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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the really, really basic backstory (and I'm happy to provide more details as required):

I've got a 2001 TJ w/the NV3550 transmission paired to our good, old 4.0L I6. My clutch went through the floor, coincidentally right in front of a brake repair shop here in Austin. Because of my lack of a suitable work space, I chose to have the shop replace the clutch, flywheel, clutch master/slave cylinder, and, because it was shredded, the bearing retainer (basically a sleeve that covers the main drive shaft going into the transmission). They took way too damned long and charged me $1700. Yes, I know I got the shaft (pun intended). After putting it all back together, they reported that 3rd and 4th gear were out. I had lost total faith in them, and had the Jeep towed to another shop that specialized in transmissions. They wanted $2410 to rebuild the NV3550, but I found a refurbished, warrantied unit for $800 that they agreed to install for me. After re-installation, they theoretically test drove it, and reported a "shudder" in 2nd and 3rd. After having driven it for two days, I'm not noticing much of a shudder BUT when I'm on the highway, go into 5th gear, and even barely touch the throttle, it pops right out of gear. I'm also hearing a whirring, transmission-y sound more than I'm used to. It could be just a breaking in period for the newly refurbed tranny, but I thought I'd include that detail.

I've already checked and made sure there's nothing physically preventing the shifter from going into 5th (i.e., the rubber boot, plastic retainer, etc. are not blocking anything).

My question, which of these three is the likely culprit:

A) Bad refurb transmission
B) Bad clutch work at the first shop
C) Bad mounting of refurb transmission at the second shop
D) All of the Above
E) None of the Above

I'm already out $3100 and almost three weeks of my life dealing with this. Any and all well-informed avenues of exploration would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

Thanks, y'all.
 

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1997 TJ Iron Squirrel
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Dang man, I'm sorry to hear it. I wouldn't think that those kinds of problems would come out of nowhere though. My bet would be something might not have been adjusted right when it was installed, or just a bad reman unit. At least you have a warranty on the trans itself, and almost any shop will warranty their work for a certain period of time. I'd advise take it back to where they installed the trans and talk it over with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Big Bad John.

Through my research, a lot of folks think it might be the synchros in the transmission, itself. Fortunately, the folks at THAT place are nice, and stand by their products. The other two shops that actually did the work were incompetent and unprofessional, in my opinion.

Anybody else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some folks have suggested it might be a transmission mount or alignment issue.

Would a local mechanic be able to check that out with disassembling everything all over again, do y'all think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some additional information: I can stiff arm the shifter and "hold" it in 5th and drive down the highway just fine. Does that help?
 
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