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AW4 Transmission Rebuild

Old 07-26-2016, 01:28 PM
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Default AW4 Transmission Rebuild

Recently bought a high mileage (>307K miles) Cherokee. I bought it from the original owner who says it is still on its original motor and trans.
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My goal is to do a thorough renovation on the vehicle; along those lines, I recently bought a "newer" transmission off another forum member. This trans is believed to have about 170K miles on it, so I decided to rebuild it.

Below are some pics of the disassembly. It looks to me like someone may have rebuilt it in the recent past but I could use some help. If any of you AW4 trans experts could take a look at the pics and tell me what you think I would greatly appreciate it.

The trans is out of a 97 and will be going into a 93. I am told that this is doable with some minor wiring mods?
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Here it is on my kitchen counter; the wife was at a bridal shower...
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The fluid was a little brown but not too bad. There were no metal particles of any kind and not even much paste on the magnets. The pan and filter were clean as well.
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This part caught my attention. The crud on top of the part on the right doesn't seem like it ought to be there...
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The steels and the friction discs all looked really good. The friction discs look almost new, no?
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These steels concern me a little. It looks like they may have gotten hot a some point in there lives.
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Here is a shot of those same steels with their respective friction plates.
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These friction discs look new to me?
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Any way, disassembly is about done. I have more inspection to do before ordering parts and reassembling. The below video was incredibly helpful and the repair manual is available online if you look. I will take more pics as I get the thing cleaned up. I have been turning wrenches for a long time but this is my first transmission rebuild, so please chime in if you have any feedback.


Last edited by RickBois; 07-26-2016 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Fixed video link
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:49 PM
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Hmm, what was wrong with the newer transmission?

Also, what is wrong with the original one in the Jeep?

These things are tough to kill. When they act up, usually a fluid change, cable adjustment or solenoid will fix it.

I would try those things first before going through the trouble of swapping in a transmission I had rebuilt.

Good luck though and let us know what you learn. I am sure more experienced members will chime in and help you out.
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Old 07-26-2016, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTires View Post
Hmm, what was wrong with the newer transmission?
Maybe nothing... That's why I am asking for any AW4 gurus (or auto trans gurus) out there to take a look at it. I bought it from a forum member I consider a reliable source, but it's been thru a few hands and it's pedigree is unknown.


Originally Posted by OldTires View Post
Also, what is wrong with the original one in the Jeep?
Maybe nothing... As far as I know the original transmission in the Jeep is just that: the original 307K mile transmission. I appreciate that these transmissions are hard to kill, but IMO, 307K miles is a lot of miles on any engine or transmission.


Originally Posted by OldTires View Post
These things are tough to kill. When they act up, usually a fluid change, cable adjustment or solenoid will fix it.
Good gauge, thank you for your feedback.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:09 AM
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Let us know how it goes. Any tips and pics are appreciated.

I dream of doing the same - buying a spare trans to rebuild and then install - but I don't trust myself to get it right. Plus the patience and diligence is beyond me.

Good luck.

Last edited by OldTires; 07-27-2016 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTires View Post
Let us know how it goes. Any tips and pics are appreciated.

I dream of doing the same - buying a space trans to rebuild and then install - but I don't trust myself to get it right. Plus the patience and diligence is beyond me.
Rebuilding an automatic transmission has been on my "automotive bucket list" for sometime, and this looked to be a good opportunity. I pulled a few more clutch packs apart this morning:
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Old 07-30-2016, 03:05 PM
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A little disappointed no transmission SME's (subject matter experts) chiming in on the condition of the transmission internals. I took the valve body apart a few nights ago; that was fun too.

Here she is right before I split her in half. Funny, no pictures after this single one; it was too intense...
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Old 07-30-2016, 03:34 PM
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Looking at those pics just makes me ill. Hats off to you, OP, for having the ***** to rip apart an automatic transmission. Although I don't know if it was necessary. Those units are as durable as they come. Toyota trucks used a very similar version and in both applications you see half a million miles as a reality. The one with 307k may be good for another 200.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Orlo View Post
Looking at those pics just makes me ill. Hats off to you, OP, for having the ***** to rip apart an automatic transmission. Although I don't know if it was necessary. Those units are as durable as they come. Toyota trucks used a very similar version and in both applications you see half a million miles as a reality. The one with 307k may be good for another 200.
Danger is my middle name...

Actually, my son just graduated high school and is joining the Air Force. In a few months this Cherokee will likely be heading off with him to parts unknown, so I am trying to make it as bullet proof as I can before it leaves my hands.
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RickBois View Post
A little disappointed no transmission SME's (subject matter experts) chiming in on the condition of the transmission internals.
I've never had to go beyond the front pump in one of those. Thankfully as I don't have the patience for it. Does look like the internals have been refreshed at some point.
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Old 07-31-2016, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Radi View Post
I've never had to go beyond the front pump in one of those. Thankfully as I don't have the patience for it. Does look like the internals have been refreshed at some point.
Thank you for taking a look.

Here are a couple of shots of the empty case after a little love.
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