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I bought this 1997 TJ with 168 thousand miles on it. The trans was slipping pretty badly probably cause it has never been serviced. I can imagine the cost of doing that cause of having to pull the shield. Well I pulled the shield and took down the pan. inside was like mud with friction material on the bottom. I changed the filter and put a bigger pan that hold 2 more qts of fluid and changed the fluid a couple of more times not doing a complete flush. I also adjusted the bands to specs. Now when I start off theres a very short stretch then it shifts to the next gear. I think I have a problem from 1st to second because when it finally shifts to second it goes to third with no problem. Ive been soft shoeing it for 9,000 miles now and have put 7,000 mi since the last oil and filter change. My question is, what band adjustment should I be concentrating on, the one in the pan or the one by the bell housing? Im saving my money to get the trans rebuilt because I want to drive without having my mind on this all the time. Should I try another filter and oil and adjustment before I drop 1800$ on a rebuild? The Jeep is def worth it. No body or chassis rot and it runs great. any input on what I should do would be appreciated..

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Superwinch...When any automatic transmission slips this much and has this amount of friction material in the pan, its lifespan is marked.  One look at the clutch pack frictions and the thin band material close-up, it's apparent that slippage of any kind will quickly cause transmission failure.

Your buy some time fluid and filter change, including the long overdue band adjustment, did gain some time.  In my experience, you will find a large amount of additional friction material in the pan after 7,000 miles of additional driving.  If there is slip between 1st and 2nd gear during the upshift, this is likely a band and clutch pack issue.  Worn clutch frictions also reduce the apply pressure on the clutch packs, so slip is more likely. 

You might check the throttle pressure setting, the throttle valve adjustment or cable adjustment.   You can also invest in a test pressure gauge and follow the factory pressure checks for line pressure and the hydraulic pressure in each gear.  Low pressure will cause slip.

This late point in the wear pattern, I would plan on rebuilding the transmission.  This is a basic Chrysler 904/999 or 30RH/32RH rebuild.  Whether you sublet the work or attempt the build on your own, this is a basic unit without complications or expensive parts.  If you catch the wear at the right point, you can reduce the need for hard parts. 

If this were my transmission, I'd have my workbench clear and ready for a rebuild project.  Be sure to install a new or rebuilt torque converter.  It's assumed that debris has contaminated the entire transmission unit.  Be certain to have the transmission cooler flushed at the same time.

The Jeep looks very clean and worth a transmission rebuild.  At 177K miles, a 32RH rebuild would be expected.  


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