Hopefully someone can help me on this. This may be a coincidence, but here's what happened:
My clutch reservoir is opaque black plastic with no MIN or MAX fluid level marks - you can't see the fluid from the outside. I removed the cap to check the level. It was approx 1" down from the top. I added fluid until it was around 1/4" from the top and put the cap back on.
I started the Jeep and could not put it in gear! The only thing close is reverse, but it starts to grind so I put it back in neutral. It is a 95YJ, manual tranmission (AX-15). What is the most likely cause of this?
I decided since the Jeep can't go anywhere, that maybe there was a slim chance that air got in the system. I attempted to bleed the clutch, but the bleed screw will not tighten enough to stop the fluid now. If if I push in the clutch pedal now, it shoots brake fluid across the garage floor. It has an external slave cylinder and I think I may just try to replace it since it leaks and I apparantely can't stop it.
Does the slave cylinder seem like a likely cause of this (not going in gear)? Before I attempted to bleed the system the clutch felt pretty much the same as when I last drove it.
Also, since the slave cylinder is external, it seems easy: remove bolts, install new cylinder and bolts, tighten. I know it can't be that easy.. Any recommendations?
Thank you for all the help in advance. I'm not sure what I'd do without this forum. It seems as though my Haynes manual always has a picture and procedure for a different transmission, engine, etc then what I have.
Here is an update: I purchased the slave/master cylinder assembly from Quadratec and just put it in this morning. The clutch pedal has good pressure but the Jeep won't shift into gear while the engine is running. Any thoughts?
A couple of days before checking the fluid level (see initial post) I did lower the skid plate enough to grind off some rust from the frame/skid plate and paint them both. I then reinstalled the spacers (2.5 inch lift kit lowered the transfer case) and tightened it up. Is there a chance that playing with the transfer case skid plate screwed up the transmission geometry somehow? What should I check for?
You may still have air in that hydraulic line/master cylinder/slave cylinder. It is a real CHORE to get all the air out. If it goes into gear in your driveway with the engine off, but won't with the engine on, that clutch is not disengaging. And if you replaced both the slave and the mc, then I am betting you still have air in the system.
Try to park it on an incline, front higher than back. Take off the clutch master cylinder reservoir cap and gently lay it back on the reservoir on an angle. You are trying to let air escape from the reservoir, so do not re-install the cap. Close your hood and let it sit like that overnight. In the morning, bleed the slave once or twice. Then see if your clutch is all good or not.
RESOLVED! Here's what I did. I removed the cap from the master cylinder and pumped the slave cylinder piston slowly for I-don't-know-how-long. At least 50 times. I had my wife watching for bubbles rising in the MC, which there was - but after around 5 minutes she was no longer interested in watching it, so I kept going for awhile until I gave up. I jacked the front of the Jeep up and left the MC cap loose for the night. The next morning I still had the same problem. Not being much of a mechanic and suspecting something much worse was wrong, I figured I would just get the Jeep towed (GEICO road-side assistance - which was free thankfully) to a shop. They bled the system for $65 and now everything works fine. So everyone here was right all along - There was air in the system. I hope this info helps anyone else who may be having the same problem. I guess the $65-lesson-learned is take lots of time when bleeding the system.
I had my wife watching for bubbles rising in the MC, which there was - but after around 5 minutes she was no longer interested in watching it, so I kept going for awhile until I gave up.
Gotta love the fair weather helpers in the family. My nine year old is all about helping out as long as it is four or five things that each get fixed in less than a minute and he doesn't have to lay on the ground.
Glad to hear you got it cleared up.
89 YJ, 155,000 miles
2.5L, 5 speed
"You're never lost if you don't care where you're going"