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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after 4 months of searching and pondering I am finally the proud owner of a JEEP. Specifically a YJ! So for some background I was having a huge debate over getting a 2.5 with 4.10's and 33's or getting a 4.0 and 33's and regearing. I wanted a DD that I could take out on the weekend and make the occasional trip 100's of miles away to offroad. budget was around $4500 which isn't that easy in the Texas area. Not impossible but not easy like some of the other states I have seen.

So after much searching I came across mine. I had narrowed it down but a few things really stood out with this one. It was listed at $4000 and had the following:
4.0 171K, 5 speed, 4.10 gears, 4" suspension lift, 33's, 8.8 rear with disk brakes and LSD, front has a locker as well, Tube fenders, crusher rear fenders, Smitty front and rear bumpers, sound bar and a few different tops. Tranny grinds when shifting 1-4, not all the time but 90% of the time, a/c needs charging and overall needs some TLC.

Listing Picture:



Immediately while walking around the vehicle I notice a snapped Shackle (this picture is after we took off the locking nut:



After pondering it for a bit we finally make a deal for $3700 and I felt really good about it. Needed some love but I was happy to finally have a jeep with a decent start.

Spent the first 3 hours under her with the help of the PO. Took a while since I didnt have any tools with me but the PO helped me out a lot. The leaf had shifted as well so I had to loosen the entire assembly and straighten it back home. Used a shackle I picked up at auto zone just to get me home.

By home I mean 250 miles away...


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Finally left the PO's place at around 9pm after gettting there at 5 and started on the trip home. Has a Pro Comp leaf lift that actually rode pretty well but the lack of both track bars and front sway bar made the 3.5 hour trip home a bit more exciting. I'll put the sway bar back on but the other bars are long gone and I don't need them anyways.

Got home around 1 am and was happy to make it. Speedo read 75/80 but we were going about 60/65 the whole way.




Patch job:



and finally home





Super dirty and ready for some TLC


First things first: Car Wash





Also my first mod/add on: Rear bumper with tow hitch, shackle mount and swing out tire carrier. Best part $250!!!! from a jeep junkyard Really helped finish out the look.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Next was a trip to the auto store for some much needed basic tune up items:
Synthetic oil and filter
oil pan gasket
distributor cap/rotor
spark plugs and wires
fluid for transfer case





Soon to come is transmission fluid change (hoping this helps with the grinding gears)
- PO says they have been grinding since he got it in 98.. he has had to change out the clutch master cylinder about 4 times.. Any ideas on that?? Only grinds 2-4 or downshifting. Putting it in 1st and 5th ok for the most part.




Also need valve cover gasket
(its leaking and dirty as crazy around that area) also didn't look too good in the engine so I added a bottle of seafoam in the crankcase with the fresh oil.
Gaskets for leaking transfer case

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Presently my immediate concerns are the grinding transmission, the dirty fluids, 2 front tires and the leaks underneath that seem to be coming from the valve cover, oil pan, transfer case and the rear axle.


Rear axle leak: (any help with this?) Its slinging gear oil on the left side of the axle and the shock.




Anyone know if theres a seal where the shaft connects into the rear axle? Name of it? Difficulty of replacing it?

That and ideas on the transmission? We'll see what the fluid swap does.


THANKS for any future help and I hope you guys enjoy this.
 

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Sounds like a good start to me! :D
 

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If it's a 5 speed manual then you don't have a tranny dipstick. It takes about 3.5 quarts. It's a pain to do. There's just a drain ad fill plug, both 15/16 I believe. Drain is on passenger side and fill is in drivers. Will need a pump or a tube that connects to bottle to get fluid in. Rear axle fluid issue is probably the seal right behind the pinion yoke. Easy to change and only costs a couple bucks. Remove the 4 small bolts that hold in u joint, remove the driveshaft, then you can take off pinion yoke nut (1 1/8" I believe). Then there is the seal. Remove it and replace it. Buy a new pinion yoke nut when you order the seal because they are one time use nuts. Make sure to count the # of threads you see exposed before you take off the pinion nut because it is important for the rear diff to have correct preload set. Some will say you can do it this way, others say take it to a shop and have them dissassemble and measure everything when putting the pinion yoke back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That would explain why I can't find the dipstick. Lol I appreciate that, I'll get that done tonight or tomorrow.

Rear axle seal sounds pretty easy then, I may ask a shop to quote it just so I don't throw off something and trash the rear end. I hate paying for what I can do though so I'll check it out again today as well.

Should be getting some black rims soon as well. Hopefully this weekend. And probably paint the hood to cover up all the peeling
 

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Pinion seal, or pinion yoke seal.

Be careful with that. There is a crush sleve in there. if you over tighten it you kill the pinion bearings, too loose you kill the pinion bearings. I am unsure of the 8.8 actual method but i did mine on my d 35 and it required the use of an inch pound rotational torque wrench. It was $125 by itself.

Not sure if the 8.8 is doen the same way. The mark the nut method i have seen vids on seems to work for the 8.8.

I have an 8.8 to swap my d35 for so I am sure I will soon find out the correct method soon.

Great jeep it seems the hard stuff is all done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I sure like to hope the "hard" work is. But I know it never seems to work out that way. Lol Its the maintenance that I'm having fun with now.

Is there a way to check the gear level on these 8.8's? Doesn't seem to be a fill plug on the back.
 

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I sure like to hope the "hard" work is. But I know it never seems to work out that way. Lol Its the maintenance that I'm having fun with now.

Is there a way to check the gear level on these 8.8's? Doesn't seem to be a fill plug on the back.
Depending on what it's out of its on the top front near the pinion or on the drivers side axle tube.

Nice ride though man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alright lets see where we left off...

Hopped into the Tune-up. Figured itd be the best place to start with the jeep rather then mods for now. Kind of boring but solid foundations help create firm structures I suppose.

It was starting a bit slow (could be due to its age) but I kicked it off with replacing the distributor cap, rotor, wires and spark plugs along with the pcv valve. (Which had broke off when I went to check it out after I found oil on the air filter)




I've done this many of times before but didnt do a great job of marking the wires and this took a bit of headscratching. Mainly because in the repair manual it shows the distributor cap perfectly inline and in real life it never really works out that way.





Replaced everything and it still doesn't fire immediatly up like I'd like it to. Not sure if this is just how they are but it seems to crank a bit before it'll start. Also has a very faint lope. Could be normal also but its just things I notice. Maybe check the timing?


Then went on to the oil change.

Advance was having a sale on the synthetic with bosch oil filter so I changed it out and tossed in a bottle of Seafoam along with it in the crankcase. Huge Seafoam fan and I wasn't exactly impressed with how the engine looked inside the pcv valve hole so hopefully that will help clean things up.

Next, hopped underneath to check out all the fluids that I could see dripping around. (as I figure out what they are I will be doing seals) I know, more super exciting stuff to read about but I feel like its important...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
PO said that the transmission needed to be rebuilt and I knew it was grinding as I shifted gears so I decided I'd change the transmission fluid out and see if that helped any.

My neighbor is an Amzoil rep so I got squared away with some good synthetic oil for the job. I know most people recommend the Redline but I had a source so I went with it.



As many of you know the transmission takes about 3 1/4 quarts. Obviously the first thing I did was drain the oil. If you don't know how to do this I found these online for reference:

Fill Plug on the Drivers side (Picture needs to rotate to the left):


Drain Plug on the front, more towards the passenger side:



I read somewhere to always take the fill cap off first so that if you run into any issues it won't be after you drained your fluid. Just a helpful tip you can use for any circumstance that relates.

Another helpful tip is to place something under the drain plug that routes the fluid away from the slide plate under your transfer case. (You don't need to reomve that). I just used an orange tranny fluid funnel positioned underneath the drain hole and it worked perfectly.

I removed the bolt and of course it was caked on with metal and sludge. (PO said he'd never replaced the fluid since he got it in 98')



Then I waited for the fluid which I figured was going to be horribly disgusting. It was, however there was another issue....



Only about a half quart came out..... Uh..... Of course your transmission was grinding PO. It needs fluid to run smooth.




Cleaned off the bolt and the area under the transmission and replaced it. Then topped off the transmission. You have to get a pump to do this if you want to do it from below. DON'T get a cheap siphon (they suck) and pay for a good pump. I broke mine in the middle of the first bottle and had to rig it to work.

Also checked the transfer case fluid, which was only about a 1/4 quart low. For your reference if you don't know how to do this:



Then moved to the rear axle. I know this had to be low due to the gear fluid slung everywhere. (as shown in pictures above) Ended up putting in 2 full quarts into the 8.8. Not sure how much it holds but I know that can't be close to being full...

Test drove her to work that night and although the transmission still grinds a little its BY FAR smoother and better then before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Picked up a hi lift from my job at academy and am presently working on figuring out how I want to mount it to my rear tire carrier. For now though I tossed it right behind the two rear seatbelts. Fits like a charm and doesn't move. Hops a bit on a bump but I couldn't have asked for anything better for now.








First drive to work. (Other then the 250 mile trip I made to get her home)



Yes, the windshield says H2 Recovery Team. Still not sure if I'm going to keep that on there but it'll stay for now
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Soon to come:
Swap for black wheels or get mine painted
Paint hood where its completely faded black
Figure out what to do with the interior
Mount hi lift
Tires
Replace all Shackles
Figure out how to fix the rear pinion seal leak in the 8.8


GO OFFROAD ALREADY!!!! I need some poser picts's.
 
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