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Old 12-08-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
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Gears won't engage...

Hello,

I have a '99 Wrangler 4.0, 5-speed that gave me a little trouble today.

I was in first gear pulling into an intersection going up hill. When I had the clutch about 1/2 way engaged, I heard a clunk and grind and the Wrangler would no longer engage in any gear. I had the Jeep towed home and tried to investigate.

While troubleshooting, I've turned the engine on and shifted to each gear and slowly let out the clutch to see if the engine RPM will respond to the demanded power. No luck. The engine remains at a constant RPM and the only symptoms are a light grinding/friction sound (nothing that sounds like metal on metal, more like something that's loose and vibrating). The clutch has maintained the same pressure as well.

I've tried to search for similar issues but most have to do with specific gears indicating the syncros have gone bad and I don't think that's the issue.

If anyone has any advice on what the problem is, I'd greatly appreciate it. Let me know if there's anything else I can troubleshoot to help further investigate.

Thanks!
Jon

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Old 12-09-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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Did your rear diff go out?

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Old 12-09-2013, 02:02 AM   #3
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Not sure... I haven't had to do any work in that area so I'm a bit unfamiliar. To test if it's the rear differential, will I do any further damage by putting it in four wheel drive and seeing if the front wheels will engage? I'll do some research on rear differentials and test it out. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:40 PM   #4
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Hmmm. Sounds like it could be your thow out bearing. Thats on the trans end.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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Throwout bearing
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input! I'm searching for info on throw out bearings right now to see if it's a job I can do myself. Any thoughts on how to further diagnose that it's definitely the throw out bearing? I'd hate to pull the transmission to find out that it's the rear differential.

Again, I really appreciate the help.

- Jon
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:03 PM   #7
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No problem! If you think that's what it is and decide to pull the trans, I'd get a clutch kit and replace everything since it's right there. I don't think it could be the diff.. Did you try putting it in 4wd?
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:28 AM   #8
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I just had this same problem with my jeep, it sounds exactly how I would describe it. I took it to a shop and it ended up being the clutch
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:16 AM   #9
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Your rear diff will be easier to check first. Just pull cover and look in there. But sounds like clutch issue to me.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
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If it was your diff, your motor would still bog down while letting the clutch out as the trans drug on the clutch plates. In theory, your motor would be working the trans OK, the trans passing the power to the diff, and the diff not wanting to work if it were broken, leading to tires not rotating but motor bogging down while trying to work.

Since the motors RPM is stable with the clutch let loose while going through the gears, the power from the motor doesn't sound like its being transferred to the clutch plates in the trans. This would lead me to believe the culprit part in most instances on cases like this leads to the throw out bearing.

If you want to look at you diff for added ins. It's really easy to do as well. Just a heads up, gear oil doesn't smell real nice but the job is pretty straight forward.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the advice! I really appreciate it. JohnDoe, if you had a similar problem, do you know what was wrong with the clutch? Whenever I've had a clutch that was wearing out, it would usually slip a bit while putting it in gear... This sounds like the clutch is completely out of the picture. I'll look into replacing the clutch, but if anyone has any other suggestions, I'm always open to ideas. Thanks!!
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gokified View Post
Thanks for all the advice! I really appreciate it. JohnDoe, if you had a similar problem, do you know what was wrong with the clutch?
I unfortunately do not, but the clutch disk was wearing out and had been gradually getting worse. I'm not sure if it just gave out at once or it was something else but it was the oddest thing because it would go into all gears fine but I got no forward motion, no noises no grinding nothing. So I just took it to have someone else figure it out because I was beyond lost(I didn't know if it was clutch, transfercase, transmission, gears anything at this point) and the shop determined it was the clutch, not sure what in the clutch but they're fixing it so I'm happy. When I pick it up tomorrow, hopefully, I'll ask what exactly was wrong with it and post up here for ya
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:51 AM   #13
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I just recently had the same problem with mine,pulled up to the intersection,on flat ground the light turned red and I pushed the clutch, heard a kind of pop. And the jeep just went through the light. When I got stopped, I realized the clutch had turned loose. I towed it home and once I got it separated discovered the throwout bearing retainer clip was broken, and the bearing slammed into the pressure plate and wreaked all kinds of havock on the fingers. The clutch looked to be in great shape, but I got the whole deal and replaced them all. The weird thing is there was no previous indication of the failure, the clutch had been working fine up to the breaking point.

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