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post #1 of 7 Old 08-07-2017, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
CatAndTie
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Richlandtown
Posts: 288
Transmission Talk

I think I must unfortunately start considering a transmission swap/fix. 1996 5.2l 4wd, 183,000mi. (42re, correct?)

My issues/concerns:
- I find it hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on a vehicle from 1996. The body is still in good shape though and mostly rust free, so I plan to keep it going until the rust does it in (hopefully years down the road)

- This in my daily driver and (getting more rare) a weekend warrior. My time constraints are eliminating doing a rebuild myself/with a friend. I don't think I want to even get into that whole thing with my skill set and lack of time to focus on it.

Questions:
- Does anyone have recommendations or options on the best/cheapest approach/most reliable approach? I believe I read somewhere that if I can bring the trans into a shop, have them do the rebuild, and reinstall myself I could save some cash that way if the shop allows it (online post from a few years back said they spent ~$600-700 with this approach I believe). Any experience with that? I know another option is to just get a used trans from the JY but I think I'd like a little more assurance than taking a shot in the dark.

- Are there any good sources (both online or in person shops) for rebuilt trans that are reliable and can be recommended?

- Regarding preventative maintenance... is there anything specific to look for or replace while the trans is off?

Thanks guys! I appreciate the help and insight!

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post #2 of 7 Old 08-07-2017, 11:08 AM
Uniblurb
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Central
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You likely have the 44RE trans behind your 96 V8 since the 42RE is behind the 4.0.

As far as taking your trans into a shop for a rebuild. In working as a R&R mechanic at a major trans chain many moons ago typically a rebuilt trans won't come with any type of warranty if you install it yourself. Maybe a small trans shop would supply some type of warranty for a walk-in-the-door rebuild but they're pretty leery about it.

Many junkyards sell shelf unit replacement transmissions with some type of short warranty (30-days to 6 months) but all they do is reseal them (front and rear seal only). And they are a crap shoot as you said because they have old parts including clutches/inner seals in them.

I'm unfamiliar with buying a rebuild from some type of parts place online but know shipping would be high. Good luck.

96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 96 4.0 XJ (son's)


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post #3 of 7 Old 08-07-2017, 02:30 PM
kg6mov
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Biggest preventative things you can do are making sure you have a good aux cooler and clear lines. A shift kit that pumps fluid in park can help the trans warm up on cold mornings.

While you have the trans off, the freeze plug on the back of the block will be accessible, not a bad idea . . .

Transdepot.net is about the best for value, they're cheap, build reasonable kit. You can call them up and have them do things like a shift kit or overpacked clutches (like I have) to increase longevity.

Martin Saine is the most knowledgeable builder for these transmissions, but I don't know that it's worth it for a stock style.

If you keep up with fluid changes and band adjustment even a half assed rebuild should outlast the jeep if it's put together right and you keep it cool.


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1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

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post #4 of 7 Old 08-21-2017, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
CatAndTie
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I've been thinking more about this and might just bite the bullet and take it into a local shop. The one place would accept just the transmission and would do a rebuild for about $1,000 and would cover with a warranty but would require me to come back in after installation to go over it and make sure it's properly installed. A few other shops would do the same but not for that cheap (this was the cheapest quote I've found in my searching locally). I think I'm just taking the Jeep in and letting whatever shop I choose do the work... I've saved money elsewhere by doing my own work so I suppose I can sit back on this one.

My next question is with the 44RE on my 96, 5.2l, besides the torque converter, general line flush, and rebuild... are there any other "upgrades" available for this model that anyone would suggest or recommend to ask the shop? Auto Trannies are not my thing so I'm almost clueless when it comes to this stuff. Of course I will talk with the shop prior to the work being done to see what they suggest, but I'd like to hear from as many sources as possible!

Thanks!
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-21-2017, 01:21 PM
kg6mov
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Tips for increasing 44re longevity:

1) Increase trans cooling
2) Increase trans cooling
3) Increase trans cooling
4) Overpack the clutch packs
5) Increase trans cooling
6) Shift kit that warms up the fluid in park.

Cooling and keeping up with maintenance are seriously the biggest things, get a new pan that has a drain plug so you'll be motivated to do fluid changes and do them. There's a bit you can do in the build, use HD solenoids, overpack the clutch packs, shift kit, but none of it will give you the bang for your buck that having good cool fluid in there will.


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1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-21-2017, 02:19 PM
wingless
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A cast aluminum cooling pan w/ fins will aid w/ fluid cooling. It also holds more fluid and that also helps.

My 46RH has the Derale cooling pan to extend the transmission service life.

Here is one in a '95 ZJ.




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post #7 of 7 Old 08-21-2017, 02:46 PM
PolkaPower
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Posts: 21,410
I put a huge B&M cooler on the front and bypassed the radiator.
I had to trim some of the metal bumper to fit it.
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