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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here it goes… I’ve owned, driven, built, and loved Jeeps since my first ride when I was a kid. Most of what I know, I learned while pulling apart and repairing or building my Jeeps. 1997 Jeep YJ was my first, 1995 YJ was my second, I restored a 1977 CJ7 over the course of a year or so, my wife drives a 2014 Jeep JK Unlimited Sport, and I recently purchased a 2008 JK Rubicon 2dr. So I’ve had lots of experience with Jeeps new and old.
The Rubicon has the following mods, to the best of my knowledge. A 3” BDS lift with new Nitro 8.0 shocks in front and rear (rears inverted). AEV Geometry CA relocation bracket, Grade 8, 9/16” bolts in lower control arms (front and rear) and in Track bar front and rear, Superlift steering stabilizer, Rugged Ridge 17 x 9 satin black wheels with 35 x 12.5 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ tires.
The problems started with a tick that I noticed about two weeks after I purchased it, so far it’s just a nuisance but can be heard at idle and throughout the gear range getting faster only slightly as the vehicle accelerates, but otherwise does not get louder. I can’t tell if it’s coming from the engine. It almost sounds like an exhaust leak, like you would get on some older vehicles until the exhaust manifold heats up and seals better. Or possibly a lifter/valve that is loose or not adjusted properly.
The next issue occurred about 3 weeks after I purchased it….Death Wobble. I never experienced it in a Jeep until this one. I did my homework and did the grade 8 9/16” bolt upgrade, and welded thicker washers in place where the track bar holes were slightly egged out. During inspection (Much Thanks to PlanMan’s Thread) I found the steering tie rod ends and drag link ends were worn and needed to be replaced. The Ball Joints were worn and needed replacing and the factory steering stabilizer was shot. The dealership I purchased it from did all the repairs under warranty and so far, so good.
That was a week ago. I was installing new shocks over the weekend and noticed the front axle seal on the passenger side is now leaking, a product of removing the axle to change ball joints no doubt. It’s a lot of work to change a 4$ part.
The air bag light is coming on and going off, no doubt a clock spring issue, and to top it all off the check engine light came on this morning. I checked for codes but all I get are dashes and then “Done”. What gives? What new problem awaits me know? I don’t think I’ve ever been this discouraged with a Jeep in my life. I always wanted a Rubicon since they first came out, guess that’s what I get for insisting on a Rubicon. I guess I just need some good news for a change, or lots of tech advise. Thanks guys!

:atomic:
 

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I have the very same 2008 JK Rubicon and had issues with mine shortly after purchase including transmission synchronizers going out, oxygen sensor, bad ball joints, and the regurgitating gasoline issue, all fixed under warranty.

Since then it has been very dependable. I do have a similar engine ticking that might be the same as yours. My JK has had it since I purchased it used. When I had it at the dealership for the ball joint replacement I popped the hood and we listened to the ticking together. I asked if it could be lifters, exhaust manifold, or the fuel injectors, and the service advisor I spoke with said he was not sure, but that it sounded normal and all the 3.8s has some slight ticking. I take that with a grain of salt, but the ticking has not gotten worse or caused any issues over the 20K miles I've put on it since then. I've also talked to at least one other JK 3.8 owner in my area about it and they reported the same slight ticking.

For death wobble you definitely want to change your worn ball joints and make sure your trackbar bolts and lower control arm bolts are all torqued to 125 ft/lbs. Also check for worn tie rod ends.

Once you get past this group of repairs you'll probably find that things settle down and nothing else pops up for a while. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For death wobble you definitely want to change your worn ball joints and make sure your trackbar bolts and lower control arm bolts are all torqued to 125 ft/lbs. Also check for worn tie rod ends. Once you get past this group of repairs you'll probably find that things settle down and nothing else pops up for a while. Good luck!
All that has been done now so I'm just left with replacing the oil seals in the front axle. I'll tear into that on Friday afternoon. The code for the engine light was P0455 an evap leak somewhere. I found a very good thread to address that problem(s) so I'll add that to the list this weekend too. What's left is the clock spring, I'm not too happy about this repair but I'm sure I'll be able to fix the broken or shorted wiring
On a side note does anyone have experience with tube seals (good/bad)? I know it won't help with the leaking seal, I'm worried that it will hide a leaky seal down the line. I have to have her ready for the beach this spring, lots of fun driving on the NC beaches and camping by the ocean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So Saturday was eventful, once I got the front axles out, and the differential out, I found the problem. Each tube had two of the plastic axle guides in them. The left side axle seal had one of the guides shoved halfway through it which was the obvious cause of the leak. I replaced both seals and removed/replaced the axle guides. Once everything was back together and torqued I put new gear oil in, took it for a spin and NO LEAKS! I also changed the rear Diff fluids to keep everything on one time schedule.
Thanks to the Forum members for all the help, I found answers to all my questions with a few searches. I won't list all the threads here but I appreciate the wealth of knowledge.
Now I'm debating on repairing or replacing that dreaded clock spring.
 

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So Saturday was eventful, once I got the front axles out, and the differential out, I found the problem. Each tube had two of the plastic axle guides in them. The left side axle seal had one of the guides shoved halfway through it which was the obvious cause of the leak. I replaced both seals and removed/replaced the axle guides. Once everything was back together and torqued I put new gear oil in, took it for a spin and NO LEAKS! I also changed the rear Diff fluids to keep everything on one time schedule.
Thanks to the Forum members for all the help, I found answers to all my questions with a few searches. I won't list all the threads here but I appreciate the wealth of knowledge.
Now I'm debating on repairing or replacing that dreaded clock spring.
I find this funny as I've changed my clock spring while I was on lunch, but I paid my buddy to change out my inner axle seals... It's all about comfort
level..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I find this funny as I've changed my clock spring while I was on lunch, but I paid my buddy to change out my inner axle seals... It's all about comfort level..
I'm not great when it comes to electrical and something about removing an airbag gives me pause. Did you just put in a new one or make repairs to the old?
 

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New one, and pull the battery. Make sure your wheels are pointed straight when you do it. Also make sure you have adjusted the wheels so it's centered before you start or you'll be doing it 2x..

There's at lease one walk though on the internets.
 
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