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How to Identify an Automatic Transmission in a 1997 Jeep Cherokee

by Floyd Drake III

Jeep Cherokees for the 1997 model-year were equipped with one of four automatic transmission types, either the 30RH three-speed or 46RH, 42RE or AW4 four-speed. The transmission type depends on the engine: 5.9- and 5.2-liter V-8s used the 46RH, the 4.0-liter V-6 used either the 42RE or Aisin Warner AW4 and the 2.5-liter inline-four used either the AW4 or the 30RH. You can make a positive ID of your Cherokee's transmission by locating its model number.

Access the Jeep Cherokee's transmission by looking underneath the Cherokee. Identification numbers for the AW4 and 30RH are located on the passenger's side while 46RH and 42RE numbers are on the driver's side of the transmission.

Locate the transmission's identification numbers. All four transmissions have their ID tags or stampings in the area where the transmission pan bolts to the transmission.

Identify the transmission. The first set of numbers is the assembly part number, followed by the build date and the transmission's individual serial number. The assembly part number shows the transmission model number.

Tip

  • There are alternate names for the transmissions used on 1997 Jeep Cherokees. The AW4 is also referred to as the A340, the 30RH as the A904, the 46RH as the A518 and the 42RE as the A500. These are Chrysler's designations for these transmissions.

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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