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Old 07-10-2010, 03:53 PM   #1
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New '06 Wrangler Unlimited owner with questions

Greetings all.

First off, gotta love these owners forums. HUGE knowledge base of people with real world experience.

About me; I am an ASE Mechanic, primarily Diesel Engine specialist. Currently I am working as a field service technician for a concrete paving company. Starting to forget some of what I've learned in general automotive and gas burners since I rarely work on them anymore.

The CFO (wife) and I just picked up a 2006 Wrangler Unlimited, 33k miles, Hard Top, Manual, 4.0 I6 engine (I thought Jeep switched to a V6 in '06). It has after market control arms and springs (SkyJacker), Shocks (explorer?), OEM/Stock steering stabilizer, ProComp AT 32 x 11.5 x 15 tires and what appear to be after market wheels (simulated bead locker, alloy). I do no know if it is lifted or how to check. Never got into that whole lifting & big tire thing. I tweak engine performance.

We have a few issues already.

1. Death wobble at highway speeds, unable to duplicate on demand. I've read the DW sticky, and will be going over the front end components and upgrading that OEM stabilizer this weekend.

2. Front right tire bald - .002" (looks like typical over inflation wear), other 3 at 50% or better all showing typical aggressive tire tread cupping from lack of rotation, spare is new. Any known issues other than inflation that would cause this (isolated bald tire)?

3. The engine to me runs hot. 210*. Radiator is cooling OK. 210 in, 150 out. Fan clutch may be worn, will be checking that as well. It does not look restricted. Extended Life Coolant.

4. Manual transmission may or may not be getting hot. The rubber boot around the stick gets way hot (115*). IR temp gun shows the transmission at 160* after 15 miles of highway driving. Is this normal?

5. Rear main seal leaking. I've read that it could be due to the seal not playing well with a different brand of oil. Not leaving puddles yet, just a wet streak down the transmission cover and inside. This is going to be a wait and see if it cures it self or gets worse. I can do the job, just need the instructions and torque specs. Factory manual on order.

Beyond that, is there anything that I need to watch for, tweak myself to prevent problems or any other known problems that may arise?

Performance and mileage - any tips or tricks beyond less aggressive tires to increase mileage?

I also ultimately want to get at least another 50hp out of the engine. Living in Colorado, it would be nice to be able to do the speed limit going over the mountain passes, and have the power to get back up to speed when you get caught behind a slow mover. Any suggestions there short of a turbo?

Thank you in advance for your answers and help. If you have Diesel issues, PM me and we'll see if I can help you out in return.

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:08 PM   #2
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First off Hi and Welcome to the forum. Now to answer a few of your questions.

1 & 2. Dw could be caused by the tire problem mentioned in question #2. Start with the cheapest solution first. I would tell you to have your tires balanced and an alignment first but with your tire situation, I would first replace at least 2 of your tires. New rubber cured my DW.

3. 210 is not out of the normal range for your engine temp. That is pretty much where mine sits.

4. You are always going to feel excessive heat in the floors and around the shifter. It is the hot nature of the beast.

5. The rear dif has been leaking like that on mine since the day I got it. I will get it fixed eventually, but it has been that way for 53,000 miles.

The only other problems that I have had are leaking rear axle seals and an exhaust leak at the manifold.

Hope some of this helps

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:24 PM   #3
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Ok the V6 came out in 2007 JK's. As stated above replace front tires and get balanced really good and check the bolts to the track bar. 210 is normal being the I6 comes with a 195 thermostat.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Front end is all tight. Definitely going to get some tires first. The only loose item I found was the rear sway bar linkage.

We went out and looked for some tires yesterday afternoon. I need to make a few calls to some other places. Having a hard time finding a tire that has a stiffer sidewall (load rage D or E) in a 15" wheel. Probably going to replace all 5 with a decent highway tire for the rest of the seasons (until October) then switch back to the A/T for the snow.

I also checked the Transmission oil. Not sure what is in there but it is not gear oil. Looks and feels like 10 or 15 weight, like engine oil. No gear oil smell (no odor at all actually) and extremely thin in viscosity. Whatever it is, it's not any gear oil that I have ever dealt with. IIRC Daimler Chrysler went to Synthetics in their drive train in 03 or 04, but this still seems a bit on the thin side. Is there an after market manual transmission cooler out there?

The only other bug that we found was the vent door for the heater core is not closing all the way. With the temp dial set to full cold, the air was still a bit warm. Definitely hotter than ambient.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:04 AM   #5
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D or E range tires will kill your ride. I don't think you'll ever load your Jeep heavy enough to need more than a C load tire. My 06 LJ had a hit and miss DW. As soon as I rotated the tires and aligned the Jeep it was gone, so I think you are on the right track by looking at the tires.
Your heat issue could be some of the heat from the exhaust radiating up into the shift boot area. I have an auto tranny I noticed the heat difference around the trans. tunnel after removing the carpet in mine and bed lined mine.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:16 AM   #6
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Tires are a must within the next week. Going for a full set of 5 highway or all season tires. I'll worry about replacing the two front A/Ts in a few months. Cruising the For Sale section for a set of 5 stock wheels as well. Getting a tire shop to do a swap is a 5 hour ordeal at any of the local tire shops.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
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