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Old 01-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #1
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Multiple issues with my Jeep - any ideas on where to start?

Hey forum, I am a fairly new member, and this is my first jeep. I bought it in August 2012 knowing that it has some issues. Since I bought it I have put in a new blower fan, U-joints were bad so I rebuilt the front and rear drive axles, and I installed a thermostat, as their was not one at all and it took forever to get the engine up to temp. I don't know what the previous owner did with the jeep, but I want to get it in really good shape. I need a little help though as to where to start.

Here are the current issues that I am aware of:

1. When starting out at a dead stop in first gear, when you let the clutch out she shakes like crazy. Feels like it is coming from the transmission. The actual stick shift shakes as well. After you start rolling it completely stops. Does not occur in any other gear.

2. I have not played in the mud yet... However I tried out the 4x4. 2 wheel drive works no problem. 4H seems to work just fine as well, but when you put it in 4L, as soon as the clutch is released it pops out of gear. I was on a concrete surface.. Could that be the cause or is something more severe wrong?

3. In 5th gear, around 55-60 MPH it has no power. Slight hills will cause it to loose speed, even with the throttle pushed all the way to the floor. Only way to get up a small hill on the highway is to downshift and creep up it. Pisses all the other fancy car drivers off.. That's kinda fun though, so not sure if I want to fix this issue.

4. has goofy wiring issues. Turn the lights on, dashboard lights cut out sometimes. Just jiggle the light switch and everything comes back on. No one believes me, but the other day I had the left turn signal on, and when I pushed on the brake peddle to slow for my turn, the turn signal went solid. It stopped flashing, and just stayed solid.

Any advice from those with more jeep experience would be much appreciated!

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:09 PM   #2
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on the first issue i would start by checking the tranny mount. then drain the fluid and see what you get.
on the second matter again i would drain and check fluid. (just sounds like the trashed the thing), but it could very well be the concrete is popping it out.
third issue sounds like a fuel issue. i know that my 97 tj in fifth gear on hills i have to sometimes downshift.
the final issue, check your grounds and ensure they are all clean and tight.
thats where i would start. always remember the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid.
not implying you are stupid, its just the saying of the phrase. (start small and cheap and work your way up)

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
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Not sure but #1 kind of sounds like a drive shaft issue... Mine has a slight vibrate also an that's what I've been told. #3 it may just need a tune up. Spark plugs, wires, oil etc..
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #4
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1. my guess is clutch chatter. Probably needs a clutch. Flywheel could be glazed or grooved, but you wont know till you get in there. Cant really re-surface a Jeep flywheel due to the convex design.
2. Mine does this and I know its just my shifter linkage being jacked up. I just ordered a Novak cable shifter to fix it once and be done with it.
3. What tires and gears do you have? What engine is in it, 6cyl? at 60mph in 5th gear what RPM are you turning? I have 31's on the crap 3.07's. I never put it in 5th. I drive down the highway in 4th at just over 2k RPMS. Plenty of power and my mileage increased dramatically from when I was trying to lug it around in 5th.
4. im not a wiring guy. I can wire basic stuff, but anything more complex is not my game.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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Sounds good!! Rain and cold is preventing me from tinkering with it today. Bad thing about buying a used one is buying someone else's problems. But fixing it is half the fun right. I sure like cheaper. ha ha! Hopefully a good fluid change and TLC will get it in better shape.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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1. my guess is clutch chatter. Probably needs a clutch. Flywheel could be glazed or grooved, but you wont know till you get in there. Cant really re-surface a Jeep flywheel due to the convex design.
2. Mine does this and I know its just my shifter linkage being jacked up. I just ordered a Novak cable shifter to fix it once and be done with it.
3. What tires and gears do you have? What engine is in it, 6cyl? at 60mph in 5th gear what RPM are you turning? I have 31's on the crap 3.07's. I never put it in 5th. I drive down the highway in 4th at just over 2k RPMS. Plenty of power and my mileage increased dramatically from when I was trying to lug it around in 5th.
4. im not a wiring guy. I can wire basic stuff, but anything more complex is not my game.
Tires are 33 x 12.50's. Does not have a suspension lift. I believe it has a 3 to 3.5" body lift. Came on it so I am not positive. Engine is 4 cylinder, 2.5 liter. in 5th gear, it runs at about 2,800 RPM. I am not sure what gears are in it. Im not a wiring guy either! ha ha..
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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If it is in fact that big of a body lift there is the reason for not having 4 lo.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:02 PM   #8
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#1 is clutch chatter from a damaged clutch surface, something wrong with the springs in the clutch disc, or flywheel surface issues. I listed in order of most common
#2 has to do with your body lift. Your linkage is at the point that it is on the edge of neutral and 4lo, and the addition of torque pops it out. Get a cable.
#3 is a combo of that weak 4 banger, decreased power due to age, larger tires, and most likely numerically low stock gears. Hike up those gears and tune up that poor motor. Spark and fuel are usually main culprits.
#4 might be that switch, but certainly check grounds and see if a little mousey hasn't made a nest somewhere. Electrical gremlins need a more eyes-on approach for me to diagnose. Good luck
Have fun with your jeep man.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #9
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For number two, remove that ridiculously enormous BL. Get urself a decent suspension kit (what i have and suggest due to pretty decent quality and price is the 4.25" zone combo lift - 3" suspension, 1.25" BL and comes with the MML too. You will need an adjustable track bar and a steering stabilizer is suggested.) And then loosen the nut on your cable linkage and slide that puppy down until the 4L engages and stays in. Really tho, get rid of that BL. You may find some other issues after you take it off because of what the PO had to do to make that large of a BL work but in the end you will be happy(er)!
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:19 PM   #10
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Oh yea, #3 ... Get used to it until you regear and put a larger engine in ;-)

I have the I6 4.0L with 33's and 3.73 gears and I have to put it in 4th to maintain high speeds on the expressway.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuclearmuscle523 View Post
#1 is clutch chatter from a damaged clutch surface, something wrong with the springs in the clutch disc, or flywheel surface issues. I listed in order of most common
#2 has to do with your body lift. Your linkage is at the point that it is on the edge of neutral and 4lo, and the addition of torque pops it out. Get a cable.
#3 is a combo of that weak 4 banger, decreased power due to age, larger tires, and most likely numerically low stock gears. Hike up those gears and tune up that poor motor. Spark and fuel are usually main culprits.
#4 might be that switch, but certainly check grounds and see if a little mousey hasn't made a nest somewhere. Electrical gremlins need a more eyes-on approach for me to diagnose. Good luck
Have fun with your jeep man.
Don't be making fun of my 4 banger!!! She might be weak but she is strong at heart!!! lol. Electrical is my last priority. Mostly worried about the clutch causing more severe damage, and that dang body lift being a nuisance.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:21 AM   #12
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Here are some photos to give you an idea of what I am dealing with. I am new to lift kits so I am not 100% positive of what I have on this jeep...

What I assume to be the body lift:
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:23 AM   #13
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The front suspension

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:24 AM   #14
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:25 AM   #15
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This is the back end.


Here is the whole thing.

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redwrangler118 View Post
What I assume to be the body lift:
Yes, that appears to be a 3" body lift. Get that thing outta there! I would suggest removing it and installing a 1" body lift in its place. There is nothing wrong with running a small (1") body lift; many of us here do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redwrangler118 View Post
The front suspension

Okay, that looks like a 2" budget boost. While not as flexible as a 'regular' 2" lift that uses taller coils, there is nothing inherently wrong with this setup. I have run a 2" BB and 31" tires on three different TJs, and this setup works great on the street and fine on moderately difficult trails.

A 2" BB + 1" body lift will allow you to continue running those 33" tires without interference.

Oh, and maybe it's a trick of the light but it looks like your left front tire is starting to feather slightly. I'd check out the Jeep's alignment in the very near future if I were you.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:08 AM   #17
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Hey man I wish I could view the pictures. I just got a 97 tj a few days ago and it literally sounds exactly the same red and everything. In experiencing numbers 2 3 and 4 that you mentioned. Any lil with anything?
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:31 AM   #18
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#1 throw out bearing is going out
#3 to high of a gear 3.07 or 3.55
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherpa View Post
Yes, that appears to be a 3" body lift. Get that thing outta there! I would suggest removing it and installing a 1" body lift in its place. There is nothing wrong with running a small (1") body lift; many of us here do so.



Okay, that looks like a 2" budget boost. While not as flexible as a 'regular' 2" lift that uses taller coils, there is nothing inherently wrong with this setup. I have run a 2" BB and 31" tires on three different TJs, and this setup works great on the street and fine on moderately difficult trails.

A 2" BB + 1" body lift will allow you to continue running those 33" tires without interference.

Oh, and maybe it's a trick of the light but it looks like your left front tire is starting to feather slightly. I'd check out the Jeep's alignment in the very near future if I were you.
Thanks for the tip on the tread wear!! I hadn't even noticed that!!! you just saved me some money..
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by mahyowie View Post
Hey man I wish I could view the pictures. I just got a 97 tj a few days ago and it literally sounds exactly the same red and everything. In experiencing numbers 2 3 and 4 that you mentioned. Any lil with anything?
Pics back up!! sorry about that.. Well as far as getting stuff fixed goes the tips from the other members on here are the only leads I have gotten so far. Been working a lot and haven't had any play time.. :/ I do know the issue with losing speed in 5th is because of the gearing, like was posted on this forum.. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about this lift that's on it so I can determine the best route to take..

I think I'm going to get the alignment fixed, and then focus on getting the clutch and tranny straight before I do anything else..
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:01 PM   #21
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#1 throw out bearing is going out
#3 to high of a gear 3.07 or 3.55
Makes since... Guess if the throw out bearing needs replacing I might as well do a full clutch job..
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:15 PM   #22
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Yea body lift too high. I think if you can see daylight straight across its too high of a body lift. It will prob ride lil better with smaller one.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:56 PM   #23
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Well Jeep is in the shop now getting an alignment. Mechanic is gonna take a look at it and tell me what my options are for getting it where I want it referring to suspension and transmission... We shall see where it goes from here.. Gotta love living on a tight budget..
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:18 PM   #24
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For the #1 issue, mine has been doing the same thing for years now. I have determined that its the transmission mount considering there is only 3 bolts holding it in place because one is snapped off. I don't believe mine is clutch problem because its been doing it for 50k + miles now. Check tranny mounts and motor mounts while your at it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:37 PM   #25
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For the #1 issue, mine has been doing the same thing for years now. I have determined that its the transmission mount considering there is only 3 bolts holding it in place because one is snapped off. I don't believe mine is clutch problem because its been doing it for 50k + miles now. Check tranny mounts and motor mounts while your at it.
I have talked to a couple of different people outside of the forum and they had the same problems with the stick shift shaking, and for them a new mount solved it. So with the posts on here as well, I am almost sold on replacing the mount and seeing what happens.
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #26
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Just an update.

Had issues with the Airbag light going on and off on the dash board. Also, started the jeep up one morning and all the gauges did not move at all, including the fuel gauge. Only happened a couple of times but the airbag light continued to cycle on and off...

Solution: I removed the cluster panel, cleaned the connections, and re-installed with some dielectric grease. All electronic problems have been solved.

I replaced the rear Wheel Axle seals, which also means some new differential fluid since I had to take the cover off any who.

and also replaced the blinker switch, all four leaking shocks, done a break job and a tune up, and let me tell you what that Jeep feels brand new, and has a new VA Inspection .

I have talked to several other Jeep enthusiasts, and a couple of mechanics and I have decided to keep the body lift since it does not have any real effect on the suspension. Just the center of gravity. I do not do any serious off-roading so it works just fine for me.
going to put some nice looking running boards on it to cover up the spacers.

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