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Renix AW-4 Transmission Swap into a YJ
'87 XJ AW-4 into '93 YJ

By Shad Ahlstrom

Stu's comments:   I received an e-mail about mid-February regarding Shad's AW-4 swap into his YJ.  While he knew my site's focus was for TJs, we both agreed that beefing up the site's AW-4 content, in this case for the YJ folks, would be a good thing.  Because the other AW-4 transplant write-ups come up pretty high in the Google search engine, lots of folks end up on the site even though they may not have a TJ.  Well, now there is some very excellent information, thanks to Shad.  He wasted no time putting together the write-up and photos and sending them along in a few e-mails. 

I'll admit that I wasn't totally up to speed on the Renix AW-4.  A quick spin through Wikipedia filled me in on most of the highlights.  In many ways, I believe Shad had more of a challenge than I did when I did my AW-4 swap. 

So.....without any further delay, here is Shad's write-up about his AW-4 project. 


I have been thinking about an automatic for a while now. When I'm climbing boulders and steep terrain or sitting in stop-and-go traffic, my right arm and left foot get quite a workout. I also have a short throw shifter that requires some arm strength so that probably doesn't help much. An auto would greatly benefit when I'm out climbing rocks. Balancing the clutch, gas and brake while at extreme angles doesn't quite produce the nice, smooth ascent I would like. 


I happened across a buddy's '87 Cherokee Laredo with some nasty electrical problems. Problems so severe that it has been sitting in a parking lot for 2 years because that's where it died. He gave it to me before it got towed away. I jumped and spliced what I could and it started.


I limped it all the way home and into my driveway and there it gasped its last breath. I did everything imaginable to get that sucker to fire but the electrical gremlins won. It's a RENIX system so the parts are a bit hard to find. The cost to replace the yet unreplaced sensors, ECM, injectors, coil, tires, body pieces and a cheapo coat of paint would have pushed the repair bill to double the Blue Book value. Even then, I'm just not an XJ guy.


I took the transmission, torque converter, flexplate, dust shield, transmission control unit, plug ends, shifter, shifter cable, crossmember, cooler lines, trans mount, transfer case, linkage, transfer case lever, TV cable, wheels and the brake pedal.


The local wrecking yard came for the rest. Hopefully the other useable bits have found a good home.


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