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Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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New to here...

Hey all, I'm John. I just bought my third Jeep, a 1997 TJ and I thought I'd sign on here. I have a question about it, though. It has 107k miles and the original clutch. When is a good time to replace it?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveSpeedWrangler View Post
Hey all, I'm John. I just bought my third Jeep, a 1997 TJ and I thought I'd sign on here. I have a question about it, though. It has 107k miles and the original clutch. When is a good time to replace it?
Welcome to the forum. The best time to replace the clutch is before it breaks and shows signs of age, noise, slipping, etc. Of course no one's a prophet when it comes to Jeeps... so in this case, simply replace it when it breaks.

If you just can't stand the suspense of when it'll fail, replace the clutch at your leisure and expense when you can best afford the time and the cost. I'd agree you're running on borrowed time with the part. This way you can control the circumstances when/how/where/with what it's replaced.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for that information. What would be a good one to buy that will last in hard off-road conditions?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 02:02 PM
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Welcome to the board!

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What would be a good one to buy that will last in hard off-road conditions?
You can't expect better durability than that. Your first inclination should be to go to a dealer's parts department. You can pay less money, or you can pay more, but you probably won't get a better clutch.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 07:50 PM
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Welcome to the group.
As for the Clutch, I am slowly learning that dealer parts tend to be better. example Parts store battery lasted me 2 mo. befor it went bad, the factory batt in my wifes '99 stratus, 150k and sold in 06 still original. Also your clutch has lasted over 100k and 10yrs (if its original). But I am a sucker for a "center force".
Good Luck.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I have heard good things about CenterForce clutches, but I am very impressed at the durability of the O.E. one.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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I'm with LEVE,
The best time is just before the old one goes out!
But I'm never that lucky!...
Mine always do fine right up until the day I'm rocking it trying to get out of something, THEN I find out it was on it's last day...

If you have the transmission or engine out for any reason, CHANGE THE CLUTCH!
If it's slipping, or showing other signs of extreme age, make plans now!
This is one of those things you always say, "I knew it needed help, but I didn't know it was That Bad"...

Oh yeah, Welcome to the insanity that is Jeeping!
The inmates are in charge of the aslym around here, so if you aren't particular who you hang out with, you will fit right in!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 10:33 AM
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Smile Center force / centrifugal force

Don't those Centerforce clutches use a flyweight system that adds pressure as the centrifugal force acts on the weights and they cam into the movable part of the pressure plate? (clutch cover to you auto zone folks) And..... isn't that system RPM dependent? So, in order to get more clamping force, you need to have (very) high RPM. Hmmmm.... with the possible exception of a mud pit race, I see High RPM and off-road driving as largely incompatible. The OTHER THING that you always need to be a-thinking about is HIGH DIS-ENGAGEMENT (FORWARD) PRESSURE PUTTING THE HURT ON THE CRANKSHAFT THRUST BEARING. With limititations imposed on clutch diameter by the bellhousing and so forth, substituting spring force for diameter is going to put more pressure on your thrust bearing if you have to ride the clutch very much ....... at low RPM especially when the crank isn't oiling very well. Of course that's where the centerforce folks can say that their product will help you.....low dis-engagement pressure but high clamping pressure....

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 11:27 AM
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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.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world.
Those who understand binary and those who don't.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 07:58 PM
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I have always been a fan of McLeod. They make a great product. I had one behind my 78/258 and one behind my 73/401 and could not hurt them. They are a bit more than your parts store clutches, but imo worth it.

"a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do."
--Ralph W. Emerson
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