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Diagnose rattle under shift knob?

I hear you RCP! Agree. So, following up more- I was driving it and this is ridic I know, but I just noticed that the 4wd shifter is in the 4wd-HI location. And it won't go into 2wd-HI location. Just wont move up. I can get it down into N and 4LO. I tried the backing up trick (a lot.) The 4wd-part time light is not on. I lifted the front and the front wheels don't turn. So I'm pretty sure I'm in 2wd. But the shifter is stuck. And, I know this doesn't make sense, but the squeaking/creaking I hear when the clutch is in, sounds a lot like the noise my transfer case makes when I'm driving in 4wd. Don't know whats going on here, but it's another issue that needs to be resolved. I don't know how it got in the 4wd position, I'm not the only one to drive it lately tho.

In any case, I brought it back to shop, they are def noticing the noise is makes with the clutch in, no arguments there, and they think it's got to be the throwout bearing (of which they have installed 2 new ones now.) They are totally wanting to replace the bearing/unit again, under warranty. It's a LUK clutch. Of course we'll try it again, but 2 bad/new bearings seems rare...

Of course, suggestions very welcome ...

thanks for all thoughts. Wish I had a garage lol

The factory shift linkage is an overcomplicated fluster-cluck. I ditched mine for the Boostwerks version and am much happier with it. Good motor and trans mounts may be required however. The factory version will allow for more slop than will the Boostwerks version.

That said, you may be onto something. If the shop did not get things properly aligned when they reinstalled that linkage that might be the problem. The shop would have had to deal with that linkage when they did the clutch and when they went back in for the throwout bearing. The shop probably needs to start by figuring out why you no longer have full travel on the shifter. Fix that and they may end up resolving the rattle problem in the process.
Ok,update here. Jeep back in shop. I'm sure they re-assembled the transfer case linkage wrong so thats why the shifter is in the wrong place. They are fixing that. Also, they are replacing the clutch/throwout bearing for the 3rd time. They say everything looks fine though. But it certainly was not fine. They are replacing the pilot bearing bushing, which they say is the only thing they have not replaced in there yet. Any thoughts on this being the possible issue?

I also ordered the Azzy shift linkage, So I'm gonna install that later and get rid of the whole linkage soon.

thx for thoughts
The pilot bearing is one thing, the throwout bearing is another, and if your throwout bearing is hydraulic that adds another level of complication to the picture.

I can't recall getting a replacement pilot bearing with a clutch kit. It has been over 10 years since I last had to do a clutch job (knock on wood), but I don't recall ever receiving a pilot bearing as part of a clutch kit. Replacing the pilot bearing is one of those "going the extra mile" steps that tend to get ignored. The pilot bearing should not be a high wear item. That said, our vehicles are at the age where it should be considered and given a critical eye.

Throwout bearings do tend to come with clutch kits, and I hold the ones in the kits in especially low regard. The P.O. of my XJ used one of those kits with its bearing and the failure of it came hard and without warning. There is a picture of it in this thread: https://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1148562

I replaced that POS with a Timken and it has been fine ever since. I expect there are fewer options if your bearing is hydraulic.

If it were me dealing with all this I would be replacing the T-case linkage first and seeing what difference that made.
Thanks for all this info. Looking at the links. The throwout bearing they have been using is a National. Not one you listed as good, so I'll look to buy an SKF or TIMKEN. I will consider all this info, and update thread how things are turning out. Thanks always for the great info
OK, I've done some internet recon. For the 1991, I'm seeing the only options as National and Timken. (leaving out crown, etc.) National does seem to be the SKF distributor. That said, Amazon reviews of National throwout bearings were just OK, about 80%. Many ppl happy, others (in critical reviews) listing the exact issues I am having: rattling and noisy after 1 wk, 1 months, 6 months, immediately, etc. Some photos showing how "off-center" they are right on opening box. So even though its National/SKF, seems like a Chinese made crapshoot. Couldn't find any reviews of the recent Timkens. One reviewer states they got a Timken and it went bad in 3 months. In any case, I ordered one, and will inspect when it gets delivered.

For those interested, parts info:

TIMKEN Part #619003

NATIONAL Part #619003

I will update this thread. Also, any more info always welcome. Getting worried there is just no manufacturer of a decent TB anywhere anymore. PITA

- TJ

UPDATE: Ok, I received the Timken TB. I gotta say, it looks pretty similar to the National. Nothing on the box says where it was manufactured. The box just says "Timken parts are carefully chosen from select manufacturers." Not encouraging. Both TBs have plastic bodies and are plastic/metal in all the same places. I had both side by side. Both spun well and bearings looked centered. Honestly, the National felt a little more "solid." The metal parts looked a tad more smoothly finished, and the bearing part felt a hair less "jiggly." If you gave me both in a blind test just to evaluate by holding them, I'd have chosen the National.

So that's the one I chose. I'm just going with my gut. It just looked/felt better. Not sure what that means with the internals, no way to know.

I did see my dismantled transmission at the shop. They did pull the pilot bearing assembly and the pilot bearing was pretty shot. Def loose around the shaft. New one is nice and snug. It is a National but feels fine on there.

fingers crossed. Will report results, if anyone is following.

- TJ
Hope they get it fixed right for you thanks for the update
Given your description I would have chosen the National as well. Parts are all a roll of the dice anymore.

It does at least sound like the shop is trying to get this properly fixed, especially if they are showing you what they are finding, such as the difference in pilot bearings.

Thank you for the update, and please let us know how it resolves.
UPDATE-SOLVED: Ok, i think this issue has been solved (for now.) The new throwout bearing has been installed, as well as a NEW PILOT BEARING. I saw the old pilot bearing and it was not tight on the shaft, if was definitely shot. The shop actually put in a whole new clutch again as well, just to be sure. I just got it back today and test drove it, and it is FINALLY quiet, with clutch pedal IN or OUT. It shifts beautifully. The worry is that the shop said they replaced the PB the first time they did the clutch, but when they took it off, 2 of the bearings on it were smashed in. I saw the bearing, it def looked messed up. But it also looked old. So unclear if they actually replaced it the first time. The worry would be that something is messing it up. But at this point, I'm thinking it was the original and just old. Everything feels tip top, today at least.

As for the transfer case/4WD: I ordered the Azzy Replacement Linkage for my Heep as soon as I could and had the shop install it. I had to be there for that because the guy could not figure it out based on the instructions I gave him. But we got it in correctly, and yes, this thing is a GREAT mod. Shifts cleanly into all 4 positions. The problem was the old linkage, and it not having been put together properly. Now it's all gone, so happy.

SO: At this point, I think both of these issues have been solved. We'll see how things go over the coming weeks of driving. I'll update if any issues arise from the National parts that are in it, or the Azzy link. My Jeep still has a bunch of other issues (it IS a jeep) but I'm moving off of these two problems, finally.

Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions and advice. This forum is the best-

And much thanks to the shop: they made good on their promise to get things right. Overall they dropped the tranny about 5 times. Installed 3 new clutches, test drove it over 50 miles (I check) and most recently it was in shop for 3 weeks while they waited for parts and worked on this. They did not charge me for anything except the Azzy install time.

On to the next problem...Thanks y'all
Great to hear.

And that sounds like a shop that deserves your repeat business.