AX15 issues


New Member
Sep 26, 2023
Hi All,

I just pulled my 1997 tj out of storage where it sat for the last 7 years… oil change, new battery, and some break work and it was good to go. Had it out for a week and I’m having issues I never had before.

Mainly, with the engine on I can not shift into 1st or 2nd at all. It feels like the shifter is physically blocked by something, BUT with the engine off I can shift it to 1-2 no problem. If I shift into 1st and start it, it drives with no issues, but once I take it out of 1st it won’t go back in, get it to 3rd and there’s no problem.

I have read a ton of threads and I see this is a common issue, possibly to do with the clutch no disengaging.

Wondering if anyone has had similar issues and if anyone could recommend troubleshooting methods for along the way while starting to drop the trans. I don’t want to get to a rebuild stage when all I might need is a new clutch.

Thanks for helping!
Spooky! Seems like clutch problem to me.
When you put it first and start, does it feel like it wants to move even with the clutch peddle down?

X2 clutch issue.

I had a YJ thats clutch failed and I had to shift into first then start the engine and time the gear changes correctly to up or downshift without the clutch.
I think I'd drain the fluid on that AX-15 and give it some fresh MT-90.

My guess is the oil was in the bottom and the top part of the transmission...rails, some rust.

Might want to pull the shift tower and take a look.

One of the many things I ran into getting my AX-15 rebuilt by a local shop...the new 1-2 shift fork had a small casting defect that hit the case and wouldn't let it get into 1st.

Might be the clutch...but my money's on rust and gummed up oil on the 1-2 fork.