Hello readers. I’ve just released the epic 7 part video series (epic to me at least) on how to change the transmission fluid in a DB9 fitted with a 6-speed automatic Touchtronic II transmission. Most DB9, DBS and Rapide’s from 2004 to 2014 were fitted with this transmission.
As a primer I recommend you check out my previous article “The Aston Martin DB9 Automatic Transmission” that I wrote at the beginning of this journey nearly 2 years ago.
This process of changing the fluid and servicing the seals isn’t all that difficult if you prepare for the task ahead. It is a bunch of work, but well within the range of home mechanic with a basic set of tools whose willing to get a little oily. If you prepared, you should be able to tackle it in about 4-6 hours, a comfortable weekend in the shop fiddling with the spanners (fun!).
The Official Guides
As usual I started the process off by researching the ‘right way’ as much as I could. While I looked at a ton of materials as I nailed down the process I describe below these two things mattered most.
The Official Aston Martin Workshop Manual Section 7.01 Automatic transmission actually contains a better than average description of the process. Not entirely correct, but a good start. You can read the information here. One of the most daunting steps that they lead off with is ‘Remove the Right Hand Exhaust Pipe’. Yikes! The good news is that you can accomplish the task with it in place, and can skip that step. In fact Aston just cribbed their instructions from the company that makes the transmission for them – ZF.
I then tracked down the official ZF 6HP26 service guide. You can read it here. They provide a much clearer and comprehensive set of instructions one you figure out their guide. I’ve boiled their process down into my instructions below.
I also found a ZF ‘presentation’ that appears to be something used in a “Train the mechanics” scenario (which was terrific). It covers the process listed in the ZF Service Manual, but augmented and laid out with interesting photos and facts (find it here). Again, I absorbed this into my process below.
Ultimately it was pretty clear what needed done and how to do it properly. If you trust me that I did all the research right, the official Aston1936 guide is presented below for your use [and I request your comments to further refine].
I’ve distilled the information of the Official Guides and combined it with my experience to create the detailed steps needed to do the work on the DB9.
While the video series (presented below) is an epic 2+ hour journey in detail through the four phases of the project (prep, draining, assembling, refilling) I am going to make my own life a bit easier in the written articles, covering each step individually and linking them together so you can follow along like a workshop manual. This main article will be serving as the ‘Index’ and below are links to all the steps:
- Parts needed
- Tools required
- Using an OBDII Reader to monitor the Transmission Fluid Temperature
- Getting the car up on Jack stands
- Removing the rear undertray
- Removing the rear subframe cross brace
- Removing the right hand rear exhaust heat shield
- Draining the Fluid from the Sump
- Removing the Thermostatic Valve and Draining the Oil Cooler Lines
- Removing the Oil Pan/Sump
- Removing the Electronics Sleeve
- Removing the Mechatronics Unit
- Replacing the Mechatronic Bridge and Valve Seals
- Installing the Mechatronics Unit
- Installing the Electronics Sleeve
- Installing the Oil Pan/Sump
- Installing the Thermostatic Valve
- Initial Refilling of the Fluid
- Checking and Setting the Transmission Fluid Level
- Installing the right hand rear exhaust heat shield
- Installing the rear subframe cross brace
- Installing the rear undertray
- Lowering the car off jack stands
I’ve collected all the related videos together into a single playlist on the Aston1936 YouTube channel. Honestly if you are going to undertake this project, I’d suggest you watch the entirety of the series as it will save you more time (and struggles) than it takes to watch. You can find it here.