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97 TJ with auto, too much for tranny?

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by aje3721, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. aje3721

    aje3721 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I'm currently plowing with a 94 YJ, 4.0 and AX-15 and am considering a 97 TJ which I can get into pretty good for the price and condition. The TJ is automatic and I'm wondering how well the auto will hold up. If a guy (or gal) would beef up the cooler and not "abuse" the rig, would the tranny stay together or would it be an ongoing issue. I did search for TJ automatic but didn't find it as a topic so sorry if I missed it.
     
  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

    I have a 2000 with an outo trans I added a trans cooler and in 3 years have had no problems
    EXCEPT when shifting into revers their is a 2 - 3 second wait before it engages. I hate that, nor do I like the auto for plowing.
     
  3. aje3721

    aje3721 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks!

    Meister...I have to agree with liking the stick. It seems natural to hold the control in the same hand as the shifter and go to town. My main concern is the strength of the automatic. I guess if it holds together I can learn to tolerate it. The price of the TJ is going to be too good to pass up.
     
  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

    I dont know if the 97 TJ has the same trany as the 2000
     
  5. Aveerainc

    Aveerainc Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 129

    I plowed for years with a 97manual and it was an ideal setup.
     
  6. Coool

    Coool Junior Member
    from Ct
    Messages: 1

    I added a cooler and deeper trans pan with a drain plug for yearly fluid change.
    Don't abuse it and it will be fine.
    I don't slam into piles, don't shift into reverse before your stopped.
    I have read the 32rh is very strong.


    Wow, I just realized this is my first post! I've been reading this forum for years and would like to thank everyone for their input and opinions. I have learned a lot!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  7. cjshloman

    cjshloman Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    I really think the trans is a personal choice...both will hold up as long as you dont hammer on them. I have a '98 with a manual and I like it...this is my first 5spd Ive plowed with and it just comes natural. I like it. and hey from andover, ct.
     
  8. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 510

    I had cinnamon toast for breakfast one time and it was delicious

    Great comment with no relevance to anything...

    The Auto in the 97 is a very solid trans. You will be fine, My father has a 98 with the same 3 speed auto that he has owned since new. It has been his residential plow vehicle every year plowing at least 40 drives each storm (helped with lots in the first few years before he got an extra truck).

    IT now has 180K and crazy part is, he never changed the fluid until 3 years ago:eek:
    He had the trans shop change the fluid, filter and rear seal, they said it looked to be in great shape and couldn't believe it had been plowed with.

    Make sure you wait until you stop before shifting and youll be fine
     
  9. aje3721

    aje3721 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Gunsworth, Glad to hear the toast went well for you! That was exactly the news I needed. Thanks so much everyone for the input!
     
  10. Aveerainc

    Aveerainc Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 129

    Gunsworth your village is looking for you....they are missing an idiot.

    Most Jeep owners will confirm that a manual is the most ideal set up for a number of reasons but you can roll the dice and do what you want.
     
  11. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 510

    :rolleyes: so original...

    the op never asked anything about using an auto versus manual, he has a manual and for whatever reason he has decided to switch to an auto and asked about it holding up. Everyone has their preference, I have a manual in my jeep but want an auto for plowing because not everyone can be trusted with a manual. Im not even gonna keep going down that road, its just like the ford vs chevy crap, use what you want.

    He asked a question and to me the only idiots are the ones that post answers/input to a topic he never inquired about
     
  12. aje3721

    aje3721 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Okay, everyone play nice. I have everything laying around from the YJ with the AX-15 that I currently plow with to an 84 CJ with a SBC and a TH 350 which doesn't see rain much less be able to plow. I have never owned a TJ and haven't owned a Wrangler with an auto. I am forced to consider the TJ due to the condition of the YJ and the fact that that TJ is coming from a friend at a good price. That being said, again, I am not familiar with the 32 RH. I can only imagine that it's similar to the older TF 904 or 999. I know any automatic can scatter if abused and I also know that a manual would be my first choice. I guess I should have been more specific in my question so maybe this would have been better: Would the 32RH hold up to sane plowing or would it eventually cause me enough drama that I would be better off grabbing a solid, clean TJ, collecting all the pedals, an AX15 and whatever needed to swap it over to a manual before I even expect it to plow. At minimum, I would be installing a quality B&M plate cooler, temp gauge and possible a deeper pan for more capacity. Heat being the enemy of any auto, I would hope that the 32RH would hold up with these additions but I just wasn't sure. Guess I could always drop by a tranny shop and ask...
     
  13. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    If you can keep a clutch in a manual plow truck, an auto will last you a long time. Remember, low range is your friend in an auto.
     
  14. klshelley

    klshelley Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I have a 97 wrangler with an auto. been plowing for 3 years no problem.
     
  15. aje3721

    aje3721 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks for the input. Yea, I know low range can be your freind except when in reverse. I currently have a YJ that initially had 3.07 gears (235 tires) and found myself lugging a little plowing in 1st. I tried low range with various forward gears and it obviously an improvement. That went out the window when it came to backing up. I was screaming the thing and backing up approx. 2 mph!! I swapped out the rears to 3.73 so it was more in line ratio wise to plow in first. Reverse was also a reasonable rate now as well.

    I've heard that the auto in the 97 was sound enough to plow but I prefer a manual. I guess it's easy enough to drop the thing and rebuild it the right way if anything happens. A rather large tranny cooler would also help I guess...
     
  16. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 510

    in my dads 98 with the auto, he had the optional 3.73 gears 30in tires and never had to use low once in the 10 years I plowed with it. he still has not done anything but change the fluid, still going strong nearing 200K with lots of plowing since it rolled off the line. I really miss that thing now that I am on my own with 2 full size trucks. hoping to have a jeep going for next year and it will have the 3 speed auto for sure
     
  17. champgymusa

    champgymusa Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I have a 2003 Wrangler with the 4.0L and automatic trans...I have plowed it since new and my routine is that I only use Mobil One Synthetic trans fluid and I change it every year. I also use Mobil One in the engine and follow the same routine, once a year regardless of miles. It now as 139K on it and seems just fine...I also tow it behind my bus and it has at least 150K miles towed on it and still going strong.