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How to Identify a Jeep 42RE Transmission

by Floyd Drake III

The Jeep 42RE automatic transmission is a descendant of Chrysler's Torqueflite 727 transmission and directly related to the A500 light-to-medium-duty Chrysler truck transmissions. The 42RE was first used in Jeep Cherokee vehicles in late 1993, until it was replaced by the 42RLE in 2004. It is a four speed, automatic overdrive, electronically controlled transmission, which differs from the 42RH transmission because of the hydraulic control. You can identify the transmission with visual clues and by locating the model/part numbers and the date code.

Go under the vehicle to access the transmission, if still installed. The transmission is generally located under the front seats, slightly forward of the middle of the vehicle. Access the transmission from the driver's side.

Count the number of bolts attaching the pan to the transmission's underside. According to Transparts, all transmissions related to the Chrysler A500 and Torqueflite TF-6 have 14 bolts on the diameter of the pan. The pan is square with one corner cut on an angle.

Locate the electronic governor solenoid attached to the transmission housing. The governor solenoid has a wire attached that leads to the main wiring, eventually going to the dashboard. This is the electronic control for the transmission, differentiating it from the 42RH hydraulic-control transmission. It is usually found on the driver's side of the transmission.

Look for the transmission part/identification number and date code. According to the 42RE service manual on Scribd.com, the codes are located on the driver's side of the transmission, stamped just above the oil pan gasket surface. The first group is the assembly part number, followed by the manufacturing date. The last group is the transmission serial number.

Contact a Chrysler/Jeep parts department to translate the codes and positively identify the transmission.

About the Author

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.

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  • under truck image by Patricia Mesanko from Fotolia.com