||07-07-2013 07:34 PM
I recently picked up a '95 Sahara, 4.0 32RH 3-spd auto (less than 18 months on a rebuild)... I had plans for today to adjust the front band as it has been upshifting too soon and lacking kickdown, also to do a few other minor maintenance & repair issues.
Last night I checked the fluid level, added about a cup of ATF+4 to bring it to full, then drove it about 8 miles to my destination. On the return trip, it was skipping 2nd gear, revving higher than usual in first, resisting to upshift until letting up on the throttle doing over 20, then going into 3rd.
This morning I drove 40+ miles to a fellow Jeeper's place to work on it, picking up 4 more quarts of ATF+4 and a tranny filter along the way. Dropping the tranny pan, the fluid was opaque, pinkish but definitely not red, and the filter considerably plugged. We adjusted both the front (external) and rear (internal) bands to 72 ft-lbs, backing them up 2¼ turns for the front and 4 turns for the rear before tightening the locknuts, allowed as much of the old fluid to drip out before replacing the filter & pan, adding 3 quarts of ATF+4, then taking it for a road test. It shifts through every gear as it should again. Once it was fully warmed up, I added a cup at a time, checking the dipstick while running in neutral until it reached just under the FULL HOT level (just under 4 quarts total).
Driving it back home another 40 miles later and it's still going through all of the gears, no longer skipping 2nd. I plan on getting the fluid flushed soon though to ensure the opaque-ish fluid is out of there.
I'm guessing the extremely clogged filter caused reduced fluid pressure, not allowing it to go into second gear. I'm also thinking the PO's mechanic may have filled it with Dexron II instead of ATF+4 after rebuilding the tranny, causing the differing fluids to foam or react against each other, making the resulting fluid opaque. The small amount of fresh ATF+4 could have had enough detergents to release possible sludging (was waxy buildup on the magnet and bottom of the pan) which could have clogged the filter. I dunno... anyway I have 2nd gear back again!