Finally took my new to me jeep in yesterday to the dealership to have it looked at. I have only had it 3 months and thought that I had been away from a standard transmission too long and that's why sometimes it seemed like I couldn't take off in first very well without looking like an idiot that had never driven a stick. Then I thought maybe I just need to get used to driving this jeep and this clutch but that was not the case.
Turns out I need my u-joints replaced, and told me I should go ahead and get new brake pads and get my rotors turned....then said the reason I couldn't take off worth a crap was because I have a bad rear seal on the engine that is somehow allowing engine oil into the clutch housing which is causing the clutch to slip which explains the shuddering effect I get when taking off. Yay for me....About $1500 to $2000 and I should be good to go. Too bad that isn't pocket change to me.
The really crappy thing, well couple of crappy things, is that number one I should have taken it to a qualified technician before I bought it and had it looked over....and I didn't. Stupid me figured a 2004 TJ with 59K miles should be in pretty good shape. The tech at the dealership said that the people who had it before most likely knew this work needed to be done and got rid of it to avoid the cost of fixing it, probably abused it and lastly never took care of it. I'm disappointed of course but know I should have had it checked before buying.
Lesson learned. Getting it fixed next week and know that it will be well taken care of from now on....still love my jeep nonetheless.