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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (up to 1996)



  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Take it to a competent shop with basic test equipment and it should take them about ten minutes to identify whether it's a fuel or an ignition problem. From that point on it's easy-peasy. :)

    When you're hands on with the vehicle it's really pretty basic stuff to analyze this sort of thing, especially on older carb/distributor equipped engines.
  • yjbobyjbob Posts: 56
    Could the timing chain have been misaligned during the rebuild?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Could be, hope not. Frightening to think that an engine builder could be that incompetent. :sick:
  • dannij05dannij05 Posts: 1
    :( I have a '91 Wrangler Renegade 5-speed. Got it about two years ago, replaced the transmission, then the engine blew last summer. Just recently replaced both the engine and transmission again (as in less than a week ago) and when I started driving it was struggling into 2nd. Today I go to drive and it's making a "thumping" noise underneath the clutch even in neutral. When I push the clutch in it stops, looking underneath is looks almost like the universal is shaking when the clutch is not in... When driving, it goes into first (making noise of course) and won't go into 2nd, but as soon I pull out of 1st into neutral it won't go back in until completely stopped, won't go into any other gear. To get into reverse i have to fight it, and when in still makes noise...

    I have no idea what to do, hoping someone can help me out, put way too much money and time into it for it to be acting up again...
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Could be all kinds of things, but whatever it is I think that the transmission is going to have to be removed.

    If you're lucky it's a clutch problem, on the other hand it could easily be a transmission issue.
  • mdunlapmdunlap Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 Rio Grande, 68,000 orig mi. 4 cyl. My Jeep was making some strange noises. Took to a local shop. Said the motor mounts(4} needed replacement. In addition the transmission mounts {2} needed replacement. Most noise is due to exhaust pipe sometimes resting on a plate due to weakened [perhaps dryrotted mounts]. I can find someone to replace the mounts so I tried to buy new ones. I have heard numbers of 2-4 engine mounts. Exactly how many mounts are involved? If I am going to have this done I want to replace ALL mounts. Probably a simple answer for you, but I bought my Jeep new and use it rarely. Know very little about cars other than regular maintenance. Excuse my ignorance...I just want to keep my Jeep in exceptional condition.
  • boobahboobah Posts: 18
    New problem..had engine rebuilt,carb rebuilt, ignition switch, distributor cap,rotor,wires,plugs, water pume, name it, it got done....Car broke down for the 7th time yesterday..strong gas start...was not flooded, or so the AAA guy said.after 3G, I need to get the problem resolved...any ideas? I need HELP! Thanks
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Don't often see a Rio Grande. There are two engine mounts and one transmission mount. The exhaust is also rubber mounted. Everything should still be available from the dealer, but they're also readily available aftermarket.

    Don't be tempted to use polyurethane rather than rubber. Poly is lasts longer, but is harder and transmits a lot of vibration.

    Here's a pic of what you need. The big square one is the transmission mount. You can buy them HERE for $40.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    So did you take it to a shop to get it checked out (see post #34). The cost will be minimal compared to what you've already spent.
  • boobahboobah Posts: 18 broke down he thinks it may be the choke...I had it towed to another shop...hope this guy is competent...sad thing is that everyone from this area uses the same rebuilder..
  • boobahboobah Posts: 18
    Thanks..hope it is in a competent shop now that it broke down again...what's tough is that when you are a get viewed as hysterical..if it had been a man, the guy would have been set straight 4 breakdowns ago..and the car would be running like a rocket...
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    ...what's tough is that when you are a get viewed as hysterical..if it had been a man...

    I can't disagree with that, unfortunately. :(

    It certainly could be a problem with the choke. A strong smell of gas usually indicates a fuel problem. Your situation is slightly complicated by the fact that the engine hasn't run properly since the rebuild. It's a little easier when everything was running fine until a certain point. You know that everything was ok and only a limited number of things could have changed. In your case, there's more that could be wrong as the engine has never run properly.

    However, it really shouldn't that hard to diagnose your problem, but it does need to be a 'hands on' situation.

    P.S. It's not a car! :shades:
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    the guy would have been set straight 4 breakdowns ago

    I wouldn't be so sure about that. Looking over the Forums, you'll see many examples of frustrated owners and calls for invoking Lemon Laws - for all kinds of vehicles. Check out Customer Service: The good, the bad and the ugly!.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • boobahboobah Posts: 18
    It definitely is not a car...ooops...still have not heard from the mechanic, but hope to soon....this is such b.s..and I couldn't agree with you hasn't run right since it rolled off his driveway...Thanks for your feedback!
  • boobahboobah Posts: 18
    Now he says the carb isn't getting enough gas, when I flooded it on Sat..thinks it may be the carb or fuel pump..cant hook it up to a diagnostic, because it has no computer,,,it seems to be all guess work...wish I knew of a Jeep expert in northern NJ.....
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    ......cant hook it up to a diagnostic, because it has no computer........

    Good grief, cars were being hooked up to diagnostic machines long before they had on-board computers! I guess you need to find either a shop that's comfortable with older vehicles, or an older tech who understands the basics of an internal combustion engine.

    Anyone who tells you that the carb is flooding because it's not getting enough gas is either treating you like an idiot, or revealing the same about himself.

    For the record, the fuel pump pressure can be checked with a $10 gauge, and the flow can be measured with a graduated beaker from the dollar store. If the pump is found to be out of specification, the fuel filter should be changed before replacing the pump as (i), a blocked filter can cause the same symptoms, and (ii), if the pump does require replacement it would be silly to leave an old filter in the system.
  • boobahboobah Posts: 18
    See, this is the stuff I don't know...and I feel pretty srupid....he says the carb wasn't getting gas, but I flooded it on how can the 2 coincide? How do I even know that the carb was rebuilt? At this point I'm ready to scream....the guy came highly reccomended and has a 79 International that runs.... :mad:
  • boobahboobah Posts: 18
    As most of you know from my posts, my Jeep is not in the best hands. Does anyone know of a reputable Jeep repair in Northern NJ? Now I'm getting a fuel pump, but the guy never bothered to call the carb rebuild guy(what does this entail anyhoe..he did not have it more then an hour) :lemon: ...I'l do that tomorrow, but in the future, need someone who really does know what they are doing.
  • markcollmarkcoll Posts: 2
    I have an 87 Wrangler with a 4.2, standard trans. Where is the fill plug for the trans.? The manual and Jeep Owners Bible show it on the side. I can't find it, 1 mechanic can't find it. I've had it up on a lift,and it's sure not where the manual shows it. Also, is the drain plug the small allen head plug on the bottom? I've had several standard trans. and have never seen anything like this.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    You have the rare, though definitely not valuable, French Peugeot BA10/5 transmission. It was only fitted between '87 and '89 and for very good reason. As long as it runs ok fine, but don't ever spend good money to fix it.

    To answer your question, here a fuzzy pic showing your level/fill plug #16 and washer #17. The drain plug and washer appear to be #21 and #20. The view shows the passenger side, with the rear of the transmission towards the left.

    imageSee more Car Pictures at

    Here's the LINK if the pic doesn't show.
  • markcollmarkcoll Posts: 2
    Thank you for the info! Does it use the same gear oil as the manual states? Also, if if does go out, what would you recommend to replace it with?
    Thanks again.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I don't know what was indicated in the manual, but at one time Jeep was incorrectly recommending the use of GL-5 spec., when it should have GL-3.

    However, in view of the cost and difficulty of repair, I'd use a full synthetic to be on the safe side, maybe RedLine.

    The transmission that replaced yours from '90-'00 was the AX15. After '00 it was the NV3500 or the NV3550. Any of those would be a good choice.
  • kid2021kid2021 Posts: 6
    I have a 95 wrangler with a 2.5. Every once in a while it will stick in second and sometimes it wont go into first of second. I have to double clutch like I'm driving a semi in order to keep it from grinding when I shift and down shift. So before I actually tear it apart any suggestions as to what it might be and what im in for. never touched a tranny before so this is all new for me...
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Assuming that the clutch disengages properly, it's almost certainly a synchromesh problem.

    Stripping and rebuilding a manual transmission (yours is an Asian AX5) isn't hard, but do try to have a workshop manual to guide you. If you're really lucky you'll just need the first and second synchro rings which cost about $20 each. However, if there's a lot of wear and tear an exchange rebuilt unit may be more economical.

    Good luck!
  • marmiamarmia Posts: 1
    Just picked up a 93 wrangler and on the ride home an idiot light shaped like an arrow or a house was flashing on every once in a while. Ant idea what this is a warning of?
  • yjbobyjbob Posts: 56
    That sounds like the "upshift indicator light" (I believe it is white) designed to help you get better gas milage by indicating when you may shift into a higher gear (a bit of a holdover from the first oil crisis). The light is a suggestion, not a requirement - shift when you think you should. I no longer pay much attention to my light, but I think it stlll works.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    That sounds exactly right. I solved the problem - I removed the light entirely and used it in my HVAC control that was missing a light! :)

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,641
    I simply adjusted my steering wheel so that the rim blocks the upshift light... :P

    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

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Sticking a piece of electrical tape over it works well too! :shades:
  • pwagnerpwagner Posts: 1
    I have 1989 Jeep Wrangler and it won't pass emmisions testing! It is 6 cylinder 4 wheel drive, 170,000 miles, been off road a lot. Had lines checked and some replaced, carburator runs rough and has smoke and oil dripping from tailpipe and can't seem to find problem. Any suggestions?
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