2003 WJ 6cyl transmission slipping - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-25-2020, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Voorhees
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Mj 2003 WJ 6cyl transmission slipping

My 03 WJ has 162K miles. The transmission intermittently slips going into 3rd gear. What happens is as speed is accelerated to around 40 mph, it does not shift, the tach spikes to 3500 as if it is in neutral. Easing off the speed most times it slips into gear, Sometimes it takes a couple times doing this. Sometimes it just shifts as is normal.

I know nothing about transmissions and the cpl of shops I've talked to have offered no explanation other than say they they have to look inside and see what the problem is and that I might need a new transmission, which I don't wish to go that expense.

The truck is very good condition other wise, Runs great, no other mechanical issues, could use shocks. Cosmetically inside and out in very good condition.

Thanks very much for you insights!


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post #2 of 4 Old 01-25-2020, 12:04 PM
tjmaximus's Avatar
1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dalton, GA
Posts: 327
If it's the 42re transmission, which is usually behind the 4.0 it could be the speed sensor that screws into the bottom on the driver's side or maybe not! I changed it out on our '03 with an aftermarket brand (Dorfman I think) and it worked fine for bout 2 to 3 weeks then started doing that crap again. So I found a MOPAR OME VERSION that I have yet to put in because of the weather and I'm no spring chicken! Hopefully that will fix it , but who knows. Always disconnect your battery when working on electrical stuff on these things. there's a wire coming out of it you will have to disconnect, check it for frays or cuts, etc. and have a catch pan handy because about a pint of tranny fluid will run down your arm! Good Luck, Hope this fixes your problem!

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-26-2020, 02:51 AM
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2000 WJ 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Queens
Posts: 308
I did a full transmission rebuild on the 42re years ago. They have some problems that can be fixed without removing the entire transmission. The first problem is the valve body solenoids and transducer. There is also a shift spring that breaks causing erratic shifts. There is also a clip that breaks in the overdrive housing.
The overdrive housing is not expensive to buy a rebuilt unit and can be done without removing the transmission. The valve body parts and 3/4 shift spring part can also be done without removing the transmission also. Full transmission rebuild

2k WJ Laredo - 4.0L - 42RE - Select-Trac 242 - 3.55 -
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-26-2020, 09:52 AM
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2014 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 7,204
start simple easy
Scan for codes even if the CEL is off - a scanner is recommended for trans issues.
Fluid and filter, be sure to use ATF+4 fluid. Also check pan for debris when down.

When I see the price of OEM I think aftermarket.
When I see the quality of aftermarket I think OEM.
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