Jeep Clutch Parts and Diagnosis

Clutch Defined

The clutch, rather than one specific part, is a series of moving parts that act as a sort of domino-effect on each other. Of course, this means if even one part fails, the entire system ceases to function. When this happens, knowing how to diagnose the issue at fault is the key to getting back on the road—or trail. This article will explain how a clutch using Jeep parts works and some common problems. Also included is a simple, yet effective diagnostic test to determine if you have a faulty clutch.

First, a little background on that domino-effect that helps you switch gears. The clutch, essentially, is a system put in place to transmit the rotational energy of the engine to the transmission, which in turn transmits this energy to the wheels. This system is made up of six major parts, each with a unique function. The flywheel is the clutch’s connection to the engine and the crankshaft. With the clutch engaged, it allows the starter to crank the engine and maintains engine speed. The clutch disc is a steel plate situated between the flywheel and the pressure plate. When the clutch is released, the clutch disc is then allowed to spin with the flywheel and get your Jeep moving. This is accomplished because the pressure plate moves in reaction to the clutch pedal being pressed; lifting off the clutch disc to allow it to separate from the flywheel so the Jeep can change gears. When the pedal is released, the pressure plate tightens on the clutch disc again to transfer power from the spinning flywheel. The release bearing, also known as the throwout bearing, in turn, engages and disengages the pressure plate, held in place by the release fork as the clutch pedal is pressed in or released. Finally, the pilot bushing keeps this all running smoothly by supporting the transmission input shaft during engagement and disengagement when the flywheel and pressure plate are turning at different speeds from the disc assembly and input shaft.

Testing For Common Clutch Problems

Commonly the biggest clutch problem is when the friction material on the clutch disc wears out. This will cause your clutch to slip. Another problem is clutch sticking. When your clutch doesn't release properly, the input shaft continues to turn causing grinding or completely preventing your Jeep from going into gear.

If you think you are having clutch problems, this simple diagnostic test can be run:

  1. With your parking brake engaged, start your engine and shift into neutral.
  2. While your engine is idling, listen for a growling noise. If you hear it, you may have a transmission problem. If not, go to step 3.
  3. Slowly push the clutch pedal in, listening for noise. If you don't hear anything, go to step 4.
  4. Finally push the clutch pedal all the way to the floor. Listen for a squealing noise. If you hear one it may indicate a bad release bearing or pilot bushing.

Just by following these simple steps, and inspecting your Jeep clutch parts every so often and replacing the faulty ones, can help you avoid more costly repairs. Of course this advise goes for all the Jeep parts and Jeep accessories on your vehicle.


Copyright Article by Morris 4x4 Center.