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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greets,

We've got a 2007 that we really like that's been sitting for over a year while I wrestle with the CVT issue. I keep cars for a long time and it's been great otherwise, but just got it back from the trans guy and the car isn't worth the expense of repair.

It's still a great vehicle, save a couple of rust spots on the rear wheel wells, and this trans issue. I've told my wife that there's no way we're going to go forward with any kind of CVT solution, and I've actually got her interested in a swap to a manual, something I'd prefer any day. So now I have to get moving on the details.

There seems to be no shortage of these in the junkyards and I've swapped engines and transmissions before, so I really want to do this. I want to put in a whole manual plus 4WD drivetrain (it's 2WD now), AND get the shifter and clutch and linkage and computer.

It'd make sense to go newer than 2007 if possible. Does anyone here have any knowledge of parts compatibility over the model years? I'd hope to be able to swap in a late model drivetrain and have everything bolt right in, but I know how manufacturers change things.

I'm hell bent on fixing this, and I'm really scalded by our first experience with a Jeep. I've never had such a handsome, otherwise serviceable vehicle bound for the junkyard like this, and if I pull this off a manual trans will give us another 20 years. We take care of our cars.

Please let me know if you're aware of of any details or gotchas that we could find after getting into this. Many thanks.
 

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Along with the usual clutch and slave cylinder issues, there have been a lot of manual transmissions with bearing failures:

The 4x4 transmissions seem to fail more often than the 2wd's do.

If you really want to put in a manual, I'd just go with a 2wd and avoid the 4x4. The 2wd will likely be an easier swap, less expensive, and more reliable in the long haul if longevity is a priority.

The 4x4 manual has a different case than the 2wd due to the PTU and is harder to find ($$$$); 2wd transmissions are more available / less expensive. IIRC the 2WD from the Caliber will swap without issue.
 

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I don't see any way of swapping from a 2wd to 4x4 and not having it cost just as much or more than rebuilding a CVT.
 

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I agree with Sandstone. If your going to swap that weak CVT with a manual that's fine, but don't try to swap 2 wheel drive with 4 wheel drive it's just not worth it.

sounds like your mechanically savvy, have you considered getting a junk yard CVT and installing it yourself? you could probably pick one up and install it for under $1000 bucks. That's my plan when my CVT goes bad.
 

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I don't know how many miles you have on your Patriot, but whether a vehicle is worth repairing depends on its overall condition.
  • If your Patriot is otherwise in good shape why not bite the bullet and put in a factory rebuilt CVT? So it runs $4000, but if you can get another 100,000 miles out of your Patriot, that's a bargain.
  • Then again, if its been a pain to this point, it might be smarter to cut your losses and run.
  • Switching from a CVT to a manual might be a little daunting for a shade-tree mechanic, but if you know what you're doing and have the time and money, then I'd suggest sticking with your plan.
In any event please report back. Success in any option you choose is welcome! Perish the thought but even a failed option is informative to others on here in your situation.
 

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Just to say that this is an interesting thread. I also have a 2007 Pat, but do have the 4WD (Freedom drive). It has been a great vehicle but a CVT failure is also my #1 fear, since it's essentially non-repairable and cost-prohibative to replace. I've 211k miles now and have had the CVT fluid replaced three times (which is an exp service), the last time only 3k miles ago. I'm hoping it lasts another 10 years.
 

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Did the filters ever get changed ? You had fluid changed three times what about filters ?
 

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Just to say that this is an interesting thread. I also have a 2007 Pat, but do have the 4WD (Freedom drive). It has been a great vehicle but a CVT failure is also my #1 fear, since it's essentially non-repairable and cost-prohibative to replace. I've 211k miles now and have had the CVT fluid replaced three times (which is an exp service), the last time only 3k miles ago. I'm hoping it lasts another 10 years.
Considering your miles, anything could happen. I've had conventional trannies fail at far fewer miles -- a couple didn't even make it to 100,000. You've had it for 12 years and want it for another 10. Hate to bear the news, but there aren't many vehicles on the road in the 400,000 mile category -- even fewer that haven't needed major work by those miles. The ones that do get that far are owned by people who didn't shy away from doing the M&R as needed. Seems like you've been doing what's needed right along and you just might make it that far if you don't give up on it. As I read your post it seems you're not having a problem, just worried that you will. Heck, there's lots of things to worry about besides your Patriot; I can give you a list.

Why is it cost prohibitive to replace the transmission? If the vehicle's been good to this point, why dump it? Can you buy a genuinely reliable (I didn't say shiny) vehicle for the price of a new transmission? I highly doubt it. And any vehicle you find at the price is going to need repair work -- the previous owner is selling it for a reason. You know the repair history of your Patriot.

I had an electrical problem at right about your miles. I debated fixing it, but I did and I got another 70,000 miles out of it. I sold it to a friend and its still on the road. "The cheapest car you'll ever own is the one you own today."
 
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