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Old 06-12-2013, 02:19 AM   #1
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Shifting issues

I have a 1997 tj with the 4.0L 5spd that I just bought about three weeks ago. The issues that I'm noticing with it are that it is very hard to shift and at certain rpm's will grind into gear. So I called a local transmission shop and described to them what was going on and they said that because it has 123xxx miles on it that it probably still has the original oil in the transmission. I was told to have it changed and it would the shift very smooth with no forcing it into gear or grinding. Well I did that and it still drives the same. Maybe a little more grinding even. So I called a few more shops and they said that even though my clutch is not slipping it would most likely be my clutch. Now I'm no automotive mechanic but I've never heard of that. I have a few high performance 450 quads that I've done everything from shimming the valves to splitting the cases and I've more then a few times had to replace clutch's on them and have never experienced anything other then slipping when a clutch has been on its way out. Anyway I was hoping that maybe someone has had the same shifting issues as myself and can help to shed some light on weather it is in fact my clutch or possibly more. One other note is that it actually will grind at both high rpm shifts as well as low rpm shifts depending on it's mood. But the transmission is always hard to put into gear.

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:23 AM   #2
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What fluid was used when the transmission oil was changed? And believe it or not, worn clutch parts can for sure cause that. The clutch is unable to fully disengage, making the transmission grind when it should be shifting smoothly. The worn clutch is much more likely since the problem came on rather quickly.

As far as what parts need replacing on the clutch, I would assume the clutch disk and possibly throwout bearing. I'm sure others will know better. Best of luck oh and welcome!

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Old 06-12-2013, 04:50 AM   #3
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My 98 does the exact same thing, the clutch doesn't slip at all. The release bearing gets weak and makes it difficult to shift. Eventually the action spot of your clutch will change all the way to the bottom of the pedal. You'll lift it maybe an inch from the floor and it'll be fully disengaged.
I shift very slowly, seems to help...
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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Sounds like your clutch and pressure plate are beginning to show their age. Clutch, pressure plate and release (aka - throwout) bearing, along with having the flywheel resurfaced/examined for cracks/fatigue. Possibly a flywheel if it can't be resurfaced.

Changing the oil in the transmission won't hurt, but I suspect it won't help your current problem.
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