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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up an 07 convertible from insurance salvage for my granddaughter. Had a pretty good crease from the middle of the front door to the rear. I got the dent out and am ready for paint as soon as the weather warms up a few degrees. To do the body work it was easier to put the top down so I released the front of the top started it up and pulled on the top switch. all the windows started to go down and the whole system shut down. The windows no longer respond to the individual window switches but do respond to the all window switch. The top had to be put down manually and has not moved since. Hopefully the weather will warm up enough to spray the right side and that being done I can put everything back together. I am assuming that I will need a code reader. I contacted OBDLinkMX and they said that mine will work but by adding a Carista I could access all the vehicle specific stuff, reset modules etc. Has anyone used one of these things and do they actually do all they say they will?

She will be driving this thing for at least the next 5 years, until she is out of college so I will need to be able to fix whatever might come up. Looking at all the repair receipts in the glove box it appears that the car has been impeccably maintained so I am hoping that there are minimal whatevers but only time will tell.

One thing I have not been able to determine thus far is the transmission service schedule. I have not driven the car so do not know how the trans is working but my hope is that it is doing fine. The service schedule in the owners manual does not mention the trans at all.

Any advice will be welcomed.
 

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The typical vw factory level scan tools; are the top tier, VCDS by Ross Tech which runs on a windows based pc, laptop, sub notebook or tablet, Obdeleven is becoming popular, which runs on phones/tablets and the many "VAG" Chinese knock off handheld scanners on Amazon.

I haven't heard much about Carista; i hear claims, about compatibility with VW's but not much real world feedback, about it from end users.

If you are the main mechanic, on this car; for the next 5 years, a vw scan tool, is absolutely a requirement, to keep it on the road.

VCDS, is highly recommended and is a solid investment; with a proven track record, from vw techs all over the world. They use it daily, in a pro repair environment; it has been in constant us e for years and they have real usa based support to back up the tool.


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I assume you have the 09G 6 speed transmission, Volkswagen did not technically, publish a service schedule for the fluid/filter; they pushed the concept of a "life time" fill of the fluid and this is one of the reasons why so many are failing at this point.

There's a wide range of problems that these transmissions have; this has been well documented on this site, in other discussions. Servicing the fluid in the filter; is definitely recommended and this should extend the life of the transmission.


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The convertible top having functionality problems is very well-known issue; typical problems are the position sensor switches fail and cause the system to stop working.


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All of the above issues; can be diagnose but can typically require the use of a vw factory level factory scan tool, the Ross Tech VCDS scan tool solution or equivalent is recommended, to begin your diagnosis process.


When you get a Volkswagen scan tool, let us know and we can start working down through all of the issues you are working on and go from there.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
200 isn't a bad price if it will do everything I might need it to do. Should have this thing running in about a week. Yes I am the primary wrench on this and everything else that rolls on rubber tires around here.

What are the transmission problems and at approximately what mileage? Car is presently at 101000. If a filter and fluid change are in order what I have looked at it doesn't seem to be too tough. Doing an overhaul doesn't scare me but if a fluid change will prolong its life I will do it when I am able to drive it and see what it is working like. I did the 4 speed on my now being parted out SL and it worked fine until the junk wiring started disintegrating. The R&R is likely a little more complicated, front wheel drives generally are. Is there any kind of shift kit that will buttress the transmission? With the exception of the Mercedes trans I have never overhauled a transmission without the addition of a shift kit and have installed kits in failing transmissions and given them up to thirty thousand miles more life.

I might mention that I grew up in my fathers auto repair shop and have been wrenching for over 60 years so I do know my way around the average automobile. The SL taught me that German electronics can be quite challenging, but I kept it running until the wiring insulation started disintegrating and I won't even attempt to completely rewire the car.

When I do get the vdub back together I will likely be picking brains rather than trying to figure out the electronics myself.

Probably be back in about a week.
 

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The VCDS by Ross Tech; is a solid investment and is basically, a clone of the VW factory scan tool, they use at the VW dealerships. Evaluation, of your New Beetle; will be enabled by the use of this tool.

I don't know, what era Mercedes SL; you are or working with but while VW, is a lesser German brand, it does have some sophistication and electrical issues, eccentricities, the Teutonic designed, cars are known for. Based, upon your background and involvement, in other German marques, I assume you get it and are aware, of what I am referring to.
 

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The 09G, has typical issues; that seem, to plague, many Aisin, oem tranmissions. The most common issue; is the valve body wear and solenoids sticking. Milage, is less of a indicator; of failure timeframe, as many failed early and VW, had recalls and extended the warranty, in the past, to "cover" these problems. At this point, I do not think; the extended warranty, is still in force but check with your VW dealer. The replacement valve bodies; never, seemed to address failure modes, long term weaknesses and inherent engineering problems inherent, in the original design, more info below.



Lots of documentation and issues; discussed online and pro rebuilt valve bodies, are the common fix.


From my own experience working with the 09G and feedback, from members here, there can be external problems, in addition to the valve body, that can cause problems. These tend to break down into: electrical wiring harness problems, plug damage, shifter assembly damaged, internal ribbon harness problems, sensor failures and then, worst case scenario, internal problems, which can require a tear down, parts inspection, evaluation and a rebuild with needed replacement parts. We have heard of solid success; using vcds to diagnose any problems and then, a install of a professionally rebuilt valve body, dyno tested good part and with a substantial warranty, has solved many shifting issues.

We can discuss, more specific details; when, you get the car in your hands and are able to do a test drive and scanned with VCDS. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The SL is a 94, the era of disintegrating insulation. Mercedes was never inclined to admit that they bought junk wire which they should have replaced. I rebuilt the engine loom and repaired a lot of wiring but now there is a problem by the fuse box wiggling the loom causes things to work or not and I am not going to try to fix that.
 

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Vcds by Ross-Tech is the way to go, it can do anything and everything that you will need to do to your granddaughters vw, In the way of diagnostics and tweets to the functionality of different modules. The company is from right here in PA and if you call for support it’s not unusual to get the owner on the phone.

To bad you hadn’t got a 5 spd manual then her college friends wouldn’t be able to borrow her car. I saw a bumper sticker. It had a 5 spd shift pattern pictured and the words “warning, this vehicle equipped with a millennial theft protection device”
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Problem is that she would not be able to drive it either.

I am guessing by your sign in that you are a marine, I am told by those I know who were in the marines that there is no such thing as a former marine. If so thank you very much for your service.

As soon as I get it together and on the road I will take it for a long test drive and see how critical it is that I get a Ross-Tech scanner. I will wind up with one eventually but maybe it is not critical right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Been doing some research on the trans and found something interesting. TransGo makes a valve body kit for them. I have been using their kits since the 60's and have never found one to do less than advertised. I attached the kit directions and plan on installing one before putting the bug on the road. I will attempt to drive it before I do so I can offer before and after. Still don't have the paperwork so it is presently and unregistered vehicle.

Another interesting thing is when I got the windows reinstalled and everything reconnected windows and top all worked. Don't know if having the battery disconnected for a week reset something but I will take it. Is there some adjustment or lube points for the front top clamp mechanism? The way it is working I do not believe that my granddaughter is capable of latching it, I had trouble with it. I see a lot of young girls driving them top down and My assumption is that they are capable of putting the top up so apparently this one needs attention but what and where.
 

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Hey, the transgo shift kit; can be one level of addressing problems, based upon feedback on this site from members there seems to probably be other mods, that the better valve body rebuilder do, to address of the other weaknesses from the original design. I recommend, that you check out Hiram's youtube channel "automatic transmission" and the rebuilds, he does for the 09G and he install the transgo kit, which is addressing the common sticking solenoids.



He seems to talk about extra tooling; that needs to be purchased, to ream out the sticking solenoids, some just buy new ones but many of the new ones, are poor quality chinese and will end up doing the same thing later in their life cycle. He seems to recommend; repairing the original oem parts, which are good quality but have the wear, sticking issue.

RevMax, seems to have a kit or reman'd valve bodies; that I think, do some things, the TransGo shift kit, may not address. More research is needed; you can download the service manual and instructions for the kits, call TransGo, Sonnax and then, some of the rebuilders, see what they have to say. While, doing the kits may save money; the rebuilt valve bodies; from the specialists, may have some modes, improvements, that are not addressed in the kits. I do not know for sure but obviously, a reman valve body, tested with a dyno type machine with a substantial warranty, from experienced techs, to do these and have figured out the weaknesses, has value. These remans from the positive feedback vendors; have given us, positive feedback around here and those, who went the "diy" shift kit route, success, was less assured and depended on research, correct repair procedures and luck of not, having other internal issues, beyond, just the sticking solenoids, wear issues, etc. Most are recommending, internal ribbon cable replacements and possibly the external harness with the plug as well; both being common sources, of damaged wiring problems, the ribbon cable being particularly notorius, gets damaged when removed and all being a problem with intermittent connectivity issues.

I think, it would be worth; doing your due diligence and discussing your needs with some of the rebuilders and ask them, what they do, what they address, beyond just the install of the typal "shift kits". Some, of them; may not reveal their specific technique but I would assume, they have figured out what works, fix the weaknesses and through initial evaluations, have come up with a solid reman procedure, that elminates customer come backs, for them.

NOTE: the info listed: as being done, on a REVMAX valve body; along with updated proprietary updates, and improved billet parts, etc:

This is what makes a RevMax 09G TF60SN 6F21WA valve body superior to the rest:

  • Billet anodized solenoid modulator valves
  • RevMax proprietary solenoid bushings
  • Billet anodized TCC regulator valve *
  • Billet anodized secondary regulator valve *
  • Billet anodized clutch regulator valves *
  • Complete Disassembly
  • Proprietary cleaning process removes all metal and clutch particles by using an automated valve body wash machine.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning of sensitive valve body parts
  • Revmax proprietary upgrades
  • Hand assembled in Charlotte, NC by Qualified and Caring Professionals!!
  • Mounting Surface Verified and Flat Filed
  • Threads Checked and Repaired if Needed
  • Solenoids dyno tested on our solenoid test machine
  • Computerized testing on our state of the art $125k valve body test machines

shift kits/parts/valve bodies:



09G TF60SN OEM Updated Valve Body | Revmax Converters

Sunbelt, seems to be doing the sonnax updates and replacing the solenoids, rather then "fixing" them with the TransGo route with "Rostra" new parts.


A small shop in Kansas City; called "coolairvw", offers a rebuild service, he has a youtube channel and is a certified transmission specialist, he has done these for his customers and offers a mail in option. He lists info on the 01M 4 speed; you might contact him about the 09G:

 

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There is lots to research and figure out; if you end up "diy" the valve body. Please, be sure to share; what you learn and what info you glean, from researching what you end up doing. Most here, have just went ahead and gone with a Sonnax based repair strategy, dyno tested, confirmed, certified error free and one with a solid warranty, shop that has a reputable reputation, verified feedback from others, who have used them before.

Any info, you could provide or if you rebuild it yourself; sharing your repair process, would be great. This type of info, can be a great resource; for others with the same issues in the future and who might, be willing to tackle such a rebuild project as a valve body.

Automatic transmission problems with the 01M 4 speed and the 09G 6 speed; are probably, one of the #1 things, that are taking out these cars and causing them to end up in the junkyards, all over the USA. Unfortunately, repair costs, are just not terribly cost effective these days; with many cars not being worth much at this point. Also, it is not uncommon, for the repair cost is actually more then the resale value of the car; especially, if a pro shop does the valve body swap or even worse, a full rebuild. Thanks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I finally got the thing on the road. The trans works exactly as it was designed to work. Therein lies the problem as I see it. What research I have done on the 09G it is a Japanese transmission apparently built to German specifications. The design criteria was a transmission that you could not feel the shift.

My 65 years looking under hoods and cars translates that to overmodulation. The scenario in overmodulating a transmission to smooth out the shifts translates to slippage to release say first gear as you are engaging second gear. Something has to be slipping to accomplish that. Slippage translates to abnormal wear and heat. Heat breaks down the lubricity in the fluid which causes abnormal wear in metal to metal parts contact such as the solenoid shafts.

Admittedly I am speaking about a transmission that I have never been into and would not recognize if I tripped over one but these are generalities I have learned from overhauling hundreds of transmissions over the years. With electronic transmissions there is the other issue which is the electronic controls. They can screw things up in more ways than I can imagine and this is where I am at a loss. The only electronic transmission I have ever been into is the 6L80 that is behind the L83 engine out of a 2015 Tahoe that wound up in my 63 Pontiac convertible, and I only changed the fluid and filter. So on electronic units I an forced to rely on other peoples knowledge and experience.

Because I have used Transmission research (now Transgo) kits in every transmission I ever rebuilt if a kit was available, I know their quality. I have never used one of their kits that delivered anything less than advertised and generally more than. I am not in any way disparaging any other supplier I just know Transgo and am comfortable with their expertise. Gil Younger who started transmission research began by making the old Ford cruise o matics shift like a torque flight. and progressed from there. Sometime within the next year I will be doing the valve body. Right now it is not an issue as my granddaughter for the most part drives one mile to school and 2 1/2 miles to work so her mileage and the trans wear should not be a problem. I will do the valve body before she leaves for college and will at that time add a post script here when I get it done. My guess is that the valve body rebuild will create firm but not harsh shifts to control heat and slippage but time will tell.
 

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Its great to hear from someone with a wide range of experience with transmission repair and rebuilding experience. You might review Hiram's transgo install videos and tips, on post install reset if the fuzzy logic learned values and his view of looking at live data pods, confirming correct trans operation.

From what i am seeing; it looks like valve body rebuilders, are replacing the solenoids with a specific brand and making whatever else engineering upgrades are required ti address weaknesses in the original design.

Sonnax, seems to make a number of parts; to address 09G specific issues.



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Whenever, you get vcds; we can discuss some basics like a full auto scan and any trouble codes, you end up getting. Resetting the kick down settings; can improve shifting characteristics, as these learned values can be related to the previous driver or relearning can compensate for current transmission wear, etc.

Here is a example if live data diagnostics with vcds:


It will be interesting, to hear feedback from you with your trans repair background; as you learn the vcds scan tool, vw's diagnostics environment and diagnosing any issues with the 09G.


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