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Old 05-12-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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Engine & Clutch Issues - What Would You Do?

Hi ALl,

I'm looking for some advice from you guys on how to proceed with my Jeep.

1999 TJ - 4.0 I6 - AX15 - No lift, stock suspension - 31s - 120k miles

Issue #1:
I think the clutch is going (or maybe the transmission, not sure). Basically, I can't shift smoothly. It's also dropping into gear, sometimes not too bad, other times pretty hard. I can't tell for sure if it's the clutch or the transmission, but I'm inclined to believe the clutch becasue of only having 120k miles.

I'm assuming my clutch is grabbing, because when I disengage the clutch pedal, there will be a delay from when it is fully disengaged until when the car is moving smoothly. Does that sound like a grabbing clutch to you guys? It's just very rough, and I tend to ride the clutch out in order to try and smooth things out (further accelerating wear on my already worn clutch).

The clutch had to be replaced about 6 years ago, along with the cylinders, ran around $1,200. I'm guessing more now??

Issue #2:
My engine is tapping. I've tried everything to resolve this. I was running 10W-30, decided to experiment with 20W-50 (heavier oil, less noise?). It improved somewhat, but I couldn't get it to turn over. Oil too thick, so I drained again and went back to 10W-30 high milage and also used Lucas Engine Stabilizer. Really no improvement. Seems like mixed reviews. Some people tell me that my tapping is nothing compared to other cars, and others tell me I should get it check ASAP.

What are your opinions? Firstly, what causes a lifter to tap? I'm not clear on exactly how that happens. I've heard gunk build-up, but what is actually occuring that makes an audible noise?

Also, the tap is most prominent on start-up, but even after running for 25-30 minutes it's still there. Only time the tapping completely disappears is when I'm at standstill, and I engage the clutch, just before the Jeep starts moving forward, it will sound beautiful!! Right under the initial load of starting to go forward.

So, what would you guys do? I don't know if I'm comfortable attempting a clutch replacement - seems like a lot to screw up and pretty involved. I can't rebuild the engine, so that's out. Would you search junkyards for stuff and pay someone to put them in? I have to imagine this could easily be a $2k-$3k repair. Or, should I just get a (new to me) used Jeep? I would really like to work on it myself and try to learn, but it's a DD so I can't afford to do that.

THanks for your opinions.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:13 AM   #2
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Bump - no one has any opinions or life lessons to share with me on this?

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Old 05-13-2011, 07:25 AM   #3
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Why was the clutch replaced 6 years ago? With only 120k miles on it right now seems like the first clutch was changed out way early. Also when you are driving can you feel the clutch/engine slipping or the RPM's increasing as you ascend hills.

When you say you changed out the cylinders, do you mean the master cylinder or the engine cylinders as in block?
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:30 AM   #4
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The clutch was replaced 6 years ago becasue I was driving one day and the clutch pedal lost all resistance. Shop said it was likely the slave cylinder, but that since they are a sealed unit, they should just replace both of them. Perhaps the actual clutch was not replaced (I can't find the service records), but I thought they just did it all. I know I paid around $1,200 for the reapir, which seems like a lot to only have the cylinders replaced. The RPMs will not increase while ascending a hill. Perhaps a warped flywheel?

I can't feel any slipping. If anything, it feels more like grabbing. It just shifts very rough.
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