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Hi all! I'm trying to figure this one out with my 2003 WJ 4WD 4.0L. I like to think I take good care of the thing, fix problems as they arise but this one has me genuinely concerned.

Lost reverse functionality yesterday. Got it back later on after driving around some and restarting. Today, reverse worked but was shaky and after driving around and backing into my spot (so I could pull out later) it was making grinding noises at first, then a shift to drive and back to reverse did away with the noise. Otherwise the car runs and shifts gears in drive like a dream.

Checked transmission fluid, looks appropriately full and well colored.

Another thing is a subtle clicking noise that increases frequency with acceleration, new since this problem occurred yesterday.

I'm planning to drop the pan and take a look and change fluid and filter if things are together down there. If I find broken metal, I'll reorient and go from there😬

Last week I had bad shifting so I replaced the throttle position sensor (TPS) and idle air control valve (IAC) which fixed that problem. However I did still commute with the car while suffering these symptoms because it was a little bit of trial and error. Could that have damaged the transmission?

My other question: if the reverse functionality is intermittent and sometimes works perfectly fine, does this suggest a mechanical/gear problem or perhaps an electrical issue with presumably the PCM? Or maybe I need a new pressure regulator solenoid? Maybe the shift cable?

To me it seems odd that it is intermittent and gives me hope I don't need a rebuild, but I don't know transmissions well so maybe I'm misreading the symptoms.

Would really appreciate any pointers or suggestions from you all. Definitely gonna drop the pan and see what I get and will update. Thanks in advance!
 

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How many miles? Any CEL trouble codes?
First thing i'd do if you haven't done it already is to scan the OBD-II for any trouble codes.
Are you positively 100% sure the tranny fluid level is not low?

For some reason unbeknownst to me some high mileage vehicles tend to have extreme vibrations when in reverse.
If not a low fluid level could be a faulty tranny reverse solenoid. Unfortunately you'd have to drop the pan to test or replace it.
One other thing to check is to make sure the tranny shift linkage is doing what its supposed to do.
 
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