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Old 02-03-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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TJ with Auto Transmission?

Alright everyone, Im not new to driving and working on Jeep TJs. But Ive been eyeing up an 02 TJ 4.0L with an auto transmission for my wife to replace her truck. I just dont have much experience with the autos and was wondering if anyone knows if they have any major issues or anything? It will be kept on the road for the most part so Im not worried about being solid for wheeling, thats what my 97 is for Let me know what you all think! Thanks!

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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97-02 are 32RH, 3-speed autos (no overdrive).
03-06 are 42RLE, 4-speed autos (overdrive).

many regard the 32RH as more durable and having better drive-ability than the 42RLE.

I have a 42RLE. I can tell you that it's undergeared from the factory, and the gear shifting behavior is funky, especially the overly steep overdrive. As a result, you need to throw very deep gears at it to improve drive-ability. 4.88s for 33s, 5.38s for 35s...even 4.11s or 4.56s for 31s/32s. For a comparison, a 05-06 6-speed manual w/ 3.73s & 35s is overall geared the same as a bone stock 42RLE w/ 3.73s & 30s...if you don't use 1st or 4th.

The 32RH kinda has the opposite problem. You need to stay numerically lower on the gear ratios to keep the RPMs a bit lower on the highway, since you don't have overdrive. So 4.11s for 33s, 4.56s for 35s, etc. With a 30-31" tire, 3.73s would work fine. Some came with 3.07s tho, I think?

Either way you go, figure on adding an external transmission cooler. Also try to find a D44 rear, over the D35c rear.

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info, helped a lot! I know if I get it she wont want anything bigger than 31s on it, and as it happens I actually have a friend with a set of axles already geared with 4.11s haha Just for curiousity what sort of mpg are you running with your auto?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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Just for curiousity what sort of mpg are you running with your auto?
I can get anywhere between 13mpg to 19mpg hwy depending on my driving style & conditions, with 4.88s/33s.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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Alright thanks for the help
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:19 AM   #6
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auto's are much more fun to wheel with and easier on parts like axles and driveshafts and clutches. This is especially true for novices.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:22 AM   #7
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My wife is by no means a novice when it comes to driving Jeeps lol its just easier for her to have an auto cause being shorter its hard for her to clutch properly. But thanks for the info
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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what I was meaning is novices out on the trails and trying to get clutch, gas and brake to work together. (hand brake is your friend)
Good for your other half knowing how to drive with a stick.
I am in my 60's can drive anything from heavy equipment to semitrucks (owned a few btw) but still prefer auto when out trail riding. Good luck
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:01 PM   #9
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If you're light on the throttle overdrive is a PITA. You'll accelerate first through third with ease and then comes the boat anchor/lugging. I either give it more throttle so it holds third longer raising the rpms for OD or turn OD off around town.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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If you go anywhere near water, add a breather tube. Water getting in to the trans is expensive - at least in this part of the woods.

I run 3.73s, 33s and the 32RH. It's not too bad... mileage is 15-16 typically.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 View Post
97-02 are 32RH, 3-speed autos (no overdrive).
03-06 are 42RLE, 4-speed autos (overdrive).

many regard the 32RH as more durable and having better drive-ability than the 42RLE.

I have a 42RLE. I can tell you that it's undergeared from the factory, and the gear shifting behavior is funky..
I had a 97 auto and was fine with 31s. Now I have a 03 auto with the overdrive with 31s and it seems like it really searches for what gear to be in around 35-50.. If you are off the gas at these speeds, then go lightly on the pedal it will often result with tranny not knowing if it wants to shift are not.. Kinda like a delay in down shifting which makes it feel like you have some play in drivetrain.. Something I have gotten use to..
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:39 PM   #12
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Its going to be staying completely stock in every way. Its just going to become my wifes daily driver with stock tires and no off roading

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