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ipleadda2nd 06-20-2013 12:15 PM

Aluminum Transmission Pan and Temp Sensor Project
2 Attachment(s)

I have a 2001 Wrangler Sport with the 32RH auto transmission.

I want a temp sensor for my tranny fluid. The best place seems to be on the side of a deep transmission pan. This way I don't have to splice into any tranny cooler lines. It stays nice and tucked up out of the way. The deep pan is a little taller and holds more fluid than the factory pan. The extra fluid is nice when climbing a steep hill.

Steel Pan No Go

I originally tried the Mopar deep transmission pan (steel) and welded a bung on the side to hold a temp sensor. See the write-up here:

I bought 2 of those pans about 6 months apart. They were far from flat on the mounting surface. They were warped in the same spot. I tried to pound them flat to no avail. It seemed once I got that area flat, another area needed pounding. Because of this it leaked. No, I didn't squish the gasket.

I tried some ATF RTV, but couldn't squeeze out a small enough bead to be comfortable with. It took all the strength out of my hands, just to get half way around the pan. I don't know if it was a faulty tube or what.

Looking For an Aluminum Pan

At this point I was pretty disheartened. I already looked for an aluminum pan to no avail. I decided to look again. This time, not just for a 32RH, but different transmissions that would share the same pan. Here's what I found:

The 32RH (6 cyl TJs 97-02) use to be called the A999.
The 30RH (4 cyl TJs 97-02) use to be called the A904.

They all take the same pan! So I finally found one for an A904. I also got an aluminum bung.

TCI Aluminum Transmission Pan
Part #: 127900
Cost: $149.95

Summit Racing Weld-In Bung
Part #: SUM-220070
Cost: $3.95

Summit makes an aluminum pan as well. Some people were saying they couldn't get the drain plug to seal and the threads were not straight. One guy had a crack in the casting that leaked.

Here's the pan.

Attachment 263783

Here it is compared to the Mopar deep steel pan.

Attachment 263784

ipleadda2nd 06-20-2013 12:17 PM

5 Attachment(s)

Bell Housing Flashing
Without the gasket, the pan hits the mold flashing on my tranny's bell housing. I sanded the flashing away and rounded the edge of the pan a little. It probably would have been fine with the gasket though.

Attachment 263787

Too tall
The cooling fins were hitting my UCF skid. I had a machine shop mill them down to the level of the drain plug surface. In hind sight, I may not have needed to.

Attachment 263788

Since I can't weld aluminum, I had the machine shop TIG weld the bung in. Since welding shrinks it a little, I ran a 1/8-27 Pipe (NPT) tap to get it back in shape. Aluminum is soft, so it doesn't take much.

I believe the angled side (where the corner is missing) is the best area to mount the bung. It clears the drive shaft and internal parts of tranny. I used Permatex High Temperature Thread Sealant (59214) on the sensor threads.

FYI, the machine shop wanted to know if the pan was new or used. If it had been holding fluid, they wanted to bake the oil out, which would have cost more money. Good thing it was new.

Attachment 263789

They welded both sides of the bung!

Attachment 263790

Mounting Surface Isn't Flat
Yep, again. I can see where the mill didn't touch one of the sides of the mounting surface. It's about 1/32" off. The machine shop said they couldn't get it held down well in the mill to deck it. So I was hoping for the best. Turns out it is fine!

Drain Plug Threads
The pan came with the drain plug screwed in, but only partially. They couldn't get it in all the way because the threads were slightly messed up. I wonder how that got by Q&A. I cleaned it up with a 1/2-20 tap.

When the dipstick is inserted one way it rubs on the inside corner of pan. If I rotate the handle 180 degrees it's fine. The casting has a texture to it. So I polished up that corner to prevent any aluminum getting rubbed off.

Also, know this. My dipstick would never stay seated in the tube with the factory tranny pan. It would pop out a little. With this deep pan, it stays seated. I have read other people have this problem too. I guess the damn stick is a little too long and after you quit pushing on it, it springs out of the tube an inch or so.

Here it is complete. The arrow is pointing to the polished area.

Attachment 263791

Machine Shop
Industrial Technologies, Inc.
Great guys. They are located in Erie, CO. The same town as Magpul (for now)!!!
Cost: $159.50

ipleadda2nd 06-20-2013 12:18 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Filter and Spacer

I liked the looks of the Mopar filter and spacer over the TCI. So I decided to use it instead.

Attachment 263792


Here it is installed.

Attachment 263793

Even with the cooling fins cut down, the skid still hit. I removed some material from the skid. Maybe more than I needed to.

Attachment 263794

Final Thoughts

Wow, this is my project from hell. $500 dollars later and I have a deep pan with temp sensor.

$60 - First warped steel pan
$60 - Second warped steel pan
$150 - Aluminum pan
$160 - Machining/TIG labor
$??? - Bungs and Shipping

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