Dropping out of gear - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-22-2021, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
JustDucky
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Dropping out of gear

I have a 1996 5.2 ZJ Laredo (Quadratrac) with a 249 Transfer Case and a 42RE Transmission (I think its the 42RE). 314,000 miles. I had taken it to the dealer (about a month ago). It was making a noise when I backed it out of the driveway (this went on everyday for a week). I would get it out of the driveway and into the street (maybe 10feet) and it was go away. The dealer couldn't hear it (they tried over several days). They recommended some work be done anyway. So, I had the transfer case seals replaced. The Transmission fluid & filter were changed (for the first time in 200k miles) and the linkage inspected/adjusted at that same time. Then, one day (weeks later) I am driving home and it feels like it dropped into neutral. I don't recall whether or not the tachometer or engine noise changed. And I didn't think to look at the OD Off light or about what speed I was going. I just moved the shifter into neutral and back into drive and it engaged. I had to do this several times to nurse it on down the road. Eventually I just held back on the stick, thinking maybe it was a linkage problem, but it still failed anyway. I made it up a long steep hill. Luckily it stayed engaged. Then, some time later on the flat, still fighting it, I come to a stop light and I never get it going again. I moved the shifter through various gears (1, 2, D...), but its going nowhere. For some reason I think to try and restart the vehicle. I shut it off and it never starts again (I put it in park, I put it in neutral, nothing). So I just call for a tow truck. While I'm waiting someone offers to push. I stick it in neutral but it acts like its stuck in gear. It can't be pushed at all (and the ebrake is off). The flat bed arrives. I sit in his truck while he winches it up (front end first). When I get it home, he can't get it off the truck without help. Its inclined on the flatbed, ebrake on, the stick in neutral. We both push it backwards off the flatbed and it makes this regular click, click, clicking sound. We get it off the truck. I try to start it and it starts right up. I didn't try to drive it. Some weeks later, I have to rearrange the driveway. It doesn't start. It is in park. I tap up on the shifter and it starts. I put it in drive and it seems to be slipping (it wants to go but not really). I put it in reverse and I get the same. I put it back in drive and everything seems fine. But I'm skeptical, I've got to get this thing moved, but I don't want to block the driveway. So I just crawl it out to the street get it turned around and pull back in. Its sat for a couple more weeks and now I'm trying to work the problem. I started it where it sits now and put it in reverse and drive. I get that feeling again, like it seems to be slipping (it wants to go but not really). No check engine light. I tried checking for TCM flash codes in the OD Off light by turning the key from ON/OFF three times - no flash codes. I looked underneath at the linkage. I couldn't see where the shifter comes down but I could see the 4wheel shift linkage back to the transfer case. I grabbed onto it from underneath. It wiggles a little, but It didn't appear to be moving at either end. So, that doesn't seem to be the issue. And sadly I never use this, its always in 4 All Time. And I rarely if ever use anything but Drive (Overdrive) and reverse. But that doesn't rule it out. So, now I'm looking online for answers and reading in the repair guide. I'm thinking maybe solenoid? idk. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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post #2 of 12 Old 08-22-2021, 07:12 AM
yjsaabman
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Have you checked the transmission fluid level? That should be first thing and should be done with the engine running.

Hopefully you didn't damage anything getting it on and off the tow truck. If the transmission won't engage neutral put the transfer case in neutral, instead.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-22-2021, 08:18 AM
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It does sound like it is low on transmission fluid. I just went through a similar problem when a cooling hose let go.

Check the TV cable ( kick-down )as well to make sure it is still in place to shift the transmission.

2ND to make sure the transfer case in in neutral if you need to push the Jeep.

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-29-2021, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I checked the fluid level today. It was 3 to 3.5" above the top of the coss-hatch marks (cold), and someone theorized about seals in the torque converter leaking fluid back into the pan being the problem. I'm not sure if that is valid or not. Should the torque converter still be full after a week of sitting? Is there any valid reason to check it cold? The owners manual says not to try draining the torque converter, I'm not sure why. No major leaking underneath. Nothing like before the transmission service when it was leaking all around the pan. There is some leaking on a trans-cooler line, but its just a drip. No foaming on the stick. I let it warm up in the driveway for 15mins and moved it through all the gears where it sat not wanting to take it out for a drive. I have only about a foot to move it back and forth at present. I think I felt a little bit of slipping doing this initially, but for the most part none. I was probably out there 30 to 45mins doing this and just listening. After it warmed up, the fluid level looked like it was right at the top of the hatch marks. Then I picked up on a fast and quiet Ticka Ticka Ticka Ticka sound reverberating off the surrounding area. It was only there in reverse gear. Not sure I would hear it if there wasn't so much near by for it to bounce off of (car, trailer, fence). I checked the dipstick several times after becoming focused on this sound and found it was actually 1/4" above the max fill mark. I could have sworn it was right at the max fill mark. I don't know if 1/4" is enough overfill to be worried about or not. I jammed something against the brake, not the greatest idea, but I am doing this alone. Then I took a stethoscope to listen underneath. I put it up against the bell housing, the pan, and random other places on the transmission. There were sounds, but I couldn't tell you if they were normal or not. But this sound, I didn't hear. Now maybe I just wasn't listening in the right place on the tranny, idk. Back in the cab, I took off the e-brake, and the sound remained. Doing this on my own, so I wasn't able to rev it up and listen underneath. But when I rev'd it up in the drivers seat, I wasn't able to tell much more. It may have gotten slightly louder, but if so there was hardly any change.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-29-2021, 04:34 PM
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It will only stat in P or N.
Will the reverse lights come on in R?
You claim you checked for codes? and NO CODES confirm.

Anyway nothing good here, a hail mary drop trans pan - inspect and baring something in pan i would try a new filter and refill ATF+4 fluid, BUT not sounding good.

When I see the price of OEM I think aftermarket.
When I see the quality of aftermarket I think OEM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-29-2021, 04:57 PM
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Yours is a 44re transmission. My 5.9 had similar symptoms and I couldn't figure out what it was. It would drive normally but under throttle feel like it dropped into neutral often. I changed the solenoids and it still did that. No metal in the pan, fluid looked good.
I finally took it to a transmission shop and they found that the reverse/overdrive snap ring had broken and we're surprised it was driving at all.
Sometimes you'll find pieces of it in the pan but not in my case. It's a pretty common failure point on these transmissions.
Might be worth looking into or you could just swap an inexpensive junkyard transmission in. They usually have a limited warranty.
Here's a link to the snap ring repair. Not my cup of tea.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.jee...37780/%3famp=1


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post #7 of 12 Old 08-29-2021, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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44RE sounds right. I had been looking all over for the identification plate. The web kept telling me it should be right above the pan on the left side, but there was nothing there. It was probably just a label not a plate and its now gone. I think I saw where it had been, just where the web had said, but on a rectangular area that comes in at a bit of an angle to the pan (which maybe made it a little harder to pick out). There was sort of an outline where gunk had built up against the edge of where it had been. I did finally find a marking, which looks like a serial number. It was on the edge/flange just below where the label would have been. Had to clean it up to see it. The beginning part of it is PK52119108, which the web shows as a 44RE. It would be good to cross check if I had the number for the 42RE. The big name auto part stores websites kept filtering it to a 42RE. Then I found jeepsestore which brings up the PK52119108 number. Not sure if that site is actually affiliated with Jeep or not. I haven't tried messing with the TV cable other than to see that its all still there. I've been thinking torque converter on account of the noise that sent me to the dealer originally, which I no longer hear. That was more like a whining. Now I'm hearing this TickaTickaTicka, snap ring maybe, idk. There is the not engaging drive or reverse. And then there is the slipping. And I'm starting to get the feeling that slipping and the not engaging are the same thing by just a matter of degree. I've seen all these videos of people doing preventative maintenance: Governor Solenoid, Governor Solenoid Sensor, Accumulator Spring, Band Adjustments. And I had been thinking, if fluid level could be an issue here, then fluid pressure could certainly be an issue. And that makes me think the Governor Pressure Solenoid/Sensor. But no codes, if there is even a code for that. Then I wonder, if no codes could mean a PCM/TCM issue. Now I'm leaning toward a band adjustment. After new oil, when the old oil hasn't been changed in 314,000 miles (well apart from adding in whatever leaked out overtime), it might make sense that the bands aren't tight enough anymore. I think its time I just take it to the shop or I'll be going around and around on this.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-29-2021, 10:35 PM
PolkaPower
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Dropping out of gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDucky View Post
44RE sounds right. I had been looking all over for the identification plate. The web kept telling me it should be right above the pan on the left side, but there was nothing there. It was probably just a label not a plate and its now gone. I think I saw where it had been, just where the web had said, but on a rectangular area that comes in at a bit of an angle to the pan (which maybe made it a little harder to pick out). There was sort of an outline where gunk had built up against the edge of where it had been. I did finally find a marking, which looks like a serial number. It was on the edge/flange just below where the label would have been. Had to clean it up to see it. The beginning part of it is PK52119108, which the web shows as a 44RE. It would be good to cross check if I had the number for the 42RE. The big name auto part stores websites kept filtering it to a 42RE. Then I found jeepsestore which brings up the PK52119108 number. Not sure if that site is actually affiliated with Jeep or not. I haven't tried messing with the TV cable other than to see that its all still there. I've been thinking torque converter on account of the noise that sent me to the dealer originally, which I no longer hear. That was more like a whining. Now I'm hearing this TickaTickaTicka, snap ring maybe, idk. There is the not engaging drive or reverse. And then there is the slipping. And I'm starting to get the feeling that slipping and the not engaging are the same thing by just a matter of degree. I've seen all these videos of people doing preventative maintenance: Governor Solenoid, Governor Solenoid Sensor, Accumulator Spring, Band Adjustments. And I had been thinking, if fluid level could be an issue here, then fluid pressure could certainly be an issue. And that makes me think the Governor Pressure Solenoid/Sensor. But no codes, if there is even a code for that. Then I wonder, if no codes could mean a PCM/TCM issue. Now I'm leaning toward a band adjustment. After new oil, when the old oil hasn't been changed in 314,000 miles (well apart from adding in whatever leaked out overtime), it might make sense that the bands aren't tight enough anymore. I think its time I just take it to the shop or I'll be going around and around on this.

The 42re is in the 4.0. It won't even bolt up to the v8. 5.2s got 46rh 93-95 and 44re 96-98. 98 5.9 has 46re.


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post #9 of 12 Old 08-29-2021, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I should check the pan shape just for giggles. I hear the 44 & 42 are the same shape, but the 46 is different. Mine is actually a 1996 built in Sept or Oct of 1995. Still 44RE I'm sure. Another thought from another thread has potential. I had been thinking pressure, so blockage may be the issue. And I hear the cooler line actually has a check valve in it. And this just happens to be where the drip is.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-29-2021, 11:26 PM
PolkaPower
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Dropping out of gear

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Originally Posted by JustDucky View Post
Maybe I should check the pan shape just for giggles. I hear the 44 & 42 are the same shape, but the 46 is different. Mine is actually a 1996 built in Sept or Oct of 1995. Still 44RE I'm sure. Another thought from another thread has potential. I had been thinking pressure, so blockage may be the issue. And I hear the cooler line actually has a check valve in it. And this just happens to be where the drip is.

Built in 95 but as a 96 model. 93-95 ZJs are obd1. 96-98 are obd2. It's an entirely different electronics system.
You can't put a 44re which is electric into a obd1 ZJ because the computer controls it. The 93-95 46rh is hydraulic.
There is also zero chance that you have a 42re or 46rh in your 96 5.2. 46re only came in the 98 5.9. It's possible that someone swapped one in but 99% not because they it's very rare to find a ZJ one.
The dodge 46rh has the starter on the opposite side of the bellhousing and will not fit with the ZJ exhaust routing.
I remove the check valves on mine and install transmission temp senders.img_20180825_170606-copy.jpg
img_20200211_144839.jpg


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post #11 of 12 Old 08-30-2021, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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That would be go to know before it overheats and goes into limp mode. jtec had mentioned the reverse lights. I did notice that they were on today, solid on. It was engaged at that time. It would be interesting to know if they are still on solid when it is slipping. It might say something about a sensor. I don't know what the feedback for that is to the computer.
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-30-2021, 12:26 AM
PolkaPower
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Dropping out of gear

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Originally Posted by JustDucky View Post
That would be go to know before it overheats and goes into limp mode. jtec had mentioned the reverse lights. I did notice that they were on today, solid on. It was engaged at that time. It would be interesting to know if they are still on solid when it is slipping. It might say something about a sensor. I don't know what the feedback for that is to the computer.

Reverse lights not working is a sign of a bad neutral safety switch which will cause it not to start or even crank.


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