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Old 08-26-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
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another newbie with a TJ w/ issues...

Hello All,

We finally joined the Wrangler family after wanting one for almost 20 years (never had a Jeep). We got a '97 Sport w/ 70k miles, 6 cyl 5 speed and it is all stock except for the aftermarket soft top (I am looking for a hard top and full doors) and it has taller tires. The issues are it makes a 'clunk' sound when you shift it from 1st to 2nd and even 2nd to 3rd sometimes. It does it all the time unless you slip the clutch more. There is also an oil leak. We purchased it last week from a new Jeep dealer who took it on trade for a new one. They told us it needed a new 'head gasket' and 'U' joints. I took it to a local guy here and he grabbed the rear drive shaft and gave it a couple good tugs and said he thought it was tight and it could be something in the rear end? Also as far as the oil leak, there is oil all over the upper half of the engine. I couldn't find any fresh oil on the back of the valve cover. The dealer said it was a head gasket?? Any thoughts? We love driving it so far and I am glad we finaly got one. Thanks.

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Old 08-26-2010, 06:31 PM   #2
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Clean the motor off and watch very carefully. Mine has a very minor oil leak, if you can call it a leak. Get the transfer case checked out. Get the fluids checked out as well

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Old 08-27-2010, 11:06 AM   #3
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Im curious as to why the dealer doesn't fix these for you? They are supposed to make sure the car is road worthy and if not you should have some sort of warranty for any problems like this.....even if it's a 30 day 3000 mile one. I'd look into this right away. You shouldn't have to fix a car you just bought.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:20 AM   #4
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My '97 TJ (4-cyl, 5-speed) also clunks in first and sometimes second when accelerating. Only when acceleration is moderate to hard, doesn't do it when accelerating easy or when slipping the clutch. My clunk is from a loose exhaust pipe to exhaust manifold connection; the vibration shakes the whole exhaust pipe and beats the muffler against the transfer case skid plate. Try getting under and shaking/moving the exhaust pipe by the exhaust manifold; if it's loose, then likely there's your 'clunk'.

As walkingstick mentioned, trace the leaking oil to it's source; most often a gasket is to blame and is a relatively easy fix.
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:41 PM   #5
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Did you get a warranty?
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
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Welcome! Hope you got a good deal your Jeep - they are a blast to own. Head gasket isn't very difficult from what I understand. U-joints may be more involved. Even a tiny oil leak can make your engine look like it threw up if one lets it go for awhile and build up. As mentioned, clean it, go for a drive, inspect.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:11 AM   #7
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We got a great deal on it and we couldn't pass it up. They dropped the price from $9995 to $6500 because of the issues with the oil leak and the clunking. They said they were going to wholesale it if we didn't buy it. It was a new Jeep trade in and they said they didn't normally have vehicles that old. We found it on the internet (just listed) and we were interested in it for the $9995 price initially. I called about it and the first thing they told me was the problems it had. It was the color we wanted (moss green) and it had the 6cyl and it has low miles. The body is in excellent condition with no rust. I figured for $6500 I would be happy to tackle the issues myself (I was able to pay cash for it after selling our big motorcycle). I will take a look at the exhaust pipe coming in contact with something. I hope that it is that easy. I am preparred to do a rear main seal if that is what it takes. It runs and drives perfectly though and we couldn't be happier. We did 150 miles yesterday and today we are going back out for probably another hundred or so, I'm sure. Me might set a record for miles on a new (used) vehicle for us. So far we have had it exactly a week and we have put over 400 miles on it and I'm sure it will be 500 after today. I will try and post a picture of it. Thanks for the help.

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