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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • rlm4rlm4 Posts: 2
    I "inherited" a 99 Wrangler from son & it's been long process of getting it back in shape. Love driving it. Replaced soft top w/ a Besttop. Looks good. Has half doors. After many times of trying to find water leaks at sides of each door, I finally found the source. There is a velcro strip on the inside of each door to which 3 sections of the 'bottom flap' come up and attach. Water comes in right under the black horizontal velcro strip & proceeds to fill up (literally) the pocket that is created by the bottom 'flap' coming up and attaching to the velcro strip. I have to put towels in there to catch it but they often get soaked and water runs out and into the floor area on each side. IS THERE A PRODUCT that I could use to seal this leak? Don't know if water comes in at the stitching points or at the sides where the zipper is???
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I have a similar situation where mine does that too. Glad I'm not alone.

    Can you get a picture of the area where you think the moisture is getting in? When I looked at my passenger door, it was wet up towards the top, not down in the front corner where the 3 pieces come together, so I'm wondering if it is the same issue.

    For now I just empty it out every so often.

  • i also have the same problem. Believe its a besttop problem were instead of being sewn on the metal frame it is velcro which seems to soak up water. That our i haven't get it pulled tight enough around the frame but i pulled as hard as i could and i could only get the velcro part of the way attached. You could try the water repellent for material and just spray the crap out of the velcro and the whole inside part of the door dono if it will help or not just an idea. Let me know if you figure anything out.
  • looking for more power out of my 4.0. Was wondering if anyone had any idea what i good system would be to get more power. I have already put a vorteck cold air intake and a throttle body spacer. on it but i was wondering about ram air superchargers or turbos. Didn't do much research yet but there is a web page the look ok. It is
    if anyone has any thing i should know it would be a great help thank you
  • the defoster unit cuts off with the blower set anything higher then the 2nd posiston. I can hear the vacum close when i switch it higher then the 2nd setting. There is plenty of heat, but won't come out of the defoster, which I need the high setting here in Chicago. the heat selector lever, moves roughly and basically on has a high very hot setting. A/c doesn't work at all (agian do big deal here in Chicago). I bought a used whole unit, but I want to make certain this would fix both problems before I open the dash up.

    Also, how do I replace this unit, if that works...I am not concerned about the airbag on the passendger side..after reading many posts.

    Thanks for any input.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Sounds like the actuator door between defrost and vent is not working properly. The slide controls on the 97 are mechanical and probably pretty easy to fix if it is just the controller.

    However, if you plan on getting back there behind the dash, it will NOT be as easy and you REALLY need a factory service manual to guide you.

  • My 99 wrangler 2.5L starts with high idle and after 2 or 3 sec. idle goes down and is very very rough. and sometimes dies out. What do I do. I replaced both o2 sen. I am getting great fuel pressure. plugs and wires are new. I love my jeep but this is driving me nuts.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    No codes being thrown?

    Perhaps the Idle arm controller. Perhaps you have a stuck throttle cable? If my hand throttle for my offroading gets stuck, it'll do that. I've also seen my gas pedal get stuck in the full down position while driving on occasion. Just have to tap it to get it to unstick. Mac, any suggestions on what may cause the gas pedal to stick down like that?

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    So does the rough idle remain, or does it clear up when warmed up?
    I'd be surprised if you don't have any retained codes. Anyhow, I'd suspect either the TPS or IAT sensor, or the Idle Air Control.

    However, before you start throwing parts and money at it, I'd try cleaning the throttle body if you haven't done it in a while.
    Use a sensor safe throttle body cleaner, and don't forget the back and edges of the butterfly or the IAC passage.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Mac, any suggestions on what may cause the gas pedal to stick down like that?

    The most common cause (on all vehicles) is a floormat catching the side of the pedal.
    Other than that you just need to carefully examine the linkage from the pedal to the throttle body.
    It helps to have someone else operate the throttle slowly while you observe.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I have smaller mats, so that shouldn't be a problem, but I'll check into that this weekend while we build a new bumper stinger/grille hoop setup.

  • So I have a Jeep 2006 Golden Eagle Edition. Ive done a few things to it myself...and have been using for the parts and custom rear bumper and all that.

    It just hit 30k miles and needs new brakes/rotors. Two of the local Jeep/chrysler dealers want around $600 for parts and labor... After a lil research of my own I think I can do it all for around 200 dollars....Wondering what rotors/brakes you all might recommend. Along those same lines....

    In the next 3 months or so I would like to give my jeep a lift as I want to increase my tires from 28 or 29's (cant remember atm) to 33's. After a bit of research Im wondering if going with a lift kit like the skyjacker 4'0/3'5 for about 500$ OR spending about 200$ more and going with OME kit would be better??

    Guess im asking about the quality and rep of skyjacker....Ive heard a lot more things about OME stuff then i have skyjacker. Also i remember reading in one of these pages...that jeeps front brakes are a bit weak once larger tires have been fit...should I worry about that now...or save it for later? (upgrading the brake system that is)

    thanks everyone!!
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Go for a good set of EBC Green or Yellowstuff pads for the TJ. Rotors - just get a good quality set - not the cheapos, but a decent set. No need for crossdrilled or slotted.

    I'd stay away from Skyjacker personally. I've heard GREAT things about Rubicon Express, and I know of 3 on here personally that run OME - me, tsjay, and mac24. Great onroad ride and good offroad manners.

    If you DO go with larger tires, your stock brakes are sufficient for 32's. At 33", it is getting questionable depending on how you drive. There is a company called Vanco that makes a dual piston setup for the Wranglers using other parts. It uses larger rotors, stronger steering knuckles, and quality pads/rotors. It is NOT cheap, but we ARE talking about safety here. You need to have some mechanical skills to do it and not be afraid to pull your axleshafts out of your TJ. But I have heard nothing but EXCELLENT reviews about it. I know the guy that developed it and he does NOT take any short cuts in his product development.

    Vanco Big Brake Upgrade

    When you go with a 3" lift of so, you want to consider how complete a kit is. Ideally to fit 33's, a 3" suspension lift and 1" body lift will work great. That is the setup I run and the size is just right for me both on and offroad. Additionally, consider:

    - front/rear trackbars to recenter the axles.
    - bumpstops to prevent too much up travel into your fenders
    - adjustable control arms to keep axles in stock location vs shortening the wheelbase with a lift - these add a good chunk of change to a lift, but are well worth it for possible future mods.
    - disconnectable sway bar links

    I bought mine from Talk to Dirk. He'll help you with ANY detail questions about what is best for your rig. He has various 'kits' available based on what price point you can afford and how complete of a setup you want.

    Another good vendor I've heard great things about is Depending on where in the US you are, one may have better shipping.

    Other manufacturers to consider:
    1. Teraflex.
    2. Rough Country's new X-series lifts.
    3. Rusty's offroad.

    2 and 3 I've heard mixed about, but Teraflex is supposed to be decent. OME or RE are the only kits in the 3" range that I'd consider. RE's kit is the 3.5" kit and not bad at all. Dirk and Northridge carry both.

  • my 97' staight 6 has lost all dash function no speedo, fuel, water temp, etc, plus no radio, or interior light. I checked all fuses both fuse panel and power distribution center.Has anyone got any ideas?
  • lfsgdlfsgd Posts: 1
    Just bought a nice 2000 Jeep Wrangler. Took it for a test drive a few different times before buying it. I've never owned a jeep, but was excited to finally get one. As soon as I was driving it home I noticed a noise coming from underneath. You can hear it when you first start it up, and then when i'm driving it I can hear it as well. Any ideas?? I thought maybe it was the exaust making noise, but it doesn't seem like that is the case. I'm hoping that its something small, because the last thing i want to do already is put a ton of money into it. Any ideas would be great.
  • from my experiences, check your grounds... not saying thats the solution to your problem, but it was for me... a ground on a turn signal was my problem... but it didn't knock out all of the equipment you named... i still had fuel and water pumps...
  • Jeep Hesitating
    I have a 97 Wrangler with a 6 cyl. engine. When I first purchased it new at 3,000 miles the cam shaft got stuck; exhaust burned up all the censors; cracked the exhaust manifold; burned up the catalytic. Jeep opened the engine up and told me a pin got loose, a gear slipped not turning the camshaft and all the valves stayed open. The damage was caused by me trying to drive down from Vail on a Sunday morning.
    Now at 120,000 miles I am having a problem were the engine will not stall but after 5 to 10 minutes I put the pedal down and there is no engine response. The car will not stall but it will not rev-up. It almost feels like it did 12 years ago at the 3,000 mile problem. No engine lights have come on this time. But, I am not keeping the engine on for long. If it is a camshaft problem can I get to it without taking the head off? Or could it be something else. Remember no lights are on and I have connected a computer reader and no codes.
    What do you guys think?
    Thank you
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    If it is a camshaft problem can I get to it without taking the head off?

    Yes, you have to remove the push rods and tappets first, then withdraw the camshaft from the front of the engine after removing the timing chain and sprockets.

    A compression test, or better still a leakdown test, will diagnose a lack of compression.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Well, I GUESS this is kind of a repair item. I was wheeling some time back and messed up my bumper when I rolled into another Jeep. Peeled back my light hoop into my winch, which subsequently bent the winch plate a tiny bit, cracked the winch outer and motor housing and bent my grill a bit too. Also cost me 2 IPF driving lights (ARGH).

    Well fast forward to earlier this month. I have a friend with a detached garage, bender, and welder and all kinds of cutting tools. We went to work. Started with this:


    Built a grille hoop and stinger combination with reinforcement bracing between them. Also strengthened the base...


    Did a lot of bending:


    Test fitting:




    Ended up with this:



    it was a lot of fun and a lot of work. My son really enjoyed doing the heavy stuff and gave him some pride in building it.

    I got new housings for the IPF lights since the lens housings were intact. They still worked. :) SWEET! Also picked up a second set of IPF lights to replace my Hella's on the windshield. They have the stoneguards to keep glare down.

    Also purchased a new motor housing for the Warn and a bit of work on the cosmetic housing, and it is good as new - still works! :)

    Here are the Hella's at night from the driver seat:



    Way too much glare to use safely. I've got some other uses tentatively in mind for the Hella's as well as the OEM fog lights I removed. They are a bit bent up, but still work just fine.

    This just illustrates how you can do some damage to your TJ, and with some work (or purchasing aftermarket kits) you can make it better than before. The fender and hood are being replaced this winter (I snagged a free hood, fender, and cowl for FREE - just needs paint), and my 97 TJ will be looking a LOT newer. Even snagged some newer style mirrors (I hope).

    The cost of the parts and stick for the welding added up to about $40.00. A comparable kit from Genright and others can run easily $200 to $300. So I saved money by doing it myself and with my son and friend. I learned some more about doing this kind of work, and helped me build confidence in knowing I can do more repairs later if necessary. Amazing what putting some work into a vehicle will do for a child's appreciation of that vehicle.

  • Your description of your surge problem is exactly what is happening to my Jeep Rubicon 2005. Please let me know if you figure it out. Thanks.
  • Help! I have luke warm heat with the blower and heater control wide open. Temperture gauge shows normal. The top hose from the heater core to the water pump is hot; the other hose is only warm.I suspicion the heater core is bad but there could be a valve in the line blocking the coolant to the heater. I flushed the system and everything was very clean. Before I jump in to replacing the heater core does anyone have any suggestions?
    Appreciate your input.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,172
    Great write-up, and good work too!

    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'm by far, NO EXPERT... i'm known in my circle as severely mechanically challenged, but i've a few thoughts on your problem...

    i've not had the problem on my '98 wrangler, but a couple of the vehicles i owned before were samurai's and there was a valve under the hood on the firewall that opened and closed via a cable connected to the inside control switch... this valved controlled the flow of fluid through the heater core, one way and it went thru, the other way, it bypassed it... i'd guess there is one on the wrangler, somewhere, but i've not looked for it...

    all i had to do was WD40 it and work it by hand a few times, it got corroded up and stuck during the summer when it wasn't used, so i made it a point to move it back and forth once in a while, from then on...

    here's a wrangler parts diagram that might help...

    i figure since the other controls in the wrangler work with vacuum, this probably does too, somehow...

    it occurred to me... my cruise wasn't working, i rarely use it, but one of my routes allowed me to lock it down at freeway speeds once a week. i first began to notice a significant drop in AC fan speed when i accelerated or climbed a hill, then, the cruise stopped working as well, it would hold the speed for a few seconds then gradually slow down, reminded me of air going out of a baloon...

    i was puzzled for several days then it dawned on me that the two had a common link... THE VACUUM!!! i searched around and found a cracked vacuum hose right beside the brake fluid reservoir... in a hurry, i wrapped electrical tape around it several times above and below the crack and over the crack, and its been a looonggg time now and i've no problem...

    that could be a solution... i'm thinking water directional valve, vacuum controlled via controls on the dash, valve not working completely? maybe vacuum not strong enuff to open valve all the way...

    there're several things i'd look at before i tore out the heater core... i've not done it on a wrangler, but i have on a couple of other vehicles, and it wasn't a picnic, but thats what i like about the wrangler, it appears to me, from what little i've done, to be fairly easy to get to stuff...
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    There's no valve in the system, coolant circulates through the heater core all the time. Heat is either excluded from, or directed to, the interior by a blend door in the HVAC housing.

    If the flow hose to the heater is hot and the return hose is much cooler, then it's highly likely that your twelve year old core has become seriously restricted.

    Re the earlier reply, the '97 uses mechanical controls for the HVAC while later model years do use vacuum.
  • I had a 97 wrangler and I think the problem may be the clip that attaches the blend door actuator to the panel slider control. I dont remember exactly what the part looks like but as I recall it was a common problem with the 97-98 wranglers. I think i fixed it with a small Tyrap nylon cable tie. If you move the slider and feel little resistance with the control this is probably the problem. In 99 they redesigned the controls to the rotary type. My 05 wrangler has never had a problem with the "new" style controller Hope this helps.
  • You were correct; the core was plugged. Good news is spliced into heater hose with garden hos adapter and flushed the [non-permissible content removed] out. Heater works great.
    Thanks for the tip...saved me a lot of money.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Always nice to hear a positive result! :)
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    X2. I did that as well to fix mine, and subsequently found out my water pump was bad. :) Replaced it once I saw coolant pouring out of it. :) Also noticed the pulley was darn hard to turn by hand. New one spun easily. Engine actually strains less now. And my heater ROCKS!

  • Hi ! today all my gauges went dead, but the jeep is starting and run fine. The airbag light is on too. Tried swopping cluster fuses with airbag fuses , no luck. Even the RPM/speed are zero! Any good suggestions??
    Another thing is it normal that the oil pressure gauge goes up / down with the RPM?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    It's probably the round multi-pin connector at the rear of the instrument panel.
    Remove the panel, seperate the connector, tweak each of the connector blades a few degrees so it will make a more positive contact when reinserted, inject a little dielectric grease into each connector socket, reassemble, and you should be good to go.
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