Loud, intermittent screeching coming from near transmission


New Member
Nov 10, 2023
Austin, TX
I have a 176K mile, 2004, 4.0 Manual TJ. Today at a stop light it started making intense screeching sounds that varied in volume, randomly coming in and out, while I was stopped with clutch depressed. I took it out of gear, released the clutch, it was still doing it. I removed the serpentine belt entirely and it made the same sound, whether in gear or not, clutch depressed or not so it can't be any of the pulleys or alternator. It sounds like its coming loudest from back under the transmission. When I touch the clutch it sometimes makes it worse and sometimes not. It does somehow feel like its related to pushing the clutch in. Does anyone have some troubleshooting tips to narrow down where it's coming from? It's been shifting pretty much fine recently except that it can be tough to pop it into 1st. Recently feeling like I'm having to push it past something to get it into 1st. Any help is much appreciated!!

Edit: if it's the clutch master cylinder that's gone bad, how would I find that out without replacing it? Should i try bleeding it and changing the clutch fluid, if the squeal is still there, replace master cylinder, then replace slave? Then go from there to see if it's a throw-out bearing?
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The master and slave cylinders aren't your problem. when they go out clutch no workie. pedal just goes to the floor. pretty sure your problem is the throw out bearing. with 170k unless you know it's been changed just order a LUK clutch kit for it, it has all the parts. cost about $130 on ebay....
UPDATE: I dropped the transmission and replaced clutch kit with a Power Torque from O'Reillys. Turns out it was all original stock clutch components (176K miles) and the existing throwout bearing was in pieces, and the pressure plate was severely worn. Shifts beautifully and is quieter than it's ever been since buying it. It was a sweaty 2 days working in the 100+ Texas heat, but satisfying nonetheless.
You do t sit at a light with the clutch pedal pushed down do you? That’ll make that bearing go out that much quicker.

I do not do this, no. I sit at stops in neutral. I heard the squeaking when I depressed the clutch to take it out of gear once i was stopped.
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