This is by far the longest introduction I have ever posted to any forum but I figured this is as good a place as any to detail my whole Jeep experience up to this point. I hope you enjoy the read.
I grew up in southeastern Michigan never was much into offroading as there isn't much in the way of trails around there. That all changed when I left for college at Michigan Technological University in Michigan's scenic and very remote upper peninsula. That is where my Jeep story begins, one of my good friends had a 1991 Jeep Wrangler.
During the weekends I would go wheeling with him and some other friends. At the time I had a 2005 Honda Element with a whopping 6.5" of ground clearance, I did a lot of things that that vehicle was never meant for
After a couple years I managed to trade my Element for a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser (yeah I know it is not a Jeep but now I have a jeep as well
After several happy years with my FJ Cruiser as my daily driver and wheeling rig a unique opportunity presented itself in that my friend with the 91 Wrangler parked his car at my place after a wheeling trip that highlighted the many issues with it (he had a Ford Ranger as his DD at this point). He left the state for the summer and the Jeep just sat in my backyard. That fall once all my housemates began to show up for classes and we told him that the Jeep had to move to make room for everyone. At the time I was looking for a new ATV or some other project vehicle to work on in the garage.
We offered to move the vehicle to the garage for a couple weeks if he wanted to work on it and told him it would have to be gone by the time I bought a new project vehicle. During the drive around the house from the alley to the driveway there was a terrible noise coming from under the hood and it started smoking. We parked it and told him what had happened. Just for the heck of it I told him if he wanted to be rid of it I would buy it from him and try and return it to workable condition as a wheeling rig.
After a couple weeks he finally agreed to a price of $200, he came and pulled the gear he wanted to keep and myself and one of my housemates became owners of a red 1991 Jeep Wrangler 4.0 6 Cylinder.
The list of problems was long:
- Serpentine Belt had been destroyed moving it from the back because...
- Alternator was seized
- Loss of power above 2.5k rpm
- No 4wd
- No low range
- Leak from radiator
- Leak from brake system
- And I'm sure some more that I have forgotten about
That Fall I replaced the alternator and serpentine belt and it actually fired up and ran so we took it for a test drive. Unfortunately due to vigorous driving the rear door broke at the hinge and we had to pull the spare tire to prevent further damage.
School got busier than expected and as such we didn't have the time to work on it and so it sat in the garage for most of the semester. Near the end of the semester the co-owner borrowed it and made it to the end of the street before it died again. The engine would turn over fine but would not catch, we assumed it was a fuel issue as the previous owner had replaced several fuel pumps. We sprayed starting fluid in the intake and tried again, nothing. At this point we figured it had to be ignition so we pulled the plugs examined them and checked for spark. The all checked out fine, now we were stymied and could not figure out the issue.
The Wrangler sat in the garage unable to start well into the next semester. Last week I finally decided to buy out the other owner to become sole owner of the project. I started working again on the vehicle knowing that it had to be an ignition issue. I followed instructions online for checking the resistance of the ignition coil and realized the secondary resistances were low. I also discovered some corrosion on the ignition rotor. I replaced both and finally got the Jeep to fire up.
My next project has been to start on trying to fix the 4wd issues. Unfortunately all the "nutserts" (or the four remaining) seemed to spin freely. I ended up having to cut them off with an angle grinder. It was then I realized that the previous owner had cut the old nutserts out of the frame and had done some rather poor work to repair the issues.
So moving forward I intend to check all the vacuum lines and adjust the transfer case linkage. Determine my best course of action to repair the transmission skid (hopefully replace it entirely in the future as it is very badly damaged from corrosion). And wheel the heck out of my new toy. I am moving to Green Bay Wisconsin for work this summer and would love to be able to take this out on all the trails down there.
If you made it through that novel I just want to say thanks, and I hope you found it at least somewhat interesting. I have found a lot of great information on this site already and plan to continue to use it as I work on my Jeep.