Clutch Not Fully Disengaging


New Member
Jul 11, 2023
Indianapolis, IN
Hello all,

Recently bought an 03 Rubicon with an engine/ 6 speed trans swapped from an LJ, with a new clutch and slave from the previous owner. (Has rubicon express lift on 35s but I don’t really think that’s relevant.) Driven it around 600 miles with no real issues until last night.

Started it up (cold) and it would not shift into any gear and I noticed the clutch pedal was only giving resistance in the last 25% of the pedal. I pumped the clutch a few times while trying to get it into gear and it went, and had no issues the rest of my hour drive. Today when starting it, same story except at a stop light it happened again about 10 minutes later and continued to happen after I turned around to come straight home. Obviously it’s fine once i get going, but downshifts and getting it into gear from a stop are extremely difficult, and as I push it into gear, it creeps forward as if i’m not pushing the clutch all the way down. I’m not sure if this could be air in the lines, worn engine/ trans mounts, or if there’s an adjustment to have the clutch grab higher up? Right now the clutch is only the last 25% of the throw of the pedal and grabs immediately when I lift it off the floor. It’s also not more difficult to press down than it was before. I can almost describe it as if it’s cold weather and you’re parked on a hill, except it’s 90° out and i’m on level ground.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated even if you think it may be a long shot. Thanks in advance!
I can also take videos or pictures if that’d help to diagnose the problem.

I’ve just never worked on transmissions at all and couldn’t find anyone on these forums that matched the issue i’m having.
Did you check the clutch master cylinder fluid level? Had a similar issue with my YJ due to a leak. Just a guess.

Looks to be low, but i’m also not sure where the level is supposed to sit to begin with. I attached a picture for reference.

Definitely sounds like you have air in the system or the seals are starting to fail internally if you can't find a leak anywhere.
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You've got a leak in your hydraulic clutch system. I'd replace both the master and slave cylinders which is an easy bolt-on job. Master/slave clutch cylinder kits come pre-filled and pre-bled with hydraulic fluid so the're ready to install There's like 5 nuts that have to be removed if I recall correctly.
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