Just purchased my 1995 Jeep Wrangler Sahara with 155,000 miles on the odometer. It had been well taken care of and serviced religiously at the dealership with oil changes, etc. It has the 4.0 I6 engine in it with 3.55 gear ratio and the A/C option as well. Great buy, however I have run into a major problem that I need help diagnosing.
After going on a trip from Orange County to Santa Barbara I was pulling up my street after having no issues the entire drive when suddenly as I pushed in my clutch to downshift into 2nd gear I felt a "pop/heavy click" as I pressed the clutch to the floor. I thought this was weird and as I drove up my street (hill) it was very hard to shift. So much so that I could not get the Jeep into Reverse. It made a horrible grinding sound when I tried to engage it into reverse. I even tried putting it into 5th and then dropping it into reverse without any luck. The next morning I went to take it into the shop and it shifted like normal. Totally weird considering how I parked it the night before. I did however notice that the clutch pedal had more "play" at the beginning of the pedal and did not feel as tight anymore. Also, when the Jeep is engaged in gear and moving forward I hear a repeated "ticking" that speeds up and slows down with my acceleration. I took it into the shop and the guys couldn't diagnose my problem. He said that it seemed to be shifting fine. He checked my slave cylinder for cracks/leaks and found nothing.
I then drove the Jeep for the next two weeks without any significant issues besides the "ticking" sound and the looser clutch feel that I did not like. No significant problems at this point though.
About a day ago I noticed that the shifting was getting very hard. So much so that when in neutral at a light, I had to aggressively force the Jeep into 1st gear as it did NOT want to engage in 1st. It got so bad that I had to start from 2nd or make sure to downshift into 1st before coming to a Stop if I wanted to start from 1st gear.
I then did more research and called WFO in Grass Valley, CA and he said it is most likely the slave or master cylinder. I took it to the shop and had them replace the Slave Cylinder. Upon driving home the problem seemed worse then ever!
I can barely shift the Jeep into any gears and its nearly impossible to put it into 1st and reverse makes terrible grinding sounds. Not drivable in my eyes.
What do you guys think it is?
Suggestions: Master Cylinder? Clutch Plate? Transmission?