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Old 08-11-2015, 07:16 PM
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trans will not engage

Hi, I have a 2001 jeep grand cherokee limited 4.7 with all wheel drive with 30,000 miles. When I shift into drive or reverse the trans does not engage. It acts as if in neutral. All fluids topped up and clean, no burning odors. Thankful for any help.

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Old 08-11-2015, 07:18 PM
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Re: trans will not engage

Hi, I have a 2001 jeep grand cherokee limited 4.7 with all wheel drive with 30,000 miles. When I shift into drive or reverse the trans does not engage. It acts as if in neutral. All fluids topped up and clean, no burning odors. Thankful for any help.
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:38 AM
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Re: trans will not engage

Welcome to the garage.
Was the transmission fluid changed lately? Could be a detached pump inlet filter. This happens when the filter is installed with the seal already on it.
No check engine light on? Try the keydance and see if any fault code(s) come out: ignition switch from off to run three times and leave in run at the third time. Odometer will show DONE when no faults stored, or the fault code(s).
If nothing comes out of this, then you could remove the transmission control relay from the power distribution center under the hood and try again. The transmission will then operate in limp mode without any electronic control. You will have reverse, 2nd and 3rd gear only by using the shift lever.
Let us know what you find.
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:54 AM
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Re: trans will not engage

Frank, Thanks for advise, will try and get back to you. Trans was serviced at 24k.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:22 AM
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Re: trans will not engage

Frank, I got the code p0700 (not sure what that means) Also, I pulled the transmission control relay and was able to limp the car home. Great to have car home instead of being on side of the road. Thank you.
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:45 PM
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Re: trans will not engage

Ok, that is good news that it works in limp mode. At least the oil pump is working fine. The P0700 code is a generic transmission fault code. It only tells that the TCM(transmission control module) has stored a fault code. Now the TCM needs to be scanned with an appropriate scanner, to see which fault code is stored. With that code we can see what needs to be changed. Could very well be the TRS/solenoid block internal to the transmission or the TCM itself, but only with the fault code we can be sure about that.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:06 AM
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Re: trans will not engage

Frank, thanks for the help. Since i don't have proper test instruments i will bring car into local shop. I will keep you informed of what went bad. thanks again.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:16 AM
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Re: trans will not engage

Several shops like autozone seem to do the scanning for free. If you know the fault code, you can allways decide to take it to a repair shop if you wouldnt feel comfortable to repair it yourself.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:13 AM
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Re: trans will not engage

Frank, Thanks will check it out
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:09 PM
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Re: trans will not engage

Frank, brought car to trans shop. They claim that the valve body is bad. Also, fluid was burnt and probably other damage. He said the trans is model 45RFE which was redesigned and or upgraded. Valve body repair $900, Total rebuild with upgraded parts $3500. Whats your thoughts on the 45RFE trans?
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:20 PM
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Re: trans will not engage

How was the transmission shifting with the transmission control relay removed? It is normal that the shifts are not smooth when in limp mode.
Did you see/smell the fluid yourself and did they tell you which fault code(s) are stored in the TCM? Transmission shops are sometimes too easy to tell you that the things are worse then they are. The valve body contains a few manually or hydraulically operated valves, some accumulators and on top of it, the TRS/solenoid block. This block has all the shift solenoids, the pressure regulating solenoid, presssure switched and manual valve position switches in it. Normally what can go wrong with the valve body itself is, broken accumulator springs or pulled out bolts from the accumulator plate. Inside the valve body are many fluid canals, 7 check balls (when i remember well the amount) and a few valves. I would expect more a TRS/solenoid problem, but to be sure, we need to know the fault codes.
If the fluid is really burnt, then that is a sign of a slipping clutch. Depending on how long this went on, there is a good change that a clutch is burnt and needs replacement. Your jeep with only 30.000 miles, should not have a problem like this.
The transmission is indeed the 5-45RFE. It was originally a 4 speed transmission (then called 45RFE), but a software upgrade of the TCM in 2001 made the use of an already available 5th gear possible (so it then was called 5-45RFE).
I had problems with my 5-45RFE at around 150.000 km and needed a rebuild. After some adventures with a local shop, which didn´t turn out well, i finally rebuild it myself.
If a rebuild is really necessary, then you still have the option of installing a junk yard transmission, eventhough you never know ofcourse how far the clutches are on that unit.
But if you have the fault codes for me first, we maybe have a better idea at what is going on inside the unit.
Edit: i was just reading back your first post, and there you stated that the fluid was clean and not burned. Did you check it again after the shop told you that it is burned?


---------- Post added at 07:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:30 PM ----------

Just checked some sites, but a remanufactured stage II valve body from Sharadon will costs USD 400, with a USD 75 core charge included. Removal/installation of this can be done with the transmission in place, only the pan must be lowered. The USD 900 from that shop seems to be quite steep.(if it even will be necessary)
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:02 PM
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Re: trans will not engage

Frank,when i removed the relay I did not have to travel far and just babied the car home, i did not feel the trans shift , just kept it in 2nd for the ride.
I did remove the dip stick, the fluid did not seem nor smell burnt. The shop told me that i would not see burnt fluid on the dip stick but they said it was burnt coming out when they removed the pan.
As far as codes go I will ask for them.
They described the damage to the valve body as you have, pulled out bolts. Also a bent accumulator plate.
His rebuilt cost $3500 parts and labor with 2 year 24k mile warranty. A remanufactured Trans from jasper would cost me $2739 with 3 year 100,000k warranty. Plus labor to install. Is a remanufactured unit better than one that is rebuilt at the shop?
Your right, $900 does seem like a lot to replace the valve body.
I will ask for codes and also to see the fluid.
Thank you
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