4WD Sport Utility

"XJ Cherokee owners are no longer at the mercy of their automatic transmissions' computer, or stuck with the unexpected unwanted, and potentially hazardous automatic downshift to first gear that occurs in the 1-2 shift position.

CompuShift Plus, an easy to install computer shift control for XJ's, allows push button shifting in the 1-2 shift lever position. The CompuShift Plus also allows the Cherokee to start in second gear in mud, snow, sand, or other slippery surfaces.

We installed a CompuShift Plus in an XJ, and immediately noticed its benefits. In the dunes, where we needed to start in second gear low range because first gear was too low, the CompuShift Plus enabled us to start in second and climb the dune (before, when starting in first, we were unable to make the climb).

Trail riding was also easier, as that unexpected jerk of the Cherokee when the tranny downshifted to first gear low range was eliminated by the unit. Whenever we needed first, it was easily accessed by a push of the switch.

Phil Howell Editor

Four Wheeler

Best Buys in 4x4 Accessories

"Now that you have gone to all of the trouble of researching the best buy and bought a truck, what next? If you bought a Cherokee with an automatic, spend the extra money on a CompuShift Plus. This will enable you to decide which gear you want--First or Second -- and will make a Cherokee that stick shift fans can deal with. For the insurance provided the cost is cheap."

G.R. Whale Editor

Trailer Boats

"When I tested the Grand Cherokee 4.0 I-6 (December '92), the gearshift lever had a 1-2 position that was very frustrating. Because the 4.0 engine has a lot of rpm available --peak torque is at 4000 rpm--I found it necessary to downshift to first because I couldn't hold speed in second. But it wouldn't go into first gear until I was down to about 20 mph. Then, to make matters worse, it would automatically shift back to second gear at 35 mph (4100 rpm), even though the tachometer had plenty of rpm before peak horsepower and redline.

That late downshift to first gear in the new Grand Cherokee was an apparent solution to an early downshift situation in the smaller Cherokee with the 4.0 I-6.

If the transmission was manually downshifted to the "1-2" position, it was possible for the transmission to automatically downshift with a jerk to first gear at approximately 28 mph. That could be dangerous, especially while traveling downhill on wet or icy roadways or when towing. It could cause the rear wheels to lock and the vehicle to spin out.
....CompuShift Plus is a separate control device that uses a switch to manually control shifting into first and second gears. It also allows takeoff from a dead start in second gear, if needed. In Drive however, it will not affect normal transmission shifting."

Bob Kovicik Editor