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So my father called yesterday and asked me to help pull an old 1940's farm tractor up out of the garage at my Grandfather's, it was smaller and rolled free but it needed to be pulled up a steep hill. I would estimate it at around 1000 lbs or so... I thought that would have been fine since it's well under what the Jeep is rated for.

I figured it was a chance to see how the Jeep can pull so I grabbed my hitch D-ring and my tow strap put the strap around the frame of the tractor and tightened up on the strap real easy. The hill was pretty long but it was all matted grass and it was evening so there was already a light dew, as soon as I tried to pull one of the rear wheels started spinning (its an open D44) so I backed up a foot or so and pulled it into 4HI once again pulled up and real easy and it started moving pretty easily with no tire spin, once I got on the hill I hear the engine struggling and alot of chatter like when stall is coming... so with everything that was going on and me watching in the mirrors I think I was riding the clutch and letting it slip but I'm not 100% sure...

It was at this point I started smelling the horrible sour-kraut stench of burning clutch... I couldn't really stop so I just kept going and made it to the top of the hill and everything seemed fine except the smell...

Now I'm new to Jeeps so maybe I should have had it in 4LO to keep the torque high and RPM's low when pulling but I didnt and used 4HI

Anyway based on what details I've given do you think I've harmed anything?
I probably took a little life off the clutch but on the way home the clutch felt fine with no slipping or anything and little by little the stench went away with the windows down and air circulating...

This was my first dumb moment since I bought the Jeep 3 months ago. I came from an automatic Hyundai so the 6sp took a little getting used to, I only stalled one time and that was when the Hill Assist held me back a little to long and it was more of a studder stall. On the way to work this morning everything felt completely fine...

I hate posting something like this but hey we've probably all made mistakes in our Jeeps at some point. Sorry for writing a book but give me your thoughts.
 

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The Bad Guy
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23,243 Posts
You just took some of the life off your clutch. Hopefully a lesson learned.
 

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4lo is definitely my go to option when pulling anything. Even when I'm pulling a trailer and have to back up a hill I use 4 Lo. It helps prevent chatter and clutch wear. You'll be ok as far as the clutch goes. If it was toasted, you would be having trouble now.
 

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Founder, ThumbJeeps
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4,062 Posts
if you feel odd slippage a little bit like a rubber band pulling back on you once in awhile, no worries. Sometimes when the clutch heats up like that it will get a glaze on it. Just takes a bunch of shifting and the glaze will wear off the plates eventually. But yeah, sometimes the glaze can cause a bit of slip when the RPMs go up.
 
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