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Old 03-07-2010, 09:50 PM   #1
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Just bought my 1st TJ, now what?

Before I get with the questions I would like to thank everyone for all of the great information on this site. I purchased a 2001 Sahara 2 weeks ago and it has come a long way thanks to all of you.


How should I prioritize my "needed" repairs? I am working with a "semi" tight budget right now so I can't really do all of this at once. I have been a mechanic for about 14yrs so I feel as if I know my way around a car/truck but I have limited mechanical experience with the TJ but quite a bit of general Jeep drivetrain repairs.

"Needed" repairs:

-Rear end is "whining" 60-70mph on decel and light load
(D44 w/3.73 open diff)
-Axle seals are mildly seeping
-Fuel Gauge is either on or off, seems to occur more around 3/4 tank
-Trans grinds *sometimes* 1st-2nd and when going to 1st rolling
-light leak on the t-case, looks like it could be the speedo drive or OP
-Crap factory speakers
-Signs of stich loss on the soft-top at the back lower corners
-Weak shocks
-Tempermental volume knob
-A/C low on freon

Should I be worried about the rear end or will it last? Who makes good shocks w/ no lift? Are there any common leaks in the TJ A/C system?
Is there any way to repair the top??

Stuff I've done already
-Changed rear diff lube
-Changed t-case fluid
-Repaired broken seat release strap
-Buffed plastic windows
-t-stat
-Adjusted rear brakes
-Replaced blown sub with elemental designs e3.6
-Replaced spark plugs
-cleaned wiring harness near the fuel tank
-I think thats it...

What should I worry about fixing first? I plan on keeping this thing for a long time.... Your opinions would help me alot, fire away!

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Old 03-07-2010, 10:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Handyandy View Post
-Signs of stich loss on the soft-top at the back lower corners
Well, obviously, the very first thing you should do is buy a brand new Bestop Brand soft top. All that mechanical stuff can wait.

No? Is that bad advice? OK, try this: get a tube of something called "Bond-X" - it's like super glue for fabric (try fabric stores), and coat the missing stitches. It may get you some more mileage out of the top. That's a cheap fix, and if you do it now, it might stop the top from ripping.

Then, use that saved money to buy some of our Element Doors or High Access bumpers.

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Old 03-07-2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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None of those things are things that will keep you from running for the next year or so. That is if your shocks are weak and not blown. If they are blown then put your money there first as it is a safety concern then I would look at the one that bothers you the most and tackle that one next. All of these things can be done through time and not right this second if you do not want to.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:22 PM   #4
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Just reading this, and my bestop softop's passenger window is coming off of the fabric, what kind of store would i go to that will forsure have it, i don't want to make a million trips into this and that stores
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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Change the tranny fluid. It may help the grinding. I think you have the AX15. They can be picky about their fluid. Redline MTL or MT 90 is highly recommended by many here.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
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Nv3550
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:46 PM   #7
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Nv3550
Thanks. I guess my '99 was the last year for the AX15. I would highly recommend the factory service manual if you don't already have one. Ebay has a lot of them for most years. I like the printed one rather than the cd.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:12 PM   #8
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FSM is in the works. I really expected more feed-back than this... O'well, we reep what we sew right?
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:47 PM   #9
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agree handy andy was hoping for more feed back own a 2000 jeep sport sounds about like the same issues i'm having but i don't have your mechanical experience either good luck though

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