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Is the 32RH a good transmission?

Jacobs

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Jul 16, 2016
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Edmonton
Hi everyone glad to be back...almost. I’m close to buying a 2000 Sahara 4.0L with the 32RH Auto 3 speed. I believe this was the standard tranny for the 4.0L. Anyway I’ve always run manuals in my jeeps and I’m wondering about the quality on and off-road of this tranny. Anyone with this setup please let me know if you’ve had good or bad with it. Being a three speed, I’ve never had one before, is it lacking anywhere.

The Jeep has 119k and is in immaculate shape. No rust anywhere which is big for me. The ask is $7000 Cdn. I think I’d be dumb to pass on it.
Thoughts?
 

JMT

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I think the 3-speed is considered by most to be the BEST auto transmission available in the TJ's, if I recall correctly. So I'm posting this to keep it at the top so someone who is more sure will see it and comment.
 
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AndyG

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I've been told the same thing and I believe Jerry said he really liked the performance of his that he once owned.

Back in the 80s Ford had a 3-speed automatic transmission and it was pretty well Bulletproof... I think there's some inherent simplicity.
 
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Chris

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The 32RH is the best automatic you could get in the TJ, period.

The later model 42RLE transmission (4-speed) is problematic. I can attest to that, as can @psrivats, and just about everyone who owns one.
 
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Chris

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The ONLY advantage I see to the 42RLE 4-speed is that you can bolt-on a RubiCrawler... that's it. Other than that, it flat out sucks with that pesky overdrive gear and the fact that it's constantly hunting for overdrive, never fully sure if it wants to be in OD or not.

The more-and-more I look at my build, the more I wish I had just bought a 1997 TJ with a Dana 44 rear axle and started with that. With all I've done so far, it was pretty pointless to buy a Rubicon model.
 

Nathan Stanfield

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Feb 6, 2018
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My 2002 is rocking the 32RH without a single issue. Currently at 124,000 miles and the worst problem I had was having to replace a $13 solenoid that went bad.
Everything I have ever read about it says that it’s a great transmission.
 
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Jay P

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Nov 6, 2017
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609
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West Jordan, UT
I have it. I love it, I think it helps a ton when you don’t have lower gears. I think that you can get away with running higher gears with larger tires within reason. There’s a good read on it somewhere that explains it way better than I can if any of the above is your interest. I’d rather have scored a Dana 44 when I purchased but it all depends what your goals are.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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billiebob

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Oct 31, 2015
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Kootenays, BC, Canada
I’m wondering about the quality on and off-road of this tranny. Anyone with this setup please let me know if you’ve had good or bad with it. Being a three speed, I’ve never had one before, is it lacking anywhere.

The Jeep has 119k and is in immaculate shape. No rust anywhere which is big for me. The ask is $7000 Cdn. I think I’d be dumb to pass on it.
Thoughts?
Absolutely !!! One of the best automatics ever. Old school engineering done right and proven for 30? years. Nothing wrong with no overdrive. If you follow the regearing threads, everyone recommends gearing with zero consideration for the advantages of overdrive. The 3speed automatic is bulletproof. Beats the shit outof the other automatic.

I'd say the 3speed automatic is a plus. Buy it if all else is good.
 

astjp2

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Aug 22, 2018
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Utah and Alaska
There is a guy on Moparts that sells the improved aluminum servo's and accumulators which help tranny life vs. the plastic oem stuff
 
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Colin

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Apr 28, 2017
Messages
51
Location
Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand
I have heard that you have to be careful if going through deep water as the breather is in the bell housing. If it sucks water in then you will have trouble. I avoid deep water as a result. Maybe one day when I have to take the trans out I will shift the breather to the top of the trans and run a breather tube higher on mine? I don't know if the 4 speed has the same issue?
 
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jjvw

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Is it hard to reply the 42rle With a 32rh?
In my case with the nv3550 in a 2003 TJ, there is no way to automatically signal the 32rle to lock up. There are ways to use manual switches to activate and deactivate the lockup, but it isn't the same.
 
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Jacobs

Jacobs

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Jul 16, 2016
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Edmonton
Thanks for all the feedback! I bought the Jeep. Looking forward to the fun in the garage and on the trails. 02CF8A7D-EEB9-410C-8315-4200246C45CD.jpegD8A68E12-D96C-42A9-9191-23CBEC10D9B5.jpeg