Vehicles made by American Motors Corporation (AMC) and Jeep have used a variety of transmissions and transfer case systems throughout the years in which they have been produced. This article covers transmissions used in the following vehicle models and years:
- AMC Concord (1978–1983)
- AMC Eagle (1980–1988) (Note: This is not the same as the Chrysler Eagle)
- AMC Pacer
- AMC Spirit (1979–1983)
- Jeep Cherokee XJ (1984–2001)
- Jeep CJ(1976–1986)
- Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ (1999–2004)
- Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ (1993–1998)
- Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer (1963–1991)
- Jeep Wrangler YJ (1987–1995)
Transmissions used in later AMC vehicles came with either a 21-spline or a 23-spline output shaft. Transmissions coupled to four-cylinder engines normally used 21-spline output shafts. The 23-spline manual transmission was universal in the Eagle lines and was generally used with six-cylinder applications. All transfer cases were available with inputs matching either 21- or 23-spline shafts, so transmission swaps are possible among various models and years.
The following manual transmissions have been used in the vehicles listed above:
- Aisin AX4 four-speed
- Aisin AX5 five-speed
- Aisin AX15 five-speed
- Borg-Warner HR1 four-speed synchronized unit (used only with the 121-4 engine)
- Borg-Warner SR4 four-speed synchronized unit (used only with AMC 6-cylinder engines and Pontiac 4-cylinder engines)
- Borg-Warner T4 four-speed (used only after 1981)
- Borg-Warner T5 five-speed (used only after 1981)
- Borg-Warner T10 four-speed
- Borg-Warner T14 three-speed
- Borg-Warner T18 four-speed
- Borg-Warner T85 three-speed
- Borg-Warner T96 three-speed
- Mercedes/Chrysler NSG370 six-speed (used after 2005)
- New Venture Gear NV1500 five-speed (used only with 2003–2004 2.4 L I4)
- New Venture Gear NV3550 five-speed (used only with 4.0 L I6)
- Peugeot BA-10/5 five-speed (used only with AMC 6-cylinder engines)
- Tremec T176 four-speed (used only with AMC 6-cylinder and 304 V8 engines)
- Tremec T150 three-speed
The following automatic transmissions have been used in the vehicles listed above:
- Aisin-Warner AW4 four-speed
- GM THM400 three-speed
- Chrysler 45RFE four-speed
- Chrysler 545RFE five-speed (used with 5.7L Hemi engine and VM Motori 2.8L Turbo Diesel, same as 45RFE used with 4.7L but different software enabling a second overdrive)
- TorqueFlite three-speed; used with the 4.2L I6 in most AMC cars
- TorqueFlite three-speed; used with the 2.5L I4 in most AMC cars
- TorqueFlite A727 three-speed; used in AMC Jeep/Eagle applications
- TorqueFlite 42RE four-speed
- TorqueFlite 44RH four-speed
- TorqueFlite 44RE four-speed
- TorqueFlite 46RH four-speed
- TorqueFlite 46RE four-speed
- Ultradrive 42RLE four-speed
The Aisin-Warner four-speed automatic transmission (AW4) was selected by AMC in 1987 for use in the Cherokee XJ's new inline six-cylinder 4.0 L design. It was manufactured by Aisin-Warner, a member of the Toyota group, in partnership with Borg-Warner. It shares many parts with the Aisin 450-43LE that is used in Toyota off-road vehicles.
The AW4 is also used behind the 2.5 L (150 in³) AMC Straight-4 engine. It has a removable bell housing with a mount for the crankshaft position sensor. Early AW4s used 21-spline output shafts. In 1991 the AW4 was changed to a 23-spline output shaft, concurrent with adoption of the High Output (commonly known as H.O.) inline six-cylinder engine. Some sources state that the output shaft spline change occurred for the 1990 model year. The change most likely occurred during the 1990 model run with early 1990 models receiving 21-spline transmission and later models receiving 23-spline. If swapping transmissions in 1990 model year vehicles either swap the transfer case as well or make sure to check spline count. The input on the transfer case can also be changed to match the output shaft spline count. Rear wheel drive only transmissions all have the same spline count on the output shaft, only 4x4 models are affected by differing spline count.
Gear Ratios for the AW4:
- 1st: 2.80
- 2nd: 1.53
- 3rd: 1.00
- 4th: 0.75 (23-spline, 0.705 21-spline)
Models that used the AW4:
- 1987–2001 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) 4.0 L
- 1993–1993.5 Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ) 4.0 L
- 1987–1990 Jeep Comanche 2.5 L
- 1987–1992 Jeep Comanche 4.0 L
In 1970, AMC standardized a variation of the Chrysler-developed TorqueFlite transmission and called it the TorqueCommand. All TorqueCommand automatics used 23-spline output shafts. These transmissions were available in both the Chevrolet V6 pattern (used on the AMC 150 I4 and Iron Duke I4 engines) and the AMC late model pattern that was used on their I6 and V8 engines.
The 42RLE, the version of the Ultradrive transmission that was used by Jeep, evolved from the original A604/A606 Ultradrive. Per its model designation it contains four gears and a torque rating of two. The 42RLE is a modified 42LE where as it is designed to mount longitudinally for rear wheel drive instead of transversely for front wheel drive. By design it has full electronic shift control with adaptive memory to learn the operator's driving habits controlled by the vehicle's Transmission Control Module (TCM). Contained within the automatic's torque converter is an Electronically Modulated Converter Clutch(EMCC) designed act as a shock absorber for harsh shifting.
Gear Ratios for the 42RLE:
- 1st: 2.80
- 2nd: 1.55.
- 3rd: 1.00
- 4th: 0.69
Models that used the 42RLE
The transfer case is an auxiliary transmission that connects the front and rear axles. It also commonly provides a selectable secondary gear reduction. AMC and Jeep vehicles have used several different transfer cases in their various models.
|Case||Offset||Spline||Ratio||Bolt Pattern||Years Used|
|Borg-Warner 13-39||Both Right||10||2.57:1||THM400||1973–1979|
|Dana 18||Both Right||6 (10)||1.98:1, 2.42:1, 2.46:1||Texas||1940–1971|
|Dana 20||Front Right||6 (10)||2.03:1||Texas||1963–1979|
|Dana 300||Front Right||23||2.62:1|| Round|
|Atlas||--||--||2.0:1, 3.0:1, 3.8:1, 4.3:1, 5.0:1, 6.0:1||--||Aftermarket Replacement|
The Borg-Warner 13-39 was a transfer case that could be substituted for the Dana 20. It was part of the first system that AMC marketed as Quadra-Trac. The basic version of the Quadra-Trac was the BW 13-05, which did not have a low range; instead, the optional low range of 2.57:1 was available by way of a planetary reduction unit that bolts to the back of the transfer case. This assembly as a unit was designated as the BW 13-39.
The BW 13-39, which is often, but not always, imprinted with the casting number 13-39, was the first Jeep transfer case to be made of aluminum and to be chain-driven. The output for both the front drive shaft and the rear drive shaft is on the right side. This unique transfer case had an integrated limited-slip differential that splits power between the front and rear drive shafts. It used a vacuum-operated differential that was available for use in both high and low range. A vacuum switch (usually located in the glove compartment) allowed the differential to be controlled by the driver.
The BW 13-39 was used only with AMC's version of the THM400 automatic transmission, which had a special extra-long 10-spline output shaft, between 1973 and 1979. It is not bolt-compatible with any other Jeep transmission.
Jeep has used three different transfer cases made by the Spicer Division of Dana Automotive Solutions Corporation. They are the 18, 20, and 300 models.
The Dana 18 is a gear driven transfer case that has an offset rear output. All Dana 18 cases are cast iron and use the "Texas" bolt pattern with five bolts holding on the transfer case. There are five variations:
- 27-tooth drive gear, 3/4" intermediate shaft and 1.98:1 low range, 3" input hole
- 26-tooth input gear, 3/4" intermediate shaft and 2.42:1 low range, 3" input hole
- 26-tooth input gear, 1⅛" intermediate shaft and 2.42:1 low range, 3" input hole
- 26-tooth input gear, 1¼" intermediate shaft and 2.42:1 low range, 3" input hole
- 29-tooth input gear, 1¼" intermediate shaft and 2.46:1 low range, 4" input hole, Dana 20 case
The normal (3") input Dana 18s are interchangeable, but the input gear must match the transfer case. The "big hole" (4" input) Dana 18 is transmission-interchangeable with the Dana 20. Almost all Dana 18 and Dana 20 input gears are 6-spline; the only exception is the one used with the 10-spline version of the T14 transmission.
All Dana 18s have front and rear outputs offset to the right side. Most vehicles built with a Dana 18 have the rear axle offset to the right side to accommodate this. Most other transfer cases used in Jeeps have a centered rear output that lines up with the input shaft. The Dana 18 always has gears turning, which makes it noisier then some other transfer cases when in two wheel drive mode.
The Dana 20 can be identified by the center rear output, cast iron construction, and deep oil pan. Like the Dana 18, it uses the Texas bolt pattern to hold the transfer case in place. This is a heavy-duty, gear-driven transfer case with a 26-tooth input gear. The output for the front drive shaft is on the right side and the rear output is in line with the input. Its low range has a ratio of 2.03:1.
The Dana 20 is generally compatible with the "big hole" Dana 18. One exception is the version used with the THM400 in full-size Jeep trucks, which used a different spline number on the input gear.
The Dana 300 uses a round bolt pattern and has a nearly flat oil pan. It is a heavy-duty, gear-driven transfer case with a 23-spline input shaft. The case is cast iron but the tail housing is aluminum. The ID number C300-15 is stamped on the case. The output for the front drive shaft is on the right side and the rear output in line with the input. Low range is 2.62:1.
One common modification of the Dana 300 is to add oil paddles to the main shaft to prevent oil starvation of the rear bearing.
The Dana 300 was used in Jeep CJs from 1980 to 1986. The 1980 factory original came with a shorter tail housing and a longer rear drive shaft. The Dana 300 should fit behind all TorqueCommand 4x4 transmissions.
New Process/New VentureEdit
In general, New Process transfer cases are identified by a three-digit code. The first digit (1 or 2) determines the number of gear ranges. The second digit is a series number that reflects design, and provides minimal information about torque handling. For example, if the second digit is a 1, there is no two wheel drive option; if it is a 2, 2WD is available. Other numbers have similar meanings. The third digit indicates differential type: 1 means locked (no differential), 2 means open, 3 means electric locked, 4 and 5 both indicate an asymmetrical torque split planetary gear and gear drive, 6 means an electronic clutch pack, 7 means a hydraulic clutch pack (except for the unique 207), and 9 means a viscous coupler.
The AMC Eagle used three New Process transfer cases (Models 119, 128, and 129) that were single speed versions of the models (219, 228, and 229) that were used in 1980 and newer Jeeps. There was no difference between the Eagle versions and the Jeep versions other than the addition of a low range, indicated by the 2 as the first digit.
New Process transfer cases are chain-driven and use a circular 6 bolt, 23-spline input on the case. The output for the front drive shaft is on the left side. The New Process transfer cases used by AMC attach the same as the Dana 300 except that New Process cases have the front output on the left side. Interchange ('flip') is possible, but there is an indexing lug in the pattern, in an attempt to allow the transfer case to attach in only one position. Thus, some modification on the transfer case or the adapter is required.
Because of changes in the name of the manufacturing company, new versions of the NP231 and NP242 are referred to as NV (New Venture) or NVG (New Venture Gear).
|119||128||129||147||207||208||219||228||229||231||241 OR||242||247||249 †|
↑ The 249 was available in two versions. The early (1993–1996) version had no differential lock and the viscous coupling spanned the center differential, creating a 50/50 torque split. The later version (1996 and beyond) had a viscous front drive, creating a rear torque bias, but included a provision to lock the center differential.
Overdrives and underdrivesEdit
Borg-Warner/Quadra-Trac overdrive was available from early 1960 to 1969. The Borg-Warner overdrive case is 11¾ inches long (less torque tube adapter, if required), including the 11⁄2-inch-thick (38 mm) adapter. A complete T96 with overdrive is 18¾ inches long from front of case to end of tailshaft housing. The overdrive unit is the same for all.
The Dana 18 has a Power take-off (PTO) attachment on the case that can be used to drive equipment that accepts PTO input. A unique feature of the Dana 18 is the overdrive that attaches in the PTO port in the back of the system. An adapter allows use of both the overdrive and the PTO attachment, but it is no longer produced.
Laycock-DeNormanville overdrive was available from 1974 through 1976 for inline six with the 150T and V8 torque tube cars with the T89.
Transmission to transfer case adapters and clockingEdit
Transmissions end with a splined tail shaft, more commonly called an output shaft. When one or more auxiliary units are bolted to the main transmission, these are called adapters, extension housings, or tail housings. All factory applications with a four wheel drive transfer case require an adapter, and many upgrade transmissions that would otherwise be incompatible can be adapted to Jeep transfer cases.
Clocking refers to the angle at which the transfer case is tilted with reference to the horizontal plane. Stock Jeep clocking for the Dana 300 (1980–1986) is usually 23° and stock Eagle and Jeep/New Process clocking is usually 13°. Many factors, most notably ground clearance and front drive shaft clearance, can necessitate a change in the clocking angle. Some aftermarket adapters, such as those manufactured by Novak Conversions feature flanges with multiple clocking options.
The bell housing bolt pattern for the old AMC 196 Straight-6 engine is the same as for the more modern 199 and 232 (used in 1964–1971), but the 196 had different dowel pin sizes. When AMC dropped the GEN-1 V8 engines in 1966, the bell housing changed, but all later V8 bell housings are the same. The bell housing for six cylinder engines changed to match the V8 in 1972 when AMC switched from Borg-Warner to Chrysler transmissions. The flywheel also changed from 153 teeth (a common Chevy size) to 164 teeth (a common Ford size).
The Iron Duke I4 transmission bolt pattern varies between the Chevrolet Small Six and the BOP (Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac). The later AMC I4 had a Small Six bolt pattern, and this was retained for the life of the engine. AMC often used lighter duty transmissions with these engines.
|Engine family||Bell housing style||Flywheel/Flexplate|
|GEN-1 V8 Engines||AMC GEN-1 V8||--|
|Early AMC I6||AMC GEN-1 I6||153 teeth|
|Willys 230 I6||Continental||--|
|GEN-2 and 3 V8s||AMC Late Model||164 teeth|
|Modern AMC I6||AMC Late Model||164 teeth|
|Buick 232 V6||BOP V8||153 teeth|
|Iron Duke||Chevrolet V6/V8||--|
|AMC 150 I4||Chevrolet V6||--|