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Old 11-27-2011, 08:59 PM
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Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

Hi guys! Newbie to the garage here. I've tried the local mechanics in the area (Rural North Iowa) and no one seems to be able to fix my 02 Grand Overland's transmission (545rfe) issues. First, what's been done. A year ago, the transmission suddenly started slipping badly. Dealer tried new selenoid pack. That didn't fix it, so tranny was replaced by dealer with a 75000 mi junkyard tranny from a dakota. The dealer transferred the new selenoid pack over to the replacement tranny and installed a transgo shift kit for me at the same time. Long story short it wouldn't even move from the lot when I went to pick it up. Dealer messed around some more and got it working (Reflashed the TCM I think). The shift kit was great, but the tranny wouldn't shift into overdrive. Went back to dealer, who blamed the shift kit. He removed it and told me it voided the warranty on the tranny anyway (Thanks for telling me after the fact !!!!!). More various shifting issues followed with the dealer eventually replacing the tranny again after much complaining by me. It worked up until a couple months ago when the speed sensor went bad. Dealer replaced that, but now I have other issues with the tranny. The dealers scan tools show nothing wrong with the transmission and these problems are hard to duplicate for the mechanic.

1. The transmission slips when the Jeep is first started. Generaly only occurs after the Jeep has sat overnight or has been parked on a hill. The colder it is outside, the worse this is. It reminds me of slowly letting the clutch out on a worn manual transmission. Sort of like it is slowly engaing the gear. It only does it from a stop, and goes away as the tranny warms up. If I turn the Jeep off and restart, everything works as it should. Also sometimes starting the Jeep for a minute or two, shutting it off and then restarting fixes the slip without waiting for the Jeep to warm up. Shifting to 1st or 2nd instead of drive sometimes stops the slipping as well.

2. When the tranny gets warm/hot after about an hour of driving, it has shifting problems. Sometimes while accelerating the engine revs like it is out of gear and then shifts roughly into the next gear. Other times it simply shifts very roughly. Still other times it shudders like it can’t get into gear. I have also noticed it occasionally shuddering at highway speeds of 55-60 mph like it isn’t fully in overdrive and is going in and out of gear or something. hav

3. Sometimes when I pull up and stop at a stop sign or traffic light the Jeep acts like it is under load and dies. After restarting, everything is fine. It is sort of like a manual transmission if you forget to push the clutch when you stop.

4. I don't know if it is related, but ever since replacing the speed sensor, I have a growling/grinding noise under braking that does not appear to be related to the brakes themselves. It sounds like it is coming from the center console/dash area. Under gentle to normal braking it is fine, but the harder you brake the louder it growls.

I'm sorry for the large post, but none of the independent mechanics around here seem to have any ideas and the stealership just wants to replace the tranny yet again. Please Help! I can handle most repairs on my Jeeps, but computers and transmissions are beyond me and I'm tired of throwing money at this thing! Thanks for any help.

Corey

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Old 11-27-2011, 09:32 PM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

Welcome to the Garage Corey! Wow sorry to hear about all the problems you are having with the transmissions. Not sure if I can be much help here but I do have one suggestion. The tranny computer uses input from the throttle position sensor to know when to shift. Mine went out and caused some strange transmission problems. Replacing it fixed the shifting issues. Not sure if this would help your issue but its something to think about.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:09 PM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

Thanks. I've sunk over $7,000 in repairs on this Jeep since I bought (I only paid $6,000 for the Jeep!) it two years ago. Granted, I use it part time for work duty too, but it has way more problems than my ZJ and I use that one as my primary work vehicle. I'd trade it in on a different one, but I keep thinking I have it fixed and I really like the way it drives. Besides, I've already done most of the cheap bolt on performance parts and I'd hate to start over. Anyway, I remember the dealer saying they checked the TPS, but this is the same dealer that sent my Jeep back to me with only about a quart of oil in the engine after they replaced the tranny, so I don't really trust them to far. Is there any way I can test this myself? Would it show up on a regular obdII scan tool?
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:12 PM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

Yikes, sorry to hear its given you so much trouble and cost you so much. If it is throwing a code you can check it with an obd2 scanner. Also, if your scanner will do live data, you can watch the output from the sensor while moving the throttle, see if the output from the sensor matches where your foot is. If it jumps around a lot or is slow to move, the TPS is bad.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:05 PM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

Strange, when i looked at your post, first the lower part of the text was missing. Only when my mouse went over it, blue letters appeared.
It looks that you have problems with your torque converter. Dying engine when stopping at least normally has to do with the torque converter clutch, which doesn't disengage. Could be a solenoid.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:29 AM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

The TPS isn't throwing any codes that my cheapo scan tool can see, although I am getting one for a evap leak, but that one has been there for a while now. My scanner won't do live readings, but I could ask one of the local mechanics to scan it for me.

I have thought about the torque converter, because it fits the symptoms for the most part, but that wouldn't cure itself when I shut the Jeep off and restart. At least I don't think it would. That makes me think maybe selenoid, but I know they replaced the selenoid pack when they put the replacment tranny in because I was there when they were swaping it out on the bench. Is there another selenoid that would affect this seperately from the main pack? Are there any other sensors on the transmission that might affect this? I'm sure it is probably some sort of penny o-ring messing with me here. LOL I forgot to mention I ran seafoam transtune through it a few weeks ago in case something was sticking, but there was no change and I've always ran Lucas in the tranny & diffs in all my vehicles. I also read about a drainback issue with the filter that was fixed by a redesigned filter by mopar, so I made sure to change out the filter with one of the new ones just in case the dealer had used an old stock filter. Thanks for the replies. They are much appreciated!
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:59 AM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 02GrandHO View Post
The TPS isn't throwing any codes that my cheapo scan tool can see, although I am getting one for a evap leak, but that one has been there for a while now. My scanner won't do live readings, but I could ask one of the local mechanics to scan it for me.

I have thought about the torque converter, because it fits the symptoms for the most part, but that wouldn't cure itself when I shut the Jeep off and restart. At least I don't think it would. That makes me think maybe selenoid, but I know they replaced the selenoid pack when they put the replacment tranny in because I was there when they were swaping it out on the bench. Is there another selenoid that would affect this seperately from the main pack? Are there any other sensors on the transmission that might affect this? I'm sure it is probably some sort of penny o-ring messing with me here. LOL I forgot to mention I ran seafoam transtune through it a few weeks ago in case something was sticking, but there was no change and I've always ran Lucas in the tranny & diffs in all my vehicles. I also read about a drainback issue with the filter that was fixed by a redesigned filter by mopar, so I made sure to change out the filter with one of the new ones just in case the dealer had used an old stock filter. Thanks for the replies. They are much appreciated!
These WJs all say evap leak detected LOL. Mine is the same so are 5 others that I know of. As for your trans issue like others have said either the TPS is not working correctly or more likely the torque converter is not unlocking and that will cause lots of stalling when you coast to a stop. Why is it not unlocking? Likely another solenoid inside the trans that controls the locking and unlocking of the converter.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:35 AM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

Fixed your First post OP!
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:33 PM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

The Torque Converter Clutch is controlled by the L/R-TCC solenoid. In the solenoid pack i can only find the L/R solenoid, nothing is mentioned where the L/R-TCC solenoid is.
Also in the torque converter clutch circuit is the solenoid switch valve, which is a mechanical valve inside the valve body. Not sure if sticking of this valve could lead to non releasing torque converter clutch.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:44 AM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

I've been studying the factory service manual (best investment I ever made) and it only references the L/R-TCC Solenoid and doesn't specifically tell about it. Knowing where it is would be helpful. If I had to guess I would say buried up in the tranny far from the light of day! LOL The service manual helps, but this tranny stuff is still greek to me. I did read about a "Manual Valve" that is controlled by the gear shifter. Does anyone know what, if any circuit(s) this valve bypasses? If it is bypassing the L/R-TCC solenoid it might explain why manually shifting to 1st gear stops the slipping and why it doesn't seem to slip at highway speeds. I don't trust the dealer who did the tranny job before, so it might be possible they reused the torque converter from the failed transmission which means it is full of metal and junk. I'll to try another can of seafoam today and see if it helps since I haven't added any since changing fluid the last time. The filter looked good at the last change, but it's worth a shot anyway.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:40 PM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

In drive all gears are controlled electronically by the TCM and the solenoids. In Reverse there is only a mechanical input to the manual valve in the valve body, as also for 1st and 2nd manual.
There is in fact only one solenoid and pressure switch assy with 6 control solenoids, 1 pressure control solenoid and 5 pressure switches to monitor the state of the solenoids (closed loop). Outside of the tranny you will only find the 2 speed sensors and a line pressure sensor. So most probably the L/R-TCC is the same as the L/R solenoid.
The solenoid and pressure switch assy was already changed, so should be ok. On my tranny, slip occured after a complete rebuild after 5000 Km. Inspection revealed the gasket/screen assy between the valve body and solenoid assy broken (bad quality??).
From page 21-203 of the jeep manual, you can find hydraulic schematics, who tell you how exactly the fluid flow will go for each gear selection. Not very easy to understand the exact function of each valve. In there you can see the L/R-CC solenoid. Strange though that they give the same solenoid 3 different names: L/R solenoid or L/R-TCC solenoid or L/R-CC solenoid.
Also on the pump assy are several valves related to the torque converter: Torque converter clutch control valve, torque converter clutch switch valve and torque converter clutch limit valve.
But all these are inside the tranny and not easy accessible.
You said that the dealer changed the speed sensor, did they changed both? And the TPS?
If one of the clutches are really slipping, you will get soon the check engine light and a failure code set, because the TCM is comparing the input speed to the output speed for each gear and in such way will give an advice if slip occurs. The torque converter is a fluid coupling, which in fact always slips, until the torque converter clutch is engaged. If it slips too much, there could be some mechanical problem inside the converter. When the tranny is changed, its normally a good thing to change the converter as well, or, as was done on mine, that it will be opened, cleaned and parts (probably the clutch liner and seals) be changed.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:30 AM
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Re: Yet another Grand Cherokee Tranny Issue

I had the Jeep up to the local mechanic yesterday afternoon and let him play with his diagnostic scanner. According to him, the TPS is working fine. It didn't throw any codes and in live mode he couldn't see any fluctuations that were out of the normal range. He also looked at the tcm and there were "A couple codes" that he reset. He didn't tell me a code number, but he said one was for a high line pressure and the other was for a low line pressure. There was also one for overtemp, but he thought that might be caused by the tranny malfunctioning at some point, not a cooling issue since everything was flushed by the dealer. I don't know what that means for me and with him not doing tranny work he didn't offer up any advice either. He thought maybe the codes were left over from previous transmission work that had been done by the dealer and if they come back we'll know more. As far as the speed sensors, all I know is the dealer said "You had a bad speed sensor causing the problem. We changed it out." I honestly didn't know they had more than one, so I didn't ask any more questions. If one sensor is bad it should have showed a code to the mechanic when he scanned it yesterday, right? The mechanic did coment on the strange growling noise in the transmission/console area that occurs under braking. He didn't know what it could be, but agreed it sounded like it was in the transmission. It sort of sounds like a spinning gear (flywheel?) rubbing on something plastic and it only occurs under braking. The harder you brake the more noticeable it is. Would I be correct then to rule out a bad converter itself because it doesn't slip when manually shifted into first or second or after restarting the vehicle? The mechanic did put the Jeep on the hoist and he found a broken ground strap to the Transmission. To me that sounds important, but he didn't think it would be a problem because the "engine ground strap is intact and the tranny is bolted to the engine". I was going to have him replace it anyway since he had it on a hoist, but he said that I would have to get a replacement from the dealer. I then called the dealer to order a ground strap and the guy on the phone got all defensive about it when I mentioned that might have been the trouble all along and flat out said that I was crazy for thinking a ground strap could cause problems and hung up on me without ordering me the strap. It makes sense to me that any of the sensors could be reading wrong if not properly grounded. It's worth a try anyway. Otherwise it sounds like I need to take it to an actual transmission shop and pay the big bucks to get it torn down and fixed.
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