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krweatherl

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Yesterday I had the privilege of rescuing my niece and her 2 dogs as her 2018 JLU burned to the ground alongside the freeway. She was on her way to my house so I could install her new ARB Stubby front bumper. She was on the freeway @70mph said her clutch pedal went to the floor as she was try to figure that was happening another driver waved her over because there were flames coming out from under her Jeep. Within seconds after she got stopped and got herself and her dogs out the Jeep and the grass in the median were fully engulfed in flames. The clutch recall had been performed the day before.
Jeep Wrangler JL Clutch Fire (1 Day After Recall) Burns 2018 JLU to the Ground 236B37C8-162F-43A9-82CC-3EC0CD02ED8F
Jeep Wrangler JL Clutch Fire (1 Day After Recall) Burns 2018 JLU to the Ground FC354C18-9446-4B8D-8166-1F729D1B3FC6
This video shows how hot the clutch must have been, the entire bell housing is melted away.








Update 8/10/22
After viewing the photos posted here and elsewhere of the carnage done to the bell housing when your clutches exploded I’ve examined our video of her bell housing damage. It’s the same type of damage, damage from impact, not melted metal at all. I no longer think there was a clutch fire at all but rather a clutch/flywheel/pressure plate disintegrated, busting through the bell housing, and striking a fuel line which sprayed onto the hot exhaust.
Jeep Wrangler JL Clutch Fire (1 Day After Recall) Burns 2018 JLU to the Ground 37C84B14-9E8E-4366-B10F-71C612071A13
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Omarius

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Quite frankly, for a clutch to generate that kind of heat, there would have to be a large, sustained discrepancy between rpms and speed, i.e. slippage. You can blame the dealer for faulty clutch, or slave , or whatever it was, but the Jeep burning to the ground is squarely on the shoulders of the operator.
 

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Quite frankly, for a clutch to generate that kind of heat, there would have to be a large, sustained discrepancy between rpms and speed, i.e. slippage. You can blame the dealer for faulty clutch, or slave , or whatever it was, but the Jeep burning to the ground is squarely on the shoulders of the operator.
My money says it wasn’t the clutch at all but something wasn’t re-installed correctly and left against the exhaust pipe until it ignited.
 

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jludave

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Glad your niece and her dogs are OK. It's a real shame about her Jeep. Hope she has good insurance, which should make things right. Let the insurance company fight with the dealer, etc.
 
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krweatherl

krweatherl

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I’ve been following this clutch issue for a couple years, there’s been at least 2 Recalls to address a clutch that’s not strong enough to hold the torque generated. FCAs answer in both recalls has been an ecu reflash (reducing torque generated to equal clutch capacity?) instead of replacing the clutch with one with a proper torque rating.

I’ve been a heavy haul lowboy truck driver (200,000+lb loads)
for over 30 years. Around 1997 the company I was working for at the time built a new truck from a W900 Kenworth glider kit. We used the then new 550 hp Cat engine that developed 1850 ft torque but put the same clutch used behind the 425 Cat that developed 1450 ft torque. As you can imagine it didn’t turn out well. I could walk through that clutch with an empty trailer let alone with a load. Our answer to that problem was not to detune torque output to to equal clutch capacity. We replaced the clutch with one rated to handle the torque, never had a problem after.

I understand FCAs reluctance to replacing all those affected 2018-2020 JL & JT clutches but isn’t reducing torque output really just a bandaid trick to cover over the real problem to avoid the expense of a true fix? If it weren’t for the sharp eyed driver who alerted her to the emergency developing under her feet this could have turned out very differently and they could have a problem much larger than replacing a few thousand clutches.
Jeep Wrangler JL Clutch Fire (1 Day After Recall) Burns 2018 JLU to the Ground 0787EC4C-7DEE-4F16-9C97-EF27D3C338C3
 
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slowpoke387

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I’ve been following this clutch issue for a couple years, there’s been at least 2 Recalls to address a clutch that’s not strong enough to hold the torque generated. FCAs answer in both recalls has been an ecu reflash (reducing torque generated to equal clutch capacity?) instead of replacing the clutch with one with a proper torque rating.

I’ve been a heavy haul lowboy truck driver (200,000+lb loads)
for over 30 years. Around 1997 the company I was working for at the time built a new truck from a W900 Kenworth glider kit. We used the then new 550 hp Cat engine that developed 1850 ft torque but put the same clutch used behind the 425 Cat that developed 1450 ft torque. As you can imagine it didn’t turn out well. I could walk through that clutch with an empty trailer let alone with a load. Our answer to that problem was not to detune torque output to to equal clutch capacity. We replaced the clutch with one rated to handle the torque, never had a problem after.

I understand FCAs reluctance to replacing all those affected 2018-2020 JL & JT clutches but isn’t reducing torque output really just a bandaid trick to cover over the real problem to avoid the expense of a true fix? If it weren’t for the sharp eyed driver who alerted her to the emergency developing under her feet this could have turned out very differently and they could have a problem much larger than replacing a few thousand clutches.
While I agree that reducing the load via software is not the correct approach, my gut is telling me that your situation will be found to be a leak onto the exhaust somewhere.
I completely agree with you though, I mean if my Hellcat Redeye was eating transmissions I'd be pissed if they simply reflashed the ecu to lower the hp/torque. Granted your Jeep wasnt designed for the 1/4 mile but the concept stands imo.
 

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krweatherl

krweatherl

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Glad your niece and her dogs are OK. It's a real shame about her Jeep. Hope she has good insurance, which should make things right. Let the insurance company fight with the dealer, etc.
Thank you so much, we are so grateful for the sharp eyes of the other motorist who alerted her. Agreed this is one for the insurance and dealership.

photo the day she purchased it new in 2018
Jeep Wrangler JL Clutch Fire (1 Day After Recall) Burns 2018 JLU to the Ground 892DAF5D-43D9-4095-BFDA-EF6A169B5DA2

then yesterday
Jeep Wrangler JL Clutch Fire (1 Day After Recall) Burns 2018 JLU to the Ground 69F573DA-B5CE-4F71-B05E-06CB0FC49A2F

The dogs are safe in my Gladiator.
 

rohdawg

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“…this could have turned out very differently”

@krweatherl Glad things didn’t go that way and she’s alright. The Jeep can be replaced and you’ll have a new project to start with her.
 
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krweatherl

krweatherl

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“…this could have turned out very differently”

@krweatherl Glad things didn’t go that way and she’s alright. The Jeep can be replaced and you’ll have a new project to start with her.
The ARB Stubby bumper is waiting in my shop😉
 
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krweatherl

krweatherl

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I'm guessing a hydraulic clutch fluid leak ignited.
I’m thinking you’re onto something, she said it was cruising just fine, no slippage, traffic slowed so she pushed in the clutch to downshift and the petal stayed on the floor. She used her foot to pull it back up, pushed it again and that’s when the other motorist (a volunteer firefighter) got her attention.
I can envision a scenario where a clutch fluid leak ignites a fire, spreads immediately to the throw-out bearing slave cylinder, that heat compromises the rear main seal and you’ve got all the fuel needed to create a real problem.
 
 



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