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

zyt

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Just had it done at my local dealer. They have the hose sleeve available in stock and offered me a loaner. They only put on the sleeve without bleeding the clutch and explained that it passed the test so no need to bleed which contradicts to FCA's guideline.

Anyway, my clutch has been perfect for the last two and half years. As expected, it drives the same as before. I will make sure I save dealer's workpaper that states only adding sleeve without bleeding.





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DanW

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I've been looking into this but I hate that we have to do this on a new under warranty Jeep to prevent a known problem that Jeep doesn't seem to want to cover. That and talking the wife into spending $2,000 on a vehicle I just purchased may be difficult lol
Uhh, Jeep IS covering it. They identified the problem and issued a recall. There's no blaming on driver error at this point. The recall acknowledges the problem, in and of itself.

The issue, as I understand it (this is not an official explanation, so it could be inaccurate), appears to have its root in improper bleeding of the hydraulic system during assembly, which caused the clutch not to completely disengage, leading, in the worst cases, to 1400 degree temps which weakened and caused the friction plate to go to pieces, leading to a catastrophic failure, followed by a series of unfortunate events, with some possibly even being responsible for fire and totaling the Jeep. With proper bleeding, however the clutch fully disengages as it should, which should lead to a long and happy life for the clutch, transmission, and Jeep.

You can be reasonably sure they have implemented a change in the assembly procedure that ensures proper bleeding of the slave cylinder.

Mine was properly bled and never exhibited any ill behavior, from day 1 to today. She sits at 34,700 miles as I type this, and every one of those miles has been a joy. My clutch easily passed the wear test and they bled the slave cylinder, as per the recall, and installed the sleeve and whatever else. It drives and feels exactly as it did before the recall procedure. Some manual owners have reported an improvement in feel. Mine felt good from the start, so I didn't expect that.

I'd bet FCA took care of the few that did experience the catastrophic failure. They probably didn't do it directly, but likely reimbursed the insurance companies involved for their losses. That's how these things work. Unfortunately, the legal culture in this country dissuades companies from sending an apology, which would be nice. It just won't happen. So, the recall has to serve as vindication, at the end of the day.

I'm just glad I got my Jeep back quickly, all was well, and I got to drive a Gladiator for 4 days. My dealership, York (formerly Westgate) in Plainfield Indiana, made the experience easy and quite frankly, a joy. They always do. I wish everyone had a dealership like that to service their Jeeps. They'd sell even more of them, for sure!
 

01tj

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Uhh, Jeep IS covering it. They identified the problem and issued a recall. There's no blaming on driver error at this point. The recall acknowledges the problem, in and of itself.

The issue, as I understand it (this is not an official explanation, so it could be inaccurate), appears to have its root in improper bleeding of the hydraulic system during assembly, which caused the clutch not to completely disengage, leading, in the worst cases, to 1400 degree temps which weakened and caused the friction plate to go to pieces, leading to a catastrophic failure, followed by a series of unfortunate events, with some possibly even being responsible for fire and totaling the Jeep. With proper bleeding, however the clutch fully disengages as it should, which should lead to a long and happy life for the clutch, transmission, and Jeep.


I'd bet FCA took care of the few that did experience the catastrophic failure. They probably didn't do it directly, but likely reimbursed the insurance companies involved for their losses. That's how these things work. Unfortunately, the legal culture in this country dissuades companies from sending an apology, which would be nice. It just won't happen. So, the recall has to serve as vindication, at the end of the day.
The pictures I posted were from a post on Facebook. I've talked to the driver and he said he had the recall done but with about 20,000 miles on his Jeep that happened while driving down a flat road at 20 mph. There are a few others that have had the same issue and Jeep won't fix it. The drivers have been told that it was caused by driver error.

With there being a recall on the clutch and the clutch exploding it seems like they should have to cover it. I've seen some clutches abused in my years of driving but they don't just blow up. I've taught a few people how to drive on some of my old vehicles and they get hot and slip but I don't see how a driver could do that.

I love driving mine and it seems to drive great other than 1 issue. It seems to not run smoothly if I drive it at less than 2k rpms in 3rd gear. Every other gear is fine just 3rd. I usually keep it above there anyway but I just worry about something going wrong down the road.
 

DanW

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The pictures I posted were from a post on Facebook. I've talked to the driver and he said he had the recall done but with about 20,000 miles on his Jeep that happened while driving down a flat road at 20 mph. There are a few others that have had the same issue and Jeep won't fix it. The drivers have been told that it was caused by driver error.

With there being a recall on the clutch and the clutch exploding it seems like they should have to cover it. I've seen some clutches abused in my years of driving but they don't just blow up. I've taught a few people how to drive on some of my old vehicles and they get hot and slip but I don't see how a driver could do that.

I love driving mine and it seems to drive great other than 1 issue. It seems to not run smoothly if I drive it at less than 2k rpms in 3rd gear. Every other gear is fine just 3rd. I usually keep it above there anyway but I just worry about something going wrong down the road.
I can't speak to those specific cases and we only know one side of the story. What I can tell you, though, is that normal driving is not the cause of the problems the recall addresses. It isn't about slipping the clutch. It is about not having enough hydraulic pressure to fully disengage the clutch when fully depressed, due to the air bubbles. That's why the bleed is the first step. If damage was already done and the dealer didn't properly do the wear test, I could see a couple of them getting out of the recall and the friction plate coming apart later. Again, that would be a case of the damage already being done.

As for the 3rd gear issue, how many miles do you have on yours? Mine did some of that at lower rpm, like under 1500 it would buck and bronc, but after broken in, that all smoothed out, plus as with any manual, you find its quirks and what the engine likes and doesn't like. The smoothing out may be as much to do with me subconsciously adapting to it as it is with it getting through break-in. This 3.6 likes to have a few revs on it. Once you find what it likes, you adjust. EVERY single manual I've owned has had its own sweet spots and not so sweet spots. Honestly, this one probably has the fewest of all of them. Full break-in can take awhile. I feel like mine really wasn't fully broken in until about 20k miles.

If you don't trust your dealer, you can do the clutch test yourself. Find the write up on the recall. I believe the procedure something like this...set the parking brake, depress the clutch, put it in 4th gear, bring the engine to 4k rpm. Then dump the clutch. If it stalls immediately, the clutch is not worn. Otherwise, such as if the engine keeps running a bit, the clutch is worn.

I don't believe these clutches or transmissions are fragile, either. there isn't any component in the vehicle or any normal passenger vehicle, that is designed to withstand up to 1400 degrees and not be damaged, except for maybe the exhaust manifold or catalytic converter, but I doubt those even get that hot. That's an extreme amount of slippage to get there.
 

01tj

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I can't speak to those specific cases and we only know one side of the story. What I can tell you, though, is that normal driving is not the cause of the problems the recall addresses. It isn't about slipping the clutch. It is about not having enough hydraulic pressure to fully disengage the clutch when fully depressed, due to the air bubbles. That's why the bleed is the first step. If damage was already done and the dealer didn't properly do the wear test, I could see a couple of them getting out of the recall and the friction plate coming apart later. Again, that would be a case of the damage already being done.

As for the 3rd gear issue, how many miles do you have on yours? Mine did some of that at lower rpm, like under 1500 it would buck and bronc, but after broken in, that all smoothed out, plus as with any manual, you find its quirks and what the engine likes and doesn't like. The smoothing out may be as much to do with me subconsciously adapting to it as it is with it getting through break-in. This 3.6 likes to have a few revs on it. Once you find what it likes, you adjust. EVERY single manual I've owned has had its own sweet spots and not so sweet spots. Honestly, this one probably has the fewest of all of them. Full break-in can take awhile. I feel like mine really wasn't fully broken in until about 20k miles.

If you don't trust your dealer, you can do the clutch test yourself. Find the write up on the recall. I believe the procedure something like this...set the parking brake, depress the clutch, put it in 4th gear, bring the engine to 4k rpm. Then dump the clutch. If it stalls immediately, the clutch is not worn. Otherwise, such as if the engine keeps running a bit, the clutch is worn.

I don't believe these clutches or transmissions are fragile, either. there isn't any component in the vehicle or any normal passenger vehicle, that is designed to withstand up to 1400 degrees and not be damaged, except for maybe the exhaust manifold or catalytic converter, but I doubt those even get that hot. That's an extreme amount of slippage to get there.

I am at about 16k right now and it does seem like its getting smoother all the time. I really can't tell if it is the Jeep breaking in or me getting used to it but it's more enjoyable to drive all the time. I expected this as well because I've had a wide variety of manual transmission vehicles and they all have taken some time to get used to. If you can drive an E46 BMW with the clutch delay valve you can drive anything lol.


I think the dealership I go to is good so I trust them it's more the clutch itself that I worry about. I guess those may be rare cases that I have come across on the internet but I just can't see what a driver could do to blow up a manual transmission like that.
 

jeepsity

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I can't speak to those specific cases and we only know one side of the story. What I can tell you, though, is that normal driving is not the cause of the problems the recall addresses. It isn't about slipping the clutch. It is about not having enough hydraulic pressure to fully disengage the clutch when fully depressed, due to the air bubbles. That's why the bleed is the first step. If damage was already done and the dealer didn't properly do the wear test, I could see a couple of them getting out of the recall and the friction plate coming apart later. Again, that would be a case of the damage already being done.

As for the 3rd gear issue, how many miles do you have on yours? Mine did some of that at lower rpm, like under 1500 it would buck and bronc, but after broken in, that all smoothed out, plus as with any manual, you find its quirks and what the engine likes and doesn't like. The smoothing out may be as much to do with me subconsciously adapting to it as it is with it getting through break-in. This 3.6 likes to have a few revs on it. Once you find what it likes, you adjust. EVERY single manual I've owned has had its own sweet spots and not so sweet spots. Honestly, this one probably has the fewest of all of them. Full break-in can take awhile. I feel like mine really wasn't fully broken in until about 20k miles.

If you don't trust your dealer, you can do the clutch test yourself. Find the write up on the recall. I believe the procedure something like this...set the parking brake, depress the clutch, put it in 4th gear, bring the engine to 4k rpm. Then dump the clutch. If it stalls immediately, the clutch is not worn. Otherwise, such as if the engine keeps running a bit, the clutch is worn.

I don't believe these clutches or transmissions are fragile, either. there isn't any component in the vehicle or any normal passenger vehicle, that is designed to withstand up to 1400 degrees and not be damaged, except for maybe the exhaust manifold or catalytic converter, but I doubt those even get that hot. That's an extreme amount of slippage to get there.
Can you site other auto makers that have had their pressure plates and clutch"s leave the bell housings under slipping situations? What is going to happen after these clutches normally wear and start slipping?
 

Toycrusher

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Can you site other auto makers that have had their pressure plates and clutch"s leave the bell housings under slipping situations? What is going to happen after these clutches normally wear and start slipping?
This line of reasoning was a big part of why I swapped to Centerforce. Air in the lines would only affect clutch release with pedal fully in, so to build heat you would need to be sitting at a light for a significant amount of time, and with your foot on the clutch that whole time, to build up heat. From the reports I've read here, it doesn't seem the failures happened while sitting in traffic and it doesn't seem that it's happened to rookie drivers who don't know how to shift to neutral while sitting at a light.

It's just a far-fetched scenario for me, and I worried about the effect of normal wear. (Technically I swapped before hearing FCAs cause of failure theory)

The swap is expensive, but it is a significant performance improvement and I would definitely do it over again
 

Rodeoflyer

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The swap is expensive, but it is a significant performance improvement and I would definitely do it over again
Just how expensive was it? I'm highly considering it...
 

Toycrusher

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Just how expensive was it? I'm highly considering it...
You can buy through retailers like Summit or Quadratec. $1,000-1,200 range last I checked. I have a DIY write-up in the trans section. If you pay a shop to install, probably figure 4-8 hrs at whatever labor rate in your area
 

Rodeoflyer

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You can buy through retailers like Summit or Quadratec. $1,000-1,200 range last I checked. I have a DIY write-up in the trans section. If you pay a shop to install, probably figure 4-8 hrs at whatever labor rate in your area
Ok, well, not as bad as I thought.. I'm sure it's money well spent.
 

jeepsity

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Things i worry about: input shaft seems to be hollow and unsupported , looking at pics . Duel dampened light weight flywheel . light weight pressure plate assembly . Will the slave and master cyl hold up over the years to the added resistance of the Centerforce clutch . was a sleeve over a clutch fluid line , to keep the fluid off of the hot exhaust during pressure plate leaving bell housing the best they could do ?
 

Johnbuz

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I am at about 16k right now and it does seem like its getting smoother all the time. I really can't tell if it is the Jeep breaking in or me getting used to it but it's more enjoyable to drive all the time. I expected this as well because I've had a wide variety of manual transmission vehicles and they all have taken some time to get used to. If you can drive an E46 BMW with the clutch delay valve you can drive anything lol.


I think the dealership I go to is good so I trust them it's more the clutch itself that I worry about. I guess those may be rare cases that I have come across on the internet but I just can't see what a driver could do to blow up a manual transmission like that.
The old BMW clutch delay valve. I had an E90 with that and it was never smooth until I took out the delay valve. Then a few months later kid number 3 was on the way so I traded the 330i in on a 3 row Subaru.
 

01tj

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The old BMW clutch delay valve. I had an E90 with that and it was never smooth until I took out the delay valve. Then a few months later kid number 3 was on the way so I traded the 330i in on a 3 row Subaru.
Mine was an 02 with about 45k on it and I had a modified Wrangler SE at the same time. The Jeep has some death wobble issues but I really can't figure out why I sold the BMW because my wife had a Flex then too.

Compared to that car this Jeep shifts pretty smooth now that I'm getting used to it. I'm happy with it as long as it doesn't explode.
 

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Hey guys, quick question before I bring my jalopy back to the dealership. You guys that have had the recall done in the past 3-4 weeks, are still getting the sleeve installed and retaining clip removed?

My dealership determined the low pressure line was leaking, replaced and bleed the system. However, didn't install the sleeve or remove the clip.

Not sure if there is a revision to the recall or if they spaced out and forgot to do it. Oddly, the clip isn't on the work order. Not the description of it's replacement.
 

AlamedaJeep

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I had mine done a couple of weeks ago. The clip was removed and the sleeve was added. Pretty sure that’s still the procedure.
 

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