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4 Wheel Drive/SUVs/1992 Jeep YJ 5 speed


Hi Carl!

My daughter has a 1992 Jeep Wrangler YJ with a 5 speed transmission. This is her 1st car and we have had it for 6 months. Since she is still learning how to drive a stick shift, we go out on the weekends to "practice". Last weekend, we took it out. The 1st few times she started out were went into gear and shifted easily. About the 5th time, it stopped going into gear...any gear! She made sure the clutch was pushed to the floor but it didn't want to come out of neutral. I took over and it went in fine for me. She was upset thinking that she was the reason for the problem so we left with me driving.

It shifted fine for me about 1/2 dozen times but then stopped going into gear for me as well. Could this problem be something as simple as needing transmission fluid or do you think it could be something much worse? Our neighborhood mechanic says he thinks it's the clutch and says it might be an easy $1000 to fix.

Thanks for your time and opinion...


It sounds like a clutch master cylinder or slave cylinder has gone bad or is leaking.  Check the fluid in the clutch master cylinder first, then look around the bell housing for fluid.  If the slave cylinder goes bad, they usually leak and will drip out around the bell housing.
There are 2 types of slave cylinders.  One is the external, which is a simple replacement.  The other is internal, and the transmission needs to be pulled back to gain access to it, therefore takes more time and work to replace.
If it is a leaking slave cylinder, it wouldn't hurt to check out the clutch plate also, as it may be saturated with fluid and should be replaced also.

Check around with some other reputable shops and get some quotes for the repair.


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Carl Brandt


Will discuss suspensions, lifts, lockers along with tire suggestions. Trail ratings and possible requirements needed for specific type of trails. Safety equipment and what you should carry with you. Certified off-road instructor. I am not a mechanic, and 4-Wheeling is a hobby, so if I can't answer a technical question it is due to my mechanical knowledge being related to vehicles that I have owned, or have worked on. I do not have manuals on all vehicles, and I suggest that you obtain a repair manual for mechanical problems and do some research before asking your question. Most mechanical questions can't be answered completely without looking at, or listening to the vehicle in person.


40 plus years of 4 wheeling in a variety of vehicles. At the present time, my major off-road rig is a 94 Jeep Wrangler with a spring over and a 1 1/2" suspension lift. This gives me a total lift of 7" or so. I have lockers front and rear. I have removed the track bars, and sway bar for maximum articulation. I am running a stock 2.5 ltr 4 cylinder with a Jacobs ignition along with a cold air high flow filter. It has 4.56:1 gears with a Dodge NV4500 transmission along with a 3.8:1 Atlas II transfer case. This gives me a final ratio of 105:1 in low gear/low range. Other vehicles I own, are a 96 Ford F-250 with a 6" lift, posi rear end, 36" Hummer tires, 5 speed with a fuel injected 460 ci engine, an 87 Samurai with an 8" lift, Ford 9" rear end with a spool, Chevy Dana 44 front end with an electric locker, 5.88 gears, 16% reduction in high range and a 6.5:1 low range with 35" Baja Claws, and a stock 2003 Grand Cherokee Overland. Trails I have run are the Rubicon (10 times), Dusey Ershim, Fordyce Creek trail, McGrew trail, several trails in Moab, Utah along with local monthly runs.

Lost Coast 4x4's Cal 4-Wheel Corva UFWDA Blue Ribbon Coalition

Certified off-road instructor - Certificates in engineering/electronics

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