I am hoping you can help me out here. I got my girlfriend a 2003 Jeep Wrangler X (4.0 L engine), manual transmission. The Jeep has 125k on the odometer and drove like a dream up until last night....
On the way to the house, just down the street from the house actually, there was a sound like a "clacking" (her words).. then the clutch would not disengage. She rolled it into the driveway. she said that the pedal felt harder to press than normal. When I went out a few minutes later and pressed it, I heard an audible "pop" sound and then the pedal went to the floor. Additional presses of the pedal produced a "squish" sound, accompanied by some gear oil on the ground below the transmission - so I am thinking there is an issue with the hydraulic system (master/slave).
Reading through past posts, I have figure out that I need to remove the slave cylinder and use a screwdriver to press in on where the slave would normally press and verify if this will disengage the clutch. That should verify that the issue is the hydraulic system. If I cannot disengage the clutch, then there may have been a different problem that caused it to not disengage and the pressing of the pedal may have caused failure of the hydraulic system.
Am I going down the right path here? I have never done anything with transmissions before...
It sounds to me like the throw out bearing let go thus allowing the slave cylinder to come apart. Chances are, she needs a clutch job, and if you can find the push rod/cup for the slave cylinder, it's probably salvageable. Once the slave cylinder is removed, yes you should inspect and try to push on the throw out arm, but my guess is that it's most likely all the way up against the pressure plate.
I dunno without feeling how the clutch pedal feels but that it dumped fluid on the ground & the clutch pedal is making a squishing sound makes me think clutch hydraulic system. Like the clutch slave cylinder blew out & dumped all the clutch hydraulic fluid out. If that's it, that's an easy fix since the clutch hydraulic system is all external and easily replaced. The factory solution is a prefilled/pre-bled master slave assembly, others replace just the slave cylinder & bleed the system afterward.
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if you tackle it, be careful. You'll want at least 2 jacks and a couple stands. You'll need to jack up the jeep, disconect the gear box and trans then get them out of the way. I had one that was a pain in the ass because the gear box would not brake free from the tranny. We uninstalled the trans and gearbox all as one big piece. Once it was out on the drive we were able to break them apart but it was not pleasent by any means... I do most of my own work, in this case, I had a friend help. Actually, I paid a friend to do it and I helped him. Not saying its hard, but it depends a lot on work conditions such as tools, lift, etc... In a driveway, it may take days. In a shop, a couple hours.
I suggest 2 jacks because of lifting and lowering the trans, holding the back of the engine up and also raising and lowering the Jeep. Once you pull the bell housing loose and slide the trans back, the back of the engine will want to drop.
See if you can find a write up somewhere out here with pics for changing a clutch.
Just a quick update for the thread, in car anyone searches and comes across this... It was the throw out bearing. The thing was shredded in pieces. That said, I borrowed a transmission jack and did the job myself. It took a total of about 8 hours of work, which I spread across a weekend. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be...