Leans AX-15 External Slave Swap With Pics!
So I recently completed swapping my internal slave cylinder set up to an external slave cylinder set
up. There was some great information about this swap on the forum but I had to go to a lot of
different threads to collect all the information I needed. I hope that this write up will consolidate all that
for the next guy who wants to do this swap! Lots of pics to give some visualization also.
Internal bearing retainer
Bearing retainer removed
External bearing retainer
Both side by side with Internal bearing retainer left and External bearing retainer right
The new internals that sit on the new bearing retainer. Left is the clutch fork, center is the throw out
bearing/clutch release bearing, top right is the plastic ball and nut that connects it to the bellhousing
and just to the left of that is the clip that holds the fork to the ball. This ball is made out of a dense
plastic, the rest of the parts are metal.
More side by sides
Bellhousing: Internal left, External right
Throw out bearing/Clutch release bearing: Internal left, External right
Slave cylinder: Internal left, External right
Here is a picture of the bellhousing internals once it is all ready to be put back in
So i recommend disconnecting the battery since you will need to disconnect the starter and a few
other electrical components. First is to disconnect your clutch line and the electrical connections and
vacuum lines that connect to the transmission and transfer case. You will need to take off the
driveshafts front and rear. You will disconnect and remove the starter and CPS. Also remove the
shifter covers from the interior and the shifter levers themselves.
You then need to drop the transmission and transfer case. They can be removed seperately or
together as one unit. I removed them seperately as I was resealing my transfer case while I was
under there. I recommend draining them of their fluids first. I used a transmission jack under the
tranny and then removed the skid plate. Unbolt all of the bolts holding the transmission to the engine.
there are 2 large bolts on the bottom, 3 small bolts on the front of the dust plate, and 4 main bolts that
actually bolt to the engine, of these 4 bolts there are 2 medium bolts near the top of the bellhousing
and one large bolt on either side. I chose to disconnect these while on the jack because it can be
difficult to unbolt these top 2 bolts due to clearance issues. So I lowered the transmission a few
inches and had better access.
Now you should be able to slide the tranny back and lower it down and slide it out from under the
Jeep. Now the easy part, take off that accordian style POS internal slave and throw it far far away!
Next unbolt the bellhousing, then the bearing retainer. Make sure the transmission and new external
bearing retainer is cleaned of old silicone/gasket material. Throw a bead of RTV on there and bolt
down the new retainer. Put on the new bellhousing, attach the throw out bearing to the shift fork and
the shift fork to the ball via the clip. Everything should slide back and forth smoothly. You're now
ready to throw the tranny back in. Putting it back in is basically the opposite of taking it out. The new
slave cylnder i saved for last since it hangs off the side I didn't want to knock it off while reinstalling
Once everything is reconnected you need to connect the old master to the new slave. Your old slave
line will not work. There are several options, they sell fully prebled kits with master and slave. I'm not
100 percent sure what this entales but they were more expensive so i opted for an alternative route. I
know some places online sell the 94-95 clutch line for around $30 or so. The method I chose was
given to me by bigredcherokee in his thread
I will not go into much detail here as you can click on his link and get a great deal of info on this clutch line.
And thanks to bigredcherokee for that write up. I recommend calling AA and oredering the kit to ensure you
get the correct master cyinder fitting for a YJ. So connect your master to your slave and bleed the system
and you should be ready to go.
There are usually dowel rods on the engine that help line the transmission back up.
My clutch had been replaed recently with the motor swap so I did not change the clutch out. From
what I have found the disk and pressure plate between the two types of slave set ups are the same
so there is no need to change your clutch and pressure plate HOWEVER if your components are old
you might as well change them while the transmission is down and out of the Jeep.
The last tip goes for your pilot bearing/bushing also. This one I learned the hard way but thats
another story. Just make sure you change it out with the correct diameter pilot bushing for you
If I think of anything else I will edit or add it.
Hope this helps some of you out!
As always comments and questions are welcome!
Where to source these parts?
Most likely for the bellhousing and clutch fork and the ball you will have to get these part used from the junkyard or ebay etc.
You can get these parts from a 94-95 YJ and an AX-15 or NV3550 equipped TJ. The NV3550 TJ has the same bellhousing, and also any XJ with an external slave set up from an AX-15. These vehicles will all have identical bellhousing etc.
I was given the clutch release bearing with the bellhousing and fork but I chose to buy a brand new one from the auto parts store. I also picked up the new slave cylinder from the auto parts store.
Any of the above listed vehicles should have the same parts. The bellhousing I purchased came off of an 00 TJ.
Very nice write up, thanks! Even though I haven't had to much trouble with my internal, if it ever goes out I will be doing the swap.
Clutch Lever / Fork: 53006388
Clutch Release Pivot: 52087542
Clutch Release Spring: 4338855
Clutch Release Bearing: 53008342
the control unit varies w/ application...HTH
Great write up!
Thanks for all your hard work, kudo's!!!
Absolutely fantastic write-up! :thumbsup:
The only thing I would add is that it would be a good idea to lube up the plastic ball, the tube "tube" portion of the retainer plate, and a small bit of lube on the input shaft tip as well.
Thank you very much for taking the time to take such well laid out pics, compiling the list of parts and their part numbers, and explaining it all so perfectly.
Very, very nicely done Sir! :2thumbsup:
Noting to self to add this to the FAQ.
Thanks max for the tip about lube, I forgot to mention it.
Very nice! I've had nothing but problems from my internal slave. Waiting for it to go out again before I swap it out. I linked some people to here that I know are looking to do this.
Thanks this fixing to be one of my projects and you answered a lot of my questions!!!!
You might want to correct the years that you can find the AX15 external setup in. The TJ used the NV3550 starting in 2001.
Per the TJ specs list over in the TJ forum
AX-15 - 1997-1999
* 5 speed manual
* Used with 6 cyl models
* 10 spine input
* 23 spline output
NV3550 - 2000-2004
* 5 speed manual
* Used with 6 cyl models
* 10 spline input
* 23 spline output
Any of these TJ bellhousings will work.
Don't want to clutter up your writeup which I did with great success when swapping in an AX15 but what does the mount look like between the skidplate and tranny? I see 4 threaded holes in the bottom of the case and I am trying to find the right mount.
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