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baxy 11-26-2009 05:20 PM

46re Tutorial
Today I got a 46RE in for rebuild, I didn't have a camera at work so I have dissasembled and cleaned all the parts. So what I will show is complete assembly of the unit , I'll try to point out common wear areas and common places to make upgrades.
I'll show VB dissasembly and shift kit installation ,I'll point out differences in the kit for standard duty , HD and RUDE settings.
ALL the info that I'm going to post is going to be considered MY OPINION and I hope that others will not try to correct me by quoting the service manual. If you have a constructive comment I welcome them but critisizm will end the thread.
Attempt this at your own risk , possibly down the road if I have a camera at work I will add to the thread with some dissasembly pics.
Also all the VB info and overdrive unit info will be identical on the 42/44RE the clutches and planets are different looking but assemble the same as the 46RE.


baxy 11-26-2009 07:47 PM

so this is going to be a HUGE post
the camera ran out of batteries before I started the VB so hopefully tomorrow I will have time to take the necessary pics

our patient is going to be a 2001 46RE from a dodge RAM
when we get to the VB it will be a bit different but I will try to find an older VB to show the comparison

baxy 11-26-2009 08:13 PM
bench full of clean parts, I'll start with installing the servos into the case
here are the servos and accumulator as they line up in the case **** ooppps the red spring is inbetween the servos and cover*****
notice metal rings on accumulator ... these are from the shift kit the stock ones are plastic scarf cut
intermediat band servo assembled
clean empty case
low servo and accumularor installed
lube case bore and servos liberally the accumulator is tricky just need to wiggle it a bit if you force it you might break the metal rings they are brittle
might need a helper to hold down the low reverse servo while you put the snap ring in

baxy 11-26-2009 08:17 PM
oopps I missed a pic of installing the intermediate servo in this pic I have installed the servo then spring then cover and I'm using the vise grips to hold everything down while I install the snap ring
close up
air checking servo

baxy 11-26-2009 08:36 PM
air check low servo
better pic
flip over case and here is the OD piston retainer
this one has two gaskets some have just one big one
high wear area this retianer can be replaced with a higher quality one made by SONNAX
install bolts torque to 100 in/lbs using blue locktite
install low band , making sure it is seated in the anchor fully
this is the piece the servo pushes on it can only go one way it won't fit the wrong way
low sprag make sure this way UP and seated into race
seated in race
this is the drum the low band runs on , note the plastic washer this can be upgraded to a metal washer ... I always install metal if I'm building a diesel
installed you may have to rotate it to get it to go down , must turn clockwise and lock counter clockwise
install shifter seal

baxy 11-26-2009 08:57 PM
moving onto the OD unit
I like to build the trans like this because I can lift it off the bench easier some guys build the whole 3 speed them put the OD unit onto it
either way is fine
here is the ouput seal I have packed the back of it with grease so when I tap on it the spring doesnt pop out accidentally
output shaft assembly check bearing closely usually worn out on a high miler
thrust washer NOTICE which way is up this will eat itself if you install it upside down also your endplay will be too tight
OD sprag the function of this sprag is to hold while the OD piston is releasing the forward clutch and applying the OD clutch when it fails you get a flare from 3rd to 4th
I install it first so i cant put it in wrong if you install it onto the next part then drop them into the shaft you can accidentally put the sprag in upside down
slide in the sprag hub
here I'm gripping the hub with my snap ring pliers ... IF it is installed correctly you can only turn it one way... IF you have it upside down it will freewheel both ways
OD planet
next is OD sun gear ** high wear area ** check for pitting i usually replace every one along with the plate and thrust bearing shown

baxy 11-26-2009 09:14 PM
glue the bearing on as shown I use light grease or trans jell or petroleum jelly
forward clutch apply spring 900-1000 pounds notice grease on sun gear splines
forward clutch hub
homemade alignment tool made from an old intermediate shaft cut off to clear the compressor tool
alignment shaft installed keeps the splines on all the components aligned so you can get the intermediate shaft installed later
slowly press with tool as shown
install snap ring ... the service manual shows installing the forward clutch at the same time .. I do them one at a time
back on the bench start installing forward clutch the first plate has to be installed with the cut out facing down
flat side of plate UP
soak all plates in new ATF this happens to be DEX6 but +3or 4 is fine for those who like that

baxy 11-26-2009 09:28 PM
steel and repeat fiber steel fiber steel
cut out goes up to recieve the snap ring
back to the press to install the snap ring on the forward clutch ... these rings are broken almost every time put in a new one every time weather it is broken or not
use the tool for a stand
place housing over output shaft assembly
spread snap ring to allow housing to slide all the way over bearing
ring seated in housing you may have to wiggle and jiggle or lift a bit to get it to POP
turn it over on stand and install cover over snap ring
flat snap ring
waved snap ring
next is the OD clutch

baxy 11-26-2009 09:47 PM
ok here is the typical 4 disc OD clutch found in every 46RE/RH 44RE/RH
here is an upgrade 5 disc makes it 25% more clutch surface area
you replace the top pressure plate with 2 steels and one fiber as found in a 47RE
better pic
pressure plate first
then fiber
then steel then fiber .....
after the last steel get another used one and place it on top without the wire retainng ring you took out during dissasembly
here is the extra steel shown also the thrust bearing is glued in place with grease
we need the OD piston to check the OD clutch clearance ... there are special tools to do this but it is confusing and easy to make an errot so this is the best way I have found, this is the shim used for setting the clearance

baxy 11-26-2009 10:04 PM
ok place the shim and piston ontop of the clutch pack what we're looking for where the pick is is just a little wiggle when holding down the piston , if it is tight or preloaded then you need a thicker shim if it is loose then a thinner shim. the extra steel is about .080 inch so basically that is the total clearance we are looking at. this is critical to make sure we get a nice smooth 3-4 shift. it actuall sets the timing between the two gears
get rid of the extra steel install retaining ring this is just so that the OD clutch doesn't fall out when you turn the OD housing upside down to install on the main case
again this is the selective shim for the OD clearance
hole in OD piston retainer
stud in the OD piston these must engade so the piston doesnt turn with the clutch and wear out the seals
homemade lip seal installer it used to be the tool to release the slides on a tool box I had one time, I just smoothed it with fine sand paper until I liked it , a feeler gauge would probably work too as long as it is not sharp
this is what I use to lube the seals and orings and retainers when installing them it works great really helps protect the seals and is SUPER slippery

baxy 11-26-2009 10:06 PM
starting with the inner diamete work the lip gently until it is started

baxy 11-26-2009 10:28 PM
work around the outside edge ... this is tricky they make tools for doing this piston i think I might order them
installed also gasket in place if you have a 2 piece
install the OD unit to the main case
set it on the end so trans is upright , notice I use an old transmission case as my support
intermediate shaft
picture of shim for setting the lube for the OD unit if you change shafts make sure you transfer over this shim it makes sure the lube holes in the shaft are aligned properly in the OD unit **VERY IMPORTANT ***
rear planet ring gear , the are I'm pointing at is where all the wear will occur if it is not flat get a new ring gear
place ring over shaft then the washer

baxy 11-26-2009 10:42 PM
lube lube
planet inspect for pitting or loose gears
new thrust washer
sun gear and shell , high failure rate inspect for pitting on gear
new washer
front planet and ring gear with new washer
snap ring
glue in washer

baxy 11-26-2009 11:02 PM
there should be a little endplay in this assembly like .015" or so this usually is not a problem if you have a good ring gear on the bottom and new thrust washers there isn't an adjustment unless you make a shim but if it is loose then you missed a worn part somewhere
load assembly into transmission
input shaft ...rear clutch sometimes called forward clutch
washer installed, new rings there are two sizes of those yellow rings (orange and yellow)
shown is the 3 tab washer that goes into the input shaft beside it is an aftermarket shim used to lower input shaft endplay I checked the endplay before dissasembly so I knew whaich shim I needed to use .015"
end play shim
stock washer
piston with new seals
work it gently just like the OD piston (this is alot easier)
slide the input shaft into the drum

baxy 11-26-2009 11:19 PM
drop in return spring
drop in spacer ring
waved snap ring
bottom pressure plate
top pressure plate and flat snap ring, this ring is selective if you need to adjust clearance
this clutch is usually assembled fairly tight barely a wiggle for clearance and you will have a bit of dificulty turning fibers in the drum
it's alright as this clutch is always on when moving forwar the only time it is off is in reverse
close up of input shaft rings , not slight clearance between ends if they jamb together they may not seal properly
ok direct drum or front drum , here is the famous late 3rd shift slipping 3rd gear culprit
as you can see the seal on the right is an old seal and the one on the left is new updated (only updated on some aftermarket kits and comes in the shift kit also) the new seal is wider as you can see so it sticks out of the groove it sits in about .030" further
here installed in the drum you might be able to see how the lip ticks out a bit thats what we want to see

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