Aisin TF-80 External filter setup and filter choice.

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Fist post here after a long time lurking and absorbing info. Around two years ago I bought my first automatic car; soon after that I developed an unhealthy obsession with regards to the maintainance of the gearbox. I'm sure you're aware that in Britain, automatics are quite rare. I was the first in my family to own one, despite all of the advice I had received warning me about the reliability. (Truth be told the car I own has awful problems with regards to the clutch and dual-mass flywheel on manual models, so i thought the automatic option was the safer choice) Either way the gearbox I have is the first generation Aisin TF-80 with the metal valve body cover. It's a very popular box used in loads of US cars made by Volvo, GM and some fords I believe. I bought the car with 57k miles on it and decided to do a drain and refill to inspect the condition of the oil. To my horror the oil was jet black on this first change so I did multiple flushes with Mobil ATF 3309 which seemed like the best solution at the time. Fast forward to today and the car is now at 80k miles and after reading many forum posts I have decided to fit an external spin on filter. This article talking about Volvo's implementation is what convinced me, particularly the last sentence "It could have saved Volvo and us consumers a lot of money to simply have a externally replaceable oil filter on the transmission" (https://www.ipdusa.com/techtips/10176/volvo-tf80-awf21-transmission-issues) The gearbox in my car has no external cooler, instead relying on a metal an style heat exchanger with radiator water therefore the filter mod was a little more challenging than just splicing into the cooler lines that I have seen many done on this forum. This is the sandwich plate installed in between the original cooler and the gearbox with the two hoses running to my remote filter head. [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] Here is the filter head mounted in a cavity in the front bumper: [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] When I added the filter head I started the engine and allowed the gearbox to pump out 2 litres of its own fluid before I shut it down and refilled the gearbox with the same volume that was pumped out inn addition to the volume of the cooler lines ( I prefilled the filter) Unfortunately, the oil that came out was black again: [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] The filter I'm using is a Fleetguard HF7554 which claims to have a beta=2 of 7 microns, which is pretty fine (opinions please) (https://catalog.cumminsfiltration.com/catalog/partsearch.do?&reqCmd=PartInformation&partNumber=HF7554&PartType=Hydraulic,%20Spin-On&Part=-&criteria=part&_locale=en) Unfortunately, the mount I chose has a M16x1.5 thread which somewhat limits the choice of filter for this application. My main questions are: 1. Will this setup actually benefit my gearbox; or have I wasted a load of money 2. Is this a good choice of filter to use? (alternative filter that will fit is the MANN W712/45, https://catalog.mann-filter.com/EU/eng/catalog/MANN-FILTER%20Katalog%20Europa/Hydraulic%20Transmission%20Filter/W%20712~45;jsessionid=2630C42D4E6108B08A80D31C0279DAE8) 3. With the current "7 micron" filter, how long should i leave it before replacing it initially? I'd imagine that cleaning up the filth that's in the box may plug it up pretty quickly? 4. Could I use a much larger and even finer filter for this purpose such as the Fleetguard FF5871 which has 98.5% filtration at 4 microns 5. Should I ditch the use of a hydraulic filter and just use a normal ~20 micron engine oil filter as there is no need for such fine filtration on a trans? Thanks for reading and any comments will be welcome smile
 
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Are you sure the oil is actually pumping through the filter? The black will not filter out - even if it is....only changes will do that.
 

DrSmith

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Yeah, the filter gets pretty hot after a short drive so oil is flowing. The HF7554 has a bypass valve built in for safety, so I'm not worried about it starving the trans of oil if it does become clogged. I'm more curious about how long I should leave it before replacing it. So if the black won't filter out, does that mean the box has got very hot during operation to blacken the oil? I will be doing a full oil change in the future as it will be a lot simpler now that I can pump the oil out and refill rather than using the drain bolt.
 
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The black is just a bit of wear particles from the clutches. Nothing to worry about really. Just drain and fill it every 50 k miles and it'll probably outlive the rest of the car. Aisin makes good transmissions. Plenty of high mileage autos all over North America. Other than a bit of atrophy in your left leg, modern automatics will work as well or better than manuals. It seems to be a very popular and robust transmission considering the number of vehicles it is used in: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AWTF-80_SC BMW Edit 2014-present BMW i8 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Edit Alfa Romeo 2005-2011 Alfa Romeo 159[5][nb 1] 2005-2010 Alfa Romeo Brera[5][nb 2] 2006-2010 Alfa Romeo Spider[5][nb 3] Fiat 2005-2011 Fiat Croma[nb 4] Lancia 2008-2014 Lancia Delta[nb 5] Ford Motor Company Edit Ford 2005-2007 Ford Five Hundred 2006-2012 Ford Fusion (US)[6][nb 6] 2007-2014 Ford Mondeo MkIV 2.3 160 PS Petrol and 2.0 TDCi Diesel[7] 2006-2014 Ford Galaxy 2.3 118kw / 160PS Petrol (as standard gearbox) Lincoln 2006 Lincoln Zephyr 2007-2012 Lincoln MKZ Mercury 2005-2010 Mercury Milan[6] 2005-2007 Mercury Montego[6] General Motors Edit Cadillac 2005-2010 Cadillac BLS[nb 7] 2009-2016 Cadillac SRX II[nb 8] Chevrolet 2008-2016 Chevrolet Cruze[1][nb 9] Opel / Vauxhall Opel/Vauxhall Astra Opel/Vauxhall Vectra Opel/Vauxhall Signum Opel/Vauxhall Zafira 2008-2017 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia 2014-present Opel/Vauxhall Meriva Saab 2008-2014 Saab 9-3 II[nb 10] 2013-2014 Saab 9-3 III 2010-2012 Saab 9-5 II Hyundai Edit 2006-2014 Hyundai Veracruz[5] Jaguar Edit 2007-2009 Jaguar X-type[nb 11] Land Rover Edit 2006-2014 Land Rover Freelander 2 2011-2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Luxgen Edit 2014-2015 Luxgen S5[nb 12] 2.0T 2014-2015 Luxgen U6[8][nb 13] 2.0T Mahindra Edit 2015-present Mahindra XUV500 Mazda Edit 2005-2008 Mazda 6 I 2006-2012 Mazda CX-7 2006-present Mazda CX-9 2006-present Mazda MPV III 2007-2012 Mazda 6 II PSA Peugeot Citroën Edit Citroën Citroën C4 Citroën C5 Citroën C6 Citroën DS4 Citroën DS5 2010-2016 Citroën Jumpy Citroën C Elysee Peugeot 2006-2008 Peugeot 307 2007- Peugeot 308 2006-2010 Peugeot 407 2010-present Peugeot 408 2011-2018 Peugeot 508 2005-2010 Peugeot 607 2008- Peugeot 3008 2009- Peugeot 5008 2010-2016 Peugeot Expert Renault Edit Renault Espace Renault Vel Satis Suzuki Edit 2014-present Suzuki Vitara (FWD & AWD) 2015-present Suzuki Baleno 2017-present Suzuki Swift 2017-present Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Volvo Edit 2005-2014 Volvo XC90[6][9][10][11] (FWD & AWD)[nb 14] 2006-2009 Volvo S60[9] (FWD & AWD)[nb 15] 2006-2008 Volvo V70 II (FWD & AWD)[nb 16] 2006-2008 Volvo XC70 (AWD) 2007-2016 Volvo S80 II[10][13] (FWD & AWD)[nb 17] 2008-2016 Volvo V70 III[14] (FWD & AWD)[nb 18] 2008-2016 Volvo XC70 II[10] (FWD & AWD)[nb 19] 2009-2017 Volvo XC60[10] (FWD & AWD)[nb 20] 2011[10]-2018 Volvo S60 II (FWD & AWD)[nb 21] 2011-2018 Volvo V60 (FWD & AWD)[nb 22] 2011-2012 Volvo S40 II (FWD)[nb 23] 2011-2012 Volvo V50[15] (FWD)[nb 24] 2011-2013 Volvo C30 (FWD)[nb 25] 2011-2013 Volvo C70 II (FWD) 2012-2014 Volvo V40 II (FWD)[nb 26]
 
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Originally Posted by DrSmith
I'm more curious about how long I should leave it before replacing it.
A filter that large will last the entire life of the vehicle. I am not joking.
 

DrSmith

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Thanks for the replies. I must say I'm really pleased with this gearbox, it is much better in stop and go traffic, which is becoming increasingly common over here. My only slight complaint is the shift points and lock up behaviour, I wish there was a way that I could modify this myself but I'm used to it now. The fact it's used in so many other cars, even BMWs is encouraging. As far as I'm aware, no implementation of this gearbox makes use of an external filter, instead relying on an internal one (that requires a rebuild to replace). I've heard the term ‘rock catcher' when it comes to transmission filters, however with this being a relatively modern gearbox perhaps it's a little better than that? In terms of filter life and type, I will be replacing the filter at least once I think, just to get rid of all of the crap that will have been caught. Should I replace the filter with the identical Fleetguard HF7554 or use the slightly smaller Mann W712/45.... or does it really not matter?
 
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Originally Posted by DrSmith
In terms of filter life and type, I will be replacing the filter at least once I think, just to get rid of all of the crap that will have been caught. ?
When you cut that filter open, you are going to be disappointed at the lack of debris in there. You'll probably feel ashamed that you cut apart an expensive filter - - - just to find nothing substantial in it. Spin-on Transmission filters don't fill up with bit & chunks like engine oil filters do.
 
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+1. Linctex is correct. I run external AT filters on both Volvo 240s with high strength magnets on the outside of the filters. At 20,000 miles there was virtually nothing in the filters. The fluid looks practically new. So I extended to 30,000 miles. Still nothing in the filters. It was a fun project. Whether I realize an ROI on it remains to be seen!
 
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DrSmith

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Ok, well since I am already about £60 invested in this mod (price of sandwich plate and hose), I don't mind buying and additional filter at some point. I will also be fitting a thermostatically controlled oil cooler soon so this is not the end of the spending yet! On my setup as you can see the fluid is very black. I will be performing a fluid replacement at some point in the future, perhaps with the new Aisin Synthetic 3309 oil that seems to fit the bill. I'm hoping that with a filter in place the oil will remain red for a bit longer.
Originally Posted by Sam_Julier
It was a fun project. Whether I realize an ROI on it remains to be seen!
That's my view on things, a bit of fun and worst case I've wasted some money haha!
 
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I have two cars using Aisin auto boxes here in the UK and have considered something very similar. My idea was to buy the sandwich plate and simply put a loop between the flow and return in a suitably sized hose. I was then going to tee into this loop and install a hydraulic filter between the tee and draining back into the gearbox sump. I would install a very small orifice into the line somewhere before to slow this flow down to a very slow trickle. At least that way if the filter blocked up you wouldn't be relying on the bypass to keep supplying ATF to the gearbox. The filter then wouldn't need to have a bypass and should it block up it would cause no issues with the gearbox. I have been running Comma MVATF Plus from Halfords in both of my Aisin boxes, I pay £23 for 5 litres. My Volvo has a TF71-SC and my Saab has a AW55-50.
 

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That would be an interesting way to do it. Personally, I don't see the problem with the restriction of a suitably large filter, after all, people fit tiny magnefine filters on much bigger transmissions seemingly without issue. I'm not sure about all gearboxes but I was under the impression that the cooler flow in the gearbox was itself a bypass from another flow, so a slight reduction in flow rate wouldn't necessarily be a problem. Do both of your boxes specify JWS3309? Mine does and I don't really want to stray from this spec to be honest.
 
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Originally Posted by DrSmith
That would be an interesting way to do it. Personally, I don't see the problem with the restriction of a suitably large filter, after all, people fit tiny magnefine filters on much bigger transmissions seemingly without issue. I'm not sure about all gearboxes but I was under the impression that the cooler flow in the gearbox was itself a bypass from another flow, so a slight reduction in flow rate wouldn't necessarily be a problem. Do both of your boxes specify JWS3309? Mine does and I don't really want to stray from this spec to be honest.
You're probably right. Gearboxes to me are complete witchcraft, I just make sure they're well serviced and hope they don't die on me. LOL My Saab requires JWS3309 and my Volvo requires AW-1. Comma say the MVATF Plus is suitable for both specifications. My Volvo is my second V40 with the TF71-SC and the AW-1 requirement. My current V40 is still on the factory fill but my previous one got a full change out to Comma MVATF Plus at 25k and I noticed very little difference, maybe slightly smoother. The original fluid was light/clear but quite brown. The Saab has had a complete change to Comma MVATF Plus too. It was still on it's original fill at 13 years old with 135k on the clock. The original fluid was black but not burned. Shifts are much smoother and I've noticed kick-down feels sharper too. Our Defenders R380 manual gearbox requires a Dexron IID gearbox oil or a 75w80 manual transmission oil. It's currently also got Comma MVATF Plus in it and it shifts absolutely lovely. I may change to Valvoline ATF which is the same as the Americans get which is branded Valvoline Maxlife ATF. It is a fair bit more expensive though at £40 per 5 litres but it has seal conditioners which are good for older gearboxes. Where in the UK are you from?
 
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DrSmith

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That's exactly my point of view, the exploded diagrams of automatic gearboxes make me shudder with how complex they are! I once went through a phase of being obsessed with oil specifications for this gearbox. I seem to recall that the JWS3309 or the AW-1 shouldn't be replaced with a 'generic' that covers many specifications; however, it appears you're doing fine with the MVATF. I think comma now do a gearbox oil specifically for the aisin gearboxes (https://www.commaoil.com/passenger-vehicles/products/view/193/ASW20L/) I must admit that I am too cautious to use anything other than specifically JWS3309 or T-IV in mine. I scour eBay and find official manufacturers spec oil which can be quite cheap, last week I bought 2 x 1 litre bottles of BMW 3309 ATF for £10 each which isn't too bad. I have a defender gearbox in the family too, always thought it was strange that it took ATF, ours has knackered synchro between third and fourth though frown I'm originally from North Wales but move about reasonably often haha smile I must point out that after a few days of driving with the new filter I've noticed that drive is taken up ever so slightly more quickly when shunting from P to R in a car park. In addition, there is less shudder when creeping along at idle revs and stopping starting. Not sure if that is due to the now cleaner oil, or the approx. 2 litres of fresh oil it had when I did the mod? [Linked Image] Here is the spec of the filter, it's the ATF filter from some sort of Scania bus so I think it should have plenty of flow for a small FWD transaxle. I'm not too sure on the filtering micron efficiencies though. Might be better to have a finer filter perhaps?
 

DrSmith

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I used this filter head as it was much cheaper than a mocal one and does the same job: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/333224280398 It takes the unusual M16x1.5 thread oil filters of which there are two easily available ones in the UK, the Fleetguard HF7554 (which I am currently using) and the MANN W712/45 which again is readily available. I used Jubilee clips instead of the ones that came with the kit in that eBay item. I have just today finished the job by installing a thermostatically controlled oil cooler in line with the filter so that should help somewhat in summer. When I did the job today, I noticed that the ATF is no longer as black.... I think the filter has helped clean up the existing oil in the last week!
 
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I put a Magnefine filter in between the Hayden 679 I installed on my Aisin A750 tranny. I do a total flush every 20000 and the oil stays relatively clean and red in between the changes.
 

DrSmith

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I would just like to update this thread by reporting that the gearbox seems to shift even smoother now with zero judder. Whilst there wasn't anything wrong with it before, I noticed slight judder with a cold engine as I pulled away. Looking forward to cutting this filter open at some point and seeing if any clutch material has been retained. That's my hypothesis why shifting could be better; smoother solenoid operation due to less debris in the oil.
 
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"Why do American cars have automatics?", asks the old joke. So they have a free hand to blow the horn! Seriously though, I know from other boards that automatic trannies in Europe number a little more than "quite rare". I'd love to know real numbers country-to-country. I posted because I've experienced something recently whilst maintaining cars which had JWS3309 requirements. In brief, I used cases of Toyota T-IV and one of real Mobil3309. Then I discovered Amalie's synthetic offering and used 4 cases of the stuff. Then I rolled through 14 gallons of Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc LV bought during a 2-for-1 sale. That's 9 gallons of conventional followed by 26 gallons of synthetic. All good in a half dozen cars. When my car, a 2007 Volvo w/AW55-50 series unit requiring a 3309 -which was originally owned by a city dweller (Mom's school bus)- needed service I reverted to a conventional and swear it feels better! I know there's nothing to substantiate my feeling. Since my fluid is clean, I won't rush to do another conv. D&F but I'm tempted. I guess what I'm trying to say is; synthetics are great things but might not be a universal substitute for prescribed fluid. That 20l keg of Mannol 3309 from Germany so many of you buy over there is likely GREAT STUFF. However, after rinsing your transmission clean with it I suggest going back to 1 or 2 D&Fs with correct conventional and see if you have the same experience.
 
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