Missing Transmission Dipstick! [Archive] - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum

: Missing Transmission Dipstick!


starbuck
12-22-2006, 12:37 AM
OK I need some input on this small problem! I leased a 2006 JC with about 5,500 miles on it. I love this thing!!! anyways I get home and open the hood just to see were everything is at IE..oil dipstick, power steering dipstick...... for the life of me I couldn't find the damn transmission dip stick anywhere. My brain kick in and said Hey Dumbice check the owner's manual!!! I check the manual and sure enough it showed the transmission dipstick near the firewall on the right side of the engine compartment. I recheck the location and I found what appeared to be a tube (for the trans dipstick) but it had a plug in it that said "service personal only".

I took the JC back to the dealer and I said how I'm I suppose to check the fuild in the transmission without a dipstick. Their reply was that your suppose to bring the JC into the service dept. so they can check it with a special dipstick!!!!!! I said WHAT!!! I've never heard of that, so your going to charge me to bring the JC in just to check the transmission fuild!! They said yes and that Chrysler is making them do that.

Question, does everyone have a dipstick except me!

rubicontrail.net
12-22-2006, 05:27 AM
Which engine (dictates the transmission)? Where are you located? I have a 2007 Commander (5.7L) with a transmission dipstick.

The thing is about 17 miles long and it is a bit of a trick to get it back in.

bravo2376
12-22-2006, 12:24 PM
4.7 with a dipstick. About 3 inches North West of the engine oil dipstick.

chaman
12-22-2006, 03:00 PM
Havent checked the Commander but my Magnum SRT8 also lacks a damn dipstick.

topcop38
12-22-2006, 06:35 PM
just checked ours. no dipstick. and we're not leasing it.
maybe the 3.7s are like this. the cap says same as other posters says.

wonder what happens if you take your JC to a quik lube for service? can they check this?

ktek01
12-22-2006, 07:56 PM
Not missing, you dont get one, instead you have a black plastic cap on the tube that dealer service only. We have a special tool for checking it, it looks a lot like a dipstick, lol. Actually it is supposed to be "lifetime" fluid not meant to be serviced and we check it with our dipstick and a scanner to reead the trans fluid temp. We then check a chart to see how high it should be at the current temp. I wouldnt let JiffyLube or any other quick lube touch my DCX trans, they really do need Mopar ATF+4 fluid to work properly. DCX not making this clear enough is what lead to so many of the problems they had in the 90s with transmissions. Trans fluid, and many others especially transfer case fluid, power steering and even coolant can be very specific from one OEM to another these days and really do make a difference so stick with factory fluids when called for.

YB Normyl
12-22-2006, 09:03 PM
We used to top up the tranny at the factory (LX's) but we don't even have to do that anymore. :)

chaman
12-22-2006, 10:11 PM
Not missing, you dont get one, instead you have a black plastic cap on the tube that dealer service only. We have a special tool for checking it, it looks a lot like a dipstick, lol. Actually it is supposed to be "lifetime" fluid not meant to be serviced and we check it with our dipstick and a scanner to reead the trans fluid temp. We then check a chart to see how high it should be at the current temp. I wouldnt let JiffyLube or any other quick lube touch my DCX trans, they really do need Mopar ATF+4 fluid to work properly. DCX not making this clear enough is what lead to so many of the problems they had in the 90s with transmissions. Trans fluid, and many others especially transfer case fluid, power steering and even coolant can be very specific from one OEM to another these days and really do make a difference so stick with factory fluids when called for.


Could you elaborate more on this lifetime fluid thing????

starbuck
12-22-2006, 10:18 PM
Stats:
2006 Jeep Commander
3.7L V6

Seems Ktek01 is right on the money, I went back to dealer this afternoon talked to the Service Manager and he took the time and went into explaining why their is not a transmission dipstick on the JC 3.7L V6. he said that the owners manual's were printed ahead of time before Chrysler made the decision not to install the dipsticks (hence it shows the dipstick in the manual) also he laughed a little and said that thier is no charge for them checking the transmission fuild level, he said when the check the level and the temp of the oil this gives some idea of how the transmission's are working, and that the transmission fuild is lifetime like Ktek01 said.

I don't know if this is just for the 3.7L's or not but if you have the 4.7 or the Hemi and they have the dipstick then I would say its just for the 3.7L's not having the dipsticks. (I would also HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you use the right Mopar trans oil as well! not after market trans oil.) The manager also said that this prevents the do it yerselfers from putting in the wrong type of transmission fuild as well as the jiffy lube outlets and other quick change outlets. So it seems that Chrysler is trying to cover its own ass from not having alot of bad transmission's. I don't mind the problem now since it was explained to me by the Chrysler Service Manager and the forums own Ktek01.

I just wish they would of explain this to me when they gave me a walk though when I picked up the JC, I should of caught this when they where showing were the oil dipstick etc was at at the time of delivery...duhhh......

Anyway I hope this helps out other 3.7L V6 owner's that fnd they don't have a tranmission dipstck as well and are scratching their heads..... Thanks again for all the input......

ktek01
12-22-2006, 10:55 PM
Could you elaborate more on this lifetime fluid thing????

They claim it is filled for life and never needs to be serviced, I dont quite agree but thats the claim. I think it is more DCX trying to keep people from putting in the wrong fluid, if you search the Allpar site you will find articles about how much this contributed to their trans woes in the 90s. A lot of it is what starbuck complained about, nobody giving him a good walkthrough on the maint requirements, fluid requirements etc. The big 3 are bad about this, sales people usually dont know anything about this stuff, but can tell you on the spot exactly how many cupholders it has and where they all are located. This is how Honda really made its rep, they trained the sales staff on maint requirements and to push the need for regular service right from the start. The owners started off on the right foot and took care of their cars, which of course made them relieable and started the reputation that they still enjoy today. American OEMs like to pretend that service isnt needed and love to make such claims, the owners are only too happy to believe them, and the cars dont get serviced until they break. The big 3 still havent learned that lesson after all these years. You can improve the cars all you want, but promoting a culture of non-maintenance will still lead to broken cars and a bad reputation.

You can buy the special tool dipstick online, I believe Wyckoff Chrysler sells them and you should be able to find the chart and at least do a cold check without the scan tool. I also noticed genuine Mopar ATF+4 on the shelf at WalMart for under $5 a quart the other day.

bravo2376
12-23-2006, 12:54 AM
So I wonder if they have had a lot of trany problems with the 3.7 in the past? Or why they just singled out the 3.7 for that.:confused:

John
12-23-2006, 06:38 AM
Not missing, you dont get one, instead you have a black plastic cap on the tube that dealer service only. We have a special tool for checking it, it looks a lot like a dipstick, lol. Actually it is supposed to be "lifetime" fluid not meant to be serviced and we check it with our dipstick and a scanner to reead the trans fluid temp. We then check a chart to see how high it should be at the current temp. I wouldnt let JiffyLube or any other quick lube touch my DCX trans, they really do need Mopar ATF+4 fluid to work properly. DCX not making this clear enough is what lead to so many of the problems they had in the 90s with transmissions. Trans fluid, and many others especially transfer case fluid, power steering and even coolant can be very specific from one OEM to another these days and really do make a difference so stick with factory fluids when called for.


Far as I am concerned that SUCKS. I NEVER believe in ANY fluid being permanent. My 2001 Manual tranny TJ also says LIFETIME fluid. I now have 78k miles on it and I have changed the tranny fluid 4 times. Plus I now us AMSOIL manual tranny fluid which is a SYNTHETIC and provides far better lubrication and is formulated SPECIFICICALLY for the NV3550 TRANNY and says so RIGHT ON THE BOTTLE. I have a very smooth shifting tranny compared to my friends who have followed the manual and every time I change the fluid ESPECIALLY the first time I find metal particals on the magnetic drain plug.
I would LIKE to use the AMSOIL automatic tranny fluid for my 5.7L Hemi Commander. It is formulated for ANY automatic tranny. I normally do all my OWN fluid changes cause I dont trust anyone I dont know messing with my jeeps and as a result I have never had an engine or tranny failure and I got one jeep with 300k miles on it. john

rubicontrail.net
12-23-2006, 11:18 AM
So I wonder if they have had a lot of trany problems with the 3.7 in the past? Or why they just singled out the 3.7 for that.:confused:

I believe that the 3.7L uses the tranny out of the last generation Mercedes S-Class. The 4.7L and 5.7L use a revised version of a common Dodge/Chrysler transmission.

david803sc
12-27-2006, 11:29 PM
Correct the 3.7 liters without a dipstick are the models which have the Mercedes built transmission, If you have ever owned a Mercedes you would know to not even look for a dipstick for the tranny fluid or any other fluids for that matter. Dip stick or no dip stick I would rather have a Mercedes transmission than the Japenese pieces of junk jeep use to use in all of its models.

David

bravo2376
12-28-2006, 01:46 PM
Correct the 3.7 liters without a dipstick are the models which have the Mercedes built transmission, If you have ever owned a Mercedes you would know to not even look for a dipstick for the tranny fluid or any other fluids for that matter. Dip stick or no dip stick I would rather have a Mercedes transmission than the Japenese pieces of junk jeep use to use in all of its models.

DavidI think if they had total control and choice, they would lock the hood on all vehicles over here too. Need washer fluid? take it in and spend 20 Euro for a fill up.
Not to go far off subject, I was filling up my washer fluid the other day for the first time, and it is the bigest dang reservoir I've ever seen. Kinda sucks when your vehicle's wahser fluid tank is almost as big as the gas tank:p

david803sc
12-30-2006, 11:26 PM
LOL I agree I am always amazed when I am filling up my washer fluid from empty that thing is a bottomless pit...........

David

Bob Machen
01-19-2009, 06:47 PM
I developed a leak in my trans. pan gasket. I tried to check the fluid but there is no dipstick. My wife works at a local Import car repair shop and they told her it has to be done by the dealer. What's up wit dat? can anybody help?

07JeepXK
01-19-2009, 06:54 PM
What is the year and engine size of your XK? I just changed the oil on my Commander on Saturday and I definately have a transmission dipstick. Its right next to the oil dipstick.

jeep5253
01-19-2009, 06:55 PM
If you have a 3.7 there is no dipstick. Dealer serviceable only.

jeep5253
01-19-2009, 06:57 PM
See this thread: http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1365&highlight=dipstick&page=2 (http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1365&highlight=dipstick&page=2)

RedCommander
01-20-2009, 09:11 AM
can anybody help?

Yes, your dealer.

Bob Machen
01-20-2009, 11:01 AM
What is the year and engine size of your XK? I just changed the oil on my Commander on Saturday and I definately have a transmission dipstick. Its right next to the oil dipstick.
Mine is a 06 with the 3.7. There is a tube for the dipstick to go into but like everybody else's 3.7 it has the plug. I think I heard one of you guys say that the dealer services it for free. If not I will definitly buy the tool someone was talking about and do it my self. I think for $30,000 dollars the factory has got all the money from me they'll ever see.

Yeggster
01-20-2009, 01:10 PM
There used to be federal regulationsa that required ALL transmitios fluids ot be compaticble (so as putting in the wrong kind would not cause any damage) ...

... performance might be effects (shift points not ideal etc) but it's not supposed to cause any damage ...

.. I have to admit I'm alittle old school on drivetrain stuff ... so maybe that is all out the window now?

Back on the 60's most manufactuers did NOT recomend changing the fluid ... the old 2 speed power glides GM used were a good example ....

... if were 10 years old draining the fluid and putting in new would virtualy gurantee a brakedown from clutch slipping and overheating within a few hundered miles

ktek01
01-21-2009, 07:58 AM
There used to be federal regulationsa that required ALL transmitios fluids ot be compaticble (so as putting in the wrong kind would not cause any damage) ...

Back on the 60's most manufactuers did NOT recomend changing the fluid ... the old 2 speed power glides GM used were a good example ....

... if were 10 years old draining the fluid and putting in new would virtualy gurantee a brakedown from clutch slipping and overheating within a few hundered miles

I would love to see a copy of that reg, since Ford would have probably been the first to violate it. Years ago Dexron/Mercon was in most cars, except Fords which used Type F. Honda and Mitsu have always had their own specific fluids. Back in the 60s they didnt rec much maint at all, even had oil filters down as every other oil change, but what did they care you only had a real short basic warranty. Today some do and some dont, but even still a major power train failure from anything other than never changing your oil before the warranty runs out is highly unlikely. Chryler doesnt rec fluid flushes, yet they sell flush equip to the dealers, and sell flush chemicals to the parts dept. My personal favorite, throttle body cleaning not required unless you have a performance issue IE sticky throttle. They do still sell throttle body cleaner, and waiting until its broke kind of misses the whole point of preventive maintenance.

Yeggster
01-21-2009, 10:49 AM
I would love to see a copy of that reg, since Ford would have probably been the first to violate it. Years ago Dexron/Mercon was in most cars, except Fords which used Type F.

Old Schooo fluids like Dextrons and Ford type F could be mixed no problems ... I've used Type F in GM trannys (pre 1980) constantly with no problems ... after a couple quarts you can feel shifts firm up as the Ford stuff had a higher friction rating.

I'm sure it's not so now of course ... but on reflection and a bit of google seaching I could not find any referece to the regulations besides quotes from the same transmition rebuilding book I have here at home. (see highlighted text)

http://books.google.ca/books?id=buwQ8a2RCUcC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=%22transmission+fluids+must+be+compatible%22&source=bl&ots=K3s0yQ8lQO&sig=LWqpJ-gWMIfdBPd0qlCfaJGE4ro&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result

I'm assuming that quote was acurate at the time of printing (1980's) ... but also assume it's not a fact now.

There is some move towards a "ONE WORLD TRANNY FLUID" though, Som Toyotas use it ... it's called "WS" for world standard .... maybe it will catch on? ... it's enviromently freindly as it does not have to be changed very often.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/attachments/a/128270d1217952589-help-how-do-we-check-the-transmission-fluid-level-transmission.pdf

bob123
06-08-2009, 12:06 AM
I know this a semi old thread, but I going to having my (engine) oil changed at the dealership soon. Since I am there, I might have them change the transmission fluid. I have 45,000 miles and I can't find it anywhere in the manual about changing the transmission fluid. Should I have my fluid change to prevent any trans damage in the far future?

Yeggster
06-08-2009, 12:30 AM
I know this a semi old thread, but I going to having my (engine) oil changed at the dealership soon. Since I am there, I might have them change the transmission fluid. I have 45,000 miles and I can't find it anywhere in the manual about changing the transmission fluid. Should I have my fluid change to prevent any trans damage in the far future?

412 SCHEDULE “B” (on line 16)

Drain and refill the automatic transmission fluid, and re-
place main sump filter and cooler return filter (if equipped) (3.7L 4.7L 5.7L) ......... 60,000 Miles or 100,000 Kms

bob123
06-08-2009, 12:48 AM
My manual says the same thing, but for some reason it does not have the 3.7L in parenthesis only the 4.7L and 5.7L.

Yeggster
06-08-2009, 12:51 AM
My manual says the same thing, but for some reason it does not have the 3.7L in parenthesis only the 4.7L and 5.7L.

That's weird ... maybe it's a typo in the printed version? ... I took this from the PDF one

bob123
06-08-2009, 12:58 AM
The PDF version on the Jeep site says 4.7 and 5.7. Page 399

Yeggster
06-08-2009, 01:03 AM
The PDF version on the Jeep site says 4.7 and 5.7 only. Page 399

Again wierd :(

I just checked and indeed the 2006 PDF Owners Manual I have excludes the 3.7 ... but the 2007 one includes it ...

... I don't know why I have the 2007 copy on my harddrive too, as my XK is 2006

bob123
06-08-2009, 01:08 AM
I will ask my dealership about this once I get my engine oil changed. How many miles do you have and when are you going to change yours? Don't you have a 3.7L too?

drysuitdiver
06-08-2009, 02:34 AM
Changing the fluids ahead of service schedule never hurt anything , well maybe your bank balance :) .
I run a modified oil service interval - evry 6,000 miles in the 3.0 CRD. regular oil changes mke an engine last longer, currently have 500K on a VW diesel engine and its still going strong

bob123
06-11-2009, 01:16 PM
Well I just came back from the dealer and they were saying to change the transmission fluid every 48,000 miles. That seems odd since it says 60,000 in the manual for the 4.7 and 5.7 engines. Anyway, I called before hand and they wanted $189.95 plus tax for the transmission fluid change. When I got there they said $229.00 plus tax. I told the tech guy I called before hand. He finally gave me the $189 price.

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN WHEN YOU GO TO THE DEALERSHIP AND ALWAYS ASK FOR AN ESTIMATE BEFORE THEY SERVICE THE COMMANDER.

adamag25
06-11-2009, 01:49 PM
Good job looking out, bob! The dealer I bought my XK from has a big electronic board in the service area that has the prices of all the different maintenance jobs and the costs along with the costs from the local shops to do the same work. It is nice but the prices change often, however the dealership price is not always the lowest price so that is somewhat reassuring.

bob123
06-11-2009, 02:38 PM
Wow, that sounds like your in an airport terminal.

Of course they were also trying to sell me the Throttle body cleaning and the rear diff fluid change which is all BS. I only have 48,000 miles and they want to clean the TB? I will let them do that 5 years from now. They were saying I should change the diff fluid every 15,000 miles; are they crazy?

adamag25
06-11-2009, 04:53 PM
Wow, that sounds like your in an airport terminal.

Of course they were also trying to sell me the Throttle body cleaning and the rear diff fluid change which is all BS. I only have 48,000 miles and they want to clean the TB? I will let them do that 5 years from now. They were saying I should change the diff fluid every 15,000 miles; are they crazy?

Very crazy! The shortest service interval for the differential fluid is 30K

07JeepXK
06-11-2009, 06:51 PM
Very crazy! The shortest service interval for the differential fluid is 30K

According to my owners manual the differential fluid is supposed to be changed every 15,000 miles. I too thought that was ridiculous and asked the dealer if that was correct and they said it was.

adamag25
06-11-2009, 07:00 PM
According to my owners manual the differential fluid is supposed to be changed every 15,000 miles. I too thought that was ridiculous and asked the dealer if that was correct and they said it was.

You are correct, I checked it when I got into the XK and it is 15K. I forgot that I did not do my diff service at 15K so I did the first change at the 30K...OOOPS! Even being 15k past due for a change the fluid was still very clean.

07JeepXK
06-11-2009, 08:02 PM
I could never understand why you would have to change a full synthetic gear oil every 15,000 miles. Mine too looked brand new when I changed it out.

Yeggster
06-11-2009, 08:18 PM
I could never understand why you would have to change a full synthetic gear oil every 15,000 miles. Mine too looked brand new when I changed it out.

If it's QDII the gear oil is much more than a simple lubricant ..

Inside the diferential is a hydrulic pump that is powered by the movement of the axles, a hydrulic acumulator so it has preasure even when the axels are stopped, clutches, a number of check valves, a filter, presure regulating valves, a hydrualic manifold, preasure piston and an electronic actuator.

All these components need clean oil to work properly ... with proper oil changes the whole system will last the life of the vehicle with no other maintance.

bob123
06-11-2009, 08:27 PM
How hard is it to change the rear diff fluid? Can anyone with a service manual post the step by step instructions?

drysuitdiver
06-12-2009, 02:36 AM
Removal

1. With vehicle in neutral, position on hoist.
2. Remove differential cover (1) fill plug (2).
3. Remove differential cover (1) and drain fluid.

Installation

1. Apply a 6.35mm (1/4 in.) bead of Mopar® Gear Sealant RTV Silicone Rubber Adhesive MS-GF44D or equivalent to the cover.
CAUTION: If housing cover is not installed within 3 to 5 minutes, the cover must be cleaned and new RTV applied. Failure to follow these instructions will result in a leak.


2. Install cover and tighten cover (1) bolts in a criss-cross pattern to 41 N·m (30 ft. lbs.).
3. Fill differential and install fill plug (2).



same for ELSDs and normal axles


straight from the manual

07JeepXK
06-12-2009, 08:35 AM
If it's QTII the gear oil is much more than a simple lubricant ..

Inside the diferential is a hydrulic pump that is powered by the movement of the axles, a hydrulic acumulator so it has preasure even when the axels are stopped, clutches, a number of check valves, a filter, presure regulating valves, a hydrualic manifold, preasure piston and an electronic actuator.

All these components need clean oil to work properly ... with proper oil changes the whole system will last the life of the vehicle with no other maintance.

I didnt realize all that stuff was in the rear differential. When I had the diff cover off it looked like a normal differential to me.

Yeggster
06-12-2009, 09:21 AM
I didnt realize all that stuff was in the rear differential. When I had the diff cover off it looked like a normal differential to me.

I'm not familiar with the other diffs ... but the QTII has that stuff ... it's small and most of it is contained on one side, but it's all in there.

adamag25
06-12-2009, 09:26 AM
I'm not familiar with the other diffs ... but the QTII has that stuff ... it's small and most of it is contained on one side, but it's all in there.

I think those components is for the QDII system not the QTII system. The QT is simple just a ring, pinon, and spiders.

Yeggster
06-12-2009, 09:29 AM
I think those components is for the QDII system not the QTII system. The QT is simple just a ring, pinon, and spiders.

My appologies, and thank you ... I edited my post to reflect the proper abreviation :(

Yes I meant Q DRIVE II not QTII

Sometimes I think I'm getting old :)

adamag25
06-12-2009, 09:35 AM
My appologies, and thank you ... I edited my post to reflect the proper abreviation :(

Yes I meant Q DRIVE II not QTII

Sometimes I think I'm getting old :)

No worries, The QT system, like all diffs, have lube ports that do require clean fluid to operate properly but it would take some seriously funky oil to clog them up. The QD systems are as you noted and have a lot more involved in the lubrication system to keep the ELSD working that is why they also require the special friction modifier to be added to the gear oil. Most limited slip diffs require the same friction modifier.

adamag25
06-12-2009, 10:21 AM
How hard is it to change the rear diff fluid? Can anyone with a service manual post the step by step instructions?

Bob, drysuit got the rear mostly covered but there are a couple things to point out in addition. It is not always necessary to raise the vehicle on a hoist but be sure you have the room to work under the vehicle. You may only need a set of ramps. If you are working on ramps it may be better to leave the vehicle in PARK with the parking brake on.

REAR DIFF
1. Clean any excess dirt away from the diff cover and mounting area. This will ensure that no dirt falls into the diff when the cover is removed.

2. After the area is clean, position a drain pan under the rear diff then remove the bolts (10-12) around the cover and set them aside. You can remove them in any order you see fit.

3. Once the bolts are removed the cover may still be stuck to the diff. DO NOT PRY OFF! using a rubber mallet lightly tap the edges of the cover to loosen it. With minimal effort the cover should come loose and then a big rush of fluid will come out from the bottom of the diff. You will want to have a couple rags ready to clean any dirt or oil left inside of the diff that did not run out.

4 With the cover removed and the oil drained. Carefully clean the mounting surfaces of the diff cover (both on the cover and the diff). Be sure not to scratch or scrape the surfaces but make sure no gasket material or dirt is left. Then remove the drain plug and clean the area around the opening inside and out to avoid dirt contamination.

5. Next be sure you are ready to reinstall the cover with the bolts and tools near by. The Mopar recommended sealant is a good idea however a standard high temp RTV will work just as well. I will usually apply 2 small beads of sealant around the mounting surface, one towards the inside of the bolt holes and one outside of the bolt holes just to be sure the seal is good. Shortly after the sealant application you must reinstall the cover. Be sure to place the cover squarely on the diff and do not slide it around because you will displace all the sealant. It is a good idea to use the top bolt as a guide to install the cover. Then install all the bolts and tighten them in a cross pattern, just like stated in the previous post.

6. Once the cover is secured allow some time for the gasket material to set. The tube will have instructions on the time to allow. Once the seal is set you will then be able to pour or pump the gear oil back into the diff through the fill plug. A pump or a funnel will help with this. Add fluid until it runs from the fill plug hole. Once the fluid is filled to the bottom of the fill hole you can clean the area around the edge of the drain plug and reinstall the plug.

I know the instructions seem complicated but once you start the process you will see that it is quite simple.

adamag25
06-12-2009, 10:26 AM
The front is even easier. Follow the same prep steps from the rear.

1. Locate the two plugs on the front diff one is a drain plug on the bottom and one is the fill plug. Clean the areas around both plugs. Both are socket plugs which you will need a 14mm Allen wrench (hex tool) to remove them.

2. With a drain pan under the front diff remove the fill plug first and then remove the drain plug and the fluid will run out.

3. After the fluid is drained you can reinstall the drain plug. Then fill the diff with the recommended fluid until it runs from the fill hole. Then reinstall the fill plug.

bob123
06-12-2009, 10:54 AM
I don't have any ramps, but I do have a floor jack and jack stands. Is it ok for me to lift from middle of the diff and then use stands on opposite sides for support?

Thanks for the detailed instructions. Also, thanks drysuitdiver for the torque settings for the bolts. I love to use my torque wrench whenever I am removing important bolts.

adamag25
06-12-2009, 11:18 AM
I don't have any ramps, but I do have a floor jack and jack stands. Is it ok for me to lift from middle of the diff and then use stands on opposite sides for support?

Thanks for the detailed instructions. Also, thanks drysuitdiver for the torque settings for the bolts. I love to use my torque wrench whenever I am removing important bolts.

I do not like to use jack stands unless I absolutely have to. For the rear you may be able to access it without lifting at all. The front is more cramped but you still may be able to reach the plugs without lifting. You can jack from the rear differential but I do not recommend it.

Yeggster
06-12-2009, 11:21 AM
I do not like to use jack stands unless I absolutely have to. For the rear you may be able to access it without lifting at all. The front is more cramped but you still may be able to reach the plugs without lifting. You can jack from the rear differential but I do not recommend it.

I agree ... I just drive up on some wood blocking ... I find it much safe than jack stands .. especialy on my gravle drive.

Yeggster
06-12-2009, 11:25 AM
How hard is it to change the rear diff fluid? Can anyone with a service manual post the step by step instructions?


Add, the front diff needs a 14 mm allen key to remove the plugs

Yeggster
06-12-2009, 11:26 AM
I considering welding a drain plug to the back diff cover while it's off durring the first oil change (as long as there's a spot to get it right near the bottom so it drains properly) .. it should save some time in the futre.

What do you guys think?

adamag25
06-12-2009, 11:31 AM
I considering welding a drain plug to the back diff cover while it's off durring the first oil change (as long as there's a spot to get it right near the bottom so it drains properly) .. it should save some time in the futre.

What do you guys think?

Thanks for the tip on the size of the hex tool. As for the drain plug I think it would be very helpful but I am not sure that the OEM diff cover could handle it. It is not very flat at the bottom making it harder to get a good seal or weld. Also the OEM cover is fairly weak and adding a plug in the bottom area may weaken it even more. If you feel you can make it work I would be interested in seeing the result but I would not do it with the stock cover.

Yeggster
06-12-2009, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the tip on the size of the hex tool. As for the drain plug I think it would be very helpful but I am not sure that the OEM diff cover could handle it. It is not very flat at the bottom making it harder to get a good seal or weld. Also the OEM cover is fairly weak and adding a plug in the bottom area may weaken it even more. If you feel you can make it work I would be interested in seeing the result but I would not do it with the stock cover.

Thanks for the advice ... I'll re-coinsider when I have it off and feel the thckness/weight of the cover and see if there 's a good location.

drysuitdiver
06-15-2009, 02:27 AM
I don't have any ramps, but I do have a floor jack and jack stands. Is it ok for me to lift from middle of the diff and then use stands on opposite sides for support?

Thanks for the detailed instructions. Also, thanks drysuitdiver for the torque settings for the bolts. I love to use my torque wrench whenever I am removing important bolts.

generally I use a breaker bar for removing. using a torque wrench to undo things can be really bad for your torque wrench

I run the bolts in finger tight and then use a torque wrench for final tighten

bob123
06-15-2009, 01:29 PM
I meant tighten.

love my commander
06-29-2009, 08:58 AM
Hi
Don't know if it helps but my 07 diesel does not have a dipstick just the cap dealer only
p.s. I am in the UK LOL

Michael Panzegraf
07-10-2009, 05:57 PM
Ford is doing the no trans stick also. You can only get the system serviced at the dealer. There is a check valve in the lines to prevent unautorized service.

JMEJAM
07-31-2010, 02:18 AM
I have an '06 Commander w/the 3.7L engine & 77150 miles; I recently had the rear gear and pinion changed along with the ring bearing.

Now I have the check engine light on indicating PO734 (improper gear ratio in 4th gear). The transmission now starts off in 3rd or 4th gear, and also the autoshift malfunctions.

Can someone tell me whether or not removal of the driveshaft is necessary to service the rear end? Also, would removal of the driveshaft cause the transmission fluid to be low?

The shop that repaired the rear end stated the work they performed would not cause the transmission problems I'm now having. Ironically, I was not having transmission problems before they (4WheelParts) serviced my vehicle. I appreciate any input you can provide.

Peace,
JMEJAM

robby
07-31-2010, 08:30 AM
Yes, the driveshaft had to be removed.
If your Commander is a 4X4, no trans fluid would be lost.
I am not certain on the arrangement under a 4X2 so.....if there is a flange attached to the transmission output shaft and the driveshaft is BOLTED to that flange, no trans fluid would be lost.
If however, the driveshaft is not bolted to a flange at the front, a slip joint, then, is being used.
In that case, some trans fluid can be lost while the driveshaft is out of the vehicle.

OK, now that the lesson is over, the only thing that a repair shop could do to cause this is install the incorrect (gear tooth count) ring and pinion.

Starting off in 3rd gear is what this trans does when in 'get home' mode.....continued operation will destroy the trans.

If there was a low fluid condition you would have flairing on upshifts, front pump cavitation noise, possible delayed engagement.

AND.....what did you do to fail the differential?

Rob

JMEJAM
07-31-2010, 05:39 PM
Robby thanks for the reply. My Commander is a 4x2. The differential didn't completely fail. I began to hear a grinding sound that would increase under acceleration and decrease under deceleration. Initially it was mis-diagnosed as seized rear callipers, hub bearings and something else I can't recall at this time. I finally found a mechanic (I'm in Honolulu) who thoroughly diagnosed it and ruled out the afformentioned issues...metal filings were found in the interior axle shafts...I then took it to 4WheelParts and they diagnosed the gear and pinion.

Once the work was completed That problem disappeared, but now I have a larger, more expensive one. We'll drop it off @ a local dealer Monday and pray it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

So if the gear and pinion is not the same ratio as OE-spec, you're saying that will cause this issue and not low fluid? Thanks again.

JMEJAM

robby
07-31-2010, 11:30 PM
Robby thanks for the reply. My Commander is a 4x2. The differential didn't completely fail. I began to hear a grinding sound that would increase under acceleration and decrease under deceleration. Initially it was mis-diagnosed as seized rear callipers, hub bearings and something else I can't recall at this time. I finally found a mechanic (I'm in Honolulu) who thoroughly diagnosed it and ruled out the afformentioned issues...metal filings were found in the interior axle shafts...I then took it to 4WheelParts and they diagnosed the gear and pinion.

Once the work was completed That problem disappeared, but now I have a larger, more expensive one. We'll drop it off @ a local dealer Monday and pray it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

So if the gear and pinion is not the same ratio as OE-spec, you're saying that will cause this issue and not low fluid? Thanks again.

JMEJAM

A gear ratio change without updating the computer to recognize the change can make the trans go crazy.
It will shift too soon or too late, it will downshift at inappropriate times etc.

Keep the forum updated please,

Rob

Yeggster
08-01-2010, 05:04 PM
So if the gear and pinion is not the same ratio as OE-spec, you're saying that will cause this issue and not low fluid? Thanks again.

JMEJAM

Yes if that's the case it's possible the dealer can simply reprogram the computer to accept the new ring and pinion and you will be fixed up.

Of course any number of other things could have happen too :( ...

JMEJAM
08-02-2010, 12:42 AM
Thanks Rob & Yeggster...so "if" the new ring & pinion is the issue, I can simply ask the dealer reprogram the computer (is this the main ECU or a transmission computer?)...generally speaking, how likley is that? Also, what's the best course of action to rule out transmission problems? Or in other words, given what you know about my issue how would you attempt to resolve this issue?

Thanks again for your input...


JMEJAM

robby
08-02-2010, 09:52 AM
Well,
The dealer IS going to have to do some diagnostics.
I won't speak for Yeggster but you are only getting possible scenarios from me.....pure speculation.
However, you do need to contact the shop that did the final drive work to try to get the ratio question answered.
Questions along the lines of how are they certain the correct ring and pinion were recieved.

So, knowing you are getting speculative ideas, the process of diagnosis must begin.

Be aware, the real possibility of a trans failure does present itself and the repair shop was in possesion (ONLY) when the failure occured.
Beyond a incorrect part recieved and installed there really is nothing they could do to cause a trans failure.

Rob

Yeggster
08-02-2010, 11:12 AM
Yes again I agree with robby ... it's a best case scenario and possible ... but not assured ... my guess from the info presented here is 25 to 35% possibility .. not great odds :(

The shop who did the gears might have gotten the wrong part and didn't double check .. or assumed you wanted a different ratio? (it's a common request)

It's a simple matter to pull the rear diff cover and count the teeth ... or jack the Jeep up and count wheel turns vs. driveshaft turns (check on line for a tutorial how to do this)

Another possibility (but I'd say a remote one) (especially if you bought the Jeep used) is the stock ratio had already BEEN changed before and you got it ... and the shop switched back to stock ... even if you bought new someone could have ordered the Jeep with a non-stock rato ...

... your bigger rear axle (being a 4X2) is not the same as the ones in the 4X4's and it has many options for different ratios

JMEJAM
08-02-2010, 03:09 PM
Well, I just dropped my Jeep off @ the dealership; the service advisor said I should know something around lunchtime today. I purchased the vehicle new; however, the shop that did the rear-end suggested a different ratio "...to give more low-end torque...". The stock ratio was 3:07, and he suggested/ordered/installed one ratio lower than stock...the ratio installed was 3:21.

...I'll post an update as soon as I hear something.

Mahalo!
JMEJAM

robby
08-02-2010, 04:17 PM
Well that little bit of info would have been helpful. (The gear ratio part)

Almost feel like I was being tested.

You just might luck out and require programming so the computer can recognize the gear change.

Rob

JMEJAM
08-02-2010, 06:04 PM
Robby I was not testing you Sir...I'm not nearly smart enough to test anyone on the topic :) I just spoke with the service advisor...apparently the culprit is the new 3:21 gear and pinion set. Now I get to fight with 4WheelParts to rectify this problem. The mechanic cleared the code, road tested the Jeep again and the same code returned...more to follow. Thanks...

JMEJAM

SAL-XK
08-02-2010, 08:50 PM
I'm guessing since the commander comes with different gears from the factory the computer can be changed to the new ratio. The only problem I for see for that is not having the option for the gear you installed which means they should put in the 3:73 gears for you for free. Just a common sense guess on my part I could be completely wrong

Yeggster
08-02-2010, 11:42 PM
The shop should have known you can't just swap gears like that ... (this is not a Jeep made in 1972! )

Hopefully the dealer can work it out ...

robby
08-04-2010, 10:35 AM
Robby I was not testing you Sir...I'm not nearly smart enough to test anyone on the topic :) I just spoke with the service advisor...apparently the culprit is the new 3:21 gear and pinion set. Now I get to fight with 4WheelParts to rectify this problem. The mechanic cleared the code, road tested the Jeep again and the same code returned...more to follow. Thanks...

JMEJAM

Term: Sir........really not necessary.

Rob works fine.

But, for future questions always give as much of the story as possible.
Otherwise the chance of getting a accurate and useful response is diminished.

Rob

JMEJAM
09-08-2010, 05:04 PM
Yeggster & Robby, thanks for your input. I finally picked up my Commander from 4WheelParts yesterday after going back and forth with them (and the local Jeep dealership...who were great BTW) for the last month or so.

Long-story-short, 4WP finally found and installed a new factory gear & pinion set w/a ratio of 3:07 and all is now well. Prior to this, they told me my tranny was shot; I had it checked out by the dealership (leak tested and other troubleshooting). The dealership gave the tranny a clean bill of health; 4WheelParts then wanted to have it checked out by "their" transmission guy. He wanted to break down my trans since he could not find the cause of the problem, but I refused. We also tried a Hypertech Speedometer Programmer...to no a vail with the 3:21 set.

The manager @ 4WP finally read the writing on the wall; I maintained my position that they caused the problem so they should correct it without any further cost to me. My next step was lawsuit; fortunately I didn't have to go that far.

Thanks again for your assistance guys. I really appreciate it...

Peace,
JMEJAM

PS...Rob I say Sir as a matter of respect...21+ years in the Air Force...old habits die hard.

Thanks Again,
James

Yeggster
09-08-2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the update! Often we never hear back about these kinds of issues. Glad to worked out ... too bad you had to wait so long though.

robby
09-08-2010, 08:06 PM
Yikes!

A full month to resolution! Gotta be a record of some sort.

Repeating Yeggster, thanks for the end of the story and good luck to you.

Rob

Ross
09-08-2010, 09:04 PM
Yea i got my 06 commander at carmax this summer and a week after having it we had to take it into the shop and it turns out it had metal shavings in the transmission but they couldnt check it because of the dumb dipstick thing and it was in the shop for over a month and i just got it bak. Its all fixed now but not having for half the summer took away alot of offroading oppertunities.

summersthree
09-09-2010, 08:36 PM
I just became a member to learn more about the Commander. I am selling 03 VW W8 because the first owner never changed the lifetime fluid. Don't let this happen to you! My tranny is shot at 115k! Make sure you change that fluid at least every 40k if not more. Lets think about it, have fluids suddenly become immune to dirt?, are the filters never going to clog?, Are you going to only drive your Jeep in perfect weather on clean roads?, if not, the best thing that can be done is to find a dealer that knows what they are doing and change the fluid! I have a friend with a Grand Cherokee never changed the fluid, new tranny at 140K.

Mongo
10-04-2010, 02:11 PM
I had 73 Charger with a Chrysler A-904 3spd auto and still have a '69 Charger with a Chrysler A-727 spd auto. That RWD Big trans configuration, the trans fluid was considered a "lifetime" fluid, and I would check the fluid level regularly with the dipstick and never once over years had to add fluid. I've changed fluid, but known people that haven't and they turned over their speedo more than once and still had a good trans.

Of course, 100% valid arguement, the new trans are NOT your old 70's bullet proof trans with low geared rear ends that kept the stress off the trans.

I think the reason you may see the dipstick tube plugged is because Mercedes has years of testing and in the field data to show that there is NO appreciable fluid evaporation or consumption. They probably figure there is a bigger chance the owner would create problems by introducing dirt with a dipstick there, then would occurr from the fluid level dropping.

BUT, here's the big questions no one has asked or answered:

How do you take the Dealer Service Plug off?

Where do you find a Dipstick to purchase and replace that plug?

This is what I would like to do, rather check it myself from time to time, instead of just relying on faith the fluid level is still good.

I'll probably change the trans fluid at some point, figure its worth it, might save my trans.

Might install a trans temp gauge, which I did on my 2002 Grand Caravan with the notorious 4spd electronic FWD trans. That trans is going fairly strong at 186k miles, when usually they rarely last more than 60k miles. I also did fluid changes at every 30k miles, which is really required for this trans, that does NOT mean it needed for every trans.

Another thing most A-604 (FWD 4spd Electronic Trans) would do, is change all the fluid, NOT just what was in the pan, by disonnecting the return line from the cooler and running it to a bucket, with the motor idling, they would pour in fresh fluid at the same rate old fluid came out of the cooler hose.

Anyone try this with the Mercedes or Chrysler Commander Trans? I looked at the cooler line connections, they are some sort of funky fitting with some sort of rubber grommet in them. Has anyone tried to disconnect and reconnect these?

Mongo
10-14-2010, 12:16 AM
I figured out how to take the Plug off the dipstick tube for the NAG1/W5A580 Trans.

Simply twist counter clockwise. Its got a tight O-ring seal that is dry. Once you get it out, lube it with a drop of ATF+4 and its much easier to remove/replace.

Its a cam like deal, channels on the side of the plug, they ride along the dents punched into the sides of the dipstick tube. The plug press outward as it turns, half a turn counter clockwise and it pops right out.

06h
10-14-2010, 08:30 PM
Uhh, maybe there's a complicated reason they didn't give a dipstick with that transmission? Maybe involving a probe and computers to accurately check it?

07JeepXK
10-14-2010, 09:17 PM
Uhh, maybe there's a complicated reason they didn't give a dipstick with that transmission? Maybe involving a probe and computers to accurately check it?

Your a genius. Did you read that in the owners manual?

robby
10-14-2010, 09:25 PM
Uhh, maybe there's a complicated reason they didn't give a dipstick with that transmission? Maybe involving a probe and computers to accurately check it?

You are correct regarding the probe (dipstick) and computer.
The dipstick has a adjustable stopper at the top and the stick has a scale printed on it.
By using the starscan, the fluid temperature can be recorded.
Then, using a conversion chart, the adjustable stopper is adjusted to the correct scale line on the dipstick and then the fluid level is checked.
This is specific to the trans supplied by Mercedes and it is because the trans won't tolerate a overfill condition.
The fluid, when at the correct level, is very close to the spinning planetary gears.
If it is overfilled, the gears will airate the trans fluid, causing a apply pressure loss and ultimatly, clutch slippage.
When clutches slip, in a automatic, they instantly glaze over and will never have the correct clamping value again.

Rob

Mongo
10-19-2010, 12:59 PM
My 41TE in my old mini-van had a temperature dependent scale on the dipstick, and even advice in the owners manual to estimate the temperature of the fluid.

BUT, like you stated, my 41TE was probably far more tolerant of a slight-moderate overfill condition.

I got the special tool dipstick off ebay, I intend on installing a Trans Temp gauge in the near future. I would think the special computer tool to read trans oil temp is just for speed and convience, a reasonable measure of the trans fluid temp would suffice for use on the table.

I've seen versions of the table with "range" of fluid fill, if NOT 100% confidence in your accuracy, I would think it would be wise to bias toward the lower end of the Range for fluid level.