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Old 05-01-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
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AX15 manual in an '02 TJ?

Just a simple quick question for a friend - he's wanting to do an auto to manual swap - will an AX15 tranny fit an '02 TJ?

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Old 05-01-2014, 01:55 PM   #2
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I know the ax15 and nv3550 have same mount locations and I'm pretty sure that the autos are the same as well.

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Old 05-01-2014, 01:56 PM   #3
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It should, I'd be surprised if it did not. Jeep switched from the AX15 to the NV3550 in 2000 but I believe the AX-15 is still a bolt-in transmission.

I wish your friend was local, I'd convince him NOT to swap out his 32RH auto for the stick. The 32RH automatic transmission currently installed in his TJ is a highly desirable transmission for hardcore wheelers and it is nearly bulletproof providing you don't let it fill up with water. I converted my previous TJ from its OE AX15 transmission to the 32RH automatic due to its added off-road benefits more noticeable on hardcore trails.
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:57 PM   #4
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Yeah as long as the bolt patterns are the same the engine won't care what transmisson is hooked up... Worst case he'll have to find a bellhouseing from an older 4.0 but I'm sure if he's doing the swap he has one allready
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:05 PM   #5
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Jerry, I've had the same talk with him. He's not a hardcore wheeler nor is he a crawler. He just prefers a manual tranny. He does most of the work on my Jeeps, so I'll let him decide if he wants to try it.

(I was asking because I found the tranny and I needed to know whether to even ask him if he wanted it. I'm sure he'll be able to tell me if it'll work or not. Going to pick up my newly lifted JKU from him this afternoon.)

And to add fuel to the fire on the manual vs. auto discussion - my TJ is manual, my JKU is automatic. They both have their place, but for most applications, I think I prefer the automatic. We went with some rock crawling this past weekend, and the guys with the manuals definitely had more trouble than the autos.

On an unrelated note, hill descent control on the JK's is REALLY nice.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:06 PM   #6
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There are some differences depending where he gets the ax-15

YJ will bolt on but has smaller pilot so need the right pilot bearing/bushing not the TJ one
XJ ZJ will bolt in but holes for TC case clocked differently so need to redrill 6 holes in tail housing of tranny to get TC clocked like a wrangler
BEFORE 94 OR SO THE BELL HOUSING IS FOR INTERNAL SLAVE CLUTCH AND ABOUT 94 OR 95 they went to external slave and bells can exchange but if AX-15 has early bell he is stuck with sucky internal slave unless he gets a bell of a newer ax-15
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:10 PM   #7
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Also input on TC are all 23 spline but different lengths for different trannies.
Some late 80s AX15 may not be 23 spline output can't remember exactly
Novac has info

Can replace swap input inside TC but around 94 or 95 NP changed the gear tooth profile and so if you get a new input it needs to be same tooth profile as the planrtary and ring in the current transfer case.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:19 PM   #8
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Good point, the 231's input shaft may be too long for the AX-15. When I converted from the AX-15 to the 32RH, the 231's input shaft was too short to seal the 32RH's output shaft.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:44 PM   #9
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One thing I've seen in a few threads on here after doing this swap is a problem with the check engine light. While the 32RH doesn't use a computer to shift, the torque converter lockup is electronically controlled. The computer for an automatic is going to try to engage the locking torque converter and will throw a code when nothing happens. Your friend may need a computer from a 2002 manual to get around this.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:47 PM   #10
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Yep, for sure he'd need to swap ECMs (computers) to prevent that CEL.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:32 AM   #11
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I get it, a manual transmission is one of the most enjoyable parts of any vehicle. Shifting, particularly downshifting, always brings a smile to my face. I drive a jeep because I enjoy it, and I enjoy driving a stick. Sure an auto is better for rock crawling and extreme mumbo jumbo but let's get real, Not many Jeeps will ever see that. And those that do will not see it very often. Unless I get so obsessed with wheeling that I build a dedicated trail rig, I'm going to stick with a stick.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:16 PM   #12
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wow

I have a 99 sport with the 5 sp and was thinking about swapping it to auto.. wish we were closer. mine has 136k miles but all of them were city miles. I think I need a clutch shifting is hard sometimes not scraping but hard to get to go into gear. there is no slippage it goes from released to locked up instantly.. but has been great for letting my 14 year old learn to drive. with the 373 gears all you do is let it out and go.. has any one done this swap and what all do I need?

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