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Unread 08-06-2010, 09:50 AM   #1
CoronaCowboy
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Advice on a transmission/clutch problem

I need some advice on a transmission/clutch problem.

It's on my '91 YJ 5 speed 4.0L.

Here's the problem:
At a stop, you can't shift into first gear. If you put it in reverse, then first; it will usually work. If you shift into first while you are still rolling, it will go in most times.

At times, when stopped, if you try and put it in reverse, it will grind away, even if you pump the clutch.

Sometimes, it will not go into any gear unless you shut off the Jeep, and restart it.

I've checked and the transmission fluid is full, and doesn't look discolored.

I'm on a shoestring budget as this *new*(to me) Jeep also has an overheating problem I'm working on, and the front Brakes/Rotors/Calipers need replacing

The original owner said that this has been happening for a long time... and they just dealt with it; They had a transmission guy work on it a few times with no success.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Unread 08-06-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoronaCowboy View Post
I need some advice on a transmission/clutch problem.

It's on my '91 YJ 5 speed 4.0L.

Here's the problem:
At a stop, you can't shift into first gear. If you put it in reverse, then first; it will usually work. If you shift into first while you are still rolling, it will go in most times.

At times, when stopped, if you try and put it in reverse, it will grind away, even if you pump the clutch.

Sometimes, it will not go into any gear unless you shut off the Jeep, and restart it.

I've checked and the transmission fluid is full, and doesn't look discolored.

I'm on a shoestring budget as this *new*(to me) Jeep also has an overheating problem I'm working on, and the front Brakes/Rotors/Calipers need replacing

The original owner said that this has been happening for a long time... and they just dealt with it; They had a transmission guy work on it a few times with no success.

Thanks for any suggestions!
hows the master cylinder fluid level?

Doesn't totally sound like a hydraulic issue, but any idea on how well versed this transmission guy was?
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Unread 08-06-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
CoronaCowboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyhouse View Post
hows the master cylinder fluid level?
Sorry forgot to mention this - Master Cylinder fluid is where it should be.

Don't know anything about the transmission guy... I'd trust the advice here before going on what was said about the Jeep in the past
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Unread 08-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #4
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoronaCowboy View Post
Sorry forgot to mention this - Master Cylinder fluid is where it should be.

Don't know anything about the transmission guy... I'd trust the advice here before going on what was said about the Jeep in the past
I know the hydraulics, but that's as far as my experience goes. From just what I've read from others on here, it sounds like maybe a synchro issue. There are some pretty knowledgeable guys around who can help you though much more than me.
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Unread 08-06-2010, 10:00 AM   #5
CoronaCowboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyhouse View Post
There are some pretty knowledgeable guys around who can help you though much more than me.
Thanks, I'll do some searches here about synchro issues.
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Unread 08-06-2010, 10:04 AM   #6
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoronaCowboy View Post
Thanks, I'll do some searches here about synchro issues.
you should have an ax-15 and I just read recently that they are pretty easy to replace in that transmission. Again, I am just guessing on that being your issue, seek out someone who knows more like Mean Max or Ian or Stan
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Unread 08-06-2010, 12:16 PM   #7
jdarg
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Your clutch is dragging and not releasing all the way. The symtoms are grinding going into unsynchronized gears at standstill and blocking of lower gears.

People who don't know shouldn't dispense advice...it has nothing to do w/ synchros. Reverse isn't even synchronized in that transmission either, iirc.

Assuming hydraulics are good, it may be as simple as cleaning up the input shaft (mine did this once and thats all it took) or you may need a new clutch+pressure plate.

Of course the transmission has to come out for any of that so its a pain if you aren't used to do that sort of thing.

Try shifting to 4th and then immediate go for 1st and see if slides into gear better at a stop. If so the clutch is dragging.
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Unread 08-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #8
CoronaCowboy
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Thanks for that advice jdarg.

I'll try the 4th to reverse test this afternoon to see what the results are and post my results here...
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Unread 08-06-2010, 12:24 PM   #9
NineohsevenYJ
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I just had the same problem. I asked for advice on here & was told that it could be my master, they said even though it was full of fluid to look near the top of clutch pedal on the firewall for leaks & to also look on the firewall under the master for leaks. I did have a barely noticable leak under the master. I put a new master in (only $37 & took maybe 30min to install) now my tranny shifts like butter. You may want to check this out. You could also bleed the system first to be sure it's not just air in the lines.
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Unread 08-06-2010, 12:28 PM   #10
CoronaCowboy
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NineohsevenYJ, I'll inspect for leaks this afternoon and see if I can find anything.

I'll also see if I can bleed it.

If this has been having this problem for a long time (over a couple years) could it still be an air in the lines problem?
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Unread 08-06-2010, 12:49 PM   #11
ImpactFabWorks
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If there is air in the lines it will stay there until it is bled out. with an issue like this I would start checking for leaks and bleed the lines. I like to start with the cheap and move on from there. it could still be a hydraulic issue. if there's air in the lines or a leak in the the master then your clutch will not get the proper amount of pressure.
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Unread 08-06-2010, 01:48 PM   #12
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdarg View Post
Your clutch is dragging and not releasing all the way. The symtoms are grinding going into unsynchronized gears at standstill and blocking of lower gears.

People who don't know shouldn't dispense advice...it has nothing to do w/ synchros. Reverse isn't even synchronized in that transmission either, iirc.

Assuming hydraulics are good, it may be as simple as cleaning up the input shaft (mine did this once and thats all it took) or you may need a new clutch+pressure plate.

Of course the transmission has to come out for any of that so its a pain if you aren't used to do that sort of thing.

Try shifting to 4th and then immediate go for 1st and see if slides into gear better at a stop. If so the clutch is dragging.

People who don't know shouldn't dispense advice...it has nothing to do w/ synchros. Reverse isn't even synchronized in that transmission either, iirc.

If you remember correctly....maybe you should follow your own advice genius
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Unread 08-06-2010, 02:41 PM   #13
jdarg
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Your telling him its a synchro problem on a transmission that has no reverse synchro...that certain doesn't make YOU the genius!

People who have never been inside a transmission shouldn't be dispensing advice on transmission diagnosis. I'm not trying to be a d!ck but you just end up wasting people's time and money with uneducated bull**** like that despite your good intentions. And then you act like a child when you get called out on it.
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Unread 08-06-2010, 03:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyhouse View Post
People who don't know shouldn't dispense advice...it has nothing to do w/ synchros. Reverse isn't even synchronized in that transmission either, iirc.

If you remember correctly....maybe you should follow your own advice genius
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdarg View Post
Your telling him its a synchro problem on a transmission that has no reverse synchro...that certain doesn't make YOU the genius!

People who have never been inside a transmission shouldn't be dispensing advice on transmission diagnosis. I'm not trying to be a d!ck but you just end up wasting people's time and money with uneducated bull**** like that despite your good intentions. And then you act like a child when you get called out on it.
Whoa hold on! Easy there fellas! Let's all get along here, okay? Everybody just wants to help out by teaching others, while learning themselves. It's all good.

I happen to have a lot of AX-5 & AX-15 transmission experience, so I'll give my opinion too. Based on what the OP describes, this screams hydraulics to me. Clutches are always engaged until they become disengaged by the hydraulics. Difficulty in shifting into gears usually indicates a "dragging" clutch that isn't fully disengaging, as previously suggested.

Using thick lubricants for the transmission (such as gear oil) may mimick or compound this condition.

Here are my suggestions.

First (the cheapest, I ALWAYS start there!) would be to bleed the hydraulics.

Second, change the transmission oil to 10W-30 motor oil.

Third, replace the entire hydraulic system (master & slave) which will require transmission removal, so at that point you might as well replace the clutch too.

Hope this helps!

Max
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Unread 08-06-2010, 04:41 PM   #15
CoronaCowboy
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Max,

Thanks for the suggestions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Max View Post
First (the cheapest, I ALWAYS start there!) would be to bleed the hydraulics.
I've never bled a manual transmission before. Is there a forum post that would walk me through this that you know about?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Max View Post
Second, change the transmission oil to 10W-30 motor oil.
I've read on various posts that Penzoil Synchromesh is a good replacement oil for the transmission, which i've just purchased... but not put in yet. What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Max View Post
Third, replace the entire hydraulic system (master & slave) which will require transmission removal, so at that point you might as well replace the clutch too.
I'll save this option for last! I'm on a strict budget right now

Thanks again!
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