For those that assisted me in trying to track down what my transmission issue was, it is still not fixed. Long story here: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/majo...ow-266102.html
Short story, I had it completely rebuilt, and it still cant make it up a highway overpass without shifting to 3rd and putting the pedal on the floor. Took it back to the shop, and they said the radiator fluid was hitting over 240, so their answer was to put an external cooler on it. They said it never got over 205 after that. To me, that is not an acceptable fix, since I paid them to rebuild the transmission since they claimed it was slipping. Obviously that was not the problem, but that is for me to settle with the tranny shop.
Here is where it gets a little interesting. I checked what I thought was the only cat on the Jeep, and it was running normal temps, about 550 in and 470 out. Apparently I didn't realize that it had an additional 2 cats on it (thanks a lot California....jerks, haha). Anyways, I checked the temps on these, and they are definitely running too hot in my opinion. My laser temp gun maxes out at 670. One cat was maxing out the temp gun on the in, and was reading about 660 on the out. The other was maxing out the gun, and was about 580 on the out. Shouldn't these be closer to the 500 in and 400 out range? Also, this is with the vehicle sitting idle for some time, with the hood all the way open!!! The very end of the exhaust pipe was reading 250-260, which also seems too hot to me.
I will try to itemize everything to make it easy to read. Here is what the vehicle is doing:
-cannot make it over an overpass without the torque converter unlocking, then shifting to 3rd gear and putting the pedal to the floor, with cruise control set at 65
-power seems to be lacking at highway speeds, but not so much in 1st and 2nd gear around town.
-gas mileage has gone to crap. From 200+ a tank down to 120-130 a tank.
-the engine bay seems to be running much hotter than it used to be, confirmed by temp gun.
-the problem seems to be very consistent. no idling problems or engine running rough issues.
Here is what I have done so far:
-installed new solenoid pack
-rebuilt the valve body
-replaced the TPS sensor
-had tranny rebuilt by tranny shop (did not fix the problem)
-tranny shop installed external tranny cooler
-changed the spark plugs today. old ones had "Grand Canyon" sized gapping of .061-.080 (Yeah, I'm serious, and shame on me for not checking when I first bought it). I replaced them with .035 gapped plugs
-my battery does have a bad cell, but it is charging to full capacity. Don't see how this could affect everything, but I will replace it tomorrow.
-rear cat seems to be operating correctly (550 in-470 out)
-front cats seem to be running way too hot (670+ in - 580+ out)
I think my next step is to disconnect the cats from the exhaust manifold, and run it up on the highway (avoiding any law enforcement, haha) to see if the power comes back, and corrects shifting. If so, time to replace the front cats. My concern is, what caused them to go bad? Remember, the Jeep was running fine, then bam, problem started all of the sudden, rather than getting worse over a period of time.
I also need to check with the tranny shop and see what parts they actually replaced. If they didn't replace the pump, I am wondering if it is failing to put out enough pressure for the bands to fully grab, but could this happen only in 3rd-4th, or would it be consistent through all of the gears?
Lastly, I have not checked the ignition coil pack. Do you think this could be a possibility as well? If so, is there anyway to check the pack, other than just replacing it?
Again, thank you all for taking the time to bear with my long posts, and give me some honest helpful feedback. I don't know where I would be without the great online Jeep community!