Shifts hard in/out of 1st/reverse or slips and revs high before catching(90 inline-6) - JeepForum.com
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Unread 07-27-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
breaktheb0x
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 2
Shifts hard in/out of 1st/reverse or slips and revs high before catching(90 inline-6)

First off; I'm a newbie to both Jeeps and automotive maintenance in general, feel free to correct me on my terminology and advise me on what further information I should be providing.

I have a 1990 Cherokee Loredo with the Automatic 5-speed transmission that has been running great for awhile, until yesterday...

I took her out on a steep mountain road and used the "Power" mode on the Power/Comfort switch, which helped tremendously climbing miles of switchback roads. (I've never really used it before)

On the way down however (back in 'comfort' mode) the transmission started losing grip while in first gear, I had to lightly gas it and let off the gas in order to get the gears to 'catch', which was followed by a horrible lurch and grinding sound.

Now when the vehicle is idling it randomly bucks forward like an anxious horse at the racetrack, and when first accelerating the RPM's climb to about 2.5k-3.0k before the gears engage, followed again by the 'lurch' and grind.

When backing it out of a parking spot after taking a look under the hood it has the same problem; high RPM's then it catches and lurches/grinds.

When shifting from 2nd gear to 3rd, 3rd-4th, 4th-5th, the transmission seems fine; it maintains it's speed/RPM's pretty consistently once I'm out of first.

This beast has about 209K miles on it, and I think this is the 2nd transmission, is it time to replace it again or are there other steps to take before I head to the pick-n-pull?

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Unread 07-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #2
rugsucka
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Sumware Inn, Ontario
Posts: 2,619
Your transmission is a 4 speed transmission.

Pull the dip stick for it (back to the left of the engine) and smell observe and feel the fluid - if it smells burnt - that is bad, if it is brown - that is bad, if it is grimy feeling = very bad.

It is likely your tranny is fried - power mode ( was also on my '88) is more for towing and will go higher into the rpm's before shifting to keep in the power band. It will also hold a gear longer without wandering back and forth when you are near a shift point. I also believe it shifts a bit 'harder' into the gears as opposed to the comfort setting so it is less jerky to the operator. This is why it helped on the hill.

I suspect the extended climb has overheated the transmission and it is on a slippery slope to complete failure (pun absolutely intended.)

There are stop-slip products for mild slipping that add friction to the transmission fluid, but in your case, I would look to swap it out before you can't even get rolling.

I would take the time now to replace your coolant and T-stat, diff and transfer case fluids, and the motor oil if it is over 5000KM/3000 miles. It would suck to be rebuilding the engine or axles too.
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Unread 07-27-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
breaktheb0x
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 2
4 speed, got it.

Being the rookie that I am I figured it couldn't hurt to drain/replace the fluid. So I drained the fluid and replaced it with a fluid/additive premix for high mileage transmissions. Good news is it is slightly less rough, but it's still slipping.

Odd thing I noticed: the gear shift indicator (red line that highlights the gear it is in-is that what it's called?) will only go from D to N or vice versa when shifting. It shifts into park and down to the low gears as far as I can tell, but the indicator won't move past N or D. Also, on the indicator to the left, 4W-L is highlighted in red... I'm really confused. Shouldn't this be 2W? I thought it was...
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Unread 07-28-2009, 09:58 AM   #4
rugsucka
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Sumware Inn, Ontario
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It's probably just off centre - if you can shift it and feel it click thru the spots I wouldn't worry about it - you have other issues.

Same thing with the transfer case lever. If it is pushed down and away, it is not engaged. The transfer case is mechanically activated via the handle, so as above you can ignore it. The dash should have an amber light on when you are in 4WD Hi or Lo.
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Unread 07-28-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
jeeptown
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: canton mi
Posts: 189
Draining the trans pan only yields about 2-3 quarts of fluid. You might have to do it a few times or take it to get a trans flush. also I've had luck with lucas transmission products, might be worth a try.
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