Question about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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Transmission or Clutch problem?

Hello, I have a 1991 Jeep Wrangler 6cyl. 5spd. The previous owner had the motor replaced / rebuilt last Fall and he just put in a new clutch, slave cylinder, and clutch master cylinder. I have had the Jeep 2 months. This past weekend I went to go into 2nd gear and it would not. It did not grind, but just would not go in. After moving the gearshift around it finaly went in. Now it also won't go into third a lot of the time or reverse without going into other gears and moving it around first. It just feels like something is getting stuck and won't let me go into gear. I have had to quit driving it for now. How can I tell if it is the cluch ( needing adjustment?) or if the transmission has gone bad? Is there anything I can try to do that may fix the problem. I sure miss driving my jeep. Thanks Mike Jeep Liberty - with manuel transmission will not go into gear when it is running.. Please help. I saw where it said to check master cylinder but do not know how to get to it!! Thanks, Betty

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The first thing you want to check is the clutch master fluid, make sure there is enough in there. This sounds like there is air in the system.
You will have to bleed out the clutch slave cylinder. Get yourself a manual for the car and it will walk you through it.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008


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Transmission or Clutch problem?

Hi Mike,

Your description is excellent.

All the recent replacements make those components suspect. The symptoms point at two possible problems.
If the tranny had a linkage, I'd say that was it. The problem may be related though.
  • Does the shift lever feel loose?
  • Same shifting problems when trying reverse?
  • With the engine off do the same shifting problems exist? (this one points away from the clutch)
I'd check the that the retaining ring on the shift lever is fully engaged (quarter twist against two pins on top of tranny). The book ha a long procedure for accessing it, but the easy way is through the shift lever boot.

The clutch system:
  • Check fluid level
  • Any leaking fluid from master cylinder, operating cylinder or connecting lines?
  • Has the fluid level fallen to a point where air could have been drawn into the cylinder?
  • Does the fluid look clean, no particulates?
To be thorough, I'd bleed the clutch hydraulics. There may be air in the lines.

With multiple possible causes, I usually check the least expensive solutions first. This is where I'd start. Comment me back, let me know how it goes.


Oct 20, 2008 | 1991 Jeep Wrangler

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