Gearbox ZF 4HP20

The 4-speed automatic transmission ZF 4HP20 was produced in Germany from 1995 to 2006 and was installed on models from Peugeot, Renault and Fiat with powerful diesel and petrol V6 engines. In some markets, such an automatic transmission is best known as the first generation Mercedes Vito automatic transmission.

4HP family: 4HP14, 4HP16, 4HP18, 4HP20, 4HP22, 4HP24.


Production years 1995 – 2006
Type automatic transmission
Number of gears 4
Type of drive front
Engine volume, l up to 3.0
Torque output, Nm up to 330
Recommended oil ESSO LT 71141
Oil capacity, liter 8.3
Replacing the oil every 60,000 km
Replacing the filter every 60,000 km
Gearbox lifespan, km ~300 000
Weight, kg 88

In 1995, the German company ZF introduced a new 4-speed automatic transmission designed for front-wheel drive car models with a transverse engine. This automatic transmission was installed with particularly powerful diesel engines and V6 gasoline engines with up to 330 Nm of torque.

Gear ratios ZF 4HP20

Using the example of a Mercedes Vito 2000 with a 2.3 liter engine:

Main 4.43
1st 2.718
2nd 1.481
3rd 1.000
4th 0.720
Reverse 2.570

The transmission was installed on:

  • Alfa Romeo 166 (Type 936);
  • Citroen C5 I (X3/X4), C8 I (V3), Evasion I (U60), Jumper I (U5), Xantia I (X1/X2), XM I (Y3/Y4);
  • Fiat Ducato II (230), Ulysse I (220), Ulysse II (179);
  • Lancia Kappa I (838), Phedra I (179), Zeta I (220);
  • Mercedes Vito W638, V-Class W 638;
  • Peugeot 406 I (D8/D9), 407 I (D2), 605 I (Y30), 607 I (Z8/Z9), 806 I (U60), 807 I (V2);
  • Renault Espace 3 (J66), Laguna 1 (X56), Safrane 1 (B54).

Disadvantages of the ZF 4HP20 gearbox

  • This transmission is installed with particularly powerful units, and during aggressive driving, the torque converter lock-up clutch quickly wears out, clogging the valve body, then strong vibrations appear that break the bushing in the oil pump cover. And since neither the bushing nor the cover are sold separately, the pump assembly has to be replaced.
  • In a working gearbox, bearings last a long time, but with the problems described above, wear accelerates significantly. The first to go are the caliper and drive gear bearings, then the sun gear support bearings, and then it’s easier to look for a contract gearbox.
  • Another weak point of this automatic transmission is that the sensors are not the most durable; most often, the gear shift sensor and input-output shaft speed sensor are replaced. And if you don’t take care of the cooling of the gearbox, the rubber-coated pistons in it will quickly peel off.

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