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Old 07-14-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
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Distributor cap on 2006 Rubicon?




I had some squeaking noises in the engine and took my Rubicon to the dealership. Guy at first tells me that it's alternator. He orders the part, I bring my Rubicon in (yes, I'm not good at mechanics I can't do it myself) and then they tell me that they were initially wrong - it wasn't the alternator, it's the distributor cap and the belt. They replaced the belt.

I asked him: "Am I okay driving around like this?" He replies: "Oh, no problem, we'll order the part"

Long story short - my Rubicon wouldn't start today. I called the dealership and the guy tells me that there's a shortage of the part, that there's 200 on backorder, and that I'll have to wait. Meanwhile, I had previously asked them to get an aftermarket manufacturer part but of course they never did.

Earlier today I called AutoZone. They told me that there's no distributor cap, that it's just a bunch of wires.... WTF?

Gimme some help guys!

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Old 07-14-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
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I think you need to find a new mechanic. I could be wrong, but I don't think there is a distributor cap on a TJ.... At least not the newer ones.. Someone will confirm or deny this soon, I'm sure. Sorry I'm not positive..

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Old 07-14-2010, 08:42 PM   #3
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2001+ Wrangler TJ's have coil-pack rails and not distributors. It's an all electric ignition. The dealership was jacking you around if they said you have a distributor.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:45 PM   #4
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Were you able to get your Jeep started? Would it start with a jump? It may just be a dead battery as I just replaced mine a couple of weeks ago. They tend to just fizzle out every 4-5 years here in Arizona.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:48 PM   #5
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It's not the distributor it's the chingadera that sends the the camshaft signal to the PCM it's been a big issue on the 05-06's it will crap out completely and leave you stranded. That why it's on national back order cause so many have gone out. There is an internal piece under that cap that wears out and causes it to fail. There are a bunch of threads on this at jeepforum. I guess yours died already I missed that part. Sorry!
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:50 PM   #6
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It's not the distributor it's the chingadera that sends the the camshaft signal to the PCM it's been a big issue on the 05-06's it will crap out completely and leave you stranded. That why it's on national back order cause so many have gone out. There is an internal piece under that cap that wears out and causes it to fail. There are a bunch of threads on this at jeepforum. I guess yours died already I missed that part. Sorry!
How can there be a part under the cap, if there isn't a cap?
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:50 PM   #7
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Were you able to get your Jeep started? Would it start with a jump? It may just be a dead battery as I just replaced mine a couple of weeks ago. They tend to just fizzle out every 4-5 years here in Arizona.

I still have power and I think I'll need to jump it. I'm waiting to hear back from another dealership (Darner, in Mesa). But the dude from AutoZone told me that there was no distributor cap and described the coil device.

Guys, is this something I can just do myself? IF so, I'll buy it at AutoZone and repair it myself if it's just a matter of me hooking some wires up.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:52 PM   #8
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Coils are pretty expensive and rarely go bad.

Is your TJ and automatic? Have you tried putting it in neutral and starting it?
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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It's not the distributor it's the chingadera that sends the the camshaft signal to the PCM it's been a big issue on the 05-06's it will crap out completely and leave you stranded. That why it's on national back order cause so many have gone out. There is an internal piece under that cap that wears out and causes it to fail. There are a bunch of threads on this at jeepforum. I guess yours died already I missed that part. Sorry!

So will the coils / wires from AutoZone be included with that if I replace those?
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:54 PM   #10
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Coils are pretty expensive and rarely go bad.

Is your TJ and automatic? Have you tried putting it in neutral and starting it?

Yeah, I tried starting it today when I left work. It just makes this really loud annoying noise so I know the engine isn't getting any power. It's a 6 speed not an automatic.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:56 PM   #11
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Sorry inferno girl the cover is what I meant.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:56 PM   #12
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Will it even crank over? Is there a check engine light?

If it's cranking and not firing, it's possible to the crankshaft position sensor.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:57 PM   #13
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The coils live on top of the motor the thing we are talking about is on the passenger side of the block towards the bottom.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:01 PM   #14
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Will it even crank over? Is there a check engine light?

If it's cranking and not firing, it's possible to the crankshaft position sensor.

It doesn't crank over - it just makes an annoying, loud noise. But the radio and all that comes on as well as the A/C. The guy at the dealership specifically said it was the distributor cap - when I called Darner the dude there looked it up and said the warehouse in town had one in stock. So at this point I'm not really sure what to think - I'm just hoping that they have the part and that I can jump it in the morning and drop it off
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:04 PM   #15
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I have spoken too soon it seems what I am talking about is the oil pump drive gear issue that's what's under that cover, but that will start off with a miss that gets worse and eventually kills your cam. Unrelated issue but some people reported a screech coming from there before it went totally bad. I would have them check that as it does apply to your year and it seems there is a recall for it.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:08 AM   #16
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What kind of annoying noise? Like a starter grinding the flywheel noise? lol
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:33 AM   #17
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UPDATE: So apparently it's NOT the distributor cap because, obviously, the '06 Rubicon does not have a distributor cap. It's also not the ignition coil - which I was led to believe it was because the service guy at the dealership simply said "distributor cap" and the ignition coil made sense.

The problem is with the oil pump drive. Guess what? The oil pump drive is on backorder and won't be in stock until effin' August 9 2010!!! I am soooooooo angry right now.... not only am I potentially stuck with paying for a rental car, but also the prospect of having a Jeep to use on my excursions, which I do about every other weekend, is completely out the window.... ugh... I'm so angry right now I want to punch a goddam hole in the wall
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:36 AM   #18
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Ahhh I hate being right sometimes... That really sucks!
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:40 AM   #19
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Ahhh I hate being right sometimes... That really sucks!


Hey, I didn't doubt you - I just know zero point zero about mechanical stuff.... I can drive the Rubicon, I just can't fix it or diagnose the problem
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:45 AM   #20
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Your getting this fixed under warranty I hope? Make sure they change the camshaft too as both gears wear out so just the oil pump drive won't cut it the bad cam gear will wear out the new one too.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:53 AM   #21
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Your getting this fixed under warranty I hope? Make sure they change the camshaft too as both gears wear out so just the oil pump drive won't cut it the bad cam gear will wear out the new one too.

Certified pre-owned so it should be covered under the warranty. Still, I'm pissed that a) it's going to take almost a month to get the part; and b) that I'm not going to be able to take my Jeep out for a month
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #22
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Umm...
2006, 3 yrs 36k mile warranty.

IF you have an extended warranty, check to see if it covers rentals. Also call your insurance company and see if THEY will cover a rental while you're down.
Before you say "yes to the dress" you better find out for sure who is paying for it and HOPE they are diagnosing it correctly instead of just throwing parts at it and hoping they get it right.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:09 PM   #23
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I have spoken too soon it seems what I am talking about is the oil pump drive gear issue that's what's under that cover, but that will start off with a miss that gets worse and eventually kills your cam. Unrelated issue but some people reported a screech coming from there before it went totally bad. I would have them check that as it does apply to your year and it seems there is a recall for it.
I haven't heard anything about a recall on this.
Have you got a link maybe?

I looked on jeep.com and did a little searching, found info on the transmission linkage and something else, but nothing on this particular item.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:11 PM   #24
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:13 PM   #25
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I dont think its a recall per se but its a known problem so maybe a TSB with a good will fix? Read the above thread its big and has everything you could want to know about this.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:56 PM   #26
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I dont think its a recall per se but its a known problem so maybe a TSB with a good will fix? Read the above thread its big and has everything you could want to know about this.

I appreciate all your guys' comments and help in this thread. I'll speak to the service manager about the cam issue too and make sure they check on it. Earlier today I went straight to the service manager because the service guy I was dealing with told me it was the distributor cap - and he said that's what the mechanics told him. Unbelievable that these purported experts can't get this right and relay the correct information to me.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:06 PM   #27
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Your local dealership may not have one, and the National warehouses my not, but you try calling around to other dealerships. Someone may still have one in stock. If you find one, your dealership can have it shipped to them on the warehouse truck in about 2 days. They have to initiate the order, but you can find it and tell them where it is.
Sounds like they aren't very competent.

BTW - That assembly is called the Camshaft Position Sensor.

Did you try NAPA or CarQuest? You'd have to pay for it, but it's not expensive, worth it if you need the Jeep.

If you get it from Autozone it'll be made in China and won't last long - junk!
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:14 PM   #28
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Thats not the part that failed its the oil pump drive gear that turns the CPS
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:31 PM   #29
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"""""Thats not the part that failed its the oil pump drive gear that turns the CPS """""

Without taking it apart and actually looking at what failed there's no way to know if it's the drive gear or the sensor itself misaligned/slipped/loose. The OP never said anyone looked.

Unless of course you are Clairvoyant.

He said it won't start now - if it was the drive gear it's totally destroyed itself. If it was just the sensor that got ruined, then it would be easier to locate one.

In any case, calling around to other dealerships might find what's needed - AFTER it's decided what!
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:07 PM   #30
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Well the OP stated above in post #17 that that was the dealer was ordering soooo...,

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