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Fitting 8 speeds into Wrangler

by David Zatz on

The Jeep Wrangler is one of two vehicles still being built with Mercedes’ five-speed automatic (made by Chrysler in Indiana). The reason for that, according to Allpar sources, is the length of the ZF eight-speed which would be much better for Wrangler: it may fit into the Unlimited, but it won’t fit into the standard Wrangler.

Even when the next-generation “JL” Wrangler arrives, that transmission will be too long, as it’s made now. Yet, Automotive News and Allpar have both heard that the iconic Jeep will indeed have the eight-speed, which is practically mandatory if one wants to get the most out of the Pentastar V6 engine — especially if the Wrangler drops down to the 3.2 liter version, as we expect.

The solution may be to carefully alter the transmission and transfer case, according to former Jeep engineer, and current engineer-at-large, Robert Sheaves. See his illustrated article to learn more about how the eight-speed can be shoe-horned into even short-wheelbase Wranglers.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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