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Jeep Wrangler



  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Hey, we really did buy it for her, but it wasn't going to work for her drive to Pennsylvania for school. She has a Honda Civic now and really loves it. And I have the TJ I've been wanting (albeit with a smaller engine) and now my wife is happy to not hear my whine about a Jeep. She gets to hear about the goodies I want for it. :)

    mtngal, nope, haven't gotten to HV OHV yet. She still wants to go. Maybe once I get a few things on the Jeep (bumpers and skids), I'll take the Jeep and the kids to HV to play, hopefully before Camp Jeep in August.

    It still has a slight oil leak that I can't find (I think it is coming from the back of the valve cover that I can't tighten very well). Anybody know what tool to use to get back there to tighten those nuts with the long bolt? My socket set is too short to slide down the bolt to tighten the nut, let alone have room to turn it. :)

    I sat in the back of an unlimited last week. I'm 5'11". No problems once I got back there. Still a squeeze behind the seat. With the seat adjusted how I'd drive, I had plenty of knee room, but lacked some of the foot room. Lotsa storage in back.

  • dchristo1dchristo1 Posts: 59
    The "best" way that I have seen to remove the hardtop is with a hardtop hoist. I just bought a hardtop for my Jeep and the person who I purchased it from had a hoist which he sold me for $55.00. It was well worth the money.I have seen these go for $139.00 from Quadratec they also have an electric version for over $300.00.Without a winch the top is very awkward at times to get off if you have no helper.

    I'm sure TSJAY may have a thing or two to say about tops.

    BTW you will love the Rubi it has every option that I am "building" into my Sahara.

  • dchristo1dchristo1 Posts: 59
    When Jeep comes out with this....I will be adding to my Jeep collection of one.

    I test drove the unlimited last week and liked the extra room for gear. This would eliminate the need for my safari rack and the high CG that goes along with it.

    It's interesting to note that it appears Jeep has changed the tailgate hinges.I wonder if the new ones will support more weight for larger tires?

  • drosketerdrosketer Posts: 203
    I like the sounds of it, but it would be even nicer if they were to offer an Unlimited Rubi with a diesel option... have to admit that if that came to pass, Buffy might get traded! :-O

    I'm shocked to see myself type that given how much I love my rubi!!

    Greenjeep, welcome aboard. I have taken the top off only once, definitely not something you want to do by yourself. A hoist like David suggested is probably the way to go (I know I'll be heading that route one of these days). It's finally warming up enough to give that softtop a try! :-)

  • 99tj99tj Posts: 187
    Hello All.
    I just bought a 99 burgundy / tan hard top.
    So far, I love it. I've wanted one for about as long as I can remember.
    This is my first posting to this board and wanted to get your advice on security items.
    I see that there are quite a few options out there. A few that I'm considering are ; locking gas cap, locking nuts for the full hard doors, and hood lock.
    Do you feel that any of these are necessary? Or am I just being paranoid?
    I definitely want a soft top, but am pretty confused. I see a ton of used tops on ebay.
    I've read that the sailcloth is great, but I don't see any options to buy the sailcloth w/ all the hardware.

    Any advice is appreciated.
    Thanks, Dan
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Security devices are a personal thing and depend on where you live. I don't have add-on devices other than an ignition disabler which I never use (but having the blinking light is nice). If I were to get something else I'd get Lo-jac or something like that (I'd be worried they would steal the whole thing).

    With gas going over $2.10 a gallon I'm thinking that a locking gas cap might be an idea, though I live in such an off-the-beaten-track spot I'm not worried at night, and at work the parking structures are patrolled occasionally and certainly have people wandering around all the time. I used to have a locking gas cap on an old pickup I had (dual tanks) and they were always a bother.

    I wouldn't bother with anything more for the doors, especially if you put a soft top on. Your best bet there (if theft is a problem in your area) is not to leave anything in your vehicle and leave it unlocked (so they don't cut your top).

    I have a hard top so can't answer anything about soft tops.

    This is all just my opinion and probably reflect that fact I live in a fairly safe area.
  • gman1259gman1259 Posts: 209
    The best way I have found to get the top off my Jeep is to use a hoist. You can buy them in a number of places, including ebay. I also used 4 ratchet tie-down straps until I got the hoist. The straps work it is just a little more work to take the top off. I have a Lang hoist with a manual winch, but it can be purchased with an electrical winch instead.

  • freditfredit Posts: 8
    Hey Dan, congrats on the Jeep.
    For security, I have a "club" device locked across the steering wheel for some "peace of mind". I own a soft top with full doors. Basically I feel if the crook wants it, they get it, no matter what is installed to deter their criminal mind. I also have locking lug nuts installed. No matter what vehicle I owned, I've installed them. Back in 1984, I had a '77 Chevette that had all four new wheels "removed". At least he was nice and installed his old ones.
    I still get a chuckle when I think about me standing next to my car trying to figure why I had bald tires... and this was done on a US Army post.

  • gman1259gman1259 Posts: 209
    Hay Dan,

    Congratulations for buying a JEEP.

    I recently bought my Wrangler and have / am dealing with the same concerns of security you are. First, keep in mind that my distrust comes because I am a peace officer who deals with the best and brightest society as to offer, and my Altama was stolen out of my driveway last year, only two months after buying it (both of these together makes me a little more paranoid then most people).

    With that said…I had the locking gas cap put on (the cap that is keyed to the ignition), not because I m worried about someone taking gas out, but putting something other than gas in (some people get a little mad when you take them to jail—although I have had people thank me). Additionally, I use the “Club” on the steering wheel. I am still planning to get the hood lock, and maybe Lo-Jack. As far as the rest of the security I have the following OPINION:
    a) If you have a soft top lock the console and glove box.
    b) Don’t keep valuable things in the Jeep. I would lock the doors with the soft top up; it may keep kids out of it. I do not fear that people will cut the top (as I did with Mustang) because the windows just unzip removing the need to cut the top (Although I found criminals are usually not the brightest and may cut your top without thinking of unzipping the window…But they may do that if you doors are unlock too).
    c) Locks for the doors may be nice (I have not though about that before) but I would be more worried that they will still the whole car.
    d) Wheel locks are probably a good Idea, considering what some off road tires cost.

    You should take some security measures to protect your jeep. But, in reality it does not matter what you do, if some wants to steal you vehicle they are going to, no mater what you have done to protect it. Something I learned long ago is that locks keep honest people honest. Insure your Jeep and just INJOY it, and try not to worry about the what ifs.

    I hope this helps as you consider your options.

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    My opinion:

    Wheel locks are a must!
    Tuffy Security console
    Tuffy glove box

    Remove valuables (even leave them out of the tuffy's when possible).

    When installing stereo stuff, install as stock as possible to not allude to what's really installed. I remove the face plate when not in the car.

    I have a half top and half doors. I rarely lock the doors.

  • 99tj99tj Posts: 187
    Thanks for the responses.

    I live in the OVERpopulated North East and we seem to have more than our share of dishonest people. I'm pretty sure I'm going to put the locking gas cap and hood latch...they're relatively cheap and it would give me some peace of mind. I like the idea of the locking lug nuts too. I may install an alarm too.

    I guess the bottomline is to keep all valuables
    out of the Jeep. People will steal anything not nailed to the floor.

    Thanks again.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Welcome, Peeps! I was out of town, and that's why I am just now posting my greetings.

    I'm getting caught up with what's been going on around here while I was gone.

    Good to have both of you. Post often.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    "...........I guess the bottomline is to keep all valuables
    out of the Jeep. People will steal anything not nailed to the floor............"

    Exactly! My advice (the opposite of an earlier poster) is to leave your doors unlocked if you have a soft top. There's always a chance that they may try the handle before slicing into your top. Also, not only leave the glove box and console unlocked, but leave them open as well, so they can be seen to be empty.

    Finally, don't leave anything that even looks as if it may be valuable. A colleague just had his truck side window broken so that someone could get to an old bank envelope that he'd left tucked under the sunvisor! This was in broad daylight in a company parking lot.
  • 99tj99tj Posts: 187
    Glen (our resident peace officer) would probably disagree with this but,
    I would love to catch somebody in the act of breaking into my vehicle.

    My other vehicle, a Cherokee, (which I'm trying to sell) was broken into a few years back. They stole my stereo. When I discovered it in the morning, I had so much adrenaline rushing through me it's probably a good thing I didn't catch them.

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Dan - I laughed at your story. When I first moved back to SoCal (around 15 years ago) my other half was managing an apartment building in a neighborhood that wasn't the greatest. We had 2 vehicles - a new Nissan Hardbody pickup and a beat-up 12 year old Chevy pick-up. Every week one or the other of them would have a broken window or something, so I got blase about it all.

    However, if someone tried to break into my Noble Black Steed (my name for our '98 black Wrangler) I'd be super upset!
  • ponmponm Posts: 139
    Hello everyone,
        Just curious if anyone knows if the soft top on my 03 tj will fit on my father-inlaws 99 Tj. I know over the past few years there has been slight changes in the top but there was the largest change in 03. Thanks in advance for any feedback.-scott
  • gman1259gman1259 Posts: 209
    Me too…I have been ripped off a couple of times in my life, and each time I felt violated. My wife was extremely upset and still will not leave the car in the driveway overnight.

    Oh…officially I strongly recommend that you leave crime fighting to the professionals. Besides, with the courts of today if you hurt the crook he/she may sue you and end up owning your home.

    And if you think the Northeast is overcrowded try living is Southern California.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Well, Jeep Buds, the Old Tomster pulled a cool one yesterday.

    I was trying to installl a Lockright locker in the front differential on Thelma Jane, and it is necessary to slide the axles out a few inches, so the chunk can be removed.

    I was removing the hub bearing bolts, and I got two of the three removed without trouble. Oh, they were really hard to break loose, but I got 'em.

    Then, that third one was REALLY hard to break loose. I used a cheater pipe for more leverage, and I got just a tiny bit of turn on the bolt, accompanied by a metallic groan. After a few of these, I got a "SNAP!" Well, guess what? You got it... Old Dummy was turning the bolt the wrong way! How in the world could a guy get two bolts out without any trouble deciding which way they needed to be turned and then screw up the third one?

    These bolts threaded from behind with respect to my position, so I had to remember to reverse the "lefty loosey, righty tighty" thing. I managed to do that just fine for two bolts, but I guess I was having a CRI (cranial-rectal inversion) on the third one.

    Old people should not be allowed to have tools!

    Oh, the Lockright is in, but I can't finish the job until I get a new bolt. I called a wheelin' Bud to come bail me out on the job after I broke that bolt. It wasn't a big deal to get the broken part of the bolt out of the hub, once the hub was out of the steering knuckle.

    Getting that chunk to come out of the diff housing was a bear, and I am sure glad my Bud was there. He's a good mechanic, but even he had a hard time.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The 03 soft top SHOULD fit into a 99TJ.

    If you look at Bestop's information on their tops, they seem to indicate that a 97TJ and 03TJ all have the same part number (except for colors). When I installed my new sailcloth top on my 97 TJ SE, all I had to do was unsnap the old top and loosen the screws on the header and install the new one.

    Best thing to do... try it. :) If he doesn't have the soft top hardware, you will need to buy it or take it from your TJ. Mounting points should all be the same (on the back of the vertical roll cage bar).

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I guess you've come to 'wrenching' fairly late in life? We all make mistakes like that (and learn from them), early in our careers. It's just that many of us started at an earlier age.

    It's when you make the same mistakes over and over that you might want to worry about the onset of 'senior' problems!

  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    Mac's right (again!). I spent about $600 replacing plugs on my wife's car right after we were married. Figured I'd save us the $100 for a tune up and in the process snapped the head off one of the rear plugs near the firewall. My mistake was using a cheater bar without enough penetrating fluid and time to give me a good chance for removal rather than breakage. Between the tow to the local shop, their labor to pull the head, and the machine shop labor to remove the stub in an aluminum head, I think I was out $600ish + the cost of the plugs. Then there was the time I shorted out the battery on my Z car not thinking that the clamp on the + terminal wouldn't like getting connected to the body through the wrench I was using to remove it... the time I got my arm stuck under the dash of an MGB for half an hour; time I drained my tranny fluid instead of my oil; time I dropped a starter on my hand, then banged my head into the frame when I flinched in pain... Not all mechanical mess ups, but some painful and embarassing lessons none the less.

    Making you feel better yet? All these goofs were before I got out of high school aside from the plug incident. Biggest lessons I've learned are to take your time, have the right tools, and just walk away for a bit when you get frustrated. I think you've done a great job in your mods to Thelma Jane and I'm very impressed with the way you've jumped into both Jeeping and wrenching.

    Similar to golf in that we all hit them in the woods now and again, but the guys to watch and learn from are the ones that make good recoveries from bad spots. Sounds like bewtween your bud and some more time and effort, you'll be back up again in short order.

    laughing at myself,
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I don't seem to be able to do any job without doing something wrong - one of the reasons I don't attempt that much. A friend of mine always says the job's not done until he bleeds (he bangs or cuts himself just about any time he does something). I've got to do something wrong.

    I almost didn't attempt the '98 Wrangler dash gauge fix myself - right before I was ready to try it a co-worker gave me an article about backyard mechanics stripping bolts and screws, and how expensive it is to drill them out. When I finally got up enough nerve to try it myself on my Noble Black Steed, I took apart something I didn't need to take apart. If I had read the next line in the instructions I would have realized I was in the wrong place, but I didn't until after I had taken the other piece apart. When it came to putting things back together, that part was the hardest to put back, and what took the most time. So if ever you want to know how NOT to do something, just ask me!
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I am laughing about my mistake, Jeep Buds. I just wanted to share with you guys what happened.

    You've all been kind and tried to make me not feel like the "Lone Ranger," and I appreciate it.

    You know, so many mistakes could be avoided with just a tiny bit of common sense. Oh well, live and learn.

    I have re-installed the axle, hub, brake rotor, and brake calipers on the passenger side, put the passenger side tire back on, Permatexed the diff cover and re-installed it, and have gone as far as I can on the drivers side until I get the new bolt. It oughta be a pretty quick job to finish the drivers side and fill the diff with gear oil.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Just thought I would let you guys know that I am still on the wagon. It will be fifteen weeks this Wednesday.

    The past week was a breeze! I don't want to get too cocky, but I am actually beginning to believe I can do this!

    Once again, thanks to all of you for your support.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    It does get easier, but that can also be a problem - don't let your guard down! You'll make it.

    Finally got the air conditioning in my Noble Black Steed recharged. They didn't find any leaks so that's good. I'm now thinking of selling the Taco as soon as I get the pink slip and just going with the Wrangler as an only vehicle for a couple of months. I'm still not sure what I should get, since everything is a compromise for me.

    Car shopping is lots of fun for me when I'm not in a position to buy (love to go and look). But now that it is getting really close to being practical to buy, I remember how much I really dislike talking to (some types of) car salesmen and all types of finance people!
  • drosketerdrosketer Posts: 203
    Tom, great job of staying on the wagon! Keep it going and as mtngal said, keep your guard up.

    Great stories of wrenching gone bad. Haven't had much chance to do anything quite yet but the plan is to do as much as possible by myself. To that end I have gotten my hands on, and printed out, the FSM (that took a while). Buffy now has 4000 Km on her and I'm still loving the experience. Yesterday I checked the diffs and t-case fluids for contamination and it's all looking good. Was curious about whether or not to use sealant on the plugs... the FSM doesn't mention it, a service guy at the dealership said they don't use any... yet when I took the plugs out you can see it was used at the factory. Hmmmm... just to be safe, I cleaned out the old stuff and re-applied it - can't do any harm, can it??

    Mtngal, the salesmen don't tend to be that bad unless you're looking at used cars. It's the finance people that are the real spin doctors!

  • gman1259gman1259 Posts: 209

    Look at the DC "Crossfire" it is a sweet automobile (and I’m not a Chrysler fan), unless you need more than a 2 seater. Other good vehicles that I like are the Altama and the Accord.

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Andrew's point that salesmen aren't that bad is really correct. Since I'm usually looking at 4WD or AWD vehicles, it can get funny though. I somehow end up with brand new salesmen who don't have a clue about the AWD system and can't answer even the easiest questions. Once I even had the experience of having a Jeep salesman talk only to my husband even though I was the one asking the technical questions, and addressing "the little lady" type of comments to me. At least this only happened once (at a Jeep dealer, no less), when we were buying my Noble Black Steed back in 1998.

    At the moment my choices are the Wrangler Unlimited, one of the Subarus, or the Element. One thing - I was disappointed about the Unlimited only coming with an auto tranny. I still think I'd be better off driving a manual. I may go back and look at a couple of the other mini-SUVs again, just because I haven't looked at them in a couple of years. While I don't strictly need AWD/4x4 as long as I have the Wrangler, it would be nice to have the choice in the winter.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Refrigerant isn't consumed during operation, so if it was low or empty, it leaked out somewhere.

    Good that you've got it recharged and working............ bad that you picked a less than professional a/c tech.
  • gman1259gman1259 Posts: 209

    You should not discard the idea of the Unlimited just because it has the automatic. Growing up, living with my Uncle, we only had 4X4’s with autos. In fact my uncle held the same view of off roading with the manual that many on this board have about the auto. Being someone that has driven 4X4’s with autos and manuals, I am leaning toward the auto as being the better way to go (the 4 speed). The auto I have in Ellie’mae has impressed me so far. This summer I plan to taker out and really test the tranny.

    I like the control I have (I know some of you hard core manual users are spitting right now) without having to worry about stalling the engine, or burning out the clutch. I use Ellie’mae to pull a trailer and she does it without even a groan. And the fuel economy does not seem to be any worse than a manual, from what I have seen on this board, I getting just under 19 mpg (18.7 usually).

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