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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • i can drive my jeep for a long time and all of a suden for no reason at all the guages quit working for about a mile, sometimes 3 or 4 miles before the guages start working again. what do i do?
  • burntupburntup Posts: 64
    The most likely problem is with a 13-pin connector that plugs into the instrument cluster.
    The repair kit from Dodge is about "a buck and a half" installed.
    Cheaper it you you can cut and solder.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Check your catalytic converter (basically just forward of the muffler, likely under your t-case skid).

    If you can hit it with a rubber mallet and it sounds like marbles, chances are you one needing a catalytic converter.

    They have issued a recall for older SE's like 97-00 IIRC, that should do a reprogram of your computer for problems and I believe if your catalytic is broken, they'll replace it. But you may need to check with your dealer to be sure.

  • agsurferagsurfer Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 wrangler, low beam works fine but when I pull back the lever for high beam, I get the high beams as long as I hold the switch back, but as soon as I release it goes back to low beam.
    I've been searchibg for a relay to ingauge the high beam I can't find it (is there one?)The lever switch seems to be a momentary that's why I'm assuming there is a relay. Thanks for any ideas.
  • wheelsdownwheelsdown Posts: 250
    Pulling the lever back is a momentary bright. It is used to signal (as in passing) and getting attention (if someone is pulling out in front of you). Try pushing the lever forward, it should stay on high beam until you pull it back.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Pull back to momentarily flash the high beams, let go to return to low beam, push away to engage high beams full time.
  • agsurferagsurfer Posts: 3
    I've had this jeep since new,this style lever does not go forward, it is one pull back and the high beams would engage, then pull again to turn them off(the lever goes back to it's original position after each pull). the problem is that it is no longer staying in high beam when pulled

  • burntupburntup Posts: 64
    Hi/low beam operation is a function of the left hand multifunction switch.
    This looks like a straight forward component replacement.

    ............................If your Jeep has airbags........

    Three screws will remove the plastic cover from the steering collum.
    Two screws and a wiggle pull procedure will get the turn signal, hi/low... thing lose.
    Push the new one in...screw it...go for a night ride shake/down.
    Enjoy your newly installed klicking light blinkin' thingy.
  • wheelsdownwheelsdown Posts: 250
    Some people live all their lives and never see a miracle. Now you have seen two in one day(actually one minute). Mac and I both wrong at the same time. Well, me being wrong is not that unusual, but mac24!

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Not really. If you check with my wife you'll find I'm never right! :cry:
  • agsurferagsurfer Posts: 3
    thanks guys
    got a Haynes looked over the wire diagram, has to be the switch
    I'll let you know
  • skyking49skyking49 Posts: 112
    I was thinking of getting this to replace the star screws that hold my hardtop on. "Lange Originals Kwick Kit Hardtop Hardware." Anyone have any experience with it or similar kits?

    Second problem is getting a "power" tool of some type, ie screwdriver, torque wrench etc. The operative word is is "power." It would let me take the hardtop and bumpers off easier and quicker. The device would natuarally have to be able to fit the star screws without hitting the side of the hardtop. Maybe some type of three position tool. I am not sure a straight up and down screwdriver would fit but have not tried it. Not being a tool guy I don't even know if they make them that would take off the star type bolt. It would have to be powerful because I broke my first ratchet when removing the bumper to put a license place on.

    The must cost 100 dollars or less. The wife had spoken. :D
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    An impact wrench is more than you need for what you describe. I'd suggest a powered screwdriver of some kind.

    So many to choose from, here's a few:


    Compact screwdriver features 42 in.lbs. of torque and a compact design that gets into tight spaces, but fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Lithium Ion technology is environmentally friendly and has a slow discharge so it's typically ready when you are. Grab -N -Go charger base keeps the unit ready and easily accessible -contains bit tip storage.

    General Features:
    Cordless Screwdriver Pistol grip Drill Type Power screwdriver Chuck:
    Quality Standard Motor-Engine:
    Torque In./lbs. 42 in./lbs. Handles:
    Main Type Pistol grip Batteries:
    Number Included 1, integrated Cell Type Lithium-Ion Battery Charger

    About $40.


    Locks in 2 positions for angle and in-line screwdriving. Variable speed and reversing trigger switch operates at variable speeds of 0-500.

    Variable speed range capability
    On-board bit storage
    Includes bit
    Includes battery charger
    Adjustable torque allows you to match torque to job
    Motor brake stops engine quickly for precise drilling
    Handle adjust to match work and for optimum comfort
    Includes storage case
    Includes rechargeable battery

    Around $100


    This cordless screwdriver with case from Craftsman features a 1/4 in. hex collet chuck, a 22-position clutch and an automatic spindle lock. Comes with cradle and charger, two double-ended screwdriver bits, hardware, owners manual, 21 bits - 1/4 in. bit holder, four 25 mm. Phillips (P0, P1, P2, P3), four 25 mm. Slotted (4-6 mm., 6-8 mm., 8-10 mm., 10-12 mm.), four Robertson (R0, R1, R2, R3), four Allen (H3/32 in., H1/8 in., H5/32 in., H3/16 in.) and four Torx ( T15, T20, T25, T30) bits.

    4 volt lithium battery pack provides power & longer run time
    Adjustable 2-position handle allows for greater versatility
    1/4 in. hex collet accepts standard nut/screw driver bits
    Adjustable torque clutch permits selection of proper driving torgue needed for various jobs
    Automatic spindle lock automatically locks collet to allow manual tightening
    Integrated worklight provides direct light source to work area
    LED Charge Indicator illuminates when tool is charging

    Around $35

    Many, many more, but that should give you a start.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    For your top, why not just use bolts and wingnuts - no tools required?

    Why go for a high-cost solution when about $5.00 in parts from Lowes will solve the same problem?

  • skyking49skyking49 Posts: 112
    Do all of the above tools handle the star screws or is there some type of attachment I would need? Thanks a lot for your response. I am pushing 60 and have hand problems.
  • skyking49skyking49 Posts: 112
    Never thought of that. Do many people opt for that? If not I wonder why they would keep using the star screws when there are easier options on the market.? Thanks for the info. An easy solution is almost always the best.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Ah, I see. I thought you were looking for an excuse to buy a new toy! ;)

    To answer the question, yes, they handle the bits for Torx as well as regular screw heads and bolt heads.

    Bolts, wingnuts and big washers would be much cheaper and simpler. :)
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    If you have hand problems, the power tools make complete sense. But if you can handle the wingnut process, it'd be better for your pocketbook.

    The ONLY reason I can think of as to why Jeep uses the Torx bits is that quite a few Wrangler owners never remove the hard top. The Torx screw looks a lot cleaner and less obtrusive.

    But I've seen people do the wingnut thing and put the bolt in from the top so the wingnut is under the lip of the Jeep's tub, looking just as clean.

    Torx attachment would fit on power tools just like they fit on a socket wrench. Sears has a series of Torx bits and I've been using them for a while with no problems.

  • skyking49skyking49 Posts: 112
    The wingnut process sounds great. I will try it. I still would like to get a power tool to take off the bumpers etc. I suppose that they would be able to handle that job.?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Hopefully. Some of those frame mounted Torx bits can be a royal pain to loosen due to dirt, grime, rust, etc. I had to use a breaker bar to get mine loose the first time. If the power tool can generate that kind of torque, you should not have a problem.

  • jdfrmkyjdfrmky Posts: 15
    A friend of mine recently purchased an '06 wrangler and he was curious to how much the fiberglass top weighed with an eye towards taking it off for this spring.I told him I know where to find out.
  • eltipoeltipo Posts: 21
    I have a Jeep Unlimited 2005 with a hardtop. I can take the top off with one friend. The only problem I have encountered is dealing with the length. I am 6'1" so I can reach from front to back, but you have to make sure you ask the right friend with a large enough wingspan (never ask the wife). The top weighs very little imho. If he has a SWB than it should be easy for you two to remove the hardtop with ease.
  • skyking49skyking49 Posts: 112
    I busted a brand new torque wrench the first time I took my bumper off..had to take it off to put the license plate on.
    I am not sure which power screwdriver would have enough power to do that job.
  • skyking49skyking49 Posts: 112
    Definitely a two person least. My wife and I took mine off a couple of times but with great difficulty. We are both short and pushing 60. If he can get one or two friends to help him it would be a easier. After I take it off this year I am going to screw the top onto two 2 by 4's to make sure it stays straight and keep it covered.
  • burntupburntup Posts: 64
    I used to take the top off my '78 Bronco using a come along a pully and a bunch of motorcycle straps. (One man deal)

    This looks like the cool tool for this job.

    Cheaper that an ER visit. Or repairing a broken top.

    Bring out PBR's.
  • skyking49skyking49 Posts: 112
    Looks like something I need but I do not have a garage. I guess I could just leave it hanging in the driveway or lower it onto a couple of 2 by 4's. What do you think?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Never use a torque wrench as a breaker bar. It's as big a sin as using a screwdriver as a chisel (or vice versa!).

    For big stubborn nuts and bolts you need an impact wrench. Available as either pneumatic or electric (corded and cordless). Lots of choice under $100.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Bolt it to a couple of 2x4s to help it retain its shape.
  • ztaijiztaiji Posts: 3
    First off i have a 98 wrangler: my hot/cold slider (to control the temperature, left is cold, right is hot) will only go halfway and wont go any farther right towards the hot, it stops and seems jammed. It gets to where the blue meets the red and wont go any farther. I tried wd40, and i even pulled it out of the dash and checked to see if there were any crimped or messed up wires and everything looks fine, but it still wont go towards the hot. any help would be appreciated on how to fix this, thanks

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I had a similiar problem, but I had a lot of wires in the bezel underneath (I added several switches and moved my CB). Those cables were causing it to get stuck. I rearranged em and put it back in, no problems.

    If you remove it and try to move the slider and it won't go, then the door that the slider controls sounds to me like it is stuck.

    A Factory Service Manual can help you track that down.

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