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Old 02-16-2013, 09:01 AM
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Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

I am a newbe to Jeep and I am about to place an order for a 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited. My wife and I are really impressed with the 2013 model we saw on the lot. But now I am starting to have second thoughts because of the transmission issues I have been reading about on the forums. According to the Jeep forums the 2011 – 2013 seem to be experiencing a “shutter” or “fishbite” vibration that doesn’t seem to be fixable. I don’t want to have to worry about fixing a new transmission especially when I am replacing a 9 year old truck that has had ZERO problems.

I am told that the 2014 model has a new 8 speed transmission replacing the 5 speed transmission to improve fuel mileage. Is the new transmission built by the same manufacturer so still at risk for design issues? Since the model isn’t in the streets yet is there any way I can learn something about the dependability of this transmission?

I am trying to decide how much risk I want to take to buy into an unknown transmission. Any ideas on this would be appreciated. Steve
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:12 AM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

The 2014 will have the 8 speed transmission. This is the same transmission that is in the Chrysler 300 and the same transmission that the 2013 Dodge Ram is getting. ZF was making the transmissions but Chrysler built a new plant to make them "in house" as well as the 9 speed that will be coming. ZF transmissions are supposedly one of the best tranmissions.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:37 AM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

Thanks for the information. While looking for information about the new 8 speed transmission I just found this site. It's very informative and has a great video at the end explaining the transmission;

845RE / 8R70: ZF 8-Speed Automatic Transmission for Chrysler cars

thanks, Steve
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:41 PM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

Now the fun part is this quote from AllPar
"The official code for the one going into the Jeep Cherokee is 948TE — 9 forward speeds, 480 Nm, Transverse, Electronic control"
Original is at ZF 9-Speed Automatic Transmission for Chrysler and Dodge cars

Transverse ? Cherokee ? YWTK.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:32 PM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

The shudder isn't the transmission, it's actually the AFM system (cylinder deactivation). The 8 speed will also experience it.

The current transmission has a decade or more of history, and is used in the Ram trucks extensively. I'd say it's a pretty reliable transmission as far as Chrysler trannies go. The new ZF unit has only been used in limited applications over the past 3 years. A few higher end luxury cars is it really.

If you like the '13, buy the '13. The marginal increase in fuel economy will be offset by the large price increase.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:02 PM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

Cherokee is a new model (smaller than a Grand Cherokee) and will be revealed officially sometime in March. It gets a 9-speed transmission I believe.


I have a 2012 Grand Cherokee 5.7L V8 and have never experienced a shudder, or a fish-bite in 16 months of ownership.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:23 PM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

There's a lot of Grands that experience the shudder, driveline vibes or rear-end whines at various speeds. I had two GCSRT8's that displayed some of these traits and that's why I got rid of them early in their lifecycle.

These traits aren't necessarily from the NAG transmission, moreover collective inputs and outputs from software, driveline and suspension components that don't always work well together at all times, and all speeds. The Dana 44S whines like a mofo between 60-70 mph. I had two of these with the same issue.

IMO, these elements are the downside of owning a modern AWD vehicle... and not isolated to the Jeep brand.

As far as the transmissions.. the NAG 5-speed is solid.. as is the new 8-speed.

I would be more concerned about the junk in between.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCG View Post
I am a newbe to Jeep and I am about to place an order for a 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited. My wife and I are really impressed with the 2013 model we saw on the lot. But now I am starting to have second thoughts because of the transmission issues I have been reading about on the forums. According to the Jeep forums the 2011 – 2013 seem to be experiencing a “shutter” or “fishbite” vibration that doesn’t seem to be fixable. I don’t want to have to worry about fixing a new transmission especially when I am replacing a 9 year old truck that has had ZERO problems.

I am told that the 2014 model has a new 8 speed transmission replacing the 5 speed transmission to improve fuel mileage. Is the new transmission built by the same manufacturer so still at risk for design issues? Since the model isn’t in the streets yet is there any way I can learn something about the dependability of this transmission?

I am trying to decide how much risk I want to take to buy into an unknown transmission. Any ideas on this would be appreciated. Steve
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:52 PM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoFire View Post
The 2014 will have the 8 speed transmission. This is the same transmission that is in the Chrysler 300 and the same transmission that the 2013 Dodge Ram is getting. ZF was making the transmissions but Chrysler built a new plant to make them "in house" as well as the 9 speed that will be coming. ZF transmissions are supposedly one of the best tranmissions.
ZF is currently still making the 8-speed transmissions (8HP70) for the 2014 Grand Cherokee V8 & diesel; Chrysler is buying those for installation in said vehicles. Chrysler makes the transmissions (845RE) for the V6 in-house from the ZF design. They'll be transitioning to make the V8 and diesel transmissions eventually; I don't know when that will occur.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:33 AM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <wontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> Thanks for the replies. This will be our first Jeep and first Chrysler product other then the Freightliner chassis of our motor home which has given us zero problems. I think that owing a Jeep would be fun and open some opportunities we have not been able to experience.

So after reading about the shudders etc I am a nervous Nelly. From those who are long time owners and have been around 4 x 4 vehicles, what is the risk that our 2014 might be one of those cars that have a shudder, vibration etc. The guys complaining about such on the forum represent what size population? Is it the odd one vehicle out of 10,000? Steve

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Old 02-17-2013, 01:02 PM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCG View Post
Thanks for the replies. This will be our first Jeep and first Chrysler product other then the Freightliner chassis of our motor home which has given us zero problems. I think that owing a Jeep would be fun and open some opportunities we have not been able to experience.

So after reading about the shudders etc I am a nervous Nelly. From those who are long time owners and have been around 4 x 4 vehicles, what is the risk that our 2014 might be one of those cars that have a shudder, vibration etc. The guys complaining about such on the forum represent what size population? Is it the odd one vehicle out of 10,000? Steve
Some people notice it, others don't. It's not a huge shake to the vehicle, it's a light shudder you feel in the pedal. My better half didn't notice it at all when riding in the Jeep when it did it.

The shudder isn't a 4x4 vehicle thing, it's the V8 shutting off cylinders. On an incline, there's a point where the 4 banger mode has almost enough power to get the vehicle up the hill, but needs a little extra oomph form the other 4 once in a while. The shudder is that transition, and can be defeated by downshifting or my taking it out of AFM mode using the tapshift thing.

The odds of your 2014 having it are 100%, it's just a design characteristic of the vehicles. The odds of you noticing it however are lower. It takes a certain incline and certain speed to trigger it, and it was realty reduced with a series of TSBs that made the AFM kick out in that situation easier.

The other issues with 4x4 systems making noises and shudders and groaning are typically wear issues, with a few design issues. A friend of mine has a 4x4 that groans every time he turns - he thought it was perfectly normal for 4x4s because his last vehicle did that too, until I told him it was not and it was likely his rear differential. We had a rental (brand new) F150 that when in 4wd mode would make groans if you tried turning sharply, even from a top (at near full lock o the steering it'd groan some). My Jeep hasn't experience either of those actual 4x4 issues, but it's still relatively low miles. At the end of the day, despite the reliability of 4x4 systems, it does add more components, and so there are more things that could break. But the chances are low until you start looking at higher mileage.

My biggest concern with the shudder was the dealership. I took it in for the shudder TSB, and they applied a lot of flashes, and wanted to replace the torque converter, which they needed to order. I had the vehicle for a week, and it was great, the shudder was totally gone, and everything was right with it. Had I not taken the car for the week and told them it didn't need a new TC, who knows what could have been screwed up in the replacement process. I recognize that they were likely trying to make me happy by doing everything possible to fix it, but IMO throwing parts at a problem isn't the right way to do it, and could have caused more issues than it would have fixed.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:12 PM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

The Acura MDX had a similar problem. I never noticed it in mine There was tsb,
which was a firmware update. It seems that folks who had the problem were happy with the fix. It did alter the shift points, slightly delaying upshifts.


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Old 02-17-2013, 03:07 PM
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Re: Are Grand Cherokees transmissions dependable

The Grand Cherokee is AWD, all the time... if you want a more 4 x 4 experience then look at the Wrangler where you can engage and disengage 4 x 4 --> 4 x 2. But at some point, you may get some form of wobble, shake, whatever you want to call it due to suspension component wear. The Wrangler has live axles which is prone to wobble when components are worn. Again... not isolated to the Jeep brand.

My Grand Cherokee's didn't have cylinder deactivation... one developed the shudder, both had rear-end whines and excessive driveline clunks. Btw, when the front axle isolators wear out, you will also hear clunks or knocks in the front suspension. When will they wear out? Depends on how much abuse they get.

Onward... if you're looking for a completely trouble-free, modern 4 x 4, I DOUBT you will find it.

Most are designed now with convenience in mind, software, sensors, switches and cylinder deactivation to get better gas mileage if you buy one with a petrol V8...

A suggestion... go rent one for a month before spending $50K.

Good luck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCG View Post
Thanks for the replies. This will be our first Jeep and first Chrysler product other then the Freightliner chassis of our motor home which has given us zero problems. I think that owing a Jeep would be fun and open some opportunities we have not been able to experience.

So after reading about the shudders etc I am a nervous Nelly. From those who are long time owners and have been around 4 x 4 vehicles, what is the risk that our 2014 might be one of those cars that have a shudder, vibration etc. The guys complaining about such on the forum represent what size population? Is it the odd one vehicle out of 10,000? Steve
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