How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

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How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby Plata » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:14 am

Hey Everyone: I have a 1998 Rodeo, 5-speed manual transmission with a 3.2 L engine. It's got about 202,000 miles on it and still has the original clutch. It's my favorite vehicle of all time and I want to keep it forever. My question is about my clutch, which is the original from 1998. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it; the clutch is still as strong as ever. However, I would like to take the vehicle to Colorado this summer and don't want the clutch to go out on me while in the mountains. Should I go ahead and proactively replace the clutch now, or just leave it alone (i.e. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it")? How long can a clutch usually last? Any thoughts? Thanks!!
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby gwana66 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:32 pm

It really depends on the driver and load. I've seen clutches last a few hundred miles, and I've seen them last over 250,000 miles. I'd say you're getting up there in miles for a heavy SUV. Where in the pedal travel does the clutch begin to engage? If it's up near the top, you're likely close to the end. Mine only grabbed in the last inch or so of pedal travel right before it started slipping. After replacement, it now grabs just off the floor.

Here's a quick test: With the vehicle stopped and running, put the transmission in 4th gear. Put your right foot on the brake. Slowly let out the clutch all the way. If you can do this without stalling the engine, the clutch is slipping and may soon fail. If it stalls, you still have good grip. Other than that, there's no good way to tell without pulling the trans and taking a look at the thickness of the lining. Doing it as a preventative measure is up to you, but it's a big job.
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby geoffinbc » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:45 pm

If you do a lot of highway driving then it may only be half way through its life. If your always in town slipping the clutch then it could go tomorrow. But judging by the age and milage I would guess your in the first catagory.
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby 91firstgen » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:28 am

I just got a 91 trooper that had the original clutch with 233k i noticed it was slipping and before i had the chance to replace it it blew up completly it was insane ive never seen a clutch do it there was fiber glass from ghe pads stuck to the flywheel coating the bell housing it was everywhere took an hour just to get it cleaned out but my suggestion is if your afraid of it going out i would replace it i got a racing clutch and flywheel for mine for about 200 im not sure hwhat it would be for the rodeo
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby SurferJoe » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:34 am

I'm over 465,000 miles on original clutch.

If you're looking at the pedal height to tell you how much clutch is worn --- well, no --- as it's a hydraulic system and it self compensates right up to the end of life for the clutch and the pedal height is not an indicator of that value.
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby kenji187 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:39 am

254K miles on 2002 Trooper 3.5 and clutch still have lots meat.
I'm rebuilding the engine so I'm putting on new one.
Flywheel is almost perfect.
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby Plata » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:19 am

Thanks everyone for your input. Really appreciate it. I'm inclined to go ahead and put in a new clutch, as I'm planning on doing some major work on the engine anyway later this spring or early summer. I've been looking around at different clutch manufacturers. Does anyone have experience with Exedy clutches? Any other recommendations for clutch manufacturers? Thanks!
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby wmorrisiii » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:33 am

Exedy was OEM, can't go wrong there.
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby mudoilngears » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Exedy is the best you're going to find.
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby Plata » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:56 pm

Thanks guys. I will go with Exedy then, probably later this spring. Once again: I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to my questions!
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby itsmehb » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:51 am

My son has an 85 Trooper that he bought in 86. I taught him to drive in a 63 bug, and when at a stop (red light) to always place the car in neutral and let clutch out. Saves wear on the throwout bearing. At least that's what we always called it. Anyway, he still has the 85 with close to 300,000 miles on it and never has had to replace the clutch. Good driving habits go a long way in rewarding you.
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Re: How Long Can an Original Clutch Last?

Postby SurferJoe » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:44 pm

Popping it into neutral us a good idea especially for an Isuzu 2.3 engine since the crankshaft thrust bearing is very likely to fail early on. It's too small, poorly lubricated by hope-and-pray oil flow from off-slung droplets.

I lost an engine block and crankshaft to the failure of my first 2.3 of the thrust bearing.

I believe that every cold start with the mandatory clutch pedal pushed down to activate the neutral safety switch..... which I bypassed.... causes a lot of wear and early failure, if not destruction to a lot of expensive and getting-rare parts.

When I decelerate for a light or stop sign, I just gently slip the gearshift into neutral without ever using the clutch. That saves a clutch-TO bearing cycle too.,
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