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'98 JGC Laredo trans malfunction October 2016

Discussion in 'Grand Cherokee, Durango, etc' started by redwheelwells, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. redwheelwells

    redwheelwells Active Member

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    Yesterday my ’98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 5.2L (with factory tow package/Upcountry suspension package and low-range 4-wheel drive at some 98,000 mi) seemed to be “stuck” in first gear, very “reluctant” to shift out of first even though I was applying only light to very moderate throttle---it would shift out of first if it got to high RPMs and after I then let off throttle. (There was no trailer towing on this drive.) I drove some 20 miles, parked, took care of business for a couple of hours and then drove the 20 miles back home having the same symptoms/performance as occurred during the outgoing 20 miles. Interesting coincidence is that this was my first local drive after my uneventful annual trip of some 1,000 miles of towing with total trailer-and-cargo weight of only some 1300 lbs between L.A. area and around Mammoth Lakes, CA area, from elevation of some 200 ft to max elevation of some 8,000 ft. Jeep handled said trip without any transmission malfunction; I did use speed control, pushing off the “Overdrive” button when speed started to drop when going up steep grades. I’ve owned this Jeep since it was new, had no collisions, have never towed more than 2k lbs, probably towed total of less than 15k miles max over the years, have never done any “Rubicon”-type offroading, and the trans fluid and filter have been changed usually at the 12k mile point, but no later than a 25k interval---and always with the proper “+” type trans fluid. I did have a period some years back where trans appeared to “hunt” up and down from first gear under hard throttle and could find no cause until I found and replaced broken motor mounts ---which finally cured the “hunting” problem.

    Does this malfunction have a cause and fix obvious to Allpar experts? Is it hopefully perhaps a simple external part change, like some solenoid or valve, or band or other adjustment, or is it time for a teardown, or…?

    Thanks In Advance, Guys!
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    You might want to google TV cable adjustment and look at that cable on your Jeep.
     
  3. pjfsu331

    pjfsu331 Member

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    This should definitely be your starting point.
     
  4. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    This also has an electronic governor that can be monitored with a good scan tool. 1 psi should equal 1 mph and should track evenly with the speedometer as the speed changes.
    Excessive clutch pack wear and clutch piston seal leakage can also cause late 1-2 shifts.
     
  5. redwheelwells

    redwheelwells Active Member

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    Pulled the trigger on trans re-build at an independent trans shop highly-recommended by a highly-recommended independent general auto shop. (I try to avoid repair shops here in Socal the way I try to avoid doctors—unless it’s something I can’t readily fix myself.) Trans shop said “2nd gear gone.” Rebuild came with unlimited mileage, 2-year warranty. Have driven rebuilt trans about 200 miles and, from the time I got vehicle back from rebuild until now:

    1. In Drive, first gear has delayed shifting to second under light throttle—until high RPM reached. Under moderate throttle, first-to-second shifts seem to occur at more “normal” RPMs.

    2. In Drive, second-to-third shifts are also sort of delayed with a sort of moderate “clunk” (heard I think in the drive shaft) when the second-to-third shift occurs, this again is under light throttle. Under moderate throttle, second-to-third shifts seem more “normal” and without a noticeable “clunk”.

    3. Otherwise, trans seems to operate OK.
    Allpar Community, can you give me tips on what might be causing these symptoms/how to correct them, so I can ask the rebuilder for corrections based on way-better independent knowledge than I have? Might the advice be to check the specific things you guys suggested previously here above---where the rebuilder, say, missed checking/correcting these? Or?

    Thanks Again!
     
  6. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    I would demonstrate the 'late shift' to them without putting any suggestions or pre-conceived notions in their heads. Let them judge for themselves from a clean slate. The problem sounds similar to what you first brought it in for.
    I would hate to give them a wrong idea and steer them off course. The symptoms could mean several things. They need to diagnose it, run some tests and go from there. It is part of their job. Always diagnose first.
    I know that my own doctor hates when patients come in and already have a list of possibilities that they think are wrong with them and what should be done to fix them that they found on the internet. :D
     
    floridaman2013 likes this.
  7. redwheelwells

    redwheelwells Active Member

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    I think you're right about both kinds of services, IC. But why is it around my neck of the woods these days I have such a hard time getting things fixed properly, even when I pay good money? Much around the house and with my vehicles I've ended up fixing on my own after "pros" have failed me, and I've fixed a lot of things in a very good manner, (after spending a lot of time and effort researching/teaching myself)---but there are limits as to time and equipment!
     
  8. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Yes sometimes it seems that way. 'We do it nice because we do it twice' is no good for a first impression.
    I would give them another shot at finding and fixing the problem. Many times I judge a repair service by how well they handle a 'repeat performance' as mistakes are bound to happen. They should never have returned the vehicle to you if it wasn't right.
    I've repaired my own furnace, replaced the hot water heater and repaired many outlets that had the 'hot' and 'neutral' reversed. I try to do as much as I can to learn and save money. I go to the experts when necessary.
    My days of rebuilding a transmission in the driveway are over.
     
    floridaman2013 likes this.

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