Warning!! Dangerous design flaw in the 2006 Jeep Wranglers!!

Warning!! Dangerous design flaw in the 2006 Jeep Wranglers!!
The 2006 six speed Jeep Wrangler has a very dangerous design flaw. New for
the 2006 Jeep Wrangler is the six speed transmissions and what I have recently learned the "hard way" is part of the redesign includes the clutch assembly. The clutch rod comes out of the floor board and attaches to the clutch pedal with a clip/attachment that bolts onto the clutch pedal. The problem here is as part of their new design the clip or attachment piece is made of "plastic" and I found that it can break very easily and disable your Jeep. I learned this fact this last weekend and if I had been rock climbing or in the desert instead of in town I might not be here letting all you Jeep owners know about this very dangerous problem. In addition to this problem and being 165 miles from home I had a big eye opener on how rude, uncooperative, uncaring and totally unhelpful I found DaimlerChrysler Corporation to be. Read the details of my past weekend and see how dangerous and potentially deadly this problem can be unless DaimlerChrysler Corporation corrects it! I almost forgot to mention that even though it was a warranted part it turned out to be a very expensive problem for me as well.
I live in Flagstaff, Arizona and I had planned to go the valley/Phoenix area this last weekend, February 25th for two reasons. My family and I were driving down to the valley to celebrate my daughter's 13th birthday with family and friends and to go to the Cross Roads of the West gun show in Phoenix. For those who don't know the area it is about 150 to 175 miles one way from Flagstaff, depending on where in the valley you are going. Since we were just planning on going down for the day I only took a couple of days supply of my medications and left behind some medical equipment I use due to a fall I had about eight years ago that severely damaged my lower back. After I dropped off my wife and my daughter at her sister's house in Chandler to get ready for the birthday party my son and I headed off to the gun show. (I don't understand why my wife and daughter never want to go to the gun show)?
My son and I drive to the gun show at the Phoenix coliseum and entered the parking area and we paid for parking. As we proceeded forward, I pushed down on the clutch to put the Jeep into gear and heard a loud pop and the clutch pedal drops to the floor and the Jeep shuts down. Unable to restart my Jeep and the people behind us honking their horns, my son and one of the parking lot attendants proceeds to push the Jeep off to the side area, getting it out of the way of the entrance. After I got over the shock of my new 2006 Jeep breaking down, then the thoughts of being late to my daughter's party and being this close to the gun show and missing it due to my Jeep breaking down in the parking lot, I then called road side assistance. Less then an hour later the tow truck arrives and takes my Jeep to the nearest Jeep dealership, which was Bill Luke in Phoenix. My son and I are now stranded at the Phoenix coliseum and have to call my wife to pick us up or bring us some transportation. Due to the time of day that this happened we learned that the car rental places including the one at the dealership were all closed. I then received a call from the Jeep dealership confirming that my Jeep had arrived but due to their heavy work schedule they would not be able to even look at my Jeep until Monday morning. Now stranded at my sister in-law's home in Chandler, don't take this wrong, God has blessed me with all of my wife's brothers and sisters who are the best, but I really hate to impose on anyone, especially when I'm not in the best of mood. I really hated missing the Gun Show!! Sunday morning I call the dealership and learn that the Enterprise rental was closed on Sunday and they were the only car rental place in the area. After calling the Enterprise 800 number I learned they were all closed on Sunday and would spend another day stranded. I'm still not able to go to the gun show!!
Monday morning I call the dealership and learn that the part that connects the clutch to the clutch pedal that broke is all inclusive to the clutch system. This means they cannot just replace the plastic clip part - they have to replace the entire clutch. To make matters worse, they cannot find any of these new clutch systems in Arizona. The only available one they can find is in Oregon and they will have to have it sent overnight to Phoenix. They explained the earliest they would be able to have my Jeep fixed if they rushed it would be Wednesday. As I explained at the beginning of the letter, we left Flagstaff to only spend the day in the valley, and I did not bring my medical equipment or medications for more than a couple of days. I was out of medication and over 165 miles from home. Due to my medications and my medical condition this was truly a life threatening situation for me. Being out of medications and the fact my Jeep would not be fixed for at least a couple of more days I had to find a way home or arrange to get some of my medication quickly. My oldest son drove down during the weekend and picked up my wife to take her back to Flagstaff, due to the fact that my wife and son both had to be at work and my daughter to school first thing Monday morning. This is when we thought that I could pick up my Jeep on Monday and just drive it home. (Before we knew it was an all inclusive part and the entire clutch would need to be replaced all because of this stupid plastic clip). Yep! I'm still mad I missed the gun show!!
I made my first call to DaimlerChrysler Corporation around 8:30 a.m. to see if they could assist me in getting a rental car and or a hotel room in Phoenix near the dealership so as not to have to impose on others to drive me back and forth to and from the dealership. I spoke to DaimlerChrysler Corporation and their various departments and ended up being put on hold for about the next six hours until about 3:40 p.m.. I explained to the people at DaimlerChrysler Corporation about the need for my medications and that I was stranded in Phoenix approximately 150 miles from home. They were able to retrieve my information from their system and verify I was telling them the truth. But the responses I received like "that's tough" or "too bad" or flat out "no we will not help you or reimburse you for a hotel stay a rental car or even towing if you are charged for the towing". The only offer of any help I received was from the actual Dealership (Bill Luke). According to the Service Manager, he told me that he and the Service Director felt bad that they had to work on my New 2006 with less then 2K miles on it for a warranted item. By the time my brother in-law had driven me to Phoenix they had an Enterprise rental car waiting for me. Unlike DaimlerChrysler Corporation, the dealership was very helpful.
I was still a little fearful in driving back up to Flagstaff. I was fearful as I had explained to the many people I spoke to at DaimlerChrysler Corporation because one of the many medications I had run out of was a medication for Narcolepsy. I take this medication to keep me from falling asleep while driving. As I had stated before, with the refusal of any help from DaimlerChrysler Corporation and needing all my medications, I had no other choice but to attempt the drive back up to Flagstaff. (But before I did I made sure to buy the additional insurance from Enterprise on the rental car).
Even though I had made many stops between Flagstaff and Phoenix to try and stay awake, I did fall asleep about a mile outside of Cordes Junction where I caught myself driving down the middle of the road and hurriedly pulled into the Cordes Junction turnoff and into a store parking lot where I fell asleep and slept for the next 30 plus minutes. After I woke up I bought myself some coffee and attempted to continue on to Flagstaff. I was doing okay until around Munds Park, where it became a major struggle to stay awake. I was really fighting to stay awake and I had made it to the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff where I pulled into the parking lot and passed out. I was awakened about an hour latter by my daughter knocking on the car window to wake me up. My daughter and wife came looking for me when I was so late in getting home. I followed them the rest of the way home. The Jeep was repaired and ready for pick up on Wednesday, which required my wife to take off work and go with me to pick it up.
Although my medical problems may be unique, I think that in reading this letter most of you can see how someone might also become stranded four wheeling in the country back roads or in the desert somewhere. The fathers out there who may be looking to buy a Jeep for their sons or daughters beware of not only the chance of their Jeep breaking down but also knowing they will not receive any help from DaimlerChrysler Corporation.
Please, send this letter to everyone who may own a 2006 Jeep six speed or who maybe thinking of buying one. If you happen to own one of these Jeeps already be careful and email or write DaimlerChrysler Corporation to get them to recall and fix this stupid design flaw. I write this letter to only warn everyone before someone has to be hunted down by the Sheriff's posse or another rescue unit or misses a gun show due to a broken clutch.
Thank you to the kind staff at Bill Luke who helped to get my Jeep back on the road.
Tim Feavel
Flagstaff, Arizona
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Tim:
You mentioned medications in the post numerous times. Couldn't you have stopped at a local pharmacy and asked them to phone your doctor for your prescription?
Tom

snip
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Are you sure you don't live on the other side of that lake, in the Great White Socialist North? God Bless America, Bill O|||||||O mailto: snipped-for-privacy@aol.com http://www.billhughes.com /
mabar wrote:

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Nope. Northeast Ohio.
Tom
http://www.billhughes.com /

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MY2 cents,
It was not the dealers problem they did everything they could. If you did not bring your MEDS you are just stupid not a dealer issue. Not the dealer's fault because the part was unavailable. Not the dealers issue to get you a rental or hotel room that is what your auto insurance is for. Shit some time just happens it is not your fault or the dealers but you are at fault for being stupid not for properly being prepaired. What would you do out on the trail curl up in the fetal position and die?
Coasty

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Coasty <uscg_ret at comcast dot net> wrote: #fault for being stupid not for properly being prepaired. What would you do #out on the trail curl up in the fetal position and die? Based on what he posted, pretty much yes... :-\
/herb
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Herb Leong wrote:

The part that scared me was his electing to drive knowing that his narcolepsy would catch up to him on the road. I wouldn't want to be an on-coming driver.
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Tim, your problems with the Wrangler, which are to be expected after any extensive redesign of a component, were exacerbated because of your medical condition. It is just not fair to call a clutch rod popping off "dangerous".
There was no need to purchase additional insurance on the Enterprise car if you paid for it with a Gold or Platinum credit card. Check your cardholder agreement. You will find that the rental car insurance they provide, is as good as the coverage you purchased from the rental company. Your homeowner's or auto insurance company may provide some liability coverage too. Know your present coverage, before signing any rental car agreement.
The dealer people in Phoenix seem like decent sorts. They did not have to find you a rental car, and it is to their credit that they helped you in this way.
It is not unusual for people with medical problems to leave essential supplies at home during a vacation or even a short excursion such as your trip to Phoenix. You would be amazed at some of the stories that I have been told by patients, as a volunteer emergency medical technician in a tourist destination town! If there is something that you really, really need, make sure to have it with you at all times. I suffered terribly because of the lack of Tabasco sauce while I was in Spain...
Earle

---snippy---
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Earle Horton wrote: >I suffered terribly

LMAO!
--
FRH

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You need to learn how the vehicle works by the sounds of it....
I have broken my clutch linkage on many occasions over the years and even have been around a couple TJ's when their clutch up and died.
In 'all' these cases, we were able to dive home or at least able to starter walk the vehicle out of the intersection! Actually the last TJ owner that phoned me with a dead clutch in the middle of an intersection made it out of the way and all the way home on the starter just fine....
On the older manual TJ's all you have to do is put a fuse in the 'auto' fuse slot to allow the engine to start with the clutch pedal up or to start in gear on purpose. This is for times when you are 'say' flooded out on a creek crossing. You can just hit the starter with the engine in 2nd gear and 'walk' the Jeep or even my old Volvo up out of the creek. LOL, been there...
If you 'just' have busted linkage or loss of hydraulic fluid, then you can 'easily' start the vehicle by just pushing down on the clutch pedal while having the shifter in 2nd or 3rd, hit the starter and away you go. The interlock switch is at the top of the clutch pedal. It can just be jumpered too...
It is a bear to shift without a clutch, but 'very' possible with a firm hand or starting in 3rd will limp you home at an easy 30 mph anyway or get you to a shop.
My $0.02....
Mike 86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00 88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's Canadian Off Road Trips Photos: Non members can still view! Jan/06 http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id !15147590 (More Off Road album links at bottom of the view page)
Tim wrote:

<snip>
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Mike Romain wrote:

Exactly right Mike! I drove My YJ home 70 miles without a clutch. Same idea as double clutching. Use the engine speed in neutral to get the gears close to sync. For upshifting, let off on the gas to unload the gear train, slide into neutral, and let off on the gas completely before going into the next gear up. Downshifting is opposite where you rev the engine in neutral. Put it into neutral when coming to a stop, shut the engine down after stopping. Put it in first or second and start the engine when it is time to go.
--
jeff

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jeff wrote:

I did the same with a Toyota truck when the slave cylinder burst. My trip was only about 45 miles, though.
The bottom line is simply understanding how the vehicle works.
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B A R R Y wrote:

True enough, but I think that in the case of the OP that understanding that sometimes things _do_ break even when new, learning to be prepared, and understanding that everything that goes wrong need not be someone else's fault would help too.
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#If you 'just' have busted linkage or loss of hydraulic fluid, then you #can 'easily' start the vehicle by just pushing down on the clutch pedal #while having the shifter in 2nd or 3rd, hit the starter and away you #go. The interlock switch is at the top of the clutch pedal. It can #just be jumpered too... As a first model year YJ owner, I have driven home many times on a leaked-out clutch slave cyl. I keep a bottle of dot-3 in the space under the master cyls for that exact reason. Glad I did not have to mess with a interlock switch. #It is a bear to shift without a clutch, but 'very' possible with a firm #hand or starting in 3rd will limp you home at an easy 30 mph anyway or #get you to a shop. Shifting without a clutch is pretty easy as long as you pay attention to your RPMs and know where the sweet spot to shift is. Starting it in gear is the PITA. Glad the starters were so easy to replace.
/herb
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Sorry to hear about your problem Tim, these things happen.
I never travel more than walking distance from home without my CAA+ card. For just over $100 per year it is cheap insurance for breakdowns.
CAA+ will get me a free tow up to about 150km (90 miles). This will usually get your vehicle home or to your local dealer.
If you can afford a new vehicle, you can afford to join a good auto club. I prefer vehicles that I can buy for under $1000 so I need it even more.
Merrill
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I drove 50 miles home once 4-lo with my front axle disconnect pulled without being able to clutch b/c my clutch went out. It's not hard if you shift at the right points.
Carl

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Back in the old days.. I had an ancient CJ. I was climbing a hill I shouldn't have been and came down on a stump that sent an arrow of wood perfectly up the emgine compartment slicing my clutch linkage. So there I was... Semi high centered at a 30 degree angle with no clutch. I took it out of gear and we shook it down. Had a bitch of a time turning it around without any power assist. Started coasting down, ground it into 2nd close to the bottom and limped it towards home. It was about 15 miles from the freeway on logging roads, so 2nd wasn't gonna cut it. I got it wound up pretty good and was able to get it into 3rd. Started going up a hill and it started bogging... Oh shit! Was able to time a downshift w/o a clutch :)
By the time I got to the highway I was getting pretty good at it. Then came the nightmare. I had to stop on flat ground. Now what to do? It took awhile to figure out the timing, but I was able to pop it and give the gas pedal a tap at the right time to get it going.
I was young and dumb, and assumed it was something major wrong with the transmission, so I drove it like that for months. I got so good people riding with me didn't even know I didn't have a clutch. When I eventually toasted the throwout bearing and pressure plate, the shop I took it into replaced the $20 cable with the new clutch.
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i was 60 miles from my house and lost my clutch in my 89 yj. made it home with no clutch and was able to drive it for a week till the garage could get time to fix it... just need to know how to force it in some times... kind of a waste of money tho cuz i did clutch work then just did a engine and tranny swap and Soa..
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Everybody ought to learn to drive an old VW Bug with the cable-linked clutch - it ain't if the clutch cable breaks, it's when.
All 3 of my kids got the lesson where you take them out in a parking lot and show them how to use the starter in low to get a rolling start, then how to fell the shift points with no clutch. On a fairly steep slope where the starter lugs too much in first gear, put it in 2LO/first and I think you could start if you were climbing a phone pole. As long as the engine will start in gear, you can putt along until you find a level patch (or better yet, a downhil slope). The big trick is to get it out of gear and coast toward stop lights until you can get the light.
--
Will Honea

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You can also use an old trucker trick. It works well in traffic too. When I'm driving the clutch big rig and I'm stuck in traffic, I'll slam it into granny lo and just let it idle, keeping a large distance with the cars in front of me. I'll roll for miles and miles while others are stopping and going.
Do the same at stoplights.
Carl

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