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AW-4 Manual Shifter


This is Version 2 of the AW-4 Manual Shifter....or at least it is version 2 for me.  BrettM at AWShifting stepped up to the plate with a new design when I informed him that his previous shifter was experiencing some problems in my TJ.  I was basically running the prototype and so the fact that it had a minor problem wasn't a total surprise.  I had helped BobP install his AW-4 shifter (same model used in my first install) and his displayed the same problems right out of the box.  It took BerttM a little time to iron the kinks out of the new shifter design, but I think the wait was worth it.

The new shifter resides in a box similar to the version 1 except that it is about half as deep.  The new shifter uses a programmable interface chip instead of the plethora of sequencing relays used in version 1. 

The interface for version 2, into the AW-4 tranny computer, is identical to version 1.  Same wire count and wire colors are used in the new version.  This made for a relatively easy installation for me.  I cut the existing wiring off at an appropriate spot and then soldered the new wires (using heat shrink for insulation) into version 1's wire harness.  In doing it this way, I didn't have to deal with removing and reinstalling the wires that I have soldered into place near the AW-4 tranny computer's interface plug. 

With the vehicle side of the shifter's wiring harness taken care of, it was time to turn my attention to the shifting controls.

The new shifter was designed to operate with two shifting inputs, one for up shifting and the other for down shifting.  They share a common +12V power line and thus have only two other wires going into the controller.



I used a pair (the two large red buttons) of normally open switches with momentary contacts.  The buttons are about 1" in size and so make it pretty easy to shift without looking. 

The controls are mounted on a piece of 1/4" aluminum plate.  The large hole in the plate is sized to just fit the console shifter.  A 1" thick collar with a matching hole, is TIG welded to the plate.  I tapped the collar for a couple of 10x32 set screws.  This securely holds the plate in place on the tranny shifter. 

The two small toggle switches, lower left area, turn the AW-4 shifter on/off and lock up the torque converter.  A pair of wires connects both of the toggle switches to the shifter box. 

The LEDS were salvaged from my version 1 control box (just like the red switches).  BrettM changed the configuration for their wiring but it wasn't a big issue to switch it around.  They now use a common +12V line and the shifter box applies a ground on a wire that goes to each of the LED's negative power leads.  As before, the LEDs light up as you upshift and extinguish as you down shift.  I have mine wired so that 1st gear is on the left and overdrive is on the right.



A pic of my controls mounted on the tranny shifter.  I attached the suck-down winch switch to the lower right section of the plate.  It's a handy spot for the control switch. 

Much like the control box I had for the version 1 shifter, this control plate is still a work in progress.  It will most likely get modified (or not) if I feel like putting some more effort into it.   I'm still considering reducing the plate size and mounting some LEDs up near the instrument cluster area.  That would make it easy to see the selected gear without having to look down at the existing controls.  Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't.  It will depend on how this one works out. 



I did the vehicle interface wiring on BobP's version 2 shifter.  He made a control plate when I made mine.  Bob mounted his LEDs in the coin tray (at the front end of the center console) and used a momentary ON-OFF-ON toggle switch to gears (it's the single toggle located in the lower left corner of the plate).  The other two toggle switches are the power and torque converter lockup.

Well, that is about it for the version 2 installation.  It was straight forward and recyling the wiring and parts from the version AW4 shifter made it pretty easy. 

If you have done an AW-4 swap and you haven't installed a manual shifter yet, I strongly urge you to give it a try.  Being able to hold 1st or 2nd gear, at will, while off-road, is the best feature this mod brings.  Being able to "row" through the gears, so to speak, on the street or highway is just an added benefit.

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