ZF6 problem story - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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ZF6 problem story

I sold my 1997 with an auto to a local guy so I could buy a friend's 2001 7.3 with a ZF6. Wasn't too keen on rowing gears all day. I've converted my Jeep and didn't think I'd get another manual, but they say the ZF6 is a very nice transmission. Keep in mind I had installed a full Tugger kit and a very nice torque converter in my last ruck. Shifted awesome.

But the new truck had a South Bend single disc clutch, single mass flywheel, new pilot bearing, and new hydraulics 20k miles ago. I'd try it.

3 months after I take possession I break a hub on the 1/2 syncro hub. I can barely get into 1st or 2nd. This is the first time I;ve ever paid anyone to work on a vehicle for me, I just didn;t want to invest in the puller and press needed for the mainshaft bearings. New master rebuild kit, new 1/2 hub assembly, all new syncros. New mainshaft also, the inout bearing hashed it.

I get the truck back after a $2k rebuild, 3rd gear grinds bad. All others are fine, clutch engagement was the same as before, maybe a little low on the floor. . Rebuilder says he'll split the labor with me to install a 3rd gear. Says ZF6s are a PITA.

A month and a half later, coming back from a trip the clutch hydraulics take a **** on me. Have to drive home rowing like a truck driver, and shutting off at the stops, starting the truck with the starter.

I install a Dorman master/slave kit. Shifts brand new. Clutch pedal is way high now, no third gear grind anymore. I was floored and happy I didn;t have to pay again or pull the tranny myself.

So...if you're having a 3rd gear grind and your clutch pedal seems a little low, maybe try the clutch hydraulics first.

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Last edited by Gaius; 03-30-2014 at 02:54 PM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 11:18 AM
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I would have just gotten a reman zf6 from Midwest or Joe's. They are on eBay for 1700$ ready to install.

How high is your engagement now? If its too high when you push the pedal in you may be over extending the pressure plate and will wear it out really fast. I had a dorman and engagement was about halfway up, I put a shorter rod in the master to make it actuate like its supposed to.


In general the zf is a great transmission, its very stout when taken care of. But nothing is 100% bulletproof

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post #3 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 02:17 PM
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having similar issues now. Got about 50k on the m/s assy. Felt that the pedal was abit spongy so looked in res bottle and fluid low. So, added DOT-3, and now it shifts like arse. Seems to have no pressure built up in the assy. Cant find 5th anymore...etc. wasnt like that before the added fluid.

How much play is in your guys'pedals before theirs resistance? Mines about 2in of play

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post #4 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 02:23 PM
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From the top? 1/2" .

From the bottom? About 1.5-2 to start engaging

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post #5 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by timmyboy76 View Post
having similar issues now. Got about 50k on the m/s assy. Felt that the pedal was abit spongy so looked in res bottle and fluid low. So, added DOT-3, and now it shifts like arse. Seems to have no pressure built up in the assy. Cant find 5th anymore...etc. wasnt like that before the added fluid.

How much play is in your guys'pedals before theirs resistance? Mines about 2in of play

I has maybe a 1/2 inch before. The day it went out, the play got larger and larger, maybe 2 inches when it wouldn't disconnect the clutch.

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post #6 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by schlutzer View Post
I would have just gotten a reman zf6 from Midwest or Joe's. They are on eBay for 1700$ ready to install.

How high is your engagement now? If its too high when you push the pedal in you may be over extending the pressure plate and will wear it out really fast. I had a dorman and engagement was about halfway up, I put a shorter rod in the master to make it actuate like its supposed to.
The engagement now is about in inch down.

Not sure I could get the rod out of the master now that it's in. What rod did you install?

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post #7 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to say, the 20k mile pilot bearing thrashed the input shaft, too. Had to buy a new one with the rebuild.

Anyone want to trade a newly-rebuilt ZF6 for a built 4R100?

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post #8 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 03:16 PM
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The engagement now is about in inch down.

Not sure I could get the rod out of the master now that it's in. What rod did you install?
Engagement from the bottom is what you need to be concerned about. Like how high off the floor your clutch actually starts to engage. Your first post makes it seem like its quite high off the floor. If not and I misunderstood then disregard Lol.

But I used the rod from the stock master cylinder. It was a bit shorter. Just a C clip and it pops out

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post #9 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Engagement from the bottom is what you need to be concerned about. Like how high off the floor your clutch actually starts to engage. Your first post makes it seem like its quite high off the floor. If not and I misunderstood then disregard Lol.

But I used the rod from the stock master cylinder. It was a bit shorter. Just a C clip and it pops out
The clutch disengages about an inch from the top. Real high off the floor.

I tried to get the rod out of my old master, but even after I pulled the circlip out, it wasn't budging without breaking the master. So I didn;t bother.

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post #10 of 28 Old 03-30-2014, 03:53 PM
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id love to!
but i live a long ways from you.

i also have a 4r100 with full trans go shift kit (with pump mods) and billet tq converter. alas if only you were closer!

99.5 f250 7.3 4x4 258k
PHP Phoenix, S&B CAI, 4" TBE, Hpx, Stancor, RR Billet Wheel, AIH Delete, Autometer Gauges, Leveling kit, Transgo kit, Warn Hubs, Int'l Up-Pipes, RR IC Boots, Non-Ebpv Pedestal, High Flow Outlet, RR OCR, 08 Tow Mirrors.

Dad-2000 7.3 109k miles, Autometer Gauges, Superchips 1705, AIH Delete, 6637, 4" TBE, BD Billet Wheel, TruCool Max
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