ZF Electric Shift solenoids

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines/Drives/Transmissions/Props' started by dtfeld, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    745
    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer 2001
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I've been fighting an intermittent issue in my startboard engine/transmission since I've owned the boat. Occasionally and randomly, the starboard side transmission seems to "drop out" momentarily and then re-engage at cruise. Its so quick, its hard to "see" on the dash gauges.

    Since it could only be an electrical or hydraulic issue, I planned to service both systems extensively in the off season. In doing so I think I have found my problem.

    20181116_153535.jpg


    Some POS, er uh PO (or unscrupulous mechanic) replaced the shift solenoids with a generic ZF automatic transmission solenoid. Wrong pressure rating and wrong voltage to boot. Can't imagine why. These are $35 on ebay, the marine transmission versions are $350/ea.

    I do agree that a 10X markup is highway robbery.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  2. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Interesting discovery. I'm glad you found it quick. That $35 part can easily do a catastrophic damage to a transmission by disengaging and reengaging at high RPMs. I wouldn't take this malfunction lightly.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  3. Boat Guy

    Boat Guy Well-Known Member

    Curious.....How do you know it was the PO and not someone he hired to fix the problem? Perhaps he didn't know of the change....

    Further, I'm surprised this item would fail...And, lastly, $350? WTF...
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  4. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    745
    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer 2001
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Regardless of who, somebody was taking shortcuts. Not something many surveys would find either. But time to put on the big boy pants and get it done right. I'm relieved that I think I found the problem, but kinda pissed too. Not what I wanted for Christmas.

    Reading up on these, seems ZF did have some problems with these solenoids. If left too long, ruined transmissions on very expensive Audi's, and BMW's.

    I'm not sure why the price tag other than it has "marine" in it. Better be stainless and gold plated contacts!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  5. Boat Guy

    Boat Guy Well-Known Member

    I understand...Just seemed you were throwing the PO under the bus when he might have not even known of the issue....Perhaps he did....

    Hope you can find a cheaper source...good luck!
     
  6. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    745
    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer 2001
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I think I just need to bite the bullet. My biggest concern is forward gear, these CAT's put out a lot of torque once those turbos kick in.

    I'm going to purchase 2, install on both forward gears immediately. Reverse isnt much of an issue, but will need to be done before next season starts. I found them at the discounted price of $320 so far. I guess it beats a new tranny.

    I have new switches for the shift levers and changing the ATF/filters, so I should be good to go.
     
  7. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    Just wondering how you made out with these solenoids?
     

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