Just bought my first Wrangler today, 1989 YJ 4.2L 6cyl., and needless to say it needs a little work. Instead of giving a real mechanic the job of fixing everything, I'd like to do it myself. I first want to give it a general tune-up (spark plugs, fluids, filters, etc.). I've already run into trouble with knowing how to reach the spark plugs. There's this teardrop-shaped plastic thing on top of the engine, and I have no idea what it is or why it's there. I couldn't find any mention of it in the Haynes Repair Manual or in pictures of other YJs online. Anyone know what the heck the thing is? (I'll put a pic up of it when the sun comes up). What else, if anything will I need to work around or remove to replace spark plugs?
If anyone has suggestions of general things about YJs I should know or do, please don't hesitate to let me know! I'm dying to learn as much as I can and start doing work on my YJ.
Hi there, welcome to Jeep Forum - you've just found one of the best jeep sites anywhere!
Smart move to start with the basics - a tune-up is the very first thing that happens to any vehicle I get. Along with oil change and whatever other fluids. Getting at the plugs isn't hard with a socket extension. Probably a 6" extension is easiest. 90% of mechanical work is removing stuff so that you can get at the part you're actually interested in. And then cleaning it all and putting it back.
Great idea to join a club it you have one local to you. Also you can find both Hayne's and Chilton's repair manuals at parts stores such as NAPA (which I recommend.)
Have fun, and let us know how it goes!
***--- Wrecking Crew member ---***
"I've prolly been around longer than you think"
Don't have much info to give you on your project but I will say that I just bought my first jeep this year and this site has been great. You can also go to google and type in replace spark plug jeep YJ and I guarantee a link from this site will pop up with a video showing you how to do it. Someone on here has posted a ton of DIY project videos for basic maintenance. Good luck! Here are some links I found looking for just a quick second:
hypernoodle, it is in fact the air filter. I came across a picture in the Haynes Repair Manual. At least that clears up that confusion. Thanks!
Thanks for all the tips, guys. I bought a real set of hand tools, along with spark plugs and almost every type of fluid, filter, and tune-up part needed to get the YJ running more smoothly. I'll post before and after pics of what I get done (assuming it doesn't keep down-pouring all day)!
Welcome to the club. These are simple vehicles for maintenance work, you do not even have to jack them up to remove the oil pan if need be.
Before you change or mod anything, get it running 100% first. This is very important. And only do one mod at a time if you do decide to stray from OEM specs, otherwise, if it isn't right, you will never know where to start looking for the problem.
Many here do not like the OEM carb, distributor, axles, etc....., but in most cases those parts have given nearly a quarter million miles of good service. So, it is best to at least try to repair or adjust the OEM parts first before just cutting and hacking thinking it will be "better". A big problem, esp for a low time mechanic, is none of the aftermarket parts are listed in any maintenance manual, and you are on your own to try to figure out how to adjust, get parts, or make them work.
As far as maintenance manuals, get the factory manual, forget all the aftermarket stuff unless you need some striking paper for your outhouse. There are some links to download the factory manual, see if you can do that (sorry, I do not have a link at this time), for hard copies of the factory manual, ebay is about the easiest place to get them.
Good luck, and enjoy!
418 miles on 19 gallons of gas. Can't beat the BBD !
Welcome. Glad to have you here. I have been working on vehicles for 25 yrs. I'm not a mechanic, just shade tree. I have always had to work on my own, never being able to buy new. So I will give advise as you need and don't mind telling you that "I don't know." I agree with those who have said to get it running as well as you can before making mods. I will also say that the more mods you do the more tools you need. I would buy the best tools you can afford, it will pay in the long run. I would also get into a club because you will find people who can work on what you have. I have never bought a factory repair manual, I have always used both Chiltons and Haynes manuals to do the work I have done. I also was in the way any time my dad was working on a car, I had 4yrs. of auto shop in high school, so I have some experience before working on my own. Once again I am not a pro, just an experienced shade tree.
Getting the plugs out you should need a 3/8 drive ratchet a spark plug socket and an extension. Pull the filter as it should probably be replaced any way. Pull the plugs and replace them one at a time. You will need to gap the plugs before installing them. A LITTLE anti-sieze on the threads of each is a good idea, don't get it on the electrodes. When you tighten the plugs tighten them just until it get good and snug and then another 1/8 - a 1/4 turn. If you tighten them too tight you can break the ceramic portion and ruin the plug. Look at your plug wires checking for cracks in the the outer insulating "skin." When replacing the oil filter put a little of the old oil on the rubber gasket. You use the old oil because it is essentially no longer able to withstand the heat so it helps to create a seal when it gets hot. The new oil will not work. It will also not keep you from removing the filter when it needs to be replaced. I would also change the oil in the t-case, trans, and axles.
" If you ain't been stuck you ain't wheeling enough." - Me
When all else fails... ham radio is there!
I learned the same way you will learn. By just doing it. Ask alot of questions. Don't be afraid to say you don't understand something either. Have patience with things as well. Yjs can get the best of you sometimes!
I'm super green newbie in the electrical aspect of things. I just learned the basics. But I needed some mechanical now how as well.
I will second...or possibly third at this point the club thing. Where are you located? Maybe i can recommend a good club. I already had good working knowledge of cars before I even got my license. My dad pounded car **** into my brain and made me work on his Sable and my mom's Grand Cherokee. I got my First GC when I was 16/17 but didn't join a club until last year and my knowledge increased ten fold! joining a club was the best move i ever made, it has saved me so much time and money when it comes to fixing and upgrading my Jeeps, also just buying them. I wouldn't have my Wrangler if I didn't join this club. A\
s far as your tune up is concerned, when you gap the plugs obviously you will need a gapper, which you can get when you get the plugs, someone else already said what tools you will need. When you buy the plugs they should tell you what the gap needs to be. A gapper looks like a round piece of metal almost like a coin with several edges. It would take someone who knows what they are doing about 10-15 minutes to do plugs and wires. It is a fairly simple job, It is perfect for someone's first real work on a car. Just make sure that you do all of the wires one at a time so that you do not lose track of which wires go to which plugs.
BlackGallagher. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your email info and I'll open a link for you to download the factory service manual and parts manual for the 87-88 Wranglers. It'll make the Haynes/Chiltons look like a kid's coloring book.
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1987 Maroon YJ (sideways build)
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