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Hi, I hope this is the right forum for this.  I am doing a resto mod project with my 1956 Willys Pickup.  I am in the process of installing a 4.0 from a 2004 Wrangler into it with an AX15 5 speed and Dana 300 transfer case.  I rebuilt the AX15 by following the FSM from Jeep Chrysler as well as a few youtube videos.  All clearances are spot on.  Now that the trans is together I went to bench test it and the shift lever will go through the gears although reverse is slightly harder.  I can turn the input shaft by hand in 3rd and 4th gear only.  1st, 2nd, 5th and reverse will not allow me to spin the input shaft by hand.  Has anyone come across this before.  Just looking for some guidance before I tear this trans apart again.  Also note that this was an early AX15 (internal slave) that I have converted to external slave.  To do this I bought the newer bellhousing, bearing retainer plate, shift fork as well as changed to the newer style input shaft that uses the 3/4" pilot bearing.  It has all new synchros, seals, bearings, synchro keys and synchro snap rings.  Thanks for any help you can provide.  

-Chris   

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03USMC41...This sounds like input bearing or mainshaft-to-input pilot binding.  4th gear is direct and does not require free spin between the input shaft and mainshaft.  You're testing the transmission on the bench, not coupled to the engine?

Before tearing down, try removing or at lease loosening the front bearing retainer bolts.  See if that enables the input shaft to rotate freely and the gears to move.  Try the same with the rear case bolts without disturbing your RTV sealant in the case sections.

These tests will address concerns about binding along the mainshaft, between the bearing at the back of the input shaft and the mainshaft, binding synchronizers or troubles elsewhere along the gear train.   Synchronizers differ per AX15 years, and this can sometimes be the issue.  You'll find discussions about the synchronizer rings and footnotes about these parts at the forum exchanges.  Use our forums search box with the keywords "AX15", "AX-15" or "synchronizer".

Another area of concern would be the rail interlock pins and balls.  If the rails and shift positions seem to index okay, this is likely not an issue.  The sequencing of these parts is tricky and a key element in the rebuild.  The AX15 is a close tolerance assembly, a European design, that works great when every piece is spot on.  Parts and case sections should drop into place and not require force.  Don't give up or sublet this work, you are better off rebuilding this unit yourself to assure a reliable outcome.

If you do need to tear down again, I offer a step-by-step rebuild instructional video that has helped many builders.  Steps are FSM based with my decades of AX15 experience thrown into the mix.  The actual unit depicted is an earlier type with the later iron front bearing retainer upgrade—essentially what you have done with your unit.  

Here is the link to the Vimeo On Demand rental step-by-step if you need to go that route.  The trailer is below;  the rental video is over an hour and a half long:  

Let us know how this goes...Start with loosening the front bearing retainer.

Moses     

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Thanks, 

I will try this as soon as I get home and let you know how it goes.  The trans is not coupled to the engine right now.  I was just trying to check things before attaching it to make sure I didn't screw something up.  I'll let you know how it goes tonight and see where to go from here.  I'll definitely be renting your video if this things comes back apart.  

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So nothing changed when loosening the bolts so I drained the gear oil and removed the bearing retainer.  If you pulled the input shaft out as far as it would go everything functioned as it’s supposed to through all gears.  I’ll try and attach a pic so you can see the gap created.  I will say there did not seem to be as much engagement between the input and main shaft almost like they were barely connected.  

1AD6CBFD-0A95-47F0-96B7-445A3912E2AE.jpeg

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There is likely a bind along the geartrain either at the input-to-mainshaft pilot, pressure at the synchronizer rings/sync hubs or pressure against the input gear.  Sounds like you got the rails and other pieces properly in place.   Read through this post on the differences between early and late synchronizer rings:

This is the timmy960 exchange mentioned in the above post:

Moses

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Also, forgot to add when in neutral I can spin the input shaft however the output shaft also spins freely and according to the Weber State video the output should not move at all in neutral.

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Moses, to add to the above there was also a small plastic funnel inside the case when I originally took the trans apart.  I had inquired on a facebook page before finding this forum and had an overwhelming response of "never seen that"  "doesn't belong" type responses.  I have since come across a new replacement for sale while looking for other parts and it says it it the rear counter shaft oil funnel with a part number of 83500646.  I did not see this part in the FSM.  Would you have a picture of where this goes so I can put it back or is it in the vimeo video?  I plan on renting the video next week when I'm off work and have time to teardown and go back through the trans.  Thanks again for all your help.  I have posted a picture of the part I'm talking about.  This is a stock photo as mine has definitely seen better days and will be getting replaced. 

oil funnel.jpg

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03USMC41...Weber State is correct if the transmission is in the vehicle or installed.  Unless the clutch is disengaged in Neutral, the input gear cannot turn.  On the bench or in the vehicle with the clutch disengaged, the input shaft not only will turn freely in Neutral, it better turn in Neutral.

The part you show is the "Oil Receiver Pipe", items #32 and #50 in the two illustrations below from different year listings.  This part first appears in 1992 Mopar® parts catalog listings for the AX15.  (The AX15 was used from 1989-99.)  Its distinct application is the 2WD XJ Cherokee that uses a longer tailhousing and a speedometer drive gear on the output shaft.  This device also appears on the AX4 and AX5 (four-cylinder, lighter duty) transmission parts listings.  As a point worth mentioning, the Toyota R150F transmission (essentially an AX15) found in the  late '80s 4Runner does not use this piece.  Did the Weber State video (a Toyota transmission prototype) show this oil receiver?  My prototype AX15 depicted in the how-to video is 1990 era and did not have the piece. 

The AX4 and AX5 also had 2WD XJ Cherokee applications with the longer tailhousing.  As a possible clue, 4WD versions of these transmissions do not have a long tailhousing or speedometer drive on the output shaft.  4WD AX15 models drive the speedometer from the transfer case.  The 2WD speedometer drive and/or a long tailhousing may play a role in the use of this oil receiver.  If this device is OEM in a Jeep 4WD application, maybe oil pools at the tailhousing on steep inclines and benefits from a supplementary oil return to the main case.  Or maybe this is supplemental oil for the counter fifth gear bearing?...Pure speculation here, as there is no reference to this receiver anywhere in the Mopar® service manuals.  If you do need to disassemble the AX15 and install the piece, update us on how the piece fits and where this oil gets channeled. 

Mopar parts catalogs from 1989-99 are vague about the applications that use this piece, but if your transmission came with the part, by all means install it when you assemble the transmission.  It is difficult to visualize where this piece fits.  The parts diagrams show the pipe or stem end facing toward the counter shaft end (near the fifth gear).  If you install this oil receiver "funnel", please share pictures of how it mounts.  Your photo of the part shows clips and locating tangs.  The oil receiver must capture oil and direct it somewhere.  The device cannot be spinning;  so does it attach to the tailhousing/case, collect oil and direct it toward the bore at the end of the counter gear?  Does this pipe feed the 5th gear or bearing?  If the oil goes to the counter fifth gear bearing, that would be worth noting.   

Later parts listings for the TJ Wrangler again show this device:  "83500646 1 ER0 DDQ PIPE, Oil Receiver".  You're correct about the part number.  The "pipe" or "oil receiver" wanders in and out of AX4, 5 and 15 parts listings.  My various Mopar® FSMs for 4WD models do not show this part in the disassembly or assembly process. 

Rule of thumb for a 4WD application with a short tailhousing:  If the transmission has never been disassembled (factory OEM build) and does not have this part, it is not vital;  if it did have this piece, reuse it.  The line gets blurred when a transmission has been rebuilt previously.  There's a chance that the piece has been left out. 

Let's determine what the oil receiver does and its importance for your AX15 build...if any.  I would like to see a snapshot of the tailhousing case interior to see if there is a place to mount this oil receiver.  The 1990 AX15 prototype depicted in my video does not have a mounting location for an oil receiver/funnel/pipe inside the tailhousing/output case.

image.png

image.png

Click on these illustrations and expand for more detail...Trust this helps.

Moses

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To clarify that the AX15 was offered with and without a reference to the oil receiver, here is Mopar parts coverage from 1989-91.  Note that the oil receiver is absent from these illustrations and parts lists.  Click on image to enlarge;  item 16 in top illustration is a snap ring, not the receiver:

 

 

image.png

image.png

 

 

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I took this a step further and looked through a variety of AX15 illustrations and even YouTube videos.  The somewhat primitive drawing below is the closest explanation for the oil receiver.  This is a Mopar® cutaway drawing that I stumbled onto online, a 4WD AX15 version with the shorter tailhousing:

 AX15 side view.png

Note the use of the oil receiver behind the counter gear.  The "pipe" fits into the rear bore of the counter gear and must be smaller than the bore to enable the shaft to rotate without disturbing or wearing out the plastic pipe/stem.  If you zoom into this PNG image, two things are evident:  1) the pipe fits into the end of the cluster/counter gear bore, and 2) the piece must clip into a designated locating notch and saddle at the interior of the tailhousing. 

Many AX15 units have no provision in the tail case to position and mount this oil receiver.  Without such a provision, there would be no support for the oil receiver.  Since the pipe must align with the counter gear bore, it's easy to see where the oil receiver would clip into the rear/interior face of the tailhousing...

Note:  Look at the oil receiver photo that you supplied.  Note that the device would need to clip into a provision in the inner tailhousing/case.  If this is an accurate photo, there is a tab on the plastic oil receiver for clipping the receiver into place. 

As for its purpose, one explanation might be that this receiver or "funnel" captures oil pooling or collecting at the back of the tailhousing and channels that lube into the counter gear bore.  This would reduce excess oil accumulation in the tailhousing (imagine the vehicle on a steep slope or during acceleration) and direct this oil into the fifth gear hub bearing.  If you take the unit apart, you should see that the counter gear bore feeds to a vertical lube port for oiling the fifth gear hub bearing.  This is the split cage needle/roller bearing set. 

If you do disassemble your X15 again, some photos of the oil receiver's location, the counter gear bore and the vertical lube port for the split cage bearing would be helpful to other builders.  If your unit had this piece originally, there will be a place to mount the oil receiver/funnel.

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