Clutch Recall (FCA W12 | 20V-124) on 2018-2020 JL Manuals [overheating clutch pressure plate]

DanW

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This is all very interesting and troubling at the same time. Since 2001, I have driven two manual transmission vehicles. The first being a 2001 Honda Accord 2dr that I drove to 289,000 miles. On the original clutch. The second is a 2010 Mazda 3 5dr that I am still driving, currently at 193,800 miles and counting. Again, on the original clutch. Neither of these vehicles are something I wanted, but family and money considerations caused me to compromise on them.

Now, I placed an order for a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willy's Sport on January 29th. And of course with a manual. This is a bucket list item for me, as I have wanted one since I saw my very first CJ7 @ about 1986 (I was 13).

How, exactly, worried should I be about this?:(
Take a look at the NHTSA data on how many of these exhibited the problem. Very few. Also take a look at the mileage you got out of those clutches. Even on those vehciles, you've done much better than the intended or typical design life. I feel pretty safe in saying you will get long, long life out of the clutch, based on your driving history.

Now, if yours has a problem with improper hydraulic bleeding causing excessive slipping, then this provides a layer of protection.

I'd buy it with confidence, now that we have more info. Or, maybe wait until a few of us drive it with the flash and give a review. I will probably get it done relatively soon after they offer it. Feel free to PM me probably around mid April unless you see me post about it sooner. I'll give it a thorough thrashing and will report on any changes to engine behavior. Hopefully there will be none.

You also know that they are likely doubling or tripling their efforts to make sure no more get out of the factory with improperly bled hydraulic systems.

And one more thing. Don't EVER let my sister drive your Jeep. Or your Honda, or your Mazda. She'll wind up triggering that limp mode in a New York minute. She ate up an early 2000's Honda clutch in 25k miles. Probably the same one you had.

So with 41k, recalls aside, I've had zero issues with this transmission and clutch. I've loved every minute of driving it. I've run it VERY hard. I've towed frequently. It has been off road from crawling in Moab to deep Kentucky mud to the Appalachian Byway and everywhere in between. No issues. I find the clutch feel to be just fine and I love the short (relative to the dump truck transmission in my JK) throws and smooth operation of this transmission. WIth the Pentastar, I find it a great deal of fun to drive, even on twisty roads, which is not usually a Jeep trait. Heck, its been on the Tail of the Dragon twice!

What I have not liked are the recalls. More specifically, the worry about what was happening with the transmission. Hopefully, this preventative solution puts the issue behind us and we can enjoy one of the last new 4x4's to offer a manual transmission. I intend to keep mine for a LONG time.
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Torero

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well the 103 pages are mostly speculation lol as is the statement "it simply HAS to be a defect"

unless someone out there has proof that the clutch plate fails under normal driving conditions
no one can refute the "statements" by fca
:movember: Hum, there are three other cars with manual transmission in my garage. No recalls. :lipssealed::lipssealed:
 

DanW

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:movember: Hum, there are three other cars with manual transmission in my garage. No recalls. :lipssealed::lipssealed:
Happy for you! But recalls happen. To EVERY manufacturer.

I hate it, and this has been extremely annoying, but it appears that the worst case scenario did not play out. We will see. Since I have a lifetime warranty, I will be getting the flash. Not to mention I don't want this Jeep, by far my favorite of all of them I've owned, to wind up a burned out hulk on the side of the road.

Once I get the flash, and I will be trying to get it ASAP, I'll give it a hard flogging and report back on it. Especially if I get it before going to Moab, so it will get a good workout on the way there, on the rocks and trails, and then on the way home. Just like it has before. If I feel there's any adverse effect, I'll light the forum up with it. But I'm not expecting it. I've already listed many reasons why a full time power reduction would not work, so I won't rehash that, but that a limp home trigger makes perfect sense.

It really is a safeguard against the original problem, which was improper bleeding of the hydraulics at the factory. I'm betting this was necessary because some dealerships' techs didn't do it right in the first recall. This recall procedure and program is an insurance policy built right into the Jeep.
 

trat73

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I just know they will be delayed until the flash is available, which is anticipated to be in March.

Kaitlin
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I’m a little confused here. My dealership said they can do the update next week (Feb 16th). Is this something that can‘t be done until the flash is out in March? Am I missing something?
 

DanW

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I’m a little confused here. My dealership said they can do the update next week (Feb 16th). Is this something that can‘t be done until the flash is out in March? Am I missing something?
Lol, they may be confused with the previous recall or something else. The comedy never stops with some dealerships and their service advisors. But maybe they have pushed it out much quicker than anticipated. But I seriously doubt that.

I'll call my buddy who is a service advisor to see what he knows. He's usually spot-on with this stuff, unlike some out there. I'll do it tomorrow or Thursday, when I get a chance. I've been SWAMPED at work, so that chance might not come as soon as I'd like. But I do plan on getting the flash when available, after getting the info we got today. I feel much better about it now.
 

BuyHold

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I have a 6-speed Jeep on factory order and, as of a week ago, JeepChat told me that it is "in the stage prior to being released by the plant... may have been selected for additional quality inspections or held for delivery purposes." Presumably built, my dealer told me it is slated to be shipped next week.

After the initial JeepChat update, near end of last week, I stumbled on this clutch recall thread and it dawned on me that this was likely cause of the additional quality inspection hold. Bummer! Clutches are old technology and I was dismayed to read that JLs are having this issue from the factory. Not going to lie, was making me question whether I should have just gone with the easy-choice automatic instead. Or maybe a Bronco (JK!... ;)).

Having read Kaitlin's comment from @JeepCares, made me feel more confident that FCA has a solution to this that is workable from the factory and that will be sufficiently safe and performance-acceptable. Maybe I am just an optimist. However, even more, I am also hoping that aftermarket clutch manufacturers (looking at you Centerforce!) realizes that this whole ordeal will likely create a lot of opportunity to offer the aftermarket upgrade clutch provided they can demonstrate improved performance that doesn't compromise reliability. After this, more manual fans are going to be that much more aware of just how important a good clutch is to the vehicle's driving experience.

Long live the Manual!
 

sf5211

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As I mentioned, you would have to ignore the gear grinding and leave your clutch foot down while simultaneously holding down the gas and brakes to cause any real damage
Hey buddy, I hope all is well. I have a question. I was talking to my older brother yesterday who’s not a Jeep person but is a lifetime mechanic. I mentioned to him about this new recall, I also told him when my clutch eventually wears out I’d like to go with a Centerforce. He knew about the brand but said he wasn’t crazy about them because they’re hard to push. Is this true and can you give the cons of the Centerforce?
Thanks pal, stay safe.
 

sf5211

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So the idea here, per JeepCares’ post, is that no matter what currently unidentified design flaw is causing the transmission to explode, the PCM flash should force the engine into limp mode before permanent damage is sustained by any transmission components because the PCM can detect that clutch slippage is occurring for some reason and put a stop to it. So let’s say it does that. What then?
It’s not your transmission it’s the clutch that can break apart. If you drive the Jeep normal the clutch won’t slip and you can drive home. If your clutch is slipping during normal driving then the Jeep’s not drivable anyway.
 

GreySportySpice

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Very happy with my centerforce II. FCA dealers have lost my business forever though...
 

GreySportySpice

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Hey buddy, I hope all is well. I have a question. I was talking to my older brother yesterday who’s not a Jeep person but is a lifetime mechanic. I mentioned to him about this new recall, I also told him when my clutch eventually wears out I’d like to go with a Centerforce. He knew about the brand but said he wasn’t crazy about them because they’re hard to push. Is this true and can you give the cons of the Centerforce?
Thanks pal, stay safe.
The clutch is definitely harder to push. I find myself sitting in neutral at long lights where I wouldnt before. Mine also has some quirks. It doesnt always want to go into first from neutral at a stop (I found that 4th always syncs up). I'm almost positive this is from it dragging a little. It has a tighter window of engagement which takes a little getting used to and that window is very near fully engaged.

Edit: Oh and its noisier. The weights on the clutch rattle the most in 3rd. If I were to do it again I'd cut the weights off. The clutch is over built for the power so they don't really need the centerforce gimmick.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. Better feel and heavier flywheel alone are enough to make me do it again.
 
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Toycrusher

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Hey buddy, I hope all is well. I have a question. I was talking to my older brother yesterday who’s not a Jeep person but is a lifetime mechanic. I mentioned to him about this new recall, I also told him when my clutch eventually wears out I’d like to go with a Centerforce. He knew about the brand but said he wasn’t crazy about them because they’re hard to push. Is this true and can you give the cons of the Centerforce?
Thanks pal, stay safe.
I've driven some vehicles with clutches you have to stand on. Within a few months you have a muscled and toned left leg and a not-so-impressive right leg...

Yeah, not the case here. I have the dual friction and there was no real discernable increase in effort.
 

WXman

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The bitter irony here is that most people who bought a manual transmission in their JL or JT did so specifically because they wanted to avoid overly sophisticated electronic controls. For their trouble they ended up with a Jeep that will be programmed to kill power via electronic nannies to protect itself. Ahhh....the irony.

It's enough to make a guy cry. Price goes up, quality and engineering goes down.
 

Kreepin1

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The clutch is definitely harder to push. I find myself sitting in neutral at long lights where I wouldnt before. Mine also has some quirks. It doesnt always want to go into first from neutral at a stop (I found that 4th always syncs up). I'm almost positive this is from it dragging a little. It has a tighter window of engagement which takes a little getting used to and that window is very near fully engaged.
I apologize for calling you out in public @GreySportySpice but I suspect this is precisely what has led to the failures.

First, keep you foot off the clutch pedal unless you are changing gears. Never sit waiting at a light with the clutch depressed. This will wear out the throwout bearing and, it turns out, cause the intermediate plate to overheat.

Second, 4th is a direct drive gear, meaning you are engaging the dogs that tie together the input and output shafts rather than the weaker syncros used for all other gears. Your clutch is dragging and should be looked into unless you want to wear out your transmission. Try pumping the clutch several times before trying to shift into first. If it helps you likely have air in the lines.
 

JeepCares

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I’m a little confused here. My dealership said they can do the update next week (Feb 16th). Is this something that can‘t be done until the flash is out in March? Am I missing something?
I think your dealer might be confused with something else. There isn't a flash out yet.
I would follow up with them, and let us know if you need any help.

Kaitlin
Jeep Cares
 
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