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Old 05-01-2012, 10:58 AM   #1
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New Jeep problems..

So I just bought a 1997 Wrangler last week. First off, nobody likes a thread without pictures so here's mine.


IMG_20120501_103213 by reissigree, on Flickr

Up until yesterday, everything was running great. I was going about sixty and as soon as I let off the brake, I felt a rough jerk. Not extreme, but definitely noticeable. I checked the tranny fluid last night (hot, running) and it was a little low so I refilled it. It had been leaking out onto my driveway. Then, the jerk happened again this morning. It's at about sixty MPH and it's when I let off the gas, so if I give it a little more gas it'll do it again when I let off. I have an auto tranny so I'm not able to tell if it happens exactly when I'm downshifting, or when I simply let off the gas.

Anyway, I have no mechanical experience at all, but am more than willing to learn. What should I do?

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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The best advice i can offer you is to do a x-mission service. replace fluid and filter. also check your fluid before you change. is it brown or does it smell burnt. if so, you may have a burnt clutch pack in your tranny. not a big deal. more than likely you just need to service your xmission. if money is not a big deal use royal purple. if on a budget, just use standard tranny fluid for your tj. i also have a 97 but mine is a manual....

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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I will do that.. thanks so much. What do you think is the worst case?
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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Could be quite a few things.
By the way, what the heck happened to the fog lamps?

Before you go ripping into stuff guessing, see if it does it in 2nd gear,
if so that would eliminate the torque convertor clutch. Known problem with Chrysler, they can shudder on engagement and in some cases not disengage or are slow to disengage.

If it does it in 2nd, I'd take a look for a bad u-joint, or something lose in the drive train, like a mount, or even excess play in the t-case or rear end. It's a torque related problem in reading your post.
Soon as you leave off the gas you are taking the torque off the drive line.


Oh and when you check the trans fluid, it has to be in neutral, not park.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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Haha I bought it with the fog lamps like that. Just one of those things I haven't gotten around to fixing. Thank you so much! Well that's a huge relief that it's something that I can work on or learn how to work on instead of the tranny.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reissigree View Post
I was going about sixty and as soon as I let off the brake, I felt a rough jerk. Not extreme, but definitely noticeable.
Not trying to be a smart a$$ but you meant "let off the gas" here too right? I am just trying to help. Does it happen every single time you are driving at a higher speed and you let off the gas or at all speeds? Have you noticed any leaking or spots in your driveway?

Sometimes it is hard to isolate exactly what is doing this. If you can I would thoroughly inspect all your suspension parts and drive shafts as well as check all your fluids. The tranny service is never a bad idea, especially if the PO wasn't a stickler for keeping records of work done.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lys327 View Post
The best advice i can offer you is to do a x-mission service. replace fluid and filter. also check your fluid before you change. is it brown or does it smell burnt. if so, you may have a burnt clutch pack in your tranny. not a big deal. more than likely you just need to service your xmission. if money is not a big deal use royal purple. if on a budget, just use standard tranny fluid for your tj. i also have a 97 but mine is a manual....
If the fluid is burnt (dark brown or black) do not change it. Keep an eye on the fluid level (add fluid if necessary) and start saving for a replacement trans. I can almost guarantee that if you change burnt fluid the trans wont last 1000 miles. Start saving for a trans replacement. Also the trans requires Mopar ATF+4 or equivalent.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:01 PM   #8
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Not trying to be a smart a$$ but you meant "let off the gas" here too right? I am just trying to help. Does it happen every single time you are driving at a higher speed and you let off the gas or at all speeds? Have you noticed any leaking or spots in your driveway?

Sometimes it is hard to isolate exactly what is doing this. If you can I would thoroughly inspect all your suspension parts and drive shafts as well as check all your fluids. The tranny service is never a bad idea, especially if the PO wasn't a stickler for keeping records of work done.
Yes I do mean let off the gas. It happens every now and then when im going exactly 60 and let off the gas. When it happens, if I keep pressibg the gas and letting of, it'll keep happening. Also, there's a bad shake at about 55 MPH which has made my front tires bald. Tomorrow I am replacing tires and getting front end aligned.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:02 PM   #9
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If the fluid is burnt (dark brown or black) do not change it. Keep an eye on the fluid level (add fluid if necessary) and start saving for a replacement trans. I can almost guarantee that if you change burnt fluid the trans wont last 1000 miles. Start saving for a trans replacement. Also the trans requires Mopar ATF+4 or equivalent.
I will check the fluid tonight, thanks.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #10
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Have you noticed any leaking or spots in your driveway?
Yes there are spots in my driveway.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by reissigree View Post
Yes I do mean let off the gas. It happens every now and then when im going exactly 60 and let off the gas. When it happens, if I keep pressibg the gas and letting of, it'll keep happening. Also, there's a bad shake at about 55 MPH which has made my front tires bald. Tomorrow I am replacing tires and getting front end aligned.
It would be interesting to know if it happens in second gear like the previous poster asked. Are you having any issues with shifting or it kicking back down otherwise? I have seen and read about numerous people having loud clunks when letting off the gas at speed and some of the time it was control arm bushings being completely shot and others it was the rear end crapping out. Does it do any clunking in reverse? If so it could be like a rear pinion nut or something. I am betting it isn't the transmission itself...I could be wrong.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:54 PM   #12
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It would be interesting to know if it happens in second gear like the previous poster asked. Are you having any issues with shifting or it kicking back down otherwise? I have seen and read about numerous people having loud clunks when letting off the gas at speed and some of the time it was control arm bushings being completely shot and others it was the rear end crapping out. Does it do any clunking in reverse? If so it could be like a rear pinion nut or something. I am betting it isn't the transmission itself...I could be wrong.
No i really haven't noticed anything in second gear.. now there is something wrong with the front end because it has rubbed my tires raw and it pulls to the right. We know an honest mechanic who is going to check everything out.

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