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Old 03-16-2014, 10:35 PM   #1
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2001 3-speed transmission problem

Today I was in a deep puddle, up to the bottom of my door. I had no issues for the next two hours. On my way home I stopped to give the Jeep a quick wash, including under the hood. On my way home from the car wash the tranny went to 3000 rpm/45 mph and then shift to 3rd. On deceleration, while slowing to stop, there's a hard downshift at 1200 rpm. I've been this deep before with no issues. My diff breather tubes are high enough and the CPU has been wet before, so I suspect it's got to be the tranny. It seems like a stuck valve. Is there something I can do to diagnose and or fix this myself? The tranny was rebuilt about a year ago (it had 180,000 on it).

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Old 03-17-2014, 12:08 AM   #2
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To me it sounds like you have gotten water in your tranny. This just happened to me a few weeks ago, I had to replace the entire tranny (32rh 3-speed). Check your transmission fluid to see if it looks like a strawberry milkshake color. If it does there is water in your transmission and you do not want to drive with it like that.

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Old 03-17-2014, 05:02 AM   #3
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Checked fluid, no sign of water.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:13 AM   #4
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Try adding some stop leak to the fluid. Mine has done this twice in 4 years and I read a post, might have even been here, that stated there is a seal on a plunger in the valve body that will shrink with age and cause this. I use Blue Devil transmission sealer. It will cost about $20 w/tax. Start with a half bottle. Might take 2 or 3 days to totally stop erratic shifts. Mine has 193.5 K on it now and still going strong. If this doesn't fix it, might be time for an overhaul. Also shift your tranny manually some when you are taking off. I did submarine mine about 2 years ago and drove it home 70 miles. Sounded like a bad PS pump when I got home and that's when I found the water. The case vent on the 3speed autos is in the front pump so if you get in water near or up to the floor pan, you in the danger zone. My tranny guy said I was lucky I didn't steam the clutches. If you ever take on water, flush it immediately with ATF 4. Mine took about 20 qts to get it red again. Good Luck!
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:24 AM   #5
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If it were my tranny I'd do a flush immediately just for the piece of mind. Actually, maybe I wouldn't because I really dislike my 3 speed...but not enough to do a whole drive train swap with parts I'd prefer
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