Question about 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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How does clutch work - 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Your clutch is both complicated and simple ( confused? That's because there are many types and variations of clutches)
OK, I'll give you the simplest version.
When you step on the clutch pedal, it is either attached to mechanical linkage, a cable, or a master cylinder that works the same as the one for your brakes. Jeeps use a master cylinder.
The fluid pressure at the master cylinder pushes a slave cylinder on the bellhousing (just like the wheel cylinder on a drum brake...only difference is that a wheel cylinder has a piston on each end, a clutch slave has one piston) When you make the piston move, it pushes on a part called a clutch fork which is a simple lever...push on one end and the other end travels in the opposite direction. That lever is attached to a bearing (called a throwout bearing) that is positioned around the input shaft of the transmission, sliding back and forth on it. When the bearing is pushed against "fingers" on the clutch pressure plate assembly, it forces the actual plate to move back away from the clutch disc. The disc is normally held tightly sandwhiched between the plate and the flywheel by springs in the plate cover.
Further clamping force is sometimes applied by counter weights on the "fingers" that react to engine rpm. (depending upon clutch design)
So, when you step down on the pedal, you are moving the slave piston, the fork and the bearing which causes the clamping force on the disc to be relieved, allowing it to spin free and since it is connected to the input shaft of the transmission which is splined so the disc (also splined)can drive it. Bottom line is that when the disc is compressed between the flywheel and the pressure plate it turns the transmission gears, moving the car. When you push the clutch pedal down, it releases that pressure and no power goes into the transmission.
Jeep also uses an alternative design that eliminated the clutch fork but essentially everything else still works the same.

Posted on Oct 15, 2010

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