'02 Jeep Liberty Sport 3.7 - trouble with transmission...

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Old 01-02-12, 06:23 PM
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'02 Jeep Liberty Sport 3.7 - trouble with transmission...

This car has just started doing this - Sunday, getting ready to go to church, it did not want to shift out of Park. Thought having parked it on an incline might have loaded the park lever against the parking pawl internally. Rocked it back and forth and it went into reverse. Today, at work, my wife got in the car to come home and it did the same thing, only she was parked on level ground. After some beating on the shifter (in the console), it finally shifted and she drove home. While she was inside working the shifter and I was underneath trying to diagnose, I heard a cross between a grinding noise and a "clunk" when she shifted into Park. This was not the noises produces by the shift solenoids, but a completely independent noise. As we are buying a house and need this vehicle to help with the move, I really need to take care of this problem quickly and as inexpensively as possible. Any ideas? Thanks in advance - Chris
 
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Old 01-02-12, 07:36 PM
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What you describe could be inside the transmission or in the shift linkage. I would determine where the problem is by disconnecting the shift linkage, at the transmission, and test the shift linkage through the shifting range. There will, most likely, be no "shift detent" ---stop at R--D---N and so on. That is controled inside the transmission.
I would also shift the transmission through the shift range by the unattached lever.
I would suspect --and hope---your problem is in the console or a simple adjustment.
Check for any worn grummets or bushings.
 
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Old 01-02-12, 09:47 PM
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Beside the linkage, check the brake switch also.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 04:40 AM
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Thanks, Giles and equinox. I had meant to add that the sound seemed to be coming from inside the transmission; everything sounded fine in the console. Hopefully it will be a little warmer this evening after work, and I can take the time to investigate more fully. By brake switch, do you mean the brake-shift interlock, that won't let you shift out of Park without the brake on? If so, is that in/on the transmission or in the console?
 
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Old 01-03-12, 09:31 AM
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Not sure how many brake pedal activated switches are on that vehicle. They are down at the pedal. Rear lights, cruise cancel, shifter interlock all have interaction with brake pedal application. The brake safety switch normally triggers a solenoid in the console shift selector to release a pin I believe allowing the shifter to move out of park. If you remove the console cover you maybe able to see if this is working or not also. Maybe others know your vehicle setup, and or what issues commonly show up around the shifter, the safety interlock switch, and or the cable.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 06:37 PM
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The brake-shift interlock solenoid is in the center console; it blocks the action of the release button on the shifter handle until the brake is pressed, and it's working as it should. Here's another strange twist - key on/engine stopped and brake applied, the shifter feels fine through all ranges, even into and out of Park. It's only with the engine running that the noise and balky shifting occurs. So, in a pinch, we could turn the key to On, hold the brake pedal, start the engine and THEN shift into Reverse or Drive. Weirder and weirder it gets...
 
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Old 01-04-12, 10:10 AM
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With the engine running are you able to depress the gear selector button then, but just can't easily slide the shift out of park? With the engine not running and the key turned on, there is no restriction. If so it does sound like something internal to the transmission doesn't it, or potential even some drive line torque movement binding the shift cable or something? Have you checked for that situation already also? You are right about it being weird, but then again this may not be so weird around a 2002 Liberty. Have you thought about just asking a dealer service rep if he or others there have seen this before, and if so what is behind it all. Who knows there could even be a Mopar TSB covering it. It sounds more and more lilke a product specific issue to me at least.
 
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