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Old 08-11-2017, 07:00 PM
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JK grinding reverse

Hey guys,
New to the forum, but not new to lurking. Ive had several jeeps over the years but just recently got a 2012 Wrangler sport with ~40,000miles.
I love the ride and style and everything about the jeep, however, when changing gears into reverse I get a grinding noise if I'm not careful. If i keep my hand on the shifter and press against R while slowly releasing the clutch I can make it fall into place, but if i try to change into reverse like you should be able to, I get a grinding noise and it will not fall into place.

I have tried the method of changing from a forward gear to R but this only works some of the time.
I see this is a fairly common issue on the 6 speeds, but I want to see what solutions have worked (shifter tower, middle boot, etc.)

There are several started posts about this issue, but I cannot find any concrete answers.
I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction so I can begin to fully enjoy my jeep (and trust reverse).
**By the way, gears 1-6 are smooth and full with no issue.

Thanks in advanced!

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Old 08-12-2017, 04:22 PM   #2
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JK manual transmissions have a reverse gear synchronizer. The first thing to check is the inner shift boot to make sure it's not causing a bind when you shift into R. If you're properly engaging the clutch and you're using one firm motion to shift into reverse all the way to the right and down, then it could be the synchro.

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Old 08-13-2017, 12:39 PM
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Thanks, kik, I will have to check the inner shift boot. I assume I will have to pull the center console out to check it. It would be nice if it was something that simple.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:49 PM   #4
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You can try what kik suggested. I would also tweak your going into a forward gear routine a bit. Come to a complete stop, depress the clutch, release it, shift into 1, back to neutral, and release the clutch, depress it, and shift into reverse. It's a bit more work but certainly worth trying if kik's tip doesn't work. You could also swap out the brake fluid from the clutch system. Over the years it takes on moisture, and that can also cause a grind going into reverse.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:47 AM
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demarpaint, thanks for the tip, I will have to try that after work today. I checked the inner boot and it didn't seem to be causing a problem.

I appreciate the tips guys, keep them coming! It gives me hope that it seems I am not alone in the 6-speed issues...
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by smallJK View Post
demarpaint, thanks for the tip, I will have to try that after work today. I checked the inner boot and it didn't seem to be causing a problem.

I appreciate the tips guys, keep them coming! It gives me hope that it seems I am not alone in the 6-speed issues...

Good luck!! I'm looking forward to an update.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:34 PM   #7
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I've had the same issue since day 1 (2016 Rubicon). Dealership's response was basically a shrug. I've been doing essentially what @demarpaint mentions and it does help, but not 100%. It's annoying but I don't feel anything serious is wrong. 10% of the time I grind when I "think" I'm in reverse, and can just clunk it in after that. If it gets worse I guess I'll try the dealership again. I consider it one of my Jeep's many quirks *cough* roof leaks like a sieve *cough*.
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:51 PM
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@demarpaint,
I have tried the shifting sequence you listed several times, and knock on wood, haven't grinded going into reverse again yet! You may have given me the secret password I needed!
I will update in a week and let you know how it's going!
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by smallJK View Post
@demarpaint,
I have tried the shifting sequence you listed several times, and knock on wood, haven't grinded going into reverse again yet! You may have given me the secret password I needed!
I will update in a week and let you know how it's going!
I've been doing that trick for over 40 years now, lol it works! Unless there is something wrong, like a warped or badly worn clutch disk for example. Even transmissions that are supposed to be synchronized in Reverse benefit from it. You might hear it bark occasionally, that is usually caused by forgetting to do it, or skipping a step. If starts doing it frequently again swap out the brake fluid from the clutch system. Only replace it with a bottle of brake fluid that was never opened, and has the foil seal. Continue using the sequence! Good luck!!
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:03 PM
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The tip with the sequence is still working! Just thought I would update in case someone else may be wondering
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:41 AM   #11
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The tip with the sequence is still working! Just thought I would update in case someone else may be wondering
I'm glad it worked for you! I had a feeling it would. I've only been doing it for about 4+ decades. Drive it in good health!

It will become second nature, and you won't even know you're doing it!

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