The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most iconic American vehicles ever built. Though the body style hasn’t changed very much and it can be difficult to tell one model from another, the technology your Jeep depends on has constantly improved. When it’s time to replace a worn-out factory clutch, finding the best option can be a challenge. We recommend the Centerforce clutch and flywheel kit for upgrading the 2012-17 Wrangler, but we also have recommendations for other year Jeep Wranglers to help you locate good parts for your older vehicles.
- Centerforce KCFT379176
- Southeast Clutch 01-047
- ClutchMaxPRO Performance Stage 2
- LuK 05-065
- EFT STAGE 2
- Southeast Clutch 01-046R
Best Clutch for Jeep Wrangler – Top Picks:
|Centerforce KCFT379176||Southeast Clutch 01-047||ClutchMaxPRO Performance Stage 2||LuK 05-065||EFT STAGE 2||Southeast Clutch 01-046R|
|OEM Part Number||KCFT379176||01-047||CP05065HDFW-ST2||05-065||YUS-94131S2-TTYDNU33||01-046|
|Engine Type||3.6L ( 220 ci )||3.6L 3604CC 220Cu V6||4.0L||No data||4.0L||3.8L V6|
|Item Weight (pounds)||76.1||22.2||44||5||22||15|
|Latest Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
We like many things about the 2011-17 Jeep Wrangler, but the clutch isn’t one of them. The factory design works just fine, but the weak feel and poor hold of the clutch can cause problems negotiating tight spots or driving in the rain. We found some upgrades you can make that improve your driving experience.
This is more than just a replacement clutch- this is a full upgrade to your flywheel, ring gear, and pressure plate along with a brand-new clutch disc that is far superior to the OEM parts. This is a great kit that we recommend to anyone, regardless of whether they need a new clutch. It transforms how the Jeep drives, providing more positive shifts and lots more low-speed control.
The kit starts with a brand-new flywheel assembly. If your factory flywheel is beyond machining, you’ll need this upgrade anyway. The flywheel is a heavy-duty unit that is intended to maximize the amount of torque your transmission is capable of handling. This gives you better power and performance when it is key.
A high-quality pressure plate gives slightly more effort than factory, but not so much as to make the transmission difficult to shift. In fact, you’ll likely notice cleaner shifts with less RPM drop due to the excellent design of the pressure plate and the flywheel.
The clutch disc is made of an advanced friction material that provides better grip than factory while lasting longer.
- All-in-one kit replaces damaged parts and provides a significant upgrade over factory clutch components
- Provides better traction and shift control in adverse conditions common to offroading
- Significantly more expensive than simply replacing the clutch
Southeast Clutch 01-047
When it comes to replacing factory components, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal on quality components than what Southeast Clutch has to offer. This clutch kit for the 2011-17 Jeep Wrangler makes an excellent choice when you simply need to renew the clutch but you don’t want poorly made parts.
The kit includes a high-quality pressure plate and a Stage-1 clutch disc. You’ll also get the pilot bearing and the bush along with an alignment tool. The clutch disc is made of woven organic fibers to provide better-than-stock holding power without changing pedal feel.
You’ll end up with a smoother feeling clutch that is ideal for street driving, but also will hold the torque when you are feathering through rough terrain. This is the best clutch kit for your money if you aren’t replacing your flywheel.
- Perfect choice for factory replacement
- Retains a light pedal feel
- This is the best option for street-driven vehicles rather than Jeeps that are being used off road
ClutchMaxPRO Performance Stage 2
The TJ Wrangler was popular during its decade in production. Chances are good that if you buy a TJ today, it’s going to need a clutch. The ideal factory replacement clutch for your TJ is this kit from ClutchMaxPro.
This particular kit is intended for the 1996-2004 TJ Wrangler with the 4.0l inline six cylinder. The kit includes a factory-style flywheel, new pressure plate and clutch disc, and the throw-out bearing and pilot bushing.
This isn’t a fancy kit and won’t give you a performance boost, but it will get your Jeep back on- or off- the road. When you are trying to resurrect a 1996-2004 Jeep Wrangler, Cherokee, or Grand Cherokee, this is an ideal option.
- Great factory replacement for 1996-2004 Jeep vehicles
- Budget price for a clutch and flywheel
- No cons have been reported by users of this clutch kit
A cheap clutch is rarely worth it, but this kit from LuK seems to be a popular choice. It is a bare-ones factory replacement kit for the 1996-2004 Jeep Wrangler, along with numerous models of Dodge Dakota, Van, and other Jeep models.
The kit includes a factory-style pressure plate and clutch disc. A throw-out bearing and pilot bushing provide you with everything you’ll need to replace, and the alignment tool makes sure it fits. There is nothing fancy about this kit, but it’ll get the job done.
Many buyers receive a throw-out bearing that is part-plastic like the OEM component. This part is considered inferior, and if you receive one with your kit, it’s good advice to pick up an all-metal design from your local parts store. The pilot bushing that is supplied is one of the poorest designs according to numerous buyers.
- Cheap kit that includes most of the important parts
- Buyers may receive inferior and out-dated parts in their kit which will need to be replaced with aftermarket, high-quality parts
- Need for additional parts often offsets the savings difference of better quality parts
EFT Stage 2
We point out a good-quality budget option above, so here is what you should avoid. Kits like this one from EFT attempt to convince you that you are buying something special, going so far as to call this a “Stage 2” clutch kit. Buyers should understand that high-quality parts aren’t this cheap.
The kit includes a pressure plate, clutch disc, throw-out bearing, pilot bushing, and an alignment tool. The manufacturer describes it as heavy-duty, but the design lacks heavy duty features. This clutch will provide a light pedal feel.
We would avoid this product for use in our 1996-2004 Jeep Wrangler.
- This is an adequate part if you are trying to sell your Jeep and don’t care if the parts are any good
- This is neither a heavy-duty design, nor a Stage 2 design, which makes us doubt that it is a quality design
- The manufacturer is unable to provide photos of their own product- not a good sign
Southeast Clutch 01-046r
Those of you who feel left out because we didn’t find a great choice for the 2007-11 Jeeps, rest assured, we’ve got you. Of course, our pick is the 046r kit from Southeast Clutch. This is a better-than-factory design that provides ideal holding power with light clutch feel.
For the most part, this is an identical product to the Southeast CLutch product above, except of course that it fits the unique V6 bellhousing. You’ll get a high-quality pressure plate, a Stage 1 clutch disc, and the correct throw-out bearing and pilot bushing for the project. An alignment tool is also included to help get things back together.
We think this is a fantastic option as a factory replacement clutch. The materials are higher quality than OEM and this clutch kit should last you a good, long time.
- Excellent quality factory replacement clutch
- No reports of problems, making this an easy choice
Jeep Wrangler Clutch Buying Guide
Buying a clutch involves more than just ordering parts. You want to get the best parts for the money to provide a solid-feeling clutch that responds well and doesn’t wear out prematurely. We selected the items on this list to help you narrow down your choices.
The factory clutch that was included in your Wrangler is not a bad part. When you change the clutch, you can replace it with a factory-correct part and get the same feel you are used to having from the clutch pedal. Upgrading to a heavier-duty clutch will give you better holding power, but you’ll also have a heavier pedal.
We recommend using a heavy-duty clutch design like the one from Centerforce that also includes an upgraded flywheel when buying the best clutch for Jeep Wrangler SUVs. If you use your Jeep off-road, buying anything less is a serious mistake you’ll come to regret.
You don’t want to have to replace the clutch any more often than necessary, and trying to save a few dollars on a budget clutch is a sure-fire way to have to redo the job.
No matter what year Jeep Wrangler you own, you will have to replace the clutch at some point. Replacing a clutch isn’t a difficult job, but it does require extensive removal of components and a certain degree of safety to be done without hurting oneself or damaging parts. Buying a high-quality clutch will give you long-term peace of mind and will prevent you from costly premature clutch replacement.
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING:
- Best Ball Joints for Jeep JK – Buying Guide