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Found 21 results

  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. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. My son has a 1994 Cherokee Country, 4.0 that starts fine and runs fine, but when you shut it off, it will not restart until it has cooled off. I replaced the ignition coil but the problem did not change. My son has purchased a crankshaft position sensor, but before we install it, I wanted some opinions from other XJ owners who may have experienced the same problem. Once we have installed the crankshaft position sensor, it cannot be returned if it doesn't fix the problem. I am not even sure that not starting when hot is a symptom of a bad crankshaft position sensor. Someone that my son knows su
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Hi, all. I'm a new member from Bullhead City AZ. first post is with a problem that my 90 YJ base 2.5 is having. The engine seems to be running fine for anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, then a very slight stumble (misfire) begins and within about three to five minutes it starts to act like it's starving for fuel and then dies. As soon as it dies, I can start it right back up (no delay) and it repeats the same thing over again. It seems to me if it was a plugged fuel filter or a loose connection, that it would not necessarily start right back up again. The thing that is weird is that there i
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. There are many diagnostic tools now available, mostly electronic, often in the form of leading edge apps and electronic diagnostic tools or simulations. While this is great for electronic fuel-and-spark system or overall powertrain diagnostics, there is one inexpensive and time honored spot check for the engine long block's* condition—the simple engine testing vacuum gauge. *Note: The long block is the engine block with all of the reciprocating parts plus the cylinder head installed. If the long block is in good operating condition with normal valve lift and valve timing, the rest of the
  21. I talk a lot about using a cylinder leakdown tester for pinpoint engine diagnosis. When you want to understand an engine's internal condition, the degree of wear or actual cylinder seal, this is the tool. You can narrow your findings to a bad intake or exhaust valve, worn piston rings, excess cylinder taper, a blown head gasket or an engine casting crack—even more findings if you're creative! For some, the cost of a leakdown tester is not justified. Maybe the tool will not be used beyond a one-time test of your vehicle's current engine. Maybe you're strapped for cash and simply cannot
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