Originally Posted by WnxMike
I have an 1989 Wrangler Sahara and the clutch is stiff, i have to turn off the jeep to put it in the gear i want (to reverese i have to turn off the jeep then put it in reverse or else theres a clanking/ bussing noise) gears grinding? idk. i have never checked the clutch fluid levels and i was told that it could be the issue. when i get going tho it usually shifts fine kinda. i know nothing of car mechanics unfortinatly, so any information you guys share i would be very appreciative.
The clutch on the YJ is normally on the stiffer side (gets a bit tiresome for city stop-and-go driving), but it shouldn't require straining to depress the pedal. If you find that you have to really work to push the pedal down, you might have a problem with the master cylinder, slave cylinder or the clutch plate assembly. Bleeding is typically what you do if the pedal is too soft or if you have problems engaging the forward gears. Any air bubbles in the hydraulic fluid are compressible, but the hydraulic fluid isn't. So air bubbles absorb the pressure sent from the clutch pedal instead of sending it to the clutch plate assembly. That makes for a soft clutch. It you can't send enough pressure to completely disengage the clutch plate from the flywheel, you'll have problems putting it into forward gears. An easy test for air in the hydraulics is to pump the clutch several times before shifting - if the problem goes away, then you have air in the line.
The reverse gear though, is not synchronized like the forward gears, so you may sometimes get gear clash (grinding) if things aren't lined up close enough. This is normal, or at least expected to happen on occasion for unsynchronized gears. To prevent this, try putting the shifter into a forward gear (try any of them) before putting it in reverse - this sometimes will get the gears lined up close enough to eliminate or at least minimize gear clash/grinding. I do this out of habit with my Jeep. Sometimes I hear a single clink or clank as the gears engage, and only rarely do I get a buzzy grind.