Check Your Clutch
By Lee Miller
During the run at Gilmer I was
on the trail, idling in neutral, waiting for the vehicles in front of me
to clear an obstacle. When it was my turn, I depressed the clutch to put
my Jeep in 1st gear and the pedal went straight to the floor!
Fortunately, I was in neutral and nothing happened.
Upon a quick inspection I
determined that the retainer for the clutch pedal had failed. This piece
of plastic (see picture) was on the floor. I used a clip-pin to retain the
pedal to the clutch assembly and completed the run with no problems.
Monday morning I went to Crown
Jeep in Katy expecting to replace this part for under $5 (even though it
is worth $.05). Please remember this retainer/bushing attaches the clutch
pedal arm to the linkage! The
parts department informed me
that this is a non-serviceable
part and that I would have to buy the complete clutch assembly for $220 !
OK No prob Ill file
a warranty complaint and they can fix it any way they want to! Well, my
1998 TJ with 18,800 miles is 2 months out of warranty. Furthermore,
Chrysler says because I have 33 tires on my Jeep, all warranty issues
concerning the clutch are void!
I decided to fix this factory
defect myself. Upon inspection, the retainer clip for the brake pedal
looked like it would be the perfect solution/replacement for the clutch
retainer. I went back to the local Chrysler/Jeep dealer parts department
and was promptly informed that this was a non-serviceable
I knew now that ACE Hardware
was the place to be. I purchased a 7/16 C clip and two -½
washers and some nylon tubing for a replacement bushing. (See picture)
This works. The service
manager at two dealerships (Crown and Archer) agree that this fix is
much better than factory issue. The following picture is the completed
The service managers at
two dealerships were not familiar with this problem. The part failure may
have been due to a defective retainer. I am sure that the additional
stress that we put on our vehicles off-road can cause some unusual
So, if you drive a TJ, you
will probably want to check this part for wear.