StaffAllpar HomeMore NewsCarsTrucksUpcomingRepairsTest drives

Ray’s Garage: ZF HP9 vs Mopar 948TE

by David Zatz on

How are the Chrysler-built and ZF-build nine-speed automatics different? This is a question that was answered in general at Allpar some time ago, but Raybestos has taken apart both transmissions and analyzed visible differences in a video.

Raybestos’ Irvin Gers and Dan Truncone presented a Chrysler 948TE and a ZF HP9 (from a Range Rover, which may present some differences that have nothing to do with who made the transmission). They did not point out the rationale for the changes, but some are likely simply packaging — to help the transmission fit the engines and the cars they will be mated with. These may have no impact on reliability or performance.

From the outside, Chrysler has an almost completely rounded top on the bellhousing, while ZF version has a flat spot and an opening.  The identification tags are in different places; Chrysler’s says “948TE.”

The ZF has a small protrusion with holes going through the side and into the input shaft at the end of the lockup clutch seal. Chrysler’s controller is on the side, ZF’s on the top. The case connectors are different, with Chrysler’s in the pan and ZF‘s on top.

The ZF unit has a cooler mounted on the side; Chrysler uses an external cooler connected by lines. Exterior axle splines are on the outside for Chrysler, on the inside for Range Rover.

The 948TE snap rings have a cutout and beveled corner, while Ranger Rover’s is beveled on the back corner of both sides.  The harnesses are similar but not the same. Some gaskets are different, too. Chrysler bolts a plate to the bell body.

According to Raybestos, common parts include the filter, and friction plates, steel reaction plates, and clutch hubs for the B, C, D, and E clutch drums.

As can be expected from a completely new transmission with a new-ish technology (dog clutches to conserve internal spaces), there have been teething problems — problems largely avoided by FCA with the eight-speed, since BMW and luxury automakers had been using it for years. Range Rover has had similar issues, and FCA appears to believe that the 2016 model year has brought enough changes for the nine-speed to be consistently reliable. In the meantime, the company has been standing behind its transmissions.


New dates for Mopar show at the Packard Proving Grounds

Sources: a new 2022 Dakota really is coming, but maybe not the Challenger ACR

New Jeep book delves into Wagoneer, Gladiator, Comanche, and Scrambler

More Mopar Car
and Truck News

Some popular Allpar pages





Dodge Demon

2018 Wrangler JL



Staff details/contactsTerms of ServiceInformation is presented to the best of our knowledge. Plans change and sometimes mistakes are made. Decisions or purchases made based on this site's verbiage or images are done at the reader's own risk. Also see the Allpar News archives, 1997-2008 • Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved. • Mopar, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, HEMI, and certain other names are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.