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Old 05-25-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
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The dreaded bad year!

Ok, I keep hearing that there was a bad year that Jeeps were made? I just look at the person like WHAT??? But I knew where to ask! SO is this true? and What year and why if this is so true?

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Old 05-25-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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How do they know. Do they own one. If not then all they are are rumors. My 04 has been trouble free since new. If they say minor crap makes them bad then why do Mercedes dealers have mechanics.

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Old 05-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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1976-1995
Why?????
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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Mercedes are junk anyway. Besides there are soooooo many RUMOURS about which cars are good/bad, but the only peple that truly know what they're talking about either have a lot of experience in the auto world or are mechanics.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:11 PM   #6
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Every year has its own gremlins. I just saw a recall for I think the 2012 JKU. It by no means labels the jeep as bad. Anything mechanical is prone to failure no matter what anybody tells you.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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Why?????
I'm an "early" Jeep guy at heart. Spent 15 years building and wheeling Kaiser era CJ5's. I'm just not fond of the AMC era CJ's (AMC bought Jeep from Kaiser in late '70, extended the wheel base to fit their inline 6's in '72, and in 1976 they changed the CJ almost entirely) . Not a huge fan of YJ's, either; mostly the square headlights. I'm slowly warming up to TJ's, but they'll never be "real" Jeeps to me.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:34 PM   #8
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'96 was not a great year.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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'96 was not a great year.
You mean since there were no '96 model year Wranglers?
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:28 AM   #10
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Watch out for the '07 TJs. I hear none of them worked right.
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:33 AM   #11
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I can't recall exactly what they are right now, but the first year of the TJs (1997) had some quirks. There really is no "bad" year for TJs, but the last two years of the TJ (2005 and 2006) have a poorly designed oil pump drive assembly that is prone to failure due to lack of lubrication.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:32 AM   #12
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick H

I'm an "early" Jeep guy at heart. Spent 15 years building and wheeling Kaiser era CJ5's. I'm just not fond of the AMC era CJ's (AMC bought Jeep from Kaiser in late '70, extended the wheel base to fit their inline 6's in '72, and in 1976 they changed the CJ almost entirely) . Not a huge fan of YJ's, either; mostly the square headlights. I'm slowly warming up to TJ's, but they'll never be "real" Jeeps to me.
I used to feel the same way, now I have an 04 rubi, set up for long range excursions..i don't think the old CJ s could come close to this TJ ,,, 2,000 plus miles to the trail. Then for two weeks, wheel some of the most technical trails imaginable, then drive back home an additional 2,000 miles, all while pulling our off-road excursion trailer,, with NO issues !! I don't think the old CJs could pull this off on a very regular basis, with no issues.. Let alone the much improved comfort level.. The old ones are cool, no doubt, but cannot compare to all of the great technical advances in my 04'. Be safe, be happy!!
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:47 PM   #14
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I used to feel the same way, now I have an 04 rubi, set up for long range excursions..i don't think the old CJ s could come close to this TJ ,,, 2,000 plus miles to the trail. Then for two weeks, wheel some of the most technical trails imaginable, then drive back home an additional 2,000 miles, all while pulling our off-road excursion trailer,, with NO issues !! I don't think the old CJs could pull this off on a very regular basis, with no issues.. Let alone the much improved comfort level.. The old ones are cool, no doubt, but cannot compare to all of the great technical advances in my 04'. Be safe, be happy!!
Heh, I never said "real" Jeeps were comfortable or technologically advanced
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:07 PM   #15
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00-02 were what would if any be considered bad years.. In 2000 The 4.0's and maybe although im not sure the 2.5's got new cylinder heads (0331) that had a copper deficency leaving them defective.. Eventually this leads to the Jeep overheating and the head cracking. Typical range for this issue to arise is between 100-150K although I have read about it happening before and after. It's a fairly expensive fix typically in the 1K range if you can't do the labor yourself. The 0331 head was still used in 03-06 but it was fixed for the 03 model years. Other years had there issues but those can be solved for much less then 1000 dollars.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #16
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uh-oh

Please not the 2.5s...
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:36 PM   #17
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00-02 were what would if any be considered bad years..
I believe the cylinder head issue was corrected for the 02 year.... making that only 00 and 01...

I have seen 02 included in that discussion many times and it has always then been refuted that they did not get the bad heads. So I am concluding that this is the case because the evidence seems to exclude them from this.

And since 05 and 06 had their much publicized issues with the rotor that leaves then only 02-04 as good years in that stretch if you eliminate them for that.

And I think 98 and 99 were pretty good too for that matter.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:43 PM   #18
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And I think 98 and 99 too for that matter.
Good, yes, but they don't have the distributorless ignition system like the 2000+ models.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:50 PM   #19
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Why?????
AMC?

They were never known for reliablity, thats for sure. But my 92s cute little 2.5 runs pretty good for having 190,000 on the clock
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:57 PM   #20
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Good, yes, but they don't have the distributorless ignition system like the 2000+ models.
Thats a good point! I kinda liked the old points and such though really. I can work on those. Cut my teeth on that kind of system.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:01 PM   #21
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I don't know but my 00 Tj just turned 130k (actually more because my odometer is offby 30% " and I bought it with 119k. So two years and 11k (closer to 14) an I haven't had a single mechanical failure. Only thing I can think of is the blower motor resistor. Which was like 15 bucks. Yes I take great care of my tj but I also wheel it and beat it up. No doubt the wrangler is tough. And in my experience reliable.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:08 PM   #22
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I don't know but my 00 Tj just turned 130k (actually more because my odometer is offby 30% " and I bought it with 119k. So two years and 11k (closer to 14) an I haven't had a single mechanical failure. Only thing I can think of is the blower motor resistor. Which was like 15 bucks. Yes I take great care of my tj but I also wheel it and beat it up. No doubt the wrangler is tough. And in my experience reliable.
Same here and I have 185k on her. Most of the stuff that broke on mine was my own doing bashing it as seen in my signature.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:11 PM   #23
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Early 0331 heads are prone to cracking and causing coolant to contaminate the oil, which can eventually lead to catastrophic engine failure. The head cracks right in the center between #3 and #4 cylinders. The crack is usually discernible with the valve cover removed as a "milky" tan line. This condition is usually discovered before catastrophic engine failure, but can lead to that if not corrected in a timely manner. The casting was fixed sometime in mid to late 2001, but the same casting number was retained. The "fixed" heads have "TUPY" cast in the center where the cracks used to occur.

AMC Straight-6 engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:21 PM   #24
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Thats a good point! I kinda liked the old points and such though really. I can work on those. Cut my teeth on that kind of system.
Not sure exactly what you mean, but a Distributor isn't a Points-and-Condensor. '98 and '99 4.0L have a distributor, and definitely do not have points.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:24 PM   #25
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98 tj with 114k on the clock, haven't had any problems except the manifold cracked,
and i pretty sure it's a real jeep, now my son's father inlaw has a 2010 jk and seems
to always pulling some type of codes or the transmission overheats sometimes, but
i agree with others, at some point you are going to have to deal with mechanical
failures.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:08 PM   #26
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Not sure exactly what you mean, but a Distributor isn't a Points-and-Condensor. '98 and '99 4.0L have a distributor, and definitely do not have points.
Sorry... was just pointing out that the older systems can be comforting and familiar. Not better of course as you pointed out...
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:21 PM   #27
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Love that my 98 does not have 2 mini-cats further heating up my engine bay.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:32 PM   #28
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Early 0331 heads are prone to cracking and causing coolant to contaminate the oil, which can eventually lead to catastrophic engine failure. The head cracks right in the center between #3 and #4 cylinders. The crack is usually discernible with the valve cover removed as a "milky" tan line. This condition is usually discovered before catastrophic engine failure, but can lead to that if not corrected in a timely manner. The casting was fixed sometime in mid to late 2001, but the same casting number was retained. The "fixed" heads have "TUPY" cast in the center where the cracks used to occur.

AMC Straight-6 engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To add to that... I read several times that the fix was to add more Nickel to the composition. And I also read that some heads cracked as early as some 99's. Most of the ones I read about are 2000 and 2001 but that could be misleading and represents a very small sample as its simply a few internet threads of a small group of 3 or 4 members relating their misfortune. I have also read that there were more problems with cracking in WJs and XJs than there were on TJ's. Some relationship to overheating causing the cracking that TJs tend to be less prone to or some such explanations.

Here is an old Poll inclusive of WJ, XJ and TJ's but mind you only about 200 total vehicles... small sample really...

Cracked 0331 cylinder head castings - JeepsUnlimited.com Forums

I hope its OK to link this thread from another forum? If not I apologize. Just for historical reference? I found these sorts of things helpful when I was doing my research to decide what to look for and what years to buy...

Keep in mind that heads can crack... perfectly good and proper heads and outside of this date range from heat. And keep in mind an older manufactured head can make it into the assembly line into the next model year too I would suppose. Plus, some are using manufacture year rather than model year. And the head changed by model year in 99. And its possible any 02 might actually be a 01 model year that is being reported. There is one exception in that thread. One legit 02 build reports a cracked head. And it was an early build as he says he ordered it and took delivery of it in October of 2001. There may be a lag between manufacture and assembly of them as well. Note that the worst ones on this particular poll appear to be 2000. Then second is 2001. A rare 02 and 99 which confuses the matter sometimes and really might be misreported by build year not Model year. But a very large number of them seem to show up is in 2000 year and a lot more of these in XJ's.

Also this head was used from mid 99 through 06. But at some point (and often stated as late 01) they changed to this TUPY casting and that seemed to fix it for the most part.

Also note, at one point someone calculates your chances of having one, even in that bad time period, as less than a half a percent.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:30 AM   #29
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Early 0331 heads are prone to cracking and causing coolant to contaminate the oil, which can eventually lead to catastrophic engine failure. The head cracks right in the center between #3 and #4 cylinders. The crack is usually discernible with the valve cover removed as a "milky" tan line. This condition is usually discovered before catastrophic engine failure, but can lead to that if not corrected in a timely manner. The casting was fixed sometime in mid to late 2001, but the same casting number was retained. The "fixed" heads have "TUPY" cast in the center where the cracks used to occur.

AMC Straight-6 engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
To add to that... I read several times that the fix was to add more Nickel to the composition. And I also read that some heads cracked as early as some 99's. Most of the ones I read about are 2000 and 2001 but that could be misleading and represents a very small sample as its simply a few internet threads of a small group of 3 or 4 members relating their misfortune. I have also read that there were more problems with cracking in WJs and XJs than there were on TJ's. Some relationship to overheating causing the cracking that TJs tend to be less prone to or some such explanations.

Here is an old Poll inclusive of WJ, XJ and TJ's but mind you only about 200 total vehicles... small sample really...

Cracked 0331 cylinder head castings - JeepsUnlimited.com Forums

I hope its OK to link this thread from another forum? If not I apologize. Just for historical reference? I found these sorts of things helpful when I was doing my research to decide what to look for and what years to buy...

Keep in mind that heads can crack... perfectly good and proper heads and outside of this date range from heat. And keep in mind an older manufactured head can make it into the assembly line into the next model year too I would suppose. Plus, some are using manufacture year rather than model year. And the head changed by model year in 99. And its possible any 02 might actually be a 01 model year that is being reported. There is one exception in that thread. One legit 02 build reports a cracked head. And it was an early build as he says he ordered it and took delivery of it in October of 2001. There may be a lag between manufacture and assembly of them as well. Note that the worst ones on this particular poll appear to be 2000. Then second is 2001. A rare 02 and 99 which confuses the matter sometimes and really might be misreported by build year not Model year. But a very large number of them seem to show up is in 2000 year and a lot more of these in XJ's.

Also this head was used from mid 99 through 06. But at some point (and often stated as late 01) they changed to this TUPY casting and that seemed to fix it for the most part.

Also note, at one point someone calculates your chances of having one, even in that bad time period, as less than a half a percent.
I think that might be what's going on with my Jeep. I first noticed low oil pressure. Next, the oil was very milky. Then, my lifters started making noise. Then, I noticed traces of oil in the radiator. I was thinking I might have a blown head gasket. I was going to have my mechanic replace the head gasket and lifters. That would have "only" cost me about $1000. After hearing about the cracked head problem, I'm wondering if I should just order a remanufactured motor. For the record, my jeep has about 130,000 miles and has a build date of June 2001. Is there a way to check for a cracked head?
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:48 AM   #30
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They say the crack is obvious if you simply pull the valve cover and pressurize the coolant system. I imagine they use air or water pressure to do that. But they say that coolant can be seen oozing from the crack when there is pressure on that side of the system. You could indeed have a bad head gasket. But replacing the head should fix both as long as you get one of those listed fix heads. The ones from the various places like Alabama Head etc. Lots of threads on those various places. Last costs I saw were in the $500 range and perhaps 500 to 700 for labor.

The issue seems to be the damage by coolant in the lower end can show up later so finding and fixing it early seems to be the best thing. If indeed something like that is already occurring your probably right on the remanufactured motor choice. But its possible to drop the pan and examine the lower end too in order to decide.

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