The story of ZF begins in 1915, during WWI, in one of the hardest times in postindustrial history and yet the company survived and moreover it thrived. The current generation of enthusiasts, mechanics and diagnosticians probably first heard of ZF thanks to their 5-speed manual and 6 speed automatic options. However, if you look back at the history books you will see that ZF had their finger in all the cars you loved. For example, hanging from the back end of the DeTomaso Pantera was their transaxle.

2006 the company produced its 10,000,000th automatic transmission for passenger cars and as if to celebrate this in 2007 ZF created what would probably be forever known as the pinnacle of automotive transmissions. The all mighty and powerful ZF 8HP. It was the world’s first 8 speed automatic and debuted in the 2009 BMW F01 and F10. Ever since then there is almost no manufacturer which does not use the 8HP. I am not going to bore you with the list of cars which use 8HP in one of its forms is enormous and these are the ones mentioned in this Wikipedia article.

There are many arguments among enthusiasts – which is the best engine, and we always reach the same point: Mercedes M120, Toyota 2JZ GTE, GM LS, BMW S54, Nissan RB26, VW 1.8T…. the list is infinite, and the argument is as old as the earth. However, there can be no argument in terms of the Automatic transmission boss. E by sheer time spent on the top of the transmission food chain the ZF 8HP proved and continued to prove to the world who’s the greatest of all time, not to mention diversity – from a 2-liter diesel alfa to a W12 Audi. The first ever automatic BMW M cars came equipped with it. Innovation, technology, diversity, reliability, strength, and economy are all words associated with the ZF 8HP, it basically changed the world and gave extra time to the internal combustion engine.


ZF8HP adaptation and tuning using ABRITES products.

8HP in Abrites Diagnostics for BMW:
Because the 8HP comes in so many applications we have to be able to assist you with it. Since BMW were the first to adopt the 8HP transmission I believe it is a good place to start. I wrote an article on the exchange of the ZF 8HP in F- series vehicles so you can read more extensively about it in the article. Just briefly though – the 8HP in BMW is synchronized with the DME/DDE.  On top of that we have to mention the ability to perform adaptation and coding of ZF 8HP transmissions via OBD in BMW. The needed licenses are the BN012 and BN011. G series is coming as mentioned last week.
8HP is used in E, F and G series cars and has different adaptation for all of them
-    E-series 8HP adaptation requires you to have both the DME/DDE of the donor and recipient vehicles (if not please use Abrites Engine Control Unit Programming Tool as explained below).
-    F-Series 8HP adaptation – Completely by OBD! Abrites diagnostics for BMW online using the EWS parts adaptation menu. Make sure the replacement EGS is placed in the vehicle you are adapting it to. Just follow the steps and make sure you have 13.6V minimum.

8HP in Abrites Diagnostics for VAG:
VAG is a very good example because we have the ability to adapt the AL551 (the name used by Volkswagen/ Audi for the 8HP). Many AUDI, Bentley, etc. cars use AL551 and they are more common these days than any other transmission we see. We can read the transmissions via the VAG offline software, and VN002 license. Without any licenses we can program FRF and SGO files to them in order to adapt or tune these transmissions. Performing this adaptation requires using the Abrites diagnostics for VAG online so that we can have the option to get and change the CS (Component Security) of the transmission from a dump (you can read the dump in Abrites ECU programming tool for example as explained below in the ECU PROGRAMMING TOOL section). This allows the seamless integration of the transmissions to be performed. This combined with the FRF flash file programming option gives you an ultimate tool for all AUDI and other VAG brands using the 8HP.


8HP Using Abrites Engine Control Unit Programming Tool:
Modern, rear wheel drive and all-wheel drive Alfa Romeo and Maserati vehicles, Jaguar and Land Rover, Aston Martin, FCA cars like the more powerful JEEPs, Dodges, Chryslers, even some Iveco and Great Walls and a MAN truck use the 8HP. For all these brands we provide an outstanding solution using the Abrites Engine control unit programming tool. We can read and write all the data from the transmission control modules for 8 HP – basically all the 8 speeds come with a Bosch controller (in many ways a carryover from the E series 6HP used up to current days but hey if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it). which we support for reading and writing of:

-    MAPS

Required licenses: EP001 and EP003.

IMPORTANT! In case the Abrites diagnostics for BMW online is not able to adapt the transmission EGS in F series (e.g. unsupported version) you can make the 8HP EGS virgin using ECU programming tool and place it in the recipient car. Once that is done and the EGS is virgin you can adapt it by turning the ignition ON and OFF between 5 and 8 times. Each ignition on and off must stay in the ON or OFF state for at least one minute and this will result in an adapted EGS.

This is great because you can have the EP001+EP003 licenses and you can perform exchange in all brands. Not just exchange though.  You can use it for tuning because you can read the maps section, save it, modify it in using a flash editor and write it back to the controller. Transmission tuning is just as important as engine tuning these days and the importance of ZF 8HP tuning is at the top of this list because for the past 16 years it has been used in every car worth talking about. So much so that there are multiple companies developing standalone TCUs for the almighty 8-speed:

Now you can have all of the tuning and replacement abilities in your AVDI, you will be able to exchange and tune any 8HP and this will give you freedoms never before seen and full control over the world’s greatest automatic transmission.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I just wanted to let you know in conclusion that we are almost ready with a direct connection cable for direct 8HP connection which will be released any moment now.

In the meantime, you can take this feedback survey to help me choose the next blogpost's topic.