Great deals on TJ parts on Amazon!

Looking for parts for your Jeep Wrangler TJ? Checkout the selection of TJ parts Amazon has to offer, many with 2-day Prime shipping!

Click the image below to browse TJ parts on Amazon.

Jeep Wrangler TJ Parts on Amazon

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Rebuilding my 32RH transmission (fully successfully)

OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
It's normal. If you think about how close all those components are it makes sense that they'll freewheel along with the input shaft rotation.
The older Benz transmissions would actually move the car a little in neutral if you revved it up.

Yeah, the friction & fluid coupling isn't super surprising. But I'm surprised that it spins at basically the same speed as it does when it's in D, and not easily stopped by hand*. I'm not convinced what *I* have going on right now is normal, but I also didn't do anything that would have caused it to change behavior. I'm hopefully just being extra paranoid.


* we put a wood block up to the yoke expecting to be able to easily slow it down but instead it just chewed up the wood and didn't really slow down at all.
 
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
I almost forgot the most important thing: No fluid leaks on the garage floor this morning.


Also I put the new trans cooler in place but I have not plumbed it in yet. Planning to keep the radiator cooler in place, and send the output of it to the new cooler, and then send the output of the new cooler to the return line to the transmission. Unless it's a bad idea to use 2 coolers or there will be a pressure problem or something.
 
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
If it's in neutral and not running, can you turn the output shaft?

Yes, it can spin in N. Should I be able to turn it in D? (I don't know if I can or not, will check in a bit). I'm in Second Guessing Land right now....maybe I have N but I don't have D?


EDIT: brain go brrrr. It can spin in any gear other than P with the engine off — there is no pressure applied to the clutches to link output to input shaft; with the engine off the transmission is effectively in N.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Claytone
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
Driveshafts won't be ready till Monday. Put the new TV cable in this morning. Now I understand what y'all are talking about with the teeth. The old one didn't have those clicks as you pull it. New one is great. Can't wait to drive this thing.

Still bone dry underneath. I'm trying to decide if the lesson to learn here is that I should have replaced the seal while I had the thing out...except for the fact that I had it out last summer and did not replace the seal and it was fine. And as I'm typing this I bet I know what happened. I had the trans all apart for like a week. Brake clean, compressed air + Texas heat to clean & dry it all. I'm sure the seal was dry. I lubed up lots of other stuff as I reassembled but I know I didn't lube the seal. And last time I did this it was only apart for a few hours and I re-used the same torque converter, which definitely still had some oil on the shaft. First time I reassembled not only was the seal dry but it was a new torque converter and I don't specifically recall lubing that shaft (hehehe) before I put the TC on. This time I was sure to lube the seal and the TC shaft.
 
Last edited:

hardtailpan

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
540
Location
Northeast USA
I'm sure the seal was dry. I lubed up lots of other stuff as I reassembled but I know I didn't lube the seal.

Yup, this will do it every time. Every seal needs to be lubed before the shaft or whatever goes in or at first start up it will destroy it. Awesome that you have no more drips! Can't wait to see what happens when you get your driveshafts and take this sucker for a ride!
 
  • Like
  • Face Palm
Reactions: hear and U8MYDZT
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
Yup, this will do it every time. Every seal needs to be lubed before the shaft or whatever goes in or at first start up it will destroy it. Awesome that you have no more drips! Can't wait to see what happens when you get your driveshafts and take this sucker for a ride!

It occurs to me that I didn't lube up the selector shaft seal either. I replaced that one about a year ago with the trans in the jeep. Not super hard, but I'll be pretty annoyed with myself if I have to do it again because I'm stupid.
 

U8MYDZT

Wrong guy to follow
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
670
Location
North San Jose
It occurs to me that I didn't lube up the selector shaft seal either. I replaced that one about a year ago with the trans in the jeep. Not super hard, but I'll be pretty annoyed with myself if I have to do it again because I'm stupid.

Doesn't rotate at high speed, shouldn't be a problem
 

Moglocker

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
1,488
Location
Missouri
My buddy's XJ transmission went all Amber Heard in Johnny Depp's bed, so I'm about to overhaul his as well. I know the AW4 TJ swap fell out of favor, but I wonder if anybody here still has one?

Ok where do I send the bill for a new KEYBOARD!😂
 
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
Chapter 2: In Which We Await Fixed Driveshafts and Kill Time by Overhauling an AW4 Because we Think We are Invincible Now

Yeah, so I successfully(?) overhauled ONE stinking transmission and now I think I'm going to put the local trans shops out of business or something. My XJ buddy has given me waaaaay more hours of help than I've given him, so this is me repaying to favors. He's at a week of summer camp with my kids (and his kids and a bunch of other kids) so I'm gonna attempt to do his trans while he's gone (he is aware of this).

First thing I notice is that it's grimy as all get out. I'd love to have the case looking nice for him but with his driving style it's probably wasted effort. Second thing I notice is that the AW4 is much heavier. 3rd thing is that all the external components are o-ring fittings with a bolt hold down bracket. Very different from the 904 (32RH). Component-wise it's more or less the same on the underside; valve body, some accumulator pistons, only the pistons don't have lock rings holding them in which is a welcome change. The rotating assembly has more pieces but it's all basically the same stuff as the TJ trans. Snap rings, clutches, drums, planetary sets, etc. Unfortunately the pump puller bolt hole is a different thread so I can't get it out tonight.

Fourth thing I notice is that the fluid in here looks like extremely thin motor oil. It is dark brown, but much more runny than motor oil. The AW4 takes Dextron III/Mercon, but I assumed it was also reddish in color. It was leaking that color bad on the trail and we assumed his motor was shot. Upon closer review the trans pump seal (or do we call it the torque converter seal?) is obliterated and the torque converter is a lot noisier than it probably should be. In typical XJ fashion he wanted to just replace the seal & send it, but with it already out & me willing to do the work, it only makes sense to tear it down and get all that black fluid out. And then who knows what we'll find?!

image0.jpeg


I guess it does have a reddish tint in that light, but I'm here to tell you it's dark brown. Doesn't smell burnt, but if this is the first overhaul then it has 240k miles on the clutches, and the last couple thousand have been some hard miles, let me tell you. We have a big trip at the end of August so it's probably just as well our transmissions spit the bit when they did. Would've been a long ride home given that we don't trailer our jeeps.

IMG_4771.jpg
 

U8MYDZT

Wrong guy to follow
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
670
Location
North San Jose
Chapter 2: In Which We Await Fixed Driveshafts and Kill Time by Overhauling an AW4 Because we Think We are Invincible Now

Yeah, so I successfully(?) overhauled ONE stinking transmission and now I think I'm going to put the local trans shops out of business or something. My XJ buddy has given me waaaaay more hours of help than I've given him, so this is me repaying to favors. He's at a week of summer camp with my kids (and his kids and a bunch of other kids) so I'm gonna attempt to do his trans while he's gone (he is aware of this).

First thing I notice is that it's grimy as all get out. I'd love to have the case looking nice for him but with his driving style it's probably wasted effort. Second thing I notice is that the AW4 is much heavier. 3rd thing is that all the external components are o-ring fittings with a bolt hold down bracket. Very different from the 904 (32RH). Component-wise it's more or less the same on the underside; valve body, some accumulator pistons, only the pistons don't have lock rings holding them in which is a welcome change. The rotating assembly has more pieces but it's all basically the same stuff as the TJ trans. Snap rings, clutches, drums, planetary sets, etc. Unfortunately the pump puller bolt hole is a different thread so I can't get it out tonight.

Fourth thing I notice is that the fluid in here looks like extremely thin motor oil. It is dark brown, but much more runny than motor oil. The AW4 takes Dextron III/Mercon, but I assumed it was also reddish in color. It was leaking that color bad on the trail and we assumed his motor was shot. Upon closer review the trans pump seal (or do we call it the torque converter seal?) is obliterated and the torque converter is a lot noisier than it probably should be. In typical XJ fashion he wanted to just replace the seal & send it, but with it already out & me willing to do the work, it only makes sense to tear it down and get all that black fluid out. And then who knows what we'll find?!

View attachment 342382

I guess it does have a reddish tint in that light, but I'm here to tell you it's dark brown. Doesn't smell burnt, but if this is the first overhaul then it has 240k miles on the clutches, and the last couple thousand have been some hard miles, let me tell you. We have a big trip at the end of August so it's probably just as well our transmissions spit the bit when they did. Would've been a long ride home given that we don't trailer our jeeps.

View attachment 342383

Damn so 1.5 day turn around since its an XJ? Lol. Looks like I will be asking your advice when I have to tear into my buddy's XJ.
 

NashvilleTJ

I miss the snow...
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
3,897
Location
Nashville
Damn so 1.5 day turn around since its an XJ? Lol. Looks like I will be asking your advice when I have to tear into my buddy's XJ.

My 545RFE is on it’s way to you, @hear. It will take 1.5 days to ship, so you will have time to finish up the AW4…

🙂
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bigmac
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
Damn so 1.5 day turn around since its an XJ? Lol. Looks like I will be asking your advice when I have to tear into my buddy's XJ.

I'm not getting the 1.5 day thing that both of you referenced? Started the teardown last night, need to have it reassembled by Saturday morning when he gets home and we leave for vacation.

My 545RFE is on it’s way to you, @hear. It will take 1.5 days to ship, so you will have time to finish up the AW4…

🙂

Doesn't look too bad. Rebuild kit is about $300 from Oregon Performance. We're going to be in eastern TN next week, if you get it here fast enough I can bring the overhauled unit with us.
 

U8MYDZT

Wrong guy to follow
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
670
Location
North San Jose
I'm not getting the 1.5 day thing that both of you referenced? Started the teardown last night, need to have it reassembled by Saturday morning when he gets home and we leave for vacation.



Doesn't look too bad. Rebuild kit is about $300 from Oregon Performance. We're going to be in eastern TN next week, if you get it here fast enough I can bring the overhauled unit with us.

I was referring to post #84. If you can do a TJ with a 1 day turn around you should be able to handle the XJ in 1.5. Lol
 
  • Haha
Reactions: hear
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
I was referring to post #84. If you can do a TJ with a 1 day turn around you should be able to handle the XJ in 1.5. Lol

Honestly, that sounds about right, if I've already done the prep work by watching a few videos and reading the FSM sections a couple times. Like anything else, the more time you spend prepping the the easier/quicker the actual work goes.

If I had the right size bolt to pull the pump out of the housing on this AW4 I would've had the whole thing torn down last night. Well probably not the valve body. Haven't watched/read anything on how to tear it down yet, so probably add another 4 hours there. So far I don't see any problems other than the discolored fluid. Very anxious to see what these clutches look like.

NGL, I'm really enjoying doing this transmission work. We have a 2nd Cherokee transmission that I'm going to "fraudulently" post as rebuilt on FB marketplace to see what sort of action it gets at various price points. You can get an AW4 for $200-$300, plus $350 for the rebuild kit. So I'd be in for close to $600, excluding the torque converter. How much could I sell them for & is it worth my time? I mean the hourly rate would suck compared to my day job but it would be fun and side cash is always nice to have.
 

U8MYDZT

Wrong guy to follow
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
670
Location
North San Jose
Honestly, that sounds about right, if I've already done the prep work by watching a few videos and reading the FSM sections a couple times. Like anything else, the more time you spend prepping the the easier/quicker the actual work goes.

If I had the right size bolt to pull the pump out of the housing on this AW4 I would've had the whole thing torn down last night. Well probably not the valve body. Haven't watched/read anything on how to tear it down yet, so probably add another 4 hours there. So far I don't see any problems other than the discolored fluid. Very anxious to see what these clutches look like.

NGL, I'm really enjoying doing this transmission work. We have a 2nd Cherokee transmission that I'm going to "fraudulently" post as rebuilt on FB marketplace to see what sort of action it gets at various price points. You can get an AW4 for $200-$300, plus $350 for the rebuild kit. So I'd be in for close to $600, excluding the torque converter. How much could I sell them for & is it worth my time? I mean the hourly rate would suck compared to my day job but it would be fun and side cash is always nice to have.

If you make them return the core you could potentially only have to get the first trans to start with. Or charge the core premium.
 
  • Face Palm
Reactions: hear
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
If you make them return the core you could potentially only have to get the first trans to start with. Or charge the core premium.

There are probably some challenges I would have to work through. Like the 2 trans we have right now have different sized holes for the speed sensors, and different style connectors. To what extent are they interchangeable? Crap like that. But I also don’t want to be a “drop it off and I’ll rebuild it” because I don’t need you coming back to me looking for a warranty claim or telling me your harness doesn’t connect.

I need to find the sweet spot between what a shop would charge and what you’re average Cherokee owner is willing to pay to do a task he believes is outside his abilities. The soft spot in this market is that the trans shop knows that 90% of the effort is getting it in/out, but the jeep owner thinks that’s the easy part.
 
OP
hear

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,334
Location
Prosper, TX
ok, nothing is ever as easy as advertised. The pump on the AW4 comes out basically the same as the 32RH. Remove the bolts, then 2 of the holes are threaded in the pump body which you can use with a slide hammer to pull on. Problem is I can't figure out what size the bolts are. I have 3/8 & 7/16 in both coarse & fine, and also m10 & m12 in 1.00 & 1.50. The m12 & 7/16 are too big. The 3/8 will only go in a thread or two and then stop. The m10 fits worse. Can't tell if it is a thread problem or it's just the wrong bolt.

Pretty sure the 32RH uses a 3/8 coarse for this purpose, but it doesn't seem like it works here. Ideas?