Greetings everyone. New member here on the forum and this is my first post. This past April I bought a 1995 YJ Rio Grande edition which has a 2.5L engine and AX-5 manual tranny. This is my 3rd jeep (owned 89 and 93 YJ's previously).
This is my weekend car and I've put about 1K miles on it. It now has 128K miles on it. Dunno what work was done on it in the past but it has been lifted about 2.5" and sports 32x12.5x15 tires.
All was well until yesterday. Drove it around and there were no problems. After my daughters softball game I got in it to drive home and when I engaged the clutch a horrible sound came from underneath. Sounds like a squeaky belt but I know there ain't no belts down there. It shifts just fine but makes one heck of a racket when I depress the clutch to switch gears. This came totally without warning. There were no unusual noises previous to this happening.
I'm thinking I have a bad release bearing or pilot bearing. Would anyone concur with that? Any other ideas? It starts squeaking when you begin to depress the clutch pedal and gets progressively worse. There is also a faint squeal when sitting in neutral with the clutch disengaged.
Assuming that is the case, I suppose I gotta drop the tranny to replace one of them (might as well replace both). Would you say that this would also be a good time to replace the clutch? Any kits out there that include both the clutch parts and the release and pilot bearings?
Also, I've never done anything that major before. I did replace the drive shaft and xfer case on a previous jeep and that did not take me too long but this might be a job for the local shop. Any ideas what I'm looking at price-wise?