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Testing BTR shift solenoids 

 

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 Post subject: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:29 pm 
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Hi,
I've just got a secondhand shift solenoid to replace a faulty one in my BTR box (S1 shift).

Prior to stripping down my gearbox I thought I'd check the replacement one. I therefore first measured the resistance -28.1ohms (within the 23 to 45ohms detailed in Max Ellery-measured at ECU).

I then applied 12V and couldn't feel or hear the solenoid armature move.
I then checked it further with a compass to check that there was some magnetic flux (see attachment).

I'm therefore guessing the armature is stuck.

>>>>Should I hear or feel movement in these solenoids when they're OK?

I also notice there's an oblong in the throat of the solenoid (last photo in the attached). Can you therefore use an appropriately filed piece of round steel to make a key and therefore strip these solenoids down for cleaning.....I haven't tried this as it owes me $20 and I may as well swap it for another.

Thanks!

 

 

Attachments:
BTR solenoid test method.pdf [621.61 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:52 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Do you intend to ruin that solenoid? because applying 12V direct to it HAS done just that.

Gab
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:12 pm 
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Hi Gab,
I'm sorry to say this but I think you maybe mixing your solenoids up, unless I'm mistaken.

From my understanding the S5 variable pressure solenoid (VPS) can indeed be damaged by a continuous DC supply, due to the coil resistance being low (from memory around 5 ohms). The S5 is intended to be supplied via a Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) supply and it is the variance of this supply (duty cycle) that is used to regulated the hydraulic line pressure within the gearbox and thereby vary the line pressure during shifts etc.

The solenoid in question is not the VPS but rather one of the shift solenoids (S1). As you'll note the resistance of this is far higher than the VPS (23 to 45 ohms).

Assuming a supply voltage of 12V and a coil resitance on the bottom end of specification (23ohms), and ohms law results in a coil power of 6.2W and a current of 0.52A. As you'll note this power level is very low and the actual solenoid is lower than this (5.78W).

Unfortunately I can't find any datasheets on these solenoids however for comparison I've attached a Bosch Rexroth datasheet of a slightly higher power solenoid for comparison (DC supply voltage, current and power)

One observation I did make during testing is that if the solenoid was indeed operational then when I initially applied power (I used my laboratory power supply not a starter battery) then I would of expected to feel an almightly joult as the armature moved followed by the buring out of the coil. I felt no joult. Also the coil resistance and associated current has remained constant (the coil neither short circuited or open circuited). I'm therefore left with two assumptions either the armature is stuck or due to the low wattage the armature movement is very low and there is some form of pilot/ servo action within the solenoid valve body that increased the force applied when in the presence of an oil supply.

What are your thoughts? :?:

 

 

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RE18325-90.pdf [785.44 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:16 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Ahh yes, pottentially I am mistaken, I didnt know that much detail about it. But when I worked in an automatic transmission place we were told not to put 12V to any automatic transmission solenoid in any car, as often they are supplied with 5V or similar from the TCM. I was of the understanding that it would damage it. Is the pump working properley and do you have a clean filter? Are you running the correct type 95LE fluid? as I know that running Dexron can cause odd things to happen. Not trying to run an EF or EL box off an EB computer or a BA computer are you? (or any other model mismatch, I think EF/EL will be OK with any EF/EL ECU though) that might also cause issues.

Gab
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:19 pm 
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Hi Gab,
For info I was expecting to get a sound etc something like this:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=en ... qR3CA&NR=1

Although I'm no expert on this, just a dabbler I wonder if they just told you that to avoid the chance of burning out the VPS? Or maybe I'm totally wrong (0/10 is awardable). :)

Regarding the gearbox, I haven't stripped it down yet although it threw out a solenoid fault code on my Scan Tool so I bought the second hand one to have on standby when I dropped the pan and expended another $40 on TQ95! As to vehicle, a stock 1999 series 1 AU Falcon wagon so nothing exciting I'm afraid. Unless a gas conversion lights someones fire!

Best regards,
Arfur
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Hi Gab,
For info I was expecting to get a sound etc something like this:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=en ... qR3CA&NR=1

Although I'm no expert on this, just a dabbler I wonder if they just told you that to avoid the chance of burning out the VPS? Or maybe I'm totally wrong (0/10 is awardable). :)

Regarding the gearbox, I haven't stripped it down yet although it threw out a solenoid fault code on my Scan Tool so I bought the second hand one to have on standby when I dropped the pan and expended another $40 on TQ95! As to vehicle, a stock 1999 series 1 AU Falcon wagon so nothing exciting I'm afraid. Unless a gas conversion lights someones fire!

Best regards,
Arfur
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:49 pm 
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to arthur
which scan tool did you use which works on an au1 falcon?

Also I've worked out simple method to repair sticky solenoids, simple as:
Basically shake the solenoid if the plunger is loose you can hear it rattle,
if no rattle its stuck

1. spray wd40 into the solenoids once removed, leave overnight to let it
penetrate
2. shake the solenoid, to hear if the plunger moves, if it doesn't rattle, then
knock the solenoid onto a metal surface, to help loosen it, hit both ends of
the solenoid ( not hard enough to damage the plastic but pretty hard knocks)
Shake the solenoid again, hopefully you'll now hear a rattle, shake it to loosen up
the plunger.
3. give the solenoid a good wash out with petrol, shake it in the petrol, I got
a few bits of crud came as hard small lumps.
4. start shaking them again, should be rattling as plunger moves.

Testing:
it appears the solenoids dont have a return spring inside, must use the pressure of the oil.
You can use 12v no problem it wont burn em out, just need to touch the 12 onto the
tabs, dont have to worrry about polarity.
When you first apply power you should hear a click, but it wont click again, theres
no return spring, give it a shake to return the plunger to original position then it will
click again...........job done.
After washing with petrol if you leave em its possible rust will form internally ( not sure),
so give another spray with wd40.............should be good to go.

note: petrol had no adverse effect on the solenoids.
note2: the s5 solenoid is not testable with 12v, need pwm controller such as rc plane servo tester,
I did note that there is small rattle in the s5 but not as loud as the other ( on/off) solenoids.
note 3: no fancy tools required!!!
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:08 am 
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doing some work on an ef falcon wagon btr gearbox, it has some flare and rough shifts especially noticeable when the gearbox gets hotter. Mainly 1-2, 2-3 upshifts.
heres some pics of the stripdown and some tips.

To remove the valve body while gearbox is in car, requires torx t30 head, the bolts are extremely tight and its easy to strip out the head of the bolt. This should be avoided at all cost!
If you strip out a torx bolt head your got a big problem, so heres a way to do it without worrying about stripping out the bolt heads.
I put a t30 torx ( with 1/4" hex head) onto a 3/8" socket ratchet as the torx t30 is 1/4" hex head, I just used a 1/4 socket on it to mate with the socket ratchet handle.
I then used a car jack to push the t30 hard into the bolt, the jack pressed up against the socket handle in the centre ( where you change from clockwise to anticlockwise), quite fiddly to do it, but no problems to get the bolts out and no stripping the bolt heads, if you strip a bolt head you have a big problemo. I put alot of pressure on the socket via the car jack, enough that the gearbox lifted up a bit, the bolt heads will make a crack noise when they loosen. ( have to do in correct order to avoid warping the valve body, see btr manual, the manual give the tightening sequence so you reverse the sequence to undo the bolts.
Once the valve body was out, I used same torx t30, but got an adapter from supercheap ( $6), that goes from 1/2" to 3/8" socket head size. Then used an impact driver to remove the bolts holding the two halves of the valve body together. Note the bolts need remove in correct sequence so valve body doesn't warp.Very easy to remove them with impact driver no worries about stripping the bolt heads. You have to know how to use impact driver, you give it a really hard hit with a big hammer, it is directional for tightening/removing so need to twist it to removal mode.
I was using a 1/4" adapter onto the torx tool, it broke ( was from cheap socket set), so went and bought a replacement 1/4" socket from bunnings for $6 which was better quality and could take the bashing on the impact driver. A screwdriver impact type might work, but I've never used one.
Most important not to strip those torx bolt heads, manual impact driver is perfect for the job.
Two things to note on taking out the valve body:
1. undo the wiring from the solenoids, in this car the gearbox had got very hot apparently,
and the plastic on the wiring was very brittle, but came off ok, you have to get a small screwdriver and lift the flap before the connector slide off, they took a bit of wiggling to get off.
Also undo the torx bolt shown below, which holds the earth wire, whilst your undoing the other torx bolts, otherwise the valve body will still be connected to the wiring loom.
Attachment:
wires.jpg
wires.jpg [ 135.38 KiB | Viewed 201 times ]


2. the gear selector 'z' shaped piece will come out when the valve body is removed, need to note that on one end it has some pressed divets, so you know which way it goes back in. I dont think that z shape link can be taken out before removing the valve body.
Attachment:
selector gear.jpg
selector gear.jpg [ 100.89 KiB | Viewed 112 times ]


If the valve body needs cleaning or checking inside, you need to undo the 24 or 25 torx bolts that hold the two halves together. Impact driver and torx t30 once again. If you undo the two halves it will probably require new paper gaskets, in my case they had become brittle from a hot gearbox and didn't come off in one piece, so not reuseable. I have reused the gaskets before without issue, but only if they come off in one piece and not damaged.
One issue:
in the btr manual it gave tightening sequence for 24 bolts, which I reversed for undoing the halves, but it had 24 bolts, there were 25 bolts in this btr, so should check and take into account that extra bolt if yours has 25 bolt, have to put it in the undoing sequence ( theres a pattern to it).
Once split apart heres what you get: there will be 5 small balls, and one big ball, and 3 loose fitting small metal plates ( which limit end movement of the internal pistons ( see last pic for metal plates), if the gaskets stay in place nothing will fall out, but heres some pics of where they go.
Lifting off the lower half ( the side that the torx bolts were removed from):

lower valve half with gasket in place 5 small balls visible:
Attachment:
balls.jpg
balls.jpg [ 118.08 KiB | Viewed 118 times ]


lower half after taking gasket off:
Attachment:
balls2.jpg
balls2.jpg [ 213.89 KiB | Viewed 93 times ]


now you should have the upper half left on the ground, it will have metal spacer gasket on it:
Attachment:
spacer plate.jpg
spacer plate.jpg [ 126.69 KiB | Viewed 77 times ]


take off metal spacer gasket will reveal another paper gasket:
through which you will see a big ball
Attachment:
big ball.jpg
big ball.jpg [ 109.32 KiB | Viewed 82 times ]


Once you remove that paper gasket, you will see the big ball and metal plates ( which are a bit hard to make out), if you turn this half upside down those plates will fall out, so its best to note where they are and the sliding piston positons when they are in place . Take some close up photos is my advice of these 3 plates ( i've drawn in black what they look like when they come out: two are same size/shape, the other one has a cut out in it). There are also two filter cups which can come out and be checked also ( shown with green crosses)
Attachment:
metal bits.jpg
metal bits.jpg [ 176.55 KiB | Viewed 75 times ]



hope that helps anyone having a go at checking internals of the valve body, all the solenoids/pistons can be taken out and cleaned just have to make note of where they go,
and any springs that they have with them. To take out the pistons some of them have pins which hold them in place, those pins can come out quite easily, but need to make sure put everything back
exact way it comes out. Wont post pics of those procedures..........takes too long to post it.
Theres other people have posted about solenoids and how to check them etc. Suggest using impact driver to remove the torx bolts on the solenoids also.
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:36 pm 
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I've just worked out and tested a simple method to test the shift ( on/off ) solenoids are making
a high pressure seal ( after checking to see if the solenoids are clicking and after a good clean out
in petrol, I realise one workshop manual says not to use solvents to clean the solenoids, a good wash in petrol doesn't seem to hurt them).
I got a large syringe ( fortunately it fits perfectly over the solenoid o ring end). I cut the needle end of the syringe off so the plunger can be inserted ( a bit of oil in the syringe to make a good seal). The syringe pushes over the first o ring fairly firmly, the second o ring requires a good deal of force to get the sryinge over it.......it makes a very good seal.
Pull the plunger rapidly a few times back and forth, the solenoid if not seized or faulty will go into locked position, and air wont be able to be pushed through the solenoid. Whilst the air is under pressure you can hit the solenoid with 12v and the air will escape once the solenoid is turned on. If the solenoid doesn't have a good seal you wont get any compression in the syringe, you can feel high pressure seal when the solenoid is working...........simple and cheap method, and it seems to work!
For this method to work, you should be able to hear the internal portion of the solenoid moving when you shake the solenoid ( i.e. its not seized up).

heres a pic:
Attachment:
solenoid seal test1.jpg
solenoid seal test1.jpg [ 63.33 KiB | Viewed 77 times ]


Attachment:
solenoid seal test12.jpg
solenoid seal test12.jpg [ 81.52 KiB | Viewed 66 times ]


The syringe is terumo brand it has markings up to 25ml on the outside, but is called a 20ml syringe.
Inner diameter is 20.15mm, and should be good up to about 125psi
( thats plenty to get an idea if the solenoid is leaky or not)
that info on the syringe from this link
http://www.harvardapparatus.com/hapdfs/ ... 0Guide.pdf
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:11 am 
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Seems i've just found out why not to put solenoids in solvent as mentioned in one of the manuals.
I left the pwm solenoid for two days in some kerosene ( with a little bit of petrol), I've washed the pwm solenoid in petrol before without issues. But in kerosene the shiny metal casing ( iron/stainless steel?)portion, has a brown deposit on it, its not rust, but some sort of brown deposit, i'm guessing something inside has dissolved. So lesson is dont use kerosene of the pwm solenoid ( might apply to the on/off solenoids too but I'm not sure on that one).

Another observation on the pwm solenoid:
It can be tested to see if it clicks with 12v source but requires a simple technique so that not too much amps is applied. Just simply put one wire on one of the electrical tabs on the pwm solenoid, and the other tab very quickly brush the wire over it, I could here a click in the pwm solenoid.
A quick contact give the solenoid 12v but doesn't allow enough time for the amps to get high.

Also I noticed once the pwm solenoid was heard to click, that it doesn't necessarily go back to default position internally, you might need to tap the solenoid on something to get the internal plunger to go back to default position, then it will click again when power very briefly applied.

I can also here a sort of click noise when I hit the pwm solenoid metal casing end onto the hard part of my palm. So it seems there is some sort of spring mechanism in there playing some role.
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:43 am 
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a bit of an internet search I found that btr australia had made some gearboxes for ssongyang cars ( sold in russia and korea), the model btr m74le is same valve body as used in btr falcon gearboxes,
exact same solenoids etc ( there is a m78 model also but it is changed design.
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 Post subject: Re: Testing BTR shift solenoids
Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:05 pm 
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Just a bit of a summary of a successful valve body repair for next to nothing ( but alot of time involved).
* solenoids ( on/off ) can be easily tested using syringe of correct diameter, this is a pressure test.
Even if the coil resistance measures ok, still require pressure test to be 100% sure solenoid is ok.
That is an extremely cheap way to test a solenoid.
* pwm solenoids harder to test, haven't devised a way to pressure test them as yet, but might be possible with remote control servo tester ( haven't tried as yet).

My method for repair was:
1. bought an old gearbox for cheap, just to experiment with taking apart. Found that although the gearbox has numerous issues, many parts are reuseable ( solenoids/bands if ok). I paid $40aud for a btr that it was unknown if it was good or not.

2. if you can get a cheap btr working or not, its likely there will be some good solenoids in it.

3. take apart the el cheapo gearbox before tackling the in-car gearbox, its a slow process but I think worth it in the long run.

It is quite complex process but no harder than working on other parts of a car.
Main thing it to have correct torx tools ( socket or allen key style, I used both) to undo the bolts on valve body, and not to strip one of the
bolt heads is major thing to avoid. If your torx tool slips more than once, dont keep going, work out a method to push the torx tool very hard into the bolt head using car jack or similar, then it wont slip in the bolt head and strip the torx style bolt head
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