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Old 10-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
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Exclamation Motor Oil Leaked into Clutch

I've been searching around a lot, but want a final opinion here.

I have a standard tranny, but the engine started to continue revving after I took my foot off the clutch. Must be slipping. The source of the problem is that my valve cover gasket is leaking out the back (very slowly, but enough), so that as I understand it there is motor oil in my clutch. The valve gasket is easy enough to fix (this engine is so gorgeous to work on), BUT:

Do I need to replace the clutch or will it begin to function normally after the leak is fixed and the oil is burned/runs off?

I read some places that it is ruined by the oil, but replacing the clutch in an apartment parking lot is not nearly so simple as replacing the valve cover gasket on top of the engine, so I'm trying to avoid that if I can for now. Just bought the TJ a month ago, no idea how old the clutch is, but the problem didn't start until last week and I have no problems changing gears or grinding or anything, just the slippage.

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Old 10-03-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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Side question: Valve Cover Gasket preferred brand?

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Old 10-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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Do I need to replace the clutch or will it begin to function normally after the leak is fixed and the oil is burned/runs off?
If the clutch plate has been oil soaked, it will never completely burn off because the clutch plate is porus (just like a brake shoe or pad). There is a good chance that once dried out, it will quit slipping. If it does, what you may find is that when cold it may work okay, and once the clutch gets warm, while it could work ok, you may find that it kind of shudders as you disengage it. I would just replace the gasket and give the clutch a chance. That must have been quite an oil leak.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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I don't think I've lost much oil, it's just in a bad spot. Maybe spray some brake cleaner into the clutch?
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:32 PM   #5
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How does a valve cover leak get inside the bell housing

However if your clutch is slipping replace disc and pressure plate and resurface flywheel

Easy to tel slip in high gear on freeway stomp on the gas and if rpm goes up without speed increase clutch is slipping
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:42 PM   #6
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How does a valve cover leak get inside the bell housing
Just what I've read can happen, and there is indeed an oil leak on the back of the engine that ends dripping off the clutch cover. It looks wet in the back of the engine from that gasket all the way down to the oil pan and clutch, but like I said, very slow leak.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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How does a valve cover leak get inside the bell housing

However if your clutch is slipping replace disc and pressure plate and resurface flywheel

Easy to tel slip in high gear on freeway stomp on the gas and if rpm goes up without speed increase clutch is slipping
The manufacture cautions against resurfacing Jeep flywheels. They are slightly domed, and surfacing will get rid of that. If they are not heat checked, they should be cleaned with fine sandpaper or emery cloth. If they are in bad shape they should be replaced.....But I agree, it seems almost impossible for a valve cover leak to reach the clutch plate. Even if it seeped between the engine and bell housing, it would be in front of the flywheel. Maybe your clutch is just done.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:53 PM   #8
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In my experience front tranny seal leak gets onto clutch

Rear main seal leak is under flywheel and does not get on clutch

Never seen a valve gasket leak get onto clutch

But does not mean clutch is not slipping
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:10 PM   #9
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in my experience front tranny seal leak gets onto clutch

rear main seal leak is under flywheel and does not get on clutch

never seen a valve gasket leak get onto clutch

but does not mean clutch is not slipping
^^^^x2
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:03 PM   #10
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Well, it slips when I switch every gear, mostly accelerating in city traffic, so if I change the gasket and clean things up back there, how many miles do you think I would have to test my theory before the clutch quits completely if it has nothing to do with the leak? Only just started giving fits last weekend, so I figure I got a while, but I do a lot of shifting, very gingerly shifting the last few days.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:15 AM   #11
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Well, it slips when I switch every gear, mostly accelerating in city traffic, so if I change the gasket and clean things up back there, how many miles do you think I would have to test my theory before the clutch quits completely if it has nothing to do with the leak? Only just started giving fits last weekend, so I figure I got a while, but I do a lot of shifting, very gingerly shifting the last few days.
If the clutch is slipping (especially due to being worn out), the more you drive it like that, the more damage you are likely to do to the flywheel. The clutch friction surface is riveted on and if you are in to the rivets, they could be riding on the flywheel. Even if they are not, slipping causes heat. I really doubt that the cause is engine oil. I think you need to bite the bullet and fix it or get it fixed.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:21 AM   #12
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^^^^x2
X3
Both my RMS & valve cover leaked for about 2 years before I finally changed them & never had clutch slippage. I would venture to say your problem lies elsewhere.
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:42 AM   #13
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Well, I think that seals the deal, just needed some people who been there done that to encourage me to bite the bullet. The oil in the clutch thing might apply to other vehicles, that info was not Jeep specific that I found online. Maybe I'll post some pictures of the operation.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:34 PM   #14
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I did somethin really stupid, but it makes a nice story. I tried to drive the Jeep out on the highway for a couple hours, after driving home from work in the city for an hour, and the clutch completely went out and also burned up my crankshaft sensor (which was almost as expensive as the entire clutch assembly, did some checking and they either put in a nice one or overcharged me quite a bit). When all was said and done, I got it into a mechanic since it ended up being a bit out of my experience and tools to mess with, and they replaced some seals/fluids and checked up on some things which was nice since I am not a mechanic and hadn't taken it to one since I bought it. Everything is good to go now. Put in a Luk clutch (regular, not gold) as I have seen recommended and will never take a failing clutch on a long trip again... You all were correct that oil was not the cause of the issue and went around, not into, the bell housing.

For reference, base cost of clutch replacement with my small town mechanic was $300, cost of Luk clutch kit and Flywheel was $200 on Amazon. UPS delivered it to my neighbor though
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:54 PM   #15
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I did somethin really stupid, but it makes a nice story. I tried to drive the Jeep out on the highway for a couple hours, after driving home from work in the city for an hour, and the clutch completely went out and also burned up my crankshaft sensor (which was almost as expensive as the entire clutch assembly, did some checking and they either put in a nice one or overcharged me quite a bit). When all was said and done, I got it into a mechanic since it ended up being a bit out of my experience and tools to mess with, and they replaced some seals/fluids and checked up on some things which was nice since I am not a mechanic and hadn't taken it to one since I bought it. Everything is good to go now. Put in a Luk clutch (regular, not gold) as I have seen recommended and will never take a failing clutch on a long trip again... You all were correct that oil was not the cause of the issue and went around, not into, the bell housing.

For reference, base cost of clutch replacement with my small town mechanic was $300, cost of Luk clutch kit and Flywheel was $200 on Amazon. UPS delivered it to my neighbor though
You got away cheap on the labor... Good job..!
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:19 PM   #16
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You got away cheap on the labor
Ya, I may be a Jeep newb, but one piece of advice I can give any person is get as far away from the city as possible for mechanics, and if possible acquire your own parts (even though mechanics often are not excited about that). Or, of course if the job is suitable for your time and tools (I don't say experience because you start with none), you can do it for free. Though I did find a very helpful body shop, Community Auto Body in Wheaton, IL (suburb, so city), that really tried to work with me on cost and explaining what I could do on my own.

And actually the whole job with fluids, seals, sensor, some other stuff I asked them to check, and clutch was about $700 not including $200 for the clutch & flywheel I provided, but if I hadn't burned up that sensor subtract $150 ($50 at Autozone ) and a little more labor, but it isn't much labor for the sensor.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:03 PM   #17
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Aww, I have a slow leak and a shudder.. but I've replaced the clutch and the resurfaced the flywheel... I was hoping that this would've been an answer for me and wow, I'm from Wheaton, IL!! I haven't been back in years though...
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:26 PM   #18
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Aww, I have a slow leak and a shudder.. but I've replaced the clutch and the resurfaced the flywheel... I was hoping that this would've been an answer for me and wow, I'm from Wheaton, IL!! I haven't been back in years though...
Check the condition of your transfer case mount.

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