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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

My 1988 Samurai has brought me to a stop last night a few minutes from home. It had been making a little bit of squealing a noise when shifting between 2nd gear but wasn't having issues doing so. I thought I'd check it out once I got home. Well, no such luck.

When i left off from the last stop light before home, I drove in 1st, 2nd, then clutch in, select 3rd, clutch out and it was still in neutral. Tried again, clutch in, 2nd this time, clutch out and still neutral. Wouldn't move in any gear after that.

I got ahold of my neighbor and we pulled it back with his pickup. Now when I start it, I have what sounds like a belt squealing. Not sure if it's related or just an old belt.

What's happened? New to Samurais having learned as I go mostly on my old Mini and MG and haven't had anything similar happen to either of them. Got the Sammy for the winter to keep the MG from rusting further.

Any ideas/help?
 

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Assuming proper gear oil and level I would start by checking the shift sheet. Any mods to the vehicle? How many miles? Any symptoms of clutch slippage or failure previous to this? Also make sure your transfer case is in gear, if it slipped out then you will be no-go. Let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks caseyjones. The Sammy is mostly stock and has 109,000 miles on it. I asked this same question on another Samurai forum and they also mentioned the shift sheet. I looked at the transfer case from inside the Samurai this evening and saw this:





Looks like the sheet has gone to mush! I've went ahead and ordered a new Nylatron one from Low Range.
 

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There is your problem!

replace your shifter sheet with a brass one from Zuks Offroad (ZOR T-Bra solid brass t-case shifter sheet for Suzuki Samurai).

You will - most likely - have to realign the shifter rods at the bottom of the hole in your post picture with a long-blade screwdriver before installing the new shifter sheet.

Although the broken shifter sheet parts are annoying, they will get harmelesly ground up by the action of the gears. Nonetheless, try to clean things up as best you can removing as much debris as you can when installing the new shifter sheet.

After a few hours of use, drain the transfer case (or have it done) and replace the lubricant with a GL4-grade gear oil that is NOT harmful to yellow metals. Using a newer GL5-grade lubricant can damage brass parts in both the transfer case and the transmission! When in doubt, look for "yellow metal safe" on the lubricant container.

I hope that this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice ack!

So, parts came in from Low Range and I replaced them today...both the t-case shifter sheet and the one for the transmission. Put everything back together and it feels wonderful and solid...

...BUT I still have no drive!

T-case is now moving in and out of 2H, 4H, N and 4L smoothly but when I start the Samurai and put it into gear, I still have nothing.

Strangest part is that I can, with a little effort, move the shift lever into gear while the engine is running WITHOUT the clutch...but again, no drive.

Perhaps some pins are misaligned? Not quite sure.
 

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Since it is a divorced transfer case it would be easy to peer through the shifter port to see if the intermediate driveshaft is turning, maybe clutch/trans and maybe something with xfer case.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I've looked through both as I have the boots off of them. None of the driveshafts are turning.

So at this point I've changed the shifter sheets on both the t-case and transmission as well as replaced the clutch cable.

As of now, clutch in and out into any gear gets me nothing and I can shift into gear without the clutch as well...perhaps the clutch isn't re-engaging?

When I press the clutch in, there's semi-heavy pressure going all the way down and then at the last 2 or so inches it gives and goes down pretty quickly...hint?

Again, when it went into neutral, I was shifting between 2nd and 3rd when it wouldn't go. No noises or grinding or awful "something bad just happened" sounds...just a slow coast to a stop since it wouldn't engage any gears. That's also when I decided to try putting it in 4WD to see if something happened and got the t-case stuck in neutral.

I'm starting to think the clutch disengaged when pressed it in but never engaged again when I let out...not sure if that's a thing. I'm learning as I go.
 

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My problem was almost the exact same and it had good clutch movement. Didn't find the problem till I dropped the trans and found the lining had turned loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, as some have mentioned here, it looks like the clutch may be what has gone wrong. Took these two photos when I removed the inspection cover (sorry for the quality...it's getting dark and I was awkwardly squeezed underneath the Samurai):





Looks like shredded clutch fiber to me...guess it's time to order a kit.

My Samurai is pretty much stock, tires and all...so I'm assuming an OEM type clutch would be just fine.

Anything wrong with this clutch kit & flywheel setup?:

Exedy seems to be a known Japanese OEM replacement manufacturer: eBay - EXEDY CLUTCH PRO-KIT 1986-1995 SUZUKI SAMURAI SIDEKICK 1.3L 2WD 4WD
...I'm wondering if it's the same manufacturer of the OEM Replacement that Low Range offers: Suzuki Samurai Stage 1 / OEM Replacement Complete Clutch Kit

Also this ATP flywheel:
 
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