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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    As an owner of a '98, I know all about the exhaust manifold issue! Didn't I read that it affected engines from something like '91? I could have that wrong, but I know it was a long time before they changed the design.

    Definitely check yours - mine sounded like what I think you are describing. We ended up ignoring it for probably a year, until it needed a smog check.
  • Hi All,
    Im thinking of buying a used Wrangler from someone in the area. Its a '98 Sport, and I dont know a hell of a lot else about it or its history. Drove it a little bit, it handled as I expected. Upon inspecting underneath I noticed a LOT of rust and corrosion on the brakes and calipers. Is this normal for wranglers to have these parts deteriorate? I get the impression that this car doesnt get driven very often, and sits for weeks at a time which Im sure doesnt help. But I was surpised to see this kind of corrosion. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else has seen this. I really dont know much about Jeeps, never bothered researching them, always liked them, and Im looking for something different than a boring road car. Thanks! :D
  • mmitschmmitsch Posts: 7
    Thanks SO much for your reply. Unfortunately my problem is a big one. I took my Jeep to our mechanic (he's trustworthy) and it springs had come off the friction plate (I think) and caused me clutch problems, etc., etc., etc.. It is at the doctor now and, with parts and labor, I guess it all will come to around $1,000 to fix. Started as a noise and now it's a financial boom!

    If you or anybody else knows how much clutch replacements usually run let me know (maybe I can negotiate it this sounds too much).

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Anything other than light surface corrosion is not normal and obviously poses a safety risk. Good news is that re-manufactured Wrangler calipers aren't expensive.

    It could have been used in an area that salts the roads in the winter, or maybe it's been used on the beach.

    Wranglers definitely aren't boring though!
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    .....springs had come off the friction plate (I think) and caused me clutch problems.....

    Actually that doesn't make a lot of sense. If the springs on the friction plate had come adrift it would be very noisy but it shouldn't affect the pedal feel. If there was a problem with the spring on the pressure plate then the pedal might go the the floor, but the clutch would slip badly and you wouldn't be able to drive it. As I remember it, your problem was that the pedal went slack and the clutch wouldn't disengage, so you started it in second gear and drove slowly home.

    How was it diagnosed? The only real way to check the friction plate is to remove the transmission and strip the clutch assembly.

    Labor costs vary so much based on location and type of shop that I couldn't price it for you, apart from saying that $1K seems high. A complete clutch kit (pressure plate, friction plate, and release bearing) costs around $150, and labor should be around 4-5 hours. Your best bet is to make a few phone calls and get several estimates for fitting a complete replacement Wrangler clutch.
  • jt828jt828 Posts: 12
    can someone help me with some info on replacing the wheel bearing on drivers side front wheel i cannot figure out how to get everything apart 97 tj
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    What you may be missing is that the bearing housing and hub are supplied as a complete assembly. Some people have managed to match the bearings and have them pressed in and out, but it has to be done with some precision and it isn't easy. However, there are non-OE hubs available that are better priced than at the dealer.

    Here's the FSM instructions:


    (1) Raise and support the vehicle.
    (2) Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
    (3) Remove the brake caliper, rotor and ABS wheel
    speed sensor, refer to Group 5 Brakes.
    (4) Remove the cotter pin, nut retainer and axle
    hub nut.
    (5) Remove the hub bearing mounting bolts from
    the back of the steering knuckle. Remove hub bearing
    from the steering knuckle and off the axle shaft.


    (1) Install the hub bearing and brake dust shield
    to the knuckle.
    (2) Install the hub bearing to knuckle bolts and
    tighten to 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.).
    (3) Install the hub washer and nut. Tighten the
    hub nut to 237 N·m (175 ft. lbs.). Install the nut
    retainer and a new cotter pin.
    (4) Install the brake rotor, caliper and ABS wheel
    speed sensor, refer to Group 5 Brakes.
    (5) Install the wheel and tire assembly.
    (6) Remove support and lower the vehicle."

    The hardest part is usually removing the three bearing carrier mounting bolts.
  • Yeah, our roads are salted, but this looks like its really pretty bad. Ive asked around and have ben given a lot of conflicting info. one wrangler owner said his entire undercarraige is rusty, as wranglers are prone to rust. someone else said theyre supposed to be treated with something so the rust should be minimal. dangit, I dont know what to do. :mad:
  • csuttoncsutton Posts: 1
    I just took my 2003 jeep in to the shop for the same problem. The whole shifter is going to be replaced. I had to jeep mechanics look at it and they agreed that the tip of the shaft inside the shifter itself had broke off causing the shifter button not to push the locking pin down enough to allow it to shift. If you remove the cover itself which pops off around the gear shift you can slide the cover up the shaft and manually push the pin down with your thumb to get it into gear. The good news is that the whole shifter itself is only $45. The labor is quoted at $75. Hope this helps......
  • mvickmvick Posts: 2
    I own a '97 Wrangler with the 2.5L 4 cyl. While idling, driving with or without acceleration there is a NOTICEABLE hesitation in the engine. I got an engine light and had the guys at advance read it. Initially he said it was a cylinder 3 misfire. Then later the same day after replacing the plugs, wires, cap and rotor, it still ran like poop and showed another misfire (multiple cyl).
    Thanks, Mike :confuse:
  • ozark200ozark200 Posts: 5
    Mac 24 You were right on in addressing this problem. Took Jeep to 2nd 5 Star Jeep dealer and aimed them at electrical solution. They found it in a corroded pick-up coil. Thank you a bunch.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    A misfire can also be caused by a faulty injector, oil contamination of the plug, worn rings, bad valve, coolant leak, gasket leak, worn cam lobe, bad cam follower, to name a few.

    On multiple cylinders it could also be a fuel problem (pump, filter, regulator, etc.), coil, either CPS, and so on.

    Reading and identifying the code is just the beginning of diagnosis.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Nice to know that my wild guesses are occasionally on target! :blush:

    Glad you got it fixed.
  • goducks1goducks1 Posts: 432
    My first Jeep (a used '94) was from the New Jersey coast and there was pretty significant rust on it, even though it was ony 3 years old. So yes, they can pick up a lot of rust in a salty environment. It's a used car and obviously you have concerns about it just looking at it, so don't buy it.

    My '98 has some light surface corrosion on the underside but has lived most of its life on the West Coast so it's pretty minimal.
  • aubre81aubre81 Posts: 1
    I have the same promblem with my 01 wrangler, except I have pressure when I first hit the brakes and then the second time my brakes hit the floor. Did you find a solution to your problem and if so please help.
  • mvickmvick Posts: 2
    Thanks Mac, I have a friend who is really good with the diagnosing part. I will have have a look at all of these areas.
  • kelly01kelly01 Posts: 2
    I have a 4-cyl 1991 Wrangler (manual trans.). Considering the age of it, it handles considerably well.

    HOWEVER, lately...I've been having a problem with it. I'm going to explain what it is doing the BEST I can.

    It doesn't do this ALL the time but...when I am in 3rd or 4th feels like it is about to lose power at times. It will start making this popcorn sound and sounds as if it's coming from under the drivers seat. If it does this while in 4th gear, it will stop if I change to a lower gear. But then again, after awhile...while in 3rd gear, it will start up again.

    I've talked to soooooo many different people about this and nobody has a clue what I'm talking about. And of course, it ONLY happens when I'm driving it. A good friend of mine has driven it to hell & back trying to figure out what the deal is but it never happens when he is driving. Is there ANYbody here that has experienced anything like this with their Wrangler? Or anyone who can tell me what I need to check?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    This sounds related to engine timing or ignition. I'd check the distributor tightness and its contents. I did have a similar experience with a '91 6 cylinder Jeep---it was a bad distributor.


  • kelly01kelly01 Posts: 2
    What about the master cylinder? Could that be it? A friend of mine mentioned to check that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Oh, I guess he means that if the power brake booster is leaking brake fluid into the engine's combustion chamber? A long shot, but possible...but this would be easy to diagnose because you would be losing brake fluid rapidly and also the misfire would probably only occur as you step on the brake.

    These kinds of issues are not easily diagnosed but ARE diagnosable. You need to find a technician who goes about it methodically, like Sherlock Holmes..."well, it's not this so we go on to that". It's called a "diagnostic tree".

    Having someone esle guessing with YOUR checkbook is no fun.

    I think your engine is "pinging" and that often means a timing issue, or overheating, or really rotten gasoline.


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