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Jeep Wrangler Transmission Troubles



  • Ok lets start here.Your grand should be select trac. I hope Quadra trac is in the 70's , Don't get upset I'm just trying to get things straight and correct me if I'm wrong but if I'm not mistaken they only made select trac. for the 4.0l and the v8's were all time 4wd as far as I know. Now from what I know and I own a 99 grand 4.0l w/ 242 transfer case and had mine apart last year for a noise lets start here. I hope this is what you have if not let me know but in full time 4wd the front wheels should spin. If not lets go to the front axle and check from there back if you can jack up the whole car and block or have someone hold 1 front tire and watch your front driveshaft it should spin if not you have axle issues like spider gears or something, if that is the case you know it's in the axle. If that all works try putting it in 4wd full time and with 1 front wheel held or solid you should not be able to turn the other (tranny in park or gear if stick) if a wheel turns see what is turning underneath the car ie driveshaft. If drive shaft is turning sounds like a broken chain in transfer case. But I replaced mine and still had my noise only to find it to be a cv joint on my driveshaft and found that jeep had may types used on the grands that year start there and and you need more info let me know and we'll go from there. Thanks Jeremy Owner (jeeps n more 4x4)
  • dmenchendmenchen Posts: 4
    Jeremy, Thanks for getting back to me.
    My 99 Grand Cherokee is a 6 Cyl 4L and the console says it is Quadra Track II. It is full time 4WD with the left hand lever having 4H N 4L options. It snowed this weekend in Ohio which was my first chance in a couple of years to take the Jeep into low traction situation. I got stuck immediatly. It made no difference if I was in 4H or 4L. I am very puzzled as to why I didn't even get "posi - track" at the rear axle. A couple of years ago I had the guys at the oil change shop change the oil in the transfer case and (I think) the differentials (possibly not). It may not have worked since then... Thank you for your help.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    That is something that can happen. Unless the differential is locked or you have a limited slip differential, this can happen. Normally the torque is distributed to the wheel with less traction or force against it. Seems backwards, but that is what it does offroad until the locker is engaged and equal torque is sent to both sides of the differential.

    That is one reason our 2000 WJ Grand Cherokee had the Quadra Drive II, to help minimize that.

    As far as your front axle goes, are you SURE you're getting it completely into 4hi or 4lo? Those levers can be a pain to get to where you need them to be and our 2000 was not easy to put in 4lo. Another dumb question, you sure your t-case has the front driveshaft installed? It can be removed with no ill effects in 2wd mode, but w/o it you won't be able to get power to the front in 4wd.

    Improper fluids COULD cause the problem, but it would be a more long term thing. I use Redline fluids in my transmission, Mobil 1 in the transfer case, and a synthetic in my diffs (for my 97 Wrangler). Unless you need that specific additive for the Quadra Drive, you should be okay. I just don't know enough about those additives (I don't need em on mine since I have ARB lockers).

  • I have a brand new 2008 jeep unlimited and i am having the same problem of it popping out of first gear. There is no ryme or reason to when it does it it just does. i brought it in for service and they fixed the syncronyzation and 1st gear a week later it's still dumping itself out of gear randomly. I brought it back again and they are saying that theres nothing wrong with it. Has anyone else had this problem and if you did did you get it fixed? :confuse:
  • yep. My 05 unlimited rubicon pops out of first and third occasionally. BlueBonnet Jeep in New Braunfels Texas worked on it once and found a bent shift fork, replaced it but the problem persists. I had to basically 'bother' them before they worked on it a first time. It has been in at least a dozen times since. BlueBonnet Jeep in New Braunfels Texas claim they can't duplicate the problem yet they have in the past. There is another posting by another person with the same problem we have. Service advisers (Danny) at Bluebonnet Jeep in New Braunfels Texas and Jeep (the corparaton represenatives) strait told me I have the only Jeep that has this problem. My Jeep is still under the factory warranty and Bluebonnet Jeep in New Braunfels Texas still won t help. Where's the justice? I am going to visit with them again. Maybe there is strength in numbers or maybe we will be blown off. P.S. there are other sites with poeple that have this identical problem. This was my first blog.
  • This was my first blog also. Kind of getting frustrated with bringing it to the dealer and them telling me they can't duplicate it but like you they were able to in the past.last time they basically told me to push it into gear harder. Not really sure how thats going to help.I guess i'm just going to keep bringing it in until they get sick of me. If i make any progress i will let you know. I'm just glad i'm not the only one having this happen. Who knows maybe more people are having this problem and they just think they aren't putting it in gear all the way. :cry:
  • You will be bothering the wrong poeple if you keep taking it to the service manager. Take this issue strait to the general manager of the dealership where you bought and the represenative(s) for jeep in your area. Anybody else will be wasting your time. He should be intrsted in you as a consumer and your issues since jeep is blowing you off. Either jeep can' t figure out the problem to write a procedure to fix it or someone high enough up their corprate ladder hasn t heard there is a problem or they are sweeping this under the rug and we shouldn t stand for it. I've hit a wall at Jeep corperate but I keep trying. Don 't give up. We can probably contact the better business bureu and they may help fight this.
  • gskalagskala Posts: 1
    I have a 94 wrangler 4cyl auto that i want to converto to manual What parts do i need to do so?
  • vepr223vepr223 Posts: 5
    I purchased a 1991 Wrangler 4.0 a few weeks back with the understanding it needed a clutch. It has problems shifting into most gears (grinds into 2nd and 3rd). Before removing the trans it was suggested I try changing the fluid. I changed the trans fluid with DEXRON!! Only drove 50-60 mile on the Dexron with shifting becoming almost impossible. While the engine is off I can shift through all gears without depressing the clutch.

    I now have removed the transmission and the clutch. The clutch looks relatively new. That said, I am taking suggestions. Should I go ahead and have the transmission gone through since I have it out or does anyone believe a transmission service with the correct 75W/90W and a clutch adjustment would have a high probability of success? Also, should the clutch still get replaced regardless of it's condition (groves still present on the pressure plate, disc looks great with a lot of meat left, and the flywheel still showing resurface swirls).

    I am not exactly asking for a diagnosis as much as I am simply asking for opinions from the masses as to what the logical next steps should be now that the transmission is off the vehicle.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I don't usually recommend refitting a used clutch, but unless you physically damaged it during the removal or replacement of the transmission, or it's become contaminated with oil, it should be ok for reuse.

    As for the transmission, it obviously had issues prior to running on ATF so there's no question that it needs overhauling. At the very least it will need new synchromesh rings, and quite possibly bearings, selector forks, maybe some of the gears, and definitely seals and gaskets. You may want to consider an exchange remanufactured unit. Your transmission should be an AX15.
  • vepr223vepr223 Posts: 5
    Thank you for your response. I become impatient and want to get it on the road ASAP but I also don't feel like wrestling the transmission off the vehicle again. Do many or most transmission shops do rebuilds or repairs on transmissions removed by the customer?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Do many or most transmission shops do rebuilds or repairs on transmissions removed by the customer?

    Absolutely. Bear in mind though, that if you take it in for an estimate (for which they may or may not charge you) it'll be given back to you in pieces if you don't like the quote, unless you pay for it to be reassembled. In your case it may well be that repair costs are higher than the cost of an exchange unit.

    Check the internet for a reputable supplier. You pay for the transmission plus a core charge, which is refunded when you return your old transmission. You may even find that your local transmission shop has the best deal, but you won't know until you shop around.................which is what your phone and computer are for. ;)
  • boxergeoboxergeo Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Jeep wrangler that I just put in the shop on Monday the 14th of April for the same thing, it started popping out of first gear about three months ago. They are saying that it needs a new shift lever arm, the 1-2 sycros, and first and second gear for about $2000.00 dollars. It is in the shop as I type this to you. I did however talk to a local transmission shop before and after the diagnosis from the Jeep dealer and he agreed that the price was reasonable. Please note that this estamite was before they even tore the transmission apart.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Whatever they replace the cost of labor will be the same, as they have to remove, completely strip and rebuild, then replace the transmission.
    Make sure they warranty the whole transmission afterwards, otherwise you might as well get an exchange remanufactured unit.
  • mat4mat4 Posts: 1
    My son has a 95 wrangler 4 cyl. 5 speed man. trans. is jumps out of first gear and goes into 5 th. gear buy it just revs. up will not pull at all. need any and all help.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    There's no quick and easy fix unless it's an issue with the transmission end of the gearstick.
    Otherwise, remove the transmission and either strip, fix, and rebuild, or replace with a remanufactured unit.
  • vepr223vepr223 Posts: 5
    Just an update on the 1991. I ended up draining the oil in preparation to have a very trusted transmission mechanic look it over. When I drained the oil it looked like Goldschlager!!!! Anyway, Autozone has dyno tested re-manufactured AX-15 for $1130. That the route I have taken. New u joints, tranny, I suppose the engine will be next. Thanks for all the responses and advise. I sold the core to the mechanic and he is giving me a slice of the profits after he rebuilds it.

    NOW here is the big question. Do I go with GL-3, Redline MT90 or Syncromesh? Sounds like the Syncromesh is the way to go or Redline MT-90.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I use Redline in my AX-5 (manual for the 4 cyl) and it shifts VERY smoothly.

  • skimsurfskimsurf Posts: 6
    I recently removed my transmission and had it rebuilt. The clutch was replaced about a year ago, and it is visually in good shape. I re-installed the transmission and once everything was reconnected I attempted to start and drive it. I depressed the clutch and it went down hard, as if caught on something, I pressed it to the floor, and it lost all pressure. It does not stay on the floor, but when depressed to the floor there is no way to put it into gear. So the clutch is always engaged. I added hydraulic fluid, and held the clutch to the floor for 10 seconds. Still nothing. I have a Haynes wrangler book, and in the troubleshooting section it has a number of different reasons why this could be doing what it is. One of them is air in the lines, and the solution is to bleed the them. I am really hoping it is air in the lines, but I really dont have a clue in the clutch department. Does anyone have any ideas aside from removing the tranny again, and realigning the clutch to ensure it is in the correct position? I am undertaking the deed at sunrise tomorrow, so any feedback would be great ASAP! Thanks.
  • vepr223vepr223 Posts: 5
    UPDATE -- Installed new transmission, clutch and slave. WOULD NOT GO INTO GEAR. Good pedal, etc. Lifelong Jeep / drive train specialists baffled as well as a my friend, CarMax master mechanic. I later thought the surfaces may just be mated together and needed a little loosening up. I revved the vehicle to 5K for about a second and it started shifting just fine. Reverse grinds occasionally but other than that it drives fine. I wanted to share simply because the others can't explain how this would do anything. Anyone feel there may still be an underlying issue that should be addressed or just drive the vehicle and hope all is well. I personally think the flywheel may have been cut to thin -- I had it turn by a very reputable machine show who does all Firestone and Goodyear work on drive train parts. I would imagine they mic'd the flywheel! Thanks for everyones responses.
  • vepr223vepr223 Posts: 5
    The smallest amount of air could cause the issue. Bleed the slave through a clear hose and have someone assist. I would gravity bleed first. Is it an internal or external slave? If internal did you remove the slave? If so, did you make sure to use a new clip on the alignment pin?
  • cr1412cr1412 Posts: 1
    Just recently had automatic transmission replaced with remanufactured tranny from Chrysler on my 1997 Sahara. I picked up the vehicle and all appeared okay. But no more than 15 miles from the dealer, I started hearing a clicking noise. I was almost home, so I kept going- but when I hit 50 mph or so, I heard such a screaming noise from the engine that my friend driving behind me (he drove me to the dealer) heard it over his radio. I immediately pulled over, and the screaming noise stopped, and then it appeared to be fine. We had it towed back up to the dealer, and of course they cannot recreate the noise. With the combination of clicking and then the whining scream, could it be that it was not the transmission in the first place? I have already spent 2k and am not in the mood to hear they "made a mistake", but I am really worried this might perhaps be the transfer case?
  • jimlw2jimlw2 Posts: 122
    Way too late for a meaningful response to you since by now you've likely found the culprit...your experience sounded like one I had with a Chevy Beretta in the 1990s...ended up being a spring in the rear drum brakes got dislodged after some service work and was getting jammed between rotating metal in the drum brake assembly...made quite the scream until I stopped or after being in reverse until I figured it out. Hope you got it figured out.
  • jeepmikejeepmike Posts: 3
    I have a '99 Jeep Wrangler Sport. 4.0 automatic transmission.
    60K miles - driven as a recreational vehicle.
    Correct trans fluids are used and all levels are optimal.

    The past year, my jeep is having issues at start up. It will engage in drive and then slip out. If I move down to the 2 gear, same issue. The only gear it seems to hold is 1...but that is now starting to become suspect. This issue only happens when the engine is cold and primarily in the morning. It rarely happens when warm out and/or later in the day.

    I have seen similar posts, but have not seen any suggestions as to what the matter is. Anyone have any idea? Thanks for your insight.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The only thing I can think of is the fluid. I can't recall exactly the situation (MAC???), but there is a type of fluid you do NOT want to put in your transmission as it can deteriorate the gears. This is what it sounds like. Since you have an auto, I'd go ahead and drain the fluid, and put in some GOOD transmission fluid. I use Redline MT90 in my manual. MTL90 is for the automatics. This is primo stuff. Royal Purple would be another excellent choice. If the fluid change doesn't address the problems, it may indeed be gears wearing out and needing replacement.

  • jeepmikejeepmike Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info Paul. I'll do a fluid flush and fill with your recommendation and see what happens.

    What affect on the gears would cold weather have? This really only happens in the mornings upon start up. After about 5 mins or so everything works just perfect. It's getting to that 5 mins that is troublesome.

    One more thing: Could it have anything to do with any seals or rubber rings maybe drying out or stiffening up? Then once the the engine runs for a bit they loosen back up and the system is good to go.

    What about a solenoid valve sticking? Could tightening the linkage help out?

    -Thanks for your time,
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Cold generally affects the viscosity of the fluids, which could exhibit symptoms you see. Redline works very quickly and I've never noticed a slipping like you are noting.

    Seals and rings are probably something you should at least look at and make sure you have no leaks. If it isn't leaking, don't fix it. :) Not sure about the solenoid valve, but tightening the linkage MIGHT be something to at least look at.

    You may also want to consider changing your transfer case fluid as well. Since it is actually what drives the driveshaft and axles, doing that fluid certainly can't hurt. I believe it uses ATF+ (I used Mobil 1 if I recall correctly).

  • jeepmikejeepmike Posts: 3
    Thank you sir.

    I will look into all of these and report back as I find the solution.

    I appreciate your time.

  • I got an auto wrangler TJ for a great price with a lift and 35's and I recently took it off road and noticed an issue with the trans. When parked on a hill or a steep driveway with the front facing up the hill, when you shift from drive or park into reverse the trans makes a slamming sound as well as a thud feel. I have never owned a auto trans before. what might this be? It shifts fine on the highway or when shifting into reverse on level ground. I appreciate any info. Thanks
  • asr52497asr52497 Posts: 1
    Ok, have an issue that just crept up. Have a 97 wrangler, started making a terrible metallic 'grinding' noise today. Noticed that engine running in park or neutral, no noise. Try drive, reverse (or 1st or 2nd) and terrible noise returns. Now, even in park, jeep rolls downhill, with an audible 'clunk' every wheel rotation or so. Trans fluid appears normal color, level and odor.

    Any thoughts?
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