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Old 03-16-2019, 11:36 AM
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6 speed manual replacement options

I have a 2013 Wrangler JKU Rubicon that has the factory 6 speed manual transmission. I have not been happy with the notchyness of the transmission since it was new. The transmission will sometimes seem to go into gear, but then pops out. It grinds, shifts rough, and generally seems to be pretty junky. Every single time you shift it seems like you are on the verge of jamming something... it's definitely not right. I had many warranty services done on it since it was new, but it still feels the same. I am a conservative driver, and I have owned many manual transmission cars in my time, but this one is different.

I was wondering if there is a replacement transmission that is an easy swap. I used to build Fox body Mustangs and we would routinely swap out transmissions to other heaver duty transmissions, five to six speed swaps, heavier duty swaps, etc.. There were several different choices when doing so. I was wondering if there are any alternate manual transmissions that would be an improvement and that would swap over without too many issues. Like a Tremec swap of something. Thanks. -Todd

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Old 03-16-2019, 11:41 AM   #2
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The NV4500 is popular on TJs. Since later model TJs used the same NSG370 6-speed as the JKs, there are probably straightforward ways to get the bellhousing(s) to line up. The JK has more electro-gizmos though, so there may be some trickery involved there to keep the HAL9000 happy.

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Old 03-16-2019, 01:25 PM   #3
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Someone needs to figure out a JL to JK manual swap


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Old 03-16-2019, 01:30 PM
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Thanks. I checked out the NV4500. Is there a six-speed option out there? I saw there is a NV4500 six speed conversion kit, but I think trannys usually get weaker when you do those add-on gear conversion kits. Something about the gear teeth being smaller to fit the extra gear in the same tranny housing.

Is there a six speed manual from a newer Dodge/Ram truck that would work? Or maybe a Viper 6-speed, or SRT-10 tranny? I would like it to be a durable transmission, a 6-speed manual, smoother shifting than the original, and no too crazy to swap out.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:31 PM
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By the way, what is the factory 2013 Jeep six speed called? is it the NSG370?
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:52 PM   #6
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I believe so. They started using the NGS370 around '05.

It is not a bad transmission, but it is not a 'car' transmission, its a truck transmission and you have to treat it as such. No fast shifting, easy on the clutch,,,. Or it will pop out of gear. And if it beaks, have fun finding parts. Yuck.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:47 PM   #7
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Don't the manual Dodge trucks use the same manual 6 speed as the JK?
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:47 PM   #8
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Since later model TJs used the same NSG370 6-speed as the JKs, there are probably straightforward ways to get the bellhousing(s) to line up.
The bellhousing from the 2007-11 (3.8L) NSG370 and 2012-18 (3.6L) NSG370 are different and don't even line up.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:48 PM   #9
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Don't the manual Dodge trucks use the same manual 6 speed as the JK?
No it's too light duty for Ram. The NSG370 has only been used in Wrangler, Liberty/Nitro and Crossfire.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:55 PM   #10
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Someone needs to figure out a JL to JK manual swap
This is your best bet. Finding a way to adapt the Aisin D478 to JK
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:10 AM
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I think that I just got a badly built stock transmission in my Jeep from the get go. I understand that it won't feel like a car transmission, mine is worse than a little 'truck like clunkyness'... unless it is supposed to feel like a 1960's era dump truck with a zillion hard, overloaded miles. Actually, I have driven an old dump truck with a zillion miles that shifted MUCH smoother now that I think of it.

Like I said before, I had many warranty complaints and repairs, but the transmission is still bad. I foresee having to replace it someday since the warranty is expired (it still drives and works, just not so good). I am just trying to see if there is another choice when it comes time to replace it. Another stock tranny would probably be fine if as long as I don't get another 'lemon' tranny. Mine must have been built on a Friday afternoon...or a hungover Monday morning!
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:33 AM   #12
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You may have a defective shifter vs a whole bad transmission. I recently put in the B&M precision shifter on my stock '13's NSG370 to solve a popping out of gear problem. Instant fix and precise shift throws.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:49 AM   #13
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I put in the B&M shifter recently. Wow what a difference!
Money well spent!
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:54 PM
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I thought about the B&M shifter, I have heard nothing but good stuff about it in the Jeep. I liked to use them in my old Mustang days. I might try that and some new synthetic fluid as a band-aid. I am still very curious about tranny swap ideas.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:19 PM   #15
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Try Redline MTL. It doesn’t sound like it will fix your problem but did smooth out shifting some. My transmission is pretty notchy and occasionally I blow a shift into 3rd, it’s like it just disappeared.
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:12 PM   #16
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Try Redline MTL. It doesn’t sound like it will fix your problem but did smooth out shifting some. My transmission is pretty notchy and occasionally I blow a shift into 3rd, it’s like it just disappeared.
I was just about to make the same suggestion. Redline MTL every 30k miles.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:45 AM   #17
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Someone needs to figure out a JL to JK manual swap


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The JL manual may be better than the JK's as far as our it shifts but it is total the wrong gear ratio for the vehicle. Kudo's for the 5.13 first gear but that is totally thrown to the wayside by having 2 OD's. The JK's tranny is a nice close ratio 5 speed plus an OD. The JL is a wide ratio 4 speed with 2 OD's. It would work with an engine that make lost more torque but we don't have engine available that would work. IMO FCA put it in there so they can finally eliminate the manual.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:28 PM   #18
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I have an 04’ TJ 5 speed and a 05’ LJ 6 speed. Both rigs have around the same mileage and my meticulous maintenance. I like the 5 speed way better, it’s silky smooth. The 6 speed grinds a lot when I go into reverse so I’ve learned to be very careful. And the shifter jumps around a lot both at idle and while driving. To throw a wrench to my own statement just today I picked up the LJ after doing a Savvy UA, 1” MML, JK NV241OR swap, Novak shifter canle, and Tom Woods drive shafts. It’s only been a day but so far it’s shifting and driving way better. Go figure.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:35 PM   #19
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Someone needs to figure out a JL to JK manual swap


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Motor Trend, in choosing the JL as SUV of the year, warned readers to bypass the 6-speed:

"However, we'd recommend upgrading the V-6 to the eight-speed automatic. The standard six-speed manual may be new, but multiple judges found the engine's torque delivery poorly matched with this transmission."
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:47 AM   #20
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The NV4500 is popular on TJs. Since later model TJs used the same NSG370 6-speed as the JKs, there are probably straightforward ways to get the bellhousing(s) to line up. The JK has more electro-gizmos though, so there may be some trickery involved there to keep the HAL9000 happy.
The NSG370 is special. Special Ed. special.

Normally, a transmission has three major external parts, the front half of the case, the rear half of the case, and the bellhousing. You get a new or remanufactured transmission and reuse the bellhousing. The NSG370 designers got clever in that the front and bellhousing is a single unit.

It makes for a stronger case with less bolting, but now that means the front half of the actual transmission is engine-specific.

The NSG370s made for the 4.0 I-6 were only made for two model years. An NSG370 from any other model year Wrangler will NOT work because they have V-6 blocks. If you get a brand new transmission made for another engine, you will need to take both transmissions apart in order to swap the front halves with their integrated bellhousings.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:20 AM   #21
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"The NSG370s made for the 4.0 I-6 were only made for two model years."

And 2.5L I4

At least we can still get the guts to replace the inside of the '05 '06 versions as long as the case is solid.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:27 AM   #22
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"the nsg370s made for the 4.0 i-6 were only made for two model years."

and 2.5l i4 [img class=inlineimg]https://www.wranglerforum.com/../images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

at least we can still get the guts to replace the inside of the '05 '06 versions as long as the case is solid.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:51 AM   #23
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OP - you do realize you bought a Jeep, right? If you want smooth shifting I’d try finding an 04 or 05 bmw 545, a lotus evora , and if the pocketbook is there - highly recommend the Ferrari 599 or a mid ‘00 911 Carrera 4.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:41 AM   #24
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The JL manual may be better than the JK's as far as our it shifts but it is total the wrong gear ratio for the vehicle. Kudo's for the 5.13 first gear but that is totally thrown to the wayside by having 2 OD's. The JK's tranny is a nice close ratio 5 speed plus an OD. The JL is a wide ratio 4 speed with 2 OD's.
The gear spread is definitely nice in the NSG, it's just a shame that its reliability has been subpar with no other replacement options.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:00 AM   #25
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2.4l
DOH! Look at my sig, I should know that.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:59 PM   #26
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Motor Trend, in choosing the JL as SUV of the year, warned readers to bypass the 6-speed:

"However, we'd recommend upgrading the V-6 to the eight-speed automatic. The standard six-speed manual may be new, but multiple judges found the engine's torque delivery poorly matched with this transmission."
Yeah, but whoever wrote that prefers automatics, which is totally fine. He also complains about the potential of having a sore ankle in rush hour traffic. I don't care whether the auto gets 10x better mileage, if it's faster, or if the manual is not perfectly matched to the engine. It would have to be virtually undrivable for me not to buy the manual; and in that case I would wait for the next gen.

I'd imagine there will be more aftermarket options for the JK 6 speed as it ages.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:43 AM   #27
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B&M Kit install

Hey guys, I’m just recovering from 5 disk replacements in my neck and trying to plan my upgrades and assemble the parts while recovering. How hard was it to do the B&M swap? I lost a lot of my right arm use for the last year, so no lifting trannies for a while! BTW amazing new neck parts available! They’re like miniature knees made out of titanium/ceramic and it spring loads your neck to give back a lot of the flexibility! Sadly an undiagnosed tumor really tore up the inside of my neck, while the initial doc’s tried to send me to a shrink to convince me the pain and loss of use of my arm was all in my head...welcome to the “NEW” Heathcare USA (Sorry, didn’t mean to hijack thread, just frustrated missed almost a year of living & wheelin’ and would have been quadrapalegic if it went much further)...
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:55 PM   #28
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Don't the manual Dodge trucks use the same manual 6 speed as the JK?
That was the Getrag 238.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:04 PM   #29
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Hey guys, I’m just recovering from 5 disk replacements in my neck and trying to plan my upgrades and assemble the parts while recovering. How hard was it to do the B&M swap? I lost a lot of my right arm use for the last year, so no lifting trannies for a while! BTW amazing new neck parts available! They’re like miniature knees made out of titanium/ceramic and it spring loads your neck to give back a lot of the flexibility! Sadly an undiagnosed tumor really tore up the inside of my neck, while the initial doc’s tried to send me to a shrink to convince me the pain and loss of use of my arm was all in my head...welcome to the “NEW” Heathcare USA (Sorry, didn’t mean to hijack thread, just frustrated missed almost a year of living & wheelin’ and would have been quadrapalegic if it went much further)...
You will need to be able to remove the t-case skid, remove the 4 bolts that hold the cross member to the frame and lower the transmission to remove the donut. The donut will also meed to be trimmed in the inside to fit. The stock shift tower is round and the B&M is square. Almost did it. I replaced the shift lever in my 09 with one from a TJ, because it has a 10mx1.5 thread and Honda 6 speeds have the same pattern with reverse to the lower right. It seemed to be a little sloppier after I installed it and the indexing notch was looser so I filled it in with some JB weld and screwed it back on. Sloppiness is gone. It's not coming out. Hope I don't have to worry about that.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:24 AM   #30
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If you just do the shifter, that’s what I did and would recommend to start.
You can do it from the top in 30 min.
The shifter makes a HUGE difference in shift pattern precision and overall ergonomics.

You can use a 2x4 and a ratchet strap over the roll bar to help remove the old shifter if you have limited strength. There is a video on YouTube that shows how.
My shifter came off relatively easy.....

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