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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week i drove through a small river probly half a 2 feet - 3 feet deep at the deepest, on the way back my brother wanted to get a video of me going through it quickly so i did, but ever since then shifting has been, clunky.

SYMPTOMS:
-Immediately the drive home after the river I noticed gearing down to 3rd from 4th grinded a bit, like it didnt get enough clutch (yes it was pressed in)

-Now 4th to 3rd will result in a grind almost every time even when going much slower to try and prevent it.

-3rd to 2nd is becoming increasingly more difficult. I have to be going like 5-10km/hr to shift into 2nd without it wanting to grind. and its a Nasty grind. Like very clunky. I could really feel the gears were unhappy through the shifter, like they wanted to fall apart almost. For a second it felt like when my transmission gears just fell apart 2 years ago. I got it rebuilt back then, and havent had many issues since. Except every now and then (before the river) shifting down from 5th to 4th could result in a grind.

-Sometimes it's hard to put it into first gear (back to after the river) from a stand still sometimes.

-Just overall very unhappy feeling gearbox.


Today I decided I need to park the redhood until i can diagnose and fix/getfixed the problem.


As always, any help would be much appreciate! You guys are seriously the best.
 

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Mostly sounds like a clutch problem but it would be best to drain the transmission and check the fluid as well.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mostly sounds like a clutch problem but it would be best to drain the transmission and check the fluid as well.
Cheers ill try that!


I read last night (not here and not about a YJ) someone had a similar problem and someone commented that it could be that their clutch plate (or something) is stuck, and to roll start their car (like when you're battery is drained) to unstuck it.

Could it be something like this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did you shift gears while in the water?
I can't remember to be honest, but im leaning 80% towards yes.

EDIT: okay i think its 100% yes because when my brother wanted to film me going through i was stopped in neutral at the shallow part ( like 5 inches) and i came out of the water in 2nd gear... and i didnt drive through gently.

I knew i should have gone slowww and steady (didnt know about not changing gears) but my brother got me hyped to make a cool video
 

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The clutch problem and driving through the water may or may not be related. They're called coincidences because that's what they are. Co-incidences.
You don't state what year your Jeep is. If you have a 1987-1993 YJ, I'd start by bleeding the clutch. If you have a 1994-1995 YJ, I'd look for a bleeder valve on the slave cylinder. If there's one there, I suggest bleeding the clutch. The '94-'95 YJs have an external slave cylinder and most aftermarket assemblies don't have a bleeder valve. If you have any year YJ, it may simply be the plungers in the master cylinder are worn and need to be replaced. Once we know what year your Jeep is, someone here can offer more suggestions about how to proceed.
I hadn't heard about popping the clutch to free a stuck clutch disc but it's certainly worth a try.

c5wagner suggests changing the transmission fluid. I agree. And, both differentials too. It's good maintenance to change those fluids after a deep water crossing or if you don't know the last time they were done.
For the transmission fluid be sure to use something that's "yellow metal safe". Google "GL4 vs GL5" and pick your poison.

Good Luck, L.M.
 
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It is my understanding that the AX5/15 are vented on top of the gear box unlike the transfer case and diffs which have a vent hose going much higher up on the body. You might have ingested water into you gear box. It should eventually evaporate out the vent but really should be changed ASAP.

This of course is if you have the AX gear box. Not sure about the BA10.

Wouldn’t be a bad idea to change the gear oil twice to flush it out. As many have done you can use 10w/30 motor oil. I would for the first change then use a good synthetic GL4 gear oil like Redline for you final change. Jmho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again for the reply you guys always give such great info.

I have a 94 YJ 4.0L


EDIT: I would have to say though the clutch problem + the river crossing is 99% not a coincidence. I noticed the first grind immediately once i started driving again.

ALSO - I had a leaky master slave cylinder problem in the past. Clutch was not engaging fully resulting in gears grinding or not wanting to go into gear. Reservoir was nearly empty so i filled it up and it slowly got better until i didnt notice a problem anymore. I bought a replacement master cylinder but never got it installed because that problem fixed itself. My initial thought with the grinding gears after going through the river was A. I got water in transmission or B. Water got into the master cylinder system through the leaky spot (if thats even a thing)

ALSO: No grinding whatsoever gearing up. Only when im in neutral going into 1st can it be grindy or resistant 'sometimes' (since the river crossing)
 

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If your clutch was stuck then you wouldn't be able to stop the vehicle from moving while the transmission was in gear the engine was running.

I did recently have to deal with that on a 56 Bel Air. I pushed the clutch in put it in first gear and started the engine which made the car move immediately. Then I drove around a field on and off the throttle while constantly holding the clutch in until the engine finally revved without the car lurching and I was able to come to a stop..

This is what a stuck clutch disc does and it only happens from being parked a long time.... not what you're dealing with...

Basically you have 2 likely possibilities....

You may have water in the trans (and diffs) and you may have washed the grease out of your throwout bearing...

This is what happens when you treat a jeep like a submarine...
 

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Cheers ill try that!


I read last night (not here and not about a YJ) someone had a similar problem and someone commented that it could be that their clutch plate (or something) is stuck, and to roll start their car (like when you're battery is drained) to unstuck it.

Could it be something like this?
What your talking about happened to one of my dodge diesels. That was on a fairly new clutch as well after a notorious NV3500 5th gear fall off the shaft repair. I'll say this, yes, after it sat overnight you'd have to put it in gear, push in the clutch and crank it over to break the disc free from the PP. If you didn't break the disc free you'd never get into gear.Once it was freed it shifted fine though. In you case not knowing details was it muddy water, full of grit that you sat in? Disc splines now full of crud? Water intrusion is real possible here and the sooner you drain it and refill the better off you are. Letting it sit a few days could kill bearings and gears with rust setting in and in turn galling on the bearings. Id change the oil yesterday myself to eliminate that potential costly disaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is this about right then:

1. Drain the transmission oil and check the fluid. Make sure new transmission fluid is "yellow metal safe" Google GL4 vs GL5 and pick a winner.
2. Check bleeder valve on the slave cylinder or install my spare slave cylinder. Bleed the clutch.
3. Change the differential gear oils.
 

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Yes drain the gear oil, fill it with new 10w/30 motor oil, run it for a few days, drain it and refill it with good quality GL4 synthetic gear oil. Redline MT 90 would be my choice but there are other similar good options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
At what point would i have to consider a tranny rebuild? After the 2nd drain/fill with tranny fluid and no improvement?
 

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At least you eliminated the water in the trans issue. That along could have added extra to a upcoming rebuild from rusted gears,shafts and part that are typically reusable. Wanna play ya gotta pay ya know. Far as when, guess that depends on how tired of grinding gears you are.
 

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Yes drain the gear oil, fill it with new 10w/30 motor oil, run it for a few days, drain it and refill it with good quality GL4 synthetic gear oil. Redline MT 90 would be my choice but there are other similar good options.
At what point would i have to consider a tranny rebuild? After the 2nd drain/fill with tranny fluid and no improvement?
I wouldn't worry about it until after the second fluid change. If the fluid change does the job, badaboom, you're done. If it doesn't fix it, post again for more suggestions. Either way, let us know if it works or not.

I have an AX15 that will someday end up in my old heap. Before I put it in. I'll remove the vent fitting and install a barbed fitting so that I can run a hose from the vent fitting up to a place high enough on the firewall that will keep it above any water I might drive through.

Good Luck, L.M.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Today I got tranny fluid drained and put 10w 40w penzoil in it for high mileage - same stuff i put in motor. The guy said it was super dark but no shavings or metal pieces in it.

However, it made 0% difference driving home.
It still grinded going from 4th to 3rd
still grinded going from 3rd to 2nd

Earlier when i posted how for a second it felt like the gears were all coming apart, i think i felt that again today but realized its not that its just the gears being 'pushed out' of gear. Like if im going slow enough it wont grind but it will be rejected almost bouncing off. I really wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be something with the salve cylindder - as it gave me troubles a few months ago.

But i'll keep things updated nonethless. Monday or tuesday ill be draining and putting the GL4 stuff in. Before the 2nd change is it just like 20-30miles i should drive or lots more or lots less?
 

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So if the fluid was black that means no water got in so it most likely isn't the internals. Like I originally said, sounds like a clutch issue but draining and changing the fluid is always a good idea anyway. If it was the synchronizers in the tranny, there would be a winding up spinning noise downshifting and not grinding unless it skipped the keys which I highly doubt, it would also refuse to go into gear at all without rev matching.

If the grease in the slave cylinder bearing was washed out it would sound like metal on metal screaming bearings when you push the clutch in. Try draining and then bleeding the slave cylinder/master first, make sure the slave and or master cylinder aren't leaking. The master would leak inside your jeep where the pedal pushes the rod in and the slave would leak fluid out the bellhousing or where the line goes in.

If you already had a leaking clutch system, maybe a prebled master and slave combo would fix your issue. Could have introduced water into the clutch hydraulic fluid which would cause these issues. Or maybe you got sediment in the pressure plate or clutch disc meaning a new clutch kit is in order. We can't be certain as diagnosing a jeep over the internet is difficult.
 
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If the oil came oil black then that's not the issue...
 
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