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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a 2005 Jeep Wrangler X from a CoPart salvage auction. in mid-April. It has a bent frame in the front on the driver side.

This thread is the story of the journey of putting it back together and then modifying it to my tastes.

The Jeep was rust free and in overall decent condition. I believe the frame can be repaired.

I am doing videos of the project and you are welcome to follow along and see my trials, tribulations, and newly invented swear words aimed at FCA engineers who clearly have never worked on the vehicles they design.
Playlist for the series:

As of this post I am in the process of pulling the engine so that the frame shop has better access to repair the frame. I am expecting to reinforce the frame where the bend is, but we'll see how it pulls out first. FCA says no heat and no sectioning, but I'm pretty sure most of the rust repair is well beyond sectioning, so I'm going to do what makes sense to me and not worry too much about the FCA guidance which basically is intended to total Jeeps on insurance claims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
#14 - Removing the houdini-like exhaust drop pipe while trying not to remove the transmission and front axle to get it out! What absolutely craptastic design. A removable bracket at the lower cat would have been a game changer.... as would access openings in the skid plate. FCA must pay through the nose in excess labor for warranty work.
 

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I was a body shop owner for the last 20 years of my working career (and a body tech before that). I agree, unless there's something I don't know about Wrangler frames, heating them and sectioning them is just fine if done in accordance with ICAR guidelines.
Ask the frame shop for a final printout of the frame specs. I would expect a well equipped frame shop to have a computer controlled frame measuring system that can print out the final measurements of a repaired frame.

If the Jeep won't run, look for a impact triggered fuel pump cut off switch. I don't know if '05 Wranglers come with such a device, but many fuel injected vehicles have them. First place to look is behind the passenger side kick panel. Next place to look is Google.

Keep us posted on how it goes.

Good Luck, L.M.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was a body shop owner for the last 20 years of my working career (and a body tech before that). I agree, unless there's something I don't know about Wrangler frames, heating them and sectioning them is just fine if done in accordance with ICAR guidelines.
Ask the frame shop for a final printout of the frame specs. I would expect a well equipped frame shop to have a computer controlled frame measuring system that can print out the final measurements of a repaired frame.

If the Jeep won't run, look for a impact triggered fuel pump cut off switch. I don't know if '05 Wranglers come with such a device, but many fuel injected vehicles have them. First place to look is behind the passenger side kick panel. Next place to look is Google.

Keep us posted on how it goes.

Good Luck, L.M.
I had a rough time finding a computer equipped shop that would touch it. As the vehicle had been economically totalled and I only wanted the frame straightened most of them just said flat out no. They wanted to do all of the work or none of it.

ICAR follows FCA guidance and FCA says no section, no heat.... shrug. I did look up what ICAR had to say. I'm sure FCA says no welding rusted frames and definitely no cutting frames in half and welding non FCA metal to them. Way to much risk associated with that for FCA. FCA says empty your bank account and they'll give you a shiny turd. They would much rather see insurance write the car off and them sell another one. How insurance pays to repair and how you need to do it are not always the same.

I hunted around and found a small family owned shop that I think can do it correctly. I'm pulling the engine to create space for them to work without worrying about the engine shifting or burning something if they need to add some heat. The worst of the bend in the frame is forward of where the shock tower attaches. I believe if they pull it out and straighten it that it will be fine. If it looks dicey I'll make a plate and weld it to the frame for reinforcement.

I realize that will alter the way the frame absorbs energy and I think it will be fine. There is plenty of engine and frame to act as a shock absorber. I've been in a wreck in a YJ that was bad enough to bend the seat so I have an idea what sort of risk I'm rationalizing. That Jeep was repaired and drove just fine.

This Jeep is a toy for me and I'm going to drag it behind a bus conversion motorhome to run the beach, trails etc when camping. I may also drive it to the beach. It's not a daily driver and not something I intend to have children in. Before the risk police show up, I also used to ride a motorcycle and I scuba dive. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jeep 14 - Extricating the Exhaust downpipe from the Houdini trap known as a Jeep
This one is really long, but hopefully it will help someone else tackling downpipe removal. Very minor changes to the design of that downpipe would have made it FAR easier to remove.

Jeep 15 - Fuel Injection and Intake Manifold wiring removal.... including breaking the plastic bus the wiring lives in. grrrrr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jeep 16:
  • transmission cooler line removal from side of engine and transmission.... couldn't find my tool for this so I used the screwdriver method again, which works just fine.
  • Hooked up the engine lift and the balance bar. Reach on the lift isn't quite what I'd like, but it will work.
I'm convinced that Advance Auto is a branch office of hell. Asked the clueless clerk for a 7/16-14 nut and she acted like I spoke a foreign language and asked me for the part number. Finally took me to the hardware section pointed at it and said, It's in there somewhere as she walked away. Pretty sure her last job was at McDonalds working the drive thru. I wound up leaving and told her that this is why I shop at RockAuto and Amazon...
  • Nice close up of the FUBAR motor mount on the driver side. No idea what is holding the engine up other then passenger side mount and transmission mount. Fun times.
  • discussion of access to rear motor E-torx bolts (hint 36" extension and universal joint)
  • Also disconnected the crankshaft position sensor and some other sensor in that area... probably oil pressure sender. Def not camshaft position sensor, that's on the gizmo that would mount a distributor cap.

Hold up now is waiting on an E-torx set and a 36" extension. Horrible freight wanted $30 for a set, Amazon was $19.99. Amazon for the win, both options made in China.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This week I realized I needed a longer engine hoist..... and I finally got the damn engine out. It's no wonder Jeep struggles.... their engineers take 50 cent shortcuts for manufacturing that make maintenance and service a nightmare. There are alot of very stupid things going on in that engine bay. Not the least of which are the bolts between the engine and transmission at the top. Video coming in the next day or two.
Glasses Land vehicle Smile Tire Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's been a rough week.... my house central AC got jealous of the Jeep and the magic smoke (refrigerant) blew out the side of the compressor..... That's another story/project.....

So here is the update on the Jeep
Jeep 17: Tool review and assembly video for the Harbor Freight 2 Ton engine hoist / shop crane. Paid $269 for it... got 10% off for it being open box and sold my 1 ton for $150. lol.
Jeep 18: Removing the engine mounts from the engine and frame
Jeep 19: The tools I used to remove the bolts from the upper bell housing. Hint 36" extension, e-torx socket, and swivel.
Jeep 20: Actually removing the bolts from the bell housing and pulling the engine out
Jeep 21: Putting the grille back in. Frame shop wanted it in for when they pull the frame out.
 
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