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Old 09-26-2012, 06:27 AM   #1
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TJ/LJ Reliability??

Hi Group
2006 stock rubicon unlimited 66,000 miles- first jeep I've owned
while searching the forum for procedures to change differential and transmission fluid I stumbled on the OPDA issues-- WOW what a potential problem- I'll buy a new one and modify it for grease lubrication and keep the old one, if good, for a spare.
what other major issues exist for this vehicle? I love the jeep and always thought they were bullet proof.
If anyone has a composite list of problems and fixes it will save me search time on the forums.
this forum is great
thks

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Old 09-26-2012, 06:55 AM   #2
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Wow!! You got me looking into this bc I am/was looking for a 05-06 LJ. But that is honestly a deal breaker for me. Guess its back to finding a Rubicon TJ. Why the hell didn't jeep offer the stick shift in earlier models of the LJ??? I honestly can't drive an auto jeep. It just wouldn't feel right :-/

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Old 09-26-2012, 07:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TinCocodrie View Post
what other major issues exist for this vehicle?
auto or stick?

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Originally Posted by CTX-Ross View Post
I am/was looking for a 05-06 LJ. But that is honestly a deal breaker for me. Guess its back to finding a Rubicon TJ.
all 05-06 have potential for the OPDA issue....TJ or LJ. it's easily addressed if you follow the very detailed write up that is available on JeepForum.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:08 AM   #4
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LJ's are excellent vehicles. I had mine for 4 years and the only problem i had was clutch going out at 95,000 miles.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04

auto or stick?

all 05-06 have potential for the OPDA issue....TJ or LJ. it's easily addressed if you follow the very detailed write up that is available on JeepForum.
Where can I find this write up?
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Where can I find this write up?
Search opda on jeep forum. You'll find it.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:22 AM   #7
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Wow!! You got me looking into this bc I am/was looking for a 05-06 LJ. But that is honestly a deal breaker for me. Guess its back to finding a Rubicon TJ. Why the hell didn't jeep offer the stick shift in earlier models of the LJ??? I honestly can't drive an auto jeep. It just wouldn't feel right :-/
If you'll be taking it offroad you will be sorry if you take the stick instead of the auto. I'm not just saying this. Take your time and try and drive a TJ auto offfroad and compare it to a stick - the difference is immense!
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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I had a 03 TJ with a standard trans and I never had any trouble off road with it. It was only a little bothersome when trying to crawl because of the poor gears/tires ratio I had. It was the 3.07's and I had 33" BFG's on it
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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guys I have an auto trans and love it except for one issue-- one day it jerked shifting gears even locking up tires- took to transmission shop and it it indicated 1600 deg F temp with cold engine- they said it was the computer-- got on this forum and found a way to reset the memory of the TCM- worked - problem does come back once in awhile and I just reset it-- my wife drives very gently and I don't which seems to mess up the TCM memory- will have dealer look at it if it gets to be a bigger problem- I live in very south La and dealers are hard to come by- have to do my own maintenace
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:16 PM   #10
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If you'll be taking it offroad you will be sorry if you take the stick instead of the auto. I'm not just saying this. Take your time and try and drive a TJ auto offfroad and compare it to a stick - the difference is immense!
This statement makes me sad.... SAVE THE MANUALS!!!
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:16 PM   #11
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ok,, I am a newb with a 2005 LJ... whats OPDA? and whats the problem?

Dana
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTX-Ross
I had a 03 TJ with a standard trans and I never had any trouble off road with it. It was only a little bothersome when trying to crawl because of the poor gears/tires ratio I had. It was the 3.07's and I had 33" BFG's on it
I never said that a manual trans will be a problem. My TJ is my first auto so I have had my share of manual transmissions. The auto TJ is just better offroad, fullstop.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:33 PM   #13
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Whats OPDA? Oil pump something?

Do I just take mines to a dealer or any mechanic and just switch it out??
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:39 PM   #14
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OPDA Oil Pump Drive Assembly... Do a search on the forum for OPDA. Basically the oil pump is a pos and Chrysler won't recall it. It can go out and it's the only one that will fit the jeep. So the replacement will most likely fail as well.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:52 PM   #15
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47K on my 05 LJ, I've owned it for about 5.5 years... bought it woth 10K on the clock.
So far I've had a vacuum hose come loose, and a stuck caliper.

No other issues. A very reliable vehicle.

By comparison, I bought a '99 Chevy S10 ZR2 pickup, new from the showroom. Vortec V6, 5-speed manual. By 47K miles I HATED that truck...
Cooling system plugged up at 8K miles, and twice each year thereafter. Freeze plugs leaked. Oil lines to remote filter leaked. Seat adjustment handles snapped off. 3rd door constantly needed readjusted. Hood release failed. Fuel rail pressure leakdown overnight (leaking check valve). Fuel gage failed, fuel pump was on its way out. Instrument cluster worked intermittently. Torsion arm bushings were shot. Ball joints needed replaced twice in 50K miles.

My happiest day ever was the day I traded that POS on my LJ...
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:55 PM   #16
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I'm no saying its GOING to happen. It's just known to happen.. I love the look of the LJ's but I don't wanna take that chance
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:58 PM   #17
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Is the OPDA different on the later years?

I have nearly 240,000 miles on my 97 with a stick, use it on and off road and never an oil pump drive problem.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:59 PM   #18
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OPDA Oil Pump Drive Assembly... Do a search on the forum for OPDA. Basically the oil pump is a pos and Chrysler won't recall it. It can go out and it's the only one that will fit the jeep. So the replacement will most likely fail as well.
wow Chrysler won't fix that? can't they get in trouble?

so were doom if we have a bad opda?

I have 05 TJ w/ 59k miles. runs fine so far but this is getting me paranoid
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #19
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Checking the OPDA, monitoring wear, and replacing it if necessary just isn't that big of a deal.
Think of it as just one more maintenance check, much like disc brake pads.
Replacing the OPDA, or modifying one, really isn't as hard as doing a brake job.
Good, detailed instructions over at JF.

If I was shopping for an LJ today, I'd tell the seller that I need to check it before buying. If I observed undue wear, it would be a bargaining point.

Consider the risks one takes when buying ANY 6 or 7 year old vehicle, you never know what is going to go bad. At least with these vehicles, we know the problem, have developed clear instructions on how to check for problems, and have even developed a home-brewed-but-effective fix...
Seems like buying a 6 or 7 year old LJ is way less risky than buying a 6 or 7 year old GM vehicle...
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crallscars
Is the OPDA different on the later years?

I have nearly 240,000 miles on my 97 with a stick, use it on and off road and never an oil pump drive problem.
It's only a problem for the 05-06 LJ & TJ's
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:33 PM   #21
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group please don't let the opda or other unique problems discourage you from buying a wranger-- it's a great vehicle and my wife and I fight to drive it-- she usually wins. I purposely bought the 2006 as I didn't want the new engine and possible problems of the newer jeeps.
I'm 62 years old and have owned more boats, motorcycles, trucks and cars than I can count. The key is routine maintenace and understanding the weaknesses of each. Years ago we didn't have these forums and we leaned by trial and error mostly error.
everyhing mechanical has problems and the TJ has fewer than most- I never plan on selling it. The OPDA issue, if understood, is not a major problem if dealt with in time. I'll let all know what mine looks like.
thks
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:45 PM   #22
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Thanks for explaining its not that big of a deal!! Should Definitely NOT stop you from buying an LJ.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:56 PM   #23
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Where can I find this write up?
I find it regularly with Google.

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Originally Posted by TinCocodrie View Post
guys I have an auto trans and love it except for one issue-- one day it jerked shifting gears even locking up tires- took to transmission shop and it it indicated 1600 deg F temp with cold engine- they said it was the computer-- got on this forum and found a way to reset the memory of the TCM- worked - problem does come back once in awhile and I just reset it-- my wife drives very gently and I don't which seems to mess up the TCM memory- will have dealer look at it if it gets to be a bigger problem- I live in very south La and dealers are hard to come by- have to do my own maintenace
the auto trans (42RLE) isn't a particularly good transmission unfortunately. first thing i'd suggest doing is changing the fluid completely. 60k is the "factory recommended" interval...but I do mine every 30k, and my transmission still failed/died/blew at ~50k miles. as part of the fluid change, make sure to install an external transmission cooler and aux transmission temperature gauge. If the fluid goes over 240°F, its starting to overheat. Some also install aux external transmission fluid filters.

The 42RLE shifts like crap if it's babied. If you heavy foot the throttle and push the transmission into the 2500-3000rpm range before allowing it to shift, it will consistently shift better. Remember, the TCM is adaptive and will "learn" how you drive. So if you baby it, it will shift like crap a lot more. If the temp sensor is giving a temp of 1600°F, then the temp sensor is defective and needs to be replaced. that sensor is inside the valve body, so the pan has to come down in order to replace it.

Also keep in mind one of the issues with the 42RLE is it loves overdrive. it wants to shift early and lockup that torque converter more than anything to try to reduce heat build up. that means it shifts early all the time, especially into OD....unless you push that throttle harder. it early shifts means the engine bogs down and lugs (even in stock form with 30s). This is bad for the engine and the trans alike. there is no good way to reprogram the TCM yet...not even the dealership can change shift points.

So when you add larger tires, the best solution is to throw gears at it. 4.56s for 31s/32s, 4.88s for 33s, 5.13s or 5.38s for 35s...and so forth. it's basically undergeared from the factory.

Some will refute my "isn't a particularly good transmission" comment by using 42RLE equipped race vehicles (like Savvy's LJ) as an example. But let's take a close look before jumping on that internet bandwagon....they have several transmissions (not one like you and I), which are all race-prep built by very skilled professional transmission specializing this type of stuff, they use a gigantic fan driven cooler that's the size of your whole radiator (and they still see ~240+°F temps), they're not using overdrive much (if at all), and they still change the fluid every few hundred miles. IMHO, that's not very applicable to your street driven rig, except to stay you need to go to extreme measures to make this transmission survive.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:11 PM   #24
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UnlimitedLJ04 while I do agree on many things about the 42rle, especially the crap shifting when you baby it, I have to say that it is still many times better than a manual on the trail.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #25
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I'd buy an LJ in a heartbeat if I could afford to have a second jeep. The OPDA thing is a well-defined and known issue with known fixes/maintenance. I'd look at it before purchase and keep an eye on it thereafter, but it wouldn't discourage me in the least.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:37 PM   #26
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UnlimitedLJ04 while I do agree on many things about the 42rle, especially the crap shifting when you baby it, I have to say that it is still many times better than a manual on the trail.
Oh, I have little negative feedback regarding it's trail worthiness. I love mine on trail. The only downside is the whole cavitation/sucking air thing that occurs when you're trying to get up a steep incline....which is fairly simple to mitigate anyway.

But - consider how many miles you drive & how much seat time you have on-road, and off-road.

I can tell you if I have the opportunity to buy another Jeep, it certainly won't have a 42RLE in it.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:54 PM   #27
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Oh, I have little negative feedback regarding it's trail worthiness. I love mine on trail. The only downside is the whole cavitation/sucking air thing that occurs when you're trying to get up a steep incline....which is fairly simple to mitigate anyway.

But - consider how many miles you drive & how much seat time you have on-road, and off-road.

I can tell you if I have the opportunity to buy another Jeep, it certainly won't have a 42RLE in it.
You might have a point but I did find the 42rle a very different animal when I drove a JK with one. I would imagine that the ECU's control of it has been dramatically improved.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:57 PM   #28
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Good info on the 42RLE. Never knew this so basically just punch harder on the gas when driving and keep the rpm above 2k?

I leave my OD off I hate how it lugs and it slows me down on highway driving
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:20 PM   #29
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You might have a point but I did find the 42rle a very different animal when I drove a JK with one. I would imagine that the ECU's control of it has been dramatically improved.
the biggest difference there is the engine. the 42RLE simply has no business behind the 4.0L, IMHO. it was a "make-do", "use what we can" kinda thing for the last few years of the TJ series on Chrysler's part...

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Good info on the 42RLE. Never knew this so basically just punch harder on the gas when driving and keep the rpm above 2k?

I leave my OD off I hate how it lugs and it slows me down on highway driving
pushing harder on the accelerator to maintain higher RPMs while shifting is nothing new...that's been the case for decades....

problem with leaving the OD disabled is it forces the ECU to stay locked up all the time. you basically lose the benefit of the unlocked torque converter, which bumps up your RPMs by several hundred in many circumstances.

again, the best way to avoid lugging the engine is to throw gears at it....which many have a hard time understanding....32s/4.56s, 33s/4.88s, etc

Interesting math to help:

An auto TJ with 31s/3.73s/42RLE shares the same highway ratio as a manual TJ with 35s/3.73s/AX15 or NV3550, but missing 1st gear.

For the newer Jeeps, the 6-speed is actually geared BETTER with 35s/3.73s/NSG370 than an auto TJ with 31s/3.73s/42RLE, but missing 1st and 3rd.

So in other words, if you have a manual TJ and you want to know what a stock TJ w/ a 42RLE feels like....slap on some 35s with your stock 3.73 ratio, don't use 1st gear and go climb a mountain pass.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:56 PM   #30
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the biggest difference there is the engine. the 42RLE simply has no business behind the 4.0L, IMHO. it was a "make-do", "use what we can" kinda thing for the last few years of the TJ series on Chrysler's part...


pushing harder on the accelerator to maintain higher RPMs while shifting is nothing new...that's been the case for decades....

problem with leaving the OD disabled is it forces the ECU to stay locked up all the time. you basically lose the benefit of the unlocked torque converter, which bumps up your RPMs by several hundred in many circumstances.

again, the best way to avoid lugging the engine is to throw gears at it....which many have a hard time understanding....32s/4.56s, 33s/4.88s, etc

Interesting math to help:

An auto TJ with 31s/3.73s/42RLE shares the same highway ratio as a manual TJ with 35s/3.73s/AX15 or NV3550, but missing 1st gear.

For the newer Jeeps, the 6-speed is actually geared BETTER with 35s/3.73s/NSG370 than an auto TJ with 31s/3.73s/42RLE, but missing 1st and 3rd.

So in other words, if you have a manual TJ and you want to know what a stock TJ w/ a 42RLE feels like....slap on some 35s with your stock 3.73 ratio, don't use 1st gear and go climb a mountain pass.
Thanks for the info

I'm saving up to regear. I'm at 3.73 auto 33's right now. I hear 4.56 is better for highways as there is alot of highway driving in San Antonio would you recommend 4.56?

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