Rebuilding my 32RH transmission (nearly successfully)

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many others who will attack this.

this is where you're wrong. Very few people have the right combination of transmission issues, time, generally just being cheap, and not being willing to listen to other people who tell them an automatic transmission is a mystical beast and should be given a wide berth.

You sound like you're on the verge of going down this same path?
 
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Le sigh. I can *almost* get the valve out w/o lowering the valve body. But not quite.

Le sigh part deux: I don't have a 1" crow foot and therefore am unable to get the NSS out, which is a prerequisite to lowering the valve body. Ordered last night, will get here tomorrow. At least now I'll have a set of crow foots. Crow feet? Crow's foots? Crow's feet? Take it to the bank, the next time I need one it will require a metric size.
 
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hardtailpan

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this is where you're wrong. Very few people have the right combination of transmission issues, time, generally just being cheap, and not being willing to listen to other people who tell them an automatic transmission is a mystical beast and should be given a wide berth.

You sound like you're on the verge of going down this same path?

Yup.
I've done a th350 and a couple th400s in the past but this will be my first 904 (family) transmission.
I bought an Apex with a bad motor, and the transmission is leaking like you wouldn't believe, and they both have 200k on em. I bought another transmission and was thinking I'd just throw it in (after re-sealing), but at this point I'm probably going to go through it.

I mean, how can I not after reading about all the fun you guys had/are having?!
 
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Yup.
I've done a th350 and a couple th400s in the past but this will be my first 904 (family) transmission.
I bought an Apex with a bad motor, and the transmission is leaking like you wouldn't believe, and they both have 200k on em. I bought another transmission and was thinking I'd just throw it in (after re-sealing), but at this point I'm probably going to go through it.

I mean, how can I not after reading about all the fun you guys had/are having?!

If you’ve already overhauled several transmissions before then you should have no problem here. Looking forward to reading the thread documenting your unbridled success.
 
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This is now with the valves in the correct sequence. The biggest difference is that the kickdown detent is visible, more or less flush with the edge of the valve body. I think I expected the tip of the valve to stick out even more. Although the main difference is *probably* that the wide sections of the valve now cover different passages? I have no idea what the kickdown detent does or how it works. So what else is new.

C0E8E8DA-414D-4311-8361-B769DD830680.jpeg
 

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This is now with the valves in the correct sequence. The biggest difference is that the kickdown detent is visible, more or less flush with the edge of the valve body. I think I expected the tip of the valve to stick out even more. Although the main difference is *probably* that the wide sections of the valve now cover different passages? I have no idea what the kickdown detent does or how it works. So what else is new.

View attachment 347330

Still can’t believe that thing could even go in that way. Nice catch! Can’t wait to hear how it all pans out.

I just had catastrophic failure of my Jeep. Lost compression in cylinder #1 2 weeks before the Dusy run I have been planning for a year. So bummed. But hey my transmission is working great! Lol
 
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There must be fluid pressure pushing the throttle valve back out when the thing is operating. I can get the valve to slide out to the point where it ALMOST contacts the "throttle applicator" (the part that rotates & presses in on the valve when you hit the gas) when I have zero (virtual) throttle applied. The kickdown detent sleeve also slides out part way and is stopped by the bracket. I'm guessing that fluid pressure pushes that detent out, so when you give it enough gas the detent gets pushed in as well and then magic happens. I think I may do the initial TV cable adjust with the pan off so I can better see what all is happening inside. There are still some bits of the geometry that doesn't make sense to me.

Also can you confirm that my throttle pressure screw/bracket/"throttle applicator" is all assembled correctly in post #205? You can put it back together such that the throttle applicator cam is behind the bracket, but I don't believe that is the correct way.

Still can’t believe that thing could even go in that way. Nice catch! Can’t wait to hear how it all pans out.

I just had catastrophic failure of my Jeep. Lost compression in cylinder #1 2 weeks before the Dusy run I have been planning for a year. So bummed. But hey my transmission is working great! Lol

OH NOES. Any idea of the cause? Is there any hope you can fix it in time? Buy another TJ, swap the motors "real quick" and then swap them back when your'e back from the trip and flip the new TJ for a small profit (hopefully).

Our big trip is in 3.5 weeks, so I was starting to sweat this transmission thing. And also the XJ with the AW4 I'm doing, which will also be taking the trip.
 

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There must be fluid pressure pushing the throttle valve back out when the thing is operating. I can get the valve to slide out to the point where it ALMOST contacts the "throttle applicator" (the part that rotates & presses in on the valve when you hit the gas) when I have zero (virtual) throttle applied. The kickdown detent sleeve also slides out part way and is stopped by the bracket. I'm guessing that fluid pressure pushes that detent out, so when you give it enough gas the detent gets pushed in as well and then magic happens. I think I may do the initial TV cable adjust with the pan off so I can better see what all is happening inside. There are still some bits of the geometry that doesn't make sense to me.

Also can you confirm that my throttle pressure screw/bracket/"throttle applicator" is all assembled correctly in post #205? You can put it back together such that the throttle applicator cam is behind the bracket, but I don't believe that is the correct way.



OH NOES. Any idea of the cause? Is there any hope you can fix it in time? Buy another TJ, swap the motors "real quick" and then swap them back when your'e back from the trip and flip the new TJ for a small profit (hopefully).

Our big trip is in 3.5 weeks, so I was starting to sweat this transmission thing. And also the XJ with the AW4 I'm doing, which will also be taking the trip.

You have it correct. The throttle pressure adjustment screw's flange acts like an end stop for the little cam. Thats why the flag is there on the cam. I believe when everything is installed correctly you should have about 1/8" (don't quote me on this it's just something I read and not verified) between the cam and rod with the cam pulled against the adjustment screw.

And I won't muddy up your thread with my engine issues. I will start a thread on it if I get stuck.
 
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Valve body has been updated & reinstalled. Pan back on. Front driveshaft back on for the first time since I initially dropped the tranny on page 1 of this thread. Those Adams shafts are a bear to get in, and that's after I took them to a driveshaft shop to have them looked at.

I did the TV cable adjust with the pan off, just to see what was happening. I didn't really learn anything. But it's once again adjusted as per all the descriptions here (the FSM instructions I find confusing for some reason). I fought getting the valve body out; the park rod wouldn't come free. Then after I decided I would just leave it hang and do the valve fix with it hanging there it decided to come free for no good reason (luckily I was able to catch it). So I got the VB on the bench and took a little more care. I double checked all 3 valves in that section, and also verified that the FSM matched the ATSG manual. If I still have a valve problem it's because both of them were wrong. I did discover that it's much easier to get that throttle pressure bracket back on if you have the transfer plate bolted to the valve body first. I had been doing it the other way round, and then pivoting the transfer plate into place. It works, but this way is MUCH easier.

I also discovered that contrary to the docs, you absolutely can get the valve body out with the NSS in place. I learned this because I simply couldn't get the NSS out. I wasted yesterday waiting on a set of crows's's footies to arrive, but even then I was unable to get it to budge. I did not go crazy when I installed it a few weeks back, so I must be bound up or something. Regardless, just shift the trans into R and you'll have no problem getting the VB in/out & around the NSS.

I captured my "old" fluid, which has less than 100 miles on it and still looks/smells fantastic (I know, because my whole house smells of it), so I need to bottle it back up and pour it back in, but I don't have the energy for that tonight. Nor do I have the energy to bolt up the skid. I hate that skid so much. I'll do it tomorrow morning, and then take her for a spin.

ladies and gentlemen, if you're the praying type, pray that I have fully restored normal operation, shifts are where they are supposed to be, and it runs at a nice 180F.


And apparently I still had ATF on my arm because now it's on my desk and office char. Fantastic. All because the damn FSM was wrong.
 
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Here is the TV movement at the valve body. The valve can come out a little more, I assume fluid pressure brings it out once it’s running.

 

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Here is the TV movement at the valve body. The valve can come out a little more, I assume fluid pressure brings it out once it’s running.

View attachment 347417

it's just audio?

Also, if it makes you feel any better AAMCO has had my TJ for over a week working on the same project. They are waiting on a new kick-down cable and more test driving and adjusting of things before I get it back.
 

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ladies and gentlemen, if you're the praying type, pray that I have fully restored normal operation, shifts are where they are supposed to be, and it runs at a nice 180F.

Positive karmic vibes sent your way man, but I have no doubt all will go well.
That FSM would've got me too, that's the reference I trust above all others if there's any doubt.
Before I do mine, I'm going to review this thread and mark up my fsm with notes about this.
 
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If you’ve already overhauled several transmissions before then you should have no problem here. Looking forward to reading the thread documenting your unbridled success.

The last th400 i did was in 96 I think?
I certainly hope it goes smoothly but without this thread and now knowing that there are mistakes in the FSM, I would've certainly f*cked it up.

Anyway, this is about you, not me. Got my fingers crossed for ya!
 
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Positive karmic vibes sent your way man, but I have no doubt all will go well.
That FSM would've got me too, that's the reference I trust above all others if there's any doubt.
Before I do mine, I'm going to review this thread and mark up my fsm with notes about this.
I asked in the FSM thread if we had a way to handle known errors in the FSMs but it hasn't got any traction yet. I hate it when tribal knowledge just dissolves into the ether.
 
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Finally got the skid reinstalled, but still no test drive since my XJ buddy was coming over to reassemble his trans. There were a few moments of high stress...

For one, it's been over 2.5 weeks since I last looked at it which had the net effect of me kinda freaking out because I wasn't sure I remembered how it all went together. I had reassembled most of the lower half right before I went on vacation but I couldn't get the output shaft in all the way and ended up breaking an oil sealing ring on the shaft. That took a week to find a replacement and have it shipped. Not sure what the clearance issue was, but after taking it all back down it went back together w/o that issue.

The AW4 has like 6 sets of clutches and I was really good about keeping everything in sequence on the bench. However when I re-assembled it (actually had XJ buddy doing the assembly so I can blame him when it goes wrong!) I didn't notice that I had put the innermost clutch stack out of sequence and completely missed it on reassembly. When we got to the next set of clutches we noticed they didn't fit right, then I found the other set I had set in the wrong place and was left scratching my head. I had to go back to my photos and happened to have an "in progress" photo of my work bench where I was able to determine based on what was still in the case in that photo that I missed a clutch pack and was trying to install the wrong one in the current location. I can't believe I did that, but I did. And I only accidentally had the right photo to figure it out. The FSM for the AW4 is much more difficult to follow on disassembly/reassembly than the 32RH, and not just because it's got more gears or whatever. Just the overall layout of the teardown/rebuild steps is very hard to follow and the names of the parts just aren't as cleanly laid out as the 32RH.

There are several sections where you have to get the next section to spline into the clutch packs blind, but if you've never done this you can't know how hard it is. There are 4-6 clutches that can slide around laterally and are free to rotate as well. It doesn't seem to matter how well you line up the teeth on the clutches, the next assembly never drops in cleanly. You have to rotate it & jiggle it and rotate it & jiggle it and one by one you can feel the thing drop in. It's real pain. And there are several of them. In one case there is a set of clutches that you need to line up blind and simultaneously line up an outer set of clutches...all the while needing to spline a helical sun gear into a blind planetary. Oh and pray your thrust washer doesn't fall out while you're jiggling it forcing you to start all over.

Anyhoo, got all the way to the pump re-install around 2am. We'll tackle the valve body & remainder of re-assembly later tonight hopefully.


Sorry for the long post w/o any pictures.
 
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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:
 

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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:

Awesomeness man!!! 🍻 Glad you finally got her all back together and running proper, nice work!! I am super happy to help out and didn't mind the pages of DM's, lol. Just like you it makes me happy to know I was able to help out a fellow Jeeper. Besides I have a buddy that just got an XJ so I will be bugging you down the line for AW4 advice.
 
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Awesomeness man!!! 🍻 Glad you finally got her all back together and running proper, nice work!! I am super happy to help out and didn't mind the pages of DM's, lol. Just like you it makes me happy to know I was able to help out a fellow Jeeper. Besides I have a buddy that just got an XJ so I will be bugging you down the line for AW4 advice.

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.