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Old 10-06-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
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NV3550 trans swap

My 04' wrangler X has a stock 42rle 4 speed automatic and am looking to switch to the NV3550 5 speed. After several weeks of looking into this, ive decided I want to do it. The engine and transfer case splines match up so there will no big problem there but I have googled hundreds of websites and still cannot find a list of parts that are set in stone. I know most of what I need but really don't want to forget anything while im installing it.

If anyone can shed some light on this, lemme know.

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Old 10-06-2011, 04:09 PM   #2
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Really, you might want to re- think your plan. I have the nv3550 and whole I enjoy driving manual and have around 300k miles under my belt with them you are not going to like the nv3550. It in noisy, does not shift well, makes a ton of heat and jut really isn't that good. There are more threads on here asking for help with theirs then there are praising them. If your really dead set on doing it maybe we can trade. Jk.

As for what you need... Clutch, clutch cable, slave cylinder for clutch, rear driveshaft, shift boot and stick, pedal assembly. Think that's about it. Sure there will be others that will give a more complete list. Good luck

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Old 10-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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you'll need the shift boot & such, clutch & brake pedal assembly, manual starter (starters are different between the auto/manual), new crank position sensor (in the bellhousing), proper sized pilot bearing for the crank (which I've heard can be a wild goose chase), and of course the tranny, clutch, slave cylinder and associated lines, pressure plate, etc. I believe you'll also need a manual PCM, since the auto PCM is looking for voltage from the TCM. Not sure on the wiring harness, but I believe you'll need to remove the 42RLE harness & TCM, but I don't think you'll need a totally new wiring harness. Rear driveshaft should actually be the same, but the front driveshaft won't...but the auto driveshaft will work on the manual, but not the other way around.

I know its been done before, and when I was looking into it the conclusion I came to was you basically need a same year complete donor vehicle next to you while doing the swap...at least that would be the easiest way I think. IIRC, everything to do the swap from Davey's Jeeps added up around $2000, but that was a couple years ago when I inquired.
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 00tj2 View Post
Really, you might want to re- think your plan. I have the nv3550 and whole I enjoy driving manual and have around 300k miles under my belt with them you are not going to like the nv3550. It in noisy, does not shift well, makes a ton of heat and jut really isn't that good. There are more threads on here asking for help with theirs then there are praising them. If your really dead set on doing it maybe we can trade. Jk.

As for what you need... Clutch, clutch cable, slave cylinder for clutch, rear driveshaft, shift boot and stick, pedal assembly. Think that's about it. Sure there will be others that will give a more complete list. Good luck
I'll keep this in mind, but I hear far too many people that love them to death! I was thinking about selling my jeep because it only has minor upgrades to it and buying a stick, but there are non as nice as my jeep that are in my budget. Thanks for the list though.

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you'll need the shift boot & such, clutch & brake pedal assembly, manual starter (starters are different between the auto/manual), new crank position sensor (in the bellhousing), proper sized pilot bearing for the crank (which I've heard can be a wild goose chase), and of course the tranny, clutch, slave cylinder and associated lines, pressure plate, etc. I believe you'll also need a manual PCM, since the auto PCM is looking for voltage from the TCM. Not sure on the wiring harness, but I believe you'll need to remove the 42RLE harness & TCM, but I don't think you'll need a totally new wiring harness. Rear driveshaft should actually be the same, but the front driveshaft won't...but the auto driveshaft will work on the manual, but not the other way around.

I know its been done before, and when I was looking into it the conclusion I came to was you basically need a same year complete donor vehicle next to you while doing the swap...at least that would be the easiest way I think. IIRC, everything to do the swap from Davey's Jeeps added up around $2000, but that was a couple years ago when I inquired.
Wow thanks for this list, I had basically everything except for the manual starter and wiring harness. So what do I need to do for the wiring harness?
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:28 PM   #5
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that was a very complete list unlimitedlj04.... i've heard things about your knowledge....

and to what you said marknog, your right... a lot ofpeople swear by them... just like some people like chevy and others like ford... i guess in the end it is what you really want... i have an 2000 tj sport, yellow with 120k on it with the nv3550... i live just outside nyc???? you never know, i might see a trade... haha, jk.. if i get a new one its gonna be a LJ. good luck on your swap if you go that route...
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Better to be judged by twelve then carried by six. I'm sure this is going to get me in trouble down the line
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:47 PM   #6
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So what do I need to do for the wiring harness?
I don't know for sure...I never got that far , but i don't think you'll need a totally new wiring harness...but who knows. I know the 42RLE TCM wiring harness is a good half the wiring harness going to the PCM on the 03-04 models...pop the hood, locate the TCM on the drivers side (next to the windshield washer bottle), and follow the ~1" diameter wiring harness to the PCM on the passenger side...you'll see why the 42RLE to NV3550 swap is almost the same amount of work a fully engine swap. the TCM is heavily integrated into the PCM.

I've just decided to live with the 42RLE for now. I love it off-road, but hate it on the mountain highways. I've followed friends with a TJ/NV3550 and an XJ/AW4, and both kick my arse on the highways...the NV3550 was especially bad...like 20 minute difference in arrival time bad. But I do better than both tranny's off-road

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unlimitedlj04.... i've heard things about your knowledge....
oh gawd. I wasn't there, I didn't do it and I do not recall.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:45 PM   #7
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that was a very complete list unlimitedlj04.... i've heard things about your knowledge....

and to what you said marknog, your right... a lot ofpeople swear by them... just like some people like chevy and others like ford... i guess in the end it is what you really want... i have an 2000 tj sport, yellow with 120k on it with the nv3550... i live just outside nyc???? you never know, i might see a trade... haha, jk.. if i get a new one its gonna be a LJ. good luck on your swap if you go that route...
Ehh you seem pretty serious about this trade but thats too man miles on it... lmao

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 View Post
I don't know for sure...I never got that far , but i don't think you'll need a totally new wiring harness...but who knows. I know the 42RLE TCM wiring harness is a good half the wiring harness going to the PCM on the 03-04 models...pop the hood, locate the TCM on the drivers side (next to the windshield washer bottle), and follow the ~1" diameter wiring harness to the PCM on the passenger side...you'll see why the 42RLE to NV3550 swap is almost the same amount of work a fully engine swap. the TCM is heavily integrated into the PCM.

I've just decided to live with the 42RLE for now. I love it off-road, but hate it on the mountain highways. I've followed friends with a TJ/NV3550 and an XJ/AW4, and both kick my arse on the highways...the NV3550 was especially bad...like 20 minute difference in arrival time bad. But I do better than both tranny's off-road

Yeahhh I got to take a look at that and see if I can make something out of it...hahah

Its not like im craving a stick off road, I just want to have it for the extra challenge because I prefer to stick to the easy mudholes and trails and just have some good relaxed fun but having to manually hit the gears is so much more fun!
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #8
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I'm all talk... I'm gonna keep this damn thing till it dies and then drop a Stroked 4.0 or a 350 in it and keep on going. Unless the right unlimited comes along....
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Better to be judged by twelve then carried by six. I'm sure this is going to get me in trouble down the line
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:05 PM   #9
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I like my NV3550 it sometimes clunks into 2nd as the syncros are starting to go and whines pushing 33s but feels rock solid and I'm not.really afraid of breaking it. The 4.01 1rst gear ratio is nice over the AX-15 too
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
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I'm all talk... I'm gonna keep this damn thing till it dies and then drop a Stroked 4.0 or a 350 in it and keep on going. Unless the right unlimited comes along....
Haha good call. That would be pretty gnarly!

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I like my NV3550 it sometimes clunks into 2nd as the syncros are starting to go and whines pushing 33s but feels rock solid and I'm not.really afraid of breaking it. The 4.01 1rst gear ratio is nice over the AX-15 too
Thats one of the biggest complaints I hear, the second gear sucks. How bad is it though?
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MarkNog

Haha good call. That would be pretty gnarly!

Thats one of the biggest complaints I hear, the second gear sucks. How bad is it though?
Not unbearable at all. You just have to shift from 1-2 at a slightly higher rpm for it to not clunk. Or if you're geared low enough at the axles just start in 2nd. When down shifting into 2nd it takes a little force and it'll drop in or just go back to neutral, tap the gas, clutch in, downshift. Then again my transmission has 70000 miles on it and its not too bad. Plus there have been 3 drivers on it, two of which have learned how to drive standard on it so I imagine its not in pristine condition. It gets the job done and I drive it daily and have no issues with it.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:50 PM   #12
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i have the nv3550 with 88000 miles on it, and no issues except a small rattle sound when accelerating from 0. i go mild offroading, as much as a stocker can do. maybe the problems start after a lift, tc drop..... i would hate it if it happens when i lift.
Let's say it broke, is it an easy swap for the 6 speed?
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:25 PM   #13
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I guess it doesn't really suck that bad. My biggest complaints are the shifting when it gets really hot. Seems to stick sometimes and the 1-2 shift problems. It has gotten worse over time but again that could be from jeep and NV recommending the wrong fluid for the first 6 years and then changing it 2 more times since then I guess. I'm running 31's and stock 373's and I can start from a complete stop while towing a 1996 Nissan maxima without using the gas and not ridding the clutch long. I guess it has done everything I have asked it to do and I'm just being hard on it because we have been together for so long.
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Better to be judged by twelve then carried by six. I'm sure this is going to get me in trouble down the line
2000 sport, 5speed, 1-1/4 body lift, 3" zone, metal cloak front fenders, metal cloak control arms, 4.88, 35" cooper stt.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 00tj2
I guess it doesn't really suck that bad. My biggest complaints are the shifting when it gets really hot. Seems to stick sometimes and the 1-2 shift problems. It has gotten worse over time but again that could be from jeep and NV recommending the wrong fluid for the first 6 years and then changing it 2 more times since then I guess. I'm running 31's and stock 373's and I can start from a complete stop while towing a 1996 Nissan maxima without using the gas and not ridding the clutch long. I guess it has done everything I have asked it to do and I'm just being hard on it because we have been together for so long.
That's what happens in a relationship throughout time I can actually start and shift though 3 without touching the gas if I so chose. That's probably just the 4.56s though. I really like the "truck feel" of the NV3550

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