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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    What Burntup said. Additionally, do you have any suspension mods, a lift etc.?

    It's an unusual failure and I'm wondering what caused it in the first place.
  • sopman44sopman44 Posts: 2
    no lift...only mods are a magnaflow exhaust and cold air intake....i went to pass someone...dropped into fourth and about 15 sec later it came loose...maybe the rust from the salty air finally got to it...It hasnt been off-road in about a year due to college. Spent about $1000 on the driveshaft/ parts/ I'm wondering whats next... :sick:
  • embeedueceembeeduece Posts: 260
    >Look for the old mellow dude in service. He is probably the one who can help you.

    Hah! That is so true.

  • jimlw2jimlw2 Posts: 122
    Fair-warning...I'm a vehicle DIY maintenance novice so what you're about to read may make a normal guy either cry, laugh, or cry laughing because I'm so naive about such basic knowledge. I often ask myself if I deserve owning a Wrangler but I figure you have to start learning somewhere...With that said, I hope you'll get over your tears of laughter and throw me some nuggets of basic maintenance understanding... :blush:

    I have a 2005 Wrangler Unlimited with 22,000 miles. I've always had the dealer doing oil/lube every 3,000 miles but I wanted to start doing routine maintenance myself. I did the oil change using Quaker State Synthetic 4x4 "Torque Power" (sale at Menards got me into it) with a new Quaker State oil filter.

    Here's my question...I wasn't sure exactly the "right way" to do the lubrication part of the process. I'd like to know the proper way to do a "lube job" on a vehicle.

    I bought Pennzoil Premium Wheel Bearing 707L Red Grease to be sure I met the manufacturer specifications in the user manual (Pennzoil fact sheet showed it being used for all wheel and chassis lubrication and meeting the specs in my user manual for chassis lubrication). I bought a grease gun and a rubber extension tube.

    During my first attempt, I found maybe five or six zerks on the bottom sides of steering control arm component joints which I cleaned and gave a few pumps. I noticed the rubber covering on each (are those called bushings?) bulge a little with each pump of the grease gun. I didn't want to do more than a few pumps of the handle for fear I was "stretching" that rubber "balloon" and might damage it.

    1 - Should I pump in the grease until I see the rubber cover start to expand or is that already too much if it starts to expand?

    2 - Should I keep pumping until I see some old grease come out from somewhere?

    3 - Should I keep pumping until I see new grease come out to indicate I've "flushed-out" the old grease?

    4 - How many zerks should I be finding on the front end of a Wrangler?

    5 - Are there any zerks in the rear end I need to lubricate?

    6 - Are there any places I need to grease that don't have zerks and you just have to rub it on?

    7 - I see zerks on top and bottom of the front wheel hubs where the axle connects to them...I squeezed some grease into those but in hind-sight wondered if those are the "wheel bearing" zerks and I shouldn't have done that.

    You guys are always so helpful that I should have asked first before trying but I didn't know what to ask until I got under the Jeep and tried it. Thanks for any help.
  • lenny1563lenny1563 Posts: 3
    Okay, i have checked out everything and i have replaced everything as well and i still have the problem. Someone has mentioned the crank positioning sensor, whats your opinion.
  • Does anyone have any suggestions???

    -My jeep will out of nowheres start shaking really bad. To the point where I have to stop. The whole thing shimmies violently its hard to keep the stearing wheel under control. I cant take it on highways anymore. Does any one know what to do about this?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Details would help.

    Have you done anything to it? Lift, new tires, balance, rotation, etc?

    Specs on it would help.

    My first inclination is to rotate and/or balance the tires. After that, check all steering components (track bar, drag link, tie rod (and ends), etc for looseness and tighten up to proper torque spec.

  • burntupburntup Posts: 64
    Hi thatcarabeth,
    At times JEEP will shake for different reasons.
    Some times more violently than others.
    Most often these shakes are because JEEP misses the dirt.
    If you and JEEP do not spend enough time off road Jeep will have Dusty Trail Withdrawal Shakes. DT's for short.
    Whenever JEEP gets the DT's it is best to head for the trail. If there is no trail near just jump a curb and let JEEP wander across any unpaved surface. This will delay the sever DT's but is only a stop-gap measure.
    For a long term solution it is best to cancel you insurance throw away you tags and drivers license. Rip off JEEP's top and leave the paved surfaces behind.
    Topless in the dirt is best for JEEP and Jeeper.
    You and JEEP will be much happier.
    ...or balance your tires.
    JEEP forever...forever JEEP.
  • Lets see the tires have been balanced and rotated, there is a 2 inch lift. I got a new stabilizer bar put on it. Its got new suspension.
  • yjbobyjbob Posts: 56
    This is often called "death wobble"
    As per post 974, check all steering components for looseness
    Check tire pressures
    Go to "Jeep Wrangler" (the main discussion in this forum) and search under "death wobble" for many posts - recently post 22851 and others nearby
    Lifts can aggravate wobble
  • jimlw2jimlw2 Posts: 122
    Got the following response from a well-respected member in our community and I thought his comments might help someone else wanting to know more about lubrication basics...

    1 - I usually pump until it expands, then give it two or three more depending on how swollen the boot is.

    2 - No, but don't worry if grease does come out. Just stop pumping at that point.

    3 - No, because it's not flushing all the old grease out, just lifting the boot at its weakest point.

    4 - Seven (from memory).

    5 - No.

    6 - Not really. You can grease handbrake and t/case linkages if you want, but it will retain dirt/grit and may do more harm than good.

    7 - Those zerks are for the joints and not the wheel bearings (which are sealed). You were correct to lube them.

    Occasionally you'll find 'u' joints that have been replaced with one that have a zerk. If so, then grease them until it starts to come past the seals. Same applies if you find zerks in the slip joints on the propshafts.

    Don't worry about a boot splitting when you're pumping. It just means the boot was at the end of its life anyway, and better it splits when you can see it rather than on the road when you can't.
  • march72march72 Posts: 1
    Hey, you guys seem knowledgeable. I have a 2001 Wrangler 4.0. My oil pressure gages moves like my speedometer. If I am at a stop idel, my check gauges light comes on. Would this be a sending unit problem or could this meand my pump is going bad?
  • I've have a recurring issue that I've yet to solve on my own. Every couple of weeks, my check engine light comes on for my 97 Wrangler Sport. I when I check the codes I get 12, and 43. 12 is the power to the PCM was disconnected, and 43 (what I'm most concerned about) is a detected misfire in a piston; I don't have the diagnostic tool to check which piston. If there anything that I can do the further isolate the problem?

    In addition, asked a previous question about my blower fan only working on high. I replaced the resistor pack behind the glove box, but I still have the same problem, and from reading through the posts, it seems that I have to replace the switch, but I'm not sure where this is located, or what part I need to get.

    Thanks for the help; I finally have a place to go to get some good advice on how to work on my jeep.
  • nworbekimnworbekim Posts: 17
    i suspect one of my keys may have fallen into the wrong hands... can i have the locks and ignition switch rekeyed by a locksmith or do i have to order a new set and have them installed?

    its a 1998 wrangler sahara with full doors...
  • i have 90,000 miles on my 03 Rubi and i am going to drive coast to coast. i am going to pull a trailer and want to make sure i have no clutch problems. i am told with the 03 rubicon all i need is the disk & pressure plate.
    i am told i will not need a throwout bearing. is this correct???
    i also believe, i need a pilot bearing as i have changed these on every old manual trans i have changed.

    will i have any problems with an upgrading to a centerforce 2 clutch?? any chance of it blowing out my slave cylinder?

    thanks in advance for any advice

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,423
    Is the present clutch malfunctioning?
    If not, LEAVE IT ALONE.
    If it is, the OEM Jeep pieces should work fine.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • i was going to change it so i did not have to worry about it starting to slip somewhere between Cali & NC, and over 3 mountain ranges. i have to pull a 6x12 covered trailer lightly loaded (4 wheeler,bed, and luggage) across the country. the clutch is not slipping at all at the moment. i was taking the distance, total milage, and trailer into consideration when thinking about changing the clutch.
    another rubi does not like maintaining highway speed up a CA Highway 15 incline without down shifting.

    these are the reasons i am considering replacing the clutch.

    thanks & cheers
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Benefits that a Centerforce gives only come in at high rpm.

    It's normal to have to change down on an incline as fifth is effectively an overdrive gear.

    If changing the clutch will give you peace of mind for the journey.........go for it.
  • mac24,
    i have taken your advice before and it was right on.
    so would it be in my best interest to change it?

    P.S. would it help my fuel economy any?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    i have taken your advice before and it was right on.

    Flattery is always appreciated! :)

    Clutch life is related to both load and technique.
    At 90k your clutch could either be close to the end of its life, or barely halfway through.

    However, I think it would be in your best interest to change it, regardless of the condition of the clutch. If you don't you'll be worrying about it every time you hit a hill or a headwind, which is going to really spoil your trip. :(

    Finally, it'll only help your fuel mileage if your present clutch is already slipping.
  • pilot9pilot9 Posts: 3
    I'm looking at getting my first Jeep. The one I like is a 1998 Sport but the oil pressure gage is showing 10 PSI at idle and 40 PSI at 3 K PRM. I had them take it to a Jeep shop and they checked the oil PSI and it was the same as the gage. Could the oil pump be the only thing $650 or could it be someplace else and how do you think it is on the Engine. They said the Eng light never came on?
  • burntupburntup Posts: 64
    10-40 psi is not all that bad as oil pressure goes.
    Oil volume and a record of oil changes is also important.
    If the oil pressure has been low for a while there will be engine damage.
    Maybe run away if you are nervous.
    I would take any Jeep to a qualified mechanic and have it checked out before laying my money down.
    Find a guy who will look for a reason not too buy the Jeep and keep looking 'til you find one that you feel good about.
    If the initial guess on fixing something is 650 plan on 1300 and don't be surprised if it hits 1950 before you are done.
    There are a lot of things other than oil pressure to look at.
    Engine compression check. Clutch and pressure plate. Brakes and drive train. If it has a soft top how much life is left.
    This vintage Jeep is notorious for electrical bugs too.
    Don't jump the gun. There are a million of these Jeeps out there. Many if really good shape. One that has been thrashed can be a real money pit.
    Spend more time looking at the underside (dirty parts)of one of these old Jeeps.
    That is where you will see the real story of the past life of these tuff little dudes.
    Good luck.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,423
    I have a 1999 Sahara, which means the gauges are not the glorified idiot lights fitted to later models. Driving to work today noticed that the temp gauge reading was fluctuating between 210(the normal reading) and mid-way between 100 and 210. The gauge was moving slowly but smoothly and taking several seconds to move from one reading to another. This occurred while driving at @55 mph in 5th gear with the A/C on and an ambient air temperature of @82F. I had my local shop replace the coolant two months ago but today was the first time I've noticed the problem. The coolant recovery tank is full; I'll wait until the engine cools down to check the coolant level in the radiator. I'm thinking an air bubble might be in the system.
    Any other thoughts or suggestions?

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • burntupburntup Posts: 64
    Steel dash boards with Stewart Warner gauges stuck in them will last for ever.
    ...just a guess...
    The connectors on the back of the gauge panel (instrument cluster)on all the TJ's tend to rattle loose over time.
    You can pull the cluster and relocate the connector from the back side of the bracket to the front. This takes the looseness out of the connection. Apply dialectic grease to the connection. Put it back together. This might work. Couldn't hurt.
    Next guess would be to check the ground cable from the gauges/controls to the steel dash structure. I've seen these cables attached in different locations.
    If your service guy replaced the hoses make sure that they are still routed correctly. The easiest way to do this is a side-by-side check. Just find another Jeep w/the same engine and compare them. Look for a hose that is routed wrong or that is too long. The hoses should run flat, uphill or downhill. If they hump up then you might get an air lock. Pretty rare.
    Another thing to check would be to make sure all the hoses are firm, no soft spots. This can cause the hose to collapse or if the hose lining is loose it can restrict flow.
    If you find one bad hose replace them all.
    I still think the loose connector on the gauge panel is the most likely.
    Loose connections can sometimes be fixed by a good hard run up and down a bumpy dirt hill. Rip off the top. Turn off the A/C. Go raise a little...dust. If nothing else you and JEEP will be having too much fun to worry about gauge readings and ambient temperatures.
    JFFJ (JEEP forever forever JEEP)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,423
    The connectors on the back of the gauge panel (instrument cluster)on all the TJ's tend to rattle loose over time.

    I've already had that problem- and corrected it. I will check the various ground cables, but none of the other gauges seem to be affected. The hoses weren't changed. Still haven't had a chance to check the coolant level in the radiator itself.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • fredc2fredc2 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Jeep Wrangler automatic, six, and Dana 44 rearend so no anti-lock brakes. I live in the mountains with snow and ice in the winter. When I brake, the front brakes lock up and I go into an uncontrolled slide. The same thing happens when backing downhill - the front brakes lock up and the vehicle slides out of control. Is there a solution or do I just have to try and live with the problem?

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Your post is a great argument for specifying ABS, though of course there is no choice in the matter now.

    It's a short heavy vehicle which necessitates a heavy front brake bias, so your situation is not unexpected.

    You can't easily retrofit ABS so you need to increase the available traction, and possibly learn the cadence braking technique (or maybe both). Traction can be increased by using a more aggressive tire, maybe with studs or chains.

    Maybe one of our hosts could move this to an appropriate forum?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Maybe one of our hosts could move this to an appropriate forum?

    The main Wrangler discussion may be a better spot, but since the post title has "problem" in it, hopefully people will find it ok in here.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Rears drum or disc? If drum, you MAY want to adjust the star adjuster (located behind rubber grommet at bottom of discs) to make sure they are making good contact.

    If disc, check the pads/rotors and replace as needed. You MAY want to consider checking or changing the proportioning valve as well.

    If you have a manual, I'd HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of engine compression braking.

    We lived in soCal with the TJ and a Grand Cherokee. We got over 65k on the Grand and we lived at 4200' elevation and had to drive twisting, mountain roads EVERY day to and from work. Even with the automatic, you can 'shift' the gears and let the engine do some of the work. On snow/ice, make sure you've downshifted BEFORE you are on it. :)

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,423
    Well, the teperature gauge is now acting normally again. I suspect an air bubble in the cooling system, which sorted itself out on its own. Daytime high temperatures are currently +100F, so I'll soon find out if the cooling system has any real problems... :surprise:

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

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