I have a 2004 TJ with the 5 speed trans. Recently iīve noticed itīs becoming harder to shift into 1st and sometimes second. But sometimes slips into gear no problem. Sitting and shifting in and out of 1st today i could feel the Jeep move ever so slightly forward when shifting into first, but this seems to only happen when itīs difficult to go into gear. It doesnīt run forward but feels like a nudge forwrd then no movement. The times it slips into gear easily it doesnīt seem to move. My first though would be the clutch is not completely disengaging or could this point to something else. When moving it shifts no problem. If you shift into 1st before coming to a complete stop it also seems fine. Iīm hoping itīs the master or slave but donīt want to just replace if it could be something else as the pre-bled system is $700 here and only from the agents! Clutch otherwise feels perfect. Jeep only has 75k km so 45k miles on it. Any thoughts appreciated.
With only 45k miles on it, I really doubt it's the clutch. I almost kinda doubt it's the clutch hydraulic system either. I'd probably bet on a bad pilot bearing in the flywheel that the transmission's input shaft might be going bad which would spin the input shaft fast enough to make it harder to shift into gear... the pilot bearing is supposed to keep the transmission shaft from spinning or at least spinning too fast when the clutch pedal is being held down. Or it could be the transmission. This is actually a fairly common problem with the TJ.
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Thanks Jerry, gives me something else to look at. Would a bad transmission cause the TJ to move slightly when shifting into 1st? Hope itīs not the trans! Been looking at clutch kits your side of the world so if i have to go in and change the bearing i might just get a whole kit shipped over as the prices this side are crazy.
Well the pilot bearing or bushing mostly holds the input shaft of tranny with the attached clutch disc centered with the rotational axis of the crank whenever the clutch is depressed and the disk is free to move some laterally
It is a bushing or bearing rather than a pilot hole so that the input shaft and crankshaft can have different rotational speeds without wear which is critical for gear changes stopped or moving
It could affect shifts but what you describe sounds more like worn syncros in the tranny to me
Not sure on 6 speed but typically one syncro does 2 gears so if one syncro does both gears you are having issues with that would also fit with a failing syncro
Personally I think that German 6 speed it the least desirable and most expensive to repair manual tranny ever used in a 4.0 wrangler
Also be sure to check level and appearance of the lubricant in the transmission
But when driving the gear changes are smooth. There is never any grinding and it will always go into 1st. It just sometimes feels like there is something blocking the gear lever from going forward. Yesterday it also would move slightly when shifting into reverse. Iīm taking it into the mountains today so see how it goes and Iīll report back. Thanks.
Yes, fluid level all seems fine. After driving it around yesterday I'm thinking Jerry might be onto something with the pilot bearing. The whole 80 odd mile ride it was only hard to shift into 1st or reverse around 5 times. It would always go in but you just need to give it a little extra force than a normal shift. It also still gives a little movement forward or backward depending on gear selected but only when it's difficult to shift. When moving, it shifts smoothly through all the gears, up and down. Also, if it was the hydraulics I'd expect it to shift easier if I pumped the clutch but it doesn't. You'd also expect that if the hydraulics where at fault the clutch would take earlier than normal but it seems fine. Am I right in thinking this? It makes sense what Jerry said because it feel like the trans is still connected and enough to just shift the Jeep forward when 1st is selected but then this friction is enough to separate the the engine from the transmission and it doesn't creep forward. The pilot bearing may be on its way out but not jamming all the time.
I had similar issues to begin with on my 02 TJ 5-speed. I went through the forums and initially decided to change the Master Cylinder since it was a fix I could do myself. There was some leakage from the connection going into the transmission. This turned out not to be the proper fix as the next 2 weeks went down hill very fast. What was a minor shifting issue in the lower gears got progressively worse. I could not shift from 1st to 2nd, but could shift from 2nd to 3rd. I limped home from a wheeling trip and drove to my mechanic the next day in 2nd gear. My issue turned out to be a broken input shaft. After removal, you could clearly see on the shaft that it had been cracked for some time. The total repair also included a new clutch and associated components since my rig was over 140K.
I'm not saying this is your issue, but I would suggest you have it looked at right away. Possibly the pilot bearing or something else minor, but will soon become something major.
Best of luck!
2002 Wrangler Sport
3.25" RC Lift
General Grabber AT2's 33x12.50
F&R - Yukon Chrome-Moly 30 spline axles & 4.56 gears
R - Yukon Grizzly locker
F - Yukon Zip locker & ARB compressor
Before you start tearing it apart try bleeding the system. The brake fluid used to operate the hydraulics takes on moisture, and over time and it can cause the clutch not to fully release. It could also be the clutch is going but before you rip anything apart bleed the system. It has saved me from replacing clutches prematurely a few times.
Thanks for all the ideas guys. Just an update on my clutch/trans issues. I eventually had a chance to pull the transmission and clutch on my TJ. The problem appears to have been caused by throwout bearing. It would hardly turn and had worn most of the way through the pressure plate fingers. It would not have lasted much longer before the end of the fingers were no more. Clutch disc could have done a few more thousand miles. Flywheel perfect. The whole clutch kit was Sachs. Pilot bearing was still in pretty good shape but the grease was old and hard. Input shaft was all good. Pilot bearing drove me insane trying to get it out. Tried grease, then white bread. Welded up a slide hammer which just managed to pull one of the rollers out the bearing. Ended up using wet paper which popped the whole bush and bearing out.
I then tried to order a LUK kit from partsgeek but they wouldnīt ship to South Africa so I had to buy from ebay in the USA. It took just under two weeks to arrive but insted of a LUK kit they sent a Rhinopac? Freaked out at that as I realy wanted the LUK. The Rhinopac kit consisted of a Valeo clutch disc and pressure plate. The throwout bearing was the solid metal version and pilot bearing. I couldnīt wait for a LUK kit as iīm off on a 4000mile trip to Namibia in two weeks, so had to have the clutch in. I fitted it today, and changed the transmission and transfer case oil. Smooth shifting again!