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Unread 11-03-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
JCashen
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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AX-15 To rebuild myself or take to a shop?

Good evening gentlemen,

As the title suggests my AX-15 with an internal slave needs a rebuild.

As for the problems I was having. 1st/2nd gear if you let off the gas with around 1700rpm there is a loud grinding noise and vibration coming up the shifter. 3rd/4th gear syncros seemed almost gone.

Then the other day when driving highway right as I hit traffic I had smoke come up through the dash then I lost everything but 3rd/5th/R. 1st/4th feels like it is hitting a wall, 2nd feels like the shifter clicks into gear but when you let out the clutch it sounds like just the very tips of the gear are grinding.

The main question is whether not you guys think I should try to tackle it? I already have it dropped from my jeep. I have a decent set of tools but no gear puller or shop press.

Sorry for any spelling errors sending from my phone.

Thanks JC

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Unread 11-03-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
Rino1425
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Have you ever rebuilt a tranny yourself?
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Unread 11-03-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
Opihi59
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It doesn't sound like your tranny is all happy and hunkey-dorey inside. There could be some significant carnage so drain the lube and see what sort of broken up pieces of shrapnel come out. I've done this rebuild and it is satisfying, but you do need a hydraulic press and bearing splitters to do it. You don't have to own them, but must have access to them. There is nothing wrong with tearing into it but you may save yourself some trouble by using it as a core and buying a Remanufactured AX15 from any of a number of reputable rebuilders. Consider getting a bellhousing from a 94 or newer AX15 equipped wrangler and converting to external slave. You can likely get an external slave version tranny from the rebuilder, it will have the long snout style front input bearing retainer on it. Get an external slave, hose, clutch master unit, and clutch fork, and a clutch set for a 94/95 YJ and it's all bolt together.
Only thing that could be different is in your '90 you likely have the 0.590" input snout (goes into your pilot bearing in the back of your crank) and the external slave type AX15s came with a 0.750" input snout but all that requires is a different pilot bearing/bushing. Either way you go you have saved money doing this yourself. I can't imagine where the smoke came from unless your clutch was slipping seriously at the time, or if you are running a dry tranny and whatever lube was left finally just burned away. Of course, that would be very bad. Let us know what you find in the lube if there is any, and how you end up going on this.
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We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
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You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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Unread 11-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #4
JCashen
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Thank you for the replies.

I've never rebuilt a transmission before. This was also my first time dropping one.

The transmission oil seemed like it had little gold specs in it I assume from the syncros. I didn't notice any chunks when draining but the magnet on the drain plug did have a lot of gunk on it.

I pulled the clutch off and it didn't seem that bad.

I'm not really sure which route to take. Cost is a big factor for me since I don't have tons of money.
Would there be a big difference from having it rebuilt vs buying a reman?
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Unread 11-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #5
Opihi59
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Interesting find, you describe normal W and T on a trans. I can't explain the smoke, but these do wear out.

None of us have tons of money, that's why we're on this forum and drive Jeeps. Start a Craigslist search, ebay search for a tranny. You are in the mecca of parts availability. Remember that I am limited in what I can get since I live on a little effing rock in the middle of the effing Pacific, but you have tons of options. Google up some rebuilders, call Mantrans, etc. Get your self either a junkyard YJ trans or buy a remanufactured, and stuff it back in your YJ and be done with it. If you can drop a trans, you can do a new clutch and put in a "new" trans and save yourself a ton of money.
I don't have an issue with rebuilding trannies, I have all the equip and have 3 AX15 under the house that I plan on piecing together at least 2 and selling them off, or saving them for my own use when I go with an LS series SBC in the YJ. PM me, I'll send you a rebuild link to the AX15 so you can at least read thru it. Mean Max rebuilds these as well, and he's a pro tranny guy now with some AX15 build threads in the stickies.

Here's my rec--find a reman trans, use yours as a core, install a new clutch kit and a rebuilt trans, smile and drink beer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virjeep View Post
You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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Unread 11-03-2013, 09:38 PM   #6
StanF
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Here are some helpful links that I've saved. Like you, I'm not sure if I want to tackle the rebuild, but I probably will.

http://www.jeepolog.com/UserFiles/do...ansmission.pdf
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/m...hread-1067696/
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/m...build-1032480/
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f19/ax15-rebuild-840915/
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f19/eve...15-173887.html
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Unread 11-04-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
dukeryder
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I wouldn't take it to a shop for a rebuild.

Opihi59 pretty much covered it. One thing I'm not 100% sure about with the AX-15 is whether or not you need a press to remove any of the bearings. The labor will probably take you the course of an entire weekend. Pulling the Tranny is probably a 2-3hr job, then you need to clean it. Disassemble the trans, clean every gear in the parts washer and then put it all back together. A rebuild kit is generally not that expensive and will come with all the Gaskets, Bearings and Synchros the most expensive part of doing a trans rebuild is if one of your gears is destroyed. Buying a used tranny could be done for probably $1000 or less saving you probably a day of work, but would cost maybe $500 more than rebuilding it yourself.

I've never done a rebuild on an AX, but I've done a lot of Mazda and VW boxes (the VW are a trans axle and are ***** to put back together, need to heat gears, use a press etc.).
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Unread 11-04-2013, 11:36 AM   #8
Opihi59
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Places to get rebuild kits--transparts warehouse, I think they're in CA and I seem to remember working with Randy there for some rebuild kits, and Mean Max I seem to recall likes Consolidated transmissions somewhere closer to the East Coast. You can send Max a PM and see if he's come up with some other places for the rebuild kits. You should seek out a kit that includes all bearings, seals, and synchros. The gaskets are not something to look for; you seal the case joints with RTV silicone like permatex makes, and you should use that.
I'm interested in what you come up with as a solution for your tranny. Let us know how things turn out, and what course you take on this.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virjeep View Post
You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
JCashen
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 225
Are the warranties on reman/rebuilt transmission worth it? I'm leaning towards a reman for the warranty. I called a shop that rebuilds and sells remans that was recommended to me and was quoted $260 labor plus parts $500 best case $985 worst.

I looked at remans on eBay and they seem to run around $750 not including shipping. Mantrans was one of the sellers.

I still need to contact a few more places that seem to sell reman or rebuild your transmission. Also should I be rebuilding my transfer case?

I'd like the experience of rebuilding the transmission myself but this is my DD and while I can borrow a vehicle for a little bit I need to get back on the road pretty quickly.

I can't say enough how much I appreciate all the advice.

Thank you
JC
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Unread 11-04-2013, 03:39 PM   #10
StanF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCashen View Post
Are the warranties on reman/rebuilt transmission worth it? I'm leaning towards a reman for the warranty. I called a shop that rebuilds and sells remans that was recommended to me and was quoted $260 labor plus parts $500 best case $985 worst.

I looked at remans on eBay and they seem to run around $750 not including shipping. Mantrans was one of the sellers.

I still need to contact a few more places that seem to sell reman or rebuild your transmission. Also should I be rebuilding my transfer case?

I'd like the experience of rebuilding the transmission myself but this is my DD and while I can borrow a vehicle for a little bit I need to get back on the road pretty quickly.

I can't say enough how much I appreciate all the advice.

Thank you
JC
I just realized that you are in Texas...there's a shop near Waco that rebuilds transmissions. They quoted me $750 for my AX15. I have no idea if they are any good - just another data point on price and another option. I think they deliver for free.
Southwest Standard Transmission
1105 S Main
McGregor, TX 76657

There's another place called "Jeep Parts" in Ft. Worth that parts out Jeeps and should have a used AX15. Their prices are generally on the high side IMO, but it might be worth a call for you.

It seems to be that a rebuilt unit won't be much more expensive than a used one, and I'd rather have rebuilt one that will last another 100K-150K miles.

There's a series of videos on the AX15 rebuild:

As far as your transfer case goes, I think that's something that you could easily tackle. Here's a video on the NP231 rebuild:
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Unread 11-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #11
JCashen
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Sorry for the late reply.

I ended up taking it to a shop for inspect/rebuild. I'm still awaiting how much it will cost however he told me what was wrong. I have to head up that way to go to meps with my recruiter, so I should be able to stop by and get some pictures to post up. From the problems he described I'm glad I didn't try to tackle it myself, was way more then a syncro job.

I havent had time to mess with the transfercase. Im curious if it is necessary to rebuild it right now or if I can wait until later.
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Unread 11-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #12
debord97
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I'm looking into either rebuilding mine or having someone else do it. I don't have some of the tools required and I have to work to damn much.
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