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Old 06-15-2008, 08:02 PM   #1
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AX-5 shifting issues?

Alright, tell me if I'm just crazy. I bought my 1999 SE in March and changed the transmission fluid this past thursday, as I would like to ensure everything is running properly and correctly.

What I took out was certainly not 75w-90 GL-5 Gear Lube, but ATF of some kind. It was clean no signs of metal and very little metal dust on the drain plug. When I bought this jeep (from a dealership) it shifted great, nice and tight gear box. After a few weeks shifting into second it would knock off of something and go into gear, then 3rd felt and little funny, then 1st.

I changed to fluid to Valvoline synpower GL-5 75w-90. It shifts easier, but too damn easy. It feels like a plastic knife attached to a string. It still pings off of something going into second.

It doesn't make noise in gear, pop out of gear, shift hard into gear. It drives fine in every gear but it just feels weak through the shifter.

Could ATF have damaged it? Any ideas. Its sorta driving my crazy, but maybe I'm just crazy? I don't have a warranty on it, however if the dealership changed to fluid before selling it, I'd imagine I have to right to take up the fact that they used the wrong fluid with them.

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Old 06-15-2008, 08:24 PM   #2
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ok first off let me be the first to tell you that the ax-5 sucks ass, now don't let that scare you as mine had 167,000 miles when it decided it had had enough. now more than likely that is just the way the tranny shifts, its no prize winner so the fact taht it goes in and out of gear should be satisfying! i've heard that atf is fine for it but that is just word of mouth. i know the stuff you put in it should be fine, a problem in what fluid you put in it would only be a high sulfur fluid, as this will accelerate the wear of your synconizers, they don't like sulfur. also the tire size, mileage and shifting habits will also accerlerate this, the ax5s' are notorious for bad synchronizers, it is just the design of them! as long as it doesn't grind going into or out of gear, and it does indeed go into gear wtihout kicking it out, it should be fine, no cause for concern. another thing is that fifth gear is really really weak, the ax5 is a predissesor of the ax4 so they must have half assed 5th when the designed it, the clip that hold it in breakes easy and when it gets loose in your gear box that trannys life is over. i hope i helped and didn't scare you off just lettin you know whats up, but never fear when it is time for the tranny to go just junk the engine to, 350 and nv3550 will set you back about 1600 doll hairs...have fun

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Old 06-16-2008, 07:57 AM   #3
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You screwed up, DO NOT put GL5 in that tranny, GL5 has sulfur in it, that content is part of the GL5 specs so any lube that says it meets GL3/4/5/6 is flat out lying on the label, the sulfur is used for high pressure lube like in differentials, thats why diff lube smells of it. Go get either FACTORY ax5/15 gear lube or Redline MT-90, both are rated for the brass synchros. The sulfur in gl5/6 eats brass. Oh, and the brass won't show up on any magnetic plug, what the fluid will look like is more of a liquid gold, golder than new. I prefer the Redline as it's synthetic and works much better up here during the winters. The factory stuff makes 2nd gear a bear when it's cold.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:01 PM   #4
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Hey bro, really appreciate the heads up. This is my first Jeep and my first manual transmission. Myself and my transmission thank you. Redline MT-90 is on the way. Guess the Valvoline was good for cleaning out the rest of the ATF anyway haha. Waste of 35 bucks, but better than a new tranny.

Thanks again for the responses guys. Anything that helps this poor little AX-5 keep goin' is great.

-Tim
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:13 PM   #5
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your rig is stock right? Any suspension or body lifts?
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:36 PM   #6
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Yeah, my rig is stock for the most part. I've got tow hooks and Mopar rocker guards, but otherwise its in the works.

Plans are to run OME coil spacers, Rubicon springs, Rubicon shocks, 31 Muds, Rusty's steering and engine/tranny skids. I've also got fender flares lying around for when I upgrade my wheels. She's a slow work in progress, but spacers, springs, shocks, and skids will be on by mid July.

Why do you ask?
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:29 PM   #7
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you say it pops out of gear. In my case and in many others, when you install a 2" body lift or 1" tcase drop with small body lift, this is enough so your shifter starts rubbing the center console. Plus the stock shifter boot is way too stiff so it can pop it out of gear when you start dropping the shifter or start lifting the body up.

When i did my body lift i had a hell of a time trying to get it to stay in gear for that reason. The tcase would move as you hit bumps or step on it and it would pop it out of gear. I made a write up on removing the boot and fixing this issue.

For me it was the rear gears since my shifter was further back but i gues it can hit the front too.
http://www.wranglerforum.com/tj-jeep...-up-10900.html
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:41 PM   #8
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he said it doesn't pop outta gear...
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:51 PM   #9
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Doesn't pop out of gear. The shifting issues seem to be related to a fluid that was too thin. I'll give you an update when the redline is in. I've got it ordered. Hopefully have it Wed.

Thanks for the tip though.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richp View Post
You screwed up, DO NOT put GL5 in that tranny, GL5 has sulfur in it, that content is part of the GL5 specs so any lube that says it meets GL3/4/5/6 is flat out lying on the label, the sulfur is used for high pressure lube like in differentials, thats why diff lube smells of it. Go get either FACTORY ax5/15 gear lube or Redline MT-90, both are rated for the brass synchros. The sulfur in gl5/6 eats brass. Oh, and the brass won't show up on any magnetic plug, what the fluid will look like is more of a liquid gold, golder than new. I prefer the Redline as it's synthetic and works much better up here during the winters. The factory stuff makes 2nd gear a bear when it's cold.
I'm a little confused here. I have also read not to use the gl-5 gear lube but when you look it up in what most appear to feel is the athority(haynes repair manual) it says to use the gl-5 in the AX4/5/15. Whose right here?
Also anyone know the size of the plugs(drain/fill) on an ax-5 in a '98? looks like allen heads


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