I'll Take a New Clutch with a Side of 4lo - ROZYBOOM

I'll Take a New Clutch with a Side of 4lo

June 5, 2017

Past weekend I setoff to learn how to drive my Jeep. I made the 8.5 hour drive to Badlands Off-Road Park for the 8th annual Jeep Jamboree (at that location) in Attica, IN. I had a fantastic time and learned so damn much. I'm blown away by how awesome the TNT Group was, group I rode with. We took on variety of eye opening obstacles on both days. My first day I was asked, "Is your nickname Billy Goat?", after I climbed up a boulder hill with a good amount of ease, to "Wait.. This is your first time off roading?", after crushing a creek/mud section. Seems like I am a natural for Jeeping. But that makes sense, I love to find the line that helps achieve something you didn't think was possible. Also helped I was with other drives (at all skill sets) and trail crew. Who all love Jeeping, have tons of experience, and enjoy spreading the passion for Jeeping. 


By the end of the first day, I somehow managed to either snapped the cable or break that stupid plastic connection on my transfer case. So I was stuck in 4hi. Lever did nothing at all, just freely moved like it was not attached to anything. I also noticed my clutch was taking longer to engage and had a slight slip to it. I kind of always knew my clutch was going since the previous owner put on 70k ish miles, mostly city driving, and I put another 15k on in 6-7 months lol. Let's just say it has been pushed a lot.


Second day comes. Man I am excited to learn more and see what I can do with only 4hi. Given this means a lot more clutch work because it's harder to keep low RPMs to climb yet enough gas to not to kill the engine in 4hi.. Then we come across a mud climb to get out of a creek. Came to be my turn. I gave her hell! Fail. Didn't get up the hill the first two attempt. Not having 4lo really sucks and making me work for this one. Only thing I had going for me was my lockers, which seemed to be helping but still not getting up and over. All while my clutch decided, I don't want to work anymore. Kept letting go and killing my engine during each attempt. My third attempt comes, I got half way, and I stopped. I'm now stuck midway, slightly bottomed out mid-frame. Trail crew quickly grabbed my winch and attached it to a tree. I start giving her hell again, smoke starts to burrow out from under it, winch whining as I am flinging mud I can start to feel it move forward. I continue pressing the skinny petal and got up the hill. Clutch was barely working, smoking like crazy, as I work my way down and around to a open flat spot to park. Fire extinguisher in hand we pop the hood. Yup, smells like clutch.. Only option is to have this sucker cool down before we attempt to move it again.


We end up having to gimp it up to a gate. Sla8man was giving me a tow most of the way. I parked it and hoped into one of the Trail Crew's Jeeps to enjoy and learn from the rest of the day. We finish up, have dinner, and awards before heading back to the campsite. I had a few trail crew members help me out with my Jeep. We forced it back into 2wd so I can drive home. Clutch seemed to be working better but I could still tell it was not really grabbing. I hit the road knowing I was going to stop in 4 hours to sleep in a rest stop.

Wake up the next day and continue on. I got from Badlands Off-Road Park to Janesville, WI as I exit off I90 for gas. I pull up to the stoplight and nothing. Clutch pedal goes in and nothing happens... Ok let me try the rev it up and slam it into gear. Nope that didn't work either. Ok was it just first gear or all of them. Oh it is all of them... Ok let's try the slight roll (thankfully on a hill), pop the clutch with slight rev, and slam it into gear. Nope that didn't work either. Fuck.. I am a sitting duck... Called roadside assistance and they towed me to the Frank Boucher Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM of Janesville Dealership. Keep in mind this is Sunday, dealership is not open. Left the Jeep in the parking lot and headed to a hotel for the night.

Getting towed to local dealership

Next day, I walk over to the dealership, have they did the inspection, and we found out the clutch is shot. Like as you can see the friction fibers coming out of the inspection hole, kind of shot. Man I want to see what the whole clutch looks like, but I need to wait another day. We are planning on replacing the clutch and flywheel (since we have it apart might as well when it is this bad) and hit the road tomorrow. The dealership has been super helpful, know I am stuck mid transit, pushed to get parts overnighted, and are making sure to take care me which is nice. Not often you have a dealership trying to find ways to make it cheaper and quicker. Highly appreciated! I asked if I could help with the swap, but I am not allowed in the garage during the process. Dang! I really wanted to see/relearn how to replace a clutch. Oh well next time! I'm very please their their service and will leave it to the pros. Heck they even told me to do my own cable/bracket on the transfer case back home because it is an easy fix. The guy working on my Jeep was so excited to see a Jeep that actually makes it out Jeeping. He Jeeps and races. So we had a lot to talk about while he showed me the fibers coming out of the inspection hole. We will see where the adventure takes me tomorrow.

This is exactly why I always call things an adventure. You never really know what you are getting yourself into until you do it. Keeping in mind it can go off without a issue or it can be a shit storm. Just goes to show how being ready for anything truly helps. This includes knowing if you push your gear you will break things. Important things. Things that can prevent you from getting home. So I have a choice to make. I can either get all pissed off about having to replace parts, wasting two days, and all the money involved OR take it as it is, learn from it, replace/upgrade it, and continue on the adventure with a smile on your face. I know thing are going to break on my Jeep. I expect them to. Yeah timing wise it sucks, but better in this situation compared to alternatives.

Sure does makes me excited to get to my full time adventure mode, which I'll explain more at a different time :)

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