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Old 07-19-2007, 09:51 PM   #1
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1997 Wrangler SE Problems - Mechanic Estimates Seem High?

OK. Here's the skinny. I was driving down the highway at 65 MPH last night. Something sounded a little funny, so I looked at my guages. The "Check Guages" light was on, and my oil pressure is at 0. Sometimes it has done this in the past few months when idling, but never at high RPM's. I pull it over, and call a friend to come tow me to a local Auto Shop and leave it there overnight. When I go there this morning, I start it up, it turns over just fine, and starts to shake and screech like there is no oil getting to the top of the engine. By the way, I did chck the oil, and everything was fine - plenty of fresh, clean valvolene on the dipstick. Then, after the jeep sputters for a few seconds, the oil pressure goes back to normal, and everything is fine.

The mechanic looks it over today, tests the oil pressure, and says that he can't find anything wrong with it. Although, I figured he would pull the oil pan and see what was going on down there...but he didn't. Also - my Wrangler does have a very minor oil leak coming from the crankshaft seal, and my radiator has a leak.

So, I asked for an estimate on:
1. Replacing the Oil Pump - just to be safe.
2. Replacing the Crankshaft Oil Seal - so I can stop having to park over a cardboard box.
3. Replacing the radiator - hell, why not. I'll have to do it sometime.

Here are the estimates from the mechanic:
1. Replace Oil Pump - $360
2. Replace Seal - $160
3. Replace Radiator - $500

These estimates seem really high to me. I can get a new radiator for $200 - is there really $300 worth of labor involved? I can pick-up an oil pump for $75 - is there really $285 worth of labor involved in replacing the Oil Pump? And lastly, I have no idea what it takes to replace that seal.

Can someone out there let me know if these costs from the mechanic are reasonable? I know I can put the radiator in myself - so at least I'm saving $300 there.

One last bit of information on the oil pressure / oil pump replacement: Just before I lost my oil pressure, I had put in Bar's Leaks Rear Main Seal Leak Stop. I put it in before driving home that day...trying to get that front seal to stop leaking. Maybe it isn't the pump after all - hell, I don't know anything anymore.

Any help from you Jeep Junkies out there would be greatly appreciated. Kind regards, ac.

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Old 07-19-2007, 11:42 PM   #2
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The only thing that sounds High is the radiator. But to me, everything else seems low. Yes, you could go get the parts and do the job yourself, but remember that the Shop is responsible for warranting everything that YOU want to replace. If the Rear main leaks after they do it, you will bring it back and they will have to do it again. For FREE. And will continue to do it untill its right. FOR FREE. I am a mechanic by trade, and own my own shop. I will pay for people to fix my computer, hang my drywall in my house, Do my landscape work and my doctor. Its out of my realm of what I do. Could I do all of it myself?? Most likely YES, but it will take 3 times as long and may not be done correctly. I would suggest that you spend the extra $$ and have it done correctly, the first time.


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Old 07-19-2007, 11:46 PM   #3
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Just remember that 90% of the time replacing the oil pump won't fix an oil pressure problem - they RARELY fail and wear out and should only be replaced if you have the pan off anyways for something else (such as a rebuild).

If you have oil pressure problems; usually it's because the engine has worn excessive clearances in places, and gaps between bearings as so large that the pump flow can't keep up enough to build pressure.

If you have engine oil pressure problems - usually you might as well go ahead and replace your lifters, and crank and cam bearings. When you're in that far - just pull the engine on replace it with a rebuilt or new one, or rebuild it.

With that said - make sure your sender is telling you the true story first
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:24 AM   #4
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Are the senders like GM where they control Fuel pump relay as well? When Presure drops the F/P stops. So that if the sender is bad no signal for fuel pump.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:59 PM   #5
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I 2nd absolute. Sometimes its better to have a mechanic do it so if it dont work out it will get done right eventually. A main seal is an excellent examplr of let someone qualified do it.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:21 PM   #6
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Luckily no - considering how often oil pressure senders go bad

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