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Dodge Dakota 4x4 Needs AX15 Transmission Extension Housing

Dodge truck Dodge 4WD truck Dodge truck how-to Dodge truck forum

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#1 biggman100

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:29 AM

I have a 1994 4 wheel drive dodge dakota, 3.9l, ax15 5spd, that i need to replace the extension housing on. The extension housing is the piece that is in front of the transfer case, and the shifter bolts into, and the trans mount bolts to.

 

What i am trying to find out is if the extension housing from a jeep will work, since both the jeep and dakota use an AX15. If the jeep housing will work, what years, engines, and models should i look for?

 

Also, is there a difference between a v-6 and v-8 AX15? And, last question, will the complete AX15 transmission from a jeep bolt in and work in the dakota? The local yards say no, but i don't see the trans being that much different between the two makes of vehicles.

 

I need to find out this info because i can find a ton of manual trans jeep vehicles at the local u pull yards, but no manual trans dakotas, so far. The reason i need to change the extension housing, as you can see in the attached pic, is that the person i bought the truck from kind of abused it and didn't seem to care about the consequences.

 

Attached File  IMG_4510a.jpg   108.81KB   0 downloads

 

How the problem actually happened is a lesson to anyone who works on their own trucks, though. One of the trans mount bolts sheared off in the extension housing, and from repeated burnouts, and hard 4 wheeling, the other one either snapped or came out. The vehicle was driven like that until the trans slammed up and down enough times on the cross member and punched a hole in the housing.

 

So, if you are going to be rough on a jeep or a dakota, i would recommend changing the trans bolts with something stronger than the factory ones!



#2 lastCJ7

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 01:14 PM

I'm not up on the ax15's but an AX15 should be an AX15. also check how much to get it welded.


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#3 Moses Ludel

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 03:10 PM

Biggman100, thanks for joining the forums!  We value your input and participation...

 

For openers, the AX15 is used on the 1994 Dodge Dakota, Jeep XJ Cherokee, and the YJ Wrangler.  2.5L four-cylinder and 3.9L V-6 applications of the 1994 Dodge Dakota 4WD pickup truck use the AX15 Aisin transmission.  Dodge Dakota 4WD pickups with the V-8 engine use the NV3500 5-speed transmission. 

 

By parts listings, there are differences in complete transmission units from Mopar for each of these models.  Six-cylinder Jeep applications use the AX15; four-cylinder gasoline powered Jeep U.S. models use the lighter duty AX5.  The AX5 would not fit your Dodge Dakota—nor would it be reliable for that application.  Here are the 1994 Jeep parts listings that come up for Aisin Warner AX15 and AX5 transmissions:
 
COMPLETE 5-SPEED TRANSMISSION ASSEMBLIES FOR JEEP APPLICATIONS

Listings below can be either an AX5 or AX15, depending upon the engine application:

52108022  XJ 2.1 Turbo Diesel Engine 1994
52108121  X1,XJ 2.5 Turbo Diesel Engine. 1995
52108049  YJ,Y1 2.5L Four Cylinder Engine, 4WD
52108045  XJ, X1 2.5L Four Cylinder Engine, 2WD
52108046  X1 2.5L Four Cylinder Engine, 4WD, EGYPT, MALAYSIA
52108046  XJ 2.5L Four Cylinder Engine, 4WD
52108021  X1 2.5L Four Cylinder Engine, 4WD, CHINA, ARGENTINA, VENEZUELA,
MALAYSIA, EGYPT
52108050  Y1, YJ 4.0L Six Cylinder Engine
52108048  XJ, X1 4.0L Six Cylinder Engine, 2WD
52108047  XJ, X1 4.0L Six Cylinder Engine, 4WD
53009526  ZGZJZ1 4.0L Six Cylinder Engine
52109021  ZGZ1 2.5 Turbo Diesel

 

1994 DODGE DAKOTA 4WD PICKUPS USE THESE AX15 MOPAR REPLACEMENT TRANSMISSIONS:

 

52109035   1994-95

52109035   3.9L Engine, 1996

52108465   2.5L Engine, 1996

52108036   3.9L - 6 cyl. Gas

 
COMPLETE TRANSMISSION NV3500 FIVE SPEED FOR V-8 DODGE DAKOTA PICKUPS

53006633   4x2, Through 11/20/94
52108019   4x2, After 11/20/94
53006634   4x4 1994
52108120   4x4 1995-96
 
1994 Jeep XJ Cherokee and YJ Wrangler AX15 Adapter/Extension Housing for 4WD 

 

04636372  X1,XJ
04636373  YJ,Y1

1994 Dodge Dakota AX15 ADAPTER, Transmission 4WD

04636372  Dakota pickup

 

So, the extension/adapter housing you need can be a Jeep XJ Cherokee AX15 4WD type from an inline 4.0L six-cylinder model!  The extension housing differences for the AX15 relate to necessary adapter length, 4WD versus 2WD, motor mount location, clock position of the transfer case and other distinctions.
 
The complete AX15 transmission listings are also different and may contain ratio differences.  If curious, you could research the ratios for a Dodge 3.9L V-6 Dakota versus a Jeep Wrangler or XJ Cherokee application.  I have data on the YJ and TJ Wrangler and the XJ Cherokee transmission ratios from 1989 to 2000.
 
Advance Adapters sells brand new AX15 5-speed transmissions.  The Advance Adapters unit is a direct replacement for 1997-2000 Jeep TJ Wrangler AX15 (4.0L inline six-cylinder applications).  2001-up, the Jeep Wrangler 4.0L and the last XJ Cherokee 4.0L 4WD models use the NV3550 transmission, derivative of the NV3500.  A very insightful footnote at the Advance Adapters website catalog shares these details:
 
NOTE: These AX15 transmissions feature a 13 degree tailhousing rotation and are exact replacement transmissions for 1997-2000 Jeep TJ Wranglers. If installing this AX15 into Jeep Cherokee, the tailhousing rotation will be wrong. Cherokee transmissions have a 23 degree rotation tailhousing. The rotation difference will lead to install issues with the Cherokee NP231 transfer case shifter.
 
This is clearly the distinction on the Mopar extension housings.  Measure your transfer case rotation.  The Dakota 4WD should follow an XJ Cherokee 4WD tailhousing clock rotation.  Presumably, ground clearance and front driveline position/angle dictate the rotations.

 

Looks like your search for an extension/adapter housing just reached out to the Jeep XJ Cherokee 4WD with a 4.0L inline six.  Same part number!  I can confirm fit if you find an extension/adapter housing from another model year of the XJ Cherokee 4.0L 4WD AX15 5-speed transmission.

 

When the bolts snap, there's usually huge elongation or side load force.  Sounds like the Dakota 4WD pickup might have had a shock load or suspension bottoming episode from leaping and landing the truck.  Does it have a lift kit?  Sometimes the driveline angles or length of the drivelines will allow the slip collars and splines to collapse and bottom, exerting severe force on the transfer case, enough to break the case—or possibly snap transmission bolts.  
 
Moses



#4 biggman100

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 05:15 PM

The Dakota doesn't have a lift kit, it is all stock suspension, but, after listening to the previous owner, i wouldn't be surprised if he used it as if it did have a lift kit. He lives in a very rural area, with lots of back roads, and even some seasonal use only trails, that i know he drives on regularly, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out he had been jumping it, or even getting it stuck in mud and using extreme force to get it unstuck.

 

Moses, thank you for your time and effort in finding the information i needed. Your help and advice are greatly appreciated. The next time i have an issue on any of the 4 wheel drive vehicles that my family owns, whether it be ford, dodge, gm, or any other make, i will definitely be coming to the magazine website and forums first for needed advice and tips. With several family members and friends who like to, as they put it, actually use their vehicles off road, stuff is inevitably breaking, and the magazine website and these forums will be very useful to us.

 

A replacement extension housing shouldn't be too hard to find around here then, since the favored jeep in my area is the cherokee and grand cherokee, and there are quite a few of those in the local full service and u pull yards around here.

 

Lastcj7, because one of the mounting points is completely destroyed, and the other has a busted bolt in it, there would be no point in having my existing adapter housing welded.



#5 Moses Ludel

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:48 AM

Thanks much for the feedback...I apply the same energy at the magazine website and forums as my journalism or book writing...We all deserve researched, accurate information!

 

I look forward to your family's participation at the forums.  Please share and encourage folks to join in the discussions!

 

Moses



#6 biggman100

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 03:23 PM

I was wondering if when you had a minute, if you could look up the part number for the adapter housing, and let me know what years dakotas and cherokees it will work out of. I asked the local yards, and even a couple transmission shops, and they can't seem to find that information. The part number i need info on is 04636372 1.



#7 Moses Ludel

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:30 PM

Hi, Biggman100!  The part number (from my earlier search) is without the "1" at the end, the "1" is a reference to quantity.  I'll edit that post listing to avoid any confusion...

 

4x4 applications with an AX15 transmission that use this 04636372 adapter part are within model years 1992-99 and include:

 

1) 1992-99 4.0L XJ Cherokee

 

2) 1992 MJ Comanche pickup with 4.0L six

 

3) 1992-93 ZJ Grand Cherokee 4.0L (Very rare, I've never seen one!)

 

4)  1992-99 3.9L V-6 Dakota 4x4 pickups like yours!

 

I went back prior to 1992, and the numbers changed.  This Mopar #04636372 adapter to the NPG/NV231 transfer case is reasonably popular.  You have a long list for recyclers.  Surely recycling yards and u-pull-it parts sources have a 1992-up Aisin AX15 from an XJ Cherokee, a rare 4.0L ZJ Grand Cherokee, the last MJ Comanche pickup or a Dakota V-6 application.  You do want a "good used" piece, as the OEM Mopar replacement part under this number retails for nearly $800. (The part is likely outsourced through Aisin.)

 

Let me know how this works out.  There should be junk AX15 cores around that match your transmission's 23-degree clock rotation transfer case adapter #04636372you only need a good adapter piece.  Avoid the YJ and TJ Wrangler AX15 applications, they use the Mopar 04636373 adapter with the 13-degree transfer case rotation...Recall, the new Advance Adapters AX15 transmissions also have a 13-degree clocked adapter, which fits Jeep Wranglers to 2000 or 2001-2006 if you want to replace an NV3550.

 

Moses



#8 biggman100

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 02:14 PM

Moses, i want to thank you for all your help with this. You have been a very valuable source of information for me, when even the local yards weren't very helpful. I did as you did, and looked into that part new using the part number you gave me, and the best price i found was $650, which is out of my price range at the moment, and given that i can get the complete transmission used for $300, doesn't seem worth it to me, so it looks like i will be scouring the local yards to see if i can find that part, and if i don't find it right now, i will just swap my transmission for a used one, and fix mine later, and either keep it for a spare, or sell it as a working used one to someone else who may need one.



#9 Moses Ludel

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:03 PM

You're welcome, biggman100!  I thought this issue could be beneficial to others as well.  We're often finding parts that fit one model or the other.  I found this interchange interesting and gained insight into Chrysler and Aisin parts use.

 

As for that extension housing, I know they are out there.  I'm hearing all the time about AX15 cores for $75 to $150, complete "rebuildable" transmissions.  Given that you only need the extension housing and that your transmission is a quality core, my approach would be finding just the extension housing or the correct used transmission, one with obvious issues.  The likely extension housing donor will be an XJ Cherokee unit within the years I describe, and this will be a direct fit. 

 

I have the Mopar parts catalogs from 1981-2008.  In researching your extension housing, I found a misprint in the 1997 TJ Wrangler (first year) listing for the AX15:  It shows your 04636372 extension housing!  I know this is in error because the 1998-2000 TJ listings each show the 04636373 piece, which is consistent with the transfer case clock rotation for a YJ/TJ Wrangler—versus the XJ Cherokee, your Dakota or the rare Grand Cherokee.  This also is consistent with Advance Adapters' brand new replacement AX15 that fits the 1997-2000 TJ Wranglers.

 

I'm still puzzled over how many 1992-93 Grand Cherokee models actually had the 5-speed Aisin AX15 transmission.  Personally, I've never seen a manual transmission (stock) Grand Cherokee.  They must be out there, it would be interesting to hear from forum members who know of one.  I'm certain the V-8 (1993-98) ZJs did not have a manual transmission offering.  What a "screamer" that would have been, though!

 

The AX15 has survived behind V-8 swaps and a lot of pounding.  I like the fundamental design and believe it suitable for smaller V-8 use if not abused.  I cover the AX15 rebuild at the magazine with a 209-illustration how-to.  If/when you either repair your existing AX15 or perform a complete rebuild, you will find that article helpful at:  http://www.4wdmechanix.com/Moses-Ludel-Rebuilds-the-Jeep-AX-15-Transmission,-Part-1-Disassembly-Inspection.html.  This link is Part 1, there are two parts.

 

Moses



#10 biggman100

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:09 PM

Actually, that article is how i found this forum in the first place. I had asked about my transmission on dakota-durango.com, and a member there suggested due to how the extension housing came off, and what all had to be removed, that i check out the article you posted about rebuilding them, and after reading your article, and making extensive notes on removing the housing, i stumbled on to this forum, and thought that it would be very beneficial to me, as i don't do much with transmissions except replacement, to become a member, that way if i had issues with anything else that i was working on, i could draw from your knowledge and expertise.



#11 biggman100

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:36 PM

I don't think my transmission even needs a rebuild really. After i used qwik weld to bond the piece back into it, i have been driving it quite a bit, putting over 1400 miles on it so far, and i havent had any issues with shifting, or it acting up in any way at all. it does have a tiny leak around where i sealed it, but as long as i check it every week until i find the piece i need to fix it right, and keep gear oil in it, i don't foresee any issues with it.

 

As for the mis-print in your parts listing for the wrangler, it may actually not be a mis-print. My 1991 dakota was supposed to be a one year only, at least where most parts were concerned, and according to most salvage yards, but when it came time to replace the engine a few years ago, i found, at least in that one, they used the engine from the 1990 model year, and started looking into it. What i found was, they already had some engines left over, from 1990, with matching components, such as ECM, wiring, and a few other things, that they just used in the first few 1991 models, until the 1990 stock was used up. I heard this directly from someone at chrysler, when i had written them asking them about interchange info, because we couldn't seem to find a 1991 engine that matched mine. What they may have done is put whatever left over AX15's and matching transfer cases in the 1997 wrangler, and then when the 1998 came out, they had the new transmission, with the 13 degree clocking, that they used from then on. Another story i have heard, that would make sense, although this one was from ford years ago, was that Ford had built the mustang 2, and the first year, they used the same 5 speed that was in the earlier mustang, but found that as the transmission mount started to soften up, the back of the transmission would come up a little under torque, and would hit the bottom of the transmission tunnel. Maybe something similar happened with the 1997 wrangler, so they thought it was just easier to use the other extension housing in the 1998 wrangler. it would be interesting, at least to me, to find that out for sure. I am always looking for odd stories on why car makers do the things they do, because sometimes, the stuff they do makes no logical sense at all.



#12 Moses Ludel

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:57 PM

Well, kudos to the Dakota-Durango forum members!  Glad they valued the AX15 rebuild, the article has drawn steady traffic each month with its traditional how-to format.  Please say, "Thanks!"

 

I wanted to do a "blueprint" rebuild with each step covered under studio lighting like my books, and the unit happened to be destined for my son-in-law's YJ Wrangler.  I knew the transmission was in store for some hard trail work!

 

Very pleased to get that referral, the AX15 has seen use in the Jeep models, Dakota and Toyota trucks as the A150...

 

Moses



#13 Moses Ludel

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:09 AM

My only thought about the 1997 TJ Wrangler extension housing part number is the Advance Adapters comment that XJ Cherokee shift linkage will not work without the proper clocking—and vice versa.  If they really did stick the XJ Cherokee extension housing transmissions in these first-year TJ Wranglers, there would be a linkage angle issue. 

 

One way to verify this is to see whether the shift linkage is the same in 1997 and 1998 for the TJ Wrangler.  Also, the complete transmission assembly part numbers can be compared for these two years—and also back to the last-year YJ Wrangler (1995).  If the transmission is definitely the YJ Wrangler/TJ Wrangler clocking, and not the XJ Cherokee/Dakota clocking at the extension housing, that would be a clue. 

 

When reasoning this out, the motive Chrysler would have for using your extension housing on the TJ Wrangler would be to standardize the transmission parts.  This would also involve re-clocking the transfer case angle, though.  This could be investigated.  According to the Advance Adapters' notations, all 1997-2000 TJs have the same T/C clocking.

 

An observation about the XJ Cherokee, and apparently your Dakota pickup, is that the transfer case clocking works for these longer wheelbase vehicles.  I have excellent ground clearance at break-over angle with the Cherokee's 101" wheelbase, seemingly better than a 94" wheelbase TJ Wrangler with its deep skid pan.  The TJ skid pan has a lot to do with this, the XJ Cherokee and your Dakota simply have a cross-member and a sheet metal plate for skid.

 

The Dakota and Cherokee each have the transfer case well up in the chassis.  The shorter wheelbase Wranglers require the deep skid pan for protection.  Aftermarket, shallow skid pans have been popular for the TJ Wrangler, increasing the break-over ground clearance.

 

Moses





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