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Old 05-07-2008, 06:32 AM   #1
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Clutch Exposed to Water?

I've had a good amount of mechanical experience over the years, but not a whole heck of a lot with Clutch plates.
I changed a clutch plate on a Honda Prelude once, but I have little or no experience with the location or replacement or design of a clutch plate setup in a Jeep....thus THIS question:

A good and trusted friend of mine, while taking me down a trail not long ago, mentioned at one point that "clutching while in a water/mud hole is not a good thing because it exposes the clutch plate to the water and mud."

I accept that "water-n-mud" can be a bad thing on internal engine and drive train components, which seems fairly obvious, but I always thought that the clutch plate was enclosed in a housing that was not able to be penetrated by outside influences like water-n-mud.

Could someone educate me a bit about the design of the clutch plate in a Jeep motor, with regard to exposure?

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Old 05-07-2008, 01:11 PM   #2
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there are area's that water and mud can enter the tranny housing. it is not "sealed" to the motor only bolted.
The front bottom half of the tranny has a inspection plate "Dust cover" over it. This cover is also not sealed to the tranny housing only bolted. If you look at the bottom of the inspection plate you will see and opening about a 3/16 inch wid and about 10 inches long at the front bottom of the tranny housing. This is where water/mud/debrie may inter the tranny.

As for "bad" to clutch while in water/mud. yes it is not suggested.
With the water or mud in the tranny....when you clutch (press clutch pedal to the floorboard) the pressure plate releases presure from the clutch disc and the fly wheel.
"opening them up/seperates them"
This can allow water/mud to get inbetween the plate/disc/flywheel.

To sum what will probally happen if you get fluid or mud/debre in there.....you will be replacing them. Fluid on those parts is not good!


hope that helps?

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Old 05-07-2008, 05:57 PM   #3
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distortedtj: Yes it does....thanks!

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Old 05-08-2008, 07:08 AM   #4
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Is there a reason for the 3/16" gap?

Why not just silicone it shut?
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxs1stJeep View Post
Is there a reason for the 3/16" gap?

Why not just silicone it shut?
heat realease
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:48 AM   #6
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There's a lot of guys on here with manual transmissions that fjord water crossings and mud bogs and have no isses.

I had an '65 CJ with a manual trans and I never had issues in deep water or mud. I used to beat the crap out of that thing on a regular basis and I never changed the clutch....

When you are in mud or water, keep it in a low gear and keep it moving... don't go any deeper than your intake and you should be fine.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:00 AM   #7
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MOz: right on......when I go through a mud/water hole, I keep it moving .....great advice.

One comment: I've noted that SOME individuals think it necessary to blast through a mud/water hole at extreme speeds. There really is no need of this, right?

I always found that "steady" moderate speed was more than enough to get me through, unless I was going to attempt a "float" across a mud/water hazard, in which case, I probably WOULDN'T do it.

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