SO, after 4 months with no jeep due to a jerk with no insurance rear ending me... I finally bought another ZJ. This one is a 96 Laredo with a v6 and 4x4, 116000 miles ... bought it for $950 half blind.
First, I fixed the hoses to the radiator, which were leaking at the seals, changed the battery and connections, had tires checked and an alignment from Firestone... changed the oil, and added Lucius trans stop slip to the clean transmission fluid.
Now, She starts and runs great. the exhaust sounds loud and the RPM's go to about 26 between 1st and 2nd. The shifts feel smooth, but late. Also seams to run a 20 RPMs on the hwy at all times, like it needs the throttle pressed more than normal.
People keep telling me I need a trans rebuild, but I think it's bulls***. This jeep only has 116000 miles on her. My first thought was something with the idle, but people looked at me crazy for that. Then after some research I decided maybe the throttle valve cable needs adjustment, or possibly some sort of intake manifold leak???
So, here's what happened...
I drove around all day, mostly on side streets under 40mph. When I went to get on the highway... I was on an elevated ramp... I hear a "clunk" and everything violently shakes. I fight to keep control of the car and have to come to a complete stop on the entrance ramp. I was sure something snapped and broke, or tires were flat, or something... but no. Everything was fine, the truck started right back up and drove home fine.
I took it by the closest mechanic shop just to inquire. The guy (without driving it) tells me that the transmission is slipping and it's causing pressure to build up in the torque converter... and what happened was the torque converter was releasing pressure (I can't find anything online to support this idea).
I continued to drive the truck and had the same experience 2x more that day. every time after hwy driving, and on a ramp or something where I'm turning and breaking.
I don't think it's death wobble or transmission. I don't know much, but the shifting seams too smooth for a bad trans... any ideas???
Thanks so much for your time and ideas. This is a dangerous issue, and I can't sell the truck to someone else in this condition, so I would like to fix it.