AX5 Transmission Rebuild Information; Parts, Diagrams, Specs, Parts, & More


If you drive a Jeep Wrangler or a Dodge pickup and the transmission has been giving you trouble lately, you may have been told that you need to either replace it or have it rebuilt. Many Jeep and Dodge owners have been satisfied with their decision to have their transmissions rebuilt because they’ve had good experiences as opposed to replacing their AX5s.

Replacing an AX5 transmission instead of rebuilding it is not always a good choice. When you rebuild a transmission, you’re renewing all the essential components, so you know the transmission is in optimal working order. However, when you opt to replace your transmission instead, it isn’t always possible to determine if there are parts of the transmission that are getting ready to fail until it has already been installed in the vehicle. Certain parts could have little life left, but you won’t know until the transmission fails.

Rebuilding your AX5 transmission

Whether you’re going to rebuild your transmission or have a professional do it, you should be aware of what to expect before the work begins. Your AX5 will likely be rebuilt using a rebuild kit, which includes all the essential parts necessary to make your AX5 like new again. However, some people opt to just buy an already professionally rebuilt AX5 transmission, Regardless, however, your rebuild kit should include:

  • Bearings
  • Gaskets
  • Seals
  • Input shafts
  • Counter shafts
  • Synchro rings
  • Synchro hubs
  • Needle bearings

If necessary, your kit can also include individual gear and shift forks.

AX5 Specs

Before the rebuild of your AX5, you must know the specifications which can familiarize you with the specific component of the transmission. Here are the specs of the AX5:

Case: Cast aluminum with cast iron mid-plate

Input shaft: 14 spline | extends 7 1/2”

Output shaft: 21 spline

Length: 15 5/8” | 22 1/2” w/ bellhousing

Some common reasons for AX5 transmission failures

There could be a number of reasons why your AX5 has failed, but the most common reasons are loss of the fifth gear, which is the overdrive gear, leaking due to a faulty hydraulic throwback bearing, and synchronizer problems. Due to the frequency in which these AX5 problems occur, it’s very likely that one of these issues was the cause of your transmission’s failure.

Required tools to rebuild your AX5 transmission

You will need several specific tools when rebuilding your transmission, in order to dissemble your transmission, remove parts, and reassemble it once everything has been replaced. Two especially essential tools are a high-quality gear puller and a hydraulic press. Without a hydraulic press or gear puller, it would be nearly impossible to rebuild your transmission.

If you purchased your rebuild kit from the dealership, you should ensure that you have a warranty in case something needs replacing or otherwise goes wrong. You might also want to inquire about any additional tools that you might need to complete the rebuild, as well.

What does rebuilding your AX5 transmission entail?

Rebuilding your AX5 transmission will require a great deal of patience and technical knowledge, as it certainly isn’t a job for an amateur who has never even seen transmission components before. In order to rebuild your AX5, you will first need to remove the transmission from the vehicle and disassemble it.

Once your transmission is disassembled, you will then carefully inspect each part to determine which parts are faulty. In order to do this, it is necessary to clean each part with a special solution. Once you’ve identified the faulty parts and replaced them, it is time to reassemble your transmission and place it back inside the vehicle.

Your transmission system consists of transmission fluid, which provides lubrication for proper functioning, and the planetary gear set, which is the heart of the transmission and is necessary for your transmission to function. There is also the torque converter, which assists the vehicle with stopping without causing the engine to stop, and it provides your vehicle with the extra force needed to start and accelerate smoothly.

What about upgrading to the AX15?

The AX15 is a new and improved, upgraded version of the AX5 transmission that was built to perform optimally, and without all the problems that the AX5 had. Although looking at these two transmissions side-by-side, most people are unable to distinguish many differences, if any, but the AX15 has larger gears, larger bearings, and other improved components that can only be seen if the transmission is disassembled.

The AX15 boasts a brand new straight shifter that is ready to conform to the driver’s own personal shifting preference. This new and improved transmission also features a cast-iron front bearing retainer, which dramatically increases resistance to leaks. Many Jeep or Dodge pickup truck owners opt to upgrade their AX5 transmission to the mighty AX15 instead of rebuilding the AX5, but it’s a matter of personal preference. It also depends on a person’s budget, because rebuilding the AX5 is a lot more cost-effective than totally replacing it with the AX15.

The AX5 transmission was first introduced in 1987 when it was first used in Jeep Wranglers as well as Jeep Cherokees. This transmission is a manual, 5-speed that features a split case. If you are going to be rebuilding your transmission due to failure, then hopefully this guide will help you to understand what rebuilding it entails, what specific parts and tools you’ll need, and more, so you can soon enjoy driving your vehicle again.


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