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Old 01-17-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Newbie here! HELP! Jeep struggles 2.5 4cyl

What's up yall? I bought my first jeep and I'm LOVING it . I drove a few YJ's when I worked at a small lot for a while, and fell in love. I'm a mustang freak at heart (had a 99 cobra..and miss it dearly), but have always wanted a wrangler . Found a 97 TJ 2.5 4 cyl with 125k on body and about 70 on the motor. Also has 4 inch lift and 33" tires and rims. Paid 5,800 for it and thought it was a GREAT deal considering that they go so high around here, even at the dealer auctions. Also has ebay lookign short ram intake with very dirty filter that I will replace with some auto zone cone style filter temporarily till I can get a cold air or stock air box. Also replaced horrid sounding paper filter speakers in sound bar with some nice walmart sony xplodes (what a difference!!) and put in a new headunit. ANYWAY, if anyone CAN HELP me solve these issues, that would be fantastic!
#1. Jeep runs great, however, when gas pedal is fully depressed in gears 2-5 (first will not usually do it), it kind of bogs down. It only accelerates normally if it isn't fully depressed. And it will idle rough sometimes (RPMS wil drop a little than go back to normal repeatedly) as well as hesistate really bad randomly, like having normal power and bogging down really fast. I thought it would be a loose belt, I replaced a new serp. belt (old one was nasty and cracked really bad and made sure everything was tight enough. Gas mileage is HORRIBLE as well, esp. on the interstate when I have to constantly downshift on inclines, and sometime have to drop it in 3rd to get enough power . Could this be signs of a bad catalyic converter???? If so, what's the cheapest aftermarket one I can find? I'd like to gut it, but don't want any codes aka check engine light.
#2. Fan switch only works on high. That's fine for me since I need the heat as it is cold out, but gets aggravating when trying to have comfortable heat/fan output. Is it just a bad switch?
#3. Oil pan bolt will have a drip coming down on it after I wipe it clean, and it takes a LONG time. Long enough to not even have drips on the ground....just kinda of stays there on the bolt. Could the oil pan gasket be going???
I'm not the most mechanically inclined person, but have ideas of what it going on and I am the DIY person when it comes to repairs as such. Anywho, for those who have had any of these issues and have an idea of what they are, that would be awesome! I love my Jeep and plan to keep it forever as my toy, but daily driver for now!
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:29 PM   #2
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As far as the sluggish acceleration, my suggestion would be to regear.

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Old 01-17-2011, 08:33 PM   #3
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Gears are fine. It's just when you "floor" it, it bogs down....which shouldn't do that even with stock gears with lift/wheels. Should keep going. As well as the other syptoms I described, but thanks for the reply .
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:37 PM   #4
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33 inch tires and 4cyl. don't work into good mileage or performance. They were not designed for those tires so you need to redesign and regear. What gears are you running now?
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:43 PM   #5
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a 6 cylinder with stock gearing and 33s is no power house...a 4 cylinder with stock gearing and 33s...
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:47 PM   #6
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Yes I know lol. But it gets me to where I need to go just fine. I just want to figure out why it bogs down and runs funny.......I'm not trying to talk about the power it is making...jsut the issues it is having when running/driving...
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Get rid of the cold air intake and put a stock airbox back on. Clean the throttle body and the idle air control valve. Do one thing at a time and try it out before moving on to the next item. Makes it much easier to determine which item was the cause and if a new problem arises you don't have to figure out which part caused it.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:50 PM   #8
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What RPM range are you running? Try keeping them up if you're not already
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:05 PM   #9
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ok thanks....but would you think it would be a bad cat at all???? I need to call around a salvage yard to get the stock airbox. They will probably charge me up the butt...
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KentuckyWrangler View Post
Gears are fine. It's just when you "floor" it, it bogs down....which shouldn't do that even with stock gears with lift/wheels. Should keep going. As well as the other syptoms I described, but thanks for the reply .
bogs down at WOT..hummm. sounds like a throttle position sensor.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:15 PM   #11
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First & foremost you need to identify your engine problem. Sounds to me like fuel delivery or as you figured plugged exhaust. As others have pointed out - a 4 cyl has no oomph anyway - add 33" tires and you really have a dog. You prolly have 4.10 axle ratio - and once you get that motor singing like it should...you may wish to regear.

Check compression too...that dont cost ya nothin
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:21 PM   #12
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jeeps dont leak they mark there territory
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:28 PM   #13
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jeeps tend to have power at lower rpm's with both the 2.5l and 4.0l. If your are only having problems at WOT I would suggest regearing. How does it do if you run up the rpms before shifting. You should have 4:10 gears that originally ran tires much much smaller
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:46 PM   #14
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I have the same issues with my 97. I have about 180000 miles on mine. I have replaced the crankshaft sensor, plugs, wires, cap and rotor, idle air control valve. I found a stock air box on ebay for $35 shipping included....ditched the cold air intake. I am looking toward the throttle position sensor and new exhaust as well. Are you throwing codes at all?? I am every once in a while getting the lean air mixture on mine. Time for up and downstream O2 sensors. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #15
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Def will! If you do find the issue, PLEASE PM me! I may just go ahead and get the cat replaced and look into the throttle position sensor. This issue has NOTHING to do with the 33's as some people may believe. I love my wheels and don't plan on getting any smaller.....just what I like. It has enough power like I said to get me going...it's just the issues at WOT that annoys me. No codes at all......but who knows...i may have to egt it plugged up...someone could have busted the check engine bulb lol. I'm going to try my best to find a stock box that cheap!!!
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:31 PM   #16
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You can check the codes yourself and turn the key on-off-on-off-on and see if the light blinks. I run 32s with a 2" BB and love it!! I priced a TPS on ebay for about $30, not bad at all. Lemme know if you change the exhaust and you have some good effects. Thanks again. Where in KY are you?
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:33 PM   #17
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Just found a stock air box on ebay for about $45 including shipping. That is to western KY, depending on where you are.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:43 PM   #18
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I would check Craigslist and see if anybody has one on there. You never know what you can find on CL, there are some odd people out there man
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:01 PM   #19
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Sorry I can't be of much help on the drivetrain/leak problems, but your #2 issue is the same problem I have. I'm new to the Jeep thing, too (I just picked up a 2003 TJ) and I'm loving it.

As far as the blower motor switch, here's an article that you might find helpful. It's very well thought out and put together, and it explains the problem as well as the solution. I plan on trying it once the weather warms up around here (I'm in Wisconsin, and if the motor is stuck on High, that's fine by me, for now).

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/writ...fix-52716.html

Take care, good luck, and Happy Trails.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:45 PM   #20
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Just saw the thread.... i also have the 2.5L, but have re-geared to 4:88. I had the exact same prob. Has nothing to do with the gears, tires etc...(although it runs waaaaay better with the gears.) Mine would sputter and kind of "jerk bad" over 3/4 throttle. I cleaned the mass airflow sensor with q-tips and rubbing alcohol...., and put sea-foam and injector cleaner in the tank. You may have condensation in the fuel also. I did this aver 4-5 fill ups....changed the air filter, and haven't had the problem in over a year now.

Oil Pan? as long as it's just a slow leak like u said, keep an eye on it. follow the oil, see where it begins....best bet, pressure wash, then observe. but it's looking great!
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:59 PM   #21
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Hey Big kid...I'm in LExington. I hail from Hopkinsville (unfortunately) so pretty close to paducah. lol. and thanks for those who gave the compliments! Feels good. I know many of you are not the type to put a lift and 32"+ tires on a 4 cylinder, but I love the look and it really isn't that much of a loss of power to me. It'll go through anything.........but when the next paycheck comes aorund, I'll go ahead and seafoam everything. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had the same problem! It really isn't a huge ordeal, just aggravating really. But thanks guys ...and ill try my best to get a stock airbox, idk why the last owner wanted to put some cheap intake on it.....i've always hated after market air intake systems...guess it depends on the vehicle though.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:01 AM   #22
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Hey KY Wrangler, just an update.....long time coming. I replaced both oxygen sensors, runs like a top now. My check engine light is off. Replaced cold air intake with stock air box too. My jeep is almost done, lift done, 32" tires done, just exhaust leak to go now. Hope you had fun in the snow!!!
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:34 AM   #23
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Hey Big kid...I'm in LExington. I hail from Hopkinsville (unfortunately) so pretty close to paducah. lol. and thanks for those who gave the compliments! Feels good. I know many of you are not the type to put a lift and 32"+ tires on a 4 cylinder, but I love the look and it really isn't that much of a loss of power to me. It'll go through anything.........but when the next paycheck comes aorund, I'll go ahead and seafoam everything. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had the same problem! It really isn't a huge ordeal, just aggravating really. But thanks guys ...and ill try my best to get a stock airbox, idk why the last owner wanted to put some cheap intake on it.....i've always hated after market air intake systems...guess it depends on the vehicle though.
I've been known to wheel up at LBL near Cadiz and Paducah. A good friend of mine is from Hopkinsville.

And my TJ is a 4cyl with 33's and 4.88 too. Runs fine at WOT (well as well as can be expected with the 2.5 ).
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:54 PM   #24
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Also replaced horrid sounding paper filter speakers in sound bar with some nice walmart sony xplodes (what a difference!!)

dude i did the exact same thing!!! it is amazing haha... im putting the same speakers in the front as well soon with the help of a special bracket to allow the 5 1/2 to be places in there instead of kickers
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:14 PM   #25
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I use to have a toyota truck that would do the same thing, bogging down with a lot of throddle. I changed all kinds of stuff it got expensive. In the end what fixed it was a $6 fuel filter. When you gas it, that filter has to pass a lot of gas, if it is clogged it can't keep up with demand.
Unfortunately, the jeep really has no replaceable fuel filter. It is a piece on the fuel pump. Maybe there is a way to clean it, but you have to drop the tank i think.

Myself i would start there.

As for your fan speed, it think it is the fan speed resistor. Common problem.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:17 PM   #26
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haah thanks for the reply a month LATER guys! lol..jk....sold the jeep ....got an 07 f150 4.2 v6 5speed...just couldn't bare to drive it 2 1/2 hours a day for work on the interstate anymore....miss it very much...don't know if ill get another jeep or mustang cobra again...im in love deeply with both.......:/. Thanks for the responses and help here...you guys are awesome!

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