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Fix For Common 42LE Transmission No Reverse Problem

6488 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  archibald tuttle
This may be helpful for those with the no reverse condition. The symptoms are typically that all other gears work fine, but there is no reverse or significant slipping in reverse. If you put the front end on jack stands with the wheels free to turn, they may turn in reverse gear, but with little torque.

PART NUMBER NOTE: Sometime after the 1st Gen Parts Catalogs were issued, Chrysler later started adding a zero (0) to the front of the part numbers for some reason. So in searching for parts like those listed here you've got to it with both the zero and without. Searches won't always get a hit if you just search without the zero.

This repair involves removing the valve body and replacing the old low/reverse accumulator cover (04431617 or 4431617) and O-ring with an updated one-piece cover that has a Viton sealing lip bonded to the bottom (04431617AB or 4431617AB, "Cover, Accumulator" part still available). You could also replace the the two sealing rings on the accumulator piston that ride in the bore (4446544 or 04446544 still available, Rockauto also often has them). Also inspect the piston & bore for damage (there are a couple of types of $40 repair kits from Sonnax, if so). The accumulator cover should be about $8 from Mopar dealers or ebay and the two sealing rings are about $4 each (though some sellers mark them way up).

I assume that transmission mechanics know about this repair with info in their repair databases, but there doesn't seem to be much searchable information online, except for an obscure Chrysler "Satisfaction Notification," and a good post on a Jeep Wrangler forum. I have not been able to find a TSB on this for the Intrepid/LH cars, and it would have had to be released around 2005, when the problem was finally corrected. Transmission shops that know about this defect in the old accumulator cover also have a way to diagnose that fluid is leaking in the low/reverse piston bore. There are other internal problems that can cause no reverse, but this issue is quite likely, and obvioiusly much simpler to repair than pulling and rebuilding parts of the transmission.

The repair may apply to all of the Ultradrive transmissions, but in particular the 42LE/A606 in the Intrepid/LH cars and the similar A604/41TE and the 42RLE (modified for rear drive).

This repair really should be a "How-To" here and on the Jeep forum, but I'd like to get some confirmation and comments on what I found out (hopefullyall correct), and see if anyone has heard of this before or has more information to add. While I wasn't able to find an LH car Technical Service Bulletin on this, there is a Chrysler "Customer Satisfaction Notification" posted online from October 2002 for the 41TE/ A604 transmission, which originally used the same defective low/reverse accumulator piston cover as in the 42LE/A606.

Before 2005, the 42LE, 42RLE, and similar Chrysler transmissions used a two-piece cover for the low/reverse accumulator piston. It was made up of an aluminum cap (p/n 04431617, earlier just 4431617) and an O-ring (06501549) that fit in a groove in the cap. These are pictured (as below) in the transmission Parts Catalog illustrations under "Accumulator Pistons & Springs." A similar illustration with the two-piece cover and O-ring is in the 2004 Intrepid Parts Catalog.

The low/reverse accumulator is held in its bore in the transmission case with snap ring shown (06501695 or 6501695), whereas the other two accumulator pistons (overdrive and underdrive) are loose and will fall out (along with their center springs) when the valve body is removed.

That O-ring on the accumulator cap was prone to breakage, causing high-pressure fluid leakage around it in reverse; so in 2002 Chysler issued "Customer Satisfaction Notification No. B27 Transaxle Low/Reverse Accumulator Cover" (pdf link below).

Notification quote: "Subject - The transaxle low/reverse accumulator cover O-ring on about 14,600 of the above vehicles [with 41TE transaxle] may become dislodged. This could cause the transaxle to slip in low and or/reverse."

However, because it could still recur with a new cap and O-Ring, this notification didn't really permanently solve the problem. However, it does usefully go through the whole processs of removing the valve body for access to the low/reverse accumulator piston. And by the way, it also likely applied to A LOT more than the 14,600 cars listed.

Below is a link to a page where a guy posted the Chrysler notification. His page also has many Dodge Neon TSBs (it had the 41TE transmission). I've also attached a copy of the pdf below. :
Customer Satisfaction Notification No. B27 Transaxle Low/Reverse Accumulator Cover, October 2002

Sometime around 2004-2005, the replacement cap (04431617AB) with an integral bonded Viton lower half (with sealing lip) was released to solve the problem. This part is still available through Mopar dealers and sometimes on ebay, and I believe there are also aftermarket versions from the transmission parts suppliers.

When they did this cap update, Chrysler may have issued TSBs for every car that had the old (possibly leaking) low/reverse accumulator caps, especially as a follow-up to the previous Customer Satisfaction Notification. However, when I checked a while back I wasn't able to find one for the Intrepid on the Alldata database. If anyone has a TSB title/number for this fix on any Chrysler cars, please post it. It would have been around 2005.

Below are the Parts Catalog Illustrations, showing the substitution:
(I've labeled it a "cover" but it is correctly "Cap, Accumulator.") Second Illustration shows the other accumulator pistons for comparison (no caps, and loose in the bores).

Font Art Circle Parallel Drawing

Font Circle Parallel Art Drawing

A good very good post on this repair from 2015 with photos of the old and new cap is at the link below to the Jeep Wrangler Forum. In this case, even the snap ring had broken, and he discusses the Sonnax kit available if there is any bore damage. I've have not seen this repair covered anywhere else online. So thanks very much to Weirdracin on the Wrangler Forum.
42RLE Slipping in Reverse sometimes - possible solution

Attachment below of the linked Dodge Neon TSB on the original problem with the cap O-ring failing:
Customer Satisfaction Notification No. B27 Transaxle Low/Reverse Accumulator Cover, October 2002
28-B27-02.pdf :


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Here is a photo of the revised low/reverse accumulator piston assembly, showing the new one-piece cap with the attached Viton seal just above the snap ring:
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@pt500 I think in this thread or the referenced wrangler thread there was an indication that later transmissions had the one piece cap. I assume the cap is the piece leaning on the sharpie?

A lot of good diagrams of internal parts but I don't see any of where to reach this accumlator in the transmission and whether you could do it with the transmission in the (jeep) in this case. This is a 2011 wrangler that was one of the later models to have the 42 RLE and presumably might have had the updated cap so maybe I shouldn't imagine I could get out of no reverse this easy. Just following up for any knowledge and the wrangler thread is kind of old so I don't know what kind of response i'll get rebooting it.

But a great find and glad you brought the link forward in this thread.

thanks AT

PS This transmission was "rebuilt" about a year and a half ago. I assume that if it had the old style cap it would have been replaced at that point although I'm not always sure that "rebuilt" means doing more than some minimum to fix obvious problems rather than complete refitting.
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