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Unread 07-11-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
schwim
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Mysterious problem: will not go into gear

Hi there everyone,

A couple months ago, I had my tranny rebuilt due to a destroyed reverse gear. Things were fantastic on that front since.

Two days ago, I grabbed some engine degreaser and gave the engine compartment a light cleaning as I was intending to do a carb swap today. I covered up the carb and used a garden hose with a nozzle, so no really high pressure.

Today, I got in, started it up, pushed in the clutch and tried to put it in gear. It will not even come close; no grinding, no hopping, nothing. The clutch cylinder is full of fluid and the pedal feels the same as it did when it was working. Same resistance and throw.

Is it just coincidence that my clutch disc disintegrated the next time I started the Jeep after cleaning the engine bay or is there something I could have inadvertently done while cleaning to cause this issue?

Any thoughts or troubleshooting tips would be greatly appreciated.

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Unread 07-11-2011, 03:13 PM   #2
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwim View Post
Hi there everyone,

A couple months ago, I had my tranny rebuilt due to a destroyed reverse gear. Things were fantastic on that front since.

Two days ago, I grabbed some engine degreaser and gave the engine compartment a light cleaning as I was intending to do a carb swap today. I covered up the carb and used a garden hose with a nozzle, so no really high pressure.

Today, I got in, started it up, pushed in the clutch and tried to put it in gear. It will not even come close; no grinding, no hopping, nothing. The clutch cylinder is full of fluid and the pedal feels the same as it did when it was working. Same resistance and throw.

Is it just coincidence that my clutch disc disintegrated the next time I started the Jeep after cleaning the engine bay or is there something I could have inadvertently done while cleaning to cause this issue?

Any thoughts or troubleshooting tips would be greatly appreciated.
just out of curiosity, will it go into gear with the engine off? I don't think your issue is related to the engine wash. Since you aren't getting any noises, you might have just popped the shifter out of the plastic tip.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 03:15 PM   #3
schwim
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Yes it will. While not running, it seems to have no issues going into all 6.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
MJMPC
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Have you checked your fluid level in the clutch master?
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Unread 07-11-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
schwim
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The fluid on the cylinder on the firewall is at the proper level and doesn't look contaminated in any way.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 03:27 PM   #6
Andywear
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Is it possible to lose hydrolic pressure?
Pump the peddle acouple thousand times.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 03:43 PM   #7
schwim
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As I said, the resistance is the same, the pedal's not flat.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 04:36 PM   #8
jmmorgan82
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I know you say the resistance is the same, but have you tried to bleed the clutch as a just in case type measure? Does it look like any water somehow got into the cylinder?
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Unread 07-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #9
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwim View Post
Yes it will. While not running, it seems to have no issues going into all 6.
so with the engine off, you push in the clutch and it goes into any gear fine, right? Typically that would indicate a hydraulic problem. I know you said the pedal is good, but I would bleed it anyway just to see if there may be some air in there, if for no other reason, to rule it out.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 05:30 PM   #10
schwim
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Is there any way for one person to bleed the system?
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Unread 07-11-2011, 05:46 PM   #11
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If you still have the internal slave cylinder, I do not believe so.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 10:51 PM   #12
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwim View Post
Is there any way for one person to bleed the system?
with internal slave, absolutely. Pull all the covers off the shifters and get two wrenches, one for the bleeder, one to hold the nut behind it. sit in the drivers seat, push the pedal in and loosen the bleeder valve, tighten, let off the pedal. I was able to do this two times and then I needed to refill the master. I had to do the entire thing by myself and had to refill several times before I got all my air out.
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Unread 07-20-2011, 09:39 AM   #13
schwim
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Hi there guys,

I've just gotten from under the jeep and saw the inspection opening at the top left of the bellhousing. Looking at it's placement, I imagine that a lot of water(and perhaps some degreaser) ended up going in there. Is there any chance that this might have gummed up the clutch plate? If that's a possibility, what might I do to try to clean it up, would just moving the clutch in and out slowly while running allow it to burn off any contaminates on the face of the disc?

Thanks for any thoughts you might have.

I'm waiting on a small enough wrench to bleed, so thought I would ask while I'm waiting.
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Unread 07-20-2011, 03:34 PM   #14
SquidsYJ
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Just thought I'd share a trick I've used in the past for bleeding clutches and brakes by myself.

It's basically like monkeyhouse said, except I use a short 2x4, 4-way, or anything of sufficient length to wedge between the seat and the pedal.

First you wedge the pedal, then you open the the bleed screw/port and bleed the component. Then you shut the bleed screw. Once the bleed screw is shut, un-wedge the pedal and let it return to the normal position.

Repeat as often as necessary until no air comes out. Remember also to frequently check the fluid in the reservoir or you will be wasting your time.

Last edited by SquidsYJ; 07-20-2011 at 03:36 PM.. Reason: I missed a few typos
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Unread 07-20-2011, 05:40 PM   #15
schwim
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Hi there again everyone,

Well, with the help of my 9 yo, I bled the clutch successfully, cycling two reservoirs of fluid through. Clean as a whistle, no foam.

Starting the Jeep, I am still unable to get it in gear.

Is it possible for the slave cylinder to fail but keep pressure? The disc didn't disintegrate, because that would cause it not to go forward, the opposite my problem. The only thing that I can think of that would cause my issue is the pressure plate not being pushed on. If I was able to bleed it, that means that the system is ok at least to the slave, right?

Does anyone have any ideas short of pulling the tranny? I'll have to send it away for that and we simply don't have the dough right now.

I am positive that something I did while cleaning the engine bay caused this issue. If years of watching Law & Order has taught me anything, it's that there is no such thing as coincidences. Well, that and hired hitmen will roll over on you in the court of law, no matter how much you paid them.
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