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  1. 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
  2. I feel like I am completely missing something here. I am attempting to replace the bearings on my 1985 Jeep CJ7 with AMC 20. As you'll see in the photo, I'm down to removing the inner race("B" in image). But I am looking at the axle shaft and tit has this flare("A" in image) sticking out which as far as I can see, there is no way I could possible get the new bearing over this flare out. All of the forums and tutorials say I should be able to slide the component down the shaft for pressing, but I just don't see how this would be possible. It seems to me I have to remove the axle shaft from
  3. When we were in kindergarten, it was common to take a watch apart—and not get it back together. Some of us, not content with things that no longer worked, went on to fixing things instead of just taking them apart. Toying with mechanical things versus putting things back together properly is for most a clear fork in the road. In my early childhood, I was fascinated with all things that rolled: trucks, cars, bicycles, motorized cycles, locomotives, take your pick! By age eleven, with the go kart and mini-bike craze in full swing, a neighbor built his sons a gasoline powered, wooden car
  4. Many Jeep owners need how-to information on checking valve clearances and adjusting the hydraulic valve lifters on the inline 232, 258 and 4.0L six-cylinder engines and the 2.5L Jeep pushrod engine. Between the model years 1971 and 2006, Jeep used these AMC-design 232, 258 and 4.0L sixes and the 2.5L straight four-cylinder engine (1983.5-2002). The hydraulic lifter and valvetrain design has particular needs, especially the valve clearances. When these engines develop valvetrain noise, owners often think a valve adjustment will cure the problem. In each of these AMC/Jeep engines, v
  5. Moses, You have been an incredible source of information to me. I recently (several months ago) had my 1985 258 professionally rebuilt. It was balanced, torque plated etc etc. You helped me then. My 1985 CJ7 is completely stock, no changes seem to have been made. Components are all original to this jeep and are OEM. Currently the 258 is on an engine stand and I have removed the trans and T case. The T5 and Dana 300 are now sitting on my bench. I have watched the Dana 300 rebuild here and of course have your Rebuilders Guide. I feel comfortable with the Dana 300 rebuild and intend
  6. Good morning all, I recently completed a front and rear differential gear swap on my '83 CJ. This included new carriers with a Spartan Locker up front and an Eaton TruTrac in an AMC20 in back. I went with 4.10 gears, and had the U-joints replaced at a truck driveline shop on both driveshafts at the same time. Now that every thing is reassembled, I'm noticing a rattle or buzz coming from the transfer case shifter about 40 MPH or above. I would describe it as sounding like a bunch of nuts and bolts being shaken in a metal can. It seems most noticeable on acceleration or steady speed. It is a
  7. So I have a 96 Geo Tracker 5speed manual 4x4. I bought it from my uncle who said he had just bought a brand new clutch. However the vehicle when started will only shift into reverse. It won't shift into any other gear. If I start it with the gear in first the car doesn't lurch forward or seem to do anything abnormal, except once I shift to neutral I am unable to shift to any other gears except reverse again. When the vehicle is off I have no problem shifting to all gears. I don't have the slightest clue what to check. Any feedback could be very helpful.
  8. There's a lot of chatter about the use of dielectric grease. Permatex suggests that Dielectric Tune-Up Grease is a good barrier to oxidation at plugs, connectors and terminals. There are some online comments at forums that say not to place dielectric grease on connector pins. I've gone to the Permatex site, and the information is vague: "Protects electrical connections and wiring from salt, dirt and corrosion. Extends the life of bulb sockets. Prevents voltage leakage around any electrical connection. Also prevents spark plugs from fusing to boots. Required for modern high energy i
  9. Many of us have workshop "habits" we've picked up that could be helpful to others. Sometimes its an easier way to perform mechanical repairs or a welding task, other times it has to do with space-saving techniques and approaches that give you more shop floor space. Is there a piece of equipment that has made a real difference and proven its worth? A way to keep the shop cooler or warmer that saves energy and cost? Safer ways to lift a vehicle and work beneath it? What saves time or makes a difference when you perform routine or specialized work? Let us know, everyone wants to impro
  10. 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
  11. I just recently purchased a 1984 CJ7 Laredo. The Jeep is bone stock, including the 258ci engine, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 transfer case, Dana 30 front axle, AMC 20 rear axle, and hardtop. The previous owner took meticulous care of the rig. After many hours of research and visiting many parts websites, I was hoping for some advice on what upgrades I should install and how I can prioritize these projects. This Jeep will be used around town, on coastal foothill fire roads, and trails around Bear Valley, CA. So far I'd like to do the following items: Twin Stick conversion on TC 2.5 inch sus
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Gents. Looking for a little guidance, i have a 94 Cherokee XJ with a 242J behind a AW-4 automatic on the TC tag reads 242J 5209 8046 5 19 94 2 272 I also have a 231J with a tag that reads 231J 5209 9212 1 14 98 3 272 Are they interchangeable? I have a spare front xj driveshaft and it fits both outputs, although the cases do appear to be a little different, the 231 is from a wrangler with fixed outputs front and rear, as well as having one sensor in the front case half and another sensor on the back case half. the 242J has them both together on the back half. The shift linka
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. There's an epidemic problem with fuel these days, and many blame ethanol and winterized fuels as the culprit. Whether ethanol or MTBE is the issue, carburetor and EFI system clogging is rampant, especially in vehicles that set for long periods of time. This became clear when our XR350R Honda dirt motorcycle set for over a year with fuel in the carburetor bowls. This four-valve thumper uses two carburetors, and one has the idle circuit and a pilot jet. The engine ran flawless until parked, then would not idle after setting for a long time. Most of us are aware of this plague, especia
  23. I worked as a light- and medium-duty truck fleet mechanic in my early career. In this environment, vehicles must run well and safely. I performed any and all mechanical service work and preventive care on 22 vehicles and pieces of construction equipment. In the process, I found quick ways to "test" engines, chassis, brakes, steering, transmissions, clutches, axles and electrical systems. Some of those fundamental diagnostic skills serve me to this day. One area of testing was for internal engine wear, and at other forum topics, I discuss the use of compression, vacuum and leak down gau
  24. This is one that should be common sense, but i have seen vehicles where the owners overlook this. Whenever you upgrade the alternator output to a vehicle, or change to higher amperage batteries, or even set up dual batteries, always watch where the wires are run very closely. When i wire everything up, i used heavy gauge wire, with insulated clamps to mount the wires to the inner fenders, away from anything that would cause an issue with it, and run the wires for the dual batteries through the firewall to the switch in a short piece of conduit bonded to the firewall. If you wire throug
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