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I have heard that production of the 2012 Grand Cherokee is due to begin July 2011; has anyone heard if the ZF 8-speed transmission will be available for the pentastar equipped models?
 

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I have heard that production of the 2012 Grand Cherokee is due to begin July 2011; has anyone heard if the ZF 8-speed transmission will be available for the pentastar equipped models?
Nope. They will have the W5A580.
 

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What intrigues me is how Sergio supposedly wanted to rectify what he thought was deficiencies in Chrysler products before the 2011 models were released, and yet he has done absolutely nothing for the 2011 models to improve what has been the Achilles heel of Chrysler products for the past twenty years, namely their horrid transmissions. Many of them shift with a clunk, reliability is spotty, and the ratios in some of them are just awful. And yet, what do people complain about? That black thing at the rear side window on the 200's! To me, that is nothing compared to the lame 580 transmissions.
 

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et he has done absolutely nothing for the 2011 models to improve what has been the Achilles heel of Chrysler products for the past twenty years, namely their horrid transmissions. Many of them shift with a clunk, reliability is spotty, and the ratios in some of them are just awful
Your experience is not universal. "Horrid" is a rather nasty overstatement. We've gone over ratios already numerous times and there are reasons for them in most cases. Reliability has been average or better AFAIK for the last decade or two. I haven't experienced "shift with a clunk" for a few years now including the 2006 minivan we own. The 300M, it is true, does it.
 

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Your experience is not universal. "Horrid" is a rather nasty overstatement. We've gone over ratios already numerous times and there are reasons for them in most cases. Reliability has been average or better AFAIK for the last decade or two. I haven't experienced "shift with a clunk" for a few years now including the 2006 minivan we own. The 300M, it is true, does it.
You bet it does :lol: Even more so since it's gotten crankier (radiator failure that let coolant into tranny. Cleaned it all, tranny still works, but not as well as it used to). Our 04 minivan is much better about it though.

I agree that horrid is an overstatement. Having driven newer Chryslers, and even based of customer review. I keep seeing comments about "Competent tranny" and "smooth shifting" when the so called "educated" critics aren't lambasting it for being what chrysler used before and having "too few gears". I really don't think it applies here. When the critics forget about the number of gears, they are actually very positive about the capabilities of the trannies.
 

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What intrigues me is how Sergio supposedly wanted to rectify what he thought was deficiencies in Chrysler products before the 2011 models were released, and yet he has done absolutely nothing for the 2011 models to improve what has been the Achilles heel of Chrysler products for the past twenty years, namely their horrid transmissions. Many of them shift with a clunk, reliability is spotty, and the ratios in some of them are just awful. And yet, what do people complain about? That black thing at the rear side window on the 200's! To me, that is nothing compared to the lame 580 transmissions.

They fixed what has clearly been the major complaint, bad interiors. Power, performance, and styling have been fixed as well. Transmissions were not what kept most people out of Chrysler products.
 

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They fixed what has clearly been the major complaint, bad interiors. Power, performance, and styling have been fixed as well. Transmissions were not what kept most people out of Chrysler products.
Well, Rome wasn't built in a day. The tranny that was in the the 300M is the same one in the PT Cruiser GT auto and almost everyone I have spoken with who has had one long term has had one fail. And most of them were well aware of the transmission fluid issue. I was lucky enough to find one with the Getrag 5 speed. But, man, there are a lot of people with PT GTs who replaced their transmissions multiple times.
 
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What intrigues me is how Sergio supposedly wanted to rectify what he thought was deficiencies in Chrysler products before the 2011 models were released, and yet he has done absolutely nothing for the 2011 models to improve what has been the Achilles heel of Chrysler products for the past twenty years, namely their horrid transmissions. Many of them shift with a clunk, reliability is spotty, and the ratios in some of them are just awful. And yet, what do people complain about? That black thing at the rear side window on the 200's! To me, that is nothing compared to the lame 580 transmissions.

I understand Chrysler has had some transmission issues over the last 25 years, but even the all-might Sergio can't just make a transmission revamp happen within the year. Powertrain changes can take up to five years from their inception. I'm waiting patiently knowing that the new crop of transmissions, coming in the next two to three years, will be leaps-and-bounds over the transmission they are replacing.

Also, in my opinion, the A580 (NAG1) is not really that bad of a transmission. Maybe there are some ratio issues, but they are pretty rock-solid.

With all that being said, give mea car with three pedals any day :D
 

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My 2 cents worth, I have had many Chrysler transmissions since my 1974 Plymouth and never a failure. Several of these went over 200,000 miles with little attention. Lets compare, two Hondas, drain and refill every 10,000 to 20,000 miles with Honda fluid and one failure and the other shifts very hard when cold. Neither is close to 200,000 miles. So 11 Mopars with nary a failure and 2 Hondas at 100% failure. Who has stinky transmissions.
 

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....To me, that is nothing compared to the lame 580 transmissions.
You're kidding, right? It's a GREAT transmission. For example, look how well it has held up in tens and tens of thousands of SRT8 vehicles!
 

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Transmission issues do shed some interesting light on the transmission plan though. Notice the DDCT seems to be restricted to 4 cylinders. (oh2o can confirm, but there is no DDCT slated for any V6 equipped vehicles, right). The reason I bring that up is, I have a feeling Sergio is making an honest effort to ensure that from here on out, the transmissions are more than capable of handling the top power from the engine. That seems like a decent way to avoid premature transmission failures. I have always felt like the 4 spd tranny in the Chrysler minivans, especially in the later years, seemed like they were over tasked for their max ratings. Not that I know for sure. It just seems that way.

As for the 580. I think we have some prejudice against that tranny. Let's be honest, is a large part of the feeling perhaps more to do with it's relation to Mercedes?

That said, I do know it's not with out issues. My cousin just recently burned the transmission out on his 2005 Jeep GC Hemi. It's second time he's had tranny issues (the first time wasn't really the trannies fault, he found water in the transmission, had it cleaned rebuilt, only to have it happen again, found that water was leaking into the tranny fluid fill tube.) This time through, he admits to getting stuck, and pushing too hard to get unstuck, that he knew better.. Tricky thing there, since I wasn't there. Even the best hardware has a breaking point, so did he really push it past what is safe for said vehicle, or can the tranny just not take all that much abuse.. In either case, I've heard no complaints with it on the LXs at least.
 

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chrysler is playing catchup to everybody in the ratio race...but once 2013 is here and the zf fwd and rwd units show up...chrysler will be ahead of the game. and i seriously doubt that the current bevy of trannies gives up anything to competitors based on reliability/durability...
 

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That said, I do know it's not with out issues. My cousin just recently burned the transmission out on his 2005 Jeep GC Hemi. It's second time he's had tranny issues (the first time wasn't really the trannies fault, he found water in the transmission, had it cleaned rebuilt, only to have it happen again, found that water was leaking into the tranny fluid fill tube.) This time through, he admits to getting stuck, and pushing too hard to get unstuck, that he knew better.. Tricky thing there, since I wasn't there. Even the best hardware has a breaking point, so did he really push it past what is safe for said vehicle, or can the tranny just not take all that much abuse.. In either case, I've heard no complaints with it on the LXs at least.
1. The 2005 GC Hemi came with the 545RFE transmission, not the W5A580.

2. Sounds like both "issues" you describe were not the "trannies fault".
 

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1. The 2005 GC Hemi came with the 545RFE transmission, not the W5A580.

2. Sounds like both "issues" you describe were not the "trannies fault".
Whoop, my mistake..

Eh, yeah, I was sort elaborating on that. My assessment didn't have much direction, BUT - basically, many people could easily dismiss these as the fault of the transmission. Sort of like my own experience (I could have blamed my tranny, but the real fault was just a radiator). His first experience was ultimately a design flaw of the vehicle, still not great. The second one - maybe it was pushed too hard, maybe it wasn't.. But, it is easy to say that the transmission seems like one of the easiest components to abuse. There are a great many ways to over burden a tranny.

In closing, following that poorly directed commentary of mine - through all of the vehicles me and my family, and extended family have owned - Fords, GM vehicles, Toyotas, Hondas. I haven't found the Chrysler's to have a particularly disproportionate number of transmission failures.
 

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I have an 08 Charger Daytona that the sales manager drove as a demo. One of his comments about he car was it had a good transmission. Don't know why he said it just figured there were problems that had been fixed. Loyal to the Chrysler brand and armed with a warranty I didn't worry about it. I think the gear ratios are a good balance between performance and economy and the tranny has operated as designed. The only fault that I have experienced is a drive line clunk during declaration that disappears when it gets to normal operating temperatures. I feel that it is not a mechanical issue but a programming refinement is needed. I would be concerned about the transmission's durability if I treated it it like a bullet proof 727 which is the standard that comes to mind when a Chrysler automatic transmission is mentioned.
 

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i know how much you all love CR...but their data does show that the nag1 is a good transmission. i looked up the lx car reliability reports...and under the category of major transmission problems for the 300c...there were very few problems. under the category of minor transmission problems...said tranny didn't do so well. i'm presuming that had to do with "tuning" issues more than anything...
 

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One of my complaints (and the main reason why I didn't buy a Charger/300 car when I changed vehicles recently), is the overdrive gear ratio. The LX cars are often not as quick as the competition because of the overdrive ratio and the rear differential ratio set up, and I sure do hate to see those Hemis lose. A very simple fix would be to change the overdrive ratio from 0.82 (ok....I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record ...) to something similar to what most Chrysler transmissions have, namely about 0.67 or 0.69. Now you could put in a 3.06 (or even a 3.23), in the rear differential and presto! , better acceleration with very little, or maybe even no penalty in fuel mileage....However, if you really wanted to get serious you could change 2nd from 2.19 to 2.35, and third from 1.41 to 1.57. That would be even better. I guess I'll just have to wait for the eight speed....

BTW, I love that quote..."friends don't let friends read Consumer Reports" ...I always tell my friends to wash their hands at least three times after handling that magazine so they get all the "you know what' off.
 

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The biggest little issue we have with the 5 speed in the LX cars etc is the shift-interlock cable. It constantly f's up and makes it impossible to shift the car out of park. We have A LOT of these issues, but really thats the worst we normally see.
 

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What intrigues me is how Sergio supposedly wanted to rectify what he thought was deficiencies in Chrysler products before the 2011 models were released, and yet he has done absolutely nothing for the 2011 models to improve what has been the Achilles heel of Chrysler products for the past twenty years, namely their horrid transmissions. Many of them shift with a clunk, reliability is spotty, and the ratios in some of them are just awful. And yet, what do people complain about? That black thing at the rear side window on the 200's! To me, that is nothing compared to the lame 580 transmissions.

Well actually he has, the 4 speed is banned from the 200 and the only tranny's available are the 62TR which is an awesome Chrysler tranny and a 6 speed fiat dual clutch which I don't think has any issues and is mated to the 2.4 4cyl.

The 4 speed is only available ( I think) in the Wrangler and it is almost out the door as well as soon as the Pentastar is mated to the 8 hp. The german mercedes 580 is garbage but it seems that for 2011 it's been upgraded and better integrated as a driveline. But soon (as soon as the contract expires) we will see only dual clutches (Fiat and Chrysler units) and the 8hp and the 9 speed. I cannot wait to see the 9 speed that must be an incredible ride!

As for the 545RFE that is an excellent tranny I owned a 2004 JGC and it shifted supremely except at 45000k when it was due for an oil change that's when it was a little harsh. Once I pour that amazing Amsoil ATF in there it shifted once again as smooth as silk only this time for another 80,000k, it seems that the Amsoil AFT worked better for longer than the Chrysler ATF.
 
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