clutch died at light, jeep won't start -
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-03-2013, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oxnard
Posts: 56
clutch died at light, jeep won't start

Hey guys, so as the title says I was sitting at a light and pushed the cluth in to go into 1st, felt a kind of pop at the end but still went into gear. As soon as it did it started to shudder like the rpms were to low so I tried to shift it out and it wouldn't shift, turned it off and managed to manhandle it into neutral so I could push it to the gas station on the corner.

Checked linkages to make sure it's still attached, it is, cylinder has plenty of fluid, didn't see any on the ground where I was at the light. The clutch feels almost normal, little resistance for the first half then gets stiff at the end, but when I try to start the jeep it tries to turn over for half a turn then stops, goes rrnn-stop. If I force it into first then try to start it the jeep jerks like I don't have the clutch in and won't start. I've never had to diagnose clutch issues so any input would be great.

Thank you all in advance, I'm stranded at work right now so the sooner I can figure this out the better.

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post #2 of 9 Old 06-03-2013, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oxnard
Posts: 56
It's a 98 tj 6-cyl, 170000 on odometer, don't know the clutch history on it. Thanks
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-03-2013, 11:03 AM
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2016 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Roseburg
Posts: 136
I'm not a expert by any means but it sounds like the clutch is not engaging. If your in Neutral will the jeep start? Pressure plate issue maybe. Not sure if the Clutch safety switch is bad. some ideas I'm sure the experts will jump in and help.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-03-2013, 11:07 AM
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,661
Those symptoms indicate a mechanical failure of the clutch cover, probably one or more broken fingers. Do not try to start or drive it, you risk scoring the flywheel, which cannot be resurfaced. Have it towed to wherever the work will be done.

You will need a new clutch disk, a new clutch cover, and a new release bearing. You should also look around for a flywheel, but do not buy that until you are certain it is needed. It sounds like your hydraulics still work, make certain you do not disconnect the slave cylinder and get air into the system, as it is difficult to bleed.

Inspect the flywheel surface for score marks which will cause rapid clutch wear, and replace it if these are present. DO NOT attempt to turn down the flywheel, as it is concave by a few ten thousanths of an inch, and if you turn it flat, you will waste about half the life of the new clutch. You can scuff it lightly with some medium grit emory cloth to break the glaze, but it cannot be turned down or ground down or otherwise resurfaced.

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post #5 of 9 Old 06-03-2013, 11:46 AM
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tamarac
Posts: 243
Mine died at the exact same place on the truning lane of a major intersetion to make it worse I was the first car at the light...The Local cop Stopped traffic to allow me to jam it in reverse and back it into a local Walgreens parking lot...Come to find out the pressure plate gave up

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-03-2013, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oxnard
Posts: 56
Thanks for your suggestion, already spent some time trying to start it, so hopefully I didn't already make it worse. Having it towed to a shop for diagnosis
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-03-2013, 11:36 PM
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
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Location: back of nowhere
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are you sure it wasn't the plastic bushing that connects the clutch master cylinder rod to the clutch pedal? they are known to break. new one costs about $3.00 part number 04446361

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post #8 of 9 Old 06-04-2013, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oxnard
Posts: 56
Bonza, yes that was the first thing I checked as it has happened before. Apparently it was some kind of mechanical failure related to the throwout bearing, not the bearing itself but the shaft or something like that. The entire clutch assembly is being replaced
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-16-2014, 04:04 PM
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1978 CJ5 
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Location: springfield
Posts: 425
so this just happened to me last sept. my pedal dropped to the floor and wouldnt return till i lifted it with my toe. hear a noise when it happened to. my throwout bearing clips and pivot ball clip all broke. they were laying in the bottom of the bellhousing when i pulled the trans back. got the new pivot ball clip from the dealer and bought an extra, and the bearing came with the clutch along with the spring clips. that happened after 100k
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