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Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.


Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.

Car: 1999 Rover 800 820 Auto Fastback

Colour: Charcoal Grey / Black

Although the oil levels in automatic gear boxes, do not normally have to be checked as often as engine oil does, it is important that if you do add or change any oil in an automatic gear box, that the correct one is used. Auto Gear Box Oil will rarely ever be changed by garages during a normal service! They will often check the level though. So if you want it changing make sure you ask, and always ask what oil they are using, or supply the oil to them.

The Rover Recommended Services Lubricants sheet RCL 0019ENG (6th Edition) recommends only Hondamatic 96 ATF for Top-up and complete fill for the Rover 820 Automatic Transmission. Although it does recommend other brands of ATF Dexron II / Dexron III spec oils, these are only recommended for top-up only, and so should be avoided normally.

Most 827 Auto owners know to use Hondamatic in their cars, but very few Rover owners realise this about the 820 Auto which was also designed to use Hondamatic ATF.

Hondamatic 96 ATF has been superseded by Hondamatic ATF-Z1 AT Fluid.

Hondamatic ATF-Z1 Automatic Transmission Fluid can be purchased from your local Honda Dealer! (Best not to mention it's for a Rover though, as this seems to upset some Honda dealers!)

It is equally as important that you check the oil level correctly on the auto gear box oil dipstick. (Always wipe the dipstick the first time you remove it prior to reinserting to take the reading).

Do not just take a 'COLD' reading from a 'COLD' car as this may give an incorrect reading!

First allow the engine to warm up, then (with foot/hand brakes on) move the selector slowly through all the gears (P R N D 3 2 1) allowing each gear to be engaged before going on to the next, and back to park (1 2 3 D N R P).

It is now that you check the 'COLD' level. (wiping it the first time)

You should then drive the car as normal for 10-15 minutes, to warm up the engine and gearbox.

Then stop the car and move the selector (with foot/hand brakes on) through all the gears and back to park.

With the engine still running it is now that you check the 'HOT' level.

Please note! You must check these levels after doing a drain & refill, because if you are following the Haynes Manual, it says 2.0 litres for this, but the Haynes only goes up to N Reg cars, we are not sure if the sumps are different on later cars, but we found 2 litres was not enough to reach the cold level, and car required nearer to the 3.2 litres after draining, as recommended for the V6 auto boxes. We did find one reference that the 3.2 litres was also correct for a drain & refill on the 2.0 Auto, but forgot where we found it! After you have added the first litre or so, start the engine up, keep the gear selector in 'P' then carry on adding more oil whilst the engine is running. But please make sure you check the level after adding 2 litres, then you can add any more as necessary. (Allow time for it to settle a little, each time you check it, after you have added more oil).

Lower the vehicle if it is not already level, and top up to the 'COLD Max' mark. Then after a short 10-15 drive you can also check against the 'HOT Max' mark.




This car had started getting a bit of slippage in first gear, but only when the gear box got hot, so we decided that we would have a go at changing the auto gear box oil filter as well as the oil to see if it would have any effect. We would be buying and changing the gasket anyway as we needed to stop a slow seepage leak around the sump gasket. We had already replaced the engine sump gasket a few months earlier for the same reason.

We made sure we had got the new parts before we started, then we drained the oil off and set about removing the gear box sump, but to do this we found we had to remove the anti-roll bar first.

As we had changed the old gearbox oil with Hondamatic ATF a few months earlier (when the problems first began) the stuff that came out was really clean. The magnet inside the sump oil pan had some iron fillings on it, but nothing to suggest any problems. When we changed to Hondamatic the first time, the gear box became much smoother and quieter.

On removal of the sump, you will see the valve pack/block, this too can be removed although the valve pack itself should not be taken apart, because if you do you risk not being able to get it back together again. The bottom section attached to it, is the filter housing which can be removed and a replacement filter can be fitted. As it turned out it did not look as though it needed changing but we fitted the new filter anyway.

On removing the correct bolts to the valve pack this finally gave us a better look into the workings of the gear box. We had already adjusted the brake bands as per instructions, so at least now we had a better idea of what we had been adjusting.

All seemed okay so we thought we would also check out the auto gearbox oil cooler in case this was stopping the gearbox cooling down in any way. As it turned out the oil cooler is just a very straightforward coolant flow through the device, so no blockage problems here then.

We put everything back together. The car/gearbox was now 10 years old and we believe that it had had a gearbox oil change some years back wrongly using some 'Dexron II' oil, meaning the damage must of already been done. Although we found the gear changes to become super smooth with the use again of Hondamatic ATF, the first gear slippage problems continued to get worse when the gear box got hot. It seemed like it could be a sticking valve, as it was always okay if you kept the selector in 'drive' and only became a problem if you moved gear lever and then moved it back to 'drive' (Reverse was still fine). Also it would drive as normal again if you stopped for a while to let it all cool back down. In the end we were able to locate a new auto gear box very cheaply so we replaced this one.

It's a shame we never found out which part was actually causing the problem, but in this case it was going to be much cheaper and it turned out much easier just to do a straight swap for a new one. (see write up elsewhere in this site).



Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
Automatic Gear Box Sump on 1999 Rover 800 820.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Plastic Skid Plate is Rotated Out of the Way. (It was not Removed because the Last Bolt was Stuck!)

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
Oil Drained Off, but the Anti-Roll Bar Prevents the Auto Gear Box Sump from Being Removed.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
To Remove the Anti-Roll Bar, the Passenger Side Wheel had to be Taken Off.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Oil was Drained off & the Sump was Removed. The Oil in the Pan was Very Clean and the Few Little Bits of Metal were Attached to the Magnet.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Auto Gear Box with the Sump Removed Reveals the Auto Gear Box Valve Pack. The Oil Filter is Inside the Lower Section.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Auto Gear Box Oil Filter was Rather Clean, but we Fitted a New Filter & O-ring Anyway.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Valve Block Can be Removed from the Gear Box without Opening it. (It is Important Only the Correct Bolts are Removed!)

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Uppermost of the Valve Pack Reveals, the Gear Selector & Kickdown Levers.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Auto Gear Box with the Valve Pack Removed Reveals the Brake Band, Kickdown Cable, and Gear Selector.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Gear Stick MUST be put in Position '1' Prior to Refitting the Valve Pack.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
We Thought we Would also Check the Auto Gear Box Oil Cooler.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
We Removed the Coolant Pipes from the Auto Gear Box Oil Cooler.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Centre Bolt is Removed from the Auto Gear Box Oil Cooler.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Centre Bolt from the Auto Gear Box Oil Cooler, is a Hollow Type Bolt.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
Removing the Auto Gear Box Oil Cooler, Reveals Just how Simple a Device it is. No Problems Here Then.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Gearbox is Put Back Together with a New Rubber Gasket. We also used Gasket Paste.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Gear Box is Much Cleaner Now Most of it has been Given a Wipe.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Anti-Roll Bar has Been Put Back in Place.

Rover 800 820 Auto Gear Box Oil & Filter Change.
The Auto Gear Box Oil is Refilled Via the Auto Gear Box Dipstick Tube using Honda ATF-Z1 Automatic Transmission Fluid.




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