Best 42RLE Transmission Upgrades

Published: 09/14/22 •  5 min read

Most likely, your four-speed automatic transmission is giving you trouble while reading this website. Problems with the 42RLE transmission are well known.

The transmission frequently shifts poorly, has a tendency to overheat, can become stuck in second gear, downshifts partially, and switches between first and second gears with difficulty. The torque converter engages too early due to computer control, adding to the complexity and delaying the shifts.

Common Problems with the Jeep 42rle Transmission

Among several issues, this transmission has been plagued with three major issues that indicated the need for more than minor repair or an upgrade kit. These are:


A transmission oil dipstick may usually be used to measure the transmission fluid level. If there is not enough fluid, the mechanism can break down.

Valve Body Malfunction

The majority of the time, a transmission oil dipstick can be used to measure the transmission fluid level. However, insufficient fluid could cause the machine to malfunction.

Grinding & Clunking Sound When Shifting

This issue will arise more frequently with manual transmissions because if the clutch does not release in time for the gearshift, the gearbox will grind. But with the Mopar 42RLE  Automatic, this has been a frequent issue.


More frequently than other automatic transmissions, the 42RLE appears to experience overheating issues. Some advice installing a transmission cooler to solve the issue. As many Jeep owners have found, recognizing this problem is too late to avoid replacing their transmission.

The Chrysler Recall–Why 4 Transmission Upgrades are Still Needed

Chrysler recalled roughly 250,000 vehicles equipped with 42RLE gearboxes in November 2005. In order to remove this unclear threat and prevent any potential injuries, dealers were instructed to install a bracket to ensure that the parking anchor shaft can stay in the appropriate position.

The Problem

Contrary to many other Jeep parts, you can’t just swap many of the 42 RLE’s parts and end up with a better transmission.

This transmission is more directly linked to your Jeep’s computer than other easily swappable transmissions. The 42RLE transmission has a history of issues. The transmission frequently makes poor shifts, has a propensity to overheat, is prone to get stuck in second gear, only partially downshifts, and has a tough time switching between first and second gear. The torque converter engages too early due to computer control, adding to the complexity and delaying the shifts.

This combination of issues makes an upgrade to a new or re-manufactured transmission your best option. When a 42RLE shift kit is not enough, here are your best options.

“New” Transmission Replacement

Best Option for the Money – Reman-Transmission 42RLE

They are our number 1 choice for the best option to replace your 42RLE transmission. This isn’t a new trans, it’s better than new.

Not merely a 42RLE that has been rebuilt, this OEM 42RLE replacement transmission has undergone a thorough remanufacturing process using new parts to address all the issues this transmission has previously experienced.

Each unit has a remanufactured lock-up torque converter that is performance built and increases efficiency, concentricity, and balance. Reman uses several enhancements to mak

e its 42RLE the only replacement you will ever need, including the solenoid pumps, clutch packs, and valve bodies.

PRICE: The list price for the 42RLE replacement is only $2,260 which is cheaper than the rest of them. Be sure and check their website often because their replacement of the 42RLE is often marked down significantly like it is now. They also offer a 3 or 5-year warranty and free shipping to commercial addresses.

This is more of a hybrid replacement than a brand new unit because more of its parts are remanufactured. However, the parts are known to have past issues or are completely new. Included with this replacement are:

Only brand-new vehicles that have just rolled off the production line can be said to have truly “new” transmissions. Every component, from the metal casing and gears to the springs and seals, is newly stamped, extruded, or manufactured in some other way.

Every other transmission on the market is remanufactured, used, or rebuilt. Even if a dealership replaces the transmission as part of the warranty, it will still be a remanufactured transmission and not a brand-new one.

Both first two choices offer free pick up for your core and a 5-year unlimited warranty.

The Rest

The Bottom Line

Remember, there is no such thing as a new replacement for your 42RLE transmission. However, both of our top picks are better than stock! Remember to have your 42rle transmission identification when you inquire.