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  1. We had a Jeep Liberty that literally fell apart in the 2 years that we owned it. I wish I had stripped off the plastic kick plate (?) when we first got the thing. Here in North Central Vermont the plastics totally wrecked the rocker panels and made our Liberty a junkyard ornament. So now we have a 2004 Toyota Highlander. It came from a warmer Southern climate and was well cared for. It is a Limited version and has all the goodies including heated seats and a sun/moon roof. All we wanted was a good car with a clean body that wasn't about to die. I'm still learning about the Highlander so
  2. The steering gear and linkage are vital safety concerns—yet the pitman arm on a 4WD Jeep or other light 4x4 truck can easily be installed incorrectly. With the popularity of oversized tires and suspension lift kits, many pitman arms get replaced long before there is a parts wear issue. A dropped pitman arm is often part of a suspension lift kit, and the pitman arm on a new or relatively new vehicle may get replaced with a dropped arm. Here are some procedures that I use when installing a pitman arm: 1) Never turn the arm against either of the steering gear's extreme left or
  3. I'm looking into getting a bronco ii. I've had a full size and was wondering about the biis. I have heard many great things on forums about them but I have only really heard negative things from people. What do you guys think of them? My main use for one if I got one would be to drive to school, light off-roading and winter driving.
  4. The high cost of new vehicles has its counterpart in rising dealership labor costs. Shop labor has crept up, and more consumers find themselves working on their own vehicles. This starts with basic lube and oil/filter changes, spark plugs and an air filter. Then comes the transmission filter and the cooling system flushes. AutoZone, NAPA and O'Reilly's, much like Home Depot and Lowe's, cater to a growing number of DIY customers. Expect this trend to continue. As vehicles fall out of factory warranty, consumers make choices. While the average wage for American workers is now $24.57 p
  5. Moses, I have watched your videos regarding how to approach a stroker motor. I have read tons of info on the internet, and I've seen many calculators for quench height, combustion cylinder volume, etc. It really is baffling to me, and I've begun to realize I could invest a lot of money and end up with an engine that doesn't work. Is there any identifying info on the block that would allow you (or someone) to write me a "recipe" for what parts I need to build up a stroker? I'm realizing that the added weight of the full size truck axles and 38" tires are going to necessitate more power.
  6. My 1966 summer job at age seventeen was loading and driving the campground garbage truck at Mono Village, Upper Twin Lakes, California. Our hauler was a postwar 2-1/2 ton Chevrolet Advance Design truck with a lift bed. Other chores were performed with various WWII surplus vehicles. One, a WWII weapons carrier pickup, was a Dodge WC 4x4. The truck had extremely low gearing and a staid, inline L-head six cylinder engine that cranked over slowly with its 6-volt electrical system but never failed to start. At the peak of the 'sixties muscle car era, this workhorse was relegated to campground duty.
  7. I was wondering if anyone could give me a conservative estimate of what a running, driving, and rusted out 2005 Jeep Liberty is worth parted out? I've been told not even to expect "Wholesale" price because it's uninspectable, that's here in Vermont though, so I don't have a clue what it could be worth in an area where the value is not in a driver, but parts car. Good engine, transmission, transfer case, etc... The "Salvage Yards" are paying scrap prices for vehicles no matter the condition these days, and $150.00 isn't going to get it when the engine alone is worth more than that.Prices i
  8. Hi, I have a Third Gen 2002 Ram 3500 4x4 with an 8 liter v10 in it. It is a low mileage truck and I have been wanting to convert it into a diesel for a while now. It only has 93,000 miles on it and is well maintained. I was wondering what all I would have to do to convert this truck into a diesel, and how much it would cost. I have been messing around with the idea for a while now, but I now have some free time to change the engine if I have the money. Please help me find about how much it would cost to do this, thank you.
  9. We all need the right tools, supplies, food, water and safety equipment when traveling to remote country. Four-wheeling and motorcycle backcountry travel, in particular, require careful planning and appropriate travel gear. In all cases, safety equipment, medical emergencies, repair tools, tire repair kits, vital spare parts and other necessities can make or break a trip. Discuss and share topics at this forum!—Moses Ludel
  10. First, a little background. I am not a mechanic, nor am I exceptionally knowledgeable about engine repair, and certainly not restoration or replacement. I have a moderate level of experience with automotive repairs and know my way around a toolbox. I have little limitation in finance and time. Now, for my question. Essentially, I'm just wondering how possible/practical it is to fully restore a somewhat older vehicle. And i don't mean an engine rebuild. I mean literally remove every piece and replace it with a new one. Every. Little. Piece. Regardless of price/time constraints, is it possi
  11. I have attached a few pictures of this transmission I have but I don't know where its from I need help identifying this transmission the only thing I can identify here is the transfer case because it has the sticker in the back its an NP "new process" 249 J This is a manual 4wd transmission I believe its an ax15 transmission but please give me your input as i'm not sure any help is appreciated one more thing from the shape of the bell housing I don't think this came of a Jeep possibly AMC or other but thanks again
  12. The 2013 SEMA and AAPEX Shows are next week (November 4-8, 2013)...I will be covering these record size events at Las Vegas, Nevada. SEMA expects over 2500 exhibits, and AAPEX has grown, too. Estimated attendance will be 140,000 at SEMA! As usual, you can expect film highlights in HD video at the 4WD Mechanix HD Video Network. By mid-November, I will also have details on the testing of Hypertech's Stage 3 Max Energy engine programming on the magazine's 2005 Dodge/Ram 3500 5.9L Cummins diesel powered pickup. We just loaded that software in time for the SEMA Show and will have 1,200 mi
  13. Today I went to shift out of 4 high and my transfer shift lever didn't feel right. The fact that I had a hard time getting out of my icy driveway didn't sink in until I tried to shift back into 4 high. I was trying to properly engage the transfer case at the proper speed, but nothing happened and it was then I realized that there was no resistance in the shift lever. I went all the way to 4 low without anything happening, so I assume that the cable has become disconnected or has broken. Being without proper space to work under the Liberty at this time of year I will be forced to take it into a
  14. Well, Moses, you recommended a Cherokee Sport, and I think I may have found a decent one to work on. It is only $500.00 and it supposedly runs well and the 4x4 works. It's a 2000 with 190,000 on the 4.0L motor. It needs rockers and floor work. It also needs a power steering reservoir o-ring for the power steering to work. The only picture on Craigs List shows a pretty decent original Jeep. I would really like an old CJ, but I'll do what's best for my daughter and my budget for now and hopefully the old CJ will show up when I can do the best job on it. It sounds like the trailer hitch alone wou
  15. I have recently purchased a 1993 Jeep YJ with a 4.0. The jeep recently started running and idling rough. The Check Engine Light (CEL) was not lit nor did it illuminate when the key was turned ON. After further investigation I found the CEL bulb was removed and found shards of glass in the socket. I removed the socket and added a new bulb. Upon further investigation I found the PCM is storing the following codes: 12 ==> Battery disconnected (accurate) I just did a head light upgrade and added relays. 27 ==> I have found a few listed on-line... Code 27 -Injector control circuit-b
  16. Originally a Q&A Vlog question at the magazine, a Jeep owner has trouble with the gauges and engine tune on his early YJ Wrangler. I suggest several troubleshooting and diagnostics tools for checking circuits, grounds and voltage drops. The use of a volt-ohmmeter, lamp load test and other techniques apply. Wiring integrity and proper splices are also discussed: Trust you'll find this helpful... Moses
  17. The magazine's YouTube Channel generates a lot of questions, and I encourage viewers to join us at these forums. A current exchange involved a viewer installing a 4.0L Jeep water pump and asking about how to seal the gasket and engine-to-block. This is worthwhile for our forum community, here is the discussion: Question from Ben D.: Did you use Gasgacinch between the water pump gasket and block? Looooong time ago I remember using RTV. Was it necessary? My reply: I like Gasgacinch on a cut paper gasket like the water pump. RTV can slough and find its way into the radiator tubes a
  18. Good afternoon, I'm looking for information about all that we should know before servicing an axle. I'm not an experienced mechanic, so I like to investigate before mess it up. Which one will be the best fluid to fill up the differential? I've read about API GL-5 and 75W-90 specs for this. I've also read about a limited slip differentials and an additive to be required for that one. So, how can we identify the axle that we have, starting with this, I've read that the D35 has a plastic plug. But mine has a threaded one. What things can we look for, to identify the D35 and D30 axles? How can
  19. Moses, a friend of mine is having a hard time with his YJ when he tries to start the engine. He said that some times take more than 10 attempts cranking the engine but it wont run. When we had luck and get the engine running, it suddenly dies when driving, becoming a critical safety issue as it loses power steering and brake boost. A mechanic took the ignition components to a lab for testing, he said that everything is OK. (Coil, Distributor, Wires and Ignition module). Please share some of your wisdom that can help him to find where the problem is. Thanks in advance.
  20. Forum Member Alberto from Colombia did a rear axle lube change on his recently purchased 1989 Jeep Wrangler 4x4. He discovered that the Dana 35 rear axle differential case is missing the lock pin retainer for the pinions/spider gear shaft. This is a crucial safety issue and deserves its own topic. Here is a copy of my response to Alberto, we can discuss this further: "Alberto...The "missing" lock pin retainer on the pinions or "spider gears" shaft is very important, as this lock pin holds the pinions/spider gears shaft in place. Warning: If the pinions/spider gear shaft works its w
  21. One of the best lessons learned from years of instructing and our forum discussions is the value of visual learning! Now, the innovative Vimeo On Demand streaming HD video program enables the streaming of 4WD Mechanix 'Tech and Travel' How-to Series HD videos covering a wide range of subjects. Under the 4x4 hood and chassis, on the motorcycle repair stand or from the work bench, I'll deliver step-by-step, close-up HD video details for shop technicians and serious DIY enthusiasts. As you would expect, the growing list of instructional videos will demonstrate best professional practices an
  22. When you find that your engine repair includes cylinder honing, apply this process properly. The optimal honing finish will have the right cross-hatch pattern with correct angles. If you're unsure of the right "look" or angles, look closely at the photo below, the magazine's cylinder barrel after machine honing at L.A. Sleeve Company: Hand honing will involve the correct diameter stone hone or flex hone ("glaze buster"). Your cross-hatch pattern will depend upon the right pressure and speed of the hone as you run it up and down in the cylinder. At our tools forum, you will find m
  23. Hi guys. I have an odd question, and since i keep getting different answers, i figured i would ask here for some clarification. My question actually pertains specifically to the AX15 in the Dakota, but maybe this can be used to start a discussion about other transmissions as well. My question is simple, which is better to use in the Dakotas AX15, regular 80w-90, Pennzoil syncromesh, Lucas heavy duty 80w-90, or 50w engine oil? My truck sees extreme cold and warm weather, limited 4 wheel drive use, mild to once in awhile heavy towing, and frequent short trips and large amounts of highway miles.
  24. We all know the value of anti-freeze/coolant. Anti-freeze is essential for preventing casting cracks when you park the vehicle in freezing weather. By contrast, the coolant properties raise the boiling point of the solution, making our modern engines tolerate higher operating temperatures, which can provide more complete combustion of fuel and cleaner tailpipe emissions. Higher pressure radiator caps also help raise the boiling point. Every liquid cooled engine parked at below freezing temperatures requires anti-freeze. Specifications call for anti-freeze/coolant that is compatible with en
  25. With the growing interest in aftermarket radiators, performance and "aluminum" appear to be interchangeable terms. The Griffin radiator in our 1999 Jeep XJ Cherokee is just one example, there are many. Even OEMs have turned to aluminum when high performance efficiency is necessary. The 1999 Jeep XJ Cherokee with aftermarket performance radiator. Note the stiffer aluminum necks on these radiators. Gear type hose clamps work much better with these radiators. Aluminum radiators have aluminum necks. These necks can be stiffer and thicker walled than the traditional brass and
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