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Old 11-20-2011, 08:41 PM
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Cool WJ Transmission slippage problem (or not)!

Hi Folks - I have read every "Transmission Slippage" thread I could find and found nothing like what happened to my '03 WJ tonight. I have a 4.0 I6 with a 42RE transmission. After about 40 minutes on the highway this evening at around 65-70 mph, my wife and I pulled off to grab a bite to eat. From the highway off ramp to the restaurant, everything was fine - did about three stop lights with no problems at all. We stopped and ate in the car - I even started it back up and moved to a different parking space several minutes after we got there. No problem! We finished eating (maybe 20 minutes) and started to pull out and the transmission started to shudder and would barely get out of it's own way. I stopped for a minute and tried again - same stuff. I feathered it and got out onto the road and was able to get it up to speed by feathering the throttle.

Once it got into 4th gear, it locked up fine. I came to a rotary just before the highway and had to stop. This time, I could barely get it to move - a combination of feathering and prayer got it moving again. I headed down the on ramp onto the highway and really had a difficult time getting it up to 55. Once it kicked into 4th, it locked up and got us to our exit about 20 miles later. I tried to keep up enough speed to keep it from downshifting and was successful. The first stop light I encountered turned red and I thought "Oh Crap". The light turned green, I stepped on the throttle and off she went like nothing had been wrong? The rest of our trip was fine. I checked the trans fluid when I got home and it was full - it was clean too! I shut it off and let it sit for 25 minutes or so and took it back out for a short spin - NO PROBLEM! WT#?

I just don't want this to happen on the way to work or back - any ideas? Sorry for the novel - wanted to make sure all the details were here.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:29 PM
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Re: WJ Transmission slippage problem (or not)!

If a clutch is slipping, soon you get a strange burning smell to the tranny fluid. Check this out first. There are 2 clutches in the tranny which are used in all gears, except 4th: the direct clutch and overrunning clutch. If the clutch was the problem, you wouldn't expect it to work normal again lateron. So it probably had something to do with the control pressure of the clutches. Could be caused by the valve body or even by the control cable adjustment. If it happens again, try the manual 1 and manual 2 positions, to see if they continue working normally.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:49 AM
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Re: WJ Transmission slippage problem (or not)!

Sounds like what happened to the 42re in my 93 ZJ. It seemed to be locked up in a high gear, and after a short while I couldn't get it to move at all, it would kill the engine as soon as I shifted out of neutral. I would take it to a shop and have the bands checked and adjusted and the fluid and filters changed if it hasn't been done in a long time.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:30 PM
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Re: WJ Transmission slippage problem (or not)!

If you put the tranny in drive and this will kill the engine, then the problem is the torque converter and not the tranny. The torque converter acts like a normal clutch on a manual tranny, it should release or connect the engine to the tranny. If it doesn't, you will kill the engine when coming to a stop or when putting into drive. This is mostly caused by the torque converter clutch which doesn't release. Slow acceleration however could be caused by the tranny in the wrong gear. As mentioned before, try manual 1 and manual 2 when it happens again.
But some new fluid and filter sometimes will do wonders.
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