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Old 01-09-2013, 11:42 AM
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65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

I have a WK2 Overland 4x4 with the 5.7 and the dreaded 65RFE trans which has completely killed all my love for my Grand Cherokee.

What bugs me more than anything is its shift happy tendencies which will try to get into 6th gear as fast as possible. Just when im taking off from a stop and start driving I feel the Hemi slowly starting to build momentum and the tach begins to climb (YES YES YES!)... but then the trans shifts and bogs the tach back down to like 1,500 RPM and makes the hemi feel powerless.

The other day I was getting onto the freeway, and while on the on ramp getting the car up to highway speed I pushed the gas down a tad and rather than down shifting to a lower gear the trans shifted me into 6th! - I had to kick down the pedal all the way for the trans to "wake up". Not the first time this happens.

I live in a hilly area, and when I try going up hill the damn thing will start off with the perfect power ratio and then suddenly feel like it shifted up 3 gears!... The result; no power and the hemi motor making a rattling noise, like a can of marbles. So what do I have to do?? Use the autostick and quickly downshift it to like 2nd or 3rd.

Has anyone else noticed this? Its so frustrating, I mean the car is gutless with this trans! Last time I drove the freeway I had to keep the autostick in 5th so the thing would have some feeling of a "normal car" and have the GO it needed.

My favorite was the close call I had when I had to kickdown the pedal and the darn trans didn't do anything! The yellow light lasted less than 1 sec as I crossed the intersection and I needed to get out ASAP so going 45mph I kicked it down and what happened? NOTHING! NADA! The trans didn't do squat! Instead the HEMI went under extreme load (you could hear it) and I limped through that light.

Thoughts/ Your problems / Opinions are all welcome..
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:14 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

I have the same exact vehicle, here are some options you might find useful.........
A) Put the vehicle in sport mode and push tow/haul button (that will better shift gears and also hold rpms higher----should be good for your hilly area)
B) Spend $599 and get the diablosprt trinity and get yourself a custom tune ( that should make a great difference in your driving experience although HP gains are 15-20hp
Hope this helps!!!!
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:52 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

Except for out on the wide open highway, I drive in 5 and sport mode. I also try to fill with mid grade gas from a reliable and high sales station. Ethanol has a dramatic performance effect on the V8. There are times when the tranny is slow to respond, but most of a time its a pleasure.

From your description, however, I think there may be something wrong with your vehicle. I haven't experienced your situation, just the slow to downshift and too quick on the upshift.

Oh, last I checked a tuner is not available.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:00 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

It's not, not unless we get a guy from here who lives in Florida to do to the DS shop. They wanted one last week and still noone has responded to their thread. If they are asking for a JGC the tunes are not too far behind.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:10 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

That "six speed" trans shouldn't shift into 6th at all when the trans is in "D". It only uses 5 forward gears when in "D".

The six speed is a marketing item. The 65RFE is just the 2011 with a flash that opens up the additional gear to be used via manual process mentioned below.

If you use the gear range select feature of the trans and make "6" appear on the EVIC it will shift into sixth during cruise, but you must go thru these shenanigans in order to get to 6th gear. Otherwise the top gear in "D" is 5th.

That was my impression after doing research on the trans and driving my own 2012.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:29 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

I have a July '11 build Summit, which according to everything I read- was flashed to '12 specs.
After 23k miles, I do get an occasional (more so recently) "mis-shift"- where it seems like it cannot make up its "mind" as to what gear to shift into- this is usually on a hard acceleration. I am not convinced that it is not a timing retardation issue due to the s#it gas we have here in the northeast. If it continues, I will mention it next time I am getting the oil changed.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:32 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

I had the 545 (same POS) in my 06WK Hemi. It enraged me to no end.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:50 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xjrguy View Post
If you use the gear range select feature of the trans and make "6" appear on the EVIC it will shift into sixth during cruise, but you must go thru these shenanigans in order to get to 6th gear. Otherwise the top gear in "D" is 5th.

That was my impression after doing research on the trans and driving my own 2012.
The RFE transmission operation has confused many reverse engineers over the years.

Technically it has, since it was introduced in 1999, a reverse, 1st, 2nd, 2nd', 3rd, overdrive1, and overdrive2 gear ratios. (6 forward one reverse)

Prior to 2012, the computer used 2nd on the upshift out of 1st, 2nd' was used when downshifted from 3rd. 3rd is direct (1:1 ratio). Many called this a 5 speed but Jeep called it a multi-speed.

In 2012 (and flashed 2011s), the same gears sequence was used on up shift and down shift, 1-2-2'-3-OD1-OD2 or OD2-OD1-3-2'-2-1, hence the 6 speed name. Flashed 2011s will not display a 6, however, the highest it goes is 5 and D. Jeep marketed this and many call this transmission a 6 speed.

Prior to 2012 OD2=5th, 2012 and later OD2=6. What makes things a bit difficult to reverse engineer on the street is that the torque converter can be locked in OD1 and OD2. Many have interpreted the rpm change when unlocking of the converter as a gear change.

So what ratio is in use cruising at highway speeds when D is selected, OD2 in all cases, whether you call that 5 or 6, that's up to you . There is no difference in the 14 years of this transmission, always OD2.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:17 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xjrguy View Post
That "six speed" trans shouldn't shift into 6th at all when the trans is in "D". It only uses 5 forward gears when in "D".

The six speed is a marketing item. The 65RFE is just the 2011 with a flash that opens up the additional gear to be used via manual process mentioned below.

If you use the gear range select feature of the trans and make "6" appear on the EVIC it will shift into sixth during cruise, but you must go thru these shenanigans in order to get to 6th gear. Otherwise the top gear in "D" is 5th.

That was my impression after doing research on the trans and driving my own 2012.
This is not correct.

The transmission has 6 different ratios. It will always shift into the highest gear on the highway. How it displays that in the EVIC is a different question. But the transmission will definitely always shift to the highest available gear when it can. To do otherwise would be silly.

To answer the problem in the OP - wait for a tuner, which should not be long at this point. Engage sport mode and tow/haul mode, or manually select gear "3" for cruising around town.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:06 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

Interpret what you want it's a piece of crap compared to a 6l80 GM transmission. Love the GC hate the tranny.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:39 PM
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Re: 65RFE 6spd Hemi 4x4 Trans issues anyone?

Not that the RFE is that great and doesn't rub some the wrong way, but it is well known that the 6l80 is a flawed design with hard shifts, feeling of being rear ended... stutter, stumble, hesitation, pieces coming apart. There is definitely something wrong with many of the GM transmissions being built and customers are being told by GM mechanics and service managers that what is going on with these trucks is normal. GM forums are full of many that are embarrassed to have anyone ride in their brand new truck, "because it runs like junk!"... "customers comment on a condition of no movement, or slipping or binding in forward range" "a Suburban that will sometimes slip on takeoff. It appears that the transmission does not properly engage the 1st gear" ... sounds kinda familiar?
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:08 AM
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I think I'm one of the few who don't have a gripe about the trans and I think it's got much better with more miles. The first 500-1000 miles were a little annoying with a little of what you described, but after the ecu learned my driving habits I know what to expect and where it kicks down. At 7k miles mines predictable and smooth. How many miles on yours? Have you had the dealer check it out? Maybe a reflash is in order for yours.
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