So I started having an issue with my Tranny, and I wanted to see what you guys think before I take it in so I don't get screwed by the shop, because I literally know nothing about transmissions.
Starting on Sunday when I went out wheeling on a moderately difficult crawling trail, I was getting a lot of popping from under the Jeep when in 4lo, but couldn't figure out exactly what was causing it. Several times that day, when trying to go in first gear, I slipped out of gear. If I held it in, I got a really nasty grinding. I haven't ever had that problem before, and it wasn't happening in any other gear. This was only happening in 4lo.
When heading back from the wheeling trip, my speedometer stopped working. It was bouncing between 90 mph and past 100, when I was doing about 45 on a county road. It's still doing this.
The problem has now progressed to always slipping out of first gear, even in 2WD (no other gear is affected) and anytime I hit 3k RPMs, I lose power until I get back under 2500 (I tested this in all gears but first, since it won't stay in first and is true for all gears 2-5). All the electronics still work, it's not like it stalls, but the accelerator literally does nothing. Won't rev the engine, won't let me go. Almost as if I'm hitting a governor or something. I just coast it or brake back down to 2500 RPMs and I'm fine again. This is causing real problems when trying to drive on the freeway as I'm running 4.88 gears and 33" tires and to keep up to freeway speeds, I run about 3100(ish) RPMs.
I've had transfer case linkage problems for a while, could these have thrown my transmission linkage out of whack while I was out wheeling? Is the speedometer problem related, or is that something else entirely (electrical maybe? My gas gauge hasn't worked since I bought the Jeep almost a year ago).
I drive a '97 Sport, 222,xxx miles, 4.88 gears, front D30, rear D35, 4" suspension lift, stock transmission.
Any help you can give me would be appreciated, and sorry for the long read.