02 wj 4.7 4wd 545rfe - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-16-2020, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
keyboardcowboy
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Wj 02 wj 4.7 4wd 545rfe

Hello fellow WJ's,


I am doing a mega build on my WJ and am diving deep into each area. These questions are related to the transmission, which is a complete enigma to me.



1. Is it true that the WJ 4.7 4WD 545RFE transmission uses water soluble glue or paper gaskets in the clutch materials?


2. Is there a better solution to avoid said water soluble guts for more durability? I'm concerned that if I have no choice but to do a water crossing and tranny accidentally gets wet inside, that I am SOL. If I could find a more durable option that would allow me to flush, replace filters, etc ofcourse that would be ideal.


3. Would there be any benefits to going with a newer 545rfe model like from a 2011 JGC that also uses a 545rfe?


I think I already know the answer to these questions but it never hurts to ask right? I am just wondering if someone more familiar with transmissions know of performance or other options that I have not been able to find on my own in my research.



Thanks Fam!

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post #2 of 16 Old 01-16-2020, 02:24 PM
smokeyyank
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I don't believe in the clutch materials are paper, probably a gasket but in any case the tranny is supposed to be a closed system so the only way water would get in is if you really fd something up or it's wasn't sealed up correctly. You have to remember the tranny has to be built to withstand the elements so it's going to be able to take water as well as submersion for a bit.

Pretty sure you can't bolt up a newer 545rfe as the PCM isn't going to match.

04 WJ, 4.7HO
3" IRO lift, fastman TB, 32s, lunchbox rear 242HD, 3" exhaust
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-17-2020, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
keyboardcowboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyyank View Post
I don't believe in the clutch materials are paper, probably a gasket but in any case the tranny is supposed to be a closed system so the only way water would get in is if you really fd something up or it's wasn't sealed up correctly. You have to remember the tranny has to be built to withstand the elements so it's going to be able to take water as well as submersion for a bit.

Pretty sure you can't bolt up a newer 545rfe as the PCM isn't going to match.
Thanks.

Sounds like I need to focus more on waterproofing. Do these transmissions have a breather tube of any kind?



Does anyone have experience with the SONNEX upgrades for our transmission?
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-17-2020, 01:30 PM
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By design, the only way water can get into the transmission (other than rad cooler failure)is if you drive in water deaper than the top of the front shock mounts top end. See the vent for the trans is mounted to the driver side fron top shock mount stud.
If your in water that deep, a lot of other things are going to be very wet inside and our of the Jeep.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-17-2020, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardcowboy View Post
Thanks.

Sounds like I need to focus more on waterproofing. Do these transmissions have a breather tube of any kind?



Does anyone have experience with the SONNEX upgrades for our transmission?
It should have the breather tube as Darnice pointed out.

As for SONNEX I know their shift kit for the 42re helps tremendously. For the 545rfe it will be more of a true shift kit. So if you'r just keeping it as a trailer queen will probably help but if your going to daily or drive on the road it may provide less than ideal driveability.

04 WJ, 4.7HO
3" IRO lift, fastman TB, 32s, lunchbox rear 242HD, 3" exhaust
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-17-2020, 08:11 PM
BrokeJeepJoe
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I also have a 2002 JGC limited, 4.7 HO. I have a 545RFE from a 2010 Durango Hemi in mine. My upgrades are the Trans Go HD shift kit including the snap ring for the pump. I also used the Sonnax line pressure booster rather than the diode in the shift kit. The shift kit is designed for quicker shifts, not necessarily firmer ones. I am using the 2002 JGC TCM with the torque management mod, this mod also increases the speed of the shifts. The TCM is on the right fender and is a stand alone controller for the trans from 99-03ish, I think in 2004 the TCM and ECM were combined, but not 100% sure on that. The trans operates flawlessly, probably have about 10k on it since the swap. For me, I needed to change the extension housing for the transfer case and the transmission line fittings for the pump. I also added a trans pan with a drain plug. Also, the vent line that is on the top shock stud is not for the tranny, its for the front diff. The vent for the 545 is on the left side of the trans and is a short hose that sticks out on the top of the case just behind the bell housing. I extended mine and do have it attached along with the front diff vent near the shock.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-17-2020, 08:22 PM
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545 vent location
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-19-2020, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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sounds like the Sonnex upgrades were worth it then? What is the benefit of shifting quicker? Would it be less friction and therefore less heat?
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-19-2020, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokeJeepJoe View Post
545 vent location



Thanks for the vent location info, I need to extend mine. What can be done about the electrical items? My plan is to disconnect and add dielectric grease then reconnect. Then spray with silicone water repellent. What else can be done?
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-19-2020, 04:45 PM
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You are correct on the quicker shift, less heat, less friction, less wear. The Sonnax and Trango kit were worth it for me. The electrical connections are all weather pack style and seal pretty good unless you are swamped for a long period of time. The dielectric grease is always a plus.
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help guys! Here is what I plan to do on my 02 wj 4.7 4wd 545rfe:



  1. Rebuild with all upgrades from both The Sonnax (https://www.sonnax.com/units/154-545rfe) and Transgo kits (http://www.transgo.com/products.php?...&product_id=96),
  2. Route transmission breather up to engine bay and install a hydrophibic filter (https://filterwears.com/collections/...10329559236655) on it,
  3. Dielectric grease and silicone spray electrical connections,
  4. Install magnefine filter (https://www.magnefinefilters.com/NEW...8M-3810000.htm) on the line coming from the transmission cooler,
However, the Sonnex and Transgo kits appear to be the same, what is the difference?


Anything else I'm missing?
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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BTW, I will be towing with this rig and using for offroad probably 50/50.
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-21-2020, 05:16 AM
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I didn't use a sonnax shift kit, just the line pressure booster here:

https://www.sonnax.com/parts/4360-li...re-booster-kit

And the transgo shift kit here:

http://www.transgo.com/products.php?...&product_id=96

if you use the sonnax line pressure booster you wont need to solder in the diode from the transgo kit. I would also would not do the inline filter and go for a better than stock cooler instead if you are towing with it. The trans has 2 filters already, both in the pan. one is a flat filter for the pump and one is a spin on for the return. Be sure to use ATF+4 not universal fluid. I would go with the Mopar fluid if you can get it.
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-22-2020, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokeJeepJoe View Post
I didn't use a sonnax shift kit, just the line pressure booster here:

https://www.sonnax.com/parts/4360-li...re-booster-kit

And the transgo shift kit here:

http://www.transgo.com/products.php?...&product_id=96

if you use the sonnax line pressure booster you wont need to solder in the diode from the transgo kit. I would also would not do the inline filter and go for a better than stock cooler instead if you are towing with it. The trans has 2 filters already, both in the pan. one is a flat filter for the pump and one is a spin on for the return. Be sure to use ATF+4 not universal fluid. I would go with the Mopar fluid if you can get it.

Good stuff! Now to find a reputable transmission rebuilder that I can trust to do all this the right way
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-22-2020, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardcowboy View Post
Good stuff! Now to find a reputable transmission rebuilder that I can trust to do all this the right way
If you are handy with a wrench, these are all easy things to do.
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