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Jeep Wrangler



  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591

    I'm with ya on the anti-seize, if I can ever get the old plugs out. WOW! Those things are IN THERE!

    I'm afraid to use too much torque, because I sure don't want to break one of the old plugs off.

    OK, Jeep Buds, whup your suggestions on me for loosening those old plugs. I have sprayed them with PB Blaster about three times now. I plan to do that some more. What else?

    Would those old plugs come out easier with the engine warm or cold?

    I've been using a 3/8" drive power handle with an extension on the socket. I have a 5/8" spark plug socket, but it has no foam rubber inside it. Do I dare go to a 1/2" drive power handle and get the extra leverage due to its greater length compared to the 3/8" power handle?


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Try removing them after you have brought your engine up to operating termperature (after you turn the engine off, of course!). Thermal expansion of the head may be enough to loosen the plugs.

    tidester, host
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    The PB Blaster will need several hours to penetrate. By all means try with the engine warm, though that usually works better on an engine with an aluminum head.

    Go to a 1/2" drive as it will allow you more control as well as more leverage. When the plug starts to turn, stop, then re-tighten it a little. Repeat the process, loosening and tightening, until the plug is removed. Don't try to remove it in one go as it's easy to end up stripping the thread that way. If you have an airline handy, use a blow gun to clear any debris from around the base of the plug before you start, then do it again just before the plug finally comes loose.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Ok. Mission accomplished.

    I am just now reading the replies, and I see that you recommended the half inch drive, Mac. That's what I used, and that's what did the trick. I also used a honking big extension, about 18". Couldn't use that on #6, but was able to use it on the others.

    I just made sure I was applying the torque exactly along the axis of the plug, so that I didn't break one off. It was actually pretty easy when I put the right tools to use.

    I applied some anti-seize on the new plugs before installing them, and I also used some dielectric grease on the top end of the plugs where the boot slips over them.

    I was given Champion RC12PEC5 plugs when I asked for spark plugs for an 01 Wrangler with the 4.0L engine. Well, the original plugs were Champion RC12ECC's. I found out that the new plugs were platinum, and I was told that they would work. I thought I remembered reading on another forum that people had bad experiences with platinum plugs in their Jeeps, and I found some posts to that effect when I checked. So, I bought some standard RC12ECC plugs and will take the others back to the auto parts store where I bought them. Champion is changing the part numbers, and it got confusing. The part number that shows up on the auto parts computer is 3034 (platinum) or 438 (the standard plug). The boxes have both numbers on them, 3034 and RC12PEC5 (platinum), and 438 and 12RCECC (standard), but the plugs themselves have only the RC numbers.

    Now here is the ripoff of the century, and I cannot believe that people actually buy the stuff!!! Prestone antifreeze was $9.89 per gallon at the Autozone that I went to today to get the right plugs. But, they also had it already conveniently mixed 50/50 with water for $8.39 per gallon. ARE PEOPLE REALLY THAT DUMB????? Must be, because the guy that helped me said he has pointed out to people that they are getting ripped off, and they insist on buying the pre-mixed stuff anyway.

    Have you hugged your Jeep today?

    P.S. I'm no expert on spark plugs, but the ones that I took out looked OK to me. The electrodes were still there, the gap looked about right, and there were no deposits on the tips.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910

    Yup.......not only that but lazy too, which is why it sells. Did you buy some of the concentrated stuff? Make sure to use distilled water to mix it with if you did.

    Did you check the plug gaps? They're normally ok, but sometimes I find side electrode is set to one side or the other, which shortens the life of the plug even if the gap remains ok.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Didn't stop at the store for distilled water, Mac, but I'm not doing the coolant changeout today anyway.

    I checked the gap, Mac, and the plugs all seemed to be OK. Didn't really check the position of the center electrode, but I think I would have noticed if one had been off very much.

    I left the battery disco'd the whole time I was working on Thelma Jane, and that cleared that MIL code. Maybe she won't misfire any more, and that code won't come back.

    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Maybe she won't misfire any more, and that code won't come back.

    Fingers crossed!
  • keatskeats Posts: 412

    I would have never imagined Thelma Jane missing a spark plug change. ;-) I don't believe I have ever met another soul (besides myself) that loves his Jeep so much! Though,I must confess, I have not named my Rubicon---well I do call her Rubi, and after seeing the 07s I'm glad I bought her when I did, though maybe the new ones will grow on me a little, particularly the 4 door models.

    On another note, our 04 Grand Cherokee is about to hit 36K and we've had more problems with her than I care to count. Btw, none of them related to the 70K powertrain warranty. But I still like her, so I guess we'll keep her a while longer. I've knocked out the diff fluid changes, but I need to do the transfer case and the auto tranny fluid in the coming month as well as the spark plugs!
  • does Thelma Jane run any better.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591

    All I have done so far is just start her up and let her run a couple minutes. I have not tried one of those "warm" restarts that have been the problem.

    I really don't expect to see any difference. Those old plugs looked awfully good to me.

    Have you hugged your Jee today?
  • I've been trying with no avail to remove the bumper ends, or bumperettes, as you folks have been describing. Problem is, some of the torx heads seem to be stripped, or the bolts themselves seem to be broken; a combination of the two have resulted in only two screws/bolts removed (none of the bumperettes can be removed). Some of them turn, but will not come out, so I assume that they are broken? There is also at least one stripped one. Anyone have any advice as to how I can now remove the bumperettes? Any help is, and always is, greatly appreciated!


  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591

    Try drilling them out. That should do the job on the ones with the head stripped, but the ones that have the threads stripped and turn freely might be another matter. You might need to use a punch and knock those puppies out.

    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • Yep, got them (the front ones) off. I cut the head off with a hack saw, then drilled/tapped (with hammer)the stem out. They came off pretty easy after the stem was shortened/removed (whichever happended!), and I really like the look of my jeep without them. For know, I'm gonna keep the back ones on as they seem as though they may offer some protection off road if something ever jumps up (rock, log, etc.) after I pass through it. However, thanks for your response, Tom.
  • coug2coug2 Posts: 34
    Hi Folks -

    I'm considering a used jeep wrangler so I can have some fun/midlife crisis and my daughter can drive to school (2 miles) and around town. Both my wife and daughter are small, however, so I want the depowered airbags. Any idea when Jeep starting depowering airbags?

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    I think the first year depowered airbags were available on Wranglers was 2000. Edmunds doesn't list information for depowered ones in prior years that I can find.

    Some generic details here:

    The Evolution of Front Airbags

    What Type of Front Airbags Does My Car Have?

    Steve, Host
  • coug2coug2 Posts: 34
    Thanks Steve -

    I had started at Edmunds and thought that I would need a 2000 or newer b/c that's when they first list it. Intellichoice, however, lists depowered airbags in 1998. ed/year/1998/make/Jeep/model/Wrangler

    That seems pretty early (thanks for the evolution of airbags article). Is there anyone out there with a 1998 that knows? Or is willing to take a quick look at their manual regarding the airbags? Anything about "second generation" or "next generation" or "depowered" airbags?

    Thanks in advance.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    The Wrangler TJ was introduced as having 'next generation' airbags. First model year was '97, though a few were released in late '96.

    Although there was nothing intrinsically wrong with the '97s, there were various changes made through to '98 as feedback was received. Airbags notwithstanding, I'd recommend look for something from '98.5 model year onward. This will also get you the later vacuum/electric HVAC controls.
  • coug2coug2 Posts: 34
    Thanks Mac24 -

    How can you tell if a 98 is 98 or 98.5 - by the HVAC controls?

    Also, any input on the 4 vs. 6 cyl? This would be a strickly on-road car - just want the 4wd for winter, the top down for summer and the overall fun factor.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Yup, earlier models had sliders, later ones are rotary.

    The lesser power of the 2.5 I4 is actually less noticable off road than on. Fuel consumption is about the same, but on road performance is much superior with the 4.0 I6. I've never heard of anyone with the 4.0 wishing they'd gone for the 2.5.
  • coug2coug2 Posts: 34
    Thanks for the input guys. Any input on hard top versus softtop? I'd at least want to get the doors with the roll up windows, but if its mainly a around town car, do i need the hardtop (and have to deal with finding a place for it in my garage when not in use)?

    Is the softtop relatively secure? I assume with the hard top I could leave golf clubs in it...I assume I couldn't do that with the soft top. Although in golf season is when the top would be down anyways...

    What about soft top and a parking sticker? Is it secure enough for my parking sticker (which has to be portable to my other car. Or could someone just unsnap it and pull out my sticker?

    Thanks again...I appreciate the input.
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