Jeep Commander Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm guessing that no one has done this, but it is quite interesting and thought that I would share nonetheless.

The v6 5spd auto tranny is actually a Mercedes-Benz trans.

It is also used in the srt8 (6.1L) vehicles.

You can swap the Brown Top Solenoids for the AMG Blue Top solenoids and improve shift speed up and down dramatically.

Edit:
HOW TO (WK SRT-8)
http://www.cherokeesrt8.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52025

I took the jeep for a couple WOT runs and all i have to say is Holy CHIT. The blue tops are well worth the money.. The shifts are 100% better! the jeep now chirps 1-2 shift at 3/4 throttle.
Parts:

Solenoid Only:
http://www.smallfleetparts.com/AMG-Mercedes-Blue-Top-Solenoids/dp/B009HCCIZW

Full kit with 2 noids and fluid:

http://www.smallfleetparts.com/MB-Solenoid-Gasket-Fluid-Chrysler/dp/B009HC5LCE

Quick Review:

http://www.lxforums.com/board/showthread.php/301805-Official-winter-icky-and-good-weather-review-of-BLUE-TOPS!!!!!-My-Take-Anyway

NAG = New Automatic Gearbox
1= 1st series...there was a rumored 2nd version but then the 7 and 8 speeds came out

W5A580 = W = rear drive(?) ---5 = 5 gears ---a= automatic---580= tq capacity as in 580nm

Also known as 722.6 from Benz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
This is an expensive parts swap. if I knew for certain that the shifting would improve, or just be consistent, I'd really consider having someone do this. I'm the biggest diy'er, as most here are, but fooling around with the nag in the driveway is no fun...the shifting is great on the highways, on long trips. Its the day to day city commuting that pisses me off, where the nag is always searching for the right gear, just seems confused at times. The "flash" did not make a difference either. That was a couple years ago. If this tranny wasn't attached to such a cool rig, it would've been gone a long time ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
This is an expensive parts swap. if I knew for certain that the shifting would improve, or just be consistent, I'd really consider having someone do this. I'm the biggest diy'er, as most here are, but fooling around with the nag in the driveway is no fun...the shifting is great on the highways, on long trips. Its the day to day city commuting that pisses me off, where the nag is always searching for the right gear, just seems confused at times. The "flash" did not make a difference either. That was a couple years ago. If this tranny wasn't attached to such a cool rig, it would've been gone a long time ago.
Well, this is well documented with this tranny on other vehicles.

I agree with you however. Elbows deep in the tranny in the driveway is over my head atm considering this is basically my girls DD.

That being said, the install looks straightforward, and having AMG quality shifts would REALLY be nice.

The reason I posted it was to show people that there is reasonable option for improving shifting performance in this vehicle, and considering that people have paid $350+ for tuners I could imagine someone would be willing to drop $450 for solenoids if they already planned on replacing tranny fluid anyhow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
Agreed. Hopefully someone here has done this and can give some positive feedback. I'd actually rather do this than the hypertech.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
I suspect the poor shifting I sometimes get from my 3.7L/NAG1 combination is more the ESP/Traction control and the Drive By Wire.

It seems less that the tranny is NOT downshifting fast enough than it feels like the throttle is NOT opening fast enough. And there has been more than one time I have tried to pull out from gravel and wet with the front wheels turned, and it seems like the engine and tranny just stumbled all over itself and left me pulling out dead slow, only to go back and repeat the pull out in the same spot with the Traction Control Turned off only to find the surface with the front wheels turned so much result in instant wheel spin.

I would think a programming change in the TCM software would give me the firmer shifts I would like, the only reason to change shift solenoids would be if I'm driving the trans so hard or having shifts so fast, that a higher duty cycle is needed out of the solenoid. The standard solenoid should be able to do the job, it just needs the signal to tell it to shift faster [email protected]#$#@! But, if you want the solenoid to shift mega-fast 30 times a minute, like your in a "Fast & Furious" movie, yea, maybe the standard solenoid would start to wheez and say I can't go that fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I suspect the poor shifting I sometimes get from my 3.7L/NAG1 combination is more the ESP/Traction control and the Drive By Wire.

It seems less that the tranny is NOT downshifting fast enough than it feels like the throttle is NOT opening fast enough. And there has been more than one time I have tried to pull out from gravel and wet with the front wheels turned, and it seems like the engine and tranny just stumbled all over itself and left me pulling out dead slow, only to go back and repeat the pull out in the same spot with the Traction Control Turned off only to find the surface with the front wheels turned so much result in instant wheel spin.

I would think a programming change in the TCM software would give me the firmer shifts I would like, the only reason to change shift solenoids would be if I'm driving the trans so hard or having shifts so fast, that a higher duty cycle is needed out of the solenoid. The standard solenoid should be able to do the job, it just needs the signal to tell it to shift faster [email protected]#$#@! But, if you want the solenoid to shift mega-fast 30 times a minute, like your in a "Fast & Furious" movie, yea, maybe the standard solenoid would start to wheez and say I can't go that fast.
Good point, I'm sure not a DBW fan. I think that the Hypertech Tune I installed recently helped in some of those areas a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
Good point, I'm sure not a DBW fan. I think that the Hypertech Tune I installed recently helped in some of those areas a bit.
A real comparison would be to drive some of the earlier Commanders, I think the first years were NOT DBW, they were mechanical cables to the accelerator pedals. If the NAG1/W5A580 trans shifts better with that combination, you could tell that the DBW is a factor.

As well, you could experiment with driving around with the Traction Control off, pressing the switch like normal will result in only disabling the wheel spin prevention, you'll have all the other desirable/safety features of that system. I'm at the point now, when I occassionally encounter my Commander stumbling all over itself, I think for a second and say to myself, "You know, I probably would have chirped or come close to spinning at tire when that happen, it was probably just the traction control that did that."

I have read about kits and tricks to improve the throttle response of DBW in other vehicles, things like amplifying the signal to the throttle body (TB) to cause the TB to open/close faster.

I would "think" that is a programmable part of the PCM, that a Hypertech "could" change values in the program to have the TB open/close faster per pedal input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
A real comparison would be to drive some of the earlier Commanders, I think the first years were NOT DBW, they were mechanical cables to the accelerator pedals. If the NAG1/W5A580 trans shifts better with that combination, you could tell that the DBW is a factor.

As well, you could experiment with driving around with the Traction Control off, pressing the switch like normal will result in only disabling the wheel spin prevention, you'll have all the other desirable/safety features of that system. I'm at the point now, when I occassionally encounter my Commander stumbling all over itself, I think for a second and say to myself, "You know, I probably would have chirped or come close to spinning at tire when that happen, it was probably just the traction control that did that."

I have read about kits and tricks to improve the throttle response of DBW in other vehicles, things like amplifying the signal to the throttle body (TB) to cause the TB to open/close faster.

I would "think" that is a programmable part of the PCM, that a Hypertech "could" change values in the program to have the TB open/close faster per pedal input.
Definitely '07 1/2 is when TB's went to DBW. The early Commanders have a cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
I have an early 3.7 with the cable and it has some weird shifting habits, but consistent. I'm guessing that this is what was intended. I've driven w traction control off many times and nothing changes. After hearing some intelligent talk on both the solenoids and the Hypertech tuner, i'm leaning towards the tuner, if i do anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
I don't really know for sure, BUT, I suspect the trans solenoid are like the fuel injectors.

Some people buy bigger fuel injectors for their engine thinking it will give them more power and are disappointed when they find there is no power change at all. Well, first because just pumping more fuel into an engine with no other change just gets you less power, all your doing is richening the A/F ratio which doesn't make for more power. 2nd, becuase the electronic controls on the engine and trans are adaptive, meaning the sensors provide feedback on the how the engine/trans is operating and it adjusts the output to the things it controls to the engine/trans back to how they are intended to operate. So, bigger injectors just end up with the electronic controls shortening the injection pulse so that you get the same amount of fuel injected as you did with the previous smaller injectors.

Now, if you modified the motor with enough other mods that it was sucking in more air and needed more fuel, and was actually running short of fuel because you've hit the limit of what the original injectors can supply, then you would find a set of bigger injectors would actually make a difference and supply the fuel the electronic control is trying to inject but can't because the injectors are too small.

So, for solenoids in the trans, I don't know for sure, but they are still controlled by the electronics, so likely even if the solenoid operated differently than the OEM solenoid, the electronics would sense that and make adjustments to get the new solenoid to act and provide the same result which was the design, that is what the electronic management is there for.

SO, I would think changing the electronic management first would be the most fruitful mod to get a more desireable shifting trans. A new computer with different programming, or a hypertech that changes the programming in the existing computer. I also would make sure the Hypertech has the ability to mod the NAG1 trans beforing buying it, I don't know, but I think the Hypertech and other can't mod all engines and trans.

If I am right about the trans electronics being adaptive (and I can be wrong) the solenoids won't do anything. Its after you mod the trans enough that it would exceed the abilities of OEM solenoids, is where you would see the change if you went with them. For a trans, I imagine that would require at least new electronic programming and maybe even a modified valve body, then it may still be something like duty cycle and NOT speed of actuation or volume or things like that, i.e. you only need the high performance solenoids if you are racing and making the trans shift every two seconds for an extended period of time.

BUT, I could be wrong, maybe the blue top solenoids have different performance specs and the NAG1 electronic management does NOT vary how they trigger the solenoid based off feedback from the sensors, and changing the solenoid themselves do result in firmer/faster shifts.

I think the former scenario is far more likely, every electronic trans I have read about, modifies speeds and firmness of shifts based off feedback from sensors and the electronic management is looking to make the shift engage like it was programmed to do, i.e. how smooth or how firm. I would NOT spend all that money on the those blue top solenoids unless I had some very confident confirmation that the latter scenario was true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The NAG1 has a seperate TCM that the Hypertech tuner can not effect AFAIK.

Though shifting performance has improved with mine, I suspect that it must be due to a change made in other areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Mercedes Benz AMG Blue Top Solenoids for the MB 722.6xx transmission design. Chrysler manufactures this transmission as the NAG1 or W5A580, which is used in many of the HP Chrysler applications
When installed in the Chrysler transmission AMG Blue Top solenoids produce crisp hard shifts.
These are original new MB solenoid valves delivered in the original MB packaging.
They are installed in the solenoid conductor plate which is located on top of the valve body.
Sold separately, you will need two for installation.

http://www.speedlogixstore.com/product-p/240-270-00-89.htm

Plenty of guys doing blue tops only in chargers for years now.

http://www.challenger******.com/showthread.php?t=68196
So I just couldn't resist the urge any more. I fought back and forth about going with a valve body or blue tops and finally settled on blue tops as it seemed almost every complaint I heard about the blue tops, I also heard about the valve body.

BLUF (bottom line up front) If you never had an old school Mopar (or any other) with a shift kit installed back in the day, you might want to find someone with this mod first and drive their car. If you had one and didn't like it, run the other way. If you had one and loved it, DO THIS MOD.

I only have had it out twice so far and probably have 30 miles on it. I did not reset the trans adaptives and maybe I should have. Still looking into that. My thought is it is always learning so why bother.

Engagement when selecting "D" or "R" is very very noticeable. You know you put it in gear. I love it.

Normal selector in "D" driving. This mods does nothing for making it hold gears longer and I know alot of us would like that. The shifts are quick and firm and a noticeable difference. no guessing on this. The downshifts (this is where most guys cringe) are equally as firm. I have noticed it is different depending on how hard you are stopping or how slow you are rolling before it downshifts. hard to explain. It does shock the drivetrain. I heard they soften up over time, but we will see. Again, this is different, but I kind of like it and don't see me changing my mind on that.

"Autostick". These shifts are even more noticeable and ofcourse the longer you hold a gear or the more go pedal you are giving it, the harder it hits. I mean this thing gets it. The downshifts are even more noticeable using autostick though as it does still downshift when coming to a stop wether you downshift it or not. I think the up/down parameters are more firm even stock from what I have observed.

So a little testing was in order. Now before this having the predator set on increased firmness my car would bark the tires almost everytime it was floored on the 1-2 shift. Now sometimes in the heat or if the roads were warmer as well as tires, this would be less severe or possibly not even do it. Well, 90degrees yesterday, hot tires and road, I barked the tires like it was winter time at full throttle. So I tried again and about 3/4 throttle and it still barked them. I am positive in cooler air, cooler roads and tires, it will most certainly do more than bark on the 1-2 shift. It might go up in smoke. I also think it will probably bark them on the 2-3 shift in those conditions.
It just feels so much better running through the gears.

So overall, I like the mod alot. I can always change back to the brown tops if I want, but I am pretty sure these will stay and they will help once I change the converter and possibly add the magnacharger.

not a bad mod for less than 400.00. Not sure what the long term effects will be, but I am sure I now have better clutch engagement and a lot of high power guys have been running them. The biggest downfall for folks seems to be the downshifts as they don't like that drivetrain shock feeling. I will report back in time on how they have or haven't calmed down or if I am or am not (doubt that) keeping them in.
Overkill for this rig? yeah probably, but it seems effective. My wife wouldn't be a big fan of the hard downshifts ill bet, though it might be ok in an srt8 =)

I guess I kind of ended up repeating/reiterating what I already said in the OP, but to some degree it is responding to your thought process Mongo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
Plenty of guys doing blue tops only in chargers for years now.....

.....I guess I kind of ended up repeating/reiterating what I already said in the OP, but to some degree it is responding to your thought process Mongo.
The link to the Charger/Challenger Forum is broken.

I'm willing to believe that just swapping the Solenoids alone, no other mods, would produce more crisp shifts. BUT, I'm still a little skeptical, and would want more than just the manufacturer/resellers claims that it will do it.

So the Charger owners that have swapped in just the Blue Top Solenoids, no other mods, are reporting just the swap itself produced better shifting? More than one or two testimonials, right? Actual results trumps speculation anyday in my book, if its true, it sounds like a effective mod to me.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top