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Unread 04-09-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
kyjeepman01
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Automatic transmission

I have a 01 Sahara model with the three speed auto, I was just wondering if it would be possible to swap a auto from a 03 or up Wrangler so I could have overdrive?

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Unread 04-09-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
dmill89
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Possible, yes. Recommended, no.

OD may be nice but the auto in 03+ TJs (97-06 wrangler) is the 42RLE which is a piece of crap. It is a FWD car transmission (for "LH" cars, Concorde/Intrepid) that was converted to RWD/4WD and used in Jeeps. This was a weak and failure-prone transmission in the cars it was designed for and performed even worse in Jeeps which were much heavier than it was designed for and subjected to abuses well beyond what it was designed for.

The "old" 32RH (3-speed torque-flight) in your 01 is a much better transmission from a reliability/durability standpoint.

Better options if you want to replace the trans would either be a manual (AX15/NV3550/NSG370), an AW4 out of an XJ Cherokee, or a GM 700R4 (aka: 4L60/4L60E). There are a ton of write ups on all of these, a quick search (I.E. AW4 in TJ, 700R4 in TJ, etc.) in your favorite search engine should give you all the info you need.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 06:21 AM   #3
mike_dippert
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I've had both. You don't want the 4spd. TERRIBLE shift points. Many end up compensating by gearing lower. It runs hot so a cooler is a must for longevity.

For the same amount of work, you could have an AW4, which is reported to be ideal for a TJ.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 09:41 AM   #4
biffgnar
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Completely agree that I would pick the AW4 over the 42RLE, but the 42RLE is far from the piece of crap that people like to suggest it is.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 03:59 AM   #5
seattle_yj
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Originally Posted by biffgnar
Completely agree that I would pick the AW4 over the 42RLE, but the 42RLE is far from the piece of crap that people like to suggest it is.
The 42 isn't a piece of crap, it's just leak prone. Just like the 32rh. I don't think I've ever seen a 42 or 32 undercarriage that wasn't blasted with ATF ( except mine, it's leak free )
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:05 AM   #6
mike_dippert
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Is it strong enough that you'd go through the hassle of swapping it into a vehicle that never had it? The ECM differences between 02 & 03 may make it a bigger headache than it's worth.
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JF taught me that the 2.5L, Ax-5 and D35 together are so powerful that angels weep when I shift into 4LO.
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