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ZF5HP19 problems after replacing reverse drum. YES, I searched first.

8398 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Crackin'Foxy
Greetings all!

TL;DR - came to shop with no reverse, replaced the drum ONLY, now has several codes and goes into limp after trying for 3rd gear. Also replaced a rectangular section sealing ring with silicon because my boss and the customer have less knowledge than money they're willing to spend. Cannot diagnose, need help!

Let me preface by saying that I'm not a BMW owner, I'm a mechanic with recent BMW woes. That being said, We have a 2000 323i with 140k miles here at the shop that has me pulling my hair out at this point. It came in with a complaint of no reverse. We dropped the pan and found pieces of the 'D' drum sitting in oil that looked like it came out of my Cummins. I recommended removing the trans, performing a full overhaul (all new bearings, seals, o-rings, clutch packs, the whole pizza box), and replacing the broken clutch drum. The customer didn't want to spend any money and the boss didn't want to let the job walk away so they settled on replacing just the broken drum and the four o-rings for the pistons that apply the clutches. Transmission came out without issue. After draining, I opened it up on the bench, removed the filter and set it aside to re-use (sigh....:facepalm:). Valve body came off all together, only removed the ~21 larger-head bolts. Removed the two plastic fluid passages (yellow pieces between VB and front pump) intact, as well as the spring-loaded metal piece and spring from the pump. Pulled the pump off and thoroughly cleaned everything as it came out. I swapped all the old parts from the old drum to the new (with new o-rings on the pistons) and started re-assembly. Everything was going fine until I get to the shaft that runs from the 'A' and 'E' clutch up into the torque converter. On this shaft, there are two rectangular section sealing rings, and one o-ring. I noticed that the foremost rectangular section ring (smaller diameter of the two) was torn and misshapen. This ring is only available as part of the master overhaul kit so again I recommend a full rebuild and am denied. Now, I'm not proud of this next part, and if the excuse "I just work here/do what I'm told" wasn't good enough for Göring, then it's probably not good enough for me either, but, we filled the groove with RTV silicone (high temp), and let 'er cure overnight. Now I'm sure many of you are immediately going to default to this being my problem, but hear me out first. Fast forward to trans re-installation, and fluid fill. We filled the trans through the 8mm hex plug on the left rear corner of the trans, just above the oil pan. Added fluid until it dripped out, started engine, shifted through all positions 4 times and then refilled again while running in park. Trans took a total of ~8/9 quarts, which sounds good to me because total capacity is 9.30qts, but you can never really completely empty the torque converter. When we test drive the car, it now has beautiful reverse. When we drive it down the highway, it shifts 1-2 no problem, then bangs HARD when it tries for 3rd (had all forward gears beforehand). CEL and transmission (!) icon come on and it goes into (i think) a limp mode where it seems to be stuck in 4th or 5th gear, max speed of ~15mph, engine revs all the way up, a la badly slipping clutch. Turn the car off and let it sit for ten minutes and everything is fine again...until 3rd gear. We pulled codes, cleared codes, reset adaptations, disconnected battery, all several times. The condition repeats itself every time. first thought was the seal that we should've replaced, BUT, the codes suggest an electrical issue:
83 - EGS ECU internal fault (= P1893, P1894, P1895 i think)
59 - Stall monitering (??)
53 - Gear monitering 3, incorrect ratio (P0733?)
54 - Gear monitering 4, incorrect ratio (P0734?)
49 - Gear monitering (??)
Also have two codes in the ECU for an evap leak and a coolant/tstat issue.
Codes were pulled/cleared etc. with a Snap-On Modis. Also, clutch-brake application chart shows that A, B, C, D, low sprag, and G clutches are all used at least once between P, R, N, D-1, and D-2. E clutch does not engage until 4th and 5th gear. F clutch at 3rd, and for 4th and 5th. So maybe my problem has to do with F clutch? Since everything else seems to work until F clutch applies (or tries to). Now I don't have a fluid flow diagram for this tranny, but from everything I do have, it seems that the rectangular section ring that is now a home made silicon o-ring is separate enough from my problem that I should at least look elsewhere first? I guess what I really need to know is what two fluid passages does this sealing ring separate? If anyone has the exploded view handy, the piece in question is '71.020'.

Final notes, we have been searching and reading everything on the internet. This forum and E46fanatics have been extremely helpful, so we decided to post here after trying everything we could think of/was suggested to us. Hopefully somewhere out there is a ZF god that has actually read all of my ramblings and is about to drop some knowledge on me. Here's hoping! Many thanks to all who took the time to read this!! I'll be checking back and updating through the end of this fiasco.

Warning: PDF! ZF5HP19 spare parts catalog URL:
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Hey I'm no expert but looking for some info before I change the fluid on my ZF19-5HP and saw this as you may have too. Yet here its is again. look at the first listing he offers a cell number and help. This might be the help your looking for. If you could post again what the outcome is too that would be great.
zf5hp19 transmission

my wifes 05 vw Passat with the zf5hp19 trans. was giving me the 4th gear incorrect ratio code after a soft rebuild after several teardowns I found that the TCM needs to be reset and when you drive as its about to gear feather the gas lightly to get it to gear w/o going into limp mode do this for about 10 miles the tcm will reprogram to the new shifting of the rebuilt trans. and correct the 4th gear mon. problem I tore my hair out wondering why this was happening but that took care of it the car runs better then ever also the rubber tubes you have to remove to get the d and g drum out will most likely tear so its better to replace them to ensures a good seal from the trans, into the drum not all the zf5 has the rubbers but I know the 05 vws do hope this helps if the trans. goes into safe mode while trying to feather it into the gears just clear the code as your driving its a little tricky but it will work I belive you turn the key to the on pos. without the motor running press down the gas for min. of 20 seconds then let off turn the off for 10secs and back on for 10sec. do this three times not the gas part that's only once then start the car your message center will blink off and on that's how you reset the tcm to start the relearing pross.
Same Here!


This is almost the same issue that i've experienced. I did not have any issues with o-rings, but the exact same result when I test drove the car. did you finally find a solution?
Did you find a solution to the problem. While I didn't have the oring issues you did, the final result on test driving was the same, no shift to 3rd, and then limp mode.
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