A Case of Mistaken Identity - Transmission Digest

A Case of Mistaken Identity

The recent JATCO five-speed automatic transaxle shown in Figure 1 can be found in a variety of vehicles. In the Mazda6 and MPV it is known as the JA5A-EL; in the Jaguar X type it is known as the JF506E; in the VW Golf, GTI and Jetta it is known as the 09A; and in the Land Rover Freelander it is called the JF506E as in Jaguar vehicles.

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Technically Speaking

Author: Wayne Colonna, Technical Editor

Filler tube on JATCO five-speed proves to be somewhat elusive

Technically Speaking

  • Author: Wayne Colonna, Technical Editor

Filler tube on JATCO five-speed proves to be somewhat elusive

The recent JATCO five-speed automatic transaxle shown in Figure 1 can be found in a variety of vehicles. In the Mazda6 and MPV it is known as the JA5A-EL; in the Jaguar X type it is known as the JF506E; in the VW Golf, GTI and Jetta it is known as the 09A; and in the Land Rover Freelander it is called the JF506E as in Jaguar vehicles.

When you remove the back cover of this transmission, you will see a familiar fluid-level check pipe (figures 2 and 3). To fill the transmission, you remove the plug at the bottom of the case (see figures 4 and 5) and add fluid until it overflows the check pipe.

Since this unit is new to many, the technician installing the transmission begins to look for the fill plug and spots a large bolt on the side of the case that presents itself as the most-likely candidate for the job (see figures 6 and 7).

After filling the unit, the technician starts the car and does a road test. He immediately discovers that there is no reverse. Forward is not so good, either. When the transmission is removed and completely disassembled, the only band in the transmission – called the reduction band – is out of place and inoperable (see Figure 8). The builder may think he missed the band anchor and fixes the problem without mentioning anything to the technician who installed the transmission. As a result, the technician repeats the process of filling the transmission with fluid, and the no-reverse condition occurs again.

The bolt that appears to be a fill plug is actually the anchor stud for the reduction band (see figures 9 and 10). The proper fill location, on top of the pan, goes unnoticed because it looks like a vent (see Figure 11). The fill tube in Figure 11 is on the Freelander unit. VW and Jaguar units have the short fill tube off the left side of the pan. The tube on the Jaguars looks more like a fill pipe than a vent, as it is slightly longer and has a bend. The Mazda unit has an actual filler tube and dipstick (would it be proper to say Ford/Mazda has a better idea?).

There is one other transmission in use that also experiences a case of mistaken identity, and that is the AW55-50 or AF23/33-5 transmission used in Volvo and Saturn vehicles. Figure 12 shows a bolt that looks like a fill plug on top of the transmission. Pull this plug to fill the unit and you set free the third band. And you will not be singing the Lynyrd Skynyrd song “Free Band” – or was that “Free Bird”? Another case of mistaken identity, I guess.

You May Also Like

GM 6T40 Pump Identification Guide

The 6T40 was introduced in 2008 for General Motors front-wheel-drive cars in the Chevrolet Malibu and has gone through several changes throughout its three generations, specifically in the pump area. The 6T40 is closely related to the more lightweight 6T30 and the heavier duty 6T45 and 6T50. Generation one started phasing out during the 2012

The 6T40 was introduced in 2008 for General Motors front-wheel-drive cars in the Chevrolet Malibu and has gone through several changes throughout its three generations, specifically in the pump area. The 6T40 is closely related to the more lightweight 6T30 and the heavier duty 6T45 and 6T50. Generation one started phasing out during the 2012 model year. The generation two pump had a slightly different pressure regulator valve, but overall the first two 6T40 generations had the same pump layout.

Seeing the Forest AND the Trees

They say that the proverbial phrase “I couldn’t see the forest for the trees” means that a person or organization cannot see the big picture because it focuses too much on the details. Related Articles – The Manifold Pipeway – 8L90 Vacuum Testing – 4L60E Harsh 1-2 Shift I have seen this phrase used after

The Manifold Pipeway

The Honda six-speed transmission has been on the bench of many specialty shops for one reason or another (figure 1). But, for those of you who have yet to lay your hands on one, mounted on the upper side of the unit is one of the largest, if not the largest solenoid and pressure switch

8L90 Vacuum Testing

Below are the diagrams for vacuum testing GM 8L90 transmissions. Note: OE valves are shown in rest position and should be tested in rest position unless otherwise indicated. Test locations are pointed to with an arrow. Springs are not shown for visual clarity. A low vacuum reading indicates wear. For specific vacuum test information, refer

4L60E Harsh 1-2 Shift

The 4L60E transmission platform has been in service from 1993-2015; that’s 22 years. It amazes me when a transmission that has been around for this long can throw a new twist on a common problem and blindside you. Let us have a look at the systems and potential problems in a 4L60E that can cause

Other Posts

Searching for the source of an unexpected transmission fluid leak

As the installer was pumping fluid into the transmission from the right side of the vehicle, he was having a difficult time getting it full.

techspeakfeature-1400
A 3D printing solution for 948TE offset pump access

The Chrysler 948TE has an offset pump mounted in a housing that is retained by round internal snap ring that must be squeezed to release the pump from the housing (seen in Figure 1). Related Articles – Ford harsh downshifts: 6R75 2-1, 10R60 7-6 – Ford 6R140 no engagement cold – Ford 4R70W solenoid codes

techspeak-feature-1400
Having a fit with a Honda Fit

A Honda Fit utilizing a GTAA continuously variable transmission will set a DTC after reaching about 30 miles per hour. When a scan tool is used to pull the code or codes set, a U0401-68 code appears in the scan tool with the explanation of it being a TCM failure. If a tech uses the

techspeakfeature-1400
Chrysler 948TE: It’s a doggy dog transmission

The Chrysler 948TE transmission (seen in the above image) stands out for its unique use of two dog clutches: dog clutch A and dog clutch F. Dog clutch A (Figure 1) is used to drive an annulus/sun gear while dog clutch F (Figure 2) is used to hold a double sun gear stationary. Related Articles