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Old 02-22-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
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Tranny Trouble After Mudding!!!

I could really use some help! I took my 01 TJ playing in the mud (nothing crazy) and since then, my transmission's screwed. I took it to a mechanic and we discovered that it won't recognize first gear. It's an automatic, so it will start out directly in 2nd. If I shift it to start in 1st, it will work, however. There's no water in the system to be noticed either. The mechanic says that it needs to be rebuilt to see what's going on. He quoted me $2600 with a shift kit installed. So, A: what do you guys think the problem is B: is the mechanic right and C: i am mechanically inclined myself, so what do I need if I want to do this myself over a 6 pack of beer? Make note also that I have never done anything this extensive, though. The most I've ever done with a transmission is pull one to change a clutch so I don't want to get in over my head. Any advice would help and specific part #'s/websites would be amazing. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-22-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
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$2600 sounds like an absolute rip-off to rebuild your 32RH. I'm betting it did indeed ingest water or mud through its vent located just behind the torque converter. And if it did ingest water, you can't wait to get it out since water can dissolve the glue that holds some of the clutch materials in place.

There is one transmission guy Jeepers in SOCAL can trust and that is Joe at Westminster Transmission in Westminster, up in Orange County. Call him at 714-898-0089 and talk with him. If he does need to rebuild it I'm betting he'll be half of that cost you were quoted. He is an expert on Jeep transmissions and absolutely will not take advantage of you or screw you over on anything. He's an honest transmission guy who specializes in working with Jeepers.

I live in SD too and I'd make the drive up to Joe before I'd trust another transmission shop here in SD.

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Old 02-22-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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I second the above recommendation, when my wifes Durango trans shit the bed on me, I called Blaine who then gave me the exact advice given above. Damn nice guy to talk to, free advice all while knowing I couldnt afford to take it to him, just needed to pick his brain.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:49 PM   #4
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another great shop specifically for jeeps is T and Js in orange county great bunch of guys
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:53 PM   #5
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I would empty out the fluid right now and refill it with oil. If nothing, then call up the guy Jerry mentioned best of luck
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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Same thing happened to my Jeep after mudding. It would only start in second then change to third. We pulled the pan and found metal chunks in the pan. Took it to local Jeep shop and the mechanic said time for a rebuild. Fluid still looked fine but the tranny sucked up some water and cracked the clutches. From what I've been told, the 32rh is pretty simple to rebuild. The rebuild plus a new converter is running me $1000. This also includes them replacing a front wheel bearing (mud) and replacing one front caliper (mud).
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info, guys. I called and spoke to Joe and he basically told me the same thing, but with better detail. He also said it would be about $2600, but he would rebuild it stronger. Having said that, Joe seems like the guy to take it to. It's now just a waiting game till I get the $. Again, thanks for all the help.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #8
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If $2600 is ok for your budget, fine, but I'd be looking around for a used 32RH at this point. They're out there, I scored a really nice used 32RH including all the parts needed to install it (convert from a 5-speed) plus radiator for only $800.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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Mine bit the dust in April last year and I found a uses one that had been gone through from front to back with a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty, delivered to my house for $1129 and it came with a tranny cooler also, no core from gearheadtrans.com. you will not find a better deal than that. Tranny had 39k miles on it. The guys name I dealt with is Doug, he's the owner from what I gather
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:43 PM   #10
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$2600!!!!!!!! Holy Cr&p! you could buy 6 32rh for that price!
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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I agree with the rest of the gang, $2600 is a lot of scratch. You can definitely find a good used transmission for half that price. I've been told these transmissions are usually pretty tough, (as long as you keep it out of deep mud and water). I've learned from my deep mud experience!
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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Are you going to pull yours yourself and install yourself? If so...maybe you could get lucky like I did with my last Jeep. I couldn't afford to get a rebuild so I decided I would just find a used trans on CL or something and then when I got my money together pay to rebuild it, or try my hand at rebuilding it. Turns out I found a used tranny at a salvage yard asking price was $450, they took $350 cash. It only had a 60 day warranty but I wound up driving it for about 50,000 miles without issue until I sold the jeep...Never got around to the old tranny.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:56 PM   #13
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a quick question... why are you being quoted 2600 for a trans rebuild? how are they getting to that price??

32's are solid and straight forward for a good trans guy and I can't understand the 2600. Is there something else they are doing for you?
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:02 PM   #14
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If you are looking to beef it up and get a really solid tranny, then rebuild it. Otherwise save the money and replace it with a used one and take your chance.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:06 PM   #15
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On a different note is there anything you can do to help prevent this from happening on an automatic? like extend the breathers or something like that?
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilYeller View Post
On a different note is there anything you can do to help prevent this from happening on an automatic? like extend the breathers or something like that?
Jerry Bransford did a write up for relocating the vent from behind the converter to the top of the tranny case.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilYeller View Post
On a different note is there anything you can do to help prevent this from happening on an automatic? like extend the breathers or something like that?
I was going to ask the same thing!

nevermind, I didn't refresh in time to see Boone's post about Jerry's write up
anyone got a link?
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:49 PM   #18
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I was going to ask the same thing!

nevermind, I didn't refresh in time to see Boone's post about Jerry's write up
anyone got a link?

I couldn't find the exact write-up, but here is a thread from another forum with pics.

Relocating vent on 32rh 3 speed auto - JeepForum.com
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:52 PM   #19
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well then, looks like the best way to fix this problem is to not go in water.
how disappointing, looks like any water deeper then just below the doors is too deep.

defeats the purpose of a snorkel ehh? LOL

I had the jeep in water up to the steps a few days ago (stock on 31s) and luckily the fluid looks fine and the tranny works fine. got really lucky, the jeep was in there for over an hour because it was stuck and my strap broke.

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