32RH transmission issues


New Member
Sep 19, 2023
I need help. My son's 1999 TJ is having transmission issues and I'm a novice when it comes to transmissions. Here's the information I have on it.

1999 Wrangler
4.0L with a 32RH automatic.
185,000+ miles.

In the past year, before the tranny is up to operating temp. when making a sweeping left hand turn it acts like the tranny "shifts" into neutral. Once I'm through the turn and lift off the throttle the transmission "shift" back into gear and runs smoothly. I go around the same corner leaving work every day and it happens about half the time.

In the past year when driving up a hill, no matter how gradual the incline, it loses power and won't go over 35-40 MPH. I haven't driven it up any hills lately and can't remember if it downshifts but if it does it still makes no difference.

In the past month the CEL came on for a TCC circuit fault. Clearing the code does nothing, as soon as I start the engine the CEL comes on without even putting it in gear.

What I've done:
As soon as it started having issues going around a corner I checked the fluid level and it was full.

Three weeks ago I bought a new filter and everything to flush the tranny system. My dad owned it before giving it to my son and he never had the tranny serviced (In his defense he owned if for about 8 years and put less than 10,000 miles on it, most of that was being towed behind a motorhome). When I dropped the pan to change the filter the fluid and filter looked brand new. The service date inside the pan was 6mo. before my dad bought it. I decided on to flush the system. However installing a new filter didn't make the CEL light go away.

After researching all the forums I decided to replace the TCC solenoid. We did this two weekends ago and cleared the codes. As soon as I started it the CEL came on.

I don't like to nor can I afford to "shotgun" parts at it to try and fix it. If possible I would like to get some ideas on how to troubleshoot this issue. After reading even more posts on tranny issues I have a couple ideas of possible problems but before I spend anymore of my sons money on parts I would like to be more confident that I've found the smoking gun.

If more information is needed please let me know.
At least 3 things can cause the TCC code, off the top of my head. The solenoid, obviously. I know you replaced it, but unless you bench tested it first we can't rule out that you didn't get a bad one. Then the wiring from the plug to the computer. I actually had both of these problem. The TCC wiring is part of a bundle that goes over top of the transmission on its way to the computer. I had several wires broken/worn through in that area, so I had backup lights blowing fuses, intermittent brake lights, and a TCC code. I'm always an advocate of pulling up that lower harness & inspecting EVERYTHING and then repair & re-loom. I've literally never not found an issue in the harness when doing this.

The 3rd option could be the torque converter itself. I don't *know* if the PCM monitors for an RPM drop after it tells the TCC to engage....I don't know how else it would determine if it's working. But I think I would expect a TCC code if the actual lockup clutch in the TC was bad.

So, the wiring is ALWAYS a smoking gun in my mind, and it's free & relatively easy to investigate. If there was still a problem I would probably drop the VB next and physically test the solenoid. You *might* be able to put 12V across it with the pan off and hear it click, and not actually drop the VB. I'll have to consult the FSM to see if there are any diagnostics you can perform on the lockup, but I don't remember seeing one before.