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Rebuilding my 32RH transmission (fully successfully)

hardtailpan

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Have fun with that transmission.


Meanwhile the battery died in my JKU, so I had to take the TJ out this afternoon despite being low on ATF. 3rd gear slipped pretty bad, but I'm going to tell my self it's because I was so low. I drove in 2nd for the 10 minute or so drive, 40mph or so. Temp got to about 175 and held steady. Parked it in the driveway of a friend who lives in a *very* nice neighborhood. You know where this is going.

I came back to a large red puddle under the jeep on his pristine driveway. I feel HORRIBLE. Luckily it's again just because I'm stupid. My pan has a drain plug that came with a nylon washer. For one, I didn't put that back on when I put the plug in. And for two, I didn't tighten the plug down very well. As soon as I got back home I put it in the garage, tightened the bolt, cleaned up the pan area, and put a clean paper towel underneath. That was about 3 hrs ago, no sign of a new drip. I guess that nylon washer wasn't necessary after all.

I should've bought ATF in bulk. I feel like I've gone through a ton of it on this project.

FINALLY got to put some fluid in the old girl and drive her around the block. I'm at least a quart if not 2 or 3 low, but the shift points are pretty much exactly where I expect them to be with the TV cable more or less right where it appears others are and based on the "just before tension" adjustment. It downshifts when I slow down & take turns, and also will easily kickdown just like it used to 11 pages ago.

I don't know that I'll be able to drive it enough today to validate the operating temperature, especially given that I'm a decent bit low on fluid. But I've been thinking through it and if the engine it making it spin faster than it thinks it should be spinning then it's likely not enough fluid is being sent to the places that need it and could make it run hot. Total conjecture, but low pressure is listed as a cause of high temps.

I'll probably only have one or two more progress posts in this thread, if I may be so bold as to count some chickens before they have begun the hatching process. But I want to say thanks to everyone who participated in the adventure, either to troubleshoot, or encourage my nonsense, or just to silently read along. I would love to know that I helped one person save $2k by rebuilding their transmission themselves, but it's plenty just to know that I saved myself $2k. And I learned a whole mess about automatic transmissions along the way.

Special thanks to @U8MYDZT who paved the way, and (seemingly) didn't get tired of 5 pages of DM's that y'all didn't even get to read on top of these 11 pages.:love:

This is great man!
Please do update once you get the proper amount of fluid in that sucker and verify that she is all good.

As for helping, you've certainly done that, and your discoveries about the FSM are huge in my book, so nice work, and once again, thanks for the continuous updates and not ghosting the thread.

I have this thread bookmarked and will be referencing it this fall when I pull my 32rh apart.

Congratulations!
 
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if I may be so bold as to count some chickens before they have begun the hatching process.

The chickens hatched. I counted them. The one I named 3rd gear is missing. Sigh.

Seems to drive/shift fine, but it just seems to rev rather than go into 3rd gear. The RPMs initially drop, but if I give it more gas to continue accelerating RPMs shoot back up but there's no power to the wheels. Going to Manual-2 executes the shift and I get power back. From 2nd to 3rd what should happen is the kickdown band should release and the front clutches should engage. I'm confident the kickdown band is releasing because 1st gear doesn't use it and I definitely have a 2-1 down shift. The front clutch is used for Reverse also....and while reverse seemed to work fine pulling me out of the driveway, when I checked it just now I get a good shudder/rattle that definitely was not there before I worked on the valve body, or even at the beginning of my test drive.

I definitely used to have 3rd gear back when my shift points were wrong due to the incorrect valve orientation. What I've done since then:

* removed the valve body, including separating the transfer plate from the body
* checked/corrected the switch valve, regulator pressure valve, and kickdown valve.
* connected the torque converter clutch plug on the outside of the transmission (I had it unplugged to make sure that wasn't going to give me any misleading trouble..ie like this)
* changed the filter
* installed front driveshaft (had only been running on the rear, hedging on needing to drop the trans again [the driveshafts are a bear to compress to remove/install])

((video to follow))
 
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Listen carefully as my soul deflates.
 
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Looks like y'all gave up on my ineptitude. The only thing I can reasonably figure is that I forgot to fully torque the valve body bolts. I distinctly recall tightening them by hand in a criss cross pattern and watching it draw in, but I *know* I didn't so much as look up the torque spec. I can't even distinctly recall putting a socket on them. The spec is 105 inch-lbs, which I know I didn't get anywhere near. I'm starting to get really annoyed at my lack of attention to detail on this project. It's costing me a ton of time & effort.

Gonna drain the thing "one more time" and retorque those bolts. I'm wondering if I can drop the pan without dropping the skid just about as much as I'm wondering if not having the valve body bolts torqued can jack up 3rd gear & reverse.

I've also never done an air test, but this may be the time. There is *no way* the clutches are burned up or the clearance changed. It has to be lack of pressure to the piston. So either a seal is trashed all of a sudden or the valve body isn't able to deliver pressure to that section. You know, or something completely different.
 
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U8MYDZT

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Crap man! This totally sucks! It's can't be anything too crazy, it was working fine before you pulled the VB off. Did you top the fluid off?
 
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Crap man! This totally sucks! It's can't be anything too crazy, it was working fine before you pulled the TB off. Did you top the fluid off?

Fluid is just shy of the full mark. I’ve operated perfectly well on much less fluid.

I’ve convinced myself it’s not having torqued down the valve body, and that the shudder in R is because the line pressure in R is something like 3x what the pressure is in forward gears…and that the VB being loose is enough to just leak premature in 3rd but when you triple the pressure in R crazy stuff happens.

There are some pressure tests you can do before you open up the pan, but I don’t have the right equipment. The air test is something I probably should have done while I had it on the bench, although I don’t believe it’s detailed in either manual I have. I found a few decent videos showing it but none really explaining what needs to be done. I will be certain to capture that when I do it & will post here.

Hoping it’s just another rookie mistake on my part. I hate making mistakes but I really hate making mistakes because I’m just being sloppy. And this one is gonna cost me a bunch of time too.
 

hardtailpan

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That's super frustrating. I'm hoping its just loose valve body bolts as well, at least that won't necessitate another removal.
>fingers crossed< !
 

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Man, I've been following along silently because I've got nothing to contribute having never been into an auto trans past the filter. Hope you get it figured out.

I love the parts of car work that go together like Legos...you just assemble and it works. Stuff that requires adjustment and iteration....yuck. which is why I've never done a ring and pinion or an auto trans, I like hydraulic lifters (until they go flat), I tolerate body imperfections, etc.
 
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Man, I've been following along silently because I've got nothing to contribute having never been into an auto trans past the filter. Hope you get it figured out.

I love the parts of car work that go together like Legos...you just assemble and it works. Stuff that requires adjustment and iteration....yuck. which is why I've never done a ring and pinion or an auto trans, I like hydraulic lifters (until they go flat), I tolerate body imperfections, etc.

The trans has only required iteration because I've been sloppy at some inopportune moments.
 

freedom_in_4low

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The trans has only required iteration because I've been sloppy at some inopportune moments.

I mean, you're the only one in your shop so you know better than I do, but the inversion of the kickdown valve and detent/sleeve was squarely on the shoulders of the FSM illustrators.
 
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I mean, you're the only one in your shop so you know better than I do, but the inversion of the kickdown valve and detent/sleeve was squarely on the shoulders of the FSM illustrators.

Ok, that’s valid. But the dry seal was my fault, and not torquing VB is on me, etc. But I would classify that stuff as fixing mistakes….but I guess you’re right in that I have to keep going over a certain set of steps as I inch toward getting it right.

I guess my point was that there is nothing inherently iterative about the process, compared to say setting up gears.
 
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Ok y’all. First things first, we got the AW4 put back together this afternoon. Had some high stress moments around the valvebody but a little brain usage did the trick.

Then we got to mine. Dropped the skid, drained the fluid into a bucket yet again. Then dropped the pan, keeping what felt like at least a quart maybe more in the pan. Lowered the filter (it had 3 miles on it, I’m reusing it). Didnt spill a drop. Considering the bloodbath I normally have under there, this is a momentous achievement.

While I was trying to find the 11mm socket, XJ buddy yells from under the jeep “unless the torque spec is TWO I think this might be your problem!” Yeah, I not only never torqued them, I never even introduced them to a wrench. Also: my valve body has “always” been missing one bolt. I had the missing one in a different spot from before, I corrected that. I also forgot that I ended up with an extra valve body/transfer plate screw. I now recall that I could not get it threaded in the hole, and I never went back to deal with it. We got it in this time. Dunno to what extent those last two things are a factor, but at the very least it’s now bolted up how it always was, and properly torqued.

Filled it back up (tightened the pan bolt this time), skid back on, test drive…..


Flawless. If this were Reddit, I would give it a 5/7; a perfect score. Every shift is where it’s supposed to be, lockdowns, lockups, slow speed downshifts. We’re good.

I’m still a little bit concerned about the temperature. It was around 185 just now but it’s hot out and I was driving it pretty hard. Put it into park and it crept up to 200 and stabilized. Tomorrow I’m gonna take it on a longer run and see what the temp does. I want to fully understand the current sitch before I plumb in the cooler.

And since I’ve been all words and no pics for a while now, I’ll give you an evening shot of Big Juicy, having once again driven & parked under her own power.

image.jpg
 

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Ok y’all. First things first, we got the AW4 put back together this afternoon. Had some high stress moments around the valvebody but a little brain usage did the trick.

Then we got to mine. Dropped the skid, drained the fluid into a bucket yet again. Then dropped the pan, keeping what felt like at least a quart maybe more in the pan. Lowered the filter (it had 3 miles on it, I’m reusing it). Didnt spill a drop. Considering the bloodbath I normally have under there, this is a momentous achievement.

While I was trying to find the 11mm socket, XJ buddy yells from under the jeep “unless the torque spec is TWO I think this might be your problem!” Yeah, I not only never torqued them, I never even introduced them to a wrench. Also: my valve body has “always” been missing one bolt. I had the missing one in a different spot from before, I corrected that. I also forgot that I ended up with an extra valve body/transfer plate screw. I now recall that I could not get it threaded in the hole, and I never went back to deal with it. We got it in this time. Dunno to what extent those last two things are a factor, but at the very least it’s now bolted up how it always was, and properly torqued.

Filled it back up (tightened the pan bolt this time), skid back on, test drive…..


Flawless. If this were Reddit, I would give it a 5/7; a perfect score. Every shift is where it’s supposed to be, lockdowns, lockups, slow speed downshifts. We’re good.

I’m still a little bit concerned about the temperature. It was around 185 just now but it’s hot out and I was driving it pretty hard. Put it into park and it crept up to 200 and stabilized. Tomorrow I’m gonna take it on a longer run and see what the temp does. I want to fully understand the current sitch before I plumb in the cooler.

And since I’ve been all words and no pics for a while now, I’ll give you an evening shot of Big Juicy, having once again driven & parked under her own power.

View attachment 349247

That sound about right without a cooler,mine with a cooler will get to 220 on the highway when it is HOT out,normal driving in the evening is around 180 ish,I’ll get pics for ya
 
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LarryTJ

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Ok y’all. First things first, we got the AW4 put back together this afternoon. Had some high stress moments around the valvebody but a little brain usage did the trick.

Then we got to mine. Dropped the skid, drained the fluid into a bucket yet again. Then dropped the pan, keeping what felt like at least a quart maybe more in the pan. Lowered the filter (it had 3 miles on it, I’m reusing it). Didnt spill a drop. Considering the bloodbath I normally have under there, this is a momentous achievement.

While I was trying to find the 11mm socket, XJ buddy yells from under the jeep “unless the torque spec is TWO I think this might be your problem!” Yeah, I not only never torqued them, I never even introduced them to a wrench. Also: my valve body has “always” been missing one bolt. I had the missing one in a different spot from before, I corrected that. I also forgot that I ended up with an extra valve body/transfer plate screw. I now recall that I could not get it threaded in the hole, and I never went back to deal with it. We got it in this time. Dunno to what extent those last two things are a factor, but at the very least it’s now bolted up how it always was, and properly torqued.

Filled it back up (tightened the pan bolt this time), skid back on, test drive…..


Flawless. If this were Reddit, I would give it a 5/7; a perfect score. Every shift is where it’s supposed to be, lockdowns, lockups, slow speed downshifts. We’re good.

I’m still a little bit concerned about the temperature. It was around 185 just now but it’s hot out and I was driving it pretty hard. Put it into park and it crept up to 200 and stabilized. Tomorrow I’m gonna take it on a longer run and see what the temp does. I want to fully understand the current sitch before I plumb in the cooler.

And since I’ve been all words and no pics for a while now, I’ll give you an evening shot of Big Juicy, having once again driven & parked under her own power.

View attachment 349247
I started reading from the start on your project re-build and couldn't stand the suspense to know if you completed the job (I need to start over from where I left off) but awesome job chronologically labeling all the parts in separate baggies and it looks like you referenced the page of the FSM on each. All I can say is phenomenal job!! Hopefully you have it all on video to share with other in the future.

 
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I started reading from the start on your project re-build and couldn't stand the suspense to know if you completed the job (I need to start over from where I left off) but awesome job chronologically labeling all the parts in separate baggies and it looks like you referenced the page of the FSM on each. All I can say is phenomenal job!! Hopefully you have it all on video to share with other in the future.


Thanks for following along. I started to go back through each post and edit stuff that is blatantly wrong, without destroying the spirit of the adventure. The labeled baggies were invaluable, as was a workbench big enough to have all the main components sequenced. About 3 weeks went by between the disassembly of the AW4 and the reassembly, and let me tell you, I was struggling to remember how it went even with everything in order. And pictures, pictures, pictures. I was sure his accumulator went in one directly but sure enough a had a picture showing it going the other way. Just be thankful for how well written the 32RH FSM is (even in the spots where it's wrong).

I have some videos of a lot of the teardown, and the full valve body teardown/reassembly. I don't have much video of the re-assembly, I don't think. There are a few things I would've liked to have captured, like how to jiggle the clutch drums to let them seat into the next piece. But I was a one man show for much of that work, and my kids only wanted to help so much. I wish I had the resources & patience for a 3 camera setup with lighting etc...and the time to edit all that. In the meanwhile, search "904 rebuild" and you'll find what you need.

All told, I would happily help someone overhaul theirs, and if some stranger wanted to give me a small amount of cash I would happily do a bench rebuild for them. I am highly confident I can do this again w/o making those same mistakes....I'll probably make a whole new set of mistakes, lol. But the things that caused me to have to re-do things several times are (a) FSM mistakes that I will never make again and (b) rookie assembly mistakes that I should never have made in the first place. But I'm not super interested in dropping another trans, and I really really really have no interest in installing another trans.*. Bench work is strongly preferred.


* I'm helping XJ buddy install his AW4 tomorrow night. Then we get to troubleshoot whatever I did wrong on his. :(
 
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Oh yeah, did have one other minor "WHAT NOW?" moment. Filled it all back up, go to put it into reverse....nothing. Not even so much as a lurch or a whine. No drive either. Great, so I tightened some bolts and now I have NO gears??

Whoops, I put the t-case in neutral to push it into the garage and never put it back in gear. Yep, that'll do it.
 

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Oh yeah, did have one other minor "WHAT NOW?" moment. Filled it all back up, go to put it into reverse....nothing. Not even so much as a lurch or a whine. No drive either. Great, so I tightened some bolts and now I have NO gears??

Whoops, I put the t-case in neutral to push it into the garage and never put it back in gear. Yep, that'll do it.

In that split second before you figured it out, how badly did you want to just roll the Jeep off a cliff? Lol
 
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In that split second before you figured it out, how badly did you want to just roll the Jeep off a cliff? Lol

I'm generally slow to react on stuff like that, and in this case I knew literally all we did was tighten the valve body bolts and re-install the filter so the list of things it could've been inside the trans was pretty small. Was guessing I hadn't built up fluid pressure yet although I knew that wasn't true. Lies you tell yourself to keep from hurting things, for $500, Alex.

Now when I walked out the other day and found that puddle of fluid under the jeep on my rich friend's driveway....in the heat of the moment I told my wife I was selling it. And then even more annoyed that I just didn't tighten the stupid drain plug.