WK CRD Transmission Worries - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-01-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
johnsquared
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WK CRD Transmission Worries

Hey everyone - Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any insight you might have.

I bought my 2008 WK CRD Laredo "North" in May of this year with only 56k miles on it. It's got the Nag1 (or W5A580 or W5J400) transmission and it's always shifted a little differently than I would have expected it to but I chalked it up to the fact that it's a CRD and didn't worry about it too much.

Over the past couple months it seems to be getting a little more "different" in the following ways:
- When cold (as in sitting for several hours, not winter/freezing cold... only had it since May!) it takes a couple seconds to engage when shifting from park. Sometimes if I forget to wait and give it a little gas it will start to move and then catch with a bit of a snap.
- If I'm rounding a corner or something it seems like it downshifts one gear too far and will noticeably upshift with a pretty good thump.
- If I'm going through a parking lot or down a neighborhood street at - more or less coasting/very little throttle - it stays in what I would consider to be to low of a gear, with the engine turning at 1200-1400 rpm or so.
- If I need to accelerate quickly from say 35 to 55 it doesn't always want to kick down until I give it a lot of right foot, then I *think* it's kicking down 2 gears (or at least it feels like it).

I didn't notice any of this when I test drove it and bought it in May, but to be honest, I was so thrilled to find a low mile CRD in good shape that I probably didn't check it out as carefully as I should have. After I drove it for a few weeks regularly is when I started noticing things.

About 3 weeks ago I changed the fluid. I should have done it as soon as I bought it but just hadn't found the time. I dropped the pan, pulled the filter and let it drip while I cleaned out the pan. The fluid was pretty dark and there was, in my opinion, a LOT of sludge on the bottom and stuck to the magnet for less than 60k miles. (I should have taken pictures, but I didn't.) Anyhow, cleaned the pan & magnet, stuck the new filter in, torqued the pan back on and started filling.

I refilled with Shell ATF 134, which meets a more recent MB spec than ATF+4 as well as all previous specs and is supposed to shift a little smoother.

Also, I followed the MB procedure for pumping all the old oil out of the cooler and torque converter. Basically, you fill it up, disconnect the cooler return line from the transmission, run a hose from it to a bucket, turn the vehicle on until your bucket has 2 quarts in it, shut it off, put 2 fresh quarts in the trans, repeat x3, then top off with fresh fluid according to temp chart with oil level measuring tool (because no dipstick).

I was really hoping that new fluid would clear everything up but it hasn't. I'm pretty sure it hasn't made it worse though... at least not that I've noticed anyway.

So... should I be shopping for a rebuilt transmission sometime soon? Or looking for a good rebuild shop? Or am I just obsessing over things I don't need to worry about?

Thanks for reading such a long post...


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post #2 of 17 Old 09-01-2017, 06:03 PM
underscore
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Is your fluid still at the correct level? Transmissions are my weak point with vehicles but I've never been a fan of the pumping all the fluid out idea, especially if the fluid is in bad shape. If the level is good maybe do another drain and fill with a different brand of fluid before resigning to a rebuild or replaced transmission.

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post #3 of 17 Old 09-01-2017, 07:27 PM
90grandoneer
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First, as underscore said, re-check the transmission fluid level with the vehicle on level ground and the transmission fully warmed up. Use your chart and measuring stick to verify the level is correct. Your "slow to engage when cold" sounds like either low fluid level or the torque converter fluid draining back into the pan after sitting for a long time. The "erratic downshifts" in turns also sounds like it could be low fluid level. Your forced downshifts from 35-55 mph sound about normal, dropping down 2-3 gears to first or second. These downshifts, with the NAG1 should be almost instantaneous though. If it were a 545RFE, like in the 4.7 and 5.7 V-8's, you can sometimes take a lunch break before it downshifts, and that is, unfortunately, pretty normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsquared View Post
About 3 weeks ago I changed the fluid. I should have done it as soon as I bought it but just hadn't found the time. I dropped the pan, pulled the filter and let it drip while I cleaned out the pan. The fluid was pretty dark and there was, in my opinion, a LOT of sludge on the bottom and stuck to the magnet for less than 60k miles. (I should have taken pictures, but I didn't.) Anyhow, cleaned the pan & magnet, stuck the new filter in, torqued the pan back on and started filling.
The above concerns me a little, as with less than 60K miles, the fluid shouldn't be that dark and, for sure, there shouldn't be a bunch of crap in the pan and on the magnet. Did you get a little history on the vehicle.....i.e. was it used a lot for towing something real heavy? Can you tell us a little more details about what you found?
--Was the stuff like gray clay or did it look like rag lint?
--Was the stuff on the magnet indeed magnetic, or was it more of the other stuff just sticking to the magnet?
--Any metal/aluminum shavings in the pan?
--About how much of each was present.....just a small amount or a bunch?
--Did the fluid smell burnt?
--Did you, by chance, check the fluid level before you drained?
--Did you insure the filter was properly fitted to the valve body and the seal in place?

Another possibility is that some of the crap that was in the pan had gotten past the filter and was circulating throughout the system, causing valves and/or solenoids to malfunction or stick.

This will be an interesting one to follow. Please keep us posted.

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post #4 of 17 Old 09-01-2017, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
johnsquared
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Thanks for the quick responses!

I'll re-check the fluid level after I get home from work tonight when it's good and hot. Stay tuned.

I bought it from the used lot at a Chevrolet dealership. They got it at auction and it originally came from Canada (I'm in Michigan, which is almost Canada, but not quite!). Carfax report was clean as far as accidents/floods/etc... and verified Canadian heritage. I pulled the build sheet shows CA specs (KPH speedometer, DRLs, etc..) In other words, I have no way of knowing how it was used and/or maintained before I got it. Not what I'd prefer, but low miles is low miles and it was/is CLEAN inside and out for a 9 y.o. Jeep.

Answers to your other questions below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90grandoneer View Post
--Was the stuff like gray clay or did it look like rag lint?
Gray clay. I ran my finger across the bottom of the pan to see what happened... the little bit of fluid left would run back into the clean finger streak but the gray stuff didn't. Rubbing the gray stuff between thumb & forefinger was similar in consistency (NOT color) to anti-seize or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90grandoneer View Post
--Was the stuff on the magnet indeed magnetic, or was it more of the other stuff just sticking to the magnet?
Not sure I can accurately answer this. There was a thicker coat (1/16th of an inch, maybe?) on the magnet than on the bottom of the pan, so I want to say yes. But I didn't check it with another magnet or anything... just wiped it off

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90grandoneer View Post
--Any metal/aluminum shavings in the pan?
If there was, it wasn't visible to the naked eye. If memory serves, the gray clay sludge had a bit of a reflective look which made me wonder if there were some fine metal "dust" in it... again, should have saved some/looked closer

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90grandoneer View Post
--About how much of each was present.....just a small amount or a bunch?
Sludge coated the entire bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Thicker on the magnet. And there was some on the bottom of the filter cartridge. Come to think of it, I bet I haven't thrown away the filter cartridge yet... probably still in my garage trash can. I'll check for it tonight. Maybe I can crack it open and look at the element for evidence too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90grandoneer View Post
--Did the fluid smell burnt?
No - I specifically remember doing the smell test and it smelled fairly normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90grandoneer View Post
--Did you, by chance, check the fluid level before you drained?
Yes - It was where it should have been according to the chart/temp/stick. When I filled it back up I filled it to the same level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90grandoneer View Post
--Did you insure the filter was properly fitted to the valve body and the seal in place?
Yes - I remember this specifically as well, because I had to mess with the rotation/angle a bit to get it to "pop" into place the way it's supposed to be

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-01-2017, 11:49 PM
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Silt or some other contamination in the pan maybe? I know there have been a few nasty floods in the prairies in the last few years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsquared View Post
I bought it from the used lot at a Chevrolet dealership. They got it at auction and it originally came from Canada (I'm in Michigan, which is almost Canada, but not quite!). Carfax report was clean as far as accidents/floods/etc... and verified Canadian heritage. I pulled the build sheet shows CA specs (KPH speedometer, DRLs, etc..) In other words, I have no way of knowing how it was used and/or maintained before I got it. Not what I'd prefer, but low miles is low miles and it was/is CLEAN inside and out for a 9 y.o. Jeep.
I've been told that CarFax isn't the most reliable in Canada and that CarProof works better. Both of them only work if things were done through insurance though. I don't know if it will still work as the vehicle has left the country, but it might be worth running a CarProof on the VIN and see what comes up. It's $75 CAD to check Canada-wide ($55 USD I believe).

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post #6 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underscore View Post
Silt or some other contamination in the pan maybe? I know there have been a few nasty floods in the prairies in the last few years.
I found a business card in the glove box from a garage in the Toronto area. That doesn't mean it hasn't been west at some point, but there's no other evidence of flooding or swamping that I can find. I'll look in to the CarProof history check. I guess my "typical American-ness" shows in that I just assumed CarFax was the best/most comprehensive. ;-P

BTW - I looked at where Kelowna is on Google Maps. I'm severely jealous. If I could talk my wife into it I'd be asking for realtor recommendations!

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post #7 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Finished up my homework assignment:
- Temperature Check: 163 F according to the remote-probe oven thermometer I snaked down the dipstick tube. Confirmed with touch-free IR thermometer on the outside of the pan which read about 155 F. This was after a 30 minute drive in dry, 60 F weather. Fluid level was at 60 mm on the measuring stick, which is on the low side of normal. My chart shows 62-63 mm at 160 F. Would 2-3 mm make that much difference?

Dug my filter out of the garbage and took it apart. See attached photos for the not-so-encouraging news. I really wish I had paid more attention when I changed the fluid but it was late at night and just wanted to get the job done. Anyway, let me know what you think... but I have a feeling I know what I'm going to hear.
Attached Thumbnails
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File_005.jpg   File_006.jpg   File_007.jpg   File_008.jpg  

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post #8 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsquared View Post
I found a business card in the glove box from a garage in the Toronto area. That doesn't mean it hasn't been west at some point, but there's no other evidence of flooding or swamping that I can find. I'll look in to the CarProof history check. I guess my "typical American-ness" shows in that I just assumed CarFax was the best/most comprehensive. ;-P

BTW - I looked at where Kelowna is on Google Maps. I'm severely jealous. If I could talk my wife into it I'd be asking for realtor recommendations!
It's pretty nice out here, but real estate prices have gotten stupid. I can't imagine living anywhere else though.

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post #9 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 11:35 AM
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Thats normal wear inside trans. Nothing bad there
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepstercanada View Post
Thats normal wear inside trans. Nothing bad there
Certainly hope you're right! Any idea what would account for the goofy shifting behavior though?

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post #11 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 12:39 PM
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No any codes ? Sounds like bad sensor
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepstercanada View Post
No any codes ? Sounds like bad sensor
No dash lights... haven't scanned for codes recently but will when I get a chance. All I have is a cheap wi-fi OBD dongle and the DashCommand app on my phone though, so I don't know if it will give me the whole picture... I can't even see trans temp on it.

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post #13 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 01:29 PM
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I get the trans temp with my cheap dongle and Torque, you have to add the PID for trans temp though.

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post #14 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underscore View Post
I get the trans temp with my cheap dongle and Torque, you have to add the PID for trans temp though.
Yeah... trouble is I have an iPhone and Torque is an Android only app, from what I've read. There's a knock-off version for iPhone from a different developer but it doesn't look like it has the same capabilities.

I've thought of trying to find a cheap used android device somewhere to use just for Torque, but haven't gotten around to it...

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post #15 of 17 Old 09-02-2017, 02:01 PM
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Could be a code without check engine light
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