Installing the Automatic Transmission Oil Pan/Sump in an Aston Martin DB9

I had the Transmission Oil Pan/Sump off my 2005 DB9 to change the fluid, filters and seals of the Touchtronic II 6-speed Automatic Transmission.  This is the ZF 6HP26 fitted to most Aston Martin DB9, DBS and Rapide between 2004 and 2014.  I’ve been doing an entire series on these tasks (check it out here) and for me its time to reinstall the Oil Pan.  There are some specific steps to doing this properly, let me show you how. Continue reading “Installing the Automatic Transmission Oil Pan/Sump in an Aston Martin DB9”

Installing the Electronics Sleeve in the Automatic Transmission of an Aston Martin DB9

Most Aston Martin DB9s, DBS and Rapides from 2004 to 2014 were fitted with a Shift By Wire magic ZF 6HP26 6-speed Automatic Transmission. I’ve written about this great transmission in detail here. As ‘Shift by Wire’ suggests, there is a substantial number of wires that interconnect with the the Transmissions Mechatronics unit. These need to pass through the transmission housing somehow, and this happens through the ‘Electronics Sleeve’. As I discussed in the article on removing the Electronics Sleeve (read that here) the O-rings that seal it to the housing tend to degrade and begin to weep fluid. I was doing a full fluid, filter and seal service to my transmission and as part of that I’ve elected to replace my Electronics Sleeve. Getting it installed was a bit tricky, let me share those tricks with you here. Continue reading “Installing the Electronics Sleeve in the Automatic Transmission of an Aston Martin DB9”

Installing the Mechatronic Unit in the Automatic Transmission of an Aston Martin DB9

The Mechatronic Unit is responsible for the Shift By Wire magic in the ZF 6HP26 6-speed Automatic Transmissions fitted to most Aston Martin DB9s, DBS and Rapides from 2004 to 2014. If you’ve already removed you Mechatronic Unit for some servicing work (I was changing the Mechatronic Valve and Bridge Seals – check out this video), you’ll need to get the unit properly reinstalled afterwards. There are some specific procedures to follow and let me share those with you here. Continue reading “Installing the Mechatronic Unit in the Automatic Transmission of an Aston Martin DB9”

Changing the Mechatronics Valve and Bridge Seals in an Aston Martin DB9

Most of the Aston Martin DB9’s, DBS and Rapides built between 2004 and 2014 were fitted with a ZF model 6HP26 6-speed automatic transmission.  Within the transmission there is a device called the Mechatronic Unit which is responsible for shifting the transmission through its gears.  The transmission has a pump that creates hydraulic pressure, and the mechatronics unit uses a series of electronic solenoids to control the flow of the fluids to operate the various clutches.   

Like most Hydraulic systems there are seals that keep the high pressure fluids contained.  If these seals begin to leak (from aging or other deterioration), the fluid pressure begins to leak out, the pressures are reduced, and the transmission doesn’t operate as well.  The seals can deteriorate slowly over the years, and you may not notice that your Aston isn’t shifting like it used to since the change is so gradual.  Or a seal can completely fail and bad things can happen.

I’m in the process of doing a complete transmission fluid and filter change (I’ve done a full series of articles and videos on this entire process and you can check out the main article here to learn more)  If you are going to all the trouble for the fluid and filter, it’s just a small amount more work to change the four Mechatronic Valve Seals and the very important Mechatronics Bridge Seal.   

Of all the tasks in that process so far, this is probably the easiest.  Let me show you how. Continue reading “Changing the Mechatronics Valve and Bridge Seals in an Aston Martin DB9”

Removing the Mechatronics Unit from the Automatic Transmission in an Aston Martin DB9

Mechatronics Unit

Wow, that title sounds cool! Mech-a-tronics unit.  Most of the Aston Martin DB9’s, DBS and Rapides built between 2004 and 2014 were fitted with a Touchtronic II 6-speed automatic transmission. I’ve written elsewhere that this transmission is really a ZF model 6HP26 fitted to many other cars of the era including Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar and BMW. It’s a terrific transmission. The transmission features ‘Shift By Wire’, meaning there are no levers or cables doing the shifting.  A computer inside the transmission is controlling a bunch of electronic solenoid valves that control the fluid flows that manage the shifting. A mechanical electronic unit – Mechatronic.

If you are doing a full fluid, filter and seal change to your transmission you’ll end up needing to remove the Mechatronic Unit to drain it and to get to the bits underneath it. I’ve done a full series of articles and videos on this process and you can check out the main article here to learn more.

Let me show you how to properly remove the Mechatronic unit. Continue reading “Removing the Mechatronics Unit from the Automatic Transmission in an Aston Martin DB9”

Removing the Electronics Sleeve from the Automatic Transmission in an Aston Martin DB9

Most Aston Martin DB9’s, DBS and Rapides between 2004 and 2014 were fitted with a 6-speed Touchtronic II Automatic Transmission (if you have a manual shift, you are a lucky duck). I’ve already written a few times that this transmission is really a ZF model 6HP26 that was fitted to many other cars of the era including Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar and BMW (to name a few). The transmission features Shift By Wire (SBW) meaning that there is no lever or linkage doing the shifting, but rather a set of electronic solenoid valves inside the transmission (the Mechatronics Unit). When you push the shifter buttons on the center console, they are really just sending electronic signals down to the transmission control module (located inside the transmission).

If there are electronic signals, then there must be wiring that plugs into the transmission somehow. This is done with a large multipin electronics connector that twist locks into something called the Electronics Sleeve. The Electronics Sleeve’s job is to create a leak free ‘tunnel’ through the transmission casing allowing the electronics connector to mate up with the mechatronics unit.

The Electronics Sleeve is known to leak. It has two large O-rings that seal it to the transmission casing, and these O-rings start to flatten out over time in all the heat of the transmission (see photo below). My car had this issue and you can see some signs of a ‘weeping’ oil leak that then blows back over the casing and the differential.

Removing (and replacing) the Electronics Sleeve isn’t particularly difficult (or expensive), and I replaced mine as part of doing a full transmission fluid, filter and seals change. I’ve created an extensive series of articles on this process that you can check out here. Let me show you how to remove the Electronics Sleeve. Continue reading “Removing the Electronics Sleeve from the Automatic Transmission in an Aston Martin DB9”

Removing the Automatic Transmission Oil Pan/Sump from an Aston Martin DB9

Removing the Oil Pan/Sump from the Touchtronic II 6-speed Automatic Transmission fitted to most Aston Martin DB9, DBS and Rapide between 2004 and 2014 is necessary for several reasons. You might be wanting to change the automatic transmission fluid & filter, or needing to access the Mechatronics unit inside to change the seals. The fluid filter is integral to the plastic sump body, so if you want to change the filter you are going to need to replace the entire Oil Pan.   I’ve doing an entire series on these tasks (check it out here). Let me show you how. Continue reading “Removing the Automatic Transmission Oil Pan/Sump from an Aston Martin DB9”

Removing the Thermostatic Valve and Draining the Transmission Cooler Lines in an Aston Martin DB9

Probably the wordiest title to a Blog article yet – my apologies. What I am talking about is the Thermostatic control valve mounted to the Touchtronic II 6-speed Automatic Transmission fitted to most Aston Martin DB9’s, DBS and Rapides from 2004 to 2014. This valve controls the flow of hot automatic transmission fluid to the oil cooler/radiator mounted at the front of the car, regulating its temperature. You may need to remove the valve to service it, the oil cooler lines, or to remove the transmission oil pan/sump (like I am doing in my series on changing the automatic transmission fluid and seals – read about that here). The oil cooler lines hold about 1.6 liters of transmission fluid so you might want to drain those. Let me show you how to remove the valve and drain the lines. Continue reading “Removing the Thermostatic Valve and Draining the Transmission Cooler Lines in an Aston Martin DB9”

Draining the Automatic Transmission fluid from the Sump in an Aston Martin DB9

I wanted to change the Automatic Transmission fluid in my DB9 (check out my entire series on this in another article). Part of that process is to drain the fluid from the oil pan/sump. Keep in mind that just draining the fluid from the sump and then refilling what comes out is NOT all it takes to change all the fluid. In fact you’ll only be draining about 40% of the total amount of fluid in the transmission during this process. To get the other 60% you should really check out my entire series on this. Continue reading “Draining the Automatic Transmission fluid from the Sump in an Aston Martin DB9”

Removing the Right Hand Rear Exhaust Heat Shield from an Aston Martin DB9

If you are trying to access some of the components on the right hand side of the 6-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission fitted to most Aston Martin DB9s, DBS and Rapides between 2004 and 2014 you’ll find you have almost no access. The exhaust pipe is very close, and Aston fitted a heat shield to protect the transmission. But, that heat shield is even closer to the transmission. If you remove it you finally have enough room to get some skinny fingers into those tight places and can get some work done. For me, I was working on Changing the Transmission fluid (of which I’ve done a complete series of articles on that you can find here). Let me show you how to remove the heat shield.

Continue reading “Removing the Right Hand Rear Exhaust Heat Shield from an Aston Martin DB9”