June 29, 2016

“'Tween:” How to Identify the ZF6HP Series Valve Body that Bridges the 1st & 2nd Generation Designs

Maura Stafford

Take a ride on the memory train back to middle school. For many, this arouses feelings of a socially awkward time due to things like orthodontic braces and physical changes driven by hormones and runaway metabolism. Left behind were the childish days of elementary school, yet the yellow bus ride in the morning and afternoon signified that you hadn’t yet reached those glorious teenage years, high school and wheels of your own. By today’s popular definition, you were a “tween.”

The ZF6HP series valve body with an 053 separator plate code could be labeled as a “tween” as well. It has similarities to the early Generation 1 ZF6HP19/26/32 valve bodies, but also some significant differences that could cause rebuild problems if not noticed. And while this 053 plate version also has features seen on the updated Generation 2 ZF6HP21/28/34 transmission units that are equipped with higher torque capacity, improved acceleration, quicker shift timing, etc., it did not skip a grade and make that leap, as it still has the basic functionality of a Gen. 1.
Since this awkward valve body is stuck in the middle, not fitting the mold of either an early or late OE design, extreme care should be taken when attempting any repairs. Existing fixes are readily available for it and easy to install, providing a significant cost savings over an OE remanufactured valve body. However, the location of particular valves and some of the valve designs themselves are different from Gen. 1 and Gen. 2, so verify proper location and interchangeability of any products before altering the core in any permanent way.
Early identification of the “tween” ZF6HP valve body is critical for a successful rebuild. This particular valve body is most commonly seen in the beautiful and pricey 7-series BMWs. Identification of a valve body core is easiest by referencing the codes and number stamped on the separator plate, which will be A053, B053 and 1068-327-189.
ZF6 053 Separator Plate
Another quick identification method is by measuring the OE pressure regulator sleeve, as it is different from both the Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 designs. OE exploded views found in Sonnax Zip Kit instructions can further aid in distinguishing the differences between Gen. 1, Gen. 2 and the “tween” Gen. 1 valve bodies with 053 separator plate codes. These provide detailed views of valve design and location so that differences and similarities across valve body types can be seen. See the ZF6 identification guide for details on how to measure the valves and the Zip Kits available for all three valve bodies.
This chart indicates the bore location in the various valve body types for ease in locating particular valves.
ZF6 Series Valve Body Valve Locations
Valve Description Valve Body Type
Gen. 1, M-Shift Gen. 1, E-Shift 053 Code, E-Shift Gen. 2, M-Shift Gen. 2, E-Shift
Manual Valve 101 - - 101 -
Parking Lock Valve - 101 101 - 101
Park Lock Cylinder - 109 109 - 109
Lubrication Control Valve 102 102 102 102 102
Converter Release Regulator Valve 103 103 103 103 103
Bypass Clutch Control Regulator Valve 105 105 105 105 105
Clutch Cooling Valve - - - 106 106
Main Pressure Regulator Valve 104 104 104 104 -
Solenoid Pressure Regulator Valve 113 113 113 201 201
Clutch A Latch Valve 116 116 116 116 116
Clutch B Latch Valve 115 115 114 - -
Clutch D1 Latch Valve 112 112 110 110 110
Clutch D2 Latch Valve 203 203 201 113 113
Clutch E Latch Valve 106 106 106 202 202
Clutch A Control Pressure Regulator Valve 108 108 108 108 108
Clutch B Regulator Valve 201 201 115 115 115
Clutch C Regulator Valve 204 204 205 114 114
Clutch D1 Control Pressure Regulator Valve 205 205 204 204 204
Clutch D2 Regulator Valve 202 202 202 112 112
Clutch E Control Pressure Regulator Valve 107 107 107 107 107
Delay Accumulator Piston 109 - - - -
Solenoid Multiplex Valve 110 110 - - -
Drive Enable Valve 111 111 - - -
Shift Valve 3 - - - 205 -
Shift Valve 2 - - 111 203 203
Shift Valve 1 - - 112 111 111
Position Valve D - - 203 - -
Position Valve - - - - 205
It's What's on the Inside that Counts
When my daughter was struggling with the awkwardness of her middle school years, I gave her a bracelet with a hidden message. This ZF6HP “tween” valve body can be an easy rebuild and money in the bank if you keep that same thing in mind and pay close attention to the details of what’s on the inside.
Maura Stafford is a Sonnax product development manager for transmission components and remanufactured valve bodies. She is a member of the Sonnax TASC Force (Technical Automotive Specialties Committee), a group of recognized industry technical specialists, transmission rebuilders and Sonnax Industries Inc. technicians.

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