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Old 08-11-2010, 08:03 PM   #1
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Help Please! 5-Speed TJ Wrangler Problem: Clutch Engaging Low

Hi everyone,

This morning I got in my beautiful 2001 TJ Wrangler and started the car. I put the clutch all the way in and found I couldnít put the car in reverse, it made a sound as if the clutch wasnít in (almost like a gear grind sound) and I also found I couldnít put it into any gear.

I turned the car off, and then was able to change the gears, so I put it into reverse and backed out. It was very difficult to take out of reverse and impossible to put into first gear, so I turned the car off again and put it into first gear and drove about 200 feet, and I guess it warmed up or something, then I was able to shift gears, but only with great difficulty.

What I realized was that my clutch was engaging at a much lower point than usual, therefore I had to push it in much farther to change the gears, and all the way to the floor was still not quite far enough to get a smooth shift. With the car in first and the clutch all the way to the floor, I only had to lift my foot about half an inch for the car to move forward, and Iím used to it engaging about one-thirds up.

What I then realized thinking back was that a few days ago I noticed that I kept gear-grinding, which was really strange. Within about 20 minutes I gear grinded 4 times, when I hadnít done it in months, and I couldnít understand why that would happen, and now I realize itís because the clutch is engaging lower. Therefore, I am used to it engaging at a different point and Iím lifting it up too high to put the gear in and the gear grinded.

Iím really low on money, and my mom wonít pay for the $80 or so check-up to figure out what is wrong with it, which I know is the best way to go, but I simply donít have the money. If anyone could please help it would be much appreciated. Iím only 17 so I do not know too much about cars.

Thanks a lot

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:09 PM   #2
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Welcome to the addiction!! And it is a Jeep not a car .

Your clutch problem sounds like you are low on clutch fluid. Check that and report here ..

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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OK thanks a lot banipal19, I will try that, if anyone else has any ideals please let me know!
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by banipal19 View Post
Welcome to the addiction!! And it is a Jeep not a car .

Your clutch problem sounds like you are low on clutch fluid. Check that and report here ..
I read online that you have to make sure it's a hydraulic clutch and not a cable clutch? How do I know? Are all Wranglers one way or the other?
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:22 PM   #5
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You have a hydraulic clutch. Check the fluid. The clutch master cylinder is under the hood beside the brake booster mounted to the firewall. If the fluid level is good then you may have a bad slave cylinder.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:45 PM   #6
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You have a hydraulic clutch. Check the fluid. The clutch master cylinder is under the hood beside the brake booster mounted to the firewall. If the fluid level is good then you may have a bad slave cylinder.
OK, is the brake booster the thing that holds the brake fluid? I found a cap that says "brake fluid" but didn't see anything. Is there a cap on top that says "clutch master cylinder" or anything like? Thanks so much for the help.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:07 PM   #7
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Looks like I am very low on clutch fluid! Unfortunately NJ law doesn't let me drive after 11 and neither will my mom so I will have to see if it works tomorrow morning, but I feel much better, I'm pretty sure that was the problem. Thanks a ton for the help Ken Steele I feel 100 times better knowing I will still be able to drive my jeep around and feel awesome.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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So I added more clutch fluid and it didn't fix the problem. Do I have to let it sit a little bit or should it fix the problem immediately?
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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Pump the cluch to the floor for awhile a see if pressure returns.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:44 AM   #10
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Pump the cluch to the floor for awhile a see if pressure returns.
Pump it with the car on our off?
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:49 AM   #11
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Pump the pedal 20-30 times real fast. Add more oil if needed. Check for any leaks (follow the line from where you put the brake oil in to the bottom of transmission).
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodsOfLiveng

Pump it with the car on our off?
It doesn't matter.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:11 AM   #13
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Problem Solved, thank you so much to everyone!
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Indy View Post
It doesn't matter.
This exact same thing is happening to me. I checked my clutch fluid and it's full. Could it be the master cylinder?
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Navy_Jeep View Post
This exact same thing is happening to me. I checked my clutch fluid and it's full. Could it be the master cylinder?
It could be the master cylinder, the slave cylinder, or the clutch itself. You will need more diagnostics to figure out which. First thing to do is unbolt the slave cylinder from the bell housing and try to manually disengage the clutch using a large screwdriver or a piece of dowel to push in on the release arm. (be sure you have the e-brake set and are sitting on a reasonably level surface) If there is good spring pressure when trying to disengage it by hand, it is most likely a hydraulic issue. Jeeps come with a sealed hydraulic system that included the slave cylinder, master cylinder, and interconnecting line, and although you can buy them in different parts aftermarket, IMHO, the best way to take care of it is to buy the whole thing as an assembly. When I did mine I got it from Napa. It came filled with fluid and pre-bled...all ready to bolt in.

Once you remove the slave from the bell housing, you can take a couple of quick measurements and see if anything is way off. Here is approximately what they should be. If your release arm measurement is very much larger than what is pictured, your release (throw out) bearing, your pressure plate, or both are toast and you need a clutch replacement.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodsOfLiveng View Post
Problem Solved, thank you so much to everyone!
FOR NOW! If your clutch fluid was low, there was a reason. Check for leaks.

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