504 transmission options
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default 504 transmission options

    Looking to replace the worn ZF3 hp12 automatic transmission on my '74 GL 504. Does anyone know which ZF automatics would fit (without major modification) in this vehicle? thanks

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  2. #2
    Demannu-facturing! Demannu's Avatar
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    Unfortunately you are limited to Peugeot fitted gearboxes due to the torque tube arrangement and therefore the output shaft of the transmission, but you can choose from any XN-engined 504 or 505.

    I'm not completely familiar with the models that were available in your part of the world, but I believe there were a few 505s sold with the XN6 engine, the early ones of which (pre-1987) would have the same gearbox. Later versions had the ZF 4HP22, the 4 speed version, which is longer and is therefore fitted with a shorter torque tube and propshaft.

    Alternatively, the 3HP22 gearbox is not considered a difficult gearbox to rebuild, and the core of it was used in many different cars and so new parts are still readily available for them. A rebuild is often quite a viable option.

    To find a ZF 3HP22 in a 504 in Australia is unusual, as we only saw them in very early, imported cars and later private imports. All locally manufactured 504s were fitted with the Borg-Warner 35 gearbox, to comply with the local content laws of the era. I have been lucky enough to drive a couple of ZF 3HP22 equipped cars, and compared to the BW35 slushbox, they are a lovely thing to drive.

    If I had a 504 with a BW35 that gave up the ghost (unusual though, as they are a bulletproof gearbox behind the tiny 4 cylinder), I would without a doubt replace it with a ZF gearbox from a 505.

    Good luck with it!
    Scotty

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  3. #3
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    Scott is right. The ZF out of the early 2 litre 505 (GR and SR) fits right in and I'm told enhances performance slightly - as it should for an uprated model. Not that Peugeot continued this theme on the more modern models in my opinion (as regards reliability and ease of repair)
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  4. #4
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    the ZF is a much nicer box

    it has better ratios and is a lot smoother

    i'd reco the one you have or get another the same to stick in there
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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    It is not uncommon for the 3-speed ZF boxes to last 400,000 Ks or more. So you should be able to find one at a wreckers somewhere in the States. Just try to look at the color of the oil in it, and see if you can find out how many kilometers it's done, if possible.
    Putting an external transmission oil cooler on them is the best thing you can do......it's heat that eventually kills them (apart from people not bothering to change the oil).
    The 3-speed ZF is a very strong gearbox, and they say it is stronger than the 4-speed. The conversion to 4-speed is a bit of a pain as bellhousings don't match etc. My advice is to just replace or rebuild the one you've got.
    If you don't like the engine revving high on the highway as a result of having only 3 speeds, rather than going for a 4-speed you could change the diff to a better ratio one...diffs are easy to change. I have a 3.58:1 ratio diff in mine.
    Originally in Australia mine came with 4.11:1

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Thanks very much, good advice all around. My best bet seems to be to take good care of my ZF3 hp12 and to go with the hp22 if and when my existing tranny goes. Local yard has a ZF3 hp22 for $150, might just pick this up as a cheap insurance policy as local places seem quite unwilling to work on the Zf3hp12 but are OK with the hp22, not sure why. Thanks again

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Offer them $100......these 3-speed gearboxes last so long that there's a glut of them in Australia.
    As a bargaining tool, ask them if they know how many Ks it has done, and when they say "no", tell em that it's a huge amount of trouble to change it if it stuffs up after a few Ks.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Ha, I like your approach, I'll give it a try! And the related question - given the low cost of the used tranny and trouble putting it in, would it make sense to have the unit rebuilt first? i dont suspect I'll put more than 8000 km/yr on my 504 but I'm planning on keeping it runnning a long time

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    That depends on two things : How much money you have ( a rebuild is quite expensive : get a quote and be prepared for a shock), and whether you can find out anything about the car the gearbox came out of. Mileage is the first concern, but if you can't find that out, look at the colour of the oil on the dipstick and smell it. I'd be inclined to drain a bit of oil from the box by tipping it on it's side and have a good look. Some people are really slack about changing gearbox oil.
    If it has a "burnt clutch" smell, it's screwed.
    It doesn't get as dirty as engine oil, but if it hasn't been changed in a long time, you will be able to tell.
    Though after 20,000 Ks (the recommended interval) it is a bit dirty.....
    You might even be able to find out (by asking the wrecker) who the owner was, and call them & ask about how it was serviced.
    You would of course at the very least have to replace the front and rear oil seals.......they're cheap.
    Also, put on a new sump gasket and oil strainer. They refer to this as a service kit, but on my car, I have NEVER bought one. I actually take off the sump, take out the strainer (using a star-drive screwdriver attachment.....I forget the size ), and clean it out from the inside out by squirting with a pressure-pack Brake Cleaner. Crap will be stuck to the inside/underside because that's the way the oil flows. Then I use the same sump gasket !
    I tighten up the sump very carefully (and don't even THINK about using any kind of gasket goo ! Auto gearboxes get clogged up really easily). It has never leaked ! The 4 tags holding on the sump look pretty inadequate, but my sump has only ever leaked from where the hoses clamp on. These days I use 2 screw clamps on each hose end.
    Overall though, these 3-speed boxes are very robust, and unless you suspect it wasn't serviced properly, just put it straight in after replacing the front and rear seals, and cleaning the strainer.
    Oh.....you'll find a couple of magnets stuck to the inside of the sump bottom too......wipe the iron filings off them and put them back in the same place.
    Actually, if you want to keep the car running a long time, I would highly recommend also replacing the rubber hoses going from gearbox to radiator, which supposedly cools the oil. It's actually a pathetic little loop of tubing going through the hot radiator water. An external oil cooler is better, and I used a secondhand one from a Japanese car at the wreckers. It cost me $20(you can buy it at your leisure later though). Mounting it's not difficult.
    If these hoses leak at all, it'll ruin the box before you know the oil is low. They are special hoses but you can buy it by the metre. Only use auto transmission hose.....other types will not do. It's expensive hose, but worth it as an insurance against ruining a good box. By now they should be quite old. Just measure the length and buy by the metre. May cost $70.
    If you are really serious about your car lasting a long time, don't forget to always use coolant in the radiator.....the head is alloy.
    Last edited by Beano; 10th May 2011 at 07:37 PM.

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