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Unread 11-12-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
biggunn
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AX5 5th gear problem, not the retaining clip. Please help

I have a 1990 Wrangler with an AX5 tranny. I rebuilt it recently and replaced all the Synchro's and Bearings. Initially when I bench tested it, it wouldn't shift at all and I noticed that reverse was engaged. So I pushed the reverse rod in a little toward the 5th gear and it free'd it up. I could manually engage each gear and when I put it back together it seemed to shift into all gears.

My son test drove it first but he cant remember if he ever reached 5th going to school but 5th definitely didn't work coming home so I don't know if it 5th ever worked after the rebuild. 1, 2, 3, 4 and reverse all work perfectly. I got 5th to engage only by holding it firmly in place but it would grind a lot and slip out of 5th gear while driving like it is barely catching.

I thought it was the 5th gear retainer and followed mean max's steps but that was not the issue. Everything looks right so I'm not sure what to check. Can someone please tell me what to check. I can post pics if you tell me what you want to look at. I am stumped and have been digging on the site but can't find similar symptoms.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Unread 11-12-2013, 11:54 AM   #2
SeanB95YJ
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I've never had one apart so I'm not even sure if this is possible.... but did you put the 5th & counter gears in correctly? (IE: not turned around?)
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swap/build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/a...hread-1542284/
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Unread 11-12-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
biggunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanB95YJ View Post
I've never had one apart so I'm not even sure if this is possible.... but did you put the 5th & counter gears in correctly? (IE: not turned around?)
I don't think I can put it in backwards. I followed the FSM and robinsonsauto youtube video and parts explosion diagrams. I'm pretty sure it is right but will try and post a pic. When together it turns freely by hand and I can manually engage 5th gear by pulling the shifting fork out. Thanks for your input.
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Unread 11-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #4
SeanB95YJ
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ok just a thought... I've assembled some things backwards before so it was worth a shot LOL

best bet.... hopefully "Mean Max" will chime in on your thread... he's our transmission guru around here.
meanwhile if you've got a little time to kill (and if search function decides to work today) esarch the forum for threads created by Mean Max.... he's done a bunch of trans related write-ups... and he's the guy to go to if you need a pic of a part.... ANY part
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swap/build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/a...hread-1542284/
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Unread 11-12-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
biggunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanB95YJ View Post
ok just a thought... I've assembled some things backwards before so it was worth a shot LOL

best bet.... hopefully "Mean Max" will chime in on your thread... he's our transmission guru around here.
meanwhile if you've got a little time to kill (and if search function decides to work today) esarch the forum for threads created by Mean Max.... he's done a bunch of trans related write-ups... and he's the guy to go to if you need a pic of a part.... ANY part
I hear ya and agree... I have been searching the form but not finding anything that matches my symptoms. I could see Mean Max is very knowledgeable and helpful so I PM'd him so hopefully he can save the day... again...
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Unread 11-12-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
biggunn
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Here are some Pics to show how I had it put together. Again I could manually shift the fork and the gear would engage. I am thinking its something to do with the rods or detent bearings. I don't know...
img03115-20131112-1310.jpg   img03116-20131112-1316.jpg   img03117-20131112-1317.jpg   img03118-20131112-1319.jpg  
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Unread 11-13-2013, 05:57 PM   #7
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I'm suspicious of your interlock pins--they are the pins transversely mounted in the cast iron intermediate plate in between the shift rods and they prevent you from being able to shift into 2 gears simultaneously, etc. They are tricky, and if you pulled your shift rods, one can drop out without notice, and it is very easy to reload them in wrong. I had one drop out and get lost on one occasion and had to cut down the end of a drill bit and shape it to use as a substitute. It's still working.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 07:23 AM   #8
biggunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59 View Post
I'm suspicious of your interlock pins--they are the pins transversely mounted in the cast iron intermediate plate in between the shift rods and they prevent you from being able to shift into 2 gears simultaneously, etc. They are tricky, and if you pulled your shift rods, one can drop out without notice, and it is very easy to reload them in wrong. I had one drop out and get lost on one occasion and had to cut down the end of a drill bit and shape it to use as a substitute. It's still working.
Thank you so much for responding... That was an area of concern for me when I was putting it back together until I looked at the factory service manual and found the below picture. I think I did it right and didn't have any extra parts when I was done but you are right in that it is easy to mess that up.

Is there a way to tell if they are right or wrong without pulling the tranny the rest of the way down (I just have the back case off because I thought it was a broken 5th gear clip)? Should I be able to shift or not shift using the rods?
interlock-pins-ax5.jpg  

Last edited by biggunn; 11-14-2013 at 08:12 AM..
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Unread 11-14-2013, 08:35 AM   #9
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So I added some color to make the pins stand out. You're talking about the blue pins right? I feel confident I got those right because I searched to find the order and they all fit. The green little pins I know are there as I put them in place using Vaseline as suggested in the video I followed. I know all my detent balls and springs are in place. The one I don't remember is the yellow one but I didn't have any parts left over. If you think I should pull the tranny and disassemble I will, I just don't want to put it back together until I see what was wrong. I'm one of those "do it right the first time" kind of guys, well obviously not...

Would a pic of the tranny help?
interlock-pins-ax5-color.jpg  
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Unread 11-14-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
biggunn
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Well, I went out and pushed and pulled on the "shifters" and each gear engaged. When I pulled the one out for 5th gear I was able to pull it a little farther and see the "yellow" bearing so it is in there and working.

As I push and pull the shifters it works so smoothly and I can hear/feel the gears engaging. When one gear is engaged I can not move the other shifters. Does that tell me that the interlock pins are right?
img03125-20131114-0945.jpg  

Last edited by biggunn; 11-14-2013 at 09:12 AM..
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Unread 11-14-2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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The action you describe sounds appropriate--cannot engage other gears, or move the other shift rails when one gear is engaged. This would imply that your interlock pins are fine. Am I correct in that when you move the shift rails, you can feel gear engagement/disengagement, but when you are inside the Jeep and use the shifter that 5th gear will not engage/pops out? Since you have the rear case OFF, and the transmission still in the Jeep, put the 5th gear assembly back on, and watch what happens while someone in the Jeep puts it into 5th gear. You will be able to see the mechanism and how it is acting. Did you replace the donut in the bottom of the shift tower with a new one, and do you have the nylon bushing thing on the tip end of the shifter?
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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 11-14-2013, 06:21 PM   #12
biggunn
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Thanks Opihi59, you are correct that I can shift while in the Jeep and it feels like it goes into 5th gear but starts grinding at the top of the shift if that makes sense. Like it went up into the 5th gear slot but didn't start to engage the 5th gear till it was maxed out in it's motion. I did not replace the shifter donut but it does have one, as well as the nylon bushing on the end of the shifter. I did put each gear into gear and then verified that no other shifter rail could move.

Question: Do you want me to put the rear case back on so I can mount the shift tower?

Last edited by biggunn; 11-14-2013 at 06:42 PM..
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Unread 11-14-2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59 View Post
The action you describe sounds appropriate--cannot engage other gears, or move the other shift rails when one gear is engaged. This would imply that your interlock pins are fine. Am I correct in that when you move the shift rails, you can feel gear engagement/disengagement, but when you are inside the Jeep and use the shifter that 5th gear will not engage/pops out? Since you have the rear case OFF, and the transmission still in the Jeep, put the 5th gear assembly back on, and watch what happens while someone in the Jeep puts it into 5th gear. You will be able to see the mechanism and how it is acting. Did you replace the donut in the bottom of the shift tower with a new one, and do you have the nylon bushing thing on the tip end of the shifter?
I think these are the items you were referring too.
img03127-20131114-1925.jpg   img03126-20131114-1923.jpg  
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Unread 11-14-2013, 08:03 PM   #14
Opihi59
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Yep, those are the pieces, and they look intact, I understand what you are saying about the shifter feeling like it had maxed out in its motion but the 5th gear wasn't engaged but just a little bit. If you are able you can put stuff back together, screw the rear case back on with like 2 screws, mount the shift tower and work it thru the gears and see how it all feels. Then of course put it in 5th, and pull it apart and see if you are able to tell how far the shift collar moved on the shift hub to engage 5th gear. Things that could cause an inadequate movement would be like bent shift fork, shift fork installed backwards on the shift shaft etc. I am thinking this thru in my head but am always better if I have the particular item in my lap, then I can trouble shoot better. I gotta think with my hands and look at a lotta pictures usually to figure problems out like this. Have you noted any abnormal movement in the shift shafts, like no excessive front-rear play etc?
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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 11-14-2013, 08:32 PM   #15
biggunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59 View Post
Yep, those are the pieces, and they look intact, I understand what you are saying about the shifter feeling like it had maxed out in its motion but the 5th gear wasn't engaged but just a little bit. If you are able you can put stuff back together, screw the rear case back on with like 2 screws, mount the shift tower and work it thru the gears and see how it all feels. Then of course put it in 5th, and pull it apart and see if you are able to tell how far the shift collar moved on the shift hub to engage 5th gear. Things that could cause an inadequate movement would be like bent shift fork, shift fork installed backwards on the shift shaft etc. I am thinking this thru in my head but am always better if I have the particular item in my lap, then I can trouble shoot better. I gotta think with my hands and look at a lotta pictures usually to figure problems out like this. Have you noted any abnormal movement in the shift shafts, like no excessive front-rear play etc?
That's a great suggestion... I will put the rear housing on with a couple of bolts and go through the shift pattern ending on 5th, leave it in 5th and remove the housing to see where it left it. Then I will take a pic and post it for you to see.

Shift forks look to be in alignment but will check those out. The shift fork itself looks good but will post a pic of it for you to look at. The fork backwards on the shaft, now that ones got me thinkin... I need to see some pics on mean max's photo's to see how it's supposed to be for the ax5. The ax15 is different because it bolts to the shaft where the ax5 has a punch pin. It was mounted with the pin hole towards the back (end of shaft) and I just went and tried flipping it around and that puts the forks way out of place. I'll send a pic of that as well... Dang I thought we had it. No extra play in the shift shafts it feels normal and directed meaning it shifts into place like it falls into gear and stays there except 5th.

Let me do those steps post some pics and have you take a look. I really appreciate your help sir.
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