Do the WW2 manuals get it right?

Do the WW2 manuals get it right?

Many times questions were asked about “is it normal for the jeep (T-84J) transmission to be “noisy”.  I have asked this question myself.  It had been too long since I “rebuilt” my transmission…about 15 or so years so I couldn’t remember what it sounded like when it was “new”.  Some claim that the jeep transmission is normally noisy…or it’s cousin the transfer case is.  So according to them, it’s no big deal.  Perhaps it is all a matter of degree. One man’s noise is another’s music? Before I rebuilt my transmission last year I was deeply concerned over the noise coming out of the transmission.  To be fair to those who responded to my questions, it is difficult if not impossible to diagnose sounds that have been translated into the written word and, of course, this was being done over the Internet. As it turned out, I had the right to be concerned, the countershaft gear was about 1/3 gone!  And still, Frankenjeep™ lived!  It clung to life even as I pushed it to 55mph (with an evil non-sacrosanct or is that synchrosanct over-drive) for a final round trip of about 138 miles before the rebuild.  The tranny never let me down. When I disassembled the T-84J that is when I discovered the damage.  Not knowing what other damage might have been caused by bits of metal “floating” around in the case, I elected to buy all new gears and shafts.  For this project, I purchased most of the parts from three vendors.  I repurchased some parts because the brand new synchro from one vendor turned out to be brand new junk…could not get it to slip.  Some parts I purchased from Europe through eBay.
While many of my parts were likely re-useable I felt it best to use all new gears and shafts.  I did re-use the shift forks, the case, and the tower.  Pretty much everything else was new.  I figured that if there were any problems with the tower, it’s easy to replace item while the transmission is still installed in the jeep. Assembling the T-84J is really not difficult. There are about 58 parts, so it isn’t brain surgery, just following the steps and asking for clarification when the steps aren’t as clear as they could be. That’s why I wrote/edited/filmed a how-to rebuild the T-84J and now produced this book.  So anyone with basic tools can do the job. After assembly and installation in the jeep, I have now driven it for over a year…not as many miles as I would have liked…but I can tell you that the transmission is NOT noisy at all.  Sure it’s not Coup Deville caddy quiet. But there are no loud whines or any grinding noise….except when I mis-shift. Why would anyone think that T-84J is a noisy transmission?  After all, if you purchased a rebuilt transmission from respected dealers, you would expect it to be in good condition, right?

Perhaps all of you know this but I didn’t.  Rebuilt can be a misleading term.  I was told by a dealer that I respect that basically, a dealer rebuild consists of new bearings, synchro, new shafts, gaskets, seals and small parts kit as I remember it.  The gears aren’t replaced. This doesn’t mean they wouldn’t replace a broken tooth gear but also means that the parts could be just inside of their wear tolerances (like the bushings). Of course, this all could be my imagination.  I distinctly recall that my transmission was very loud prior to the rebuild.  I even tried synthetics (okay) and higher viscosity lubes (don’t do it!).  I drove it this morning without the top and I couldn’t hear it, perhaps just a quiet, “hmmm” but nothing more. So if you don’t know the condition of your transmission and it is noisy perhaps it isn’t “normal” and is begging for a rebuild.  My last T-84J rebuild included about $600 worth of new parts from Richard Grace. Very reasonable.  Sure the fellow I rebuilt this for could have purchased a “new” rebuilt transmission for that but it would have had all new guts for that price?  I put it together for him and that might have been worth about $400 of my time if I had been charging.  So for about grand, you could have basically a new transmission.  It took me several weekends to take the transmission apart, order the parts I needed and to assemble the transmission.  I discovered other parts (shift rails) that failed to clean up, that needed to be replaced.  Also, I was filming the rebuild.  All of this added up to delays.  It more than likely wouldn’t take a shade-tree mechanic, more than a weekend to rebuild the transmission, assuming you pre-ordered all the parts up front. If you assemble it yourself instead of having someone do it; you would save a lot and learn a lot.

While I enjoy driving my jeep much more than working on it…sometimes working on it can be fun as well.

If you want to learn about rebuilding or troubleshooting your own T-84 transmission, check out my book –

Trouble Shooting And Rebuilding The T-84J
Available from and other booksellers.