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Old 04-11-2019, 09:03 PM
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Unhappy What have I done???

Bit of a spiel here, but any suggestions/advice/information on this would be great.

Bought my JKU in Jan of 2018, brand new and good to go. I've taken her off road about 3 times without a single water crossing or being submerged in mud. A few puddles but that's about it. (Finishing my degree at the moment so nowhere near as much time for trips as I would like).

Anyways, I've just brought her in for her 24,000km service a little early (About 20k) because there was a light clicking whenever I compressed the clutch.

Long story short, three days later the dealership calls me, says they have the car in pieces (I gave the go ahead for this so they could diagnose) and that I need a new clutch plate (Apparently well, WELL past the extremes of wear) and that there is no lubrication in the transmission anymore. Instead, it's packed full of mud and dirt, as if I'd been changing gears while submerged in mud. It's sounding like an expensive job, but as I have such low km's (A new clutch at 20k? Are you f****** serious??) they're waiting until the head mechanic comes in on Monday to have a look at things and see if there's been some form of mechanical failure.

I've had problems with my transmission previously, with my selector going floppy at about 16000, but this was covered under warranty (Another freak incident, my dealership said they'd seen the same failure only one other time).

Basically, any indication from you guys about what I could have done OR what the Jeep could have wrong with it to cause this and how you'd imagine this is going to play out would be really appreciated!

I know we're all very cynical of dealerships, but I've had a really good experience with this one so far, so am confident they're not deliberately stitching me up here.

I have a restless weekend ahead of me and any anecdotes, thoughts on the situation or advice would be super appreciated!

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Old 04-11-2019, 09:19 PM   #2
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A manual transmission is a sealed unit, not like an auto that has a breather.

How in 20K did it have no gear oil?
How does mud get into a sealed unit?

I can understand in some mud got in the bell house/clutch area, maybe,,, but into the gearbox?

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Old 04-11-2019, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Patofnaud View Post
A manual transmission is a sealed unit, not like an auto that has a breather.

How in 20K did it have no gear oil?
How does mud get into a sealed unit?

I can understand in some mud got in the bell house/clutch area, maybe,,, but into the gearbox?
Sorry mate! It's exactly my clutch that's having this problem. I'll change the post. Any thoughts on how the clutch could have been that munted after so little work?
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:27 PM   #4
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Ahh makes more sense. Not familiar with the JK, but most bell housings have an access door/plate that you open/remove to get to the flywheel bolts. If that was left off from a prior service, that would be the only way I can think of anything other than water getting in.

Water can seep in as the bell is not sealed to the block, just bolted. But you would have to be playing submarine man to fill it up.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:31 PM
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Ahh makes more sense. Not familiar with the JK, but most bell housings have an access door/plate that you open/remove to get to the flywheel bolts. If that was left off from a prior service, that would be the only way I can think of anything other than water getting in.

Water can seep in as the bell is not sealed to the block, just bolted. But you would have to be playing submarine man to fill it up.
Thank you heaps! I'll mention that I haven't touched the bell housing to them when I see them on Monday, as I've definitely treated the JK as well as I know how, and haven't touched anything like that at all. Fingers crossed they can cover this for me!!
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:57 PM   #6
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Sounds like a lot of leg pulling happening by the dealer.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:21 PM   #7
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Don't know about the mud, but clutch plates can burn out pretty fast if the pressure plate is faulty, or if the operator is doing a lot of clutch riding.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:50 AM   #8
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Maybe somebody "test drove" your Jeep after/during the previous service?

I worked briefly at a very big powersports dealership ---- the techs "test drove" the hyperbikes that came in for service. Mercilessly.

The Jeep/Ram dealership closest to my house "test drove" my Power Wagon after an oil change. My GPS was on and logged their route. 25 miles and a top speed of 124.9 mph.
I tried to report that dealer to @JeepCares but they didn't care; they said "don't go back there". The dealership's management didn't care. I don't go there anymore; that's about all I can do.

If you weren't mudding there shouldn't be mud in there. My Jeep has over 130,000 miles on it, some of the FS roads have been muddy, and I don't have mud in my clutch, trans, or diffs.
My previous JK got stuck in nasty bit of mud once -- autotrans though. Mud was fairly bonded to the skid for the rest of its life but the trans was fine.

My old Jeep that day

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Old 04-12-2019, 06:55 AM   #9
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Don't know about the mud, but clutch plates can burn out pretty fast if the pressure plate is faulty, or if the operator is doing a lot of clutch riding.

Yes, I have seen people using the clutch pedal as a dead pedal wear out the clutch very prematurely. Any chance that the OP is resting their foot on the clutch pedal? That would not explain the mud in the bell housing though.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:23 AM
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Maybe somebody "test drove" your Jeep after/during the previous service?

I worked briefly at a very big powersports dealership ---- the techs "test drove" the hyperbikes that came in for service. Mercilessly.

The Jeep/Ram dealership closest to my house "test drove" my Power Wagon after an oil change. My GPS was on and logged their route. 25 miles and a top speed of 124.9 mph.
I tried to report that dealer to @JeepCares but they didn't care; they said "don't go back there". The dealership's management didn't care. I don't go there anymore; that's about all I can do.

If you weren't mudding there shouldn't be mud in there. My Jeep has over 130,000 miles on it, some of the FS roads have been muddy, and I don't have mud in my clutch, trans, or diffs.
My previous JK got stuck in nasty bit of mud once -- autotrans though. Mud was fairly bonded to the skid for the rest of its life but the trans was fine.

My old Jeep that day

Attachment 4142321
Jeez I'm actually furious for you! I'd have been shaking - have a bit of a relationship with the dealership so would be very surprised if they'd done anything that shady... (Also they're minimum an hour from any real mud or open roads) (It's actually just out of the end of summer here so not really any mud anywhere...)

Your post is making me more and more confident that it's an extreme mechanical failure. I've been in mud maybe 3 times, all three have been below the diffs let alone the clutch and none of them were in mud that had a consistency that could pile on like that! (Awesome pic btw)

Cheers for your help!
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:25 AM
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Don't know about the mud, but clutch plates can burn out pretty fast if the pressure plate is faulty, or if the operator is doing a lot of clutch riding.
Nah it's burnt out because the inside of the clutch was "Dry as a bone" and full of what's now dust but presumably was once watery mud... pinky promise I know how to drive the thing!
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:41 AM   #12
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The clutch housing is pretty sealed, but not 100% sealed.
Either someone drove your Jeep in some serious mud, and I mean serious, or they are lying / mistaken.
The clutch housing SHOULD be "dry as a bone", I am not sure what that is supposed to mean. The dust, is it dust from mud that has dried up or is it dust from a clutch disc that has worn out?
Something is not adding up.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:07 AM
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The clutch housing is pretty sealed, but not 100% sealed.
Either someone drove your Jeep in some serious mud, and I mean serious, or they are lying / mistaken.
The clutch housing SHOULD be "dry as a bone", I am not sure what that is supposed to mean. The dust, is it dust from mud that has dried up or is it dust from a clutch disc that has worn out?
Something is not adding up.
Those are all the same questions that I had for the dealership but the head tech wasn't in that week (and the rep talking to me didn't know a whole lot himself) - he's coming in on Monday and I'm going down tomorrow to take heaps of photos myself - I'll post anything that seems relevant on here.

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:00 AM   #14
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Um, clutches are supposed to be dry! The clicking when you press the clutch is because the clutch fork is not lubricated enough. The only thing that has to be done is to take the slave cylinder out and lube up the ball end, and then drill a small hole in the bell housing so you can lube the other end of the fork.

I have done this myself and had the clicking go away for a while. If you bought the jeep new and its been driven as you say, then the dealer is likely taking you for a ride.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:44 PM   #15
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I would be there when the mechanic walks into work, I would have already gone down there and taken pictures of said mud and other crap there talking about,



I just did my clutch, 3/4 of my clutch plate cam off, to where I had 1" of clutch pedal travel,
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:19 PM   #16
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You guys are all saying it's sealed but I'm fairly certainly I've read that you MUST NEVER push the clutch in while submerged or it will suck in water or mud or whatever it's submerged in. If you stall and need to restart, you can restart in 4L without pushing in the clutch.

Now, OP says he never submerged it so that's moot.

Was it bought new or could it have been a demo model or something?

Finally... this clicking... is it a sort of creaking noise? If it's this, then it's a common issue. They replaced my whole clutch assembly under warranty for it.

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Old 04-12-2019, 02:27 PM   #17
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You guys are all saying it's sealed but I'm fairly certainly I've read that you MUST NEVER push the clutch in while submerged or it will suck in water or mud or whatever it's submerged in. If you stall and need to restart, you can restart in 4L without pushing in the clutch.

Now, OP says he never submerged it so that's moot.

Was it bought new or could it have been a demo model or something?

Finally... this clicking... is it a sort of creaking noise? If it's this, then it's a common issue. They replaced my whole clutch assembly under warranty for it.

https://youtu.be/Jy3Qlh7EUpU
The trans is pretty much sealed. The clutch bell housing is mostly sealed, but not 100%. As you mentioned, you want to avoid pushing in the clutch pedal while submerged.
The original story made it sound like there was mud in the trans. Then it evolved to mud in the clutch bell housing area.
We will see what they say, but I think something is fishy (probably with the dealer).
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:52 PM   #18
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This absolutely sounds like some techs who have never seen a manual transmission or have never seen a disassembled clutch before. Sounds like they're expecting to see a fluid coupler or a wet clutch. There will be tons of clutch dust from normal operation. Maybe they think that's mud? I don't know. The transmission has a small slot and two holes that may or may not be plugged depending on the year. The slot is always exposed, hence the recommendation not to shift in muddy water.

I do know that you will be paying a lot here though, because you authorized them to remove the transmission. You might as well put a clutch kit in there while it's down, because you're already on the hook for labor. I expect this to be $1500-$2k
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:49 PM   #19
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Nah it's burnt out because the inside of the clutch was "Dry as a bone" and full of what's now dust but presumably was once watery mud... pinky promise I know how to drive the thing!

Clutches don't magically burn out.


They burn out because they are not fully engaged and creating a one on one on mechanical connection for what ever reason. Maybe it's the driver... maybe a faulty pressure plate, or maybe even something preventing complete contact. but either way it was not engaging properly for a good period of time.



Mud doesn't magically appear out of nowhere either, so your dealer is either outright lying, which I find hard to believe, or there was in fact something open underneath with the last mud puddle(s) you went through.


I'm not saying this is YOUR fault but all I'm hearing here is one side of the story... and there are always 2 sides or more.



No oil... burned up clutch plate... and packed full of mud. Again, there are always two sides to a story, but those facts by themselves (so long as the dealer isn't lying) screams abuse. Not necessarily saying YOU.... but someone.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:57 PM   #20
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Google clutches for your make/model...then compare that to $20,000! Ask them to show you exactly which clutch costs near that even with labor.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:15 PM
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You guys are all saying it's sealed but I'm fairly certainly I've read that you MUST NEVER push the clutch in while submerged or it will suck in water or mud or whatever it's submerged in. If you stall and need to restart, you can restart in 4L without pushing in the clutch.

Now, OP says he never submerged it so that's moot.

Was it bought new or could it have been a demo model or something?

Finally... this clicking... is it a sort of creaking noise? If it's this, then it's a common issue. They replaced my whole clutch assembly under warranty for it.

https://youtu.be/Jy3Qlh7EUpU
That's exactly how mine sounds! Can you remember what this was diagnosed as being?
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:02 PM   #22
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Google clutches for your make/model...then compare that to $20,000! Ask them to show you exactly which clutch costs near that even with labor.

He's not saying "$20,000". He's saying a new clutch is needed at 20,000Km (about 12,500 miles)
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:16 PM   #23
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For the low oil in the transmission.

My 2016 was deliver with about 1/4 of the required oil quantity in the tranny

So wouldn't be suprised if the guy in charge of tranny servicing still work at the plant :P
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:14 PM   #24
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That's exactly how mine sounds! Can you remember what this was diagnosed as being?
Here's the full discussion on when I was dealing with it.

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f202/c...e-2146033.html
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:01 AM   #25
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Bit of a spiel here, but any suggestions/advice/information on this would be great.

Bought my JKU in Jan of 2018, brand new and good to go. I've taken her off road about 3 times without a single water crossing or being submerged in mud. A few puddles but that's about it. (Finishing my degree at the moment so nowhere near as much time for trips as I would like).

Anyways, I've just brought her in for her 24,000km service a little early (About 20k) because there was a light clicking whenever I compressed the clutch.

Long story short, three days later the dealership calls me, says they have the car in pieces (I gave the go ahead for this so they could diagnose) and that I need a new clutch plate (Apparently well, WELL past the extremes of wear) and that there is no lubrication in the transmission anymore. Instead, it's packed full of mud and dirt, as if I'd been changing gears while submerged in mud. It's sounding like an expensive job, but as I have such low km's (A new clutch at 20k? Are you f****** serious??) they're waiting until the head mechanic comes in on Monday to have a look at things and see if there's been some form of mechanical failure.

I've had problems with my transmission previously, with my selector going floppy at about 16000, but this was covered under warranty (Another freak incident, my dealership said they'd seen the same failure only one other time).

Basically, any indication from you guys about what I could have done OR what the Jeep could have wrong with it to cause this and how you'd imagine this is going to play out would be really appreciated!

I know we're all very cynical of dealerships, but I've had a really good experience with this one so far, so am confident they're not deliberately stitching me up here.

I have a restless weekend ahead of me and any anecdotes, thoughts on the situation or advice would be super appreciated!
The throw-out bearing is the most likely culprit. Chrysler has a problem with these.
Mine (started rattling about 12,000 mile) was replaced at about 60 thousand( I thought it might be the pilot bearing but is wasn't). Problem is that they will not just replace the bearing and have to replace the clutch plate and inspect the flywheel while in the bell housing.

My new throw-out bearing went south at about 6,000 miles of use, and was then replaced under warranty. At the time of replacement it was determined the rear main seal was leaking too!

So Chrysler had to back order the rear main seal for the engine ( took three weeks.... Yea, I wasn't happy!

That ended my saga with the clutch issue.... or so I thought.

Then the slave cylinder went out and leaked a bunch of oil. Towed back to the dealer for a new master cylinder and slave assembly.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:39 AM   #26
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Shifting in the mud/water doesn't actually "suck" in any goop (it's already in there through the access hole), it just coats the friction plate and flywheel. Then it starts slipping a bit and when it dries the grit eats away at both surfaces resulting in premature wear.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:30 PM
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Hey guys thanks heaps for all your help! Thought I'd come back now that it's all sorted and let you know what went on and found here that this is exactly what happened! I had a faulty throw out bearing AND some incomprehensible issue with the placement of the clutch fork so did actually end up wearing my clutch to nothing in 20k. Dealership apologised and said it wasn't actual mud/dirt but clutch dust (Seems they had some internal miscommunication) and replaced the whole thing (I paid a little bit anyways so that they would upgrade the clutch itself to a heavy duty equivalent).

Thanks heaps for all your help

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The throw-out bearing is the most likely culprit. Chrysler has a problem with these.
Mine (started rattling about 12,000 mile) was replaced at about 60 thousand( I thought it might be the pilot bearing but is wasn't). Problem is that they will not just replace the bearing and have to replace the clutch plate and inspect the flywheel while in the bell housing.

My new throw-out bearing went south at about 6,000 miles of use, and was then replaced under warranty. At the time of replacement it was determined the rear main seal was leaking too!

So Chrysler had to back order the rear main seal for the engine ( took three weeks.... Yea, I wasn't happy!

That ended my saga with the clutch issue.... or so I thought.

Then the slave cylinder went out and leaked a bunch of oil. Towed back to the dealer for a new master cylinder and slave assembly.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:55 PM   #28
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I love that the tailgate is open.

So you get just a peek of what color the Jeep is, under all that.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:04 AM   #29
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Hey guys thanks heaps for all your help! Thought I'd come back now that it's all sorted and let you know what went on and found here that this is exactly what happened! I had a faulty throw out bearing AND some incomprehensible issue with the placement of the clutch fork so did actually end up wearing my clutch to nothing in 20k. Dealership apologised and said it wasn't actual mud/dirt but clutch dust (Seems they had some internal miscommunication) and replaced the whole thing (I paid a little bit anyways so that they would upgrade the clutch itself to a heavy duty equivalent).

Thanks heaps for all your help
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I love that the tailgate is open.

So you get just a peek of what color the Jeep is, under all that.
That's the stuckest I ever was without being stuck. Does that make sense? I skinny peddled until I got out. $10 worth of quarters at the pressure washer to blow the mud off and I still didn't get it all.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:45 PM   #30
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Link to HD replacement?


That's the stuckest I ever was without being stuck. Does that make sense? I skinny peddled until I got out. $10 worth of quarters at the pressure washer to blow the mud off and I still didn't get it all.

Hey, happy ending!!! Yay!!! Hats off to the dealer for admitting the error. Good move on the upgraded clutch. I did that on my 97TJ and never regretted it.


Just to be clear... the picture of the Jeep is AFTER the $10 pressure wash??? Sheesh! You sure were stuck! LMAO!

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