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Unread 06-22-2006, 02:45 PM   #1
mberthia
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Liberty Manual Transmission Problems

I have an '03 3.7L with the 5spd manual transmission and 40k miles.
The transmission is now very loud when engaged in neutral (Clutch out).
Pressing in the clutch will disconnect the transmission and the noise goes away.
It's also loud when accelerating in 1st to third. Noise in 4th and 5th is not noticeable because it is drowned by the engine and road/wind noise.

In addition, the transmission is clunking when shifting (not grinding). It clunks when engaging-dissengaging the clutch - applying/removing load to the transmission.

Anyone had this problem or know what is causing it. ? A transmission mechanic thinks it is the trans input bearing. I'll bring it to the dealer but would like feedback if this has happened to anyone else.

Thanks

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Unread 06-22-2006, 06:07 PM   #2
x99j
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Has the gear lube ever been changed in the manual trans? i have had that same noise in previous cars and trucks with manual trans. i switched to synthetic and literally drove for 50 thousand more miles before i sold it. sounds like it is the input shaft bearing. somebody correct me if i am wrong, but if i remember correctly the nv 3550 (your transmission) does make more noises than usual due to its truck design origins from its bigger siblings in 3/4 ton trucks and up.
now i know the owners manual states that the manual gear lube just needs to be checked and not changed(at least in my liberties 6 speed manual). but i always change the gear oil out at 15 to 20k to prevent moisture from getting in and to prevent any noises from creeping in. it is cheap insurance.
it is hard to say without hearing the noise if it is at an acceptable level? good luck, mike

p.s. if you have the 7/ 70 warranty raise some heck at the dealer.
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06 kj 3.7l, 6speed manual, np241 command track

91 yj 2.5l, ax-5, np 231 3 inck lift, 31'' mud rovers

12 kk 3.7L, 42rle, mp1522, d-30, 8.25.
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Unread 06-22-2006, 09:39 PM   #3
mberthia
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The transmission lube has never been changed. It's at the dealer right now. I think they will say that it is normal. They already compared it to a Wrangler. A Liberty is not a Wrangler! The transmission sounds like I am driving a school bus.
I may try changing the oil but there is just so much that new oil can do...
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Unread 06-23-2006, 05:45 AM   #4
x99j
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they are comparing it to the wrangler because the two have the same manual transmissions (the nv-3550). i forget what years it was in the wrangler but it was for 4 or 5 years. you might want to ask this question in the tj forum but make sure you include the transmission type. there are many more wranglers produced with this transmission than in the liberty. has to due with the wrangler crowd being more young and less luxury.
if the dealer stiffs you try another dealer.
also the fluid change will not take the noise away but likely prevent it from getting worse (maybe). keep me posted. mike
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06 kj 3.7l, 6speed manual, np241 command track

91 yj 2.5l, ax-5, np 231 3 inck lift, 31'' mud rovers

12 kk 3.7L, 42rle, mp1522, d-30, 8.25.
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Unread 06-23-2006, 05:53 AM   #5
x99j
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i just went over to the tj forum and did a search under "nv3550 noises" came up with two pages of posts. you might want to check it out.
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06 kj 3.7l, 6speed manual, np241 command track

91 yj 2.5l, ax-5, np 231 3 inck lift, 31'' mud rovers

12 kk 3.7L, 42rle, mp1522, d-30, 8.25.
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Unread 06-23-2006, 07:27 AM   #6
mberthia
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Yes, I did a search on TJ yesterday but was not 100% sure that the trans was the same. I know that some of the noise is normal but not sure on how much is acceptable. The dealer called and both the mechanic and the quality control mgr said that it was normal. I now have an apointment later today to drive it with the QA mgr. Hope I can get my point across.
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Unread 06-23-2006, 08:26 AM   #7
x99j
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while you are with the manager ask to drive other vehicles with the nv3550 it should prove your point or the managers.
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06 kj 3.7l, 6speed manual, np241 command track

91 yj 2.5l, ax-5, np 231 3 inck lift, 31'' mud rovers

12 kk 3.7L, 42rle, mp1522, d-30, 8.25.
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Unread 06-25-2006, 10:13 PM   #8
exc911ence
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Sounds like the release bearing is history but I could be wrong...
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Unread 06-25-2006, 11:23 PM   #9
rob92xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mberthia
The transmission lube has never been changed. It's at the dealer right now. I think they will say that it is normal. They already compared it to a Wrangler. A Liberty is not a Wrangler! The transmission sounds like I am driving a school bus.
I may try changing the oil but there is just so much that new oil can do...
Same transmission in the KJ as the TJ, so yes they are the same NV3550 and a noise with the clutch out in neutral is normal it is the reverse idler gear no fix for it some are just louder then others.
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Unread 06-27-2006, 08:13 PM   #10
Frozentoze
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The comparison to another new one is the real test. Jeep trannies are loud and jerky - always have been. So it depends on what you are comparing it to. Like was already posted, it is covered under the 7/70 anyway. The dealer shouldnt give you a hard time - if its covered its free for you and easy money for them.

Ive got the '02 5sp with the 3.7L. Never even a hiccup in 94k. I have had the lube changed at 30k and 60k and Im due again here - this time Im going synthetic. Previously I had an 88 xj with the 5spd and the 4.0L, and it too was flawless, though I think that long ago it was a different vintage tranny. Only problem with that one was that the clutch leaked all the time and I had to bleed the air out of it on a regular basis. The new sealed clutch is a big improvement. Also the sealing around the gearshift wasnt so great and the rubber boot would dry rot every couple years. Still it worked great.

Sorry if you are having trouble but the good news is that I think they are good pieces of equipment, so if there is trouble and you get it straightened out you will probably be on your way to satisfactory performance in the future, even if it is unrefined.
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Unread 06-27-2006, 09:17 PM   #11
rob92xj
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I wouldn't put any other fluid in the NV3550 other then the specified fluid because of the clutch material on the syncro rings in it.
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Unread 06-28-2006, 06:58 AM   #12
mberthia
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Thanks for all the replies. So far I'm starting to believe that it is a normal noise from this Jeep transmission. Yes, unrefined is probably a good description. The T-case in my 95 Cherokee started making noise at 100k miles. It was a much louder noise and increased with speed. The input bearing was changed which fixed the noise. On my liberty, the noise goes away with higher speeds - because of drowning from the other noises - this is one of the reason I don't think its a bearing. If it was a bearing, it would be getting louder and louder.

The dealer has been good about it, they made sure I was not charged their diagnostic fee. After reading more on the YJ forum, I recognize the same complaints on their trans than on mine: bearing like noise when clutch out in neutral and 'marbles in trans" noise. I will still look into driving a recent YJ to compare.

As far as the oil, I change to Penzoil Synchromesh this past weekend. It meets the mopar spec. No change in transmission feel/noise. Oil change was due as it had 40k.
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Unread 06-28-2006, 07:02 AM   #13
mberthia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozentoze
The comparison to another new one is the real test. Jeep trannies are loud and jerky - always have been. So it depends on what you are comparing it to. Like was already posted, it is covered under the 7/70 anyway. The dealer shouldnt give you a hard time - if its covered its free for you and easy money for them.

Ive got the '02 5sp with the 3.7L. Never even a hiccup in 94k. I have had the lube changed at 30k and 60k and Im due again here - this time Im going synthetic. Previously I had an 88 xj with the 5spd and the 4.0L, and it too was flawless, though I think that long ago it was a different vintage tranny. Only problem with that one was that the clutch leaked all the time and I had to bleed the air out of it on a regular basis. The new sealed clutch is a big improvement. Also the sealing around the gearshift wasnt so great and the rubber boot would dry rot every couple years. Still it worked great.

Sorry if you are having trouble but the good news is that I think they are good pieces of equipment, so if there is trouble and you get it straightened out you will probably be on your way to satisfactory performance in the future, even if it is unrefined.

Frozentoze,
So on your 02 5spd KJ, do you have the bearing like noise when the clutch is out while in neutral and the 'marbles in trans" noise?
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Unread 06-29-2006, 09:26 PM   #14
Frozentoze
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Not really. Compared to the Cherokee 5sp and the my KJ since it was new and after 94k, it is the same. Compared to all other cars with manuals that I have driven, it is louder. I would compare the sound to running one of those crank-by-hand egg beaters rather than marbles.

When I engage the clutch (lift off the pedal) in neutral you can hear the machinery engage and start turning. Its not too bad - nothing that road noise doesnt overpower when I put it in other gears. The noise I hear can be increased by moving the gearshift knob little bits off center while in neutral - I suppose part of your issue could be that. I think it is rubber bushings that hold it on center?

You said something about it being clunky. That I think is by design, because for manuals clunky and strong seem to go hand in hand, and we get the strong end.
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Unread 06-29-2006, 10:06 PM   #15
rob92xj
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In neutral with the clutch out you are hearing the reverse idler gear which is a normal noise.
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