. My valve body/solenoids seemed to be a little worn out, so this was an economical way to swap them out.
Gotcha. I have a 535D that has the same transmission and i would like to strengthen it but i have yet to find anything that would make it hold more power
 

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Smart idea. It looks like ford only used the 6r60 on a handful of vehicles before they came out with the 6r75/6r80.

Im curious what ford did to modify the zf transmission to their requirements.

As far as getting the transmission to hold more power, consider an XHP flash.
 

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Smart idea. It looks like ford only used the 6r60 on a handful of vehicles before they came out with the 6r75/6r80.

Im curious what ford did to modify the zf transmission to their requirements.

As far as getting the transmission to hold more power, consider an XHP flash.
The only "mod" that i have found is also the xHP flash. I have seen some videos of the stage 3 tune and the shifts are lightning quick !
 

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Stewbets...KUDOS for having the balls to attempt this!! I have used the ford lub in my ZF now for about a year and when I need to do the internal replacements will follow your lead...
Thx again
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I was not aware of an official relearning procedure with our transmissions after resetting the adaptations, but banglenot's comment had me searching. It seems like this doesn't get covered very often, but I did locate a PDF put out by Propulsion Dynamics related to the 6HP19/21 transmissions. I would assume this also applies to the 6HP26. Is this common knowledge? I hadn't followed these steps the first few times I did the reset, but tried to do step 1 this last time. I think it may actually be a receipe for getting yourself killed. It's hard to think of an area where you can safely do this, at least where I live.

1. Step 1 Adaptation Re-Learn Procedure (D-Mode)
1) From a standstill, accelerate the vehicle in D Mode with very light throttle (15-25% if monitoring pedal angle with MHD) to 4th gear
2) Continue to accelerate with light throttle (20-40%) to 6th gear
3) Let the vehicle coast to ~25mph, then slow the vehicle to a standstill with light brake application
4) With the brakes applied and the vehicle at a standstill, wait for 10 seconds
5) Repeat steps 1-4 for 9 cycles, then proceed to Step 2 below (M-Mode)​

2. Step 2 Adaptation Re-Learn Procedure (M-Mode)
1) With the shifter in M Mode, accelerate the vehicle to ~30mph and select 3rd gear
2) Continue driving for 2 miles
3) Accelerate the vehicle to ~45mph and select 5th gear
4) Using light throttle, accelerate to 50mph and then coast to ~40mph without applying the brakes, repeat for 4 cycles, then
5) Accelerate to 55mph and select 6th gear
6) With light throttle, accelerate to 65mph then coast to 50mph without applying the brakes, repeat for 4 cycles, then
7) Select 3rd gear and repeat steps 1-6 for 5 cycles, then coast to a standstill and proceed to Step 3 below​

3. Step 3 (Shift Confirmation)
1. With the vehicle at a standstill, shift from “N” to “D”, wait 5 seconds then shift back into “N”
2. Repeat this for 4 cycles, then
3. Shift from “N” to “R”, wait 5 seconds then shift back into “N”
4. Repeat this for 4 cycles, then
5. Check error memory to ensure there are no codes​
 

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Nice work and thanks for the reset/relearn adaptations procedure.
 

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DoingAllright
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Hey stewbets your a feekin God bro. I too am having issues with my valve body in my 2010 750li xdrive which also has the 6hp26 valve body. Today as i was checking things out online i saw several 6r60's for 150 to 250 that were pretty much brand new. Your post helped me go ahead and seal the deal. Will be installing it this week and i will report back here to let you guys know the outcome.

On another note i'm curious about the tcm, and here is what my thinking is. The Ford tcm looks to be the same and i wonder if the Ford tcm will take programming to work in a bmw. i know that the F01,F02's TCM is married to it's original car and cannot be overwritten but what if the Fords TCM can take programming due to the original Fords language not being the same format as BMW's?????


were the pins the same on the Ford TCM?
 

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DoingAllright
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Yes Kurt, i am going to do Just that, but for information purposes it would be nice to know if the TCM from Fords will work!
 

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Is the valve body from a 6R80 the same thing? Or does it have to be from the 6R60? The 6R80 was used more widely in Ford vehicles while the 6R60 was only in the Explorers/Mountaineers...not that those are rare vehicles or anything, but I'm just curious if the 6R80s are the same and can also be used.
 

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DoingAllright
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6r60 as far as i know!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey stewbets your a feekin God bro. I too am having issues with my valve body in my 2010 750li xdrive which also has the 6hp26 valve body. Today as i was checking things out online i saw several 6r60's for 150 to 250 that were pretty much brand new. Your post helped me go ahead and seal the deal. Will be installing it this week and i will report back here to let you guys know the outcome.

On another note i'm curious about the tcm, and here is what my thinking is. The Ford tcm looks to be the same and i wonder if the Ford tcm will take programming to work in a bmw. i know that the F01,F02's TCM is married to it's original car and cannot be overwritten but what if the Fords TCM can take programming due to the original Fords language not being the same format as BMW's?????

were the pins the same on the Ford TCM?
Glad you found the info useful! I just want to save others some cash. Visually, the Ford TCM and its pins looked the same to me, but I didn't inspect it too thoroughly since I never planned on using it. I assumed it wouldn't work without programming and it was easy enough to transfer my old TCM to the new valve body.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Is the valve body from a 6R80 the same thing? Or does it have to be from the 6R60? The 6R80 was used more widely in Ford vehicles while the 6R60 was only in the Explorers/Mountaineers...not that those are rare vehicles or anything, but I'm just curious if the 6R80s are the same and can also be used.
I don't know the answer to that, but starting in 2005 Ford manufactured all these transmissions under license from ZF and made more and more tweaks as time went on, so I wonder if they were working with a modified valve body by the time they got to the 6R80 (2009 and on)
 
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