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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi: Right Now I Don't Know this Adventure on Elm St. is Going to End Up.
At 90,710 Miles (And 7 and 1/2 Years) I felt it Was Time to Change the Trans Filter and Fluid.
I Knew the Trans Pan Had Rust Problems. But I Didn't Really Know How Bad.
And I Actually Bought an B&M Deep Aluminum Pan for It a Month Ago.
I was Waiting for Warm Weather to Do It.
First, I Would Like to Personally Thank M-B (AKA:D-Bag) for the Excellent
(The Cheapest) Steel they Bought for the OME Pans.
However the did Coat the inside of the Pan to Prevent Rust on the Inside.
Too Bad It Rusted Thru from the Out Side In.
And Some Engineer Ran the Exhaust Pipe Cross Over Under the Back of the the Trans Pan.
And Did I Mention that is With in a Quarter inch of the Pan too.
That Helped Speed the Rust Process Up A Bunch!
A Week Ago I Started Smelling what I Thought was Burning Brake Pads.
Wrong !
I Was the Burning of Trans Fluid on the Exhaust Pipe.
I was out shopping and Saw White Smoke Coming from Underneath It.
The Little Tiny Leak Had Finally gotten Big.
It has been Ever So Slowly Leaking and the Fluid was Going Away by Burning off the Exhaust Pipe.
If I am Really Luckily I Found It Early Enough to Save the Trans.
Anyway I Drained the Fluid (What was Left of It), Changed the Filter and Put on the New Pan.
The Stock Pan Takes 5.0 L's (10.6 Pints) when you Drop It, Change the Filter and Refill It.
The Scary Part I Only got Out 2.5 Quarts of the Trans. So About 2.8 Quarts has "Disappeared"
Over an Unknown Length of Time.
Also Remember this is One of the Trannies with NO DIPSTICK!
It Now Has 8 Quarts of Fluid in the B&M Pan.
I Plant to Put a Few Miles on the Fluid, Drain It and Refill it With Nice, New Clean Fluid.
And Do it Again a Week Later to Really Flush It Out.
B&M Pan has a Drain Plug !
I Had ABSOLUTELY NO Indication From the Computer Nannies the there was a Problem !
And there was NEVER a Drop of Fluid Under the Nitro.

So if You Have a Nitro with a 4.0L and the W5A580 Trans You May Want to Invest in a
Trans Fluid Dipstick for Your Nitro and Check It.

Fun Note:
You Have to Drop the Exhaust Y-Pipe Off the Exhaust Manifolds to Get Off the
Trans Pan. There is Not Enough Clearance Between the Pan and the Valve Body.
And the Factory Manual Don't Tell You About That !

Super Moderator
23,349 Posts
Mad Duck

Thanks for sharing your nightmare. Glade things worked out! Having worked in dealerships I remember the smell of burnt transmission bands and I was sure you were going to say you cooked your transmission. I ran a drag car and used a 727 Chrysler trans with a 8 inch diameter 5500 rpm stall-speed torque converter. Never had an issue. The Nitro 4.0 trans is also one of the best too, and is really over engineered.

Good Luck with your Nitro!

2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
6/20/19 Update:
I was at My Local JCDR Dealer in Woodhaven, MI (Feldman's on Allen Road) Visiting an Old Friend who Works at the Parts Counter.
You Know Your Driving Aging Vehicles when a Parts Guy a the Dealer Know's You by your First Name When You Walk In.
And So far this Year I Used Up 5 of the 6 Employee Discounts I Can Get on Parts.
Our Nitro is 7 1/2 Years Old & has 91K Miles on it.
Our 2010 Dodge Journey is Up to 119K Miles on it But Has One of the "Forever" Warranties on It.
I Was Ordering a Few Parts for the 2011 Nitro Air Conditioning System (Some Items from the Local Corner Parts Store I Really Don't Trust).
Anyway I Asked Him About the Trans Pans in the Nirto's with the W5A580 M/B Transmission.
Did the Have a Rusting Problem ?
The Question Kind'a Stopped him in his Tracks.
He Looked Over Top of His Eye-Glasses and Said he has Sold a Number of them Because of the Rust Thru Problem.
Wow! Now I Don't Fell So Bad. My Nitro is Not the Only One with that Problem.
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