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I have a 1988 YJ 2.5L and am I right to assume that it has the AX5 tranny?

If so, is there a kit available to convert from the internal clutch slave cylinder to an external?

Is this something I should do? I believe the slave is working properly but the bearing is definitely making noise.

I have less that 800 miles on the new (slave/throw-out)  that was purchased at a local box store (oreilly's) and it's already making noises.

Any suggestions or opinions are greatly appreciated.



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Hi, swoo2247...Welcome to the forums!

Yes, you have an AX5 transmission in your YJ Wrangler.  The external slave conversion has many advantages but does require changeover parts.  Your best way to view a conversion is to compare the clutch linkage part numbers between your '88 YJ 2.5L and a mid-'nineties or later 2.5L model with the external slave.  Minimally, you would need the bellhousing, the release arm mechanism, an AX5 front bearing retainer with a new mechanical release bearing, the slave cylinder, the master cylinder if different and the hydraulic line.

Is this worth it?  Not if you have a reliable hydraulic release bearing.  You need to determine what is causing the trouble with your O'Reilly's release bearing. They are self-adjusting, so there's no provision for adjusting the clearance between the clutch cover fingers and release bearing. You need to make sure the release bearing retracts far enough when you release the clutch pedal.  

Check the pedal height and the clearance between the pedal pushrod and the clutch master cylinder piston to make sure the piston can retract completely...Release bearing drag on the cover fingers could be the issue.  A dragging bearing that does not release completely will wear out prematurely.  Another possibility is the crankshaft pilot bearing if that turns out to be the noise.  

Personally, I'd try to restore the hydraulic release bearing system and make it work.  Using Mopar or equivalent quality parts, the hydraulic release bearing should be good for 100-140,000 miles or between clutch replacements.


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