Stranded 98 TJ with potential clutch issue

Joined
Nov 1, 2021
Messages
44
Location
San Antonio Texas
Hey guys! Needing some of yall's awesome expertise! So here's what happened. Im out wheeling by where I live, nothing crazy but I go into 4WD Low from 4WD High to get up a hill/mound and after I get over it maybe, 10-20 feet later the 4WD light on my dash goes out. When I notice this I come to a stop. Still running, the jeep now won't move, in first gear nothing as I release the clutch just revving. At this point no matter what I do with my 4wd lever, the 4WD will not light up on my dash. Also I can now move freely between all gears without pressing the clutch in, and no matter what gear I'm in releasing the clutch does nothing.

Any ideas what this could be?
This jeep is newer to me and I'm sorta a newbie to this whole thing so

I didn't try pumping the clutch (my mistake)
Also I feel I should mention when I switch freely between gears, in higher gears I can hear a noise, hard to Identify and not very loud.

Hope this info helps! Apologies if any of it sounds childish, its been a long week already and I had a friend pick me up so I'm not currently with the jeep.

happy to answer any further questions.


THANK YALL
 
The transfer case could be stuck in neutral. You might check the transfer case linkage that goes from the transfer case lever in your cab down to the transfer case that is mounted behind your transmission. It may have broken. If the transfer case is stuck in neutral then no matter what gear you put your manual transmission in you won't go anywhere.
 
My bet is the transfer case linkage slipped out of adjustment and the transfer case is now in Neutral. A pair of pliers could be used to rotate the tab on the side of the transfer case the linkage attaches to. Rotate it one way to go into 4lo, the other way to get into 4Hi then into 2hi.
 
I had a similar issue on my XJ. The linkage broke free from a dry rotted bushing.
tcase linkage bushing.JPG

tcase linkage.jpeg
 
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My bet is the transfer case linkage slipped out of adjustment and the transfer case is now in Neutral. A pair of pliers could be used to rotate the tab on the side of the transfer case the linkage attaches to. Rotate it one way to go into 4lo, the other way to get into 4Hi then into 2hi.
Thanks so much! To all of you all!

Definitely sounds like its stuck in neutral. So even if the linkage is broke I can get in there and change it with some pliers manually? to at least get the jeep outta there and home?
 
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Thanks so much! To all of you all!

Definitely sounds like its stuck in neutral. So even if the linkage is broke I can get in there and change it with some pliers manually? to at least get the jeep outta there and home?
Yes, but take a big set of lock pliers (8-10”), that way when you lock it on you’ll have some leverage to shift it.
 
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NOT RELATED TO 4WD: but, maybe it'll help with a similar situation

This didn't happen in my TJ, but I had an AX15 in my YJ. Tooling down the freeway one day and I'm suddenly in neutral...in gear... I make my way to the shoulder, try 1st gear, let out the clutch....nothing... shut it off. I can't get it to roll when it's in gear though...odd. I get a tow home, take the transmission out to inspect the clutch, which I had replaced about a year before. It seems like a clutch thing and I suspect whatever I touched - haha

My issue: The metal clips on the throwout bearing - I broke one somehow, releasing the throwout, and my clutch was always on.

Maybe that'll help somebody else's problem with 'stuck in neutral'
 
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