Join Date: Nov 2001
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
The life of a clutch very much depends on the driver. My clutches last forever but I drive about 1 mile to get onto the interstate, drive 20 miles with hardly ever needing to use the clutch, exit the interstate and then drive another mile to park it where I worked.
At the other end of the scale are the people who use the clutch pedal as a footrest. Their clutch ainít gonna last anytime at all. That slight pressure on the pedal acts against the springs in the pressure plate and the clutch is slipping a little all the time.
You donít know the history of yours as to the way the previous owner(s) treated it. I donít know squat about TJs, Iíve only seen some on the street. If it were a CJ with mechanical linkage, you could look at the adjustment screw and get a pretty good idea of how much clutch is left. If it is hydraulic with an external slave, you could look at how far the arm is extended to get an idea. If it has the internal slave, you have to go by pedal travel to the clutch release point.
First you need to think a little about how the clutch works. Itís just a disc with media pads on both sides clamped between two steel plates. One plate is the flywheel, the other, the pressure plate, is movable. With a new thick clutch, the pressure plate is further from the flywheel. As the clutch wears, the pressure plate moves closer to the flywheel. This moves the disengagement arms further out away from the engine.
With a mechanical linkage clutch, the disengagement point is felt higher and higher in the pedal travel. The clutch is adjusted to compensate for the wear. You will see that there is little adjustment left on the rod in the make it shorter direction.
With a hydraulic system, more fluid is move back to the reservoir to compensate for the slave cylinder moving further back into the bore. On an external slave system, you should be able to check how much arm is sticking out from the cylinder and haw far you can push the piston back into the bore.
On an internal system, itís hard to see anything but eventually the piston bottoms out in the bore and the disengagement point moves higher and higher in the pedal travel.
So, you should be able to get a fair idea of how much clutch is left using this information.
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