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Old 02-26-2014, 04:59 PM   #1
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Exclamation TJ Clutch problems

My son has kidnapped my jeep and been driving it for the last two years. Here's the problem as he tells me

Starts fine, and shifts into first ok - when shifting from 1st to 2nd he can't get it to go in gear, requiring him to pull over. He turns the engine off, swears at it, throws a water bottle, then starts the engine again. Starts in 1st and shifts ok for through remaining gears.

I've checked the fluid level in clutch, it's full. When I drive it, I have zero problems - making me think it may have something to do with it sitting all day at work and being "cold" - however it never does it first thing in the morning after sitting all night.

ANY input or insight would be greatly appreciated
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:30 PM   #2
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Has he tried double-clutching when he is unable to shift? Sounds to me like a syncro issue... sometimes pressing the clutch in, shifting to N and releasing the clutch, then pressing it again and trying trying to catch 2nd helps with syncro problems.

When was the last time the Jeep's had a trans fluid change? Is it used for any off-roading or water crossings? How many miles are on the Jeep?

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Old 02-27-2014, 03:23 PM   #3
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eboven - we have a ton of mile on her - 222xxx - and he better not be doing any water crossings - - but seriously the only 4 wheeling he has done was when we had a bit of snow a few weeks back - - - that's when the issue started

haven't done a trans fluid change - is it difficult? I'm pretty good with a wrench so I'm not afraid to tackle most jobs
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:10 PM   #4
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transmission fluid is easier than an oil change. So long as you have a $5 hand pump and $5 oil plug socket
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:36 PM   #5
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A fluid change can't hurt, here's a link for a good how-to; an early model TJ has the AX-15, they switched to the NV3550 sometime around 2000, I think.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:13 PM   #6
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A synthetic 10w-30 motor oil will work fine for transmission fluid, and wont eat your brass synchros like some others will. Mobil1 seems to be a popular one.

However, most people will swear up and down that Redline MT90 is the be all end all. Jerry Bransford advocates it, so I'm inclined to believe the hype.

If, when you drain it, it looks like liquid gold, you're in trouble. That means the fluid that's been in there forever has eaten through your synchros. But that's highly doubtful, as it's probably mopar fluid and midnight black.

In case you're interested in what we're talking about/how manuals work...


If you can't find a short socket (only long allen wrench sockets (like they sell at autozone, duralast brand)), you can take an angle grinder and cut off the majority of it, then use a box end wrench and some ducttape.

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