Jeep Wrangler Forum

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-   -   Wrangler Automatics (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/wrangler-automatics-45070.html)

autojeepguy 02-22-2010 07:48 PM

Wrangler Automatics
 
i've been a jeep wrangler owner for 13 years but both were 5 speeds. has anyone had any experience or knowledge about wrangler automatics?

Jerry Bransford 02-22-2010 07:55 PM

I converted my TJ from a 5-speed to an automatic two years ago. Automatics used through 2002 were the 32RH which is a 3-speed with a lockup torque converter. The 32RH is an extremely rugged and reliable transmission with its only drawback for some people that it does not have a 4th gear as an Overdrive. I converted my TJ to use the 32RH. One note, the 32RH is what is used for the 4.0L engine. The 2.5L 4-banger uses a lighter duty version of the 32RH called the 30RH.

2003 and newer Wranglers use the 4-speed 42RLE which does have that extra gear to give it an overdrive but it does not get a lot of praise. It's not all that reliable and its final overdrive ratio is so steep (makes the rpms too low) that you need to gear the axles very low to overcome that final overdrive ratio. It seems to give problems, more than would be expected... I guess its car heritage means it's not really beefy enough or geared right for an offroad vehicle.

The AW4 4-speed automatic, used in Cherokees and Grand Cherokees, is a much better choice if you really want a 4-speed automatic but it's not quite a bolt-in conversion. It can be installed into a Wrangler in a weekend if you're mechanically adept & not afraid of a little wiring. So far as conversions go, the AW4 is pretty popular. Too bad it was never installed into Wranglers by the factory.

Geoff@Bestop 02-22-2010 08:01 PM

Jerry: I get the feeling he's going to, you know, buy one with an auto in it already. Not start building his own vehicle from scratch. But you never know!

autojeepguy: There are always variables (engine in tune, tire size, etc.). I was driving a 2008 Unlimited 4door, and found it needed a heavier foot than I thought it should have needed. It felt pretty sluggish on some hills. But it has 33" or 35" tires, and stock gearing. I drove a 2010 2door on the same hills, and it felt perky. The newer one is still stock.

Personally, I like the JK automatics. Not positive they're up to Jerry's style of rock crawling, but for what us mere humans do, they work great.

autojeepguy 02-22-2010 08:17 PM

last monday i flipped my wrangler into the river, submerging the driver side, and the insurance company totaled it. while i love the wrangler, with the stick being second nature, i need another vehicle and want the automatic so anyone can drive it.

s3nt3nc3d 02-22-2010 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by autojeepguy (Post 553487)
last monday i flipped my wrangler into the river, submerging the driver side, and the insurance company totaled it. while i love the wrangler, with the stick being second nature, i need another vehicle and want the automatic so anyone can drive it.

That's the worst reason I've ever heard...most people do whatever's possible in order to keep everybody FROM being able to drive it (especially the girlfriends!). :punk:

Fweaky 02-22-2010 08:46 PM

I have a TF999 in my 89 YJ with a AMC V8 bolted to it. Its basically a 32rh. I don't baby it and I haven't had any problems so far with about 15K on it since the swap. I thought it was a bad idea to own a Jeep with an auto because the wife would be able to drive it. It turned out to be a pretty good decision, she got to drive my Jeep for the first time after riding shotgun for 20 years and now she has one of her own.

inzgary 02-22-2010 08:53 PM

The ol '96 family Cherokee is auto and has over 225000 miles on it, original trans and never a problem. Not sure if this is the same tranny thats in the TJ but take care of them and they'll return the favor.

Jerry Bransford 02-22-2010 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by inzgary (Post 553510)
The ol '96 family Cherokee is auto and has over 225000 miles on it, original trans and never a problem. Not sure if this is the same tranny thats in the TJ but take care of them and they'll return the favor.

Your XJ has the venerable AW4 which is an excellent long-lived transmission. Unfortunately, the factory never installed them into the Wrangler though plenty of Jeepers have put them to good use in their Wranglers.

doclouie 02-22-2010 09:02 PM

My XJ had 247,000 on the original trans. Too bad it went through that light pole. Now I am a TJ guy.

IslandTJ 02-22-2010 10:48 PM

I've been driving my 32RH since 1997 and it's pretty much bulletproof. The only weakness that I can think of, is the idiotic vent/breather hole placement on the top of the bellhousing.

burton160w 02-22-2010 10:56 PM

Yea that's something to consider. The breather on the 1997-1999 (correct?) is on the under-side of the Jeep and can lead to hydrolock quite easily.

But I'm a 5-speed guy.

bergy 02-23-2010 03:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fweaky (Post 553506)
I have a TF999 in my 89 YJ with a AMC V8 bolted to it.

x2 ^ ... i have a AMC 304 V8 with the TF999 in my 87 wrangler and i have had no problem with it

Jerry Bransford 02-23-2010 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by burton160w (Post 553634)
Yea that's something to consider. The breather on the 1997-1999 (correct?) is on the under-side of the Jeep and can lead to hydrolock quite easily.

The breather on the auto tranny used from '97 to 2002 is on the upper face of the bell housing, where it bolts to the engine. While the vent can let water into the transmission which is major bad news for an automatic, it won't cause hydrolock which is a term used for when the engine gets water inside. That's an even bigger problem. If you have the AX-5 or AX-15 5-speed, your vent is on top of the transmission where it too is susceptible to letting water inside the transmission. :)

autojeepguy 02-25-2010 12:39 PM

wrangler automatic reliability
 
does any jeep wrangler owner have a definitive opinion on the reliability of an wrangler with an automatic?:banghead:

IslandTJ 02-25-2010 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by autojeepguy (Post 555580)
does any jeep wrangler owner have a definitive opinion on the reliability of an wrangler with an automatic?:banghead:

I am the first and current owner of my Jeep. I purchased my Sahara in 1997, it's an auto with the 32RH. I drive my Jeep daily to work and I have fun with it on the weekends.

My 32RH automatic transmission over the past 13 years is definitely RELIABLE :)!

Note: One upgrade for the 32RH I highly recommend, is the Mopar deep transmission pan. It resolves the stave fluid issue on steep inclines and provides a drain plug for a cleaner fluid exchange.

SBakerUMC 02-25-2010 01:04 PM

Mine is an auto and I love it. I can focus more on the terrain at hand in steep climbs I can put it in park and look if I get caught on something and start with ease. My Wife can drive it and it makes Highway driving easier. I don't have any problems with it. I like Mannual sport cars, but My jeep is my DD and it rides the trails fine with the Auto.

laxdadof3 08-27-2013 02:03 PM

so how do most people with the 32rh fix the breather problem?

IslandTJ 08-27-2013 03:46 PM

Relocating vent on 32rh 3 speed auto - JeepForum.com

TJDave 08-27-2013 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by autojeepguy (Post 555580)
does any jeep wrangler owner have a definitive opinion on the reliability of an wrangler with an automatic?:banghead:

Holy Crap!

I have a 2004 Wrangler with the 42rle auto. 11,000 miles, barely two years old, and completely stock when I bought it. I have never had a problem with my automatic transmission, except for the gearing thing when I started messing with the Jeep. I just re-geared for the bigger tires. Used to be a daily driver for a few years, now just a toy. Currently at 48,000 miles.

How's that? :p


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