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Unread 03-06-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
ech0sh4y
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5.9 - Coolant Leak, upgrade parts!

Hey fellas I jus picked up 5.9 with a 124k on it. The Zj is rust free and seemed to be a great buy... until I got it home. I'm finding more and more issues with it as I keep looking it over. Anyways I'm starting to tackle some of the issues that I have found thus far. First off was the coolant leak. Thought it was the water pump but realized that it is leaking from the timing chain cover :roll eyes: So now that I am going to tear into the front end of the engine I figured maybe I should see if I can upgrade or do a possible cam swap! I need to change the valve cover gaskets also, maybe roller rockers?!

Anyways I have planned on get a roller chain set, seemed to a be a smart idea while in there. Also the dampener is shot. It is all off set and wobbles horribly and the rubber is starting to come apart. Would you have any other recommendations for me as I'm replacing some of these items?

Parts to buy so far:
- Valve cover gaskets
- Timing chain
- Dampener
- Timing chain cover gasket
- front oil pan gasket?
- water pump gasket
- new t-stat and gasket
- the 4" radiator hose
- the hard line coolant hose (goes into water pump)
- idler pulley
- new belt

I will be updating this list with brands/prices as I go for future reference. So Please shed some input on upgrades and recommended parts/brands!

Thanks,
Brian

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Unread 03-06-2012, 06:28 PM   #2
newfieZJ
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You have to do the plenum gasket if your going that deep . Very common issue with the 5.2/5.9's . plus your right there . Recomend replacing the plenum plate from metal to aluminum . Hughes makes one , also there is a guy on speedfreaks.com that makes them cheaper .

I have a Dorman balancer on mine for over 30K , cheap , no issues .

Felpro is a good name in gaskets . Cloyles for the dbl rllr chain .

I just bought my 2nd set of dbl platinum Champion plugs . Love em .

Run a MSD coil , 8mm+ wires using this TSB http://dodgeram.info/tsb/1998/18-48-98/18-48-98.htm

Get a tuner . Again , see speedfreaks for a link to a guy that sells them . I run the perf PCM , I'm happy , but could be happier with the tuner

Open your exhaust . HF cat and muffler . I run 2.5" and love it . Great torque and better mpg's .

Replace the bushings on your front lower control arms , I guarentee they need replacing .

I always buy dealer t-stats . Fail safes are junk . Never an issue with a mopar .

Cursed t-covers on these things . Mine leaks too . I have all my parts except the accual t-cover gasket and the fluids . Including the Hughes plate and chain .
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Unread 03-06-2012, 08:41 PM   #3
Candymancan
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Oh boy here we go again lol.... Seems these 5.9's are very prone to coolant leaks on the timing chain covers...Let me guess its on the drivers side right ?

Word of advice, replace the waterpump as well... I re-used my old pump and it started leaking like a mofo even tho it was fine before hand.. Removing it must have disturbed the 14 year old pump. Replace the lower and upper radiator hoses on top of the 4 inch water neck hose. Also replace the radiator petcock... garuntee you your old one the O ring will break when you take it out.

Also you will have problems with the rubber o ring on the waterpump heater bypass tube (the metal tube going out the waterpump on the drivers side and running alone the valve cover) You will most likely shred the new o ring you get from the waterpump you buy so my advice is to get one of these http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...er=426076_0_0_ . They sell them in autozone or advance auto parts. Its at the "HELP" section in a green box.. This is the only way you will be able to get replacement O rings.. Trust me... an O ring kit box, or o rings by themselves that anystore sells will not fit... I know first hand..

When you get to the part of putting the tube back in put some oil on the ring with some coolant and push it in EXACTLY flush or it will shred and leak... I spent more time messing with this o-ring then i did replacing the waterpump lol..

If you have any other questions on how to do this project just ask... Oh also when you take the waterpump bolts out... Make sure you put each bolt in the same hole of your new waterpump that you have laying around that way you know which bolt goes in which hole... You dont want to put a longer bolt in the wrong hole and crack your timing cover. Also i never removed my oil pan.. some do some dont.. I didnt all i did was put some rtv on the oil pan gasket that is under the timing cover when i put the cover on and it hasnt leaked a spec of oil in the last 6-7 months

Here are some pics from my project when my timing cover was leaking.










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Unread 03-06-2012, 09:27 PM   #4
RedRocket1994
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I have done this job for quite a few V8 ZJs, Rams, etc, and can tell you that you can take what Newfie & Candyman said as gospel. Get your T-stat right from the dealer (or a real Mopar from elsewhere, w/e), def replace that tube, Champion plugs are great (all I'd EVER use) and you can't go wrong with Cloyes. Also, Newfie mentioned the plenum gasket; you might as well do this while you're in there, because if it's not bad now it will be. Let me add that if you see your t-stat waterneck is corroded/rusted/groady, replace it with a cast aluminum one from Napa, NOT the stamped steel Dorman one from Autozone or Advance, they are just problematic. Trust me, I tried multiple times with one from work. Just my two Lincolns...
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Unread 03-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #5
ech0sh4y
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfieZJ View Post
You have to do the plenum gasket if your going that deep . Very common issue with the 5.2/5.9's . plus your right there . Recomend replacing the plenum plate from metal to aluminum . Hughes makes one , also there is a guy on speedfreaks.com that makes them cheaper .

I have a Dorman balancer on mine for over 30K , cheap , no issues .

Felpro is a good name in gaskets . Cloyles for the dbl rllr chain .

I just bought my 2nd set of dbl platinum Champion plugs . Love em .

Run a MSD coil , 8mm+ wires using this TSB http://dodgeram.info/tsb/1998/18-48-98/18-48-98.htm

Get a tuner . Again , see speedfreaks for a link to a guy that sells them . I run the perf PCM , I'm happy , but could be happier with the tuner

Open your exhaust . HF cat and muffler . I run 2.5" and love it . Great torque and better mpg's .

Replace the bushings on your front lower control arms , I guarentee they need replacing .

I always buy dealer t-stats . Fail safes are junk . Never an issue with a mopar .

Cursed t-covers on these things . Mine leaks too . I have all my parts except the accual t-cover gasket and the fluids . Including the Hughes plate and chain .

Thank you for the info!! Few questions for you though.

1. The only Cloyes timing chain I can find is P/N: C380. I'm not sure if this a double roller like you suggested?

2. I was looking on MSD's website and found that they do not offer a coil for the 5.9. Are you suggesting the ignition box/wiring harness? Any chance you could shoot me a P/N?

3. Mopar T-stat, I assume just run the stock 195 degree?

4. For the plenum, I went to Hughes website and noticed that they have a kit available, P/N: HUG 7720R. Would this be what your were talking about? Also would you recommend that I upgrade the intake it's self I'm going to have to pull it anyhow?

Again I appreciate the info!

~ Brian
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Unread 03-07-2012, 06:36 PM   #6
ech0sh4y
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candymancan View Post
Oh boy here we go again lol.... Seems these 5.9's are very prone to coolant leaks on the timing chain covers...Let me guess its on the drivers side right ?

Word of advice, replace the waterpump as well... I re-used my old pump and it started leaking like a mofo even tho it was fine before hand.. Removing it must have disturbed the 14 year old pump. Replace the lower and upper radiator hoses on top of the 4 inch water neck hose. Also replace the radiator petcock... garuntee you your old one the O ring will break when you take it out.

Also you will have problems with the rubber o ring on the waterpump heater bypass tube (the metal tube going out the waterpump on the drivers side and running alone the valve cover) You will most likely shred the new o ring you get from the waterpump you buy so my advice is to get one of these http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...er=426076_0_0_ . They sell them in autozone or advance auto parts. Its at the "HELP" section in a green box.. This is the only way you will be able to get replacement O rings.. Trust me... an O ring kit box, or o rings by themselves that anystore sells will not fit... I know first hand..

When you get to the part of putting the tube back in put some oil on the ring with some coolant and push it in EXACTLY flush or it will shred and leak... I spent more time messing with this o-ring then i did replacing the waterpump lol..

If you have any other questions on how to do this project just ask... Oh also when you take the waterpump bolts out... Make sure you put each bolt in the same hole of your new waterpump that you have laying around that way you know which bolt goes in which hole... You dont want to put a longer bolt in the wrong hole and crack your timing cover. Also i never removed my oil pan.. some do some dont.. I didnt all i did was put some rtv on the oil pan gasket that is under the timing cover when i put the cover on and it hasnt leaked a spec of oil in the last 6-7 months
Also thank you as well for the information and pictures! A few quick question for you as well:

1. Your link did not work for the O-ring kit, any chance you could send me the P/N for the Help! kit?

2. Is it recommended to pull the oil pan and replace the front crank seal also?

3. Did you purchase the harmonic balancer seal repair ring? Not sure if that is needed.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 06:39 PM   #7
ech0sh4y
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRocket1994 View Post
I have done this job for quite a few V8 ZJs, Rams, etc, and can tell you that you can take what Newfie & Candyman said as gospel. Get your T-stat right from the dealer (or a real Mopar from elsewhere, w/e), def replace that tube, Champion plugs are great (all I'd EVER use) and you can't go wrong with Cloyes. Also, Newfie mentioned the plenum gasket; you might as well do this while you're in there, because if it's not bad now it will be. Let me add that if you see your t-stat waterneck is corroded/rusted/groady, replace it with a cast aluminum one from Napa, NOT the stamped steel Dorman one from Autozone or Advance, they are just problematic. Trust me, I tried multiple times with one from work. Just my two Lincolns...
Thank your or the advice on the water neck. I was looking on Napa's website and I found only one water neck. Can not tell if it's steel or cast, form the picture, it appears to be steel. Is this the correct part: P/N: BK 6051760

Thanks,

Brian
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Unread 03-07-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
MilanJeep
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Don't waste your money on the MSD coil. MSD products are mostly junk and the MSD coil will give you no power and almost for sure be less reliable than the stock one.

You don't NEED a Mopar thermostat. I've never had a problem with any parts store thermostat, but the OEM one in my 5.9 did fail (go figure). I run a 180

Platinum plugs are a waste. Either run coppers or throw down on some iridium if you want something long lasting.

For all the work you are doing you should think about camming it while you are in there.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 08:25 PM   #9
ech0sh4y
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilanJeep View Post
Don't waste your money on the MSD coil. MSD products are mostly junk and the MSD coil will give you no power and almost for sure be less reliable than the stock one.

You don't NEED a Mopar thermostat. I've never had a problem with any parts store thermostat, but the OEM one in my 5.9 did fail (go figure). I run a 180

Platinum plugs are a waste. Either run coppers or throw down on some iridium if you want something long lasting.

For all the work you are doing you should think about camming it while you are in there.
Haha quite the flip side of the prior... thanks for the input though! Also any recommendations on cams? Also where do you get your information from, personal experience?
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Unread 03-07-2012, 08:59 PM   #10
newfieZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ech0sh4y View Post
Thank you for the info!! Few questions for you though.

1. The only Cloyes timing chain I can find is P/N: C380. I'm not sure if this a double roller like you suggested?

2. I was looking on MSD's website and found that they do not offer a coil for the 5.9. Are you suggesting the ignition box/wiring harness? Any chance you could shoot me a P/N?

3. Mopar T-stat, I assume just run the stock 195 degree?

4. For the plenum, I went to Hughes website and noticed that they have a kit available, P/N: HUG 7720R. Would this be what your were talking about? Also would you recommend that I upgrade the intake it's self I'm going to have to pull it anyhow?


Again I appreciate the info!

~ Brian
Timing Chain
dsc05520.jpg

Hughes plate
dsc05521.jpg

Felpro intake set
dsc05524.jpg

Sorry for the huge pics , no time to change them right now , lol .

The MSD coil isn't listed for the 5.9 . You need a 8228 I think . You'll also need to get an Accel adapter . Not a waste of money either . I have them on both mine for years of trouble free service . Coils are a wear item , my MSD cost me $45 at the time , I think an aftermarket replacment was $60+ (oh Canada) . The box I did use . Made a mistake in the wires and burned it up . Yet to put it back on , but , planning to when I do the engine work . It makes quite a nice difference , it's even audible . My wife immediately noticed the lack of power after it was removed .

Milan , how many K on that "failed" mopar t-stat , 100K+ ? NO you "need" Mopar , unless you want peace of mind . Stock 195 , after all , it's what your jeep was designed to run . I know I won't run anything else . Been burned too often with aftermarket stats .

Platinums a waste ? I run dble platinums . I was so impressed I just bought the 2nd set of them , even though after 30K , they run as good as ever . Milan , does your 5.9 get 18-21 mpg hwy @70-75 mph . I do . If it's not with help from the plugs , maybe it's my MSD coil , lol . I can't abuse my 5.9 enough to get lower that 14-15 avg per tank , well , I could but , let's be reasonable , I can't afford the tickets . Very quick starts . I credit some mpg results from my oil choice , Castrol 0w-30 , a true synthetic oil , not a blend . I wouldn't even suggest them if I didn't try them long term . Before that , I was Champ copper core or NGK FR's . These are much better all around but if you do want cooler , the NGK's are great .

As for upgrading the intake . You could , however I can't comment on it's performance as I don't have one . IIRC , slight low end loss for high end gain . I do know there is a list of other upgrades that is recomended , each compliments each other . Cam , roller rockers , headers , full 3" exhaust and the tune etc etc . How deep do you want to dig into your pockets ?

Headers , ignition upgrade , exhaust upgrade and a tuner , you won't be disappointed .
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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:38 PM   #11
Smokey1r
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Just before the new year i had to do emergency water pump repair work and while i was at it i replaced the timing set and repaired the infamous coolant leak.
A few tips on dealing with the gasket surface on the aluminum timing chain cover, make certain you can clean out any corrosion pitting caused by electrolysis from the rusting metal insert in the timing chain cover gasket. I media blasted the cover and filled in the corrosion pits with a high temp body fill, lightly draw filed the entire gasket surface then used some 400 grit wet/dry sand paper wrapped around a sanding block to smooth out the surface. This will restore the gasket surface so it interfaces correctly with the block.
When you are ready to place the new gasket on make certain you apply a small amount of RTV silicone in the very inside of the gasket surface on both coolant ports, this will seal off the edge of the gasket where the steel is exposed to coolant flow and will reduce the risk of having the gasket rust out all over again! Of course make certain the gasket surface on the block is nice and clean too.

I did the fore mentioned method of repair and have no more coolant leaks!

Far as a seal sleeve for the harmonic balancer don't bother with it if your replacing the balancer with a new one as the seal surface will be new, just get the timing cover gasket with the front seal and without the repair sleeve.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:43 PM   #12
Smokey1r
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Oh forgot to mention as far as the thermostat goes i also replaced the original with a saint brand off of rockauto.com, and its performing perfectly as it should, in fact its the same exact rated temp as the old one and is running right at the proper temp, the old one with causing the engine to run hotter at 210F all the time.... it wasn't opening all the way.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #13
MilanJeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfieZJ View Post

The MSD coil isn't listed for the 5.9 . You need a 8228 I think . You'll also need to get an Accel adapter . Not a waste of money either . I have them on both mine for years of trouble free service . Coils are a wear item , my MSD cost me $45 at the time , I think an aftermarket replacment was $60+ (oh Canada) . The box I did use . Made a mistake in the wires and burned it up . Yet to put it back on , but , planning to when I do the engine work . It makes quite a nice difference , it's even audible . My wife immediately noticed the lack of power after it was removed .

Milan , how many K on that "failed" mopar t-stat , 100K+ ? NO you "need" Mopar , unless you want peace of mind . Stock 195 , after all , it's what your jeep was designed to run . I know I won't run anything else . Been burned too often with aftermarket stats .

Platinums a waste ? I run dble platinums . I was so impressed I just bought the 2nd set of them , even though after 30K , they run as good as ever . Milan , does your 5.9 get 18-21 mpg hwy @70-75 mph . I do . If it's not with help from the plugs , maybe it's my MSD coil , lol . I can't abuse my 5.9 enough to get lower that 14-15 avg per tank , well , I could but , let's be reasonable , I can't afford the tickets . Very quick starts . I credit some mpg results from my oil choice , Castrol 0w-30 , a true synthetic oil , not a blend . I wouldn't even suggest them if I didn't try them long term . Before that , I was Champ copper core or NGK FR's . These are much better all around but if you do want cooler , the NGK's are great .

As for upgrading the intake . You could , however I can't comment on it's performance as I don't have one . IIRC , slight low end loss for high end gain . I do know there is a list of other upgrades that is recomended , each compliments each other . Cam , roller rockers , headers , full 3" exhaust and the tune etc etc . How deep do you want to dig into your pockets ?

Headers , ignition upgrade , exhaust upgrade and a tuner , you won't be disappointed .
I have an MSD coil, I actually have Kolak's whole ignition "upgrade". I bought it mainly out of convenience since I was already placing a rather large order with Kolak. Regarding the MSD coil, it's actually pretty funny, the Jeep guys are the only people who seem to think this thing makes power. I spend a lot of time reading on the Dodge forums, and it's pretty hard to find anyone with a fast or big power dakota/ram who thinks you should use anything other than the stock ignition.

Without trying to sound like a dick, there is no way in hell your lifted 5.9 gets 21 mpg highway at 75 mph. 15-16 at 60 mph maybe, but 21 mpg at 75 is not happening on a lifted SUV.

Back to the plugs, I have never heard of anyone recommending platinum plugs except for the people at the parts store. Copper is a much better conductor than platinum. The double platinums are simply a longevity feature, but many would suggest that double, triple, and quad tipped plugs are a marketing gimmick.

In regards to thermostats, to each their own. I've never had a thermostat that I have replaced fail while I still owned the car. I run a 180 in my 5.9, but I run a 160 in my Z06. A lot of people think running a lower temp thermostat will keep the motor in open loop forever, but this is simply not the case as long as you don't go too low. For example a stock LS1 runs a 195 stat too but it's coming out of open loop around 158 degrees.

I'm with you on the German Castrol, probably one of the best 30 weights out there, but unfortunately it's been phased out now, so I switched to Pennzoil Ultra in my Z06, my 5.9 gets Rotella T, but I am considering switching it to Pennzoil Ultra as well.

Edit: Did some research. Apparently GC is being sold under Castrol Edge 0w-30 now. A few months ago, there was some speculation that they changed the formula in the US, but it appears the formula is the same just sold under Castrol Edge in the US now. Good to know for anyone who cares...
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Unread 03-07-2012, 11:19 PM   #14
Candymancan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ech0sh4y View Post
Also thank you as well for the information and pictures! A few quick question for you as well:

1. Your link did not work for the O-ring kit, any chance you could send me the P/N for the Help! kit?

2. Is it recommended to pull the oil pan and replace the front crank seal also?

3. Did you purchase the harmonic balancer seal repair ring? Not sure if that is needed.


It isnt an o ring kit, its a replacement metal tube for the heater bypass. However its a short dodge version "ours are long" but the O ring is what you want on it.. The only way to get these "special" o rings is from that tube kit, or from a waterpump box or the felpro gasket kit. Your waterpump should have 1, and i bought 1 of those tube kits, took the o ring off and returned it for another one so i had 3 o rings lol. I tore one, the 2nd went on fine and i have a 3rd extra. The part number on autozone's website is 56399 , or just type in heater bypass tube and pick the 2nd one

The oil pan doesnt have to come off as i said. The timing cover is held on by 2 bolts through the oil pan. Take them off, take the timing cover off and the oil pan has a lip hanging open. Take a rag and cover the openeing so you dont get old gasket material or something in your oil.. When you reseal everything clean the old gasket of oil and dirt and put RTV over it so it wont leak when you put the timing cover back on.

Yes i replaced the front main seal on the timing cover for the crankshaft. No i didnt buy the sleeve kit for it. I forgotr what the sleeve thing is for but mine didnt need it. Just get the fel-pro gasket kit for the timing cover and water pump without the sleeve. Oh and that kit will have a o ring as well lol
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Unread 03-07-2012, 11:43 PM   #15
JrMechanic
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Get the plenum kit from APS, same (if not better) quality and is much cheaper.
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