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Discussion Starter #1
Dropped the transmission oil pan tonight. When I changed the condenser which is also the transmission cooler, the oil looked dark and dirty. Since I know the previous owner was not big on oil maintenance I decided to change the oil. There no dipstick which discouraged regular maintenance and Chrystler claimed it was lifetime fluids for the transmission.
Bought a drain pan with a drain plug to replace the none drain plug OEM pan.

Pan is I believe Mopar 52108326AA (I think it's for a Sprinter NAG1)

Bought Mopar filter + pan gasket (52108325AA / 52108332AA)


Got the old pan off looking at the magnet there was the normal savings but what is concerning is what looks like parts of a broken bearing of some sort. Looks like pins and part of bearing housing, unless it gears, IMO seems too film for that but I have no idea.


Otherwise the jeep drives fine, no issue I've notice in the few thousand miles we've driven/had it. Smooth shifting, up and down.

I'll post a picture from my phone in a moment.
 

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Can you clean it up more and give us something for scale or measure how big it is? I really have no clue, but like you, that would worry me, cause the only place it could come from is inside the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Looks like they boys did something with my measuring sticks, probably a mock light sabre battle.

Used coins to show the scale. In my searching last night a few posts on Mercedes forums about the 722.6 /nag1 transmission had needle bearing in the pan, but they seemed bigger and the transmission was obviously bad noisy and slipping gears.


The pieces by the quarter are two separate pieces the same size looking at the picture I Realised it could look like one piece. The needle bearings are tiny and I haven't found too many of them

I'm going to be searching to see what used transmission go for. But I wouldn't have know there was a problem because it seems to drive fine, and God only knows how long ago this broke apart.


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Oh, I see now. The first photos were of the pan magnet with the pieces stuck to it. Now that you have the pieces off and cleaned up, we have a better idea of what you're talking about.


Ouch, yea, something broke off, and parts of bearing are a good guess. If the trans is working fine, maybe pulling the pan every couple of thousands of miles and checking for more pieces. Your options are to rebuild the trans now or later, its always possible the problem may cause more damage and make the rebuild later more expensive, of course you would be seeing evidence of that as you drop the pan every couple of thousands of miles.


Personally, I'd wait till the trans showed more signs of problems, and hope for the best, knowing I'm taking a risk on making the rebuild more expensive later. That also runs of the risk of being stranded when the trans takes a dump.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I don't have the money to rebuild it right now anyway, might pick up a junk yard spare if I can find a decent one.
It drives fine, never thought it had a problem.

waiting on new orings for the electronic connector plug, then I'd like to drain the rest of the old fluid.
Was thinking I could disconnect the lines going to the cooler and let it pump out the old fluid. Anyone try this before?


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Well I don't have the money to rebuild it right now anyway, might pick up a junk yard spare if I can find a decent one.
It drives fine, never thought it had a problem.

waiting on new orings for the electronic connector plug, then I'd like to drain the rest of the old fluid.
Was thinking I could disconnect the lines going to the cooler and let it pump out the old fluid. Anyone try this before?


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yeah disconnect the lines. Throw one in an empty bottle and the other side in a full bottle of trans fluid. You will pump in what you pump out.

That being said the NAG 1 is supposed to be notorious for being temperamental with fluid levels.
 

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The NAG1, at the Transmission, the Driver's side is the output/pressure side, the passenger side is the return/suction side.




The quick disconnects require a special tool to remove. You can use a screwdriver, but it gets complicated and not such a quick disconnect then. The passenger side quick disconnect at the trans is limited on space, without the special tool it might take a long time with many re-attempts before you get the clip back in.


You need the dip stick tool that you can find on eBay to measure the fluid level, it has a scale on it graduated in mm. A way to measure the fluid temperature (the Dealer uses the special scan tool to read the temp from the sensor in the trans) and the FSM chart that tells you the level it should be at for the temperature (the range actually, it can't be too low or high).


Doing a full fluid replacement by running the trans and capturing the return fluid from the cooler runs the risk of damaging the trans if you screw up somehow. NOT saying lots of people haven't done it and never had a problem, it works fine. But is it worth all the trouble. The normal FSM prescribed maintenance is to just change the fluid in the pan, that if you do it as often as prescribed you'll always have enough fresh fluid to protect the trans very well.
There is also warnings NOT to judge ATF+4 by its color and smell, that it normally darkens while its still good and can have it smell change. When I have changed ATF+4 in this trans and others, frequent enough it could be considered overkill, the old ATF+4 (that likely was still very good) came out dark purple instead of the light red/pink it went in. It had a smell to it that wasn't pleasant, but didn't stink either.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The NAG1, at the Transmission, the Driver's side is the output/pressure side, the passenger side is the return/suction side.




The quick disconnects require a special tool to remove. You can use a screwdriver, but it gets complicated and not such a quick disconnect then. The passenger side quick disconnect at the trans is limited on space, without the special tool it might take a long time with many re-attempts before you get the clip back in.


You need the dip stick tool that you can find on eBay to measure the fluid level, it has a scale on it graduated in mm. A way to measure the fluid temperature (the Dealer uses the special scan tool to read the temp from the sensor in the trans) and the FSM chart that tells you the level it should be at for the temperature (the range actually, it can't be too low or high).


Doing a full fluid replacement by running the trans and capturing the return fluid from the cooler runs the risk of damaging the trans if you screw up somehow. NOT saying lots of people haven't done it and never had a problem, it works fine. But is it worth all the trouble. The normal FSM prescribed maintenance is to just change the fluid in the pan, that if you do it as often as prescribed you'll always have enough fresh fluid to protect the trans very well.
There is also warnings NOT to judge ATF+4 by its color and smell, that it normally darkens while its still good and can have it smell change. When I have changed ATF+4 in this trans and others, frequent enough it could be considered overkill, the old ATF+4 (that likely was still very good) came out dark purple instead of the light red/pink it went in. It had a smell to it that wasn't pleasant, but didn't stink either.
Thank you so much! It really helped out a lot.

Got the new transmission plug with oring and dipstick both were Merc part #s

13-Pin Connector Adapter Plug + O-rings 2035400253 (same Mercedes # on the original )
Automatic Transmission Fluid Dipstick 1220mm 140589152100 (Merc part # not sure if its a merc part or similar)

The biggest PITA was the 13 pin plug, new o-rings didn't want to full seat deep enough so the threads of the bolt would engage. Took the most time fiddling with everything else was cake.

I used a pick tool to disengage the transmission line clips at condenser. Didn't exactly work out exactly like I wanted but did pumped out 5 qts of purple fluid.
Added 5qts back, check level added another qt, took it on a drive came back check level again looks about half way on the dipstick, so I topped it off. then saw there were words at the levels of the dipstick, it has a mark for like 25deg Celsius and 80, need to go back a remeasure it I think maybe it over full by half a qrt maybe more, no big deal since I've put on a pan with a drain plug.
Found this page here on refilling the NAG1 and a page in the FSM.
Will not have time to touch it again until next week, but it drove smooth on the test drive, no sounds, smooth shifting, up shift and downshift, changes gears reverse, natural, drive fine too.
I know there is a problem since there were bearing parts on the magnet, we're going to let it go until there is a real issue.

I'll update this if/when it does fail (If my password isn't reset again). Maybe it'll help someone else.

Just want to thank Mongo again, you are awesome! Good to know the purple fluid that got me started on this odyssey is not that unusual. I was concerned because it was so discolored, it smelled off but not burnt.
 

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This was a good thread - very informative.

Hey Mongo, I had the 3.7L in my previous vehicle - a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee which had the same WA580 transmission and I believe there is also a transmission filter as well, that should be changed out every so often - correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This was a good thread - very informative.

I believe there is also a transmission filter as well, that should be changed out every so often - correct?


Yes. Well maybe. I think the Owners manual is lifetime fluid, but reality is different IMHO.
I went with Mopar this time. Cost a little more , but in this case it gives peace of mind. I have a generic filter and gasket set on hand too probably for the next change .the filter looks close in quality as far as I can tell, the pan gasket that comes in the kit is slightly flimsier compared to Mopar/Mercedes but should do the job well.


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Yes. Well maybe. I think the Owners manual is lifetime fluid, but reality is different IMHO.
I went with Mopar this time. Cost a little more , but in this case it gives peace of mind. I have a generic filter and gasket set on hand too probably for the next change .the filter looks close in quality as far as I can tell, the pan gasket that comes in the kit is slightly flimsier compared to Mopar/Mercedes but should do the job well.


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Gotcha, I just remember when I had the transmission fluid changed on the Grand Cherokee, some years back when I had it, that the dealership also mentioned they had changed out the transmission fluid filter as well.

If I remember correctly, I seem to recall the dealership mechanic said it was located somewhere in the transmission pan itself.

I could be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
It's attached to the bottom of the transmission pick up tube. You have to pull the pan to get to it.
On my old XJ Cherokees I'll often drain and replace fluid without dropping the pan if the old fluid is ok. No point in replacing the filter that regularly if there is no problem.

In this case for the commander I'll be dropping the pan and replacing the filter often since there is a issue with the transmission.
There is a magnet in the pan to catch the metal filings/shaving which is normal to some extent. What's not normal is the pieces if bearings I found on the magnet, and one or two small bearings in the filter too. Glad it did its job keeping the transmission from dying, or maybe not, that would have been on the previous owners watch maybe even under jeep warranty. Well we are where we are , I'll do my best to keep it going.

Oh, also did the transfer case fluid while I was at it, it takes the same fluid. Old fluid looked about right unlike the transmission.

Biggest pain with that job was the weird bolted on balancer that happens to be right over the drain plug. Not sure what it's there for besides weight.


P.S. There is also power flushing the transmission some shops offer. I may have some of the terms wrong. And there is debate about how good or bad it can be. In my case I would not try it because I'd be too afraid of dislodging something. I tried a lazy way of disconnecting the transmission lines and letting the transmission pump out old fluid to get as much of the old fluid out.
When you drop or drain the pan it's only about 4-5 quarts of a 8.1? Quart total. The rest is in the lines and torque converter.
The FSM book says its 7 quarts for pan drop no way I got that much out. Other NAG1 owners in different mopar say about 4-5 quarts for a pan and filter job. Seemed about right to me.

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It's attached to the bottom of the transmission pick up tube. You have to pull the pan to get to it.
On my old XJ Cherokees I'll often drain and replace fluid without dropping the pan if the old fluid is ok. No point in replacing the filter that regularly if there is no problem.

In this case for the commander I'll be dropping the pan and replacing the filter often since there is a issue with the transmission.
There is a magnet in the pan to catch the metal filings/shaving which is normal to some extent. What's not normal is the pieces if bearings I found on the magnet, and one or two small bearings in the filter too. Glad it did its job keeping the transmission from dying, or maybe not, that would have been on the previous owners watch maybe even under jeep warranty. Well we are where we are , I'll do my best to keep it going.

Oh, also did the transfer case fluid while I was at it, it takes the same fluid. Old fluid looked about right unlike the transmission.

Biggest pain with that job was the weird bolted on balancer that happens to be right over the drain plug. Not sure what it's there for besides weight.


P.S. There is also power flushing the transmission some shops offer. I may have some of the terms wrong. And there is debate about how good or bad it can be. In my case I would not try it because I'd be too afraid of dislodging something. I tried a lazy way of disconnecting the transmission lines and letting the transmission pump out old fluid to get as much of the old fluid out.
When you drop or drain the pan it's only about 4-5 quarts of a 8.1? Quart total. The rest is in the lines and torque converter.
The FSM book says its 7 quarts for pan drop no way I got that much out. Other NAG1 owners in different mopar say about 4-5 quarts for a pan and filter job. Seemed about right to me.

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Good call on the transfer case.

This 2008 Commander being the second used Jeep 4x4 I have owned, there was alot of maintenance I had done straight away as I assumed the previous owner did not do it, by virtue of having no record of it being done in the vehicles service history. Plus some problems I discovered within the first 2 months that I owned the vehicle; here is a quick list.

Just off the top of my head, I had the Engine coolant flush done, fuel system flush/treatment, transmission filter & fluid changed, front & rear differential gear oil changed, transfer case gear oil, front upper differential bushing replaced, power steering fluid changed, new battery (old one died a month after I bought the Commander) new radiator cap due to a slow coolant leak I discovered shortly after I bought it. Had the transfer case actuator motor replaced due to being stuck in 4 HI and was unable to shift into 4 LOW which turned out to be covered by the P73 recall (reprogramming the Final Drive Control Module) once it came out, so Chrysler reimbursed me for that repair; new wireless ignition module with new Key FOBS (P57 Chrysler recall).

Other issues I had was a broken satellite radio cable running to the antenna (had to replace the cable and antenna) back-up camera was extremely dim to the point where you could barely see it; replaced the camera first - didn't solve the problem, it wound up being a bad radio display which meant I had to replace the entire radio. New Back-up/park assist sensor (old one had shorted out) Third brake light had to be replaced (old one burnt out). Replaced all wiper blades (front & rear). Replaced both Halogen fog lights in the front bumper as they were both pretty badly pitted & weathered.

The bottom line is I have spent thousands of dollars getting this Commander to where I consider it to be properly maintained and mechanically up to snuff - and I am sure there are many other Commander owners on this forum who have had similar experiences. The last maintenance item I am going to have done when I get home next month is to have all 16 of the spark plugs replaced.

4x4's aren't cheap, if you want them to last, you have to take care of them.

And I won't even start getting into all of the upgrades I've had done, that's a whole other ball of wax....LOL. I couldn't even come up with a number on what I have already spent on parts & upgrades, this Commander was bone-stock when I bought it in July 2014 as the 2nd owner - it didn't even have a trailer hitch.

I probably have at least $2,000 just in parts & upgrades sitting state-side right now, waiting to be installed when I get back next month.


2008 XK Commander Sport
4.7L (Flex Fuel) V-8; K&N Air Filter
5-Spd Automatic 545RFE Transmission
Quadra-Trac II 4WD
Rear Axle Ratio: 3.73 Gears
P265/70R17 BF Goodrich Rugged Terrain TA's
Custom Centerline Rims
2" Rough Country lift kit
Bilstein 4600 shocks & struts
New factory OEM rear coil springs
ROLA Roof Basket
Black Horse Brush Guard
50" 288W Oslamp Curved LED Light Bar
 

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The owners manual will have a maintenance schedule. Usually a Normal and Severe Duty schedule, and listing the conditions that you would consider Severe Duty. If you off-road or tow, that would be severe duty.


IIRC, the O.M. says the trans fluid lasts the life of the car for the normal schedule, but for the Severe Duty schedule you should change it ever so often. I think 60k miles?


If you drive your vehicle as often as most people, i.e. 20k miles a year or more, and pay a shop or dealer to perform all the service/maintenance/repair; then it is NOT cost economical to keep the vehicle much past 100k miles. And a 100k miles is what the manufacturer considers the life of the vehicle, when they say a fluid lasts the life of the vehicle. That all changes if you save a lot of money doing your own service/maintenance/repair, and it would be cost economical to keep the vehicle way longer than that. Regardless, if your keeping the vehicle more than 100k miles, I would NOT trust the O.M. recommendations that a fluid lasts the life of the car. Brake Fluid, Power Steering Fluid I will change every couple of years or 50k miles, perhaps go longer. Transmission fluid I usually change it on the Severe Duty schedule, cause my driving and its conditions, is more severe than "Normal" even if its short of Severe Duty. Axle fluid, especially in the Commander, since the O.M. recommends it lasts the life of the vehicle but for Severe Duty change it every 15k miles, 15k miles is too often for me, synthetic axle fluid is expensive, so I split the difference, try to change it every 30k-60k miles are so.


On some vehicles, especially in the old days when transmissions used very cheap and low quality Dexron II. If people towed they would destroy the fluid in just one long tow trip. So some would outfit their pan with a drain plug, and just drain and replace the fluid after every long tow trip. Today, they use high quality ATF+4, you may NOT need to change it after a long tow trip, but if you're towing you should be changing the fluid more often.


Its generally accepted you should change the filter with the fluid. The changing the fluid after every long tow trip I can see being an exception. That is why you have to drop the pan.


The NAG1/W5A580 trans has a single filter, similar to most automatics, its snaps into the valve body at the bottom of the reservoir, right where you take off the pan. The 545RFE that come with the V8 has two filters, a pick-up filter like most automatics and a canister filter, that looks similar to engine oil filters. The canister filter on the 545RFE is part plastic and has been know to crack causing transmissions problems that can be remedied simply by replacing the cracked filter.


Use ATF+4. Do NOT use Dexron II or Type F, they are older low quality fluids that will NOT stand up to the demands of your newer trans, those older fluids also do NOT have the friction modifiers in them that make for the proper clutch engagements of electronic trans, the trans will change the clutch engagements in reaction to the fluid and it can have disastrous results on the trans.


I have used AMSOIL Signature Series ATF in my NAG1 and its been working great for 60k miles. The only fluid I would use in replace of ATF+4 (since its a high quality synthetic ATF) is a fluid from one of the Exotic Oil company's and then only if they claim their exotic synthetic oil can be used in replace of ATF+4. Companies like AMSOIL, Redline, Royal Purple. I don't know if Royal Purple has an ATF they claim can be used in replace of ATF+4. I've heard of folks using Mobil1, but I'm NOT sure I would trust Mobil1 in replace of ATF+4.

DO NOT LISTEN to people that say you can use DexronII, just add this little bottle of additive to magically turn it into ATF+4, it can't make thin conventional oil into thicker synthetic oil with an advanced additive package better than just about all ATF's. Same with Type F and Mercon. Even Dexron6, it might be synthetic, but it doesn't have the additive package nor the right viscosity and friction modifiers.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good call on the transfer case.

This 2008 Commander being the second used Jeep 4x4 I have owned, there was alot of maintenance I had done straight away as I assumed the previous owner did not do it, by virtue of having no record of it being done in the vehicles service history. Plus some problems I discovered within the first 2 months that I owned the vehicle; here is a quick list.

Just off the top of my head, I had the Engine coolant flush done, fuel system flush/treatment, transmission filter & fluid changed, front & rear differential gear oil changed, transfer case gear oil, front upper differential bushing replaced, power steering fluid changed, new battery (old one died a month after I bought the Commander) new radiator cap due to a slow coolant leak I discovered shortly after I bought it. Had the transfer case actuator motor replaced due to being stuck in 4 HI and was unable to shift into 4 LOW which turned out to be covered by the P73 recall (reprogramming the Final Drive Control Module) once it came out, so Chrysler reimbursed me for that repair; new wireless ignition module with new Key FOBS (P57 Chrysler recall).

Other issues I had was a broken satellite radio cable running to the antenna (had to replace the cable and antenna) back-up camera was extremely dim to the point where you could barely see it; replaced the camera first - didn't solve the problem, it wound up being a bad radio display which meant I had to replace the entire radio. New Back-up/park assist sensor (old one had shorted out) Third brake light had to be replaced (old one burnt out). Replaced all wiper blades (front & rear). Replaced both Halogen fog lights in the front bumper as they were both pretty badly pitted & weathered.

The bottom line is I have spent thousands of dollars getting this Commander to where I consider it to be properly maintained and mechanically up to snuff - and I am sure there are many other Commander owners on this forum who have had similar experiences. The last maintenance item I am going to have done when I get home next month is to have all 16 of the spark plugs replaced.

4x4's aren't cheap, if you want them to last, you have to take care of them.

And I won't even start getting into all of the upgrades I've had done, that's a whole other ball of wax....LOL. I couldn't even come up with a number on what I have already spent on parts & upgrades, this Commander was bone-stock when I bought it in July 2014 as the 2nd owner - it didn't even have a trailer hitch.

I probably have at least $2,000 just in parts & upgrades sitting state-side right now, waiting to be installed when I get back next month.


2008 XK Commander Sport
4.7L (Flex Fuel) V-8; K&N Air Filter
5-Spd Automatic 545RFE Transmission
Quadra-Trac II 4WD
Rear Axle Ratio: 3.73 Gears
P265/70R17 BF Goodrich Rugged Terrain TA's
Custom Centerline Rims
2" Rough Country lift kit
Bilstein 4600 shocks & struts
New factory OEM rear coil springs
ROLA Roof Basket
Black Horse Brush Guard
50" 288W Oslamp Curved LED Light Bar
Sweet ride! Love the roof basket especially, was just looking at them online.
Yeah that's right they went to dual spark plugs right about 2008..

I bought a rear cross member locally for about $90 to get the Jeep trailer hitch and wiring. Didn't really price the aftermarket so might have over paid.

I've been doing a ton of maintenance as well, previous owner did have a lot done if it concerned daily driveability, anything out of sight out of mind she let slide. Like oil changes.

Anyway we dropped 2012 liberty motor in it and still love it, although if I had known the transmission could have issues I might have pulled that too when the motor was out.

But we really do like it, wish Jeep had kept making the Commander longer, XJ was my first jeep and the XK looks like a grown up XJ.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The owners manual will have a maintenance schedule. Usually a Normal and Severe Duty schedule, and listing the conditions that you would consider Severe Duty. If you off-road or tow, that would be severe duty.


IIRC, the O.M. says the trans fluid lasts the life of the car for the normal schedule, but for the Severe Duty schedule you should change it ever so often. I think 60k miles?


If you drive your vehicle as often as most people, i.e. 20k miles a year or more, and pay a shop or dealer to perform all the service/maintenance/repair; then it is NOT cost economical to keep the vehicle much past 100k miles. And a 100k miles is what the manufacturer considers the life of the vehicle, when they say a fluid lasts the life of the vehicle. That all changes if you save a lot of money doing your own service/maintenance/repair, and it would be cost economical to keep the vehicle way longer than that. Regardless, if your keeping the vehicle more than 100k miles, I would NOT trust the O.M. recommendations that a fluid lasts the life of the car. Brake Fluid, Power Steering Fluid I will change every couple of years or 50k miles, perhaps go longer. Transmission fluid I usually change it on the Severe Duty schedule, cause my driving and its conditions, is more severe than "Normal" even if its short of Severe Duty. Axle fluid, especially in the Commander, since the O.M. recommends it lasts the life of the vehicle but for Severe Duty change it every 15k miles, 15k miles is too often for me, synthetic axle fluid is expensive, so I split the difference, try to change it every 30k-60k miles are so.


On some vehicles, especially in the old days when transmissions used very cheap and low quality Dexron II. If people towed they would destroy the fluid in just one long tow trip. So some would outfit their pan with a drain plug, and just drain and replace the fluid after every long tow trip. Today, they use high quality ATF+4, you may NOT need to change it after a long tow trip, but if you're towing you should be changing the fluid more often.


Its generally accepted you should change the filter with the fluid. The changing the fluid after every long tow trip I can see being an exception. That is why you have to drop the pan.


The NAG1/W5A580 trans has a single filter, similar to most automatics, its snaps into the valve body at the bottom of the reservoir, right where you take off the pan. The 545RFE that come with the V8 has two filters, a pick-up filter like most automatics and a canister filter, that looks similar to engine oil filters. The canister filter on the 545RFE is part plastic and has been know to crack causing transmissions problems that can be remedied simply by replacing the cracked filter.


Use ATF+4. Do NOT use Dexron II or Type F, they are older low quality fluids that will NOT stand up to the demands of your newer trans, those older fluids also do NOT have the friction modifiers in them that make for the proper clutch engagements of electronic trans, the trans will change the clutch engagements in reaction to the fluid and it can have disastrous results on the trans.


I have used AMSOIL Signature Series ATF in my NAG1 and its been working great for 60k miles. The only fluid I would use in replace of ATF+4 (since its a high quality synthetic ATF) is a fluid from one of the Exotic Oil company's and then only if they claim their exotic synthetic oil can be used in replace of ATF+4. Companies like AMSOIL, Redline, Royal Purple. I don't know if Royal Purple has an ATF they claim can be used in replace of ATF+4. I've heard of folks using Mobil1, but I'm NOT sure I would trust Mobil1 in replace of ATF+4.

DO NOT LISTEN to people that say you can use DexronII, just add this little bottle of additive to magically turn it into ATF+4, it can't make thin conventional oil into thicker synthetic oil with an advanced additive package better than just about all ATF's. Same with Type F and Mercon. Even Dexron6, it might be synthetic, but it doesn't have the additive package nor the right viscosity and friction modifiers.
Outstanding advice! That's the best way to think of it Sever Duty scheduling.

I wouldn't trust anything I know about cars from the 1990s when I got into cars when it comes to recently manufactured vehicles. Oil technology alone has made great strides. Try to read up on the new specs before getting into to but.. well it's easy to miss an important point.

One of my old Toyota has a Radiator and Oil cooled turbo, more modern turbos cuts the radiator cooling lines because newer oils handle the temperatures just fine. The oil in the 1980s when the engines were built can't compare to newer oils.
 

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Sweet ride! Love the roof basket especially, was just looking at them online.
Yeah that's right they went to dual spark plugs right about 2008..

I bought a rear cross member locally for about $90 to get the Jeep trailer hitch and wiring. Didn't really price the aftermarket so might have over paid.

I've been doing a ton of maintenance as well, previous owner did have a lot done if it concerned daily driveability, anything out of sight out of mind she let slide. Like oil changes.

Anyway we dropped 2012 liberty motor in it and still love it, although if I had known the transmission could have issues I might have pulled that too when the motor was out.

But we really do like it, wish Jeep had kept making the Commander longer, XJ was my first jeep and the XK looks like a grown up XJ.
Thanks.

The roof basket is made by Rola.

They are very easy to install but they have some flaws.

The biggest of which is that the joints & screw holes don't seal watertight when you put the basket together (it comes in two pieces) so, you have to seal them with silicone. If you don't, the basket will rust from the inside out when rain-water gets inside the steel tubing which is hollow, and it will be junk in about a year's time - which is what happened to the first one I bought.

The 2nd basket, I tried to learn from my mistakes with the first one and I took my time to carefully seal the joints & screw holes with all-weather silicone.

Even with this extra step, I still wind up taking it down every year or so, to sand down the spots that still manage to get surface rust and then I re-spray it with several coats of Rustoleum.

It's aggravating & time-consuming, but, it's better then dropping $280 - $300 on a new roof basket every other year. 3 cans of Rustoleum only cost me about $24.00.

It's still somewhat of a mystery to me why they stopped making the Commanders so quickly.

Obviously they probably weren't selling as many of them as they would have liked, but, it still seems like there is quite a demand for them.

I can't help but feel like Chrysler/Jeep made the wrong call stopping their production so soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No idea those baskets could rust out.

I think beside the grand Cherokee model change the excuse for discontinuing the commander was it sales overlapped with the Nitro. Same reasoning behind discontinuing the Comanche, it overlapped with the Dakota.


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