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Old December 6th, 2016, 08:55
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Overland Overland is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: The Chihuahuan Desert
Posts: 358
AX5 interchange between early and late

Greetings fellow four wheelers.

I had the occasion of replacing the transmission in my 96 XJ with one from an 86 behind the 2.8. I can report that after swapping the bell housing, it bolted up just fine with my original clutch and release hardware.

I had no trouble swapping the bell housing, but at the time my understanding of the transmission was minimal and it was getting late. While my NP231 splined up to the early transmission and bolted up, the input gear seal landing never reached the seal. This was due to the combination of a short shaft in the 231 and a deeper recess in the early AX5 case flange. I bolted the old NP207 back on and used the early driveshaft.

Now, rather than downgrade to the 207 and live without a speedometer until I can rebuild the original, I had the idea or replacing the back half of the transmission case with a period correct housing. I've read instances of people servicing fifth gear in-situ so I know it can be replaced without removing the transmission by following the back half of the disassembly procedure. What I don't know is if the output shaft is the same length from the mid plate.

I know the 207 flanged up easily to the late transmission, but I'd hate to go through the work getting to it only to find out that my case stops a fraction of an inch short of the flange once swapped. Or worse, it slides together easily but binds once torqued down.

I'll find out through trial and error, but I'd appreciate any input from the more experienced community here. Ski season is here and I don't want to miss any of it because of the 207 shaped spacer between my transmission and rear driveshaft.
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