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jimmyowensfan20 02-03-2011 06:26 AM

Hey all! I'm a Rural carrier with a few questions and a newby.
I have a 2003 RHD wrangler 4.0 auto that has 67,000 miles on it. I deliver a 40 mile mail route every day out of it and want all the input I can revieve on ways to make it run cooler, What brakes to use for maximum life, I just put a C18 Proguage Trans cooler on it and a junk yard tranny cause mine went out....well.. It puled fine and shifted good but sometimes it would just take 5 minutes to engage in drive after turning the engine off. I also want to get the best MPG possible which is 12.3 right now. Don't know when it was tuned up, don't know what the inside of the throddle body looks like but do know the Throttle poss. sensor, the battery, the crank positioning sensor and the parking brake cable assembly is all new.


Run cooler. any suggestions?

Lucas in the tranny? should I?

Brakes...what lasts the longest at 700 stops a day?

Can I convert the rears to disc?
K&N replacement filter for stock box...any increase?

Thanks in advance

Eric Oakes USPS Knoxville TN.

steamnsteel 02-03-2011 08:35 AM

My wife runs a route with her 05 that is kind of mountainous and gets 9-10mpg. Actually you are not going to get better mpg with all the stop and go that you have to do, just drive it easy and smooth. On the brakes, you get what you pay for, spend the money and get top of the line pads for the front and a top of the line shoe for the back. Bendix if you can find them, Raybestos, and Wagoner. OEM type of pads only last about 5,000 miles when doing 600 stops a day.

Leave the stock air box and filter on it, change the fluid and filter in the transmission to see if that helps your drive engagement problem. The next step would be to adjust your bands or you may have a junk transmission.

steamnsteel 02-03-2011 08:48 AM

O'Relily front pad Part Number: QC981 these are Wagoner and are noisey at times and last a good while. I see that they are now carying Raybestos, this will be the next option for the rear shoes since hers are now due. You could also try the EBC's, lots of folks use them and are very pleased with their braking power but I don't know how long they would last in severe use.

Raybestos rear shoes: Part Number: 769RP

Wagoner rear shoes: PAB769R

TexasT 02-03-2011 09:12 AM

Years ago I put on Wagner ceramic pads and they have been excellent and lasted for years driving in the hilly area where I live. I just got some EBC Yellow stuff pads and will put them on in a few weeks. I got new brake shoes for the rear and made sure I got Bendix...first thing I noticed on the box...made in China.

rbloodhound 02-03-2011 10:01 AM

And yes you can convert the rear to disc brakes. Just type jeep disc brake conversion in your search box.

Gary2 02-03-2011 10:32 AM

I would not put rear disc brakes on . The rear brakes on a TJ don't do diddly by design. With the short wheelbase and the center of gravity being so high their is very little weight on the rear when you are stopping and would just have locked up rear brakes which do no good .Make sure the rears you have are kept in adjustment as the self adjusters hardly ever work right on the Jeeps . I have swapped rears and have Disc Brakes and see no difference in braking. Money would be better spent on front brake improvements . I would say try Black Magic pads to start with . read this Vanco Brake Pad evaluation -

redneckpilot 02-03-2011 10:59 AM

As you know, mail routes are killer on gas mileage, but a good tune up goes a long way. Don't bother getting a K&N Filter, some people swear by them, but in a Jeep, they really don't do anything to improve power or efficiency, and they let more dirt into the engine, (BAD!)

Disk brakes won't do a whole lot more to help your stopping distance on the rear tires, but they do make it easier to replace the brake pads when they go. Something to consider, but seeing as you start your route with lots of weight in the back courtesy of mail and packages, and end up a lot lighter by the end, your rear brakes will do more stopping than some people imagine, at least early in the route. By the time 5:00 comes around, your front brakes will absolutely be doing the majority of the stopping though.

Radiator flush may help the engine run cooler, as to the transmission temp - I can't help you there. I know when to admit that I don't know. :)

Jerry Bransford 02-03-2011 11:51 AM

The longest lasting brakes will be those that come with a lifetime warranty like most auto parts stores. Unfortunately, the longest lasting brake pads are, by necessity, the worst at actually braking because they are so hard and aren't able to grip the rotor as well as a softer pad does.

And with your continuous stop and go low-speed driving, 12.3 mpg is VERY good. I barely get better than that on the highway with my '04 Rubicon.

steamnsteel 02-03-2011 03:03 PM

Good brakes are money well spent otherwise you will be putting front pads on before they get 10,000 miles on them, the oem types will only last about 7,000miles. if you want to make the engine temps more stable in warmer weather run down to your favorite box auto store and get a heavy duty fan clutch, yes it will sound like a jet most of the time but it will run a more stable engine temp. By the way, take really good care of your radiator, it is a dealer item and costs right at 300 bucks. The frame for the core is made differently and if you have to recore it, a good shop can take care of it but you can't readilly buy a bolt in.

Oh yeah...don't buy the cheap rotors either. I do shade tree work for a couple of carriers and one finally realized that the cheap parts won't hold up.

If you know Jimmy Owens personally, ask him about the white number 25 modified of Leroy's and see if he remembers.:D

jimmyowensfan20 02-03-2011 05:43 PM

Ok....I've read everything.....First off...The ONLY reason I want to convert rear to disc is because I can change all four wheels in a couple hrs tops. Shoes suck and I cut the tip of my finger off reinstalling a drum about 2 yrs ago in my 82 Scottsdale diesel but thats a different story....I have a vendeta against drum brakes...LOL I am running a constant 205 engine temp with 1 bottle of water wetter added. The trans cooler I put on it is the absolute biggest that will fit between grill and condenser. It measures 17 3/4 by 12 and has copper tubing with aluminum fins that I did an outstanding job of not messing up at all! Woo Hoo!

The brake pads at auto zone are ceramic that 4 guys at work today told me will last around 6 months. The best thing is $54.99 one time and your done because Auto zone lifetime warranty is lifetime lifetime.. Advance and Oreily are lifetime 1 time. Just thought you would like to know.

I will talk to Jimmy about the number 25 modified and see what He says. He is always ready to tell a story about winning or getting wrecked. LOL Really looking forward to it.

Thanks for all the feedback and I will do my best to share all the experiences I have with my new used TJ.

If anybody needs it just in case... I am a Subaru Guru! Love me some Subaru!
Liking my Jeep too! So far.

Oldfatandcripled 12-24-2014 08:00 AM

Just a note I put on Autozones best front brake pades and they only lasted 3000 miles. Just saying so I'm going to try wagner brand ceramics

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