How to Replace a Clutch in a CJ7

by Tracy Underwood
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Any vehicle that has a manual transmission needs an occasional clutch replacement. The average car owner doesn't keep a car long enough to wear out the clutch, but the same cannot be said for Jeep CJ7 owners. The last CJ7 rolled off the assembly line in 1986, and owners tend to keep them for a long time. So if you own a CJ7, the chances are good that you will eventually need to replace the clutch. The transfer case complicates the job, but it is still not too difficult if you take it step by step.


Step 1

Park the Jeep on a flat surface. Set the parking brake and put the transmission in neutral.

Step 2

Remove the screws that hold the transmission cover to the floor. Pry the cover up slightly so it is able to move freely.

Step 3

Position the floor jack under the rear of the transmission and raise the jack until it makes solid contact. Unbolt the transmission from the crossmember, and unbolt the crossmember from the frame rails. Remove the crossmember.

Step 4

Remove the front and rear driveshaft U-bolts and disconnect the driveshafts from the transfer case. Disconnect the clutch linkage from the bellhousing at the front of the transmission.

Step 5

Remove the clutch cover at the bottom of the bellhousing. Remove all the bolts that hold the bellhousing to the engine. Support the bellhousing and slide the transmission and transfer case rearward until it disengages from the engine.

Loosen the bolts that hold the pressure plate to the flywheel. Work gradually in a cross pattern until all the bolts are out. Remove the old pressure plate and clutch disk. Reach into the recess in the center of the flywheel and pull the old pilot bushing out. Clean the flywheel with brake cleaner.


Step 1

Put a dab of grease on the new pilot bushing and insert it in its recess. Place the new clutch disk against the flywheel and place the new pressure plate against it.

Step 2

Insert the clutch alignment tool through the hole in the center of the new clutch disk and into the pilot bushing. Hold the tool perpendicular to the flywheel and start the bolts through the holes in the pressure plate and into the flywheel. Use the torque wrench to tighten the bolts evenly in a cross pattern to 25 ft. lb. Remove the alignment tool.

Step 3

Pop the old throwout bearing off the clutch arm in the bellhousing, and replace it with the new bearing. It clips in place with no tools necessary.

Step 4

Slide the transmission forward carefully. Make sure the input shaft slides smoothly through the clutch disk and into the pilot bushing. Replace the bolts around the bellhousing and torque to 50 ft. lb.

Replace the clutch linkage, driveshafts, crossmember and floor plate.

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