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Old 10-02-2019, 09:13 PM
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Repairs needed.....

So I bought this Jeep a month ago, brought it to a local shop for lift install bid and once-over and got back a list of issues. Wasn't looking to drop $2800 just to bring it up to snuff BEFORE lift install

Looking for some input on these and on what is DIY-ish

Radiator leak, new radiator. I can probably handle that and save $400ish (quoted $900)

Steering gear box, maybe? If I DIY I will buy an upgrade from factory with the savings. Should be wash (quoted $550 for used factory box and install)

Ball joints, to be expected and will probably pay for that one....and upgrade to Teraflex. (quoted $1000 with TF bj's)

Have the Rock Krawler Flex lift and shocks in the garage, can probably install this....but it will take me time and may pay to have it done if I can find someone cheaper and faster

Filters and fluids are a no brainer, and save $400+...

kinda bummed, any input is appreciated

Sorry, thought I had done a signature. 2016 JKUR 52K miles, currently on 2" RC lift and 33's on 18's.

Also have 315/70/17 Patagonias and ProComp 69 17's at Discount to install

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Old 10-02-2019, 10:02 PM   #2
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I would take it somewhere else for a second opinion. I'd be pretty surprised if you needed a new steering gear at your mileage. I'd be curious how they determined that. For the radiator, have you noticed a leak? And you can test the ball joints in your driveway to see if they're shot. Jack a front wheel off the ground and pull the top and push the bottom of the tire and vice versa. Have a buddy watch the joint ( or use your phone to record). If there's noticeable play, you need new ball joints. To check vertical play, look at the joint and place a 2x4 or crowbar under the tire and lever up. If the joint has a lot of movement, replace it. Be aware that some balljoints allow some vertical movement.
These guys may be trying to take you for a ride.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:11 PM
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Definitely have a coolant leak, that is what made me want to do a once over to begin with.

Inspection says "steering gear box worn, excessive play in output shaft"

Ball joints I expected at some point but thought the labor seemed high?
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:58 PM   #4
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Agree with cflo... steering box @ 52K miles is insane. I doubt the used one they procure would have less miles than that on it. Personally, I would not let someone touch my car if they are providing bogus inflating quotes. Just my opinion though.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:42 PM   #5
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If you really do need a steering box I would upgrade to a better unit like from PSC. Not cheap, but it should last the life of the Jeep. But I would be surprised if you really need one. I think there is an adjustment if the steering box is a little loose. How does it steer?
Radiator leaks seem to be all too common with JKs. But a radiator is an easy swap. The hard part is sourcing one that won't also leak down the road.
That seems like a fair chunk for ball joints, but they are a bit of a pain to get to. I had the shop that regeared my axle do mine, since they were already there it added next to no additional cost. If you are going to gear for the 35s that would be when I would have the ball joints replaced. Unless they are really failed now, they can wait. If they are really failed, you will know.
I would either do it myself or look for a second opinion. That seems like they are fishing for work. But maybe they feel that is what you were looking for.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jbrianr View Post
Agree with cflo... steering box @ 52K miles is insane. I doubt the used one they procure would have less miles than that on it. Personally, I would not let someone touch my car if they are providing bogus inflating quotes. Just my opinion though.
I was told it had 15K on it, this is a shop that specializes in Jeeps, and has a reputation for very good work, but high costs.

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Originally Posted by GuzziMoto View Post
If you really do need a steering box I would upgrade to a better unit like from PSC. Not cheap, but it should last the life of the Jeep. But I would be surprised if you really need one. I think there is an adjustment if the steering box is a little loose. How does it steer?
Radiator leaks seem to be all too common with JKs. But a radiator is an easy swap. The hard part is sourcing one that won't also leak down the road.
That seems like a fair chunk for ball joints, but they are a bit of a pain to get to. I had the shop that regeared my axle do mine, since they were already there it added next to no additional cost. If you are going to gear for the 35s that would be when I would have the ball joints replaced. Unless they are really failed now, they can wait. If they are really failed, you will know.
I would either do it myself or look for a second opinion. That seems like they are fishing for work. But maybe they feel that is what you were looking for.
That is what I was thinking when I said upgrade from factory, it looks like only a few hundred more.

I was going to see how the 35's felt (it is 4.10 now) and see, so far the only true wheeling I have done is Schofield pass, not enough to make a call.

I made an appointment with another shop that has a good rep for work and price (just not a "Jeep Shop"), I figure they should be able to diagnose those just fine too.


Thanks for the input all. Still a bit intimidated by the lift install....lol
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gjk5dave View Post
Looking for some input on these and on what is DIY-ishl
Having done all of these, my opinion is that Ball joints are by far the hardest on this list.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:58 PM   #8
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This is just my very humble opinion. All three of these 'problems' are ones that a well wheeled jeep can and will develop over time. They are common among wranglers.

My '14 had the smell of antifreeze from the first day we bought her new. I know what antifreeze smells like and looked for the leak many times without success. NOTE: I NEVER had to add any coolant, EVER! At 70k, I took it to a shop I "THOUGHT" I could trust and they found a seeping thermostat housing with a small crack in it. They replaced it for me when they did a cooling system service. The problem was, I still smelled the antifreeze after the service. They did not notice the leaking radiator on the drivers side under the mount. I continued to drive the jeep for another 37k miles with the smell. It never needed antifreeze to be added. It never overheated. All it was, was the odor of antifreeze when it warmed up. In my opinion, unless you are overheating or adding antifreeze on a regular basis, this problem can wait until you can fit it into the budget.

The ball joints are a problem that will manifest itself in death wobble. On my '87 YJ, I noticed the top of the front tires leaning IN several months before I felt death wobble starting. Once I did, replacing the ball joints solved the problem. BUT, I saw that the front tires were leaning in at the top first. IMHO, If you can't see the tops of your tires leaning in at the top and you aren't experiencing ANY DW, no matter how slight, that problem can also wait until a more opportune time.

Steering gear box: This is also a problem that will show signs and symptoms of needing repaired if it has progressed past "normal wear." If you don't have noticeable slop in the steering wheel while you are driving, if you can't feel excess play in the sector shaft when checking it yourself manually and you DO NOT have any fluid leaks at the sector shaft, this is also a problem that can wait.

52K miles, unless it was 100% driving off road for these miles, these things might not be as bad as "needing replaced right now!" I LOVE a shop that does a 100% perfect inspection and finds the wear and tear that is needing repaired. BUT, there is an amount of ware that is usable and tolerable wear that can be put on the watch list for later.

Not adding coolant, no DW, no loose steering that is an obvious dead space in your steering, find something more important to spend your $$ on for now! BUT watch these thing very closely.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjk5dave View Post
So I bought this Jeep a month ago, brought it to a local shop for lift install bid and once-over and got back a list of issues. Wasn't looking to drop $2800 just to bring it up to snuff BEFORE lift install

Looking for some input on these and on what is DIY-ish

Radiator leak, new radiator. I can probably handle that and save $400ish (quoted $900)

Steering gear box, maybe? If I DIY I will buy an upgrade from factory with the savings. Should be wash (quoted $550 for used factory box and install)

Ball joints, to be expected and will probably pay for that one....and upgrade to Teraflex. (quoted $1000 with TF bj's)

Have the Rock Krawler Flex lift and shocks in the garage, can probably install this....but it will take me time and may pay to have it done if I can find someone cheaper and faster

Filters and fluids are a no brainer, and save $400+...

kinda bummed, any input is appreciated

Sorry, thought I had done a signature. 2016 JKUR 52K miles, currently on 2" RC lift and 33's on 18's.

Also have 315/70/17 Patagonias and ProComp 69 17's at Discount to install
1) Radiator leak is very common (usually there is a pinhole leak on the top corner on the driver side), in most cases the leak is too small to cause any major issues or significant coolant loss, most of the times it manifests itself in a form of coolant smell. New radiator cost is around $250, DIY replacement is doable as a weekend project.

2) As mentioned above - it is highly unlikely that steering box is so worn out that it needs replacement at 52k. Do you actually feel that there is something wrong with the steering? If not - just leave it alone for another 50k

3) Ball joints may be a legit concern, although the price for the parts and install may vary, full set of Teraflex BJs goes for $265 on Quadratec
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:38 PM   #10
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I accidentally mashed my front tire into a fairly nice sized rock. It did mangle the steering box at only 35K miles so premature wear IS possible; though unlikely. If it doesn't feel out of whack I'd let it go per above. Mine was crystal clear- the steering wheel being upside down was a good indicator. If you go there don't be tempted by the West Texas/Redneck Ram boys. I still have a brand new one that didn't work properly that they wouldn't warrant. Per above PSC is excellent but for a DD probably overboard. They might be willing to do a stocker re-build.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 87_WhyJay View Post
This is just my very humble opinion. All three of these 'problems' are ones that a well wheeled jeep can and will develop over time. They are common among wranglers.

My '14 had the smell of antifreeze from the first day we bought her new. I know what antifreeze smells like and looked for the leak many times without success. NOTE: I NEVER had to add any coolant, EVER! At 70k, I took it to a shop I "THOUGHT" I could trust and they found a seeping thermostat housing with a small crack in it. They replaced it for me when they did a cooling system service. The problem was, I still smelled the antifreeze after the service. They did not notice the leaking radiator on the drivers side under the mount. I continued to drive the jeep for another 37k miles with the smell. It never needed antifreeze to be added. It never overheated. All it was, was the odor of antifreeze when it warmed up. In my opinion, unless you are overheating or adding antifreeze on a regular basis, this problem can wait until you can fit it into the budget.

The ball joints are a problem that will manifest itself in death wobble. On my '87 YJ, I noticed the top of the front tires leaning IN several months before I felt death wobble starting. Once I did, replacing the ball joints solved the problem. BUT, I saw that the front tires were leaning in at the top first. IMHO, If you can't see the tops of your tires leaning in at the top and you aren't experiencing ANY DW, no matter how slight, that problem can also wait until a more opportune time.

Steering gear box: This is also a problem that will show signs and symptoms of needing repaired if it has progressed past "normal wear." If you don't have noticeable slop in the steering wheel while you are driving, if you can't feel excess play in the sector shaft when checking it yourself manually and you DO NOT have any fluid leaks at the sector shaft, this is also a problem that can wait.

52K miles, unless it was 100% driving off road for these miles, these things might not be as bad as "needing replaced right now!" I LOVE a shop that does a 100% perfect inspection and finds the wear and tear that is needing repaired. BUT, there is an amount of ware that is usable and tolerable wear that can be put on the watch list for later.

Not adding coolant, no DW, no loose steering that is an obvious dead space in your steering, find something more important to spend your $$ on for now! BUT watch these thing very closely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soggoth View Post
1) Radiator leak is very common (usually there is a pinhole leak on the top corner on the driver side), in most cases the leak is too small to cause any major issues or significant coolant loss, most of the times it manifests itself in a form of coolant smell. New radiator cost is around $250, DIY replacement is doable as a weekend project.

2) As mentioned above - it is highly unlikely that steering box is so worn out that it needs replacement at 52k. Do you actually feel that there is something wrong with the steering? If not - just leave it alone for another 50k

3) Ball joints may be a legit concern, although the price for the parts and install may vary, full set of Teraflex BJs goes for $265 on Quadratec
You guys seem to be hitting the nail on the head:

Tiny driver's side leak, have had EVIC on temp for over a week and never over 222. Level is fine.

Have had DW on my old K5, this has an occasional shudder at 70+MPH but nothing that could not be attributed to the badly cupped tires IMO. Tires are not leaning in. I think I will probably stockpile a set of TF just in case.

There is some play in the steering but not that I feel is excessive I suppose, a little "dead zone" so to speak. I thought it was wandering the road but now I think it is the tires "grabbing" road wear and texture and pulling. I will check tomorrow for sector shaft play and fluid.

I think I am going to put on the RK lift and the new tires and wheels and reassess the situation. I may have let this inspection get inside my head too much......
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:51 PM
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the new Patagonias and wheels went on today, made a huge difference in ride and handling. Going to work on lift this weekend.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:05 PM   #13
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The PO should have caught the cupping of the tires early on. Frequent rotation by the driver gives a good opportunity to check the tires. Tire balance is one cause, and that should be felt. However, with your new tires that should be solved. With 35's I hope whoever balanced them did it with road force on the balancing machine. If you start to feel some vibrations on smooth even pavement, take it to a tire shop that does over the road truck work. They are more accustomed to the heavy tires on our Jeeps.

Cupping can also be caused by defective shocks. They can be checked by bounding the front and rear of the Jeep and seeing how long it takes to settle down.

I recently had a good bit of front axle work done and one of the items was installing new ball joints. The shop charged $140 a side to install the new ball joints. So it was less than $500 to do both sides including the parts. Granted it is a TJ, but there is not that much difference.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:31 PM
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The PO should have caught the cupping of the tires early on. Frequent rotation by the driver gives a good opportunity to check the tires. Tire balance is one cause, and that should be felt. However, with your new tires that should be solved. With 35's I hope whoever balanced them did it with road force on the balancing machine. If you start to feel some vibrations on smooth even pavement, take it to a tire shop that does over the road truck work. They are more accustomed to the heavy tires on our Jeeps.

Cupping can also be caused by defective shocks. They can be checked by bounding the front and rear of the Jeep and seeing how long it takes to settle down.

I recently had a good bit of front axle work done and one of the items was installing new ball joints. The shop charged $140 a side to install the new ball joints. So it was less than $500 to do both sides including the parts. Granted it is a TJ, but there is not that much difference.
Tires were installed by Discount, they have a good shop here and I have been using them for about 12 years. We shall see, there were a good # of weights on them....

I am fairly sure the crappy RC stuff is contributing to the poor ride and inconsistent tire wear.

I wish I could find a shop to do ball joints that cheap.


Anyway, riding better now and want to get lift on ASAP before these tires start to develop the same symptoms. Also need to sell the old tires and wheels....

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