Well, like most of the United States, Indiana has been hit with some wicked snow storms of late, and has given me a chance to drive in all kinds of adverse conditions and even though she is almost 17 years old with very little modifications by the previous (and only other owner), she was all Jeep and performed incredibly well in 2WD, 4 high and 4 low. Deep snow, ice, slush, and standing water and at all speeds she never missed a beat. The previous owner did a great job of keeping her looking and running great for on road use. Soooooo happy with my purchase!!!!
Thanks to the forum, I found where to order a build sheet for my project. I got on line late last night and ordered it from Chrysler and it was in my email this morning. As you can see from the list, I was able to confirm the color and was right on my guess. The P/O ordered his jeep the way he wanted it and he sure ordered a good one. Of course he liked the idea of the 3.07 gear ratio for the fuel economy, but I think I would had opted for the 3.55 available that year with the limited slip, but of course that does not matter now as I will more than likely upgrade for a larger axle and gear ratio when I build her.
So here it is, the build sheet for my 97 TJ.
*K5 Cloth High-Back Bucket Seats
ADCP Convenience Group
ADHP Heavy Duty Electrical Group
APAS Monotone Paint
ARWP Sport Decor Group
BAUP 117 Amp Alternator
BCEP 600 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
BGAS Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
CADP High Back Bucket Seats
CAGA Easy Access Pass Tip & Slide Seat
CDBS Reclining Front Seats
CFMP Rear Folding Seat
CGWS Next Generation Front Air Bags**
CKES Front Seat Area Carpet
CKFP Rear Seat/Wheelhouse/Cargo Carpet
CKRP Cargo Net
CKTS Cargo Tie Down Loops
CUFP Full Length Floor Console
DGA All 3-Speed Automatic Transmissions
DGGS 3-Spd. Automatic 32RH Transmission
DHAP Lock-Up Torque Converter
DHNS Command-Trac Part Time 4WD System
DJJS Dana 30/186MM Front Axle
DMMP 3.07 Rear Axle Ratio
DRJS Dana M35/194MM Rear Axle
EAAC All Engines
ERH 4.0L I6 Power Tech Engine
GBBS Tinted Windshield Glass
GCCS Plastic Front Door Window
GCHS Half Metal Doors with Locks
GRVP Left Manual Mirror
GSVP Right Manual Mirror
GTVS Swing-Away Mirrors
GVAC All Vehicles W/O Power Mirrors
HAA Air Conditioning
JAYS Instrument Cluster w/Tach
JCDS 100 MPH Primary Speedometer
JHAP Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
JJBS Dual Note Electric Horns
JJJS 12V Auxiliary Power Outlet
JKAS Locking Glove Box
JKC Add-A-Trunk Lockable Storage
LBBP Courtesy Lamps
LDAP Underhood Lamp
LMAS Halogen Headlamps
LPSS CHMSL Lamp
MBAS Black Front Bumper
MB5S Black Rear Bumper
MCHS Bumper Extensions
MFPS Chrome Headlamp Bezels
MFRS Black Front Frame Overlay
MFTS Body Color Grille
MRJ Bodyside Side Steps
MWBS Sport Bar w/Side Padding
NAA Federal Emissions
NBKS EVAP Control System
NF1P 19 Gallon Fuel Tank
PCJA Dark Blue
QCJS Dark Blue Pearl Coat
RAAC All Radio Equipped Vehicles
RAS AM/FM Cassette Radio
RCDP 4 Speakers
RDDP Fixed Long Mast Antenna
SBAP Power Steering
SCEP 2-Spoke Soft Feel Steering Wheel
SDAP Normal Duty Suspension
SHAS Front Stabilizer Bar
SHCS Rear Stabilizer Bar
SUAP Tilt Steering Column
TBBP Full Size Spare Tire
TBRS Outside Tire Carrier
TMSP P215/75R15 RBL Wrangler AT Tires
TZAS Goodyear Brand Tires
VJUP Spice Soft Top
WJ5P 15X7.0 Full-Face Steel Wheels
WLYC All Steel Wheels
XCYS Delete Remote Start System
XEES Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield
XEFS Transfer Case Skid Plate Shield
XJFS Tethered Fuel Filler Cap
YAAS Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications
Looks like I will need to add a transmission cooler to her along with everything else I am planning on doing!!!!
I have put 2,100 miles on her since I purchased her a month ago. Yes, a lot of miles I know, but good to run the heck out of her and see what breaks loose and such so I know what needs the most attention. Not to mention the fact of how nice it was to have a TJ during our recent snow storms from hell. Now it is time to do some fluid changes and get under her and see what is going on with that rattle and wobble at take off.
I did some research to see what fluids and amounts of fluids I will need. Looks like most people like synthetic, but I can not say that anyone bad mouthed the old dino oils as long as you change everything often.
I am going to go purchase all the fluids tomorrow and I think this is what I might be getting. Any recommendations from you Jeep Vets is greatly appreciated!!!
Engine oil........... Mobile one or Valvoline 10W30 Synthetic
TC and Trans...... Mobile One ATF+4
Dana 30 and 35.. Mobile One 75W90 Synthetic
Now the big question is what brand and what color the coolant is. I do not think I can go wrong with any name brand, but color is a different story. The previous owner changed out the radiator 6 months aggo and it will be interesting to see what color he put in. I think in the old TJs they used a green , but now I guess the recommended color is red and never should I mix them. I also heard that the red is really the same just dyed red. Kind of hard to believe I think. Hmmmmmmm...... sure makes me wonder what he used.
All in all, it looks like total fluid costs will be about $120.00 - $180.00, depending if I go synthetic or not. Then I need to add in the cost of trans and oil filters.
Last night, I almost talked my self into using Mobile 1 oils in my 97 TJ since it is a "high Grade Synthetic" compared to dino oils. However, after talking to the service manager in my dealership,(an old school mechanic who started at the dealership when he was a kid and his dad worked there, and is at retirement age now, and even built race cars back in the day when dealerships sponsored stock cars and such), I have decided to use the conventional oils.
Now, I am sure this next part will cause a little controversy, but I also decided to use Auto Zone's house brand, not only for the engine oil, but the transfer case, diffs, and transmission too. I was doing a little research and it seems the house brand is Pennzoil oil repackaged and ATF-4 is so regulated, that it has to meet the same requirements as all the name brands. Even the 80W90 they have meets the API GL-5 specs, so yes I picked up a couple of gallons of this too. Oh, and a couple of gallons of full strength antifreeze/coolant. Saved me a TON of money and as you all know these Jeeps keep our pockets empty anyway.
I also picked up a transmission fluid filter, and the oil filter too. Now, I did not use house brand here. I did not go to a K&N or any of the real high quality (and really expensive brands) but I did opt for a Bosch brand mid grade filter with smaller micron filter ability with larger filtering capability.
My real goal here is to see what is in all the fluids. Metal shavings, corrosion or what ever I may find. (Maybe Jimmy Hoffa's body). Drain, inspect, fill, run the Holy Heck out of it for a short time and repeat to see what comes out.
So, tomorrow we start on the servicing if the major components of the drivetrain and I can not wait. Since I do work at a dealership, I will be blessed with the use of lifts, drain pans and such to make the job a WHOLE lot easier, and heated too!!! Of course we will get an even better look of the undercarriage and what I believe to be U-joints going out in the front. Hopefully we will also be able to figure out what the !@#$ is rattling at idle and that shake and wobble at take off!!!
What a very busy day, but I did get A little of the servicing done and learned a lot about my TJ. Oil changed, coolant drained and filled, and then the Transfer case. Here is where I got a little surprise. WATER in the T.C. and more than just condensation. A pink, somewhat foamy liquid. The transfer case has been working alright, but I am glad I did this. So we filled it up and I will run it for a few hundred miles and do it again.
I did not get to the D30 and D35, and after talking with the service manager, I decided to use good old fashioned cork gaskets for the diffs. So off to the store I went. Of course they only had one, but will have the other for me tomorrow.
I also learned what a fuel return line is today, and that I will need to replace that soon, as it was so corroded we were afraid to touch it. It looked like it would just fall apart if we did.
Also leaned that I will need tie rod end bushings too. Although mine are not terribly bad at this time, they are worn and will need replaced.
Here is the other big surprise and one that I do not understand. My right side front(passenger side) brake pads are wearing faster than the left side. This has me wondering. How does this happen. All though it does not need replaced RIGHT now, but soon, I want to figure out why.
I will get some pics up soon of everything and when I get those diff covers off, I wonder what I am going to find.
Today we finished up on the needed inspecting and general servicing of 97 TJ. We removed the diff covers, both front and rear. Drained, cleaned inspected, replaced the covers and filled with gear oil. I also removed the transmission cover, inspected, changed filter, replaced and filled. Did a lot of more looking around to see what needs else needs to be done. Here are some pics!!!
The front diff.
The rear diff.
Draining the still "fake blood" red transmission fluid. Very clean and so was the old filter.
I took this picture of my newer brake and fuel lines and a VERY corroded fuel return line. I think I might replace it with rubber fuel line.
Speaking of things that need to be done. Here is a pic of my fuel tank skid and support. As you can see, she has cancer REALLY bad!!!!
My left rear shock. You can see where the rubber has fallen down. Should I fasten it back with a hose clamp?
Stil a lot of general service to do before the build really starts, but really glad to see it is in really good condition for her age, and how well the previuos owner (and only other owner) had kept it in.
Well, after a little reading, I decided to just cut those shock boots off when I get under the TJ next. Also need to buy some brake pads for the front. I hope I can get this done this next week when we drain the transfer case again because of the water I found in it. Just went and bought the extra ATF-4 for the job.
WOW!!!Now I need a new Skin for my drivers door. I needed to go to the store this evening and my dog wanted to go. Really cold outside and I didn't warm it up and my dog put a paw on the window and busted the cold brittle plastic. Of course we are expecting rain, ice, and snow tomorrow. If I keep spending all my build money on this stuff, I will never get to the good stuff!!!
Well, I thought I would purchase some new upper door skins from Skintintz.com, but she would not take my Visa card over the phone and wanted me to get a pay pal account. I do not have one, and don't want one. So after negotiating (over the phone) her down to $165.00, she sent me an invoice using pay pal. I did attempt to use it, but it would not accept my card. Uuuuugh!!!!!! Emailed her back for help 2 days ago and still have not heard from her. Double Uuuuuuugh. So, after using clear packaging tape to cover the hole and doing a little more research, I have decided to hold off and the n later order the replacement skins from an authorized Smitty built dealer to mach the smitty built top my TJ has on it. Less money and will more than likely match better too.
So today I ordered the new windshield and should have it installed by Monday I hope and if everything goes well, Monday I will drain the Transfer case again and refill, put new brake pads up front and a new serpentine belt on too.
Now it is time to look up Transmission mounts for it. the old one is original and is almost torn in half. I think this might be what is causing the knocking underneath at take off.
Drove it to my sons school and had lunch with the boys (they love the Jeep), then went to Napa and purchased a new drive belt and transmission mount. Also priced out some pads and talked with the guys, but they are not the wheeling type. Living in a race town has it's advantages and disadvantages. They know a lot about hot rods, just not wheeling. So it looks like I will be adding my windshield, drive belt and transmission mount no later than Monday along with draining that Transfer case again. Would like to buy those brake pads too so I can do it all at once!!!