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Old 05-25-2011, 10:34 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Summer of Love (for my TJ)

Hey Jeepers!

I've got a '99 Wrangler, which I've had for about 6 years now. I really haven't given it much love up to now, but now it's gone past the 100,000 mile marker, and it's high time I started giving back.

I've already replaced the wiper motor and made an aborted attempt at replacing the power steering gear that was leaking very badly. Turns out you need a lot more force than I was equipped to apply to remove the pitman arm from the steering spline.

In addition, I have a long laundry list of things that I need to do this summer:

New tires
Wheel alignment
shocks & struts
new serpentine belt
clean up the rust spots
100,000 mile service *

The question is what is involved in that last one? I know I'll want to replace the plugs and wires, and probably the distributor cap. The air filter was replaced this weekend, and oil was changed a few weeks ago.

Is the distributor itself something I need to change? I know I've done this before (once, like 25 years ago) and it's less complicated than you'd think, but if it doesn't need to be done, best leave it alone. The ignition coil seems OK, so I don't think I need to replace that.

What about the timing belt? I'm not sure if it was ever replaced before I got the vehicle, so I'm thinking this has to be done as well. Is this something I'm better off having a garage do?

I also need to get the drive train serviced, but I don't know what's involved with that. Any suggestions there? Right now, it's not bad. I get a little grinding when going into reverse, and the 4WD indicator doesn't come on anymore (since I had my *former* shop service it), but that's about it. I'd like to get the differentials serviced correctly too, and that's something I'm completely unfamiliar with. I don't know if I need to replace hardware, or just flush and refill fluids and filters, or just go pay a real mechanic.

Ideally, I'll get the shocks and struts in and have the tires and alignment done all in one shot, then complete all or most of what I can do myself before handing it over for the shop to finish what I can't do.

Please feel free to give suggestions, tell me what I should or should not attempt myself, post links to the list of operations, etc.. I really rather avoid another round of the shame associated with having to get towed to the shop to let someone else finish what I started ...

Just in case it influences the advice posted, I have a reasonably complete set of shade-tree mechanics tools (standard and metric), and a 1/2 drive electric impact wrench (220 lb). I'm hoping to add the 1/2 inch drive ratchet, a more complete set of 1/2 drive sockets and possibly a BFH this Summer. I have done brake jobs (calipers, pads, shoes, drums, rotors), replaced starters, alternators, distributors/caps/wires/plugs, oil changes, shocks/struts, wheel bearings, and even coil springs (though I'm not terribly eager to repeat that one). I can tell the difference between a crescent and a ratchet. I've been under cars with my father, uncles, grandfather, etc. since I was 3. When I was 10 or 11, I got to play transmission jack when my father agreed to install a rebuilt tranny in a 72 Olds station wagon (no, I do NOT want to do that again). All that said, I'm a software guy in his 40's, so just a bit puddin' these days and not up for anything involving a whole weekend of heavy lifting.


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Old 05-25-2011, 11:36 AM   #2

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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: How does that saying go... I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as soon as I could! :)
Posts: 150
Serpentine belt is the easiest of any vehicle I've done... At least on my 2001- idk about your 99. As for the rest, for folks like us the shocks/struts/alignment would most likely be a weekend thing. Took be two days to install my lift kit and align the tires (Although I also did the body lift and motor mount lift- that ate up lots of time). If thats not what you're into then safe some hassle and just let the shop do it all...

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Old 05-25-2011, 11:55 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Lakeland FL and Hooversville PA
Posts: 2,200
Make yourself a laundry list, it's a jeep so there's always a list.

Take an item, research the repairs and products recommended.
Do it, check it off the list.

Keep going till you got em all.

Never happen though, it is a jeep, fix one and two more show up.

It's a Jeep thing.
97 Sahara, 74 Renegade, 72 CJ5, 55 Willy's (the Beast) Boss 302, 6:34 gearing, Bose 901 speakers.
God I miss that Jeep. Forgot the kinda Jeep, 80 SX4.
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