I don't think you want an NV4500 unless you have a V8. For a 6 cyl I would suggest the NV3550 but it probably would not cost much less for all the adapters. I have a T5 in my CJ which everybody hates but I have not torn it up yet.
...I have a T5 in my CJ which everybody hates but I have not torn it up yet.
Agree on the T5 being a good transmission for you. With 4.88s, you've transferred the stress of the driveline to the axle shafts... had you been running 2.73s,the greatest stress would be on the transmission, transfer case, and driveshafts.
Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read the article (sticky) on Steering, suspension, and driveline.
X4 on the T5. over 117,000 on mine and still going strong. people hate them, and they're claimed to be weak, but if you dont go romping on the skinny pedal everywhere you go, then i dont see it being a problem with 4.88's. although i run 4.56's and the skinny pedal is held to the floor multiple times during any trailride(running an '86 with a 258). the ability of being able to shift quickly if needed has gotten me out of some pretty sticky and offcamber situations. drive it right and a T5 should last. and if it doesnt, they are pretty cheap and simple to rebuild.
'86 CJ7-258-T5-D300 - D44/D30 4.56's w/ Truetracs F/R
and a few other doodads and geegaws
X5 on the T-5. I prefer them as I like they way they feel when shifting and the way the shifter springs back to center. Easy to find the gears and the overall gearing matches my driving style. I really need a 5th gear for interstate travel as my stockish CJ-7 sees higher speeds. I also picked up an AX-15 for a future project....we'll see.
I've read a lot of "I rebuilt my AX-15 and it went out the next week" stories. I have no experience with them but a lot of people say the synchros quit on them a lot. I've run my T5 for several years with no problems and I bought it used from a junkyard.
T-5s work and work well if applied and driven properly.
That said they were originally designed with a 100,000 mile life and most (survivors) are now well past their prime (probably need a rebuild). It should be noted that there are many different strengths and flavors of T-5 the one behind the jeep 6 was one of the stronger early ones (before the "world class"). The ones behind 4 cylinders were not as strong (break pretty easily) as they were designed for very low torque applications.
These trannies are well matched to low torque applications (6-cylinders of the 258 and 4.0 liter flavors) and short stroke (in the 3" range) v-8s if not abused. They do not typically work well for the younger drivers or behind medium torque engines (v-8s in the 350 cubic inch range, and higher).
I like mine it was abused nearly to death then pulled from a fellow Jeeper's garage many years ago (definitely needs a rebuild).
Recently though I have been looking at the NV-3550s.
I have a spare T-5 though and it has occurred to me that the long tail shaft might be replaced with a range doubler (low range gears from a NP-207) giving a low torque 6 or 8 speed (some gears would be too close together to count) with a first gear that would be lower than 10:1 (some machine work would be involved; I need to heat the shop, pull apart a 207 to measure its innards, get some milling machine tooling, and replace the motor on my lathe, first). (Back burner/someday project).
...a well prepped, well driven, vehicle should do well in any terrain, including the highway.
Carburetors became obsolete during the last century... do what ever it takes to get fuel injection...It makes bigger grins off road.