Converting the AX15 internal slave cylinder to external

Tree top flyer

New Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
18
Location
Minden, Nevada
Every person I have talked to about the internal to external slave cylinder conversion says it is well worth it. I bought the NOVAk conversion. My issue right now is that their installation instructions are geared to removing the transmission. I just finished a rebuild of my 4.2L engine, and it is OUT of the Jeep.
NOVAK instructions are also seem to be written for experienced mechanics and NOT a "shade tree", like me.

Can someone offer help on installing the external slave cylinder installation, especially on how to measure the "air gap" on the throw out bearing with the engine out, instead of the transmission. I don't want to have to install the engine and remove the transmission to accomplish this conversion if it can be avoided..

Any ideas/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

machoheadgames

Certified YJ Researcher
Supporting Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
1,312
Location
Dallas, TX
I'd highly recommend returning the Novak kit and go with factory style external slave parts. Novak converts you to a custom setup which while easier to fix, will not be super easy to get parts for if they die. With the factory setup you can just run and get stock style parts when you need to mess with it.

I would offer help for the Novak stuff but I personally don't have experience with it and don't know anyone who has installed one. I have only looked at it online a few times over the years.

If you choose the factory style route, you mostly need a bellhousing, a front bearing retainer, new clutch with TOB, clutch fork, clutch fork spring, clutch fork pivot ball, and the master/slave assembly.

If your firewall is 87-90 (sure it is since you have a 4.2L), then you need to modify the holes in the firewall for the 91-95 clutch master cylinder, or adapt the 87-90 master cylinder to the 91-95 slave cylinder. I would prefer to mod the firewall to accept the later master cylinder so that you can always buy pre bled 91-95 master/slave assemblies.
 

machoheadgames

Certified YJ Researcher
Supporting Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
1,312
Location
Dallas, TX
What exactly is so good about the external slave cylinder besides it being easier to repair? I just ordered a rebuilt AX15 from these guys, https://reman-transmission.com/transmission-codes/?code=AX15, to replace the busted AW4 I have right now and I want to make sure I get it setup just right the first time
Being easier to repair IS what makes it so good to go with. When the internal slave dies you have to pull the transmission, and there are no known-to-be-good internal slave options on the market. So you are putting in a part that will work indefinitely which means you may be dropping the transmission in a year, 2, maybe 5. They tend to fail pretty early so you can count on early changes, which just gets old fast when the transmission has to come out.

The external isn't perfect, they die too, but it's a 15 minute repair vs taking most of a day. Plus the convenience factor, I can change the external in the parking lot of a store, I can't do that with the internal. It's just a better and much more convenient design.

If the factory parts were still available than internal wouldn't be so bad as the factory parts actually lasted a while.