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OpieDP 03-05-2013 06:30 PM

After deep water/mud... 2005 LJ Clutch
2005 Jeep Wrangler LJ Rubicon, approx 70k. 3.5" lift, 33s

Was in Deep water/mud up to my winch plate on Saturday (about 2-3 inches came up through floor plug hole (no plug, oops) on passenger side. I had planned to replace my gear lube already this week so Im going to do that tonight regardless of contamination.

I havent checked but Im sure my transmission is contaminated and I say that because the starter is now acting up/needed to be tapped with a hammer this AM to get the jeep to start up and I have read that this can happen when muddy contaminants get in there from the transmission (please correct me if this was incorrect). So I will also be replacing my tranny fluid tonight and remove and clean out my starter, potentially replacing starter tomorrow if it doesnt want to start cold in the AM.

I will replace my T-Case fluid tonight just because Im going to be down there anyway.

That background info was to prevent a bunch of unnecessary replies....

Shortly after going through this deep water/mud my engine began to run VERY poorly and was overheating, hesitating, clutch seemed funny, and the controls for my heat/defrost werent functioning. I figured this was a vacuum leak and sure enough it was, the vacuum fitting on the driver side of the motor had totally come off while wheeling {likely while I was in deep water I put it back on (it was very loose, the only thing holding it on was the vacuum pressure itself, Will replace that tonight as well) and it began running much better, clutch felt like the proper resistance again, controls worked, temp staying at 210 now. (I did hose the mud off the radiator too so the overheating may not be related to the Vacuum, I dont really know) PS: It was only overheating while idling after using 4lo for any period of time. There was tons of fluid in my overflow container when it was overheating too, I assume vacuum moves the fluid from overflow back to radiator?

Now my questions:

1: Is the NSG370 clutch open to contaminants like the NP3550 is? I havent been able to find specifics about that. Also, if it is, can someone throw up a picture of the area that is open? I would like to visualize it and I couldnt find anything obvious like that when I was underneath yesterday.

2: Since going through this mud puddle/water my clutch seems to be engaging earlier or higher. That is, when I depress the clutch I dont need to depress it nearly as far as before. I have read others that have commented on their high clutch being normal for TJ but this is different for me now. was more mid/low, in fact I had to depress the clutch nearly to the floor to prevent a sensation of the gears not meshing properly between 1st and 2nd gear. Now it is very very high in the clutch. This doesnt particularly bother me, but I was able to shift more smoothly before/maybe just because of practice that way, and I would love to move the shift back to where it was if that is possible or if this is an indication of something going wrong I would like to fix it before it leaves me stranded somewhere.

It seems to me that if there were mud/material stuck between the clutch plate and flywheel that this would move the clutch lower, rather than higher, but Im no mechanic.

3: Should I be concerned about having that vacuum nipple exposed to muddy water, obviously not a good thing but the engine is running fine/like a champ now and having no problems. Is there anything I should check or maintain related to this mishap besides replace that vacuum connector?

Thanks if you read all that, sorry about the lengthy post.

lynn 03-06-2013 06:53 AM

Ever since I had my 05 LJ about headlight deep in muddy water, the clutch "chatters" when pulling out from a stop... only when it is damp/raining. Obviously some dirt on the disc. It improves after the 2nd pull-out, it's just that initial time or two on a damp/rainy day. It does not do it on a dry day.
It's been like this for 3 years or so, no big deal. I know what to expect.
My clutch engagement/disengagement point on the pedal stroke has never changed.

As for the vacuum line, mine slipped off not long after I bought it. I stuck it back on, then used a zip tie to tighten the hose on the nipple. Four years later, it has not come off again.

BigTwig 03-06-2013 07:40 AM

My 06 TJ is in the shop now for the exact same reason - same transmission. After soaking in some deep water and running the trails for a few hours I had no power left. It started off slow like I was loosing power then eventually I couldn't move at all. Almost like the clutch was stuck engaged...I'm hoping just the throw out bearing seized and it's nothing too serious. I tried swapping out the master and slave for a quick fix, but I know my limitations and took it into the shop. My mechanic (and jeep fanatic) said that there is a problem with getting water into the transmission but usually on the automatics.

I would love to hear what everyone else says about this. Especially since we have some pretty deep holes to run through around here.

KaiserJeep 03-06-2013 07:48 AM

It's a Jeep, not a submarine. Just because you CAN drive in and out of mud and water that deep does not mean you SHOULD. There are multiple openings in the bell housing and if you get mud inside and it dries there, you may have a trashed clutch. By that I mean, the input shaft on the transmission is definately NOT a rust resistant steel. If you get it wet, it corrodes and the throwout bearing won't slide over it anymore. As some of you have discovered, you can also submerge the tranny and transfer case vents and mess them up, too.

Play with rocks instead.

BigTwig 03-06-2013 08:07 AM time I'm in swamps I'll look for some rocks. We all don't have the same environments to run around in. Granted I know my jeep is not a submarine and don't intentionally try to submerge it, but sometimes that's what happens.

lee indy 03-06-2013 08:21 AM

did you push the clutch in while it was submerged. thats when you open it up to getting jacked up. id get under there with a pressure washer and spray into the bell houseing as best you can while working the pedal. you never want to submarine the transmission then try to use the clutch.

BigTwig 03-06-2013 09:28 AM

I'm sure I did down shifting to get out of there. What I thought was a little puddle turned out to be a HOLE. Dropped me down low enough to flood an inch of water in the tub. Then I sat there waiting for my buddy to try out his new warn and yank me out.

Lessons learned I guess and I'm learning it the hard way. They should be tearing into the jeep today to replace the clutch and hopefully nothing more serious.

jgorm 03-06-2013 12:12 PM

The starter issues does not sound related to the trans. You probably got crap in the starter solenoid and that is why you need to tap it. Id buy a new starter solenoid or combo.

TJ4Jim 03-06-2013 04:41 PM

During hurricane Sandy my trans was submerged in salt water which seemed to screw up my throw out bearing based on the screeching, so I squeezed a hose thru the inspection plate at the base of the housing and flushed everything while it was running. It helped a little but ultimately I had to rip the fu%#@r out for the second time in 18 months. The bearing was trash. The trans also went under but there was not a drop of water or any sign of contamination when I replaced the fluid

dieselbreath 03-06-2013 07:02 PM

The pivots on the pressure plate are full of debri. I had to replace my cutch for the same reason. Mine also had a stiff pedel and was released all the time by itself. I could put it into gear without depressing the pedel. I would show you pictures if I could. You will have the evedence soon. There is a gap at the top and bottom of the trans bell hsg to engine that I stuffed scotch brite pads in place.I hope his helps keep debri out. Thou will still get water in there. I have'nt tested yet cause this was just done in December. Good luck. I would like to see pictures of the pressure plate when its out. :popcorn:

flash1034 03-06-2013 07:31 PM

Another argument for an auto trans. Flame suit on. Lol.


jgorm 03-06-2013 09:54 PM


Originally Posted by flash1034 (Post 3468445)
Another argument for an auto trans. Flame suit on. Lol.


If you got water / mud in the vent of an auto trans it would probably be ruined. :dance:

flash1034 03-07-2013 09:29 AM

Except the vent hose exits near the valve cover. If you get that deep, you've got bigger problems.


idiot magnet 03-07-2013 10:33 AM

Did the same thing last year... I replaced my starter, clutch and the destroyed throw out bearing. I had already extended my vent hose from the top of the transmission into the engine bay prior to this, so that wasn't an issue.
Power wash your plugged up radiator from the outside since you have a bunch of mud keeping it from working properly. You'll be surprised how much mud is stuck between the fins. Clean the CPS as well and any electrical connections that went below the water/mud line.

Rayko 03-07-2013 11:30 AM

Same thing happened to me a couple of months back. Replaced fluid in the tranny, diffs, engine, t case. Put in new clutch, p plate, t-o bearing and slave cylinder.
Pulled out whole interior, power washed the inside tub, p washed the carpets, was a real pain in the ass.

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