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Old 05-22-2019, 03:47 AM   #1
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ZF transmissions

I have a 34ft Mainship trawler
I'm due to service the ZF transmissions ( oil/ filter )
and confused about the ATF fluid to use
I bought Valvoline synthetic ATF multi purpose....is that OK

Also, The metal filters cost approx $40 each...I was told you don't really need to replace as they are more a metal screen then a filter just give a good cleaning with gas. Please advise
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:13 AM   #2
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ZF published a list of approved fluids and it is lengthy. I will look to see if I have a copy.
The filter is more of a screen and can be cleaned and replaced. I found it easier to buy one replacement and I clean my used one and keep as the ne t replacement. It will likely not be very dirty.
Note draining is inconvenient unless hooked up to a oil change pump. If yours is that's a help. If not you might want to be prepared to install a valve and if possible hook up to your pump later. The plug is 1/2" NPT.

Found it and it's attached. as well as filter info.
Note: there are 2 O-Rings for the filter.
Also - there is a Repair & Parts Manual posted in the TF Library section
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ZF Lube List TE-ML_04.pdf (94.1 KB, 35 views)
File Type: pdf Filter Info.pdf (101.6 KB, 18 views)
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:41 AM   #3
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Reading the ZF lube spec it looks like the 220 uses engine oil- SAE 10W40 or straight SAE 30 or 40 (hot climates).


So do not use the transmission oil which is typically SAE 90. Also synthetics have been known to be too slippery and cause clutches to slip. So use dino oil.


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Old 05-22-2019, 06:17 AM   #4
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Check the exact model against the list that Baccus posted. There are different answers depending on the model. Some use ATF, some require straight weight motor oil, and some can use multi weight motor oil.

And some have screens, some have filters, and some have both.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:42 AM   #5
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Synthetics OK if on the list.
I use TranSyn.. its expensive but the same as I use for Alluson trans in Motorhome and recommended by Allison.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
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ZF changed their recommendation from ATF to motor oil on many of their transmissions awhile back. So make sure you have the most recent info. Apparently the ATF was causing slippage in some applications.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:40 PM   #7
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It should be on the placard on the transmission exactly what that model is asking for. Mine says SAE 30.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:49 PM   #8
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I have a ZF 280-1. SAE 30 is specified lubricant. If there is a stamped aluminum plate on the transmission it will tell you what fluid to use and how much.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
It should be on the placard on the transmission exactly what that model is asking for. Mine says SAE 30.

This is a good starting point, but they do update their lists from time to time. A few years ago, for example, they approved use of multi-weight oils for a large number of gears that previously required only single weight oil.


Attached is their latest list, updated as of January this year.


This first question is what model gear, and I don't think we know what it is in this case. Or maybe I missed it. But that will tell you whether you are looking for ATF or motor oil. From there you drill down on the specific options that are allowed.
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File Type: pdf Lubricants_TE-ML_04.pdf (118.9 KB, 25 views)
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Old 05-22-2019, 03:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jann View Post
..I was told you don't really need to replace as they are more a metal screen then a filter just give a good cleaning with gas. Please advise
Never use gasoline as a cleaner!

It's not safe
Leaves a residue
It's extremely flammable
It is rough on human skin
And can combust given the right conditions.

If you are going to use a fuel use diesel. Far safer. However there are a lot of cleaners on the market that make a far better choice than a fuel.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:39 PM   #11
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Non-Detergent Oil

To add to the complexity, be aware of detergent and non-detergent oils.

My ZF220 requires SAE 30 non-detergent oil, FWIW. It is economical, but in my rural area I had to look around a bit to find some.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRENE View Post
To add to the complexity, be aware of detergent and non-detergent oils.

My ZF220 requires SAE 30 non-detergent oil, FWIW. It is economical, but in my rural area I had to look around a bit to find some.

Good Luck!

I's worth a read through of that document I posted from ZF. They have broadened the allowed oils for many gears, including your 220. For example, the same oil you likely use in your engine and generator is now allowed in your ZF gear too. For me it was a very welcome change, allowing me to carry one grade of oil for all engines, and the main gear.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:32 PM   #13
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Thanks TT for pointing that out, I brushed over it. You saved me a minor/ongoing hassle!
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