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Old 07-17-2011, 05:26 PM   #1
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Worn out clutch at 26000

I have a 2010 Wrangler Unlimited purchased new in January 2010. Now has 26K miles and the clutch is about worn out. Clutch engages with about a 1/2 to 1 inch travel left. Still has a small amount of free-play. Over half my miles are freeway, and I'm really easy on clutches(80 Honda Civic 285K, 88 Dodge Dakota 198K). No help from Jeep, it's a wear item. They said they would only cover it if they found something defective inside. If it's just a worn disk or pressure plate...I pay. I do have the 3.21 rear ends, which I'm sure contributed to this.
First question, anyone else experience what I would term as excessive clutch wear?
Second question, anything tricky about replacing one of these? I've done a couple clutches on older cars. And I realy don't feel like giving the dealer $1100 while I'm still under "warranty".
Third, any recomendations on where to get instructions?
Fourth, I don't need a stiffer clutch, but is there one that will wear better, like carbon?

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Old 07-17-2011, 07:56 PM   #2
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You mentioned that you think the 3.21 gears contributed to the problem. Is everything stock? I'm guessing you left out some information, like bigger tires maybe and slipping the clutch due to lack of low end torque?

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Old 07-17-2011, 11:17 PM   #3
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It sounds more like it's out of adjustment than needs replaced. Are these cable or hydraulic? If it's a cable it could be stretched beyond adjustment. If it's hydraulic you could have a leak or low fluid for some other reason.

If it isn't slipping the disc and pressure plate are still doing their job.

FWIW, I test drove an '11 with 3.21 gears a couple of weeks ago and there is no good reason for the clutch to be worn out already if you've got stock size tires. It drove around just fine with no need to significantly slip the clutch to get rolling.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:11 AM   #4
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I'd get a second opinion, it might be as simple as bleeding the system, or an adjustment, or bad cable, if they aren't using a hydraulic system. When I was selling cars I had a customer burn a clutch out on a new Honda Civic in less than 500 miles, it can happen. I doubt that's the case here.

Clutch jobs on a 4x4 are a PITA. If you need a clutch and the dealer isn't going to pay, take it to an outside shop or DYI if you can. I'd put a Center Force II Clutch it in, it would be very good for a 4x4 Jeep application. It's just a good clutch and will work very well. JMO

Just be sure to change the pressure plate, disk, pilot bearing, throw-out bearing, and machine the flywheel if possible, or pony up the cash and replace that too. Nothing worse than short changing a clutch job. Check the slave cylinder and clutch master cyl if equipt for leaks. If they aren't leaking bleed the system while you're at it.
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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It came with the stock steel rims, I changed to the stock Sahara 18 inch wheels and tires. Dodge changed the speedo settings.
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:33 PM   #6
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It's a hydraulic system. The service department told me there's nothing to adjust. I'm not seeing any leaks, and besides, if it was leaking I would think the clutch would not disengage until it was near the floor. This is the opposite. The clutch disengages after pushing it in about an inch. When it was brand new, it wouldn't disengage until it was 3/4 of the way to the floor.
I'm beginning to think I really screwed up getting this jeep with the 3.21 rear ends. This was a dealer trade, so I didn't get to see the actual sticker until the Jeep came in. And I didn't have a clue that wasn't a normal ratio. After looking around the lots, looks like I may have the only 3.21 rear ends in Western Washington. My fault for jumping on a "good price", without doing the research.
Note to daggo66, current tires are 31.02 OD, up from 28.xx originals. Not what I'd consider a monster change. Hill holder works fairly well. There's only been one hill that caused me to slip the clutch a fair amount. The hill holder does act a bit sticky in reverse sometimes.
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:37 PM   #7
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Sounds like you have a hydraulic problem. The whole point of having a hydraulic clutch is so the pedal engagement point doesn't change over time with disc wear.

Odd you couldn't find one with 3.73's. I wanted 3.73's and couldn't find anything by 3.21's. 3.21 is not only a normal ratio, it's the standard ratio. 3.73 is an extra cost option. Probably the best $50 I'll ever spend.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:25 PM   #8
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Did anyone attempt to bleed the system? The whole point of a hydraulic clutch is in theory it should always engage at the same point and never need any kind of adjustment. In fact they have no adjustment, however air in the system will have a negative impact on how it operates. Typically a good tech will bleed the system if there are problems like you have with low miles. It is easy and cheap to do and will rule out hydraulics as a problem.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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I'll make an appointment with my friendly Jeep dealer to check out the hydraulic side of the clutch. There's what appears to be a small drip of hydraulic oil running down the inside of the firewall under the clutch master cylinder. I still don't think this can be a hydraulic problem, but worth a shot at having them look at it. Who know's, maybe they'll have more sympathy for me......ha ha ha.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:34 PM   #10
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There shouldn't be fluid under the master cylinder. You probably have a leak which is a problem, and will have an effect on clutch operation. Good luck!

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