AW4 in my '93 Has Me Concerned. - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-19-2021, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
Hoosierman
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AW4 in my '93 Has Me Concerned.

Thanks to the great advice and guidance I've received from several members on this forum, I have been able to bring my '93 ZJ back to good working order when it was originally sitting alone and neglected when I got it. However, as the title of this thread suggests, I'm concerned about my automatic tranny...


About two weeks ago I noticed that on a cold start the Jeep would sort stop moving when putting it into Reverse or Overdrive. I'd move a few feet, it would quit moving completely as if I had applied the brakes, and then continue on for the rest of the drive. Would never do it again once warmed up. So I remembered the fluid still looking fairly red when I got it, but when I changed it yesterday it was brown... BROWN like coffee. I found pulverized metal at the bottom of the pan, god knows what could be a spacer that was warped into an egg shape, and absolutely no gasket whatsoever— previous owner must've just gobbed red RTV all over edge of the pan. Took it out again today since it didn't buck on me yesterday like it had been, but tonight it absolutely bucked and made a loud clunk sound after shifting into Overdrive.



I know a bit about transmissions, but I've never worked on them aside from the fluid change. What is/are likely to be the issue(s) here?


Thanks.


Carpe Viam, qui sum.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-21-2021, 01:12 AM
rep-tile
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That doesn't sound good at all. You might try the XJ forum just because it was not used on ZJs for very long at all. What fluid did you use? It takes Dex/Merc. You sure the pulverized metal wasn't the magnet in the pan? It's supposed to be a bulletproof transmission. Hardly fails ever.

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post #3 of 6 Old 10-21-2021, 10:23 AM
tetatdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rep-tile View Post
That doesn't sound good at all. You might try the XJ forum just because it was not used on ZJs for very long at all. What fluid did you use? It takes Dex/Merc. You sure the pulverized metal wasn't the magnet in the pan? It's supposed to be a bulletproof transmission. Hardly fails ever.
they can fail if not maintained and theyre very susceptible to heat damage...

luckily theyre also quite cheap if you had to replace it!

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-21-2021, 11:59 AM
Timo_90xj
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Yeap, AW4 is a very reliable transmission but they tend to produce a ton of heat, cooling needs to work. Even though AW4s seem to take a bit more abuse than some other slushboxes regarding irregular fluid changes, they need fluid changed as well.

I'm not too familiar with the AW4 so that I could tell it's common failure modes, but this definitely sounds like a mechanical failure in clutch packs, bearings, or something similar.

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1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-21-2021, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Positive it wasn't the magnets, those are perfectly fine. I used Dex/Merc since the manual recommended Dexron II.

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post #6 of 6 Old 10-31-2021, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Had to park the Jeep for a few weeks but finally got the go ahead to drive it up to the tranny shop in town. It was the worst short trip I've ever made. Kept hesitating to back out of the driveway, made noises upon shifting into gear, heard a loud clunk when I went over a rail spur (no choice in this town...), and it clunked after that all the way to the shop...


The more I think about it, the more concerned I am that the tranny is toast. Until today I believed that there was a possibility that it was a failing torque converter however today, I think, dashed those hopes.

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