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Jeep Wrangler Transmission Troubles



  • No. even when the engine is not running it still will not go in gear. It does go side to side like it should but not front or back into gear.
  • mac24,

    Thanks for your input. I'm going to visit our 2 reputable 4-wheel shops in my area and run your diagnosis past them before I visit the Jeep dealer service manager who gave me the gear-meshing bull. You sound pretty much like you know what you're talking about, so what is your experience with Jeeps, if you don't mind telling me? I'll probably refer to you in my discussions. Don't really need your name. Probably mentioning Edmunds will suffice. Thanks again for your help. Sounds like I might need to put out some serious bucks.

  • I had another guy that works on transmissions tell me that it sounds like the synchronizers went out on it. He said I'd probably be better off just finding another transmission.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I had another guy that works on transmissions tell me that it sounds like the synchronizers went out on it.

    The synchronizer rings, or synchros as they are often called, grab the spinning gears and allow then to match speeds so that they can mesh smoothly as you change from one gear to another.

    The syncros have no effect when the gears are stationary, so whether they're good or bad it'll make no difference to gear selection with the engine off.
    It's also highly unlikely that the syncros would fail on all the gears at the same time.

    Your transmission should be an AX5. If you can get another one that's in good condition, great. If you get one that's worn though, you're back to square one.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Thanks for your input. I'm going to visit our 2 reputable 4-wheel shops in my area and run your diagnosis past them before I visit the Jeep dealer service manager who gave me the gear-meshing bull.

    Once you've established whether the noise is excessive or not you can go on to fixing it. There is an outside chance that it's the release bearing, which will require transmission removal to replace it, but not the stripping of the transmission itself.
    However, the normal problem with the release bearing is the other way around, noisy under load and quiet when released. It does happen backwards sometimes though.

    However, the most logical diagnosis is that it's an internal transmission issue, either a gear, shaft, or bearing (or possibly even a lack of lubrication). While idling in neutral a limited number of parts are rotating, with the clutch pedal depressed none of them are rotating, so the noise stops.

    This isn't specifically a Wrangler problem though, it can happen with any manual transmission on any make or model. The fact that you have this issue, coupled with the need for a replacement ring and pinion in one of the axles, suggests that your Jeep may have previously led a hard life.

    My C.V. is immaterial really, I never claim to have the definitive answer to anything, and any advice you get here is only worth what you paid for it. However, if what I've said makes logical sense to you, then it gives you an understanding of the problem that you can comfortably discuss.
  • I have a 95 wrangler with a bad tranny. It is a 5 speed and I wanted to know if a 5 speed from a 89 or 90 will fit. I have been told that everything is the same except for the bellhousing. If the input and output shaft are the same could I use the bellhousing off my 95 on the 90 transmission.
  • nomad443nomad443 Posts: 10

    Sorry. I'm not a motor-head by any stretch of the imagination. Just a casual driver who has a a Jeep for summer cruising and a spare 4-wheel drive for the Winters in PA. Sorry I can't help you out.

  • nomad443nomad443 Posts: 10

    Thanks for your response. One 4-wheel drive shop diagnosed my problem as a needle bearing. As of now I'm in the process of replacing the tranny thru another 4-wheel shop in our area. Funny your response should come today. Got a call from the shop today and when they put the new one (supposedly brand new NV3550) and ran it the noise stopped but it popped out of 1st gear more than once. They called and are having another sent. It's coming from Blumenthals (?) in the mid-west. Supposedly a reputable shop they've dealt with for years. So I guess we'll find out. Thanks again for your input.

  • apgarmelapgarmel Posts: 2
    Hi- brand new wrangler (owned many jeeps, never a wrangler) only has 500miles and it seems to shift really odd....accelerating onto the highway, it goes up to 6,000RPMs in order to shift and 70mph it noticably shifts and the rpms jump from 2-3....i have never driven a vehicle that shifts at this speed (at least to the point where I notice the rpms shift).....It feels like the pedal is stiff, but i am convinced that isn't the issue....please help...I am in love with this thing, but I bough new so I don't have to deal with this crap...thanks! :cry:
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Is this an auto or manual?

    You reference the vehicle shifting at different speeds and rpm, but you also mention a pedal feeling stiff.

    Bottom line, it's under warranty so take back to the dealer to fix.
  • apgarmelapgarmel Posts: 2
    Auto...sorry for the feels like the gas pedal is stiff, but it definitely has a different way of shifting than my 99 Cherokee did...if it is just a difference between cherokee and wrangler...I am cool but I feel like it isn't....I am having them install a hard top in a week or so, will definitely mention it. Thanks!
  • porterzporterz Posts: 3
    My brother in law is having trouble with his jeep.. Im stumped. The jeep seems to shift decently till you hit 4th. Upon hitting the clutch and shifting out of 4th though.. its stuck.. wont shift to any gears.. moving or stopped. It also wont shift into a gear until the clutch is pumped. This seems to reset the tranny and then you can shift into any gear. If the jeep is turned off while the jeep wont shift.. well then you have to turn it back on and pump the clutch to get it free. Just curious if anyone has any ideas before I tear it down.
  • porterzporterz Posts: 3
    Jeep drives well, but wont shift up or down a lot. Seems to lock the tranny from shifting. After driving it.. it shifts up well.. and will often shift all the way to 5th. But 4th is very problematic. Once 4th is engaged the jeep loses its shifting ability. It literally will not go into any gear moving or not with the clutch down. If you release the clutch and pump it, there is a clunk, and you can then shift. Parked the jeep will run through all the gears.. off it will run through. If the problem occurs and the jeep is turned off it remains unable to engage a gear. Curious what could knock out all the gears.
  • rube5rube5 Posts: 2
    At 29000+miles, my Rubicon 6-speed neutral gear began vibrating with an annoying sound. This sound is quieted by depressing the clutch and/or slightly moving the shifter. The transmission was replaced but the sound continues. I now have 31000+miles on the odometer. I have visited three different dealers: #1replaced the transmission#2replaced Transfer case shift rail torque bracket#3Originally, recommended the replacement of the throw-out bearing and pilot bearing. I did this and it cost me almost $500. I returned and I was told that the noise is normal due to gear lash between input shaft and counter shaft. No problem found. I would appreciate any insight from other owners. Thanks in advance.
  • porterzporterz Posts: 3
    Ok have now replaced the clutch and throwout bearing.. still have the shift issue. It only happens on the down shift.. and only in the 3 4 slot. At this point Im leaning towards the 3 4 shift fork. It tries to engage the gear, and then hangs up and wont shift to any gear then. if you skip 3 and 4 and go from 5 to 2 there is never a problem. Anyone else had a problem or heard of a problem similar? With the clutch depressed there is a noticeable rattle when it wont engage. Stopped when you release the clutch it also causes the jeep to lurch slightly and then disengages the gear. If you park with the clutch in and unable to shift upon turning off the jeep you cant drop the clutch for the reset.. it still wont shift. But with the jeep off it shifts perfectly every time. pls someone offer some help?
  • nomad443nomad443 Posts: 10

    I completely sympathize with you. It drives me nuts! I took my 2004 Sahara (28000 miles) to 2 local 4-wheel shops. One said he thought it was a needle bearing and would only increase in noise level but would not be a major problem. Had the tranny (NV3500) replaced at the 2nd shop, plus the throwout bearing. Seemed tight for about, oh, 2 weeks. Shifts fine, but noisy at shutoff. I think it's a Jeep tranny thing. One replaced is guaranteed for a year, so we'll see what happens.

    Please excuse the fact that I'm not a motor-head by any stretch of the imagination. Just have a Wrangler for summer rides and extra 4-wheeler for winters here in PA. Hope somebody has better info for you.

  • Bought a brand new 2006 Wrangler Unlimited (my 3rd new Jeep Wrangler) and have had a problem with the transmission when the weather begins to get cold. Symptoms are, when temp goes to around 50 degrees (and car is still cold from start-up) there is a problem when I stop and begin to accelerate. The downshift to first gear is not immediate (2-3 second lag) at which time you can feel the trans re-engage and all is well until the next stop, although when very cold there is sometimes an abrupt hard upshift from from first to second. In late spring, summer, and early fall all is well which makes me believe temperature is the contributing factor here and not a mechanical one, as the transmission is smooth shifting and normal at all other times. When I returned my customer rating sheet to Chrysler noting the problem, I was contacted by their engineering staff and they seemed to know about this. They were familiar with these symptoms which lead me to believe I was not alone with this.
    My question is; is/was this a problem that led to a service bulletin fix such as software corrections. My Jeep has only 11,000 miles and is still under warranty and there is no sign of problems with the fluid. I am reluctant to have transmission pulled because of this intermitant problem which I can live with. Thanks
  • So, maybe a couple weeks ago, I noticed a sound. The only way I can describe the sound is either like when mud dries and flies off your undercarriage while you're driving or maybe like a rusty bolt rolling around in the back. I wrote it off as something like that, until I cleaned everything out, checked underneath and didn't find anything loose, and the sound hasn't stopped...

    Fast forward to a couple days ago, I notice that I'm super sluggish when accelerating from a stop, like there is absolutely no torque. Once it catches second its fine, and it's fine at cruising speeds.

    I don't know if the sound is connected to the issue or not; Lord knows with the luck I've had lately, the whole bottom is probably about ready to fall out of it. I'm just hoping I don't need a new transmission. Any ideas?
  • nomad443nomad443 Posts: 10
    Sorry, I'm just a driver and not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination. Had a '98 Sahara before trading up to a '04 Sahara and never experienced anything you've described. My only suggestion would be to take it to a REPUTABLE 4wheel shop and get their take on the problem. Good luck!

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    When was the last transmission fluid change?

    Perhaps a fluid change with some good fluid would help.

  • randy0730randy0730 Posts: 1
    I have an 04 Wrangler. it is not very good on the highway as it continues to shift in and out of 4th gear. I have the 4.0 engine and the tires are not very big 31 x 10.5 x 15. the mileage on the jeep is 61K. Compression is good in all the cylinders. But going up average hills on the interstates (Alabama) it will shift down into 3rd at 60 mph. Is there an auto 5 speed that will rectify this or what is the next step/move?


  • long44long44 Posts: 3
    i own a 1987 jeep wrangler laredo and i have been having a really bad leak in my transmission , it pours ATF all over the ground and i have tried replacing the gasket on the pan and that didnt work, any one have any experience with this?
  • long44long44 Posts: 3
    i have a 1987 wrangler and i have the auto trany, it has been leaking ATF like crazy so i replaced the gasket and it didnt help, any sugestions
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I haven't done it myself, but I understand that positioning the gasket properly is VERY critical. And if there is any warping of the metal, you have more serious problems.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    It would also help if you said from where on the transmission the fluid is leaking.
    There are many other places besides the pan joint that it can appear from.
  • long44long44 Posts: 3
    well i pulled it apart yesterday and realized now that it leaking from the linkage rod on the top of the tranny, i pulled the rod off the get to the seal and when i hooked it back up now it wont shift at all and it wont even start. :mad:
  • rube5rube5 Posts: 2
    The noise upon shutting off the engine, I can live with. I believe it is a "Jeep thing", but the noise in Neutral gear is annoying. Thanks for your reply.
  • rootsarfrootsarf Posts: 1
    :confuse: I have a jeep wrangler 2000 with transmission problem, I need to know if the transmission from a 6 cylinder same year is compatible.
  • rokabilyrokabily Posts: 1
    i have a 2001 sport with 66,000 5 speed tranny.i just replaced the master and slave cylinder with factory parts but the problem remains the same .whenever it gets hot the clutch will not fully disengage so i have a lot of trouble getting it in and out of gear but if it sits over night its fine until it gets hot again
  • I just purchased an '03 Saraha, 5-speed, 6 cyl.. I drives great, no jumping out of gear, shifts smooth however, it sometimes (about 50% of the time), sounds as though the throw-out bearing is going out. When I 'm stopped and engage the clutch the noise quits. Throw-out bearing, right? I had two very good mechanics who both had similar jeeps, look and listen to it. Naturally, it didn't make a sound.
    They both told me that my year(s) and model jeep are notorious for tranny noise and not to worry too much about it. Back in 1991 I owned a brand new GMC with a 5-speed standard tranny with almost identical sound problems...the GMC mechanic told me this: It's an aluminum transmission box that resonates sound more than cast iron, the gears have much closer tolerances than the old transmissions and because needle bearings are used, automatic transmission fluid takes the place of 80-90 all purpose. Thus more noise will be heard. He cured the problem by draining a pint of auto trans fluid and added some "Morley's" stabilizer.
    Has anyone heard of doing this with the Jeep transmission or adding a Lucas or some other brand stabilizer?
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