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

neil

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@JeepCares - when this PCM flash is available, do you know if it’s cumulative in terms of existing TSB’s? In other words, will this recall also provide all interim software fixes that have been released?
Lotta questions about the unknown-this is like a new windows version in an office





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DocTwinkie

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Hi everyone, there has been a lot of questions and different threads so I am going to post this and you may see the same info posted on other threads:

Towing capacity or performance will not be affected by this flash update.

There is no difference in the 3.6L engine's power output under "normal circumstances" with the Y01 flash. The torque reduction only happens if the engine controller calculates the clutch pressure plate temperature is above a certain temperature threshold.

The PCM monitors the engine RPM and the wheel speed sensors to determine if clutch slippage is occurring, how often, and at what intensity. Based on that information, the PCM calculates the clutch pressure plate temperature. The temperature threshold that reduces the engine torque is lower than the temperature needed to do permanent pressure plate damage. The vehicle cannot reach or exceed the temperature threshold under normal operating conditions, including towing and off-roading, and only occurs if the driver repeatedly slips the clutch, performs multiple, consecutive 2nd or 3rd gear launches, or if air is present in the hydraulic clutch system.

Kaitlin
Jeep Cares
Fantastic info. Thank you Kaitlin!
 

LLRubylady

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I view the warranty and an extended warranty as insurance in case something goes horribly wrong. I have taken my Jeep to the dealer for two items; 1. the sleeve add-on (I never had a single issue with my clutch) and 2. the steering TSB, which I am happier about every day I drive my Jeep. That change has resulted in such an improvement in highway driving.

I have done all my own service and will do so into the future. I agree that local shops have a stronger vested interest in making the customer happy since the dealers all know that a percentage of people will always go back to them for service.
same here. Had the sleeve put on and the steering thing fixed. Never had an issue with either of mine either.
This is disturbing though. I keep thinking as I'm driving i'm going to go "boom"
 

_olllllllo_

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same here. Had the sleeve put on and the steering thing fixed. Never had an issue with either of mine either.
This is disturbing though. I keep thinking as I'm driving i'm going to go "boom"
I have no worries about that. I will replace the clutch and pressure plate with the Centerforce when it needs replacement. I do find it interesting that Centerforce is reworking their offering based on issues early adopters appear to have had. Ultimately the best option is Jeep does a thorough evaluation and comes up with a rock solid remedy. Recalling less than 40,000 vehicles is fairly small compared to the Tanaka air bags and some of the other component failures that the OEM's have had to cover.
 

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same here. Had the sleeve put on and the steering thing fixed. Never had an issue with either of mine either.
This is disturbing though. I keep thinking as I'm driving i'm going to go "boom"
Nah don’t worry Lisa, as long as you’re not taking off in 2nd or 3rd gear or shifting real early where your engine is lugging, your clutch is not going to slip, heat up, explode.
 

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From what I've been able to gather, only 2 out of what, 46,000 of these things came apart and only 1 caught fire. (If I've read correctly) and fewer than 20 showed damage to the pressure plate. So the odds are VERY slim. There would have to be A LOT of slipping, over and over and over, to do this. I could be off on some of these numbers, but I'm pretty sure only two have gone boom.

I believe I might have found one of the culprits in this design, and it is not the materials or bad design of the transmission, or bad parts. It is with the ergonomics. Read on to see the hypothesis.

Mine has been abused a couple of times including my bro in law and wife each having a go with 3rd gear starts where the Jeep's clutch stunk to high heaven and the engine stalled. Both tried to go at least twice. I think my wife went 3. My neighbor saved the day with my wife and my bro in law figured it out after two tries. No damage. So this thing is not as fragile as the documents and others make it sound. So I believe to get to where your clutch overheats and causes catastrophic damage to the pressure plate requires SIGNIFICANT friction over a fairly good stretch of time. I have not at all babied my clutch, either. I drive it HARD because it is fun. No issues. I doubt anyone has driven theirs harder over 40k miles than me. So it isn't so fragile as this issue makes it seem. That said, I drive with absolutely proper technique and don't unecessarily slip it. But it does get the full power of that engine A LOT.

Both have driven my JK numerous times and both can drive a clutch very well. So what was it about the JL that made them make this error? The location of reverse. That's the culprit in their case. WIth the JK, reverse is lower right. So they know to push the stick all the way to the left to get into 1st. Easy peasy. BUT on the JL, they see reverse in that spot, so they subconsciously try to avoid it by looking for the second notch to the right. That's 3rd gear. Even though they know to lift the ring to get to reverse, subconsciously the gate diagram is telling them not to push all the way over there. My bro in law quickly figured this out. My wife needed my neighbor to explain it to her. Both have been fine ever since. The Jeep is fine and the clutch passed the wear test twice If yours heated up enough to cause damage, the clutch would be worn out enough not to pass the test.

So the scenario of a 3rd gear start is real. I think 99.99% of people will figure this out after 1 or two aborted take-off attempts, likely with stalls. 0.01% will try it over and over and that's where they could get into trouble, especially if they waaaaay over slip the thing to keep it from stalling.

So one thing you want to do is properly warn and instruct anyone driving your Jeep who is not familiar. Remind them that if it isn't going, something is WRONG. Stop and think rather than continuing to try and force it.

Now, with all that, do I think reverse is in the wrong place? No. I like it there. The reason they did that was to make reverse very quickly accessible to get out of a jam off-road or to rock it back an forth if stuck in mud or snow. IT works. I have nosed into mud holes that required quick action to back out of and I can get this thing into reverse and moving backward MUCH quicker than my JK. So I like it. But I have to warn anyone elese driving it who is just not familiar. That's the key. Once they know, they understand and it isn't a problem. My wife and bro in law have never repeated the error.

So there could be two entirely different root causes for the pressure plate damage. 1, the improper bleeding of the hydraulic system causing slippage/friction, or the ergonomic reason, where folks start unknowingly in 3rd gear multiple times. Just a guess.
 
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I'll start this reply by saying thank you to Kaitlin @JeepCares on this forum. She is awesome and is looking out for us.

I had original recall work done then clutch started slipping after the recall work was done. Dealership blamed it on being wear part. JeepCares got involved and had all the clutch parts replaced. The Jeep did spend 2 months in the dealership but that was another story.

We have another 6speed and have always hated the clutch on this Jeep. My wife had been driving my second driver a JCW while it was in the shop. We started shopping for a different car while hers was in the shop, because of how much we disliked driving experience (bucking, weird engagement, short engagement but long travel etc., heavy etc.), and I planned trading this month.

My wife picked up the Jeep Monday and called me and said "it's like driving a new car". I figured she had just forgotten what it was like, but I drove it last night to dinner with her and the clutch is night and day a different clutch and driving experience from the one that came with the Jeep. I'm not sure what they did right the second time, but if you have (bucking, weird engagement, short engagement but long travel etc., heavy etc.) you may consider having your clutch looked into. My guess is that there was always a unresolved issue when we bought hers that was resolved with this repair.
 
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This is brief glimpse of what highway speed clutch slipping looked like prior to second repair.
 

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This is brief glimpse of what highway speed clutch slipping looked like prior to second repair.
[QUOTE="Theadam


WOW! Clearly something was horribly wrong and that clutch at that point was toast. I'd bet that all they did to fix that was properly bleed the slave cylnder (during the recall) and install the new clutch and plate. So the recall probably fixed the root problem, but the damage was already done. Then the new clutch/plate replaced the damaged parts. You may have dodged a bullet, or at least dodged pressure plate fragmentation! It also tells me your dealership's tech didn't properly do the wear test, if done at all. NO WAY that thing would have passed it.

Glad they got that right for you! For awhile you had the un-lottery ticket on your hands! So glad it worked out for you!
 

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It's true there may be reasons why these clutches wore out too soon, and operator error may have played a role.

The bottom line is though, that ALL clutches eventually wear out. You might make it a million miles, but they all eventually wear out. When they do, you most often notice slippage in higher gears.

Nobody else has pressure plates that fracture and come apart when the clutch reaches the point of needing replacement. THAT is the faulty design that needs to be recalled. It doesn't matter why or how soon the clutch became toast, the pressure plate should never suffer such a catastrophic failure
 

DanW

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It's true there may be reasons why these clutches wore out too soon, and operator error may have played a role.

The bottom line is though, that ALL clutches eventually wear out. You might make it a million miles, but they all eventually wear out. When they do, you most often notice slippage in higher gears.

Nobody else has pressure plates that fracture and come apart when the clutch reaches the point of needing replacement. THAT is the faulty design that needs to be recalled. It doesn't matter why or how soon the clutch became toast, the pressure plate should never suffer such a catastrophic failure
What you describe in your last paragraph is NOT what happened to cause the fracturing. It was not from simply wearing out. It was extreme friction over a short period of time that took the temperature to 1100 degrees. No normal wear condition will EVER take it to that kind of temperature.

Simply wearing out has never been any part of the description of the problem by either FCA or NHTSA. It has only come up in internet forums as total guesswork and assumptions. If it were true, these things would be wearing out right and left, and failing right and left. That's simply not happening. What you see in that video was most certainly caused by the original identified problem of improper bleeding of the hydraulic system. Unless the guy who posted it admits to driver error. But he said it was like that from the start. I think he's very fortunate that it didn't heat it up enough to damage/destroy the pressure plate. And I serously doubt it was driver error.

And please, somebody show me ANY pressure plate where the manufacturer makes the claim that it can withstand 1100 degrees. You will not ever find one. They don't exist, unless in the drag racing world, and I doubt they exist there, either. They'd have to be made out of metals or with a process far too expensive for a passenger vehicle. And they would be unecessary.

Go ask Centerforce if they'll guarantee that their pressure plate will hold up after being subjected to 1100 degrees of heat. Bet they won't do it.
 
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What you describe in your last paragraph is NOT what happened to cause the fracturing. It was not from simply wearing out. It was extreme friction over a short period of time that took the temperature to 1100 degrees. No normal wear condition will EVER take it to that kind of temperature.

Simply wearing out has never been any part of the description of the problem by either FCA or NHTSA. It has only come up in internet forums as total guesswork and assumptions. If it were true, these things would be wearing out right and left, and failing right and left. That's simply not happening. What you see in that video was most certainly caused by the original identified problem of improper bleeding of the hydraulic system. Unless the guy who posted it admits to driver error. But he said it was like that from the start. I think he's very fortunate that it didn't heat it up enough to damage/destroy the pressure plate. And I serously doubt it was driver error.

And please, somebody show me ANY pressure plate where the manufacturer makes the claim that it can withstand 1100 degrees. You will not ever find one. They don't exist, unless in the drag racing world, and I doubt they exist there, either. They'd have to be made out of metals or with a process far too expensive for a passenger vehicle. And they would be unecessary.

Go ask Centerforce if they'll guarantee that their pressure plate will hold up after being subjected to 1100 degrees of heat. Bet they won't do it.
Actually, the hydraulics are not in play in the video. Clutch pressure comes from the mechanical finger springs. Hydraulics are only used to open the clutch when changing gears.

And yes, a worn out clutch slipping while in gear can generate some pretty intense heat. Normal clutches generate enough smoke and smell to inform the operator that something is not right
 
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The issue of the slipping clutch happened after we took it in and had the original recall work done which only involved hydraulics I believe. I get it that clutches are wear parts, but this Jeep is used to haul kids and has never towed anything, been off road etc. My wife has driven a 6speed for 24 years etc. I had a pickup that had 360k on original clutch. That's why when she told me that she thought clutch was acting funny on the highway I realized something was wrong. The clutch would just briefly spin up if you gave it hard torque/gas. They replaced flywheel, springs, clutch I was told the second time around and it's a different Jeep now. It not like they fixed the problem, this new clutch etc. feels like we bought a different JL.
 
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Actually, the hydraulics are not in play in the video. Clutch pressure comes from the mechanical finger springs. Hydraulics are only used to open the clutch when changing gears.

And yes, a worn out clutch slipping while in gear can generate some pretty intense heat. Normal clutches generate enough smoke and smell to inform the operator that something is not right
What's weird... is we never recall smelling the burnt clutch smell throughout this whole process. I.e. I would have expected to smell it when she parked in the garage.
 

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What's weird... is we never recall smelling the burnt clutch smell throughout this whole process. I.e. I would have expected to smell it when she parked in the garage.
Precisely my point. It would take some extreme slipping for am extended period to reach 1100 degrees. As experienced drivers, you recognized the issue before it became more serious. Even inexperienced drivers though would be unable to mistake the level of slippage (and smoke and smell) necessary to generate the full 1100 degree failure point
 

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