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Unread 09-17-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
biggunner
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1981 CJ7 
 
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Location: Iroquois falls, Ontario
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1981 cj7 transmission problem

I'm new to this forum...
and i also don't have a jeep cj... yet..

there is a 1981 jeep cj7 for sale near me, it sounds like a great deal.. but the transmission has a small problem. all forward gears work great, but the reverse has troubles. sometimes it just doesn't want to go into reverse and other times it goes into reverse but when you let the clutch out a bit it pops out of gear. i really want this jeep, but i want to know whats wrong with the transmission.

i think the transmission is a t-176 if that helps!!

pleas help,, thank you in advance

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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:21 PM   #2
texasdave
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1980 CJ7 
 
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It's probably a sr4 trans unless some one swapped it out. Hoow handy are you? You could always rebuild it parts should be readily available.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
BagusJeep
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1981 is the right year for a T176, it is an upgrade medium duty transmission and I have two of them, they came as standard on 1981 CJ7s in this country. Check that it is the T176 (and not an SR4 or T4, pictures below) and it is probably worth fixing it, not expensive or difficult to do yourself though you will need a few tools you will not have in your tool box. If a T4 then I would suggest replacing it with something else and adjusting the price accordingly.

The reverse issue can be several things. One I have encountered is a tendency for the locator pins (Item 6 on the diagram) that guide the gear stick to fall out / wear. You can check this by removing the rubber boot over the gearbox (half a dozen screws) and having a look at the pins and the play in the gearstick around those pins. Mine fell out and are now filed down old bolts held in with metal filler / epoxy which was carried out with the transmission in situ in a few hours of bodging. At least I now have access to all the gears. It is possible to buy replacement oversize pins for $10 that you can wire down to prevent them dropping out but I saved at least $4 plus shipping of $40.

Others report problems with worn forks and wear in the slot in the gear stick around the locator pins. If it was just gear stick wear I would vuy a second hand stick.

Worn forks would need the transmission extracting, which is a few hours of work under the vehicle and some heavy lifting. However you could rebuild the trans at home in a day or two and the parts are reaily available and not exorbitant. At the same time you could service / inspect the clutch, transfer case and U joints.

I woud not let a fault like that put me off buying, I could get it much cheaper and price in a gearbox rebuild which would give 10 years trouble free service.
t176-retainers.jpg   transmissions.jpg  
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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
biggunner
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yes your right texasdave it is probably a sr4 trans, i thought it was a t-176 after a little bit of reading i did about jeeps online, but after i read more i learnt that it should be an sr4 trans.

that being said, i am also quite handy, i am only 16 and have a small garage that i cant even fit a whole vehicle in, but i have all or most of the tools necessary to do the job.i also have my father who is very mechanically inclined to help me with some of the build.

i just want to know what to change once i take the tranny apart, (if that is what im going to do)
or would it be cheaper and less of a hassel to go buy another trans, either the same type or an upgrade to a stronger one.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:57 PM   #5
jeepdaddy2000
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Of course, the question is "how great of a deal is a GREAT DEAL"? Rebuilding or replacing transmissions can run anywhere from 150 to 1000$. You may want to factor high when negotiating the price of the Jeep.
Also, insure the rust isn't a problem. This includes the frame. Get a screwdriver and try to punch through the rust patches. If it goes through, you have some issues that may again cost you in the long run.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
biggunner
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thank you bagusjeep, your quite the big help.

im not sure what trans the jeep has because i don't own the jeep... but if the trans fix is simple enough there is a good chance ill take the great deal on the classic jeep!! if i do buy it, once i have it in my yard and can take a better look at the trans ill be able to tell what trans it is, and weather to bother and rebuild it or try to find one online and replace the existing one.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 09:10 PM   #7
BagusJeep
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Go have a look, good chance it is a T176. The only way to be sure is to crawl underneath it and compare it to the pics I posted up.

If a T4 then you COULD fix it and parts are available but you are polishing dog droppings.

As transmissions are plentiful I would suggest looking at Novak transmissions web site and making your mind up on what they say.
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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
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Unread 09-17-2012, 09:11 PM   #8
biggunner
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thank you bagusjeep, your quite the big help.

im not sure what trans the jeep has because i don't own the jeep... but if the trans fix is simple enough there is a good chance ill take the great deal on the classic jeep!! if i do buy it, once i have it in my yard and can take a better look at the trans ill be able to tell what trans it is, and weather to bother and rebuild it or try to find one online and replace the existing one.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
biggunner
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the current owner of the 1981 jeep cj7 was asking $2500, after a visit to look at the jeep he lowered to $2000, si im waiting a couple days and see if we will go a bit lower on the price.

as for rust, the body has some small patches here and there, and some spots have already been fixed with bondo. the frame seems all solid at the front and at the rear has some rust by the front shackle and more towards the end of the frame. but i saw the metal caps online that slide over the frame and weld on for reinforcements.
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