1. Registration trouble? Please use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom right corner of the page and your issue will be resolved.
    Dismiss Notice

Hard Shifting

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5/6/7/8' started by NC73CJ5, Jun 23, 2022.

  1. Jun 23, 2022
    NC73CJ5

    NC73CJ5 Shade tree tinkerer

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    1973 CJ5, 3-speed, 258. I’ve had the Jeep a couple of years, and have been doing little projects as I go, but I think it sat a while at some point in the past. While driving around town the last couple of days, I started noticing that it was not shifting smoothly. Then it progressed to becoming difficult to get into gear. Then, it would not go into any gear at all. If I came to a stop, I’d have to turn the engine off to shift it into first, then struggle with 2nd and 3rd on the go. Occasionally, it would shift normally again, and then revert back to the struggle. I changed the 90wt gear oil last year, with very few miles since then and no significant leaks. It was very hot in North Carolina yesterday, nearly 100, wondering if that contributed to the issue. I don’t think it’s the linkage, because it still seems to be going in the right direction, but takes some force to get it into gear. Clutch release point seems normal, about halfway down. Any thoughts where to begin?
     
  2. Jun 23, 2022
    DrDanteIII

    DrDanteIII Master Procrastinator 2021 Sponsor

    Milford NJ 08848
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,506
    Did you use gl5 gear oil or gl4? Gl5 can cause hard shifting on the old bronze snycros.
     
    jeepstar likes this.
  3. Jun 23, 2022
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23,615
    Sounds a bit much to blame on the wrong oil. Correct that these transmissions need GL-4 oil. You have to buy specifically GL-4, not GL-5 that's "GL-4 compatible." The transmission and transfer case share oil, so you need to change them both if you go to GL-4. Covered many times in earlier threads.

    Realize that an empty transfer case will slowly drain the oil from the transmission and you will have low level. Drain and fill them both, then check the transmission level after say 100 miles.

    I would look to the clutch. The transmission should shift at least as easily driving around as it shifts standing still. CLutch pedal should have about an inch of play at the top of travel, before it starts to release the clutch. Mid-way is way down to start any action.

    Put the transfer case in neutral and run the engine. Shift the transmission in gear and hold the clutch pedal in. If the clutch is releasing, after a few seconds you should be able to shift the transfer case into low or high without any gear clash. If the clutch is hanging, the transfer case gears will be spinning and you'll get gear clash.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
    Ol Fogie likes this.
  4. Jun 23, 2022
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    8,560
    x2.

    However, I concur this sounds more like a linkage issue, possibly worn parts binding or taking it out of adjustment. Bellcrank bushings, or some such.

    Time to get out and get under - take a look.
     
    Ol Fogie, timgr and Twin2 like this.
  5. Jun 23, 2022
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23,615
    Linkage on a '73 is simple. The main failure is the joint on the push rod. When that fails, the push rod falls off and the pedal falls to the floor. Suggest that everyone with this type of linkage make a leash to the push rod. At least then you won't lose it when the joint fails.
     
    Ol Fogie and Lane Meyer like this.
  6. Jun 23, 2022
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,893
    Do you mean free play to that point? You should normally have around an inch or so of free play.
     
  7. Jun 23, 2022
    NC73CJ5

    NC73CJ5 Shade tree tinkerer

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    I’m not sure how to describe the clutch action as anything other than “normal”, and the same as it has been since I started driving it. When fully depressed, it is released, and when up, it is fully engaged, and gradually engages on the way up. A little free play on top. And the gear oil was Valvoline SAE 80W-90, same I’ve used in several other manual transmissions and differentials. I checked the oil levels in transmission and transfer case, both were full and still relatively clean. Linkage seems to work fine, as it shifts just fine when parked.
     
  8. Jun 23, 2022
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23,615
    Glenn and NC73CJ5 like this.
  9. Jun 23, 2022
    NC73CJ5

    NC73CJ5 Shade tree tinkerer

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    Yep, that did it. Clutch not releasing. Thanks!
     
  10. Jun 23, 2022
    boopiejones

    boopiejones I can’t drive 55

    California east bay
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2020
    Messages:
    451
    Sounds like the issue is fixed, but I wanted to point out one issue that I had with my clutch. The weld failed on one of the “ears” on the bellcrank. Initially the fail was minor, just causing the ear to bend and making it difficult but not impossible to shift. Finally the ear broke off completely and the clutch pedal could be depressed to the floor with zero resistance.

    i welded the ear back on and all was well. Eventually I upgraded to an advance adapters chain linkage and it’s been great ever since.
     
    NC73CJ5 likes this.
  11. Jun 23, 2022
    NC73CJ5

    NC73CJ5 Shade tree tinkerer

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    It’s not “fixed”, I’ve just isolated the problem. I haven’t dug into it yet to figure out why the clutch isn’t releasing. I will likely recruit some help from a friend on this one. I’ll check the “ears”, and poke around with it, but I’ve never had much experience with the internal workings of a clutch. But that’s what I really like about this project; it’s simple and basic enough that a shade tree novice like me can tinker around and maybe figure it out.
     
  12. Jun 23, 2022
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23,615
    There's not that much you can see from the outside. Put your head under the driver's side and the linkage is there in front of you. Should be obvious how it works. You can take the inspection cover off the bottom of the bell housing, and see the backside of the bottom quarter of the flywheel. Not much you can do there though. If everything works outside and the clutch still does not release, the flywheel could be rusted and stuck to the disk. You can try putting the front of the Jeep against a tree or such and putting it in gear. That might free the disk from the flywheel. Otherwise I'd guess it's something in the clutch cover that's broken and not releasing.
     
  13. Jun 23, 2022
    NC73CJ5

    NC73CJ5 Shade tree tinkerer

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    I think it is partially releasing. If it’s running and in gear with the clutch depressed, it’s not moving, and it engages normally. It’s apparently just engaged enough to keep it turning inside to make shifting an issue. And I’ve driven it several hundred miles with no issue till yesterday. I’ll get a mechanic friend to help, although he may reluctant after almost putting his eye out helping me with the brake springs. Thanks for the help!
     
  14. Jun 23, 2022
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    8,560
    I once had a similar CJ5 with a clutch problem. IIRC there was a plastic bushing/bearing inside each end of the bellcrank tube and they had gone bad. But that was a long time ago, and memory is hazy.
     
    Ol Fogie and NC73CJ5 like this.
  15. Jul 21, 2022
    NC73CJ5

    NC73CJ5 Shade tree tinkerer

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    update: I finally got around to tinkering with the clutch, and discovered good news and bad news. It appears that the previous owner recently replaced the clutch, and I discovered how simple it is to adjust the clutch. I got it adjusted just right, but on the last try, the push rod simply fell off, as you predicted. It appears that previous owner wrapped the spring around the rod to keep it together. I guess it works, but now I don’t trust it. New question; is the linkage for the intermediate, and specifically a ‘73, unique? Any suggestions for parts source?
     
  16. Jul 21, 2022
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23,615
    Do you still have the rod?

    Usual repair is to replace the existing ball end with a Heim joint. I used the existing rod and ground off the ball end, threaded the rod, and installed a Heim joint. Rod diameter is 3/8" IIRC.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/60645K441/ This should work; you can look through the offerings at McMaster-Carr.

    If you look at the existing ball end, there is a dimple where the end is crimped to the rod. Grind that down to the rod and the end will come off. Or you can buy some 3/8"-24 all-thread and replace the rod with that. Not usually available in hardware stores though; McMaster has it.

    '72 is the unique year. From '73 on, they all use this bell crank setup. Pretty sure you can buy a new replacement, but I would not waste my money on a failure-prone part.

    For the time being, you can drill through where the ball socket is and put a bolt through it. It'll work temporarily. That's how my J10 came to me.

    This is my J10 last winter - only gets driven in season. Same idea, different parts. This is one of the first things I did to it, so it shows some age.

    J10bellcrank.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
  17. Jul 21, 2022
    NC73CJ5

    NC73CJ5 Shade tree tinkerer

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    Fortunately, the rod came off in my hand while I was turning the adjustment nut. Upon further examination, I see the previous owner did a similar modification to what you described to the other end of the bellcrank. I really appreciate the information and advice.
     
  18. Jul 21, 2022
    Downs

    Downs Rattlecan All The Things!

    Hunt County Texas
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    517
    I've run into similar shifting issues, that have gotten worse over time and get worse during hot weather for some reason. I'm tempted to go back in and rebuild the linkage again. My adjustment rod is maxed out. If I screw it out any further, it'll fall apart. I used this kit when I rebuilt the Jeep.

    https://www.quadratec.com/p/crown-automotive/clutch-linkage-kit-cj-series

    I've heard it's a garbage kit, but the original parts were fully worn out with the bellcrank holes shaped like ovals and slop all over.
     
    Ol Fogie likes this.
  19. Jul 22, 2022
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,623
    That bellcrank clutch setup has another flaw when your body is really rusty. You push the clutch pedal down to the floor, and the whole floor/firewall/cowl raises up on the drivers side. And the clutch still doesn’t disengage! I had this happen on my ‘72, and also on a friend’s ‘74. Hatteras was really bad for rust.
    -Donny
     
  20. Jul 22, 2022
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23,615
    I can see how the mounts rusting away could cause that, but it does not need to be rusty for some similar behavior. With these bell cranks, stuff the right front wheel, and leave the left front hanging, and the clutch no longer works. The cable used in '71 (?) and '72 was a better idea, but the parts would not last and the cable would freeze in the sheath. Owners pressed so hard on the clutch pedal that they ripped the mounting brackets off of the firewall. The bell crank that became standard for '73 was the cure, but it does not work as well as the cable did when new.

    Jeep was replacing so many cables under warranty, that they developed a service kit that installed a bell crank similar to later Jeeps rather than continue to replace the troublesome cables. Nearly all '72s have the retrofit bell crank, though some must still have their original cable.

    If you look under hood behind the bell crank area, there is a big soft body mount on an outrigger from the frame. I think this mount is new for '73, and I suspect it partly addresses the no-clutch problem cited above. The clutch problem happens when the frame twists and the body does not, increasing the distance between the pedal and the bell crank. Coupling the body more tightly to the frame reduces this problem, but I suspect it also increase the characteristic buckling of the body in the door opening.
     
    Ol Fogie and Downs like this.
New Posts