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ScottyGunn 06-03-2013 02:33 PM

'96 ZJ with 5.2 and 217,000 miles, what to do to insure reliability in the woods?
So, the old girl is getting up there in miles, but still seems to run pretty good. What kind of things should I do to it to make sure to limit the break down chances in the wood, since it is mostly my hunting/fishing rig.

JasonStebbins 06-03-2013 02:43 PM

I just rolled 215,000 and I take her wheeling every weekend.

It would be easier to answer your question if you tell us what maintenance you have done already.

When was the last time you did an ignition tune-up and changed all the fluids? How many sensors have you replaced?

ScottyGunn 06-03-2013 05:40 PM

I bought it used and have done maintenance as it comes up, but no ignition tune up yet. Replace rear, lower control arms, 4" Rough Country spring swap with Bilstein shocks. I had a mechanic look at it and check compression and whatnot. He said the plugs and wires looked good, but that was 20k miles ago. It has a new battery.

JasonStebbins 06-03-2013 08:44 PM

I would do the plugs/wires/distributor cap + rotor / coil and clean the IAC. But that's just me. :cool: Can't be too cautious especially when you will be in the woods a lot.

Have you changed the fluid/filter in the transmission? Front and rear differential? Transfer case fluid? How does the coolant look?

Couldn't hurt to go to a parts store and have the charging system checked out as well.

PolkaPower 06-03-2013 10:53 PM

Things that will leave you stranded could be
power steering pulley( they get brittle with age)
cooling system( especially hoses)
CPS sensor
Cam shaft sensor
Driver error:laugh:

Texas ZJ1 06-04-2013 04:08 AM

Ignition coil, lack of recovery gear...tow strap.

ScottyGunn 06-04-2013 04:21 AM

I replaced the belt when I got it, replaced all the radiator hoses and fluid, fan clutch all at the same time, I have a hi lift jack, chain and strap, chain saw on the top and a 40ch CB with a 4' Firestick and my hand held ham radio with a mag mount antenna, did the Seafoam fuel, oil and air intake cleaning when I got it, replaced the PCV, the air filter is a K&N drop in that I clean 2 or 3 times a year, put foil backed insulation on the air intake hose from the filter to the engine. I'm sure I'll think of other things as you guys remind me.

I do need to do the plugs and wires, etc...

How would you know if the injectors need replacing?

ScottyGunn 06-04-2013 04:24 AM

I emailed Kolak and got info from him. I do need to do at least from the CAT back, but might do from the headers back if I can scrounge up the cash.

PolkaPower 06-04-2013 09:08 AM

Did you replace the coolant return hose to the right behind the alternator on the intake?

L_Kilkenny 06-05-2013 08:02 AM

Injectors...... A stuck injector will have you running noticeably bad, so will a handfull that are just plain wore out. Gas mileage can/will suck. The odds they'll leave you stranded are slim to none though.

I'd replace the idler and tensioner pulley's if you haven't and you might think about carrying a spare starter. You could just go ahead and replace the starter but IME re-manufactured starters don't have a much better reliability track record than a stock one with hundreds of 1000's of miles. That and the fact that even on the side of the road or trail it's a pretty easy fix so I'd just buy one and store it away for EM use. If you opt to go ahead and replace it then store the original for EM use.

Same could be said for the alternator but those rarely leave you stranded if you shut down as much electrical as you can. Get home quick cause while you can run off the battery for a while you can't forever. I have however carried a spare alternator on cross country road trips after needing it once.

Coil wire....... while never having it happen on a Jeep I have had two short out and leave me stranded. Replace you're plug/coil wires and store away the old coil wire for EM use. (Only counts if you have and external coil, never looked at a 5.2 too know what it has)

When I replace anything, belts, pulleys, hoses, etc, I almost always keep the old one (if it still works) on board for EM use in a tote or duffle of some sort.

ScottyGunn 06-08-2013 06:39 PM


Originally Posted by PolkaPower (Post 15517949)
Did you replace the coolant return hose to the right behind the alternator on the intake?

We replaced the fan clutch and all the hoses at the same time.

ScottyGunn 06-08-2013 06:53 PM

So, I'm making a list based on the suggestions here, that I have not already done.

plugs/wires/distributor cap + rotor / coil and clean the IAC--- (how do I clean the IAC?)

fluid/filter in the transmission? Front and rear differential? Transfer case fluid----where is the filter in the tranny?

ignition tune-up and changed all the fluids? How many sensors have you replaced ( will likely replace o2 up and down when I replace the exhaust, don't know what other sensors to replace.)

CPS sensor

Cam shaft sensor

power steering pulley

injectors because my mpg sucks and hesitates when i hit the gas

idler and tensioner pulley

spare starter

I have a guy that rebuilds alternators, so I will do that.

Please feel free to add to this list or give some tips on doing these fixes.

Rich93ZJ 06-08-2013 10:29 PM

Sounds like you need a "parts jeep" to tow behind you while in the woods. I'm at 169K and would not hesitate to drive it across the country. In reality, you are more likely to snap an axle or other drive train component while bashing around in the woods. Just my 2 cents....:rofl:

ErikTheRad 06-09-2013 01:41 AM

Yeah, pretty tough to decide what to take along and what to leave behind--- because no matter what you do and no matter how well you plan, whatever breaks and leaves you stranded will be something you don't have. Thats always the way it goes.

I'm thinking seriously about building a rack that mounts to my tow hitch and will carry my little mini-bike. If we're deep in the hills on a trail run and the ol' Jeep konks out, at least one of us can go for help. The thing will go damn near 100 miles on a gallon of gas.

The best safety net though is to go with a buddy, take two capable vehicles and a good tow strap.

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