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Everything posted by jj_jeep

  1. Hi Moses, We did get the 3.6 L. The dealer also included a lifetime powertrain warranty in the deal. Just wish I could hold off the rust that I know is coming. I think my TJ frame rusted from the inside. Probably need a way to seal the internal surfaces of the frame and also provide good drainage so the frame doesn't hold the salt and water inside. Or, I need to consider moving west! I did inquire with several Jeep dealers about when the 2017's would be available. I was hoping it would come out soon and help the prices on the older models. None of them gave a straight answer. Is it possible Jeep is going to skip the 17 model and go right to 18 like they did in 96 with the 97 model?
  2. When I mentioned $5k clunker to bridge through to the 18's, I was thinking of a Ford Taurus or something. Jeeps for $5k are very rusty here in the upper midwest! I saw on 09 with a hole in grill, dents in every panel, and a a rebuilt engine and they were asking $18k! I've seen TJ's with the 4 cylinder for $15k - used Jeep prices are very high! From what I have read, the Pentastar V6 and Daimler automatic are much more desirable than the old 3.8L and older transmission. I wasn't sure, so I thought I would check here. As it is, we found a 4 door JK and bought it during the Labor Day sales. The TJ was my daily driver and I had been borrowing a car after it broke down, so we needed to do something. So now we're starting over on the 18 year, 280k mile cycle. Think the JK is up to the longevity test? Is the upcoming JK-based pickup going to be a crew cab? Or will it be more like BRUTE conversion where it only seats two? I thought the rumors were that a crew cab was planned and that my family of 4 would fit nicely.
  3. After 288,000 miles and 18 salty winters, the frame on my 1998 TJ has succumbed to rust. A local welder looked it over and told me there's too much rust for him to patch it together. So I'm looking at JK's. We are a family of four, so it seems sensible to have 4 doors this time around. JK's are very highly valued and hard to find. So my question is, is it worth holding out for a '12 or newer to get the Pentastar and 5 speed automatic? Or should I buy a $5k clunker to get me by until the '18 Jeep pickup comes out?
  4. Finished Sunday evening. Went surprisingly well. No broken bolts, bloody knuckles, or left over parts! I've never replaced freeze plugs or an exhaust header before. Aside from the number of steps, it was fairly straightforward. I took a few pictures along the way that I'll post when I have more time. It's amazing how poorly the Jeep ran when the header had only a small crack (which quickly became a big crack and then completely broke). With the new header, the engine is smooth and quiet. It feels like a turbo was added. I had to buy a bigger hammer and then the freeze plugs were easy. A couple blows on a short socket extension held against the plug and they popped right out. It was very clear how the block heater went in once I had the new one in my hands. It's more like a bath tub drain plug because it has an O-ring that seals it. And then there's a piece on the back that's like a drywall anchor that folds out once it's in the wall cavity. This is what the bolt pulls against when you tighten it up. This is also a convenient place to drain the remaining coolant from the block. This job definitely built off of other work I had done before (replace serpentine belt, power steering pump, injector, flush and fill coolant). It would have been more intimidating had I not done these building block pieces on previous occasions over the years. I used every length of socket extension I own to get the manifold bolts in. Appreciate the advice Moses - it's also a confidence boost to know that knowledgeable help and advice is available on your forum. More to come...
  5. Looks like freeze plugs (called expansion plugs on Napa website) come in deep cup and shallow cup. Can either be used? Any reason to pick one over the other. 2" diameter is what website says for 1998 Jeep Wrangler and that's matches my best estimate with a tape measure. Would you expect the block heater to come out like a freeze plug? Reason I ask is it looks like it has a flange on it that might prevent it from rotating in the bore? Going to attempt this. Might have to borrow a car - not sure I can get this all done before work in the morning! But don't want to tear this all apart again if I can avoid it. And don't won't to be stranded later by a blown freeze plug.
  6. Half way. Old is out. Everything is cleaned up ready for new. Thanks for the tip, Moses. I did not disconnect the fuel rail or fuel injectors of the fuel line - grateful for that. I wasn't looking forward to lining up 6 injectors back in the intake and fuel rail and stuffing that back together. The old header was broken on both pipes - The second one was hidden by the first one so I didn't see it until it was out. I think the hidden one has been cracked for a while because I've looked for cracks before but couldn't find them. Anything else to do before reassembling? Header carnage Zip tied intake manifold with fuel system still attached Cylinder #1 - interesting to see it after all the cylinder misfire MIL's. No obvious head gasket concerns or coolant leaks that I see. Possibly leaking at block heater, but hard to say. Liquid wrench ran down side of block when I was spraying manifold bolts.
  7. Bought a Dorman. It was ~$215 so toward the lower end for cost and my local auto parts store got it for me in a day. With the mileage and age of this vehicle I was OK with sacrificing performance and quality for lower cost. Also, as you troll the net about the manifold cracks, it's not clear that any of them eliminate the root cause of cracks. Whether myth or reality, people claim cracks on the Banks and Borla and Dorman. People also claim the aftermarket are the best ever. No clear answer so I picked convenience and price. Moses, with your method of easing the intake away from the head just enough to do the job... did you still have to pull the fuel rail and injectors? Off to the garage...
  8. Moses, thanks for the tips. I spent some time this evening putting liquid wrench on the fasteners. The ones underneath the manifolds are pretty tricky to reach! The Borla looks like it requires cutting the pre-CAT pipe - is this readily done with a hacksaw or sawzall? The installation instructions make no mention of it. I wonder if it's easy to get it cut to the correct length? I also saw JBA and and Banks headers that were direct bolt-ons, but the warranties among these three were quite different. Borla = 1 Million miles, JBA = 1 year, Banks = 5 years. The crack is now a nearly separated pipe. When it goes, it goes quick! Other than noise and fumes, what risks are there with driving it this way? Also I noticed that the upper lip of oil pan had caught some drips of coolant. Is it terribly concerning to have some coolant weeping on the manifold side of the block? Is this a head gasket that's beginning to fail? Is this a sign that it's time to overhaul/replace this engine or part with the Jeep? The overflow bottle has coolant in it.
  9. My 1998 TJ exhaust has been getting louder and started to backfire a bit. It got really loud the last several days and when I crawled underneath the Jeep to take a look I found a pretty sizeable crack in the header. How do people choose a replacement header? There seems to be the ~$170 models, ~$400 models which include the Mopar replacement model, and $500+ models with coatings and etc. Is it a case of "you get what you pay for?" How about the gasket between the manifolds and the head - is it important to use a brand name here? And when it comes to replacement, I was thinking I would try it myself. I've had the fuel rail off when I replaced the cylinder #1 injector, and I've replaced the power steering pump before, so those parts of the job are familiar. What will be new is breaking loose the intake and exhaust manifold nuts and bolts. With that in mind, a few questions... Should I plan to replace the threaded studs with bolts? They are original and the Jeep a 1998 that has 258,000 miles. Is it a big worry if one of these breaks - or is it straighforward to turn the stud out with a vice grip and replace it with a new one? How tightly do you torque the nuts when you put the header and intake back on? Any tips for cleaning the old gasket off the head? Is there a seal ring that goes between the header and the exhaust pipe? Just trying to figure out which one to purchase and size up the job. I just have basic hand tools, novice skills, and my Jeep is my daily driver.
  10. The PCV on this TJ engine is just an orifice that meters air flow from the crankcase. Moses might have a good strategy for checking the function of this. I think if you could get it out of the valve cover, you could feel with your thumb (or a gauge) if it's pulling vacuum through it. If no vacuum, it's plugged and not ventilating your crankcase. Cleaning it is probably easier than getting it out. I tried this once years ago and broke the thing off. Had to have the mechanic fix it because at that time I was too chicken to pull the valve cover off. I remember kind of an oily film on the valve cover near where the hose connects to this and I think that was why I was trying to pull it out and clean the orifice. Haynes also mentions that fuel vapor smell under the hood is a common indicator of an evap system problem. Not sure if you notice this in your case? Haynes also mentions that manifold vacuum is used to actuate the purge valve when it's time to purge the vapors stored in the canister. Is it worth putting a vacuum gauge on the vac line that opens the purge valve and see if you're getting full vacuum? Your post peaked my curiosity enough to crack open the repair manual. Just thought I'd pass along what I saw... Good luck. I'm sure Moses can help you fix this.
  11. I haven't seen the MIL for a while now. I am starting to wonder if it improved after I added coolant to the overflow bottle. I noticed it was really low, so I filled it back to the full line. Fortunately, it's been holding at the full line, so I don't seem to be consuming coolant. And oddly, the MIL lamp has stayed away. What's the likelihood that these two things are related? Or is it just coincidence?
  12. I decided to go for the BFG AT KO's for my TJ. I think this is the third set of them for this Jeep. The mechanic who is putting them on for me advised that they are the best truck tire out there. He has them on his rig. He said the General's tread looks similar, but friends of his who have had them say they didn't last as long and their next set was BFG. But when next winter rolls around, I might take another look at winter tires, like Biggman suggests. Coworkers have them on their front drive cars and they seem to blaze the way through snow and icy highways. Frankly, my Wrangler with a limited slip rear differential is downright scary on roads that have ice here and there or worse yet, black ice. In four wheel hi the Jeep is fine, but I spun out once years ago when I lifted my foot off the gas on road that I didn't know was slippery. I was in two wheel drive and I was on a slight curve in the highway going about 50 mph and when I lifted my foot out of the gas, one of the tires must have lost grip and the limited slip action locked the wheels together. With the short wheelbase of the Jeep, there was just not enough time to recover. I fishtailed wildly and finally came to a stop sideways on the highway, grateful that I was still "shiny side up". For the record, that incident occurred with some Yokohama Geolandar AT's, not the BFG's.
  13. I've never bought tires over the internet, but I know others who have and they've done well with this place... http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSearchResults.jsp?customSizeSearch=&width=30X&ratio=9.5&diameter=15
  14. My Jeep tj needs new shoes. How do people choose tires? I've been happy with BFG AT KO's in the past. But I see tire rack has general grabber AT for about $40 less per tire. So how can you tell if you're paying for a name, or a legitimately better tire. I'm not ready to commit $$ to a lift kit and new wheels, so I'm just looking at 30 x 9.50 15's. I'm in the upper Midwest so these tires will see snow and cold as well as summer heat. And sadly more asphalt than rock or dirt.
  15. Thanks ttippets. My airbag light is still on. I've wondered about the clockspring because my cruise doesn't work and then the airbag light is on. I was trying to figure out how to pin down if it was the clock spring. I wonder if I damaged the clock spring a while back when I replaced the steering gear. I thought I was careful, but maybe it's touchy? I like your suggestion of buying one online and replacing myself. You have to get a steering wheel puller, right?
  16. I've been following the thread with interest and thought I would offer a quick update on my Jeep... I get an occasional MIL for a cylinder 1 misfire, but I don't actually notice the misfire (if there truly is one) like I did when the bad injector was in there. And when the Jeep started at the end of the work day yesterday when it was -15 air temp, I feel pretty good about driving it for a while! it idles a little rough, but at 253k miles, I can accept that as long as it's not stalling (which it isn't).
  17. Here's a couple links to the AEV highline body kit. Quadratec has it for $2k. Maybe after I figure out my airbag light, cruise, and lack of third gear! http://www.aev-conversions.com/shop/category/body-exterior/tj-highline-kit/tj-highline-body-kit-highline-body-kit.html http://www.quadratec.com/products/12503_0300_07.htm Photo courtesy of AEV.
  18. Hi Moses, From what I've read about the highline kit, it takes the approach of replacing the factory fenders and hood with higher clearance fenders that fit bigger tires, thus providing more clearance but doing so without altering the driveline angles or lifting the tub on the frame. From what I've read, the suspension and driveline can remain bone stock but 33" tires can fit under the fenders. Pretty interesting to compare the costs of the fenders and hood vs. a suspension lift, SYE, driveshaft, etc.
  19. It's not very new anymore, but I think the AEV highline body kit for the TJ is a pretty cool innovation. Since I don't have a lift kit, I've wondered about the economics of this kit vs. a lift kit. I like the idea of the lower center of gravity, and I my driver's side fender has a big rust spot starting. But I did read Moses's write up on the Full Traction kit and wondered if that would be a better choice since many chassis parts on my Jeep have 250k miles on them and could probably stand to be replaced. But for now these are on the "wish list" as these are some pretty spendy items!
  20. I had a little more time to tinker this weekend. I pulled the hose off the cruise control servo and plugged in my vacuum gauge. I verified the I got about 18 in Hg at idle. Then I shut off the engine, as you suggested, Moses, and it held the 18 in Hg. My gauge didn't come with a hand vacuum pump, but it did come with a "T" fitting. Is there a way to check the reservoir by "T-ing" into the vac line but using manifold vacuum as the vacuum source instead of a hand pump? I did try my HVAC controls just as an additional check that I could do today and they worked, although it was a little slow to go from one of the settings to another (I think it was full defrost to panel). And all settings had a little bit of ventilation coming through the floor vent. Lastly, all fuses in the central fuse box by the battery. These are not labeled in the box cover, so I don't know if one of them is for the cruise or not. The fuses in the glove box are all good. Is it possible there's an inline fuse for the cruise somewhere? I feel pretty good about the stop lamp switch unless the timing is really subtle. That is to say, I press the brakes and the brake lights come on. I release the brakes, and the brake lights turn off.
  21. The "stop lamp switch" looked pretty easy to check out. I had a few minutes tonight, so I pulled it out of the Jeep and pinned it with my multimeter in continuity check mode. The pair nearest the plunger (and brake pedal) was normally open. The other two pair were normally closed. They switched when I depressed the plunger. I assumed the pair running the stop lamp circuit was normally open (closed when the pedal and plunger were depressed) and the pair for the cruise would be the same way. I'm not sure what the normally closed pair would be. But the fact that all three pair "switched" when I pressed the plunger led me to believe the stop lamp switch was functioning correctly. Any reason to believe otherwise? Related to the vacuum... I haven't had a chance to check anything else, but would it be a good sign that the check valve was working if I heard a lot of air rushing in when I pulled the vac hose connector off the cruise control module? I was thinking that was a good indicator that the system was holding vacuum.
  22. I've had the "dead gauges" many times over the years and I knew it was a flakey connector. I didn't know it could relate to my airbag light, so I called the dealer to see if they had the connector. Otherwise, I was just going to try the unplug and clean up approach. The connector is only $10 and I'm okay with soldering, so I picked up a connector and replaced it this weekend. The results are a mixed bag, I should never have the instrument cluster conk out on me again, but the pesky airbag light is still on. The airbag fuses in the glove box were good. So Biggman it looks like I'm in the same boat you were. Not sure where the brake light switch is located. Might have to give in to the dealer on this one. Regarding the cruise control. Moses, since I had the vacuum gauge already, I tried your suggestion of checking the vacuum at the cruise control vacuum motor gadget on the drivers side of the TJ. The vacuum measured the same as a direct connection to the manifold, so the good news is the vacuum is ship shape. Had I thought of it, I would have checked the cruise control light on the instrument cluster when I had the cluster out because that light has worked intermittently for years even when the cruise worked fine. So I don't really know - it could be the cruise switch in the steering wheel, or something else. I could not find a fuse labeled cruise control to check. I really miss cruise, so I might have to have the dealer check this one too.
  23. My TJ airbag light has been on for some time and the cruise control no longer works. I assume they're related, but I'm not sure. Some corners of the internet say the clock spring needs to be replaced. I know CC works with manifold vacuum. I tried to trace the vacuum lines to look for abraded hoses or leak points and found none, but there are a lot of lines running a lot of directions - is there a common place they leak? Can this be diagnosed at home? Or is it best to have the dealer plug in their diagnostic computer? Is the airbag REALLY safe after the battery is disconnected for a few minutes? Or is it best to let the pros handle this one of it is the clock spring?
  24. Biggman, thanks for your options. I was thinking of something like your last post when I asked if junctioning everything off the firewall was a good way to go. Something like what you show there might be a nice option. But I liked Moses comments that seem to indicate a priority order of grounding engine directly to battery. And then I really like the idea of the solder, crimped, shrink tubed cable - it just sounds like the best possible to resist corrosion or vibration. I saw some military spec battery post terminals that looked interesting. It's similar to the marine terminal, but horizontal. And then I saw a "tougher" looking ring terminal that looked very thick and flat, so it would stack nicely. All that to say, the pre-made ones at the auto parts store are hanging there ready to go on my marine terminal with the but you recommend. It's a sickness, this Jeep stuff! My wife will attest to that!
  25. Still no check engine light! I'm calling the misfire "fixed" by replacing the fuel injector. Thanks for all the advice Big and Moses...
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