AM I Throwing Good Money After Bad - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Tech Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 11-12-2015, 01:41 PM
Thread Starter
  #1
Jeeper
 
Zhillslady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pasco County, Florida
Posts: 93
AM I Throwing Good Money After Bad

Need some experienced jeep opinions if you don't mind. I bought an older 97 wrangler few months ago because it was in excellent cosmetic shape and the guy claimed it had a lot of recent repairs. I preface these questions with, I am not a mechanic or mechanically inclined so I have to pay to have my repairs done so please don't say I could have fixed myself cheaper. After I bought it (yeah dumb decision) to be safe I took to my mechanic and asked him to see what all needed to be repaired so I'm safe on road. I ended up with a lot of fix now and can wait issues such as water pump, battery, bearings, lube, shocks, timing issue, filters, fuel injector and few other things. My guy lives, sleeps and eats Jeeps so I said just fix them all rather than bring it in over and over fixing things. Week later check engine light showed power steering issue (can't recall details) and while waiting for me to drop off and fix that the rear differential went out. So I had the steering unit fixed and a jasper differential put in. For 2 weeks it's running like a dream (I only drive on weekends). Today spits, sputters, stalls, etc. Took it back in and after several trials, tests, etc. they found one cylinder only has half compression. I asked what that entails and costs fixing and they want to wait and let regular Jeep guy look at tomorrow (off today). Should I cut my losses here? Am I looking at another $2-3000 in repairs?

Zhillslady is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 02:00 PM   #2
Supporting Member

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
tarditi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Haddonfield, NJ
Posts: 1,142
A 1997 is almost classic (20 years) - there are likely things that would need attention, but I would think a compression test to be preliminary diagnostics for a vehicle pre/post purchase inspection. Also, running a code scanner to see if there are any problems is fundamental.

I'm sorry to hear all the troubles, but you may have uncovered a ton of deferred maintenance issues and "wait and see" that the previous owner(s) did.

If you love the jeep, you may only be a repair away from tens of thousands of trouble-free miles, or the next one may be right around the corner. No crystal ball there.

Get the estimate for the fix/rebuild - may be easier to swap in an engine depending on the other engine items that are needed.

Is this a 4.0L 6cyl or 2.5L 4cyl engine? Manual or auto trans?

There is a possibility that the sum of all your repairs (performed and yet needed) come close to market value for the vehicle.

__________________
Dustin Tarditi
2015 Tank JKUR
Haddonfield, NJ

Jeep your own Jeep.
tarditi is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 02:17 PM   #3
Jeeper
 
tworley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Morrison, CO
Posts: 4,671
Not to be mean--but thats a hard lesson learned. You should have crawled under the jeep and inspected everything for yourself rather than take some strangers word on it all. Did he provide receipts for all the "recent repairs"?
The low compression could be carbon build up, maybe a plug was fouled. What engine do you have? How many miles? Is the CEL on? Did the spit/sputter/stall happen on a warm engine or cold? We could use just a little more info.
Have your "jeep guy" do a wet compression test and post your results here
__________________
97' 4.0L - AX-15 - 4.56 D30/Rubi44 - Currie 4" SL -1.25" BL - 1" MML - 35s - XRC Rear Bumper/Carrier - JB SSYE - MC F/R CAs - MC F/R TBs - Currie Currectlync - Currie AR - Savvy GTS - Savvy UA - Savvy Shift Cable - ARB RD100/116 - RG&A 4340 Axle Shafts - Currie Mini Skids - Superwinch LP8500 - Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers - Poison Spyder Defender XCs - BMB Brakes - Fox 12" Resi 2.0 Shocks -
Colorado Jeep
tworley is offline   Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-12-2015, 03:06 PM
Thread Starter
  #4
Jeeper
 
Zhillslady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pasco County, Florida
Posts: 93
Thanks both for the info. I called and they are doing the compression test already and guy that specializes in Jeeps will do more looking into tomorrow. I have the 4 cyl - 5 speed with 133,300 miles. Do I love it, yes. Once it's up and running dependable I may even sell my CR-Z and drive it more.

The body has no rust, no damage they could find and the paint is in amazing condition. I had seats recovered, has a soft top with frame and bikini top in great condition so cosmetically it looks great. I paid $7000 for the jeep and I should have asked more about his "repairs" but was a friend of brothers so I assumed (yeah made an ass of me) that he'd be honest. My initial thought is fix and keep it as about all that's left to go wrong is replacing the transmission. I main worry is I am not all that familiar with Jeeps so wanted to make sure it was worth the repair.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tworley View Post
Not to be mean--but thats a hard lesson learned. You should have crawled under the jeep and inspected everything for yourself rather than take some strangers word on it all. Did he provide receipts for all the "recent repairs"?
The low compression could be carbon build up, maybe a plug was fouled. What engine do you have? How many miles? Is the CEL on? Did the spit/sputter/stall happen on a warm engine or cold? We could use just a little more info.
Have your "jeep guy" do a wet compression test and post your results here
Zhillslady is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 04:18 PM   #5
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Az
Posts: 2,235
To be honest a older jeep in general is the last thing a person should own if they are not mechanically inclined, need a reliable Daily Driver, or going to college & have a limited budget.
__________________
2001 Sahara 4L,3sp Auto, D44&30, 33×12.50R15's..
AZ01TJ is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 04:36 PM   #6
Jeeper
 
MudMinnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 464
^Very good point.
MudMinnow is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 04:55 PM
Thread Starter
  #7
Jeeper
 
Zhillslady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pasco County, Florida
Posts: 93
LOL luckily it is not my daily driver. I have a 70 mile round trip commute so I have a CR-z for daily use and I'm way past school age. Sorry I fail on the mechanically inclined, I'm in the accounting/investment field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ01TJ View Post
To be honest a older jeep in general is the last thing a person should own if they are not mechanically inclined, need a reliable Daily Driver, or going to college & have a limited budget.
Zhillslady is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 04:56 PM   #8
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,150
Some of us either don't have the mechanical aptitude to get under a vehicle and check things. Some of us, like me, have back issues that make it difficult to get ON the ground, let alone crawl underneath. Thereby having to depend on others. I'm very fortunate to have a good old shade tree mechanic that can tell from a sound what the problem is and knows old Jeeps inside and out. He's kept me running for years and is reasonably priced as long as I kick in a lunch or case of suds occasionally. Hell, it hurts to just lean into the engine compartment to just change sensors. But, I can sit in the driver's seat and have a lot of fun. Can't go alone because I may not be physically able to get myself out of a jam. Friends and beer work every time. LOL
sgpd1sam is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 06:00 PM   #9
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhillslady View Post
Sorry I fail on the mechanically inclined, I'm in the accounting/investment field.
If you can deal with the Internal Revenue Code, a Jeep service manual will be a walk in the park for you.
tangofox007 is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 07:09 PM   #10
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 13,017
How would carbon build up lower compression?

More likely valve or rings maybe do a leak down test.

Does it knock or smoke?
Digger84 is online now   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 07:10 PM   #11
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Az
Posts: 2,235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhillslady View Post
LOL luckily it is not my daily driver. I have a 70 mile round trip commute so I have a CR-z for daily use and I'm way past school age. Sorry I fail on the mechanically inclined, I'm in the accounting/investment field.
No reason to be sorry, that wasn't my point. I'm terrible at accounting, we all have weaknesses.
__________________
2001 Sahara 4L,3sp Auto, D44&30, 33×12.50R15's..
AZ01TJ is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 07:18 PM   #12
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger84 View Post
How would carbon build up lower compression?
It (potentially) prevents the piston rings from floating freely and sealing properly. It can also prevent complete valve closure.
tangofox007 is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 07:34 PM   #13
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Mass
Posts: 956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger84 View Post
How would carbon build up lower compression?

More likely valve or rings maybe do a leak down test.

Does it knock or smoke?
carbon build up on the valves keepin em open for one
ZiggyJeep is offline   Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 07:58 PM   #14
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 13,017
One cylinder only?


If you say so but still don't make much sense to me 1/2 compression just one cylinder and carbon buildup

Maybe at least it is an optimistic concept
Digger84 is online now   Quote
Old 11-13-2015, 08:48 AM
Thread Starter
  #15
Jeeper
 
Zhillslady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pasco County, Florida
Posts: 93
It knocked so bad the whole jeep shakes at idle. Mechanic gonna break it down more today but says probably gonna recommend a rebuilt with warranty as I'd like to keep it long term. Hell there's not much to fix after this other than the transmission and transfer case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger84 View Post
How would carbon build up lower compression?

More likely valve or rings maybe do a leak down test.

Does it knock or smoke?
Zhillslady is offline   Quote
Old 11-13-2015, 08:51 AM
Thread Starter
  #16
Jeeper
 
Zhillslady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pasco County, Florida
Posts: 93
Assuming I want to keep this jeep a long time is there any reason, other than I've invested way more than it's worth, you wouldn't invest in a rebuilt? My mechanic likes jasper because of reputation and warranty and I just had a jasper differential installed but friend tells me quadratrac (so sounds close to that is cheaper).
Zhillslady is offline   Quote
Old 11-13-2015, 02:36 PM   #17
Jeeper
 
jape's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Morgantown, WV
Posts: 329
Could just buy a lower mile engine from a totaled wrangler, have your mechanic inspect it and then swap it. While you're at it, might as well snatch up an AX-5 transmission too. Tons of jeeps and parts around, just have to hunt for em.


If your physically capable, you may want to get friendly with the underside of your jeep. TONS of material you could find about parts/pieces and you could learn some mechanics. I myself haven't done 90% of the things I've done to my jeep ever before. It's been a learning experience and I feel confident enough now to tackle any mechanical obstacle I come across (time, space, and tools depending). Plus, we're always here to lend advice and answer any question you may have.
__________________
/l ,[____],
l---L -OlllllllO-
()_)-()_)-o-)_) 2001 Wrangler, 2.5L, 5-speed, 33"x 10.50 BFG KO2, 4" Mixed Lift, 4.88 Gears, Bilstein 5100's.
jape is offline   Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 12:37 AM   #18
Jeeper

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
Richsap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 484
I'm both mechanically inclined and pretty good with numbers. I'm of the opinion that you are investing more than the vehicle will ever be worth. You sound emotionally attached to it, and if you are there is no amount of money that will be "too much".
IMHO the biggest drawback to hanging on is that the 4 cylinder engine will limit your potential. But, love knows no boundries, right?
I've got $14k wrapped up in a 2001 TJ that is probably worth $12k, but I'm done modifying it so I'm satisfied. Since you can't sell it if its not running good, you're kinda stuck. Stay the course, maybe its just a sticking or bent valve or a weak or broken valve spring. That would be a few hundred bucks. That's my guess, bad pistons or broken rings are statistically far and few between. If its not the valves you're on the hook for between $1,500 to $3,500. Fingers crossed for ya!
__________________
2001 3" lift 31" rubber 4.0L auto "Under Construction"
Richsap is offline   Quote
Old 11-16-2015, 08:11 AM
Thread Starter
  #19
Jeeper
 
Zhillslady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pasco County, Florida
Posts: 93
LOL Richsap - it's more like a money attachment than an emotional one. Had old Honda mechanic and the jeep guy get together this weekend and found me a used motor with a 60 day warranty and could be rebuilt for around $2100 with a 90 day warranty. At this point it's fix him or use him for a paperweight as I don't imagine it's sell for much with a bad motor and I can't sell it without telling someone so I decided to bite the bullet and order the jasper rebuilt as it comes with a 3 year warranty. I've always wanted a jeep and it's not like I'd find another used one that I would know what had been repaired. So rather than use it for a yard planter, the jasper motor is on the way. It's bad when you're mechanic says he gave you a 10% discount cause he felt bad for all the things that went wrong. He even offered to call the seller and ask if he'd chip in on repairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richsap View Post
I'm both mechanically inclined and pretty good with numbers. I'm of the opinion that you are investing more than the vehicle will ever be worth. You sound emotionally attached to it, and if you are there is no amount of money that will be "too much".
IMHO the biggest drawback to hanging on is that the 4 cylinder engine will limit your potential. But, love knows no boundries, right?
I've got $14k wrapped up in a 2001 TJ that is probably worth $12k, but I'm done modifying it so I'm satisfied. Since you can't sell it if its not running good, you're kinda stuck. Stay the course, maybe its just a sticking or bent valve or a weak or broken valve spring. That would be a few hundred bucks. That's my guess, bad pistons or broken rings are statistically far and few between. If its not the valves you're on the hook for between $1,500 to $3,500. Fingers crossed for ya!
Zhillslady is offline   Quote
Old 11-16-2015, 09:18 AM   #20
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,960
Was the cause of the low compression ever identified?
tangofox007 is offline   Quote
Old 11-17-2015, 08:35 AM   #21
Supporting Member

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
tarditi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Haddonfield, NJ
Posts: 1,142
If you don't mind the expense, at the time of an engine replacement swapping out the 2.5L 4cyl may be worth considering.
__________________
Dustin Tarditi
2015 Tank JKUR
Haddonfield, NJ

Jeep your own Jeep.
tarditi is offline   Quote
Old 11-17-2015, 05:21 PM   #22
Jeeper

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
Richsap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 484
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarditi View Post
If you don't mind the expense, at the time of an engine replacement swapping out the 2.5L 4cyl may be worth considering.
^^^ Agree! I don't know Jeep well enough to know if this is a lot more expensive and what is involved. Usually a change in the PCM (brain), wiring, etc. I would guess that it would be cost prohibitive.

I'm still thinking it is as simple as a cylinder head replacement. I know you trust your mechanic, but I would seriously consider a second opinion, even if it cost $50, with the stipulation that you want them to look at the valve train / head assembly.
__________________
2001 3" lift 31" rubber 4.0L auto "Under Construction"
Richsap is offline   Quote
Old 11-21-2015, 04:17 AM   #23
Jeeper
 
Laggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,593
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangofox007 View Post
If you can deal with the Internal Revenue Code, a Jeep service manual will be a walk in the park for you.
Lol
__________________
Laggy's 2013 JKUR Build
Laggy's 97 Build Thread SOLD

Here it is standing: atoms with consciousness; matter with curiosity. Stands at the sea, wonders at wondering: I, a universe of atoms an atom in the universe. - Richard Feynman
Laggy is offline   Quote
Old 11-21-2015, 10:37 AM   #24
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richsap View Post

I'm still thinking it is as simple as a cylinder head replacement.
The rest of the story:

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/id...n-1503857.html

tangofox007 is offline   Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, Gladiator, Mopar and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to FCA US LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with FCA US LLC.