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Unread 05-01-2013, 05:19 PM   #1
CJKevin1978
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auto transmissions

I have never been around a Jeep of any age with an auto trans except for a postal Jeep that my mom had for a while. How is the track record regarding durability in street use? This is an 1984 Jeep if that matters. Lets just assume that it has the original transmission.

Thanks for reading.

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Unread 05-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #2
wellmax
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CJ,
I have a well worn 1984 CJ with 4 speed manual transmission.

I would assume that a 1984 with auto would be ready for a rebuild. check it out as it may be a two speed auto trans, not a 3 speed, like you, I have never been around older models jeeps with auto trans.

about all you can do is pull the trans dipstick and look at the fluid, is it dark and dirty, does it have the proper level of fluid.

take the vehicle for a drive and be sure it shifts properly, drive it long enough for the transmission oil to get warm, that is when you need to run your test,

others will chime in here, but I would think it would take at least a 30 min drive for the trans oil to get warm.

shift in each gear and be sure it pulls fine also check the 4 wheel drive transfer case and be sure it pulls, may need to find some loose gravel to check that, for you to see if the front wheels pull.

in the woods going slow, I like the auto, as you do not have to always pump the clutch to go slow.

auto trans: some like them, some don't, guess that is why there are so many more manuals.

I would think a auto trans jeep (older model) would be less desirable than a manual, but that is just me.

good hunting,
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Unread 05-01-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
pman
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I've had a few Jeeps with autos (999's and 727's) and own two of them now. Like Wellmax, I'm crazy about them when I'm in the woods, and all of them have been durable. Only real issue I've had over the years is leaking out of the shift shaft seal when the rigs sit for a while, but it's fairly easy to correct. Rebuilds are fairly straightforward for any decent transmission shop.

When I'm farting around town or the beach, I like a stick. At the boat ramp or in the woods, I like auto.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
CJ7-Tim
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134,000 miles on my 84 CJ with auto trans and plenty of trail usage, no problems.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 06:26 PM   #5
CJKevin1978
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Thanks for the replies. I hope its not a 2 speed. All the 3 speed manuals that I have been around really needed another gear on the highway. My guess is that the 2 speed auto would be the same. Not a deal-breaker but I will lose some enthusiasm over it. I don't know but it seemed that the 3 speed manual had become less popular in later CJ years, maybe the same is true of the 2 speed auto.

Pman, I was just in Charleston last W/E. Nice place but I missed my chance on a few later model Jeeps that I was considering (that time of year, I guess).
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Unread 05-01-2013, 08:43 PM   #6
CSP
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There's no such thing as a stock CJ auto that's not a three speed auto. The powerglide (the only 2spd ever used in a Jeep product) was only used in some DJs (mail Jeeps). An '84 would have a Torqueflite 999 or 904 in it. Both are very good transmissions.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #7
jeepwhore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJKevin1978
Thanks for the replies. I hope its not a 2 speed. All the 3 speed manuals that I have been around really needed another gear on the highway. My guess is that the 2 speed auto would be the same. Not a deal-breaker but I will lose some enthusiasm over it. I don't know but it seemed that the 3 speed manual had become less popular in later CJ years, maybe the same is true of the 2 speed auto.

Pman, I was just in Charleston last W/E. Nice place but I missed my chance on a few later model Jeeps that I was considering (that time of year, I guess).
To add to what CSP mentioned, no CJ auto ever had an overdrive so it will perform the same as a 3 speed manual.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 01:19 AM   #8
BagusJeep
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If it is maintained a 3 speed auto as fitted to a 1980s CJ should be good for 200,000 miles. They are very, very well designed but letting water in or not changing the fluid etc will eventually kill them.

Off road they can be very useful as you can keep both hands on the wheel and there is always power there. Two foot operation can also be useful.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 08:57 PM   #9
CJKevin1978
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Took the Jeep for a ride today and all seems well. My left foot was a little restless and trying to find something to do the whole time but I think it will get used to that.

Its pretty basic at this point but there is no rust in the sheet metal and the frame looks feels solid. I am supposed to pick it up tomorrow as long as both our schedules work out.

After being around so many of these in my teens, driving this one was like reuniting with an old friend.

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Unread 05-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #10
pman
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Great news, Kevin! Also remember it will be easier to drink a beer and talk on your mobile phone with the auto.
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Unread 05-05-2013, 09:06 PM   #11
CJKevin1978
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I had blamed this jeep sluggishness on the auto-trans. But today, while trying to solve my hesitation when the secondary of my weber 38, I found that the linkage was loose and had self-adjusted until I was only seeing about 60% throttle when the pedal was all the way to the floor. I also adjusted the idle mixture some and the hesitation has been minimized too. Now it runs like I remember 258s running way back when.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 02:20 PM   #12
Colt44
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My 1983 came with an auto, 3-speed. It was a little gawky, so I had it rebuilt at a local transmission shop. Runs fine, and I can cruise on the highway at 70+ (but I have 2.73 rear).
May not be as studly as a manual, but it's easier in the mud, and the wife likes it.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 06:54 PM   #13
CJKevin1978
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The wife is the only reason I would even consider an auto. But other than hills on the highway, I am growing "ok" with the auto-trans.

At this point, my concern is the high RPM power of my engine. Mine has a Weber 38/38 that seem very flat when the secondary opens. I don't know if the problem is the carb or timing. You have the same setup as me, can your Jeep gain speed on a highway incline? I know that "incline" is a relative term but mine is pretty disappointing at speeds above 55.

Maybe I am over-geared and expecting too much from the 258. But my tires are only 31 inchers.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 12:51 AM   #14
jumbojeepman
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I was a die hard manual transmission guy until I bought my Jeep (TH400 and Q-trac transfer case.) I have become rather fond of driving off road with the automatic transmission.
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