I have a 97' Grand Cherokee Limited with the 5.2l and 4wd, I think I have the 44E transmission but could be wrong. My problems all started when my tv cable end broke off and I didn't know it...hence my car would not rev above 2800 or so rpms in first and shifting was generally really off. Sometimes it also felt like it was slipping a bit. I finally looked under the hood, discovered the problem and fixed it.
Since then things have gotten much worse for me though, if I am driving at around 15mph (parking lots is where I notice it most) and give it just SLIGHT throttle I get a kind of surging hesitation feeling where the car will surge forward rythmically and slightly. Its not terrible, but its enough to annoy me and for passengers to notice, I can usually fix it by just giving it more gas though. It feels to me as if it wants to shift into 2nd but just cant QUITE do it.
The worst problem I'm having though feels very much to me like the transmission is slipping. If I accelerate from a stop the rpms will go up but not in direct proportion to the rate of acceleration. The weird thing is that its intermittent and doesn't seem to depend on whether the car was warmed up or any other factors. It just simply sometimes does it, sometimes doesn't. This is pretty bad in my book, but the fact that now it does it while jerking and sort of stuttering forward makes it rather terrible indeed. It will actually shake the car loud and hard enough to make **** rattle. When it was shaking the car I actually wondered for a second if it could be the decently worn spider gears in my rear differential, but everything points me towards the transmission. It also now has started making a noise to go along with the slipping and the rattling and the jerking, its kind of a whine...but also kind of like if you were using an electric drill with the clutch set to screw mode and held onto it. I dont know if that makes sense, but thats what it reminded me of. It does the same thing on the 1-2 shift, but doesn't seem to cause nearly as bad a rattling, then its just more of a slipping and sometimes a whiny sound. Its very perplexing to me about when it does do it and when it doesn't...there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason beyond the fact that it does it especially bad under moderate to moderately heavy throttle. Flooring it almost seems to make things better and I've taken to just doing so if I feel it doing its thing on the 1-2 shift.
I've now adjusted the TV cable, which helped get the shift points where they should be and such, but didn't help with the real meat of the problem. I also checked the fluid and noticed that it smelled a lot like...transmission fluid and was kinda a dingy red, which is what it should look like I think considering its probably getting near due for a servicing. I think its been about 20-30k since its last fluid and filter change. I know it needs to have the fluid and filter changed and the bands adjusted, but I just cant believe that thats the only thing causing this problem. Its getting worse pretty much daily and I'm wondering how long it'll be before it just leaves me stranded. If anyone has any insight, I'd really appreciate it!