In an effort to give something back to everyone who has helped me so far, i just thought i would share my experiences of changing the automatic transmission oil on my car, a definitive guide, as it were...
The parts i used were:-
Transmission Oil 10 litres, Shell ATF M-1375.4, £180 – Supplier:- (smith and allen) http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Shell-ATF-M-13...item45f427ed47
Transmission Sump / Filter, £65.10 – Supplier http://www.britishparts.co.uk/.sc/ms...20FILTER%20KIT
We used a two post lift to perform the work.
We heated the oil (in its containers) to 40 degrees centigrade with a bucket with hot water (shaking the oil container ensuring there were no hot spots in the oil).
We used a digital thermometer (from maplin £20) to take the oil temperatures before and after applying.
The job took two hours to complete (bearing in mind we had never done this before).
I obtained a full procedure from ZF, which i will try to attach to this post (if it won’t attach, perhaps one of our friendly moderators could help me with this).
Briefly (but refer to the procedure):-
With the engine and gearbox warm (and turned off), we undid the fill plug on the side of the gearbox and 1.5 litres of pissed out of the fill hole. We then removed the sump plug and a further 2 litres came out. We replaced the sump plug and refilled the gearbox as far as we could. It took only about 2 litres before reaching the top (1.5 litres less than was taken out – with the engine off we could not get any more in)
The oil that came out was black and not very clean, we later found that the sump was covered in a black/grey sludge.
We ran the engine in park (we assume that this runs the pump) for about two minutes and selected every gear (N, R, D) for three second each, then shut down.
We subsequently drained the gearbox using the sump plug and removed the sump / filter assembly.
Following the procedure; we fitted the new sump and refilled as high as we could. It took about 2.5 - 3 litres at this stage.
Again we fired up the engine and run in park and each gear for 3 seconds, with the engine running and back in park, we could now fit an additional litre in the box (ENGINE RUNNING - IN PARK). We repeated this procedure and again we fitted another litre in the box. Repeating a third time, we could not fit anymore oil in the box and replaced the fill plug.
The level must have been slightly lower than ZF recommend in their refilling procedure!
The car has only done 70k, I wanted to do this as a preventative measure. As a spin off though, the oil and filter change has made a difference. When approaching roundabouts and pressing the accelerator, the minor bumb i once had, has now gone. The gear changes and dropdown is barely noticeable – its like new!
If you saw what came out of the “sealed for life” gearbox after only 70k, i think you would be doubting what “life” means.
I hope this helps someone out there!