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nicolas-eric 09-21-2008 10:00 AM

42RLE Tranny Problem
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Yesterday I was wheeling. At steep slopes my 42RLE tranny had a problem. I could shift in P, R or D, but nothing happened. After a buddy pulled me out and I was on levelled ground it worked fina again until the next steep slope. Things up to 40-45 degrees worked fine, but above that the tranny didnīt work.

On the evening we found out, that the ATF level wasnīt ok (it was between Full (cold) and Full (hot) with a hot tranny. We had to fill in about 3/4-1 pints of ATF+4 until the level was at Full (hot).
Today we didnīt have the time to try that steep slopes again. So we canīt check if the tranny works fine with the correct ATF level.

Do you thing adding some ATF fixed the problem? Could there be another problem with the tranny?

Thanks in advance.
nicolas-eric :wavey:

Sorry, I donīt have my buddies pics with me and my jeeps on it. But it was in situations like this:

jjseel 09-21-2008 10:30 AM

You have probably repaired the problem already. Sure sounded like low fluid...

nicolas-eric 09-21-2008 10:35 AM

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The tranny oil pan is bent a bit to the upper side. Thereīs about 1/2 pint less ATF inside than it should, but itīs at "full (hot)". Should I better replace the oil pan?

Jerry Bransford 09-21-2008 11:41 AM

Your tranny's ATF pickup in the pan was sucking air at those steep angles. There's something different between early and later 42RLE trannies where later 42RLEs have a slight re-design where it won't suck air as readily. I think it may be a deeper ATF pickup inside the pan but I'm not 100% sure, but it's something like that. I'd ask your dealer to research the differences and order you what changed. If it's the ATF pickup and/or a pan redesign, it's an easy thing to swap them.

nicolas-eric 09-21-2008 12:00 PM

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Itīs a 2006 TJ, that must be the latest 42RLE that was available in a TJ. A buddies 2004 TJs tranny oil pan looked a bit different. When he wanted to change his ATF he dealer told him that he has to buy a new oil pan because thereīs only a new (deeper) filter available. Now he has the same oil pan I have.

Is there a trick with that the tranny works again in such a situation? I wantd to test my new synthetic winch line on some really steep angles, but that didnīt work because of the tranny.

I hope that filling in some ATF to the correct level fixed the problem.

Jerry Bransford 09-21-2008 12:06 PM

Adding a little more ATF would seem to be your only option then, just don't be tempted to add too much which can be bad for an automatic.

nicolas-eric 09-21-2008 12:13 PM

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The center of the oil pan is bent about 3/4" upwards. I will replace it this winter. I hope that the tranny will work better on my next wheling trip in 2009.

Did you hear about this problem with this tranny before?

Jerry Bransford 09-21-2008 12:19 PM

Your issue isn't confined to the 42RLE, it's a problem for any automatic transmission if it doesn't have a deep enough pan or properly positioned ATF pickup. That issue is why I installed a deeper pan and deeper pickup on the 32RH 3-speed automatic I just converted to on my TJ. There is no deep pan option for the 42RLE, at least not yet. :)

nicolas-eric 09-21-2008 06:29 PM

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Do you know which angle is ok for my tranny and which tranny is too much?
I hope that the problem is fixed with the right oil level and a new oil pan. But if not thatīs really a problem IMO.

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