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Jeep Wrangler Transmission Troubles



  • In June we changed the clutch on my 2001 Jeep Wrangler, 4.0L. Shortly after that the throwout bearing started making noise which we will be changing once again some time this week. However it has started popping out of 3rd gear when down shifting. Does anyone know what might be causing this? It did it for the first time on Saturday and popped out 3 to 4 times in a row when exiting the highway. I let my husband drive it home and the same thing happened to him. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated since this is our first manual transmission.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    This is almost certainly caused by internal wear in the transmission, usually on the relevant gears themselves.
    The gears are designed so that when they're under load, either driving or being driven, they force themselves to stay in mesh.
    If they become worn or allowed to move out of alignment you can get the symptoms you're experiencing.

    However, and this is very much a long shot, it may be that since this occurred shortly after the transmission was removed and replaced, that console and/or boot around the shifter is misaligned and not allowing the gear to be fully engaged.

    You might want to try removing the console and boot to see if that's the case.
    If not, then you'll need to tear down the transmission when you remove it to attend to the release bearing.
  • vettezo6vettezo6 Posts: 2
    There is a high pitched noise from the tranny. You hear this in park and neutral when engine hits 2,000rpm. While driving in any gear around 2,000rpm and higher When first started in the morning at idle for 5 seconds. Later in the day when warmer, most times you do not hear the noise at start up but still at driving and hit 2,000rpm.

    Aamco had the jeep for two months. By the time they gave up, they basically replaced the complete drive train of the Jeep, but the noise remained. Flex plate, starter, pump, valve body, internals, 3 different torque converters, (smaller in size shorter bolts each time) all replaced and more.

    I took the jeep to my mechanic. After his inspection, he felt there was a hydraulic issue.The sound was not metallic to him. He suggested that even though Aamco replaced the valve body there could be an issue with what they did. Some kind of blockage in the valve body or tranny filter. He sent me to long time tranny mechanic who drove and listened to the Jeep. He then contacted a network he belongs to to discuss the noise. He called back and said that no one has dealt with this issue though some suggested a possible hydraulic issue. There is also a sound coming from the valve body which sounds like a turn signal you can hear at idle. The jeep shifts ok.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    You have two practical options. First, exchange the entire transmission for a new one. You've had all the internals changed so the problem is likely with the casing itself. Maybe a small blowhole has appeared where the valve body seats, or maybe blind hole was machined a little too far and has finally opened.
    Who knows, but unless you want to go the route of rebuilding your internals into another case, an exchange unit is the way to go.

    Second option, live with it! Let it become part of your Jeep's personality. It shifts ok, doesn't appear to be about to break something, and it's also the easier and cheapest choice. ;)
  • vettezo6vettezo6 Posts: 2
    I have thought of just living with it, that would be the cheap way to go. About the shifting. There may be a problem I did not realize was a problem, just thought it was the nature of the beast. When in drive and i hit 30mph then have to let off the gas for some reason, there is a big "clunk noise". if I continure to accelerate to 40 or more then let off the gas, there is no clunk just a smooth shift. Is the clunk normal or is this another issue?

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    A clunk like that is usually associated with something else in the drivetrain, maybe a 'U' joint or diff, but it would be fairly consistant through the speed range.
    If it is coming from the transmission but only at certain speeds, then it's probably related to a particular gear and/or the components associated to it.
    If you think that may be the case, then I'd get a second opinion from the independant specialist you found.
  • I bought a 2009 jeep wrangler unlimited x 4-dr at barton jeep spokane washington in march 2009. For the las 6 months, I have had trouble with the 6 speed manual transmisision magically popping out of gear one to three times a day, Took it bac to the dealer a number of times; they told me that the national jeep data base never showed this occuring before, although the mechanic stated there was some problems with it poppim=ng out of 1st gear. told me it was relted to a boot problem and sometimes a likage problem. kept taking it back and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. finally, they took the tranny apart two weeks ago (still in their shop)am tolld the transmission is trashed. they asked me if it had ever popped out of first gear "as it was fried" told them no that it was third gear.

    Hopefully repairs will be done sometime next week. all they offered me for my transportation problems and all the hassles... was a two day rental! whoopee doo!
    No wonder jeep chrysler needs a government bail out. won't buy another jeep! They told me "should have bought a warranty" told them "new cars aren't supposed to fall apart.

    at least, as the3 original purchaser the power train is covered under a life-time warranty. this warranty does not transfer if vehicle is sold.. You would be a fool to buy a used jeep unless you have the extra cash to buy a new tranny. hope this helps any prosective buyers.... any takers... I have a warn wench and heavy duty warn back front bumpers and tire carrier....?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    any takers... I have a warn wench

    Does she come with the Jeep? ;)

    Unfortunately Jeeps have had problems with the manual transmission for many years, but it's been a lot worse lately. Personally, I think it's a quality control problem rather than a design issue as it doesn't happen to them all.
    Obviously it's cheaper for Chrysler to fix them as they arise rather than deal with it at source.
    In regard to the warranty, you should still have the original 3/36 which is transferable and should run until 2012 (assuming it was titled in '09).
  • So, I have a 2010 Wrangler Sport Manual Transmission, I've had it for about a month and the transmission popped out of gear. Then, it popped out of gear once and it won't go back into gear now. All it does is stands there, and this rumbling noise sounds from what sounds the transmission. Any help?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    That's what the warranty is for. Call the dealer and have them pick it up and fix it.
  • Yes, take it back to the dealership. There is a TSB report out!!!
  • I have a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0 automatic. I purchased this over a year ago from a dealership. It drove fine for about a year, and a few months ago, I was driving the vehicle and it dropped down to 3rd gear and would not shift up or down. the check engine light also came on. After parking the vehicle for a while the problem goes away, but comes back after driving a while, and it is getting worse.

    I have taken it to several mechanics (Jeep dealer, transmission garage, and normal mechanic) and they all told me my transmission was fine, but I needed a new TCM computer. The dealership charged me $180 just to tell me what I thought the problem was, and they kept it for about two weeks. I bought a computer from all computer resources, they programmed it ad sent to to me. I swapped computers out and it worked great for about 20 minutes, and then the same problem. I have no clue what to do?

    Any suggestions would help!!!
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I can only guess, but it sounds like you have an intermittent problem either in the transmission or the associated wiring, which either caused the TCM to go bad and has done the same to the new one, or as is more likely, the original TCM was fine and you still have the intermittent problem which is continuing to cause the same symptoms.
    Try swapping back the old TCM and see what happens.

    I'm rather surprised that after spending $180 for diagnosis you didn't let them finish the job. The labor cost for installing the TCM wouldn't have been high, and if it turns out to be bad it should be covered by at least 12 months warranty.
  • dirty4dirty4 Posts: 2
    Sounds like your transmission is no longer synchronized. I had the same problem with my 1999 Wrangler after "speed shifting" for about a year.
  • dirty4dirty4 Posts: 2
    I hollowed out the cat on my 1997 wrangler and now the check engine light is on. I want to know if there is a way to trick the O2 sensor on the cat so the check engine light goes off. The jeep is used primarily for off road but at times is on the road to go from one trail to the other. Therefore it still needs to pass inspection but not an emissions test.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    If you release the clutch and pump it, there is a clunk, and you can then shift.............If the problem occurs and the jeep is turned off it remains unable to engage a gear. Curious what could knock out all the gears.

    As well as any synchromesh issues with the transmission, you also appear to have a problem with the clutch, possibly low or aerated fluid.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I want to know if there is a way to trick the O2 sensor on the cat so the check engine light goes off.

    Yes, it's easily done. Check here: O2 Simulator
  • busman01busman01 Posts: 46

    My service advisor called last week to advise me of a TSB concerning the manual transmission popping out of 1st gear. There has been a redesign of the 1st gear synchronizer. They replaced it and so far no further problem.

    I never really had that problem, but thought it best to stay current. We'll see.
  • lilred04lilred04 Posts: 3
    i have a 04 tj with 5 speed. my son and i have just recently change out the clutch with a LUK clutch kit, since then i have a terrible noise and vibration coming from my transmission and or transfer case. especially in 2nd through 5th gears, upon acceleration and decelleration, any ideas would be appreicated.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    edited April 2010 son and i have just recently change out the clutch with a LUK clutch kit, since then i have a terrible noise and vibration coming from my transmission and or transfer case.

    This almost certainly connected with the r&r of the transmission and clutch and is unlikely to an internal transmission fault.
    The most likely culprit is the clutch pressure plate, either a manufacturing fault or it's not installed completely flat onto the flywheel. This sometimes happens if it's caught on one of the location dowels and/or not torqued to the correct values in the correct sequence.
    It could also be that the transmission hasn't gone back fully flush with the engine.

    It's also possible to damage the clutch during installation by letting the weight of the transmission hang on the splines of the friction plate, which then gets distorted.
    This usually results in a judder as the clutch is released, but if it's bad enough it could cause a vibration throughout the rev range.

    Finally, a more remote possibility is if you managed to separate either of the propeller shafts at the slip joint then reassembled them with the 'U' joints out of phase.

    Unfortunately, unless it's a propshaft problem, you're going to have to remove the transmission again. :(
  • lilred04lilred04 Posts: 3
    the propeller shaft and slip joint didn't seperate, you might be right about the correct torque and sequence, son said he didn't, and never has. is it pretty important? changed out plenty of clutches and never really used a torque wrench on them. but also never had this problem! vibration seems to be worse. sure we didn't damage the splines, didn't fight with it that much to get the transmission back in. imput is appreciated.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    edited April 2010 might be right about the correct torque and sequence, son said he didn't, and never has. is it pretty important? changed out plenty of clutches and never really used a torque wrench on them.

    How can I put this politely? The days of tightening bolts by feel, setting clearances by eye, and tuning engines by ear are long gone (unless maybe you're working on vehicles from that long gone era).
    It'll come back to bite you in the end, whether that's the case here or not.

    Although I still think you'll have to remove the transmission again, here's another couple of questions:
    1: Is it a four or six cylinder engine?
    2: Did you remove the flywheel at all?

    Information from the factory manual attached. As you can see, Jeep think it's very important to make full use of a torque wrench ( and it certainly doesn't make you a sissy if you use one :P ).


  • lilred04lilred04 Posts: 3
    4.0 6 cylinder. no we didn't remove the flywheel, reason being the clutch was fine the only reason i replaced it was the throw-out bearing was going out, so i just decided to replace the clutch. flywheel was fine.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Both good answers. The 2.5 4 cylinder has a dual mass flywheel which can sometimes cause problems, and it's good that you didn't have to remove your flywheel.

    I'm afraid that except to check the engine and transmission mounts to make sure one hasn't broken, I've got nothing more at this point.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Is your TJ lifted at all? Any body or motor lift?

  • busman01busman01 Posts: 46
    No. It is a totally stock 2010 2dr Sahara.
  • jolibeejolibee Posts: 3
    edited April 2010
    We have a 2010 Jeep and i cant believe already after 5mths we have issues with it. We have an automatic and it would only stay in 2nd gear and was hard to get it out of park sometime. On top of this, the AC was not cooling enough. Its at the dealership now, whats was really funny the guy in front of us inline was also having the same issue and he was only 3mths old. I couldnt find anyone else with the same problem on the net. Would anyone know why the transmission would be acting up.. a computer issue or a gearbox?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    ...why the transmission would be acting up.. a computer issue or a gearbox?

    Most likely the transmission itself as you've got a problem with 'Park' as well.

    Unfortunately, in recent years Jeeps have been suffering from QC and design issues, notable concerning steering (death wobble), hardtops (leaks), and both manual and automatic transmissions having assorted problems.

    It doesn't make me happy to say it either. :(
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,046
    It doesn't make me happy to say it either.

    It's a real shame. My 1999 Sahara has over 106,000 miles on it, and aside from a few easily rectified problems -radiator seam leakage, exhaust manifold, intermittent gauges- it's been dead nuts reliable. My wife would like a new Islander, but the JK reliability history leads me to believe that owning one during the warranty period would be a pain, never mind keeping one with 100,000 miles under its wheels... :(

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    My 1999 Sahara has over 106,000 miles on it, and aside from a few easily rectified problems -radiator seam leakage, exhaust manifold, intermittent gauges- it's been dead nuts reliable.

    Same with my '99 Sahara which I've owned from new and is just now approaching 100K.
    My issues have been exactly the same plus, I recently had a TPS and clockspring failure, and I also had to add a little Freon to the a/c yesterday for the first time in eleven years.

    Hopefully you know how to fix your intermittent instruments by tweaking the pins for the round connector on the rear of the instrument panel.

    I like to keep my vehicles for quite a while, but if the JK didn't have those basic flaws (for which nobody at Chrysler seems in a hurry to fix) I could have been very tempted by a new Rubicon.

    However, I don't consider it a penance to continue with the Sahara, and I anticipate that it will do another eleven years/100K at minimal cost and with the same reliability if asked..
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