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Old 12-23-2012, 01:38 AM   #1
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Need help!! Switching my tj from standard to auto

Hi there,
I'm new here and I have a 1998 Tj it has a 4 inch and 33's for tires. I love this jeep it gets me everywhere I want to go! But last July 3rd I was in a bad car accident and resulted in a spinal cord injury. I have been getting a lot of function back just not enough to drive with my legs yet. I drive with hand controls in my car but now I'm ready to be back on the trails.my problem is, is that my jeep is a 5 speed and I need it to be auto since I can't use my feet to push the peddles. How hard is it to do? What will i all need? What all needs changed? Also the engine is a 4 cyl. I will need hand controls as well has any one ever herd of putting hand controls in a wrangler? Thank you in advance for the help!

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Old 12-23-2012, 07:49 AM   #2
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It will be a challenge to safely transfer in and out of your Jeep without help. Have you considered selling your Jeep and buying one with an auto and less lift? That might be the best route. Just a thought. Are you still in a clam shell brace of some sort and do you use a manual wheel chair?

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Old 12-23-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
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i'd contact this guy and see what he did...
Feeler: 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited - CareCure Forums
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 1998 TJ View Post
Hi there,
I'm new here and I have a 1998 Tj it has a 4 inch and 33's for tires. I love this jeep it gets me everywhere I want to go! But last July 3rd I was in a bad car accident and resulted in a spinal cord injury. I have been getting a lot of function back just not enough to drive with my legs yet. I drive with hand controls in my car but now I'm ready to be back on the trails.my problem is, is that my jeep is a 5 speed and I need it to be auto since I can't use my feet to push the peddles. How hard is it to do? What will i all need? What all needs changed? Also the engine is a 4 cyl. I will need hand controls as well has any one ever herd of putting hand controls in a wrangler? Thank you in advance for the help!
I've not installed hand controls, but I used to be a spotter for a driver in the ARCA series for rock crawling competitions. My driver had very limited use of his legs due to complications from diabetes and we competed with him driving with hand controls in a TJ.

His particular style and I'm only relating this because I don't know if they vary, had a lever sticking off to the right with a twist throttle and it pivoted off of the steering column so you could push it forward to activate the brakes.

As far as the auto swap goes, here is the list as best as I recall for the complete conversion to auto using the 32RJH 3 speed auto that was the option for your year model.

32RH transmission with torque converter, dipstick, dipstick tube.
4 small converter to flex plate bolts
Flex plate with reinforcing ring and shorter crank bolts
Throttle valve (kickdown cable)
auto transmission mount for skid plate complete all 3 pieces.
short adapter harness from main harness to Neutral Safety Switch
shifter cable
shifter floor plate
shifter with handle
Shift indicator for your center console
new front and rear driveshafts. Front is smaller diameter and will be needed to keep it from rubbing on the trans oil pan.
auto specific t-case linkage or Novak Cable shifter
Clutch master delete block off plate at firewall
Seal extension if you keep your T-case with the shorter input shaft. Tera makes it.
Auto Radiator with heat exchanger in the bottom of it
Transmission cooler lines
Auto style Crank Position Sensor.

That is most of it other than fluids, antifreeze, ATF+4, and misc small stuff.

I've done several of the swaps and have one in the driveway right now. The challenge is rounding up all the parts. The mechanical aspect is not difficult with a bit of help and certainly easy if you have someone around who has done one or several.

If you like, my phone number is on our Black Magic Brakes website and you are welcome to give me a call and I can talk you through most of it.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:03 AM   #5
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TJ AW-4 Auto Transmission Swap

I'd say do a search there are many threds on this . But I dont want to take away from some of the chest beaters ...

Glade to see the back problem is not holding you back and your getting back on the trails
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the help! Getting in the jeep isn't the problem it's just the hand controls and the standard. It seems like it would be a lot of work to put the auto in. I might just sell this one and get a different one! But thanks everyone!
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:58 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the help! Getting in the jeep isn't the problem it's just the hand controls and the standard. It seems like it would be a lot of work to put the auto in. I might just sell this one and get a different one! But thanks everyone!
The hardest part is rounding up all the parts and knowing what you need versus what you have. After that, the actual work is not difficult.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #8
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TJ AW-4 Auto Transmission Swap

I'd say do a search there are many threds on this . But I dont want to take away from some of the chest beaters ...

Glade to see the back problem is not holding you back and your getting back on the trails
I've done several AW-4 swaps, doing one right now in my wife's daily driver. They are technically a bit more difficult and require the use of a SSSYE and very likely a digital speedometer correction box and absolutely require an aux cooler.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 1998 TJ View Post
Thank you all for the help! Getting in the jeep isn't the problem it's just the hand controls and the standard. It seems like it would be a lot of work to put the auto in. I might just sell this one and get a different one! But thanks everyone!
I did the same conversion 4-5 years ago and it's actually a very straight-forward swap. Nothing needs to be modified, it is a bolt-in/plug-in conversion. Even the wiring for the automatic is already present in your wiring harness and ready to connect. Blaine's (Black Magic) list is very complete though you would also need to swap your engine computer (ECM) for one that was programmed for an automatic. Swapping the computer is a 5 minute swap, it just plugs in.

The 32RH transmission he recommended is a very good transmission and would be the easiest conversion to do. However, your thought about selling your present TJ and buying one that already has an automatic is one to give strong consideration to.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:13 PM   #10
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I wish my Auto was a 5 speed!!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:16 PM   #11
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I wish my Auto was a 5 speed!!!
ill trade you

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