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Old 10-27-2008, 09:26 PM   #1
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1990 need help transmission or clutch problem ??

Ive just bought a 1990 2.5l 4cl 5 speed manual wrangler. I bought it not knowing much about wranglers , it grinded when shifting into gears withought double clutching etc. and was noisy when in gear.I thought it would it would just be a case of changing the syncro's and changing a bearing. I located a mechanic who said he had a good condition replacment tranny ( off a 6cl 1996) and said i could have it fitted for $500 so i went ahead and it still has similar problems. Shifting up if ok but it still grinds going down into 2&3. The mechanic reckons it could be caused by a weak clutch plate causing the clutch to not fully release. My understanding is the only way a clutch can cause griding is when it is binding and not fully realeasing but would that not also cause creep when the clutch is depressed in 1st gear and make it very hard to select reverse as there is no syncro on reverse? none of these symptoms are present. After reading other threads ive realised this is a commen problem on wrangler trannys and think i have been sold one virtualy as bad as my old one. The old trans was full of water but i am thinking i would of been better off getting a rebuild on the it. I dont want to spend more money on a clutch that i dont think i need to have the same problem. I see my options as :

1. Rebuild my old tranny and try and get money back on the replacement one.
2. change clutch and plates and hope for the best
3. put up with it

Which would you do?
what type of tranny is fitted as standard on this model AX5 ?
whats the going rate for a rebuild?

Thanks in advance for any replys
Regards Rob.

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Old 10-27-2008, 09:57 PM   #2
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welcome to the forum, first of all that trans out of a 6 cyl is different than the one you had. you're correct, yours is an ax5. secondly there was no wrangler in 1996, unless he got it out of a cherokee, and that would be an ax15. not sure whats goin on with your mechanic. sounds like the trans though, common problems. although i see no reason not to replace a clutch thats even somewhat old when the trans is out. and rebuilding is rolling the dice, there's many threads where rebuilds lasted months, or a year. depends on who's doing it.

there was a thread here about using a dodge dakota bellhousing to mate the ax15 to the 2.5, but never heard anymore about it. honestly without modifications they didn't put a trans from a 6 cyl. in your jeep. putting the ax15 in would be about your only option to upgrade without changing whole driveline.

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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Im thinking its a bearing. I had similar grinding when I shifted and it ended up being the pilot bearing. It got progressively worse until I didnt want to drive it anymore it was so bad. Replaced it and had no more problems.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply, well im not sure what tranny is on it now. I know the mechanic did try one which didnt fit as it had an external hydralic arm for the clutch and the one i had was intenal. He then told me he got the one off the a 6cl (which i saw) and i far as i know he just took the bell housing of my old one and that tranny fitted. So the ax5 is a 4cl tranny and the ax15 is a 6cl tranny?
When you buy a rebuild kit do you get all the syncros and bearings?. I live in st maarten (caribbean) so the chances of finding a experianced mechanic to rebuild a box are minimal, saying that there are alot of jeeps on the island so some one must of done one.
To the guy who changed the bearing , was it making a noise when in gear? as my previous box had that prob but the replacement seems to be quite after the gear is engaged.

Regards Rob
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:20 AM   #5
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Whenever I put the clutch in to shift or whenever it was in neutral it squealed really loud. Sometimes it made a grinding noise also. Once it was in gear it did not make noise.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:29 PM   #6
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aside from the bellhousing, the output shaft is different on the 4 and 6 cyl trannies......so he would have had to swap t-cases, or at least the input on them. do you trust this mechanic? im wondering if he actually swapped it?
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitebuffalo View Post
aside from the bellhousing, the output shaft is different on the 4 and 6 cyl trannies......so he would have had to swap t-cases, or at least the input on them. do you trust this mechanic? im wondering if he actually swapped it?
i didn't want to say it, but i was thinkin it.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitebuffalo View Post
aside from the bellhousing, the output shaft is different on the 4 and 6 cyl trannies......so he would have had to swap t-cases, or at least the input on them. do you trust this mechanic? im wondering if he actually swapped it?
i didn't want to say it, but i was thinkin it. maybe he realized that it was more work and just shipped it.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:06 AM   #9
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if your having problems with the engaging into gear I would lean towrds the clutch look for any wear on the fingers and make sure you replace the pilot bearing that would be more likely
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:32 PM   #10
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Well im going to be asking some questions when i go and see the mechanic as it seems some thing fishy is going on. The clutch it self was aparently changed by the previous owner within the last 12 months but i cant confirm whether it was just the clutch or the pressure plates as well. I've managed to locate a transmission expert on the island with good reccomendations from collegues. Im thinking go and see my mechanic try and work out what tranny he actually has on there then taking my original one to this expert and get him to quote me on a rebuild. Im hoping my mechanic will refund me for the replacment tranny and then refit the old one when its rebuilt, thing is i not really sure he is willing to admit the one he put on is defective and is still blaming the clutch plate.
As regards the pilot bearing , sorry for my ignorance but is that inside the tranny or behind the clutch. O'l red my clutch seems to be operating normally and doesnt squeal , if i had a tranny rebuild would it include this bearing?
Thanks again for all the replies its definetly helping me tackle the problem
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:44 PM   #11
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ive just been doing some research on the ax5 and i cant really find a good word written about it! how easy is it to fit an automatic to the 4cl 2.5 and is it worth it, are there any other tranny out there that would fit as i dont really fancy spending money on a rebuild for a tranny which seems flawed by design.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxmjeepdriver View Post
Well im going to be asking some questions when i go and see the mechanic as it seems some thing fishy is going on. The clutch it self was aparently changed by the previous owner within the last 12 months but i cant confirm whether it was just the clutch or the pressure plates as well. I've managed to locate a transmission expert on the island with good reccomendations from collegues. Im thinking go and see my mechanic try and work out what tranny he actually has on there then taking my original one to this expert and get him to quote me on a rebuild. Im hoping my mechanic will refund me for the replacment tranny and then refit the old one when its rebuilt, thing is i not really sure he is willing to admit the one he put on is defective and is still blaming the clutch plate.
As regards the pilot bearing , sorry for my ignorance but is that inside the tranny or behind the clutch. O'l red my clutch seems to be operating normally and doesnt squeal , if i had a tranny rebuild would it include this bearing?
Thanks again for all the replies its definetly helping me tackle the problem
good luck with your mechanic, you won't get anywhere. they won't swap the trans again for free, and they won't stand behind that trans, i'm sure they'll wiggle out of it.
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:28 AM   #13
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Is it possible for the ax15 trans to fit the 4cl if the transfer case of the 6cl is installed with it, together with the bellhousing of the 4cl?
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:01 PM   #14
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my pilot bearing came with my clutch kit don't think it would come with the tranny

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