Auto trans any good? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
wbw
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Auto trans any good?

I'm seeing an '04 with 78,000 miles online that has an auto transmission. Are they any good or should they be avoided. The vehicle looks to have stock size wheels and tires. I would imagine that huge tires would not do an auto transmission any good.

I would prefer the five speed, but then I would have to teach my wife how to drive a manual and that could be problematic. Is the auto OK?

Thanks for input.

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post #2 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 01:45 PM
jtec
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a average performing automatic, with regular use and maintenance ok, abused and ignored not good.

Have a professional look at it a few $$ well spent, codes and could look at trans CV's,
Hows the A/C?
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post #3 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 01:52 PM
arg0413
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an automatic is much better off road, I wish mine was an auto!!

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post #4 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 02:06 PM
JBTJ
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Auto's are much better all around. Look at all the Pro off road rigs, most if not all are auto's. The only downside is the auto in "that" JEEP the 42RLE your looking at. Though there are a lot of issues with them, you will find a few that have had none and have many miles on them. A good thing is it has stock tires this helps. The larger tire you put on without correcting the gear ratio does heat them up more. And heat will kill a transmission. So basically if the transmission has been properly maintained, and by this I mean ALL the fluid and filter replaced on a regular basis you should have no problems. Look at the fluid on the dip stick with a white rag. If it looks cherry red or slightly darker and does not smell burnt you should be okay. If it looks black in color and smells burnt run from it.
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post #5 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 03:24 PM
hokahay
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I have owned my '03 for 13 years. She sports that transmission. I have done the maintenance according to the service manual since I owned it at starting at 18K when i bought it and installed a temp gauge to keep an eye on it, temp and lack of maintenance tear them up. I re-geared it to match the 33 inch tires when i up sized.

I drive it like a grandpa on a tractor. (it is a tractor and I could be a grandpa!) I just disengage the OD under 60. Works goodman.jpg. My Jeep just rolled over 118K.

From the maintenance standpoint , if the previous owners did take care of her, your guess as good as ours.

Automatic's rock.
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post #6 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 03:34 PM
Unlimited04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbw View Post
I'm seeing an '04 with 78,000 miles online that has an auto transmission. Are they any good or should they be avoided. The vehicle looks to have stock size wheels and tires. I would imagine that huge tires would not do an auto transmission any good.

I would prefer the five speed, but then I would have to teach my wife how to drive a manual and that could be problematic. Is the auto OK?

Thanks for input.
my auto blew up at 52k miles w/ stock size tires. Rebuilt under warranty, then added a massive trans cooler, 33s and 4.88 gears. 122k miles now and waiting for the next time it blows. Have a NV3550 5-speed manual waiting to replace it.

the auto isn't particularly reliable IMHO, but I'm biased due to my experience. It shifts weird & quirky, it's not well matched to the 4.0L, it makes the engine feel anemic, it likes to run hot and on occasion it kicks down from OD into 2nd and skips 3rd entirely.

I will say I really like the 42RLE off-road, especially in the mountains where I wheel.


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post #7 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 04:07 PM
Digger84
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Not as robust as the legendary 3rd auto of chrysler or the AW-4

But OK and much better then the 06 version of that tranny

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post #8 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 04:36 PM
biffgnar
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Originally Posted by Digger84 View Post
Not as robust as the legendary 3rd auto of chrysler or the AW-4

But OK and much better then the 06 version of that tranny

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Once tires starting getting bigger the AW4 has a lot of the same issues as the 42RLE. And when it comes to the transmission itself as far as I know there is no difference in the 4 years they were put in TJs. The shifting issue that some, but nowhere near all, have with the later models is a PCM issue. 164k miles on my 42RLE (an 06 since you singled out that year) with no issues. Most of them with 35s. Gear the axles low and add supplemental cooling. I like to remember that this was the transmission that won the first three years of the Everyman Challenge.
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post #9 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 04:45 PM
Digger84
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Very many just 06 not 05 have that issue although both 05 and 06 use the combined TCM PCM

So suggest it was a manufacturing problem with the PCM or its components as 05 was basically same but was spared the issue


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post #10 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 07:46 PM
mukluk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbw View Post
I would prefer the five speed, but then I would have to teach my wife how to drive a manual and that could be problematic. Is the auto OK?

Thanks for input.
My opinion, go with your preference. The five speed is more tolerant of neglect and changes in tire size, and is generally easier and cheaper to fix if you do have problems with it.

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post #11 of 28 Old 10-08-2017, 08:14 PM
Jerry Bransford
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As an owner of an '04 TJ with that same automatic transmission, I'd have no problem with buying another. I would not feel the same about an ' '05 or '06 TJ with that automatic.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #12 of 28 Old 10-09-2017, 09:27 AM
Alaska-HWY JK
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I'm starting to have PCM problems with my 2005 LJ. P1603 and u0101. The PCM's are hard to get and expensive. The worst is not being sure if that will fix the problem.
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post #13 of 28 Old 10-09-2017, 12:51 PM
JBTJ
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Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
Having had a couple of Jeeps (17). My opinion is the older 97-02' 32RH auto's are really great IMO.
I agree 100%
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post #14 of 28 Old 10-09-2017, 01:09 PM
Digger84
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Yep Chrysler made the best 3 SPd auto worked behind my buddies 440 roadrunner and my dads 440 full size motorhome

Either ford or GM got in trouble for copying it




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post #15 of 28 Old 10-10-2017, 07:46 AM
Ej132
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3 speed is what I have and is great, flooded it as 120k, had the valves and bands replaced then, then did a full rebuild at about 155k, which I dont think is bad at all. Ran 33 up till 130k and 35s after that. Now at 192k and it works great. In the spring will add a cooler cause at the dunes it does get hot.
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