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Old 08-22-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
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Smoking Clutch

With less then 200 miles on my new JK sport I was up against a small hill and smoked the clutch. The inside of the JK was partially filled with smoke....how bad is the clutch worn?

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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You didn't do it any favors, but in my experience, once you let it cool down and drive it around you will be able to tell if you really screwed it up. Take a deep breath and relax.

I like to run my 6 speed JK Sahara pretty damn hard. I like to drive. I have never smoked it bad enough to have smoke in the interior, but the clutch seems pretty durable. I would guess it is fairly heavy duty considering what the Jeep is expected to do off road.

Nothing worse than burnt clutch smell. Makes me sick....thinking about a clutch repair. I smoked the $hit out of my Z06 clutch and it is still okay and the car is 10 years old next month.

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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Did you know about the anti-stall feature in you JK? You can all but omit overworking the clutch with it.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP
Did you know about the anti-stall feature in you JK? You can all but omit overworking the clutch with it.
I don't think he was in four wheel drive for this situation, unless there's some feature I have no clue about
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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I don't think he was in four wheel drive for this situation, unless there's some feature I have no clue about
This feature is present in 2H, 4H, and 4L
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP

This feature is present in 2H, 4H, and 4L
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:02 PM   #7
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Have you ever taken it through water high enough to submerge the clutch? If so, did you shift while in the water? Get on the highway and put it in 5th gear at about 55mph. Floor the gas pedal for a second or two. If it slips then its junk. Alot of bad things can happen if you put too much heat in a clutch. The flywheel and/or pressure plate can warp, the throw-out bearing could get damaged and the rear main seal can go bad, all due to too much heat. I'm not trying to scare you, just preparing you for possibilities. good luck, and I hope it is OK.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Thopper View Post
With less then 200 miles on my new JK sport I was up against a small hill and smoked the clutch. The inside of the JK was partially filled with smoke....how bad is the clutch worn?
Your guess is as good as anyone else's guess. As someone already said you didn't do the clutch any favors. Drive it and see. You'll know if you ruined it or not. Odds are you did no real damage.

When I sold cars, I sold a girl a new Honda Civic, she never drove a stick. Long story short in less than 500 miles she destroyed the clutch, and was in for a new one. I forgot how the service writer coded it but it ended up being done under warranty.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dylanjwhall View Post
All manual tranny JKs have the no stall feature and it is active in every driving mode including reverse.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:15 PM   #10
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All manual tranny JKs have the no stall feature and it is active in every driving mode including reverse.
Do you mean hill start assist?

Or if it is something else can you direct us to a website or article that explains it? I would be most interested to learn how it works. Or if you have time to explain. Thanks in advance.

I also noticed a big difference between the 2012 6 speeds and clutch vs the 2009 I drive now. The 09 I drive requires a lot more slip to move into first gear than the 2012. The 2012 felt much more like my vette clutch.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #11
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Do you mean hill start assist?

Or if it is something else can you direct us to a website or article that explains it? I would be most interested to learn how it works. Or if you have time to explain. Thanks in advance.

I also noticed a big difference between the 2012 6 speeds and clutch vs the 2009 I drive now. The 09 I drive requires a lot more slip to move into first gear than the 2012. The 2012 felt much more like my vette clutch.
No.

Take your jeep out tomorrow and start driving in 1st gear. Let off the gas as soon as your engaged and moving. Do not depress the clutch at any point. You will not stall.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:53 PM   #12
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I did that to my jeep about 20k miles before the throw out bearing went. Granted my clutch was at 100k when I did it.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:32 PM   #13
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Sucks about your clutch

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Originally Posted by ESP View Post
No.

Take your jeep out tomorrow and start driving in 1st gear. Let off the gas as soon as your engaged and moving. Do not depress the clutch at any point. You will not stall.
This video (not me) show the no stall feature. You can see he goes up some pretty decent inclines without using any gas.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:54 PM   #14
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When crawling there are lots of times that I almost have the jeep stoped B4 I push the clutch in. It is a great tool once you learn how to use it....

Dont think that it wont let you stall out, but it does go a long way from preventing it. Even with 5:38's mine will stall when it gets in a good enough bind.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:43 AM   #15
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I would not worry about it, when I test drove a '12 manual with 3.21s the salesperson smoked the clutch really bad backing it into a uphill parking spot. Seemed fine driving it after it happened, just took a little life off it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:08 AM   #16
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This video (not me) show the no stall feature. You can see he goes up some pretty decent inclines without using any gas.
This is my video.

The trail is the Selma trail in Smithfield NC where we all go regularly.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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To the OP, you may wish to deactivate the hill start assist (HSA). I didn't smoke my clutch but I got it hot enough to smell during the first weeks I owned my 2012. I found the HSA actually made it more difficult to drive. I could never get a feel for when it was going to release the brakes and I would rev the motor thinking that would tell it to let me go. I turned off the HSA and now I don't have to wonder when the Jeep is going to let me drive off. I am in complete control and I haven't had any clutch smells once I made the change.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:49 PM   #18
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The JK, like most modern vehicles, uses an Organic friction material on the clutch disc. This is the most basic, smoothest, and most forgiving material for stock clutch applications and has been used by OE's for decades. It is fairly resilient but if it is "over-cooked" as a result of excessive heat, or if you slipped it enough to remove considerable amounts of its material thickness you may notice that the clutch pedal engages higher or that it is more prone to slip. If you got it hot enough to smoke-up the cabin then you most certainly affected its potential life expectancy.

As noted above, let it cool down a bit and try to drive it. Watch for changes in engagement and pedal travel as this will evidence the amount of potential damage caused. Also, because the JK uses a hydraulically actuated clutch, keep an eye on the fluid reservoir. Heat of this kind can boil the fluid leading to premature break-down and aeration. If the fluid appears dark or discolored then you should flush and refill the system to help prevent future issues.

The anti-stall feature is an awesome thing and typically it helps aid against this type of damage when creeping/crawling. Of course, it only helps if you aren't feathering the clutch and generating high temps and greater wear. Let me know if you have any further questions.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:29 PM   #19
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I learned to drive stick on a few different trucks back in my teenage years but this is the first vehicle I have owned that was manual. I'm a little worried about how much I let the clutch slip when getting into first.

I have disengaged the HSA and that helped me a ton. I too, as other have mentioned, was having a really hard time feeling the friction point when HSA was enabled.

However, I still feel like I am letting the clutch slip for 1-2 seconds as I get the jeep moving in 1st to try and start off smooth. Any other combination I have tried so far, varying how fast I engage the clutch or get on the go pedal, results in jerky start or stall.

Is letting the clutch slip for 1-2 seconds as I find the friction point, while revving the engine at about 1,000-2,000 rpms letting it slip too much? It concerns me being that this happens every time I start from a stop. Like I said this is the first manual I've owned, and I really want to make sure I am treating my clutch well so it treats me well (read: I don't want to have to pay for a new clutch anytime soon).
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:35 PM   #20
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In short, any clutch slippage is shortening the life of the clutch. The JKs use a "drive by wire" system that is pretty finicky. I've driven manuals all my life too prior to getting my 2010 6-speed and I still complain to my self while driving that even when I do it right 99% of the time the jeep seems to like to act funky sometimes. Try to learn how it feels under all situations and weather + when its warmed up etc. You'll get better at it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:40 PM   #21
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Not sure if it has been suggested, but if you smoked your clutch and didn't do any noticeable damage, I would change out the clutch fluid.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:08 PM   #22
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i checked the manual, but i couldn't find any details on the anti-stall. is it for certain that it works in 2H? i left it in first/2H and tried to idle up a very mild incline with a fully loaded jeep and it was surging/struggling quite a bit. the jeep doesn't feel different than any other manual i've owned/driven when you're idling around in 1st. in 4-low however, i can definitely feel the anti-stall kick in.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #23
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Descriptions of how you release the clutch or even written instructions for how to do this are great...to a point; but written words will always leave something to be desired when it comes to conveying a complex action. The easiest way to put is that you should release the pedal as quickly and smoothly as possible. With the Jeep (dependent on gearing) you really shouldn't have to add much in the way of RPM when leaving from a stop. The more RPM (throttle) you apply, the more potential there is for greater slip to occur as the pedal is released. Of course, its worth noting that the clutch is designed to experience some slip because that is part of its function. Just do your best to limt the amount of time that the clutch spends within the engagement window and you will be fine.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #24
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i checked the manual, but i couldn't find any details on the anti-stall. is it for certain that it works in 2H? i left it in first/2H and tried to idle up a very mild incline with a fully loaded jeep and it was surging/struggling quite a bit. the jeep doesn't feel different than any other manual i've owned/driven when you're idling around in 1st. in 4-low however, i can definitely feel the anti-stall kick in.
No. 4L only. 2H and 4H you can stall all day. Early in my wheeling experiences I learned this first hand--stalled like crazy trying to make it up a very steep incline in 4H. Put it in 4L, TOOK MY FOOT OFF THE GAS, and just steered as the jeep climbed up the incline itself.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:40 PM   #25
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No. 4L only. 2H and 4H you can stall all day. Early in my wheeling experiences I learned this first hand--stalled like crazy trying to make it up a very steep incline in 4H. Put it in 4L, TOOK MY FOOT OFF THE GAS, and just steered as the jeep climbed up the incline itself.
thanks! that's what i thought until i read this thread. can't wait to try this out.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:41 PM   #26
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^ This.

MTH clarifies again.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:46 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP
In short, any clutch slippage is shortening the life of the clutch. The JKs use a "drive by wire" system that is pretty finicky. I've driven manuals all my life too prior to getting my 2010 6-speed and I still complain to my self while driving that even when I do it right 99% of the time the jeep seems to like to act funky sometimes. Try to learn how it feels under all situations and weather + when its warmed up etc. You'll get better at it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:54 PM   #28
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thanks! that's what i thought until i read this thread. can't wait to try this out.
My only bit of advice would be that remember bigger tires play games with RPMs and speed, hence all the talk of "regearing."

I'm not sure how the "anti-stall" feature works. In my experience, the engine just revs to keep from stalling, which in turn makes the jeep keep moving forward.

When you add bigger tires, RPMs drop for a given speed, and I'm not sure if this impacts the anti-stall. If so, you might need to touch the throttle a bit to keep it from stalling at peak points. I have no idea whether you still have stock tires or not.

Also keep in mind the jeep will stall if it's bound up. If you really lock up such that the wheels actually CAN'T turn, it'll stall regardless.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:25 PM   #29
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No.

Take your jeep out tomorrow and start driving in 1st gear. Let off the gas as soon as your engaged and moving. Do not depress the clutch at any point. You will not stall.
That is pretty neat. I tried it in traffic and you are right. I haven't had a vehicle that did that yet and this is my 7th 6 speed vehicle, or if I did I never noticed. have had manuals for the last 14 years, I really just like being in control and almost being in tune with your car. It makes me happy to understand how my vehicle works.

Thank you!!!! I learn something every day on this forum.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #30
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In short, any clutch slippage is shortening the life of the clutch. The JKs use a "drive by wire" system that is pretty finicky. I've driven manuals all my life too prior to getting my 2010 6-speed and I still complain to my self while driving that even when I do it right 99% of the time the jeep seems to like to act funky sometimes. Try to learn how it feels under all situations and weather + when its warmed up etc. You'll get better at it.
Do you know if they make a programer for the Jeep that makes the throttle more resposive. My vette is drive by wire, but I got a programer to play with the throttle control, rev limiter and that stupid skip shift that they require in 6 speed sports cars for gas mileage. The car is much more responsive now and feels like you are actually manually controlling the throttle.

I do find my throttle is a little weird sometimes and we even had to have the MAP sensor and a few other items changed out last year because it would bog down and then surge, like the throttle body was going nuts.

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