Rear Main Seal and the Clutch

Well, the ol’ faithful 1998 Jeep Wrangler needs its first major repair. The rear main seal is leaking. Since they have to crack it open anyway, should I replace the clutch as well? It only has 60,288 miles on it. Anything else that they should look at as long as they have it apart?

Should you change the clutch while it’s apart? That depends.

If money is a problem and you’re only planning to keep the vehicle for another year or so, then leave the old clutch there.

If the old clutch has been soaked with oil from the leaky rear main, then definitely change it. [Though the flywheel should have kept the leaky oil off the clutch.]

If you’ve gotten 300K out of all the other clutches you’ve had in the past, then maybe just change the throw-out bearing and leave the clutch in there. I would probably change the throw-out bearing regardless.

It took you 12 years for the first 60K miles. Do you plan to be driving this Jeep 12 years from now?

Many times, a “rear main” can be replaced by just dropping the pan. The transmission and clutch are not disturbed… I would not mess with them at this point…