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Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed #5295079 12/15/19 12:02 PM
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dakota99 Offline OP
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Long story short, I've been looking for a new truck lately and finally settled on the honda ridgeline after looking at several of them. You really can't beat the ride quality of the unibody construction and since I don't work in heavy construction anymore I have no need to tow or haul anything big. I was at the dealership yesterday for some recall work on my accord and while speaking with the salesman he mentioned one of the changes for 2020 on the ridgeline was the change to the ZF 9HP transmission. Yeah.. the thought in my head was great just what I wanted to hear.

I'm wondering what the consensus is on this transmission? Should it be a deal breaker? I really do like the truck, nothing else concerns me at all it's a solid vehicle but I was really hoping to get a honda transmission. I'm guessing they didn't go with the 10AT because of design issues. As far as heavy use I don't plan on towing anything heavy nor hauling anything close to max payload. Through my searching I did also read that fluid changes are not a DIY process anymore which irritates me.

I do like that they did away with the shift lever and it's a push button system now but I really need some convincing that this will last me a long time if I'm spending close to $40k on it.

Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295083 12/15/19 12:07 PM
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demarpaint Offline
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IMO the ZF 8 speed is the best of the bunch, the 9 speed I'd read up on it. From what I heard it isn't that great.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295092 12/15/19 12:21 PM
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SubLGT Offline
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Last edited by SubLGT; 12/15/19 12:21 PM.
Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295095 12/15/19 12:24 PM
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UncleDave Offline
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Originally Posted by dakota99
Long story short, I've been looking for a new truck lately and finally settled on the honda ridgeline after looking at several of them. You really can't beat the ride quality of the unibody construction and since I don't work in heavy construction anymore I have no need to tow or haul anything big. I was at the dealership yesterday for some recall work on my accord and while speaking with the salesman he mentioned one of the changes for 2020 on the ridgeline was the change to the ZF 9HP transmission. Yeah.. the thought in my head was great just what I wanted to hear.

I'm wondering what the consensus is on this transmission? Should it be a deal breaker? I really do like the truck, nothing else concerns me at all it's a solid vehicle but I was really hoping to get a honda transmission. I'm guessing they didn't go with the 10AT because of design issues. As far as heavy use I don't plan on towing anything heavy nor hauling anything close to max payload. Through my searching I did also read that fluid changes are not a DIY process anymore which irritates me.

I do like that they did away with the shift lever and it's a push button system now but I really need some convincing that this will last me a long time if I'm spending close to $40k on it.



I LOOOVE my 6 speed ridge, and will be watching this one close.


Its quick now - a 9 speed would make it absolutely fly - it doesnt make a ton of torque but it does make great HP and with a belt soaking up all the vibes it can sing along at higher RPM with no penalty to to the cabin , but splitting it a bit wider would be great.

That said - Honda trans dont have a great rep themselves with the Odyssey getting a case diet that caused early failures.

That ZF gets a decent amount of play in the chrysler products that are rated to tow a bunch - I think up to 7500. It had enough tune cycles so as to be pretty known now.

Between a Honda and a ZF Id say its a draw. Not DIY meaning what exactly? That its really hard to get at or its sealed and needs a split?

Not sure I like the push button shift - A parking brake cable is a lot simpler and I can actually fix it.

Either way to will be a honda warranty item.

UD


Uncle Dave
Cat 3126/2 MB3500/Titan/RX400H/17 Ridgeline
700HP V10/ 725HP BBC/ Raptor 700/ KFX450/ YZ250/Onan 8K/ Cat3011C
Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295100 12/15/19 12:31 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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Shift levers in modern automatics vehicles are usually fake; no cable going to the transmission.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: UncleDave] #5295102 12/15/19 12:36 PM
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dakota99 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by UncleDave
Not DIY meaning what exactly? That its really hard to get at or its sealed and needs a split?


I've been reading through forums and some folks said you needed to simply have the fluid at a certain temperature during filling which required a scan tool to read the fluid temp. That's not a huge deal to me but then as far as the filter goes it's internal to the transmission and can't be changed without opening it up.

I guess I'm basing my concern on all of the issues chrysler has had with this 9 speed. If it's based on software though I do feel Honda can work things out.

Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: skyactiv] #5295104 12/15/19 12:42 PM
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UncleDave Offline
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
Shift levers in modern automatics vehicles are usually fake; no cable going to the transmission.


But the parking is - and subject to regular stretching and wear.

This isnt honda thing - everything going that way...


Uncle Dave
Cat 3126/2 MB3500/Titan/RX400H/17 Ridgeline
700HP V10/ 725HP BBC/ Raptor 700/ KFX450/ YZ250/Onan 8K/ Cat3011C
Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295111 12/15/19 12:48 PM
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parshisa Offline
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That fluid for ZF9 is super expensive. And there's no dipstick to check the level and condition. Supposedly Honda has updted ZF9 but still hasn't figured it out. I'd imagine they would if it was possible at all. Anyhow, if I was you, i'd get one right now before the 6 speed is gone.

Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295115 12/15/19 12:51 PM
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slacktide_bitog Offline
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Honda replaced a bad transmission with a bad transmission shrug

The V6 Honda automatic was no good anyway, and I heard bad things about the ZF9. The only difference is that the ZF9 fluid costs much more. But you can use Maxlife with no problem smile

Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295130 12/15/19 01:10 PM
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Char Baby Online Content
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My understanding about the ZF 9 speed tranny is that it ISN'T an unreliable tranny(any tranny can have issues), just a quirky shifting tranny(in certain gears & RPMs) and normal shifting in the other gears. As much reprogramming as Honda and other manufactures using this tranny have done to reduce the dislike for the way the dog clutches shift up & down(hesitant), it hasn't helped enough for customer's to like it better.

Honda uses the ZF 9 speed strictly in the Acura MDX, Honda Passport and now for 2020, the Ridgeline and only in certain trim levels in other models. It seems that Honda is trying to meet the contract requirements with ZF by putting the tranny in more offerings and get this disappointment over with.

Last edited by Char Baby; 12/15/19 01:21 PM.

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Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295149 12/15/19 01:37 PM
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SubLGT Offline
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https://www.transmissionrepaircostguide.com/zf-9hp48/

Quote
Because the ZF 9HP48 9 speed transmission is sold to automakers as a ‘kit’ or manufactured under license, it’s the responsibility of each car company to create the software for the 9HP48 transmission control unit that will govern how it behaves. ZF works with the car companies to help them develop the appropriate programming, however not everybody got it right. Particularly Fiat-Chrysler / FCA and Honda. Since its introduction in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, it has been known to be plagued with a number of problems that have prompted several recalls, along with a number of TSB software updates and warranty replacements. Some of the known symptoms include:

Lunging forward after an expected downshift
Failure to downshift when accelerating
9HP48 transmission unexpectedly shifts into neutral
Erratic upshifts/downshifts
Failure to shift into 8th or 9th gear
Unintentional rollaway due to the driver possibly selecting neutral instead of park

Some of the vehicles known to suffer from the above ZF9HP48 transmission problems include:

2014> Jeep Cherokee
2015> Jeep Renegade
Ram ProMaster City
2015> Chrysler 200
2016> Fiat 500X
Acura TLX
2015> Honda Pilot
2014> Land Rover Evoque
2015> Land Rover Discovery Sport

Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295155 12/15/19 01:44 PM
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edyvw Offline
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ZF makes best transmissions today. ZF8 is arguably most reliable and fastest classic automatic one can get. ZF9 is bit different. It is designed for transverse applications, and many of them. Problem with ZF9 is not reliability, it is Honda programing. Same like Aisin, or any other manufacturer, programing is unique to vehicle manufacturer. My Aisin in VW Tiguan is programmed in certain aspects worse than same one in my Sienna. Same transmission, in VW is much more aggressive and faster, however keeps rpm's too long in redline etc.
Same is for Honda. ZF9 was from beginning plagued with software issues and it is unique to Honda and for some time Chrysler.
I would try it, or rent one for several days and see how it works now.


11' BMW 328i xDrive 6MT (BMW TPT 5W30+OE filter)
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W30+OE filter)
15' Toyota Sienna AWD (Mobil1 5W30 EP+OEM filter).
Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295157 12/15/19 01:48 PM
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https://www.sae.org/news/2018/08/2019-honda-pilot-refresh

Quote
Honda worked with ZF on updates to the 9HP 9-speed automatic to address drivability concerns that have dogged several automakers applying the gearbox. Available on the top two 2019 Pilot trims (standard is a 6-speed automatic), the transmission’s sometimes wonky shift behavior appears to have been mostly exorcised. It apparently wasn’t affecting U.S. sales of the Pilot however (up 38% YTD in the SUV-mad market), thanks to a recent production increase designed to ease capacity constraints.

Mods to the dog-clutch-equipped transmission include “both hardware and software improvements,” said Justin Chiodo, senior product planner on the Pilot. “The clutch packs and hydraulic system have been modified a little bit for smoother, more refined shifts, and we've done a lot with the tuning of the transmission.” Though we only spent a day in a pre-production 2019 Pilot, the mods appear affective, as the 9-speed drew the ideal zero attention to itself along the varied drive route.

Under light-to-moderate throttle, Pilots equipped with the 9-speed now start in second gear, and the software tuning updates seem to have created a far more invisible setup. Also updated to positive effect is the Pilot’s stop-start system, which operates more smoothly via new programming, a reconfigured air conditioning system and a new brake-pressure trigger for quicker restarts. Also, when in idle stop, the engine now remains off after shifting to Park.

Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: SubLGT] #5295170 12/15/19 02:05 PM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by SubLGT
https://www.sae.org/news/2018/08/2019-honda-pilot-refresh

Quote
Honda worked with ZF on updates to the 9HP 9-speed automatic to address drivability concerns that have dogged several automakers applying the gearbox. Available on the top two 2019 Pilot trims (standard is a 6-speed automatic), the transmission’s sometimes wonky shift behavior appears to have been mostly exorcised. It apparently wasn’t affecting U.S. sales of the Pilot however (up 38% YTD in the SUV-mad market), thanks to a recent production increase designed to ease capacity constraints.

Mods to the dog-clutch-equipped transmission include “both hardware and software improvements,” said Justin Chiodo, senior product planner on the Pilot. “The clutch packs and hydraulic system have been modified a little bit for smoother, more refined shifts, and we've done a lot with the tuning of the transmission.” Though we only spent a day in a pre-production 2019 Pilot, the mods appear affective, as the 9-speed drew the ideal zero attention to itself along the varied drive route.

Under light-to-moderate throttle, Pilots equipped with the 9-speed now start in second gear, and the software tuning updates seem to have created a far more invisible setup. Also updated to positive effect is the Pilot’s stop-start system, which operates more smoothly via new programming, a reconfigured air conditioning system and a new brake-pressure trigger for quicker restarts. Also, when in idle stop, the engine now remains off after shifting to Park.

If it's the first or second year in the application, and knowing what I learned about it, I'd pass and let the early adopters have at it. I wouldn't take Honda's word, or anyone else's for that matter that the updates addressed drivability concerns.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Honda Ridgeline ZF 9 Speed [Re: dakota99] #5295206 12/15/19 03:09 PM
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UncleDave Offline
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Or you could wait for trusted reviews before you bite.

UD


Uncle Dave
Cat 3126/2 MB3500/Titan/RX400H/17 Ridgeline
700HP V10/ 725HP BBC/ Raptor 700/ KFX450/ YZ250/Onan 8K/ Cat3011C
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