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Old 12-26-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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Help: Trans is falling

Hey everybody. I've been one the forum for a while but have never introduced myself. My name is Justin and about a week ago I purchased my first jeep. A black 98 wrangler. It's been awesome everyday up until today. I drive it to work due to inclement weather and once there noticed that something was unbolted and hanging low on the passenger side underneath the jeep. At the time i didn't think anything of it until I went to drive home and couldn't put it into second or forth gear. That's when I noticed my gear shift was considerable lower than normal. Eventually I was able to put it in second and forth but it made noises while engaged. I'm no mechanic so it would be greatly appreciated if someone could tell me what the problem is and how to fix it. It should also be noted that yesterday I went to use my 4 wheel drive and that acted funny. After I disengaged it the jeep acted a little funny when going though gears. I took pictures of what it looks like under the jeep. I apologize if the pictures are bad but I was on the side of a highway at night in the rain. Thanks for the help in advance and I look forward to talking with the rest of you.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
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Frame rusted out. Very common. Did you buy it from a dealer? What I have seen people do is put a ratchet strap around it to get it home. Do not drive it like that. If it is too bad you will have to do a frame swap. Search this forum for "frame rust" You will find lots of help on this forum.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/search....archid=7436904

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Old 12-26-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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Oh boy...you could have a lot of work ahead of you. There is a company that sells frame restoration sections.

Get some good light and take more photos.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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Btw, depending how bad it is and if you got it at a dealer, you may want to consider returning it and getting your money back. Some states allow 6 days.

Dealers are required by law to disclose anything about a vehicle that they are aware of or should be aware of prior to selling. So if the frame is rusted and they did not tell you, you might have some leverage, but I stress MIGHT.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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Trav78, hopefully a quick fix like that will work.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy1970
Frame rusted out. Very common. Did you buy it from a dealer? What I have seen people do is put a ratchet strap around it to get it home. Do not drive it like that. If it is too bad you will have to do a frame swap. Search this forum for "frame rust" You will find lots of help on this forum.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/search....archid=7436904
I did buy it from a dealer but before I went I printed out a list of things to look for when purchasing. A rusted bottom was one of them. I specifically made sure there was none. It looks like the two bolts that hold the mount up are missing. And it looks like I could possibly just bolt it back in there. I'll search the forum for frame rust. Thanks.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterDR
Btw, depending how bad it is and if you got it at a dealer, you may want to consider returning it and getting your money back. Some states allow 6 days.

Dealers are required by law to disclose anything about a vehicle that they are aware of or should be aware of prior to selling. So if the frame is rusted and they did not tell you, you might have some leverage, but I stress MIGHT.
Unfortunately It's been way over six days since I've bought it. I'll give the dealership a call and talk to them about it. I have an appointment at another closer dealership to take a look at it. Hopefully it's a simple fix but I'll post more pics tomorrow to see what you guys think.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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Why are you relying on a dealer to diagnose this? Grab a floor jack, push the tcase skid to the frame, and try to thread a couple bolts into the frame mounted nutserts. Taking your rig to a dealership should always be your absolute last resort when all other attempts have failed.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:58 PM   #10
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I agree, shouldn't have to take it to a dealer... just jack it up and try and get some bolts in those holes. But def don't drive it like that! Could cause lots more damage.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:25 PM   #11
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Both of you are right. I usually do work on my own equipment but I guess because it had to do with the transmission I got a little nervous. I did a little crawling around just now though and it looks like its just the bolts (crosses fingers) if I could get someone to hold up the mount, I could just bolt it back in. Just have to find the right bolts. I'm checking Quadratec as we speak.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:03 AM   #12
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Looks like to me just the bolts came loose and fell out.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:54 AM   #13
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Bolts don't normally just come lose and fall out. But then again....
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:05 AM   #14
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A floor jack and a 4x4 or 4x6 is all you need. You may be able to find the bolts at a hardware store. Make sure you apply anti-seize to the new bolts prior to the install.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Make sure you apply anti-seize to the new bolts prior to the install.
Anti-seize or Loctite? If the bolts fell out, wouldn't you want the new ones to stay in?
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:12 AM   #16
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97-02 TJs need 1/2" UNC bolts.
In an emergency, the front bumper bolts will fit.
And you will need a Torx to get the front bumper bolts off (T-55).

EDIT - Yes, definately use anti-sieze.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:20 AM   #17
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Jesus man, preventative maintenance........
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:21 AM   #18
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Are these the two bolts that go into the transfer case skid plate through the rubber mounts or the 6 or 8 that hold the skid plate to the frame?
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:28 AM   #19
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It looks to me like this is the skid plate with the 6 bolts




I'm no rocket scientist but it looks to me as if the bolts fell out some how. Not sure how but try to get some bolts and tighten'er back up with loc-tite. When I put washers inbetween my transfer case, I saw blue loc-tite on the factory bolts Depending on the condition, you may have to loosen (not removie) the 4 small nuts under under the center of the skid plate to allow the skid plate to shift around when trying to tighten the 6 bolts.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:31 AM   #20
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are the nut inserts still in place on the frame rail?
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #21
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I just can't see how they would just fall out unless the PO dropped it and did a terrible job or the frame is shot.

I could see the two bolts backing out on the center of the plate well before I could see the others coming out.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Are these the two bolts that go into the transfer case skid plate through the rubber mounts or the 6 or 8 that hold the skid plate to the frame?
Gravity + the stud indexing with the skid plate slots would keep the transmission firmly in place without the stud nuts. There are 6 bolts that fasten the skid to the frame. He's missing at least three.

OP, the skid doubles as a crossmember. It needs to be properly bolted to the frame. Post more pictures of the frame section and verify the condition of the nutserts in the frame. I can't really tell, but the frame looks fine and it looks like you somehow just lost the bolts.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:59 AM   #23
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If you just bought this, I would look at the service records to see if anything was recently done to the trans. Seems to me someone forgot to install bolts.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesboy
97-02 TJs need 1/2" UNC bolts.
In an emergency, the front bumper bolts will fit.
And you will need a Torx to get the front bumper bolts off (T-55).

EDIT - Yes, definately use anti-sieze.
Thanks for the bolt size. I was going to back one of the bolts from the other side out and match it up with a boot from the store.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbensor
are the nut inserts still in place on the frame rail?
I didn't have a chance to check if the nuts were still in place because we had a crappy storm here last night. I'll check today and take more pictures since its daylight out now and dry.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:57 PM   #26
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Ok so I took a bolt from the side still attached and sized it up at Home Depot. Used a jack to lift the skid plate and t-case and used an impact drill to install the bolts. Job done.

Thanks for everyone's responses. I really appreciate the help and feel like an idiot for overreacting on such a simple problem.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:01 PM   #27
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If you ever need help with your rig let me know. I reside in montgomery county.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:34 PM   #28
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If you ever need help with your rig let me know. I reside in montgomery county.
I def will man, Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:50 AM   #29
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At least rust was not the issue. Always better to feel dumb cuz you got help and learned too rather than the other option.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:59 AM   #30
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Did you use grade 8 bolts? If not when the weather gets better you should consider changing them.

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