The Jeep is new to me- it is a 2002 TJ 5psd 4.0L. I bought it about 8 months ago. When I drove it home from the seller's house the throwout bearing went bad. I put in a new LUK clutch, LUK flywheel, pilot bearing, fork, pin, and a National 614093 Clutch Release Bearing.
I have only drove about 1000mi and the bearing is dead again, making a terrible noise.
I don't know when it started, but I do know when I press the clutch in, I could hear a whirring noise (before the bearing totally died).
Also. I went to a trail in Uwharrie - it is a mountain like trail near me - rough terrain, and it requires me to ride the clutch in 1st gear to get up and over certain obstacles, such as rocks and steep climbs. I also drove through mud water up to the bumpers on several occasions. I guess I will know more once it is opened back up but I have a feeling that maybe water got in, or, maybe riding the clutch on rough terrain heated the bearing up causing it to fail. I did wheel it a good 3-4 hours. I expected I'd need to fix something after such a trail ride but I didn't expect the throwout bearing to die again. But, I know very little about it - I can replace parts with the help of a friend but I am not a mechanic.
What is the best throwout bearing I can get? Would you get another 614903? Are there any other things I should be on the lookout for when replacing it again? Should driving it hard through the mountains cause it to fail so quickly?
I do drive it on the road, but I do take it on camping trips / trail riding, and if you couldn't tell, I am a bit new to the Wranglers.
If it helps - I have stock gears and a stock front/rearend, lift & 33s..
Thanks for any insight!