Transmission scare VLP 42RLE

Duster

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So my liberty is an 07 with the VLP 42rle.

One week ago on tuesday at dusk I was out. I backed onto the blacktop, shifted in drive and it pulled away. Going down the hill I think before it shifted from 1st to 2nd it revved up. I freaked out, let off, got back in the gas and it repeated. I freaked out like a Nancy, couldn't tell you what I did or didn't do besides get it off the road to see if fluid was pouring out the lines or something.

It was just like as if you bumped the shifter forward into neutral. No issues since. I really kinda thought maybe I didn't shift it all the way in drive or it's getting worn.

Then today Tuesday about the same time I did the same and it did it again. I was pretty ashamed so this time I tried not to be a Nancy. It was going uphill this time though and was kind of a sketchy spot. I pulled it down to 2 and went on until I got to where it wanted to shift and pushed it back in drive. Drove 43 miles home. Nothing out of the ordinary.

On one hand this scares the **** out of me, like maybe it's slipping, or maybe going nutty when it is about to shift to 2nd gear.

But on the other hand, the fluid looks and smells like it always looks, level seems to be OK, etc. No lights on if the trans turns on a light when it has codes? And I have seen this Jeep act really insane when a sensor is going out because it has the ESP traction control and all that on it.

I think it was Autozone where I scanned it with their tool and it printed out rear wheel speed sensor erratic performance. He said it was a stored code so to drive it a bit, and check the wiring loom and come back. Which I have not done yet.

Could this be a fluke from this or something else (seen something else do it for TPS going south)? Or maybe something with the shifter? Or is there an electronic thing on the outside of the trans that shifts it to drive, reverse, etc that could be getting old and slow that needs changing?

Or is this something serious wrong? Transmission controller, PCM, internal transmission issue?

I have searched and searched and can't find ****, despite finding these were used in all kinds of jeeps, and other people describing something similar. But no follow up as to what the issue was.
 

Duster

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I had the codes read.

C102B right rear wheel speed sensor circuit
C2100 battery voltage low
C1032 right rear wheel speed sensor signal erratic performance

I checked the battery. 12.73v off 12.43v key on door open 14.24v running (I think)

I traced the wires to the wheel speed sensor. They look OK.
I pulled the wheel speed sensor and found a spider nest. I think I fished most of it out with needle nose.

When I cranked it the Traction control, ABS, BAS lit up. It cleared in a few feet driving. I crossed a RR tracks, a bridge, then 2 more RR tracks and it came back on. Cleared in 100 ft. Rough road it came on again and stayed on until code read. Then it cleared out and I drove home. Luckily they had a rear wheel speed sensor in stock so that came home with me too. I will change it out tomorrow.
 

Duster

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Well I changed that right rear wheel speed sensor. It was easy to get out, but the whole job was an annoying pain because I couldn't get the connector to let go from the sensor. So I had to jack it up, pull the wheel, rack my memory, etc to get it apart. The red lock tab moved ok but I pressed the black release tab it wasnt raising far enough. It was catching on the tip of the red lock tab so I had to pry it over from the sensor end of the connector. That took me a while to figure out.

Since I had to remove the wheel and all to deal with the connector cause I couldn't figure it out on my back, I went ahead and removed the brakes and rotor so I could have a look inside at the tone wheel and all. It all looked good. I put everything together and test drove it across RR tracks etc and it seems to have done the trick.

I guess only time will tell as to rather or not this sensor was indeed bad and if the sensor being bad was causing the brains of the traction control, ESP, BAS, ABS to spazz out trying to torque limit the trans? I know it can because I have had it all engage on an icy uphill and when it is working right, you gotta give it a lot more gas to keep it moving. I just don't know if it can spazz out to cause the trans to full slip like neutral.

Time will tell I guess. And I will try to see if I can get some pics up from my phone in case anyone wonders about the tone wheel, how it looks, location, how to clean etc etc.
 

Duster

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Aside from all this above, I need a little help understanding on the transmission.

There is a cable linkage I have to check from the shifter to the shift paw on the trans for shifting PRND21
That connects to a shaft coming up out of the trans.

Is this a physical mechanical shift for PRND21 ?

I ask because I can hear an Errrt sound when I shift into gear with the shifter. I don't know if what I am hearing is mechanical and fluid or solenoid?

I see a shift solenoid in the diagrams and a range sensor. I assume the shift solenoid handles the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th upshifting and downshifting? And the range sensor just senses if it is in Drive, etc.

I'm just dumb here and confused.

I would also like to think if anything were wrong with these I'd have a trans or engine light and a code?
 

LibertyTC

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How many miles on auto 42RLE? Have you installed new filter and ATF+4 fluid lately? I replace mine every 40k Miles.
You are hearing errrt.. it's the electronically controlled shift solenoid.
Have you checked the ATF+4 fluid to be at the full line on dipstick when hot?
There is also a Btsi park interlock cable in this system that is adjustable.
2006 FSM here: http://www.colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/KJ/2006-KJ-SM.pdf
 
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Duster

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Thanks! I was starting to feel like I was here by myself in the forum lol.

232k miles is where I'm at.

Mine is an 07 with the sealed trans factory fill ATF+4. No drain bolt, no fill tube, no dipstick. I saw the dealer service only tube. So I asked about it and the dealer didn't want to mess with it. Initially said it's lifetime fill. Then said well maybe at 100k. Then I found it on the schedule B in the owners manual and got them to do the schedule B service at 60k. So I take it in and they do the 60k schedule B service every 60k to get the fluid and filter changed because it's gotta be a disaster with no drain on the pan, and you need tools to refill properly. Dipstick and temp reading. They do the whole 60k service supposedly.

So with that said, supposedly it's been changed on 60k intervals. I say supposedly because I've caught them not doing the 60k service properly in the past. Spark plugs clearly not changed for example. A friend of mine had an 06 with a dipstick so we pulled the dealer plug and I used his dipstick to have a look at the fluid. It always looks the same. When asked about it they say that servicing changes less than half the fluid and that the red dye in the mopar fluid dissipates. It always looks kinda light transparent pink. During all of this I figured out I can use my engine oil dipstick to check the color of the fluid and measure the level. Still looks the same. Faint transparent pink. It's not dirty or stinky so it's either looking clean or it has an incredible filter? Level is 46mm after driving. I don't know what temperature it's at but it's not hot like engine oil and I assume this is the correct level by the charts.

I have thought about getting a kiddie pool and just changing the fluid and filter myself just to see for myself. It's not that far off from 240k.

When I get a chance I will look over the cable adjustment too. That seems possible. It would have to happen and me not freak out or be in a bad spot to really know 100% the shifter was where it was supposed to be. And it's possible as much as I shift that something is worn or stretched.

So the solenoid I am hearing, you hear yours also? Does the one internal solenoid I see in the diagram control both the PRND21 shifts and also the 1-2-3-4 shifting? If so it's possible I could have worn it out or it's slowing down and I'm not waiting on it. It should light the dash and code though?
 

LibertyTC

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Sorry but I can get a bit back logged here, & I eventually do my best to get involved.
Ya 07 cross over year to kk & it is not fun to service transmission.
Lifetime fill not so much. Fact, friction modifiers do break down over time & it is best to get it serviced every 60k miles.
You obviously have read the 07 service procedure & ur on the right track.
Just a thought..I purchased a 42RLE PML aluminum pan which stays much cooler & has drain plug. Only use ATF+4.
If you got the PML, then pull stock pan and install filter /re-fill. You can then drain later & extend the regular service intervals.
That being said, pulling the pan allows for inspection/ looking for particulate matter inside.
I use a no goop 42RLE LubeLocker Gasket which can be re used twice, and with ability to drain in-between, you can extend the filter changes.

The spark plugs can be easily done at home and for a KJ the correct plugs are NGK ZFR6F-11G with gap at. 040 inch.
I do my plugs every 35K miles.

Yes I can hear hear the solenoid engage, when going from neutral to drive for instance, and there can be a tiny bit of delay going into drive.
4th is actually the overdrive button on the shifter on/off. Off remains as 3rd gear.
The transmission is fully electronically controlled and a good shop scanner can look for any stored or pending trouble codes.
There also is a clutch volume index that can be read for potentially slipping clutch issues.
Transmission codes no they need to be read, no light on. Transmission light generally indicates transmission fluid overheated and needs to be changed ASAP.
 

Duster

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Yeah I do everything else to it myself including plug changes, maintenance, repairs, etc. I just have them do the 60k schedule B service to get the transmission fluid and filter changed basically. It's something I would have done myself, but assumed it would be a dang epic mess and at the time I was like I don't have the tool to measure the temperature and the fluid.

But now that I have read a **** load, I think I could have been doing this all along myself if I just found a way to mitigate the mess. I think I could have found a 2006 dipstick or just used my oil dipstick and a ruler. Drain, change filter, measure what I drained out. Put close to that in, drive around a little, check level assuming it's up to temp. If having to measure try to get it slowly to 46mm or so. I've read Wrangler guys run 0.5 to 1 qt overfull for hilling. So maybe the filling isn't as critical as they let on. My fear was like overfilling and it foaming.

I "THINK" they scanned it with a Foxwell scanner to get the codes, which a simple scanner won't get the ABS stuff they got. So I "THINK" if there were transmission codes it would have spit those out too. I'd better find out for sure I guess.

I will also check with the independed Mopar repair shop here and see about a code read and clutch volume index check. I am sure that requires the tablet type scanner.
 

LibertyTC

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The original piece of dealer scan equipment used was called a Star Scan.
Most shops now use Snap On Ultra Modis, probably dealer uses that now too. ;)
 

Duster

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In hindsight I wish I'd known what I've read and figured out recently years ago. I would have tried to find a replacement pan with a drain plug, done the messy job once, then used the drain to get most of the fluid out before pulling the pan on future changes. Would have saved money, and I'd know for certain about it like I know about my engine oil.
 

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This is what the fluid looks like.

Looked the same a bit after the 120k service also when I checked with an 06 dipstick.
 

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LibertyTC

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It should be reddish in color when you first wipe it on towel. ATF + 4..
Also see post 9 for scan equipment...
 

Duster

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Yeah it's more red when you first wipe. Then fades to light pink.

Surely they are using Mopar ATF+4 at the dealer?

I was also thinking if they did nothing it would look like burnt motor oil by 232k?

It it was getting hot or the frictions were sad and slipping it wouldn't be so light pastel pink?

Anyways here's a couple pics sooner after the wipe. Sorry I did that in the dark. The yellowish to the side is where I wipes the engine oil off my dipstick beforehand.
 

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LibertyTC

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Based upon the reddish color initially, I'm sure the dealer would use ATF+4.
I wouldn't worry too much, if it had never been changed it would be pretty dirty, and would smell a bit burnt.
 

Duster

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I asked and the scanner should have pulled the transmission codes if they were stored. I still think it would be a good idea to get scanned elsewhere, do a live data scan, get the CVI, etc with a SnapOn or similar.

It seems happier since changing the wheel speed sensor. But I think I still heard the brake or brake controller barely clink one time today after starting up and driving off. Like when it reached 15 mph or so, could have been 25 IDK. Just not very fast. I am less inclined to believe the two issues were related. I've had no more EPS BAS ABS traction control lights since replacing the one sensor.

I had one quick slip of the transmission today. So time to move on to the shifter adjustment and maybe more.

So every time it does this its the same scenario. I back out into the road, put it in drive, it takes off like normal and then SURPRISE! I don't know if it happens just before the 1-2 shift or at the 1-2 shift, But today I had room to just let off and get back on the gas and roll on without getting creamed. It went right on like nothing when I got back on the gas.

It has not ever done it just driving along. It isn't doing it under stress like hard accelerating, climbing a hill, etc. It's directly after I back out into the road, shift to drive and get going. I'm not like flooring it or anything like that. I'm being hasty in getting out, shifted and moving.

Sitting in the driveway shifting it into drive, maybe it has just started getting slower to shift to drive and I am taking off before the errrt sound is finished. I would think though that it would buck immediately when I tried to take off too soon instead of after it is moving and starting to calculate when to shift?

Shift solenoid pack showing age?

I'm was tempted to add a little fluid anyways since I see some weeping on the lines. But I didn't.
I'm also kind of tempted to just go ahead and pull the pan, change the filter and refill.

I'm just kind of like ehh maybe, or maybe I do that and just have to do it again to drop the valve body to get at the solenoid pack, etc.
 

LibertyTC

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Hesitating or slipping in shifts, I may also believe it could need more ATF+4 fluid added.
My 2004 R2RLE has a dipstick, which makes it easier to check, & I've noticed before hesitations in shifts before I added a bit more.
It's almost like lower levels may cause line pressure issues?
Could it also be related to valve body & possibly varnish from heat?
One product that may help greatly is called SeaFoam Trans Tune.
Double checking for any stored codes should be the next step.
 

LibertyTC

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I'd also like to see if there is any particulate matter inside the pan. Photo please..
 

Duster

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I was going to ask you to measure your fluid level. But I'm guessing the actual trans dipstick doesn't touch the pan like I have to measure mine, and I'm just using the engine oil dipstick and measuring with a kids ruler on the CM side which converts to the MM easy. I could go off inches too. Since I can't confirm my actual temp I was thinking someone could measure after driving and I could get a better idea if I'm really where I need to be.

If someone has more than the 46mm I do after driving plenty, I'd go ahead and try adding some. The chart says max fill is 52mm @ 180. I'm thinking that temperature is sensed somewhere else besides the pan where it is hotter because the fluid on the stick is safe to touch after driving all day. Best I remember my engine oil is hotter wiping off the stick. What I mean is it must go by the sensor hot, go through the cooler and return to the pan.

I know you have a dipstick and an aftermarket pan. I should maybe make a new thread and see if someone will do this for me. It's either that or I just add a few ounces and hope I don't end up trying to figure out how to **** it back out lol.
 

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When it does it, it catches me by surprise. So I really don't know if it's slipping at the shift point and missing the shift or if it is right before. Can't be sure. The shifts have always been pretty smooth, so I am not in tune anticipating to feel the shift like I have been in previous vehicles. The only time the shift makes my radar is sometimes one of the upper shifts will seem to hold longer or shift earlier and I will notice that because its the 2-3 shift or the 3-4 shift and I am noticing the RPM build or drop not anticipating the feeling of the shift itself and it not coming. And that is just how it has always been. Well I don't think I've noticed the early shift out as much since I replaced the PCM for other reasons a good while back.

If I have time and can round up something to prevent making a disastrous mess, I may drop the pan and change the filter this weekend.

If not I will get it to the Mopar place or a Trans place to double check for codes with a different device and pull live data to get the CVI and stuff early next week.

I had a guy tonight tell me it could be the o ring for the filter is boogered. He was saying something like he had an issue like this and the o ring at the filter was the problem. Dropped the pan, installed new filter and o ring, no more issues.

If I can round up something to catch the mess, get the filter, get the ATF+4 and the trans tune, I may put the trans tune in and drive it around some beforehand. There is a dealer open tomorrow, but I don't know if they will have the filter on hand. My first instinct is to go OEM on stuff. If they don't have it should I just pick up a parts store filter?

I will for sure take pics if I do it.
 

LibertyTC

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Dealer should have a filter on hand. I wouldn't even think of using an aftermarket product there.
 
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