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1988 B2 Auto-Trans issues (loose bolts)

SPUDLEYDORIGHt

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1988
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2.9 V6
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Automatic
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I thought I'd start a follow-up to another thread that I jumped into: Start/Trans issues

I recently purchased my 88 B2 EB from another member here w/ some knocking come from the automatic transmission. It ran through the gears fine and drove fine. The knocking sound was coming from the trans. The trans had been rebuilt by AAMCO about 30k miles ago. Inspection showed the passenger side lower trans/bell-housing bolt was completely gone and the middle one (same side) was backed all the way out and about to fall out. I replaced the missing bolt, tightened the other and the rest checked okay. I removed the starter and examined the flex plate but did not see any noticeable cracks.

After re-securing the trans, the knocking was still there as well as a new leaky rear-main seal (yay). I am fairly mechanically inclined and have done some serious projects (diesel swapped a CJ8 and back), but I don't really like messing w/ automatic transmissions. So I took it to a local transmission shop to have it looked at. Their initial diagnosis:

1. Bent flex plate with cracks
2. Rear main likely caused by trans being loose and then re-secure.
3. Unknown additional until they get it pulled.

Initial quote of about $1100. Still waiting for the final bill but I told them to just make it right. I've done rear-mains multiple times on my Jeep and I really don't want to do another!

I will keep you posted. In the mean-time, I'm working on a new-to-me rear hatch that has the removable glass and a working locking mechanism.

bronc_jeep.jpg
 


RobbieD

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Thank you for the update. I hope that you get it squared away right, with a reasonable cost.

That is a nice looking B2.
 

4x4prepper

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Nice vehicles, is the Jeep a 1/2 hard top with a solid back behind the front seats and turned into a mini-truck/half-cab ?
 

SPUDLEYDORIGHt

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Location
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1988
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Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Safety Second
Nice vehicles, is the Jeep a 1/2 hard top with a solid back behind the front seats and turned into a mini-truck/half-cab ?
It's a CJ-8 Scrambler. Has a longer wheelbase than the CJ-7. Was built w/ option for the 1/2 hard top or half soft-top. There is a removable lower bulkhead below the rear of the top. Manufacturers later came out w/ full hard tops and full soft-tops. CJ-8 were only available from 1981 to 1986 (end of the CJ era). Fairly rare and more valuable than a CJ-7 or CJ-5 however there were only available with an inline 6 or iron duke 4. No 8 cylinders however a lot of guys swap them in.

IMG_5365.jpg
 

SPUDLEYDORIGHt

New Member
Law Enforcement
U.S. Military - Veteran
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Messages
19
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Location
SW Idaho
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco 2
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Safety Second
Got my B2 back from the trans shop today. The loose trans to bell-housing bolts caused the flex-plate to crack and bend. None of the bolts (with the exception of the one I replaced) had any loctite on them which contributed to them backing out. They have loctite now. With one side of the trans not being secured, it allowed enough flex under load to damage the flex-plate. They also found some of the bolts on the torque converter lose. All of that also led to the failure of the rear-main when I resecured the bolts. Total bill was $1100. I could have done the work myself as it was mainly remove and replace. And I could have saved $700 in labor costs, but I got such a bargain on the B2 that I was okay spending the money at a reputable transmission shop and having it done right. This trans was re-done by AAMCO and it sounds like if they would have used some blue loc-tite, this all could have been avoided.

If this trans fails again (which it probably will at some point), I will do a manual swap.
 

4x4prepper

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Thank you for the update. I can not remember if I have ever used lock-tite when doing the transmission bolts on a Ranger/Bronco2, BUT, with an older vehicle where the holes might be hogged out, it is not a bad idea. I have used black RTV before on my (former) 351w/C-6/NP208 to secure bolts so they would not back out. From my winching logs and the flexing of the B2 drive train, my starter recenly came loose! Luckily I caught the problem in my driveway. So, i can see how worn engine- transmission - transfer case - body mounts might cause drive train flex and contribute to the bolts loosening up.

> It's a CJ-8 Scrambler
> Fairly rare and more valuable than a CJ-7 or CJ-5

I was selling cars at dealerships in the 1980s/1990s and it seemed like you couldn't give them away. When I was a parts man/driver and service manager at the AMC/Renault/Jeep dealer, I do not remember seeing one in for service or ordering parts for one, so, they were are pretty rare even back then. I would have liked trying one out as a snow plow for small driveways.

> There is a removable lower bulkhead below the rear of the top

Learned something new today, thanks :)
 

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