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Hello Forum,

I have searched the forum and found several threads related to transmission and clutch issues. After reading them, it seems that my issue might be a bit different so I decided to start a new thread.

I have a 1997 Wrangler, 4 cyl, 4 wheel drive with a 5 speed manual transmission.

About 2 weeks ago, I noticed a shudder when releasing the clutch in 1st gear. It wasn't every time, but started happening frequently. Going to neutral and then back into 1st gear seemed to eliminate the issue.

About 3 days ago (while driving along and the jeep was fully warmed up) I came to a red light. 1st gear was fine. When shifting to 2nd, the transmission grinded so loud (stick shifter vibrated horribly) that it popped back out of 2nd gear into neutral. I released the clutch and then shifted back into 2nd. I drove straight home and had the exact same issue with 2nd gear (grinding) and also mildly with 3rd gear. When I got to my house, I couldn't shift into 1st gear at all.

I can drive the jeep and it will usually work fine into 1st gear and only grind slightly going into 3rd. 2nd gear typically grinds badly. All gears other than 1st are very hard to shift into. It almost feels like the shifter is mis-aligned. Usually going to neutral and then reshifting with some muscle gets it into gear.

At this point, I have done the following:

1. Checked for leaks (can't find any)
2. Checked transmission fluid level (completely full)
3. Noticed that the transmission has what appears to be motor oil, not transmission fluid in it.
4. When the jeep is turned off, I can depress the clutch and all gears work fine.
5. When the jeep is turned on (and stationary), I can depress the clutch and the symptoms are there, but not as severe.

I am not sure if this is a clutch issue, a transmission issue, a transmission fluid issue or something else.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what to check next?

Thanks,

Mark
 

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How many miles are on it? Sounds like it could b a bad throw out bearing or synchronizers. The transmission is supposed to take a 85-90 (iirc) gear oil. Wouldn't hurt to change it
 

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Odds are, your transmission is toast.

But those same symptoms also could be attributed to a bad clutch, not fully disengaging the transmission before you are shifting.

Have you ever shifted the transmission by syncronizing the engine RPM with the vehicle speed? If so, you know that you don't actually need to use a clutch pedal to shift the rig. I'd try doing this. If it still grinds, then the transmission is probably just worn, and due for a rebuilt/replace.

If you want to run it as long as you can, then try double clutching, to see if that helps. First clutch, go from the gear to Neutral. Second clutch, go from Neutral to the next gear.

Good luck.

(The transmission takes 80-90 wt gear oil. It will be black in color, and look like dirty engine oil. New gear oil has a distinctive odor. It's MUCH thicker than engine oil when cold, but when warmed up, it will feel much like engine oil. Typically, transmission fluid is red-ish colored and very runny (thin). This is most commonly used ONLY in automatic transmission, but also in some transfer cases (due to the needle bearings replacing roller bearings).)
 
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