Transmission Toasty - Rubicon Owners Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Transmission Toasty

'04 manual rubi, 97k.. My transmission is overheating. To the point it's making the plastic console around the shift lever too hot to touch!
I went on a 200 mile highway run and found that if I kept it under 55 it would just be hot. Pushing 60 became untouchable. The transmission itself must be nuking itself.

It's got oil. Going to flush it.


No problems shifting, no weird sounds, clutch replaced 20k ago and feels great. Gear selection doesn't seem to matter. I did have the rear cv shaft rebuilt recently because it was wobbled out, but that's a pretty common enough thing.


What could possibly be going? Where do I even start, or is this something where it just needs to come apart and looked at?


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Last edited by etropic; 03-24-2019 at 12:34 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 03:25 AM
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Maybe bearings??? Friction increases with speed???

Strange that at under 55 it's not too hot, then heats up above that speed..
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 09:37 AM
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Interesting problem. I'm wondering about drive train, put your Rubi on jacks, transfer case in neutral and turn the tires - they should be pretty easy to move. Manual transmissions are fairly trouble free due to their relative simplicity.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 11:39 AM
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If the transmission is getting that hot then the oil will be burnt and stinky, like smell up the whole shop stinky. Are you sure you don't have a exhaust leak or something like that causing the heat? I would think if the transmission is getting that hat it wouldn't survive more that a few miles.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariodesmo View Post
Maybe bearings??? Friction increases with speed???

Strange that at under 55 it's not too hot, then heats up above that speed..
It's still hot, but just not too unbearable. At 70+ it started to melt the boot around the shifter (the lower one, not the one you see in the cab).

Where are the bearings ? I assume that's maybe on input and output shafts?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlenglish View Post
If the transmission is getting that hot then the oil will be burnt and stinky, like smell up the whole shop stinky. Are you sure you don't have a exhaust leak or something like that causing the heat? I would think if the transmission is getting that hat it wouldn't survive more that a few miles.
Hmm. I kinda expected it to exploded or something even going slower at that point, was almost surprised it didn't.

I'm actually sure I do have a leak, but it's been there a little while. Rear-ended and the tail pipe is bent at the muffler. The only thing there is that I would expect to smell something if it was coming up through the shifter.

It makes me think though that I might actually want to verify (somehow) that it is the transmission getting hot. I assumed that there is nothing else close enough that could matter.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 12:55 PM
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Get a temperature/laser gun. Point the red dot at what you want to tell you the temp on. Measures in Celsius or Fahrenheit. Think I got mine at Lowes or Home Depot. Bought it to check temps when I was breaking in my new 4.56 gears six years ago. Works great. Use it on my travels just to check temps out on different things. My black cat really gets hot standing in the noonday sun! Works on the grease in my fish fryer also. Frank
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Dog View Post
Get a temperature/laser gun.
Might do that.
The more I check it out, the more I think exhaust is likely. There are other wire harness with the black plastic sheath, and rubber hoses that run close to the top of trans and there is no sign of melting.

I drove it just down the street and sticking my fingers through the shifter boot I could feel puffs of hot air coming followed by normal air. I'm thinking the running at slower mph yesterday maybe just changed the airflow enough that it would change the upward flow.

That would be great! I'll check more and report back.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 09:21 AM
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I wouldn't drive it with exhaust coming in the cabin.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 12:25 PM
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You do not mention the type of skid plates you have. I have the full Rokmen skids that cover the engine oil pan back to the transfer case. These heat up from the exhaust that crosses over near the engine oil pan.

I have the same heating issue but not hot enough that I can not touch the center console. I did not notice the issue till after I installed a full metal tuffy console.

During the summer on long trips, I have to wear sandals and pull the doors off, its that hot inside in the footwells.(this is WA not AZ) but recently I had to replace my upper cats to pass emissions (sucked since no more testing as of 1/1/2020) and I guessing that was causing some of my excess exhaust temps.

I also replaced the Tuffy console over the shifter from metal back to stock plastic (careful cutting) and so far that has helped some. I need to replace the lower shift boot, it was destroyed by the shop that did my clutch over a yr ago. That is allowing hot air to rise inside the console.
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