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Transition to ZF 47 from ZF 42

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Old 02-18-2017, 07:42 PM
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Transition to ZF 47 from ZF 42

Hey ford lovers. Hope everyone is doing well.

I recently put a remanufactured zfs42 in my 86 f150 which has a 460 motor in it. I put 5000 miles on it with a trip to Colorado and back to GA via NM, TX and FL. As soon as I got back to GA, the 4th, 3rd and 2nd wouldn't want to stay in gear while driving. I had to bring the gears to neutral for the screeching noise to go away and somehow managed to bring the truck back home. I bought this transmission from a gentleman Don who builds transmissions in Whitesburg, KY.I talked to him about this problem and Gary Lewis in our forum. Don suggested to drain the oil and look for any metal pieces. I found few pieces and we figured that the synchronizer has gone bad. So I dropped the transmission today and sending it back to Don. I am requesting a refund as I don't feel a 100% with the build quality.

After reading more about ZF, I am understanding that ZFs are known for synchronizers going bad quickly. Per Standardtransmissions, "The unit was redesigned in '96 and had small, but significant changes. The synchro teeth were enlarged to provide longer life and more positive shifts, and the bearing retainer was designed to be replaced without having to disassemble the case. The case was beefed up also with this design".

Is the above statement true and if yes, should I go with the ZFs47 instead? What kind of modifications I may need to do to the current set up from Zfs42 that I have in my truck? Clutch, cross member, slave cylinder, clutch fork, throwout bearing, shaft length? I have NP208 transfer case.

Can someone share specific information about the ZFs47 in comparison to zfs42? This will be really helpful. Thank you in advance.

Cheers,
Prashant
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:17 PM
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Prashant - As said in our phone call, there are many on here who know a lot more about ZF's than I. But I found some decent info here: ZF S5-42 vs. S5-47 Help - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com. Don't look at the gear ratios as those are for the diesels and the gas ratios are different. But, it looks like they swap pretty easily.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:51 PM
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I don't think it would matter which zf you are running. You are not putting that much strain on it are you? In my opinion they beefed it up some to keep up with the higher output from the diesels and later engines. In normal use, I haven't had any problems from mine. And I plow snow and haul with it also.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Lewis View Post
Prashant - As said in our phone call, there are many on here who know a lot more about ZF's than I. But I found some decent info here: ZF S5-42 vs. S5-47 Help - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com. Don't look at the gear ratios as those are for the diesels and the gas ratios are different. But, it looks like they swap pretty easily.
Thank you Gary, I am looking into the link you shared. It seems pretty simple and not much change. Now the question is to find the right transmission.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:02 PM
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I don't think it would matter which zf you are running. You are not putting that much strain on it are you? In my opinion they beefed it up some to keep up with the higher output from the diesels and later engines. In normal use, I haven't had any problems from mine. And I plow snow and haul with it also.
Thanks Dave. My usage is not heavy duty and mostly daily driver. I just towed 8000 pounds trailer from Atlanta to Boulder. The gentleman Don I bought it from says this: the main shaft front bearing has failed in your trans. That is what is causing the screeching noise in your trans. The smaller 15 inch tires, excessive RPMS, gear ratio, all could play a factor in the failure. Accordingly to him, the ZFs are not meant to be driven on higher RPMs. I am still surprised that why it broke down in such a short span.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:12 PM
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I don't know what Don is talking about. Your engine wasn't turning high RPM at all. Get your money back and move on.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:16 PM
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I don't know what Don is talking about. Your engine wasn't turning high RPM at all. Get your money back and move on.
Got it, thank you Gary. I will do so.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:27 AM
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Yes, I was thinking before that you should give the rebuild guy a second chance, but I wouldn't after that comment.

Can you imagine Ford using a transmission that is not recommended for high speed use? I would think it would be designed to run the speed limit anywhere you would travel. That transmission is made in Germany, it's a good transmission.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:55 AM
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Yes, it is a good transmission. Even the 42 is a great transmission, with the 47 just being an improvement. And to suggest that the 42 was damaged by high RPM just proves he is trying to say "it wasn't my fault".

What I learned when shopping for a ZF rebuilder is that those transmissions require special tools and expertise. A guy that I've had build several transfer cases and differentials said he doesn't do ZF's, but that his mentor at the driveline shop where he worked does. So, that's the way I went. However, I now have $1500 in a transmission without a warranty. Were I to do it over again I'd look to someone like Midwest Transmissions to buy a rebuilt unit with warranty. I know they have the parts as that's where all of mine came from, but they also sell rebuilt units.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:11 AM
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Yes, I was thinking before that you should give the rebuild guy a second chance, but I wouldn't after that comment.

Can you imagine Ford using a transmission that is not recommended for high speed use? I would think it would be designed to run the speed limit anywhere you would travel. That transmission is made in Germany, it's a good transmission.
Yeah I had the same thought but somehow didnt feel right giving him a second chance. Exactly, are you kidding me? These transmissions are heavy duty transmissions and for the kind of the usage I did, it is ridiculous for it go bad. Now he is like the gear ratio and tyres in my truck may have caused the transmission to go bad. Its ridiculous. I will deal with him.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary Lewis View Post
Yes, it is a good transmission. Even the 42 is a great transmission, with the 47 just being an improvement. And to suggest that the 42 was damaged by high RPM just proves he is trying to say "it wasn't my fault".

What I learned when shopping for a ZF rebuilder is that those transmissions require special tools and expertise. A guy that I've had build several transfer cases and differentials said he doesn't do ZF's, but that his mentor at the driveline shop where he worked does. So, that's the way I went. However, I now have $1500 in a transmission without a warranty. Were I to do it over again I'd look to someone like Midwest Transmissions to buy a rebuilt unit with warranty. I know they have the parts as that's where all of mine came from, but they also sell rebuilt units.
You are so so right about that Gary. I am looking the midwest guys itself. They have bunch of 47. Midwest Transmission - Catalog Test I am going to talk to them tomorrow and get a price quote. Any suggestions on how to find a core from a junk yard? These guys will charge me at least $500 for the core.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:24 AM
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A lot of the cheap ZF rebuild kits give you brass synchronizes. The OEM ones are steel. If the rebuilder did not use quality parts that could be part of the problem. ZF's eat those brass synchros for lunch. But if he didn't know that, and fed you a line about your application being too high rpm then RUN...

ZF cores are expensive and hard to find. You might get lucky, but the 460 and diesel bellhousing ones are not just laying around everywhere on the cheap.

A ZF S5-47 is great if you can find one, but it certainly isn't necessary and I wouldn't spend a ton of extra cash just to get the later model. A well built S-42 will more than do what you need.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:12 PM
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This is all that came up in Georgia. Looks like a couple of the yards deal in rebuilt ones already. But they want a core also.

1996
Transmission Assembly
Ford Truck F450 REBUILT,EXCHANGE 0 A TAA $1500 Andrews Auto Salvage USA-GA(Griffin) Request_Quote 1-866-233-3881 Request_Insurance_Quote
1997
Transmission Assembly
Ford Truck F350 REBUILT EXCHANGE RB 0 A R977 $1500 Andrews Auto Salvage USA-GA(Griffin) Request_Quote 1-866-233-3881 Request_Insurance_Quote
1996
Transmission Assembly
Ford Truck 450 Series 2290C,SD,2WD,460 oil tank pad M/T 13429 $Call Givens Auto Parts Yard #1 USA-GA(Dacula) Request_Quote 770-963-4270 / 877-398-8322 Request_Insurance_Quote
1994
Transmission Assembly
Ford Truck F250 XCAB,WHT,8-94,7.5,MT,4X4,C NOTES AD4838 $500 Quality Used Auto Parts USA-GA(Fayetteville) Request_Quote 770-461-8600 / 800-303-4440 Request_Insurance_Quote
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:21 PM
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Here is a couple I found using a tempest search, searches all craigslist in a certain area.

https://jacksonville.craigslist.org/cto/5982710670.html

You can use a transmission from a f450 with the brake on the back. Ford used a 4x4 zf style transmission in the 2wd f450, and bolted the e-brake on the back of the tranny. You can unbolt that and bolt your transfer case up to it.

https://knoxville.craigslist.org/pts/5931278822.html
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khaitan View Post
....Any suggestions on how to find a core from a junk yard? These guys will charge me at least $500 for the core.
Paying the trans builder $500 for the core seems like a pretty good deal to me. You might find a used trans for less than that, but I wouldn't count on it.
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