Tearing into the AX-5 - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-04-2008, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Tearing into the AX-5

Our eminent 2.5" lift thread started to go off on an informative discussion regarding the fact that we don't have 5th gear on our AX-5 transmission. Since I'm clueless in this area, I have talked with my retired neighbor who is in the process of restoring a stove bolt Chevy pickup and he is willing to guide us through the removal and clip replacement process on the trans. He's not in a position to physically do the work, but he's willing to be the eyes of experience. His thought pattern is; we'll tear into it and replace the clip, if the synchros are worn we'll deal with that then, but if they're good, we'll close it up and save the balance of the kit for later. He's a bit gun shy about ripping the whole thing apart (as am I), but he has a ton more confidence in the job than I do right off the get go.

I'll be ordering a rebuild kit off ebay soon. Cost: $135 with free shipping. This is the kit we're looking to buy: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...3AIT&viewitem=

While there's not a picture in the listing, in the preview there is a small picture and it appears to come with the clips. I'll ask the seller if the clips are included.

I plan to document the living snot out of the process, bolt by ever living bolt, and doing a full write-up including challenges we faced along the way. I am hoping we can bounce questions off you guys/gals that have experience in this area along the way as well. Our first question is: Considering where 5th gear is actually located in the trans, can this be done without dropping the whole trans out of the Jeep?

Thanks in advance, I hope our experience with this project will be a positive one and we can provide insight for others along the way.

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post #2 of 5 Old 12-04-2008, 06:35 PM
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FYI - The AX-5 is notorious for the 5th gear clip problem.

If you want to JUST replace the 5th gear clip you could do it without dropping the tranny. However without dropping the tranny you won't be able to inspect or replace the synchros.
The 5th gear issue can be fixed by removing the shift tower and then the rear half of the housing behind the intermediate plate. Just be careful not to break the seal between the intermediate plate and the front half of the tranny. (You have to remove the bolts that hold the the front case half, intermediate plate and rear case. Nothing but the RTV will be holding the front half to the intermediate plate when you are seperating the rear half from the intermediate plate)

If you end up opening up the front of the case to address the synchros, bearings, etc I'd highly recommend you get your hands on the section of the FSM that details the step by step instructions and sequence to disassamble and re-assemble it. There a a bunch of shift rail locking pins, ball and springs that have to go back exactly right.
Screw it up and the tranny won't shift when you are done.
I rebuilt my AX-15 and was damn glad to have the FSM for the tear down and assembly sequence.

This is where 5th gear should be (minus the snapring)

When you pull the rear case you'll probably find 5th gear here.

There is an improved 5th gear retainer to hold 5th gear in place. Here it is...

Here's the innards of an AX-15 (very similar to the AX-5)

Last edited by kloppk; 12-04-2008 at 06:46 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-04-2008, 06:48 PM
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-04-2008, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Next stupid question? Anybody know the physical weight of the transmission? I understand that it takes 2 to take it down if we go that route, just trying to figure out is that 2 motivated adults or 2 lazy, good for very little, teenagers? :-)
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-04-2008, 08:27 PM
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It is MUCH easier if you can make a "cradle" for it with an automotive jack. When I dropped my tranny/t-case we did this with a 1.5' 2x4 and 3 ratchet straps.

Physical weight. Maybe around the 50-60lb mark.
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