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Old 09-15-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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I purchased a black 2000 TJ Sport, loaded with most the options including hard top and 5 speed manual tranny, from my brother. Only has 55k miles on the odo as it has set for the past several years due to an expansion plug rusted out in the back of the head. I pulled the engine last night after wrestling with the top two bolts on the tranny that turned out to be Torx. Argh! Thank you Chrysler for throwing a curve in the process. Anyway, I ended up removing the skid plate, both drive shafts and dropping the transmission to discover this fact.

I will be replacing all 5 expansion (freeze) plugs, water pump and thermostat. While I am at it I will install a new clutch plate even though the old one is not that bad - don't want to have to drop the tranny again for awhile. I will also be removing the nasty rust from the skid plate and the frame where it attached, clean up both drive shafts, and drop both differentials and have them sand blasted and repainted. The frame as a whole is in pretty clean shape.

The black hard top needs to be re-dressed and the floor board has some minor rust from the vent not draining properly. The windshield needs replaced as some kid shot it with a BB gun. American Racing alloys, sporting brand new 31/10.5R15LTtires, are extremely weathered so I'm not sure what I am going to do with them yet. The only repair that I can't do myself is repairing a dent in the driver side quarter panel that was the result of my brother wrapping the Jeep around a pole one winter day.

I have already gleaned much helpful information from this website. Many thanks and perhaps I will see you down the road!

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Old 09-16-2011, 07:41 AM   #2
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The fun continues. While removing all five expansion plugs from the block and one from the head I noticed a black gunk inside of each opening. Upon closer examination I realized that it was casting sand and there was lots of it. Apparently after the block was cast someone failed to thoroughly remove all the sand. That would explain for the expansion plugs failing as there would be a high iron content in the sand thus causing the anti-freeze to not perform its job. I asked my brother, the previous owner, if the engine ever overheated and he said no but was shocked to learn of my discovery. He said he took the Jeep to the dealer when it started leaking, still under warranty, and they wanted $1,200 to effect the repairs because they said he should have changed the anti-freeze every 12 months or 12,000 miles. So he just parked it in hopes of fixing it himself. BTW - the water pump was toast as well, which is not surprising considering it uses a plastic impeller! I took the block out onto our driveway and tilted it forward while flushing it with water for quite awhile until I could no longer feel or see any sand in the water jacket.

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Old 09-16-2011, 07:45 AM   #3
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While you have the transmission out would be a good time to put in a new front seal. Much easier now than later.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:22 AM   #4
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Nice catch and more "wonderful" QC at Chrysler I'm afraid.

You are doing it right and when done (which is never on a Jeep) you are going to have a nice ride.

Yeah ditch the tires. I know on ours, it had practically new looking Goodyears on it.
It road like doo doo, and looking at the build date on the tires, came to find they were 6 years old, and were dry rotted between the treads. New KM2's and it's like night and day in how it rides.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s14sh3r View Post
While you have the transmission out would be a good time to put in a new front seal. Much easier now than later.
Agreed.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelby427 View Post

You are doing it right and when done (which is never on a Jeep) you are going to have a nice ride.
I am beginning to think this is true. Unfortunately I am cursed with enjoying keeping my stable of cars running. Still not sure what I am going to do with this when it is complete. Let my college son or daughter drive it or sell it?
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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Making slow progress since I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist Tuesday. Even still I was in the garage installing the fuel injectors and clutch plate on the engine. I also brushed on some rust encapsulator on the frame, transmission guard and floor pan then cleaned up the carpet and floor mats, removed the rusty taillight guards and ordered new ones. Hoping to drop the engine back in next week as the weather outlook is promissing.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:00 AM   #9
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I took some photos and they will be forthcoming. In the meantime I restored the black roof to its former glory with Meguires 3-step fiberglass restoration kit. I also brushed on Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator on the skid plate and bottom of the frame. I replaced the tailight guards with brand new ones. The engine is back in as of Saturday and last night I hooked the manual transmission back up. Hoping to get it running in the next couple of days. The fuel in the tank is pretty old so I bought a bottle of octane booster hoping that will help.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:32 PM   #10
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I discovered while installing the tranny that you can use ratchet straps on the front and back of the tranny to hold it in place while you lower the back of the engine with a hydraulic jack to line things up. I also had a floor jack on the rear and a scissor jack on the front of the transmission to help with the process.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:45 AM   #11
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I re-connected the drive shafts, exhaust pipes, miscellaneous wiring and rock plate. Then I re-installed the radiator along with new hoses, added anti freeeze, and after having the battery on the charger for an hour I proceeded to fire the beast up. I turned the key on for a few seconds to let the fuel flow into the line then turned the motor over and after several cranks it started up. It took awhile to start which did not surprise me considering the gas is several years old. I had previously added half a bottle of octane booster to try and help the situation until I put fresh gas in. After it ran on the driveway for awhile I took it for a spin. I hesitated on acceleration but, once again, no surprise. During my drive I noticed that the turn signals, radio and wipers did not work. After reviewing posts on this bulletin board (affectionately now known to me as The Bible) I see that my ignition switch needs replacing. I also got a check engine light for the throttle position sensor. I am going to wait on replacing that for now. Next job is to clean up the wheels and fender flares, figure out why the blower is not working and replace the windshield. Now that she is moving I am not in as big a hurry as I can bring it into the garage to work on her.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:56 PM   #12
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Replaced igntion switch which fixed the problem with the turn signals, wiper and radio. Also replaced the blower switch afer removing the fan, resistor, relay and fuse. Everything is working like new. I hooked up my OBD II tester and erased the code for throttle position sensor. Several miles later it has not come back on. I need to drive the old gas out of the tank then fill with fresh fuel to get it running 100%. I am so far pleased with the results and will be working on polishing up the wheels with Mother's and Back to Black on the fender flares.

Thanks again for this fabulous board as even with a repair manual there have been lots of questions answered right here!
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:31 PM   #13
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Wow you have been busy. Isn't it great to know how to do all that. How old is the gas? How much gas is in the tank? Mixing in some new gas with the old may help the engine run a little bit better until you can get all the old gas out. There is a screen on the fuel pump, but you do not want to run it that low in case it is able to pull some garbage into the line. Now take a hammer to the front bumper jugs.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:02 AM   #14
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Yes, I have been busy. I was hoping to run the tank a little lower so that I could remove the guard and get rid of the rust.

BTW - my icon photo was taken while I was working on the engine. If you look closely you will see a floor jack under the Jeep. Since then the milk jugs have found their way into the garbage.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:43 PM   #15
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Rangermutt,
Forget the Back to Black unless you like reapplying it often. I had seen several threads about using rattle-can Krylon Fusion (or pretty much any paint that is suitable for plastics) on this and other forums that described a more durable way to refresh the fender flares. I only needed one rattle-can to restore my flares to a nice black.

BTW, if you have a little rust on the door handles and bumpers, I found that Rustoleum rattle-can bedliner does a handy job of touching them up.

YMMV, and invariably will...
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:24 AM   #16
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One new radiator and control link later and I feel like I am finally into the home stretch. This weekend I also spent time brushing and grinding off the rust on the gas tank shield, differentials and various other parts and applying a rust encapsulator. A fill-up of fresh gas and the 4.0 liter is running much better. This week I will be finishing up polishing the wheels and looking for a place to replace the windshield and I think the project will be mostly wrapped up.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #17
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Wheels polished, mirror and rear door hinge painted flat black, windshield replaced. This girl is almost ready to hit the streets after I get her licensed. Pics to follow after I clean her up good and proper.

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