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

DanW

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I think you will agree that you clearly recognized when your fluid level reached the point that you could not fully disengage the clutch. You had physical resistance in the shift lever and audible grinding of the gears. Under those circumstances, you would be introducing heat into the system ONLY while at a stop, with the clutch in, and in gear. Nobody could ignore that for long enough AND sit at a lot of really really really long lights on gear to ever generate the 1100 degrees or whatever.

The reservoir hose recall was not connected to the spectacular failures. MOST JL owners have had their clutches perform as designed. When operating properly, they are quite robust and can handle a lot of abuse. I've not heard of anyone reaching the point of wearing out their clutch.

SOME though have had their clutches not perform as designed. Mine was one that did not engage both discs evenly which resulted in inconsistent engagement points and general frustration. Even malfunctioning like this, it handled heavy extended towing and off-roading without failure.

A few malfunctioned mechanically like mine but the discs stuck to the point they never fully engaged leading to extreme heat and failure.

All clutches of all makes and models eventually wear to the point of failure and inability to hold torque under load. Until now, that failure point resulted in lots of smoke, terrible smell, and loss of forward momentum. This Jeep clutch is the only I've heard of that can fracture and fly apart when reaching end-of-life. Yes, the software update will likely prevent such catastrophic failures when everyone's eventually reaches end-of-life, but I feel better knowing my clutch doesn't have that weakness to start with.
No. Felt fine. Noticed fluid on the ground well before anything felt off. It gave no clue until it had no hydraulic fluid left in the system. It was quick and dramatic at that point, but lost fluid gradually and did have some air bubbles in it before going belly up. If gradual, I'd have felt it and fixed it before leaving on a trip.

The type of wear causing the heat buildup is not the same as normal wear. And no pressure plate is designed to withstand those kinds of temps. With normal wear, even if this clutch wears more quickly than it should, that level of temperature would never be approached.

I believe the clutch wear and pressure plate failure are only symptoms. Not the disease. Otherwise, mine would have undoubtedly failed or wore out by now.





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Toycrusher

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No. Felt fine. Noticed fluid on the ground well before anything felt off. It gave no clue until it had no hydraulic fluid left in the system. It was quick and dramatic at that point, but lost fluid gradually and did have some air bubbles in it before going belly up. If gradual, I'd have felt it and fixed it before leaving on a trip.

The type of wear causing the heat buildup is not the same as normal wear. And no pressure plate is designed to withstand those kinds of temps. With normal wear, even if this clutch wears more quickly than it should, that level of temperature would never be approached.

I believe the clutch wear and pressure plate failure are only symptoms. Not the disease. Otherwise, mine would have undoubtedly failed or wore out by now.
Precisely my point. As soon as your hydraulic system no longer has sufficient pressure to fully open your pressure plate, you know. This isn't something that can lurk behind the scenes. Your clutch either releases fully, or it doesn't, and you can feel it.

Secondly, why is the clutch reaching these temperatures? Why can't you smell the burning clutch material first? You can get most any traditional clutch red hot 1100°+ and you will end up with a huge cloud of smoke and a vehicle that doesn't can't move, not flying projectiles. Why does this pressure plate scatter?

Third, yes. There is a defect affecting a very small number of transmissions. It affects the clutch discs loading up evenly, resulting in wonky engagement. In severe cases, the clutch never reached 100% lockup on one of the discs. The result was a super hot clutch, and a pressure plate that grenaded instead of slipping uncontrollably as a traditional clutch would.
 

neil

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This is my 7th motor vehicle with a clutch. I've owned 2 autos in my life. Owned off-road bikes, tractors, all kinda fun/utility shit that is not really a motor vehicle.

I have 5K on this clutch in my 2020.

The soonest ive replaced a clutch was in a used 80s ford work truck that I bought used with 40K on it. I hauled with it, and at 125 it started slipping. It hauled lumber, hay, all kinds of crap. I probably put 20 K on it with it slipping before I replaced it.

My auto tranny went 200+ before a solenoid, other needed a gasket at 140K or so.

We all agree this is an under engineered cheap POS clutch that barely eeks by torque specs. We all agree that it could have easily been better engineered the 1st time. Many think the fix is a 'workaround', as I do.

So, how many miles do you have on your MT? What are your milage expectations for this product?

I honestly think a clutch should last 100K + barring damage to it from some different factor.

I also don't feel like it's something that needs to be addressed immediately. Maybe if my teen was spinning the wheels all the time or my wife was backing it into our uphill driveway in short bursts 5x a day, I might be worried. Hell, I am worried when anyone gets behind anything motorized and is not paying the same attention to it as if they were on a bull.

So, my end game with this is just like with any of my other vehicles, when it breaks, I will fix it. Until then, it's serviceable and fine. Just like every other vehicle ive owned since the latter dawn of time.

My 02 yukon with nearly 400K on it finally shit the front end, like pittman arm bushings, you name it trashed after 40K in colorado fishing last summer. All one can do is fix it with better parts (and there will be options in a few years like with every jeep in the past 40 years) and drive on.

If you think your driving a pinto...and you have anxiety about this causing issues. THAT is not worth it, trade it and move on.
 

Rodeoflyer

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I'm at 21,500 and no issues other than a rattle at idle with the clutch released. It's been rattling since new and hasn't grown worse over 20k miles. If I depress the pedal a few times it disappears. Prob the throwout bearing. I figure when I take it in for the steering gear TSB I've been waiting MONTHS for they can look at it.. if they care. Not a lot of faith in dealers around here at this point. If it's still making noise once I'm creeping up on 36k (factory warranty expiration) I'll go raise hell over it and demand it fixed. I also have an extended 125k warranty, same company who took very good care of me when a lot of things failed on my truck around 90k miles. I realize it likely won't cover the clutch (wear item) so whatever the case, I'll be upgrading to aftermarket when it finally fails.

I've owned about half a dozen manual trans vehicles in my life and never had one fail while owning it. My mustang's started to finally slip at 92k miles after MANY hard lauches, dragstrip passes, etc. I was extremely hard on it and it lasted to 90k so...
 

JeepCares

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Hi Dan, I had the first recall done, I did the test myself, and it passed, took it to the dealer, and it passed, they put the ridiculous plastic sleeve on and sent me home. So it was good 3,000 miles ago, now is not.... hum. I may follow your advise. But first I’ll do the test myself again, that is a different test. I’ll let you know what they say.
Hi Torero,
Sorry to hear of the trouble you’re experiencing. If you decide to address this concern with your certified dealer, please feel free to send us a private message. We would be happy to provide you with an additional layer of assistance for that process.

Rob
Jeep Cares
 

DanW

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Precisely my point. As soon as your hydraulic system no longer has sufficient pressure to fully open your pressure plate, you know. This isn't something that can lurk behind the scenes. Your clutch either releases fully, or it doesn't, and you can feel it.

Secondly, why is the clutch reaching these temperatures? Why can't you smell the burning clutch material first? You can get most any traditional clutch red hot 1100°+ and you will end up with a huge cloud of smoke and a vehicle that doesn't can't move, not flying projectiles. Why does this pressure plate scatter?

Third, yes. There is a defect affecting a very small number of transmissions. It affects the clutch discs loading up evenly, resulting in wonky engagement. In severe cases, the clutch never reached 100% lockup on one of the discs. The result was a super hot clutch, and a pressure plate that grenaded instead of slipping uncontrollably as a traditional clutch would.
My point was that my JK had air bubbles in the hydraulic system BEFORE it lost all its fluid. During that time, it shifted and felt normal for awhile. You had said that with air in the system it would not shift or would do so with difficulty. It did not. How long it was in that condition I do not know, but it didn't puke all the fluid right away. It did it gradually. When it got to zero is when the clutch pedal when to the floor and did not disengage the cluch. End of story. I was there. The leak made it a short term deal, which from my point of view was fortunate. It the case of this JK, it was a slave cylinder that went bad. Not uncommon in the NSG370.

As for why they wouldn't smell it with that heat, you'd have to ask the two people who experienced it why they didn't smell it before it caused the catastrophic failure. But I do recall the forum member whose Jeep was the one to burn to the ground saying he did not feel or smell anything abnormal before the kaboom.

But I digress. The fact is that we're talking about two failures, plus the two dozen or so that had improperly bled hydraulic systems. That's what they had in common, according to the documentation I've seen.
 

Toycrusher

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My point was that my JK had air bubbles in the hydraulic system BEFORE it lost all its fluid. During that time, it shifted and felt normal for awhile. You had said that with air in the system it would not shift or would do so with difficulty. It did not. How long it was in that condition I do not know, but it didn't puke all the fluid right away. It did it gradually. When it got to zero is when the clutch pedal when to the floor and did not disengage the cluch. End of story. I was there. The leak made it a short term deal, which from my point of view was fortunate. It the case of this JK, it was a slave cylinder that went bad. Not uncommon in the NSG370.

As for why they wouldn't smell it with that heat, you'd have to ask the two people who experienced it why they didn't smell it before it caused the catastrophic failure. But I do recall the forum member whose Jeep was the one to burn to the ground saying he did not feel or smell anything abnormal before the kaboom.

But I digress. The fact is that we're talking about two failures, plus the two dozen or so that had improperly bled hydraulic systems. That's what they had in common, according to the documentation I've seen.
It's possible you did not actually have air bubbles, or significant air bubbles in your lines before completely running out of fluid. When air is in the lines, your pedal will not return all the way up when you release it, a few small bubbles are all the difference between a normal pedal height and the pedal flat on the floor.
 

DanW

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It's possible you did not actually have air bubbles, or significant air bubbles in your lines before completely running out of fluid. When air is in the lines, your pedal will not return all the way up when you release it, a few small bubbles are all the difference between a normal pedal height and the pedal flat on the floor.
It's possible you did not actually have air bubbles, or significant air bubbles in your lines before completely running out of fluid. When air is in the lines, your pedal will not return all the way up when you release it, a few small bubbles are all the difference between a normal pedal height and the pedal flat on the floor.
Another thing to consider, since were now talking about what might be possible. The JL's that had air in the hydraulic system had very low miles, so it is also possible that it changed the feel, but they had no prior reference with one that was functioning normally, so they very well may have thought things were normal.

As for my JK, it felt normal until the fluid was gone and I can only go with what the tech who fixed it said. Maybe he was wrong. I did not fix it nor did I watch him fix it. I had 96k miles with it working properly even while leaking, right up until it had no more to draw from in the reservoir. So I had a solid idea of what felt normal. But I know he fixed it perfectly, so he at least got that right.
 

WreckEm711

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I'm at 6,000 miles and have no issues so far. Mine was one of the earlier 6 speeds put out after the initial recall shut down production last year, so we'll see how it goes!

It has definitely felt better over time, whether that's me getting more familiarized with it or if a certain break in period has helped, I'm not sure.
 

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Break in definitely helps. I took mine out last week at 1200mi and had it in all modes except for not needing lockers. 2H in 2nd at 1400rpm going over bumps (all dirt or rocky roads) with no sputtering. 4H from 1st through 3rd, 1100--3000rpm, sway bar on and off, basically smooth. Even oopsed it down to 300rpm trying to back up once and it didn't die. 4L from 2nd through 4th ran well, beautiful engine braking, nice downhill control in 3rd. No tachometer jumping.

I admit to not being entirely smooth needing to shift down from 4th to 3rd in 4L, and a bit of overrevving a few times, but this was in the desert and I had no smoke, no smells. Sure I could have been nicer to the clutch, but I have no reason to believe my unpracticed-with-new-conditions driving hurt it in any way.

At 400mi it wouldn't go up a hill in town unless it was running 3000rpm. :giggle: Be patient, run it through the motions, pull it down below 2000 when it's safe to do so, and mostly just learn which ranges give the best fuel economy. Pretty soon it'll be :involve:
 

cripton805

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My 2018 Wrangler JLU Sport 6 speed is no more. I traded it in for an Auto JT Gladiator Willys.

Here are my reasons for getting rid of it.

1. Clutch recalls and issues.
2. Corrosion on most of the hinges, doors, hood
3. Leaking CAM Sensor
4. Needed the steering TSB performed.

Things already replaced under warranty.

1. Steering damper
2. Hood Liner (Tore in its own)
3. Clutch Line Recall
4. Bleed air out of clutch lines

I had 11 months left on my warranty with no actual support from my local dealers for the paint work. Jeep / FCA not taking responsibility for the actual problems with the clutch. Clovis Jeep in CA gave me money on top for my trade in and gave me a good deal on a Willys Gladiator.

If I have any major issues with the Gladiator. I will get rid of it and never spend a single penny on another Mopar Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler ever again.

I had way too many issues to be fixed within 11 months left of my warranty.

Total Length of miserable ownership: 2 years and 1 month.

I will stay on the JL forum and share my experiences.
 

DanW

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My 2018 Wrangler JLU Sport 6 speed is no more. I traded it in for an Auto JT Gladiator Willys.

Here are my reasons for getting rid of it.

1. Clutch recalls and issues.
2. Corrosion on most of the hinges, doors, hood
3. Leaking CAM Sensor
4. Needed the steering TSB performed.

Things already replaced under warranty.

1. Steering damper
2. Hood Liner (Tore in its own)
3. Clutch Line Recall
4. Bleed air out of clutch lines

I had 11 months left on my warranty with no actual support from my local dealers for the paint work. Jeep / FCA not taking responsibility for the actual problems with the clutch. Clovis Jeep in CA gave me money on top for my trade in and gave me a good deal on a Willys Gladiator.

If I have any major issues with the Gladiator. I will get rid of it and never spend a single penny on another Mopar Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler ever again.

I had way too many issues to be fixed within 11 months left of my warranty.

Total Length of miserable ownership: 2 years and 1 month.

I will stay on the JL forum and share my experiences.
Sounds like you should trade in your dealer, too. Hopefully there's a better one not too far away.
 

Torero

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Sounds like you should trade in your dealer, too. Hopefully there's a better one not too far away.
This statement makes me wonder. So far I have never cared for a dealer because my other cars have never needed any warranty work. Yeah, I know all car have issues, all brands have recalls, so maybe I have been lucky so far. Cross my fingers.
 

Luxy60

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Considering a new 21 with MT. Does anyone know what fixes FCA implemented to correct the issue?
 

Toycrusher

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Considering a new 21 with MT. Does anyone know what fixes FCA implemented to correct the issue?
Issue is incredibly rare. FCA does not seem to have a true fix for it. That said, driving a manual is far more rewarding than an auto, even if the auto is "better" in 95% of all metrics. You may not have another opportunity to buy a manual Jeep, or any vehicle for that matter, so snatch it up while you still can, you won't regret it!
 

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