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1996 Jeep Cherokee 5 speed stuck in/out of gear

1996 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 5-speed manual

What are some possible causes of a 5 speed manual transmission not being able to be put into any gear? And once in gear, not being able to take it out of gear?
I recently purchased a 1996 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 5-speed manual for my son. This is his first vehicle and my first vehicle with a manual transmission. Yesterday, to practice taking off from a stop and shifting gears, he took the jeep up to the local school. (He drove it for about an hour with the previous owner a few days prior.) I got a call that he was stuck and the jeep would not engage any gear. Once I was there, he told me he was driving around just fine, shifting through 1st - 4th gear, making stops, and practicing taking off from a stop. At some point he stopped and tried to put it into reverse. It would not engage reverse, so he just put it into 1st to go forward. He went through 2nd and then 3rd and came to a stop. He then proceeded to take it out of 3rd and put it into 1st. At this point it would not engage any gear with the clutch depressed and the engine running. With the engine off, we still could not get any gear, including reverse, to engage. I started the engine again and was able to get it into reverse. I decided to drive it home in reverse, about 1.5 miles. Once home, I could not shift out of reverse. I turned off the engine and played with it a little at which point I was able to get to disengage reverse and go into neutral. We pushed it forwards and backwards to get it closer to the curb. I then tried to get it to engage any gear with the clutch depressed and the engine NOT running; it would not engage any gear, including reverse. A friend suggested pumping the clutch a few times. I pumped it about 8 times and was then able to engage all five forward gears and reverse with the engine not running. We let the jeep sit turned off for about 30 minutes. I then checked the clutch fluid level and it was good, about ¾ inches from the top. We started the engine, depressed the clutch and put the jeep into first gear with no problem. We drove it around town, making frequent stops going 0 – 50 mph for about an hour. No further problems were experienced. He drove it to school this morning with no problem. The gears have been converted to 4.0. The vehicle has 109K miles on it. The underside of the transmission is dry, no leaks. The jeep was very well maintained.
Any response is welcomed. Thank you for your input and time.

Comments

  • Hi,

    I had this problem! Trust me I know were your coming from, KEEP THE CLUTCH FLUIDS AT THE RECOMMENDED LEVEL, And also keep the Coolant at the recommended level. It sounded insane but it works! If that doesnt solve your issue, It could be a bad clutch and it may need to be replaced. I'm rolling up on about 600,000 miles with my Jeep Cherokee 4.0 5SPD. They indestructable!!!!!!
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