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Unread 11-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
Sagerist
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Colorado KKs help needed, getting over passes a struggle...

Gents,

I am hoping you can help me pin down what i feel may be an issue with my KK. Seeing as we would all most likely have taken that nice little drive on I-70 through the mountains you can help me. When i first got the KK, i felt like she got over all of the passes "fairly" easily. IE, the engine wasn't screaming at 5K RPM just to maintain decent highway speed.

The last couple of years though. its been nearly impossible for me to keep around 60-65 going up the passes in third gear without having to drop down to 2nd to maintain speed and still have other SUVs pass me. Thus, i am wondering if you have the same experience getting over the passes, or if i need to figure out why i am lacking power now.

Thanks!

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89 YJ 2.5L
OME 36R's, Bilstein 5100's, Bserk 5/8" shackles, 33x10.5 BFG's on 15x8

09 KK Sport 4X4
235/75/16 GY Slnt Armor
CB 2' Firestik
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Unread 11-06-2013, 03:36 PM   #2
Jeffro06
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Did you change tire size in the last couple of years?
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My Old YJ Build My Mods My YouTube Channel

Moab Trails I've done: Onion Creek, Long Canyon, Dome Plateau, Top of The World (2), Fins-N-Things (2), Poison Spider,
Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim, Hell's Revenge (2), Baby Lion Back, Cliff Hanger, Moab Rim, Kane Creek Canyon, Strike Ravine

Shortcuts to key points in my build: MTRk's OME 2" HD Lift Antirock Skidrow steering box & radiator skids LoD rear bumper
Rokmen Mercenary bumper w/Superwinch Rokmen sliders Skidrow engine skid Rampage Top CB set up
Custom trunk Rokmen 1" Billet spacers JJ track bar Rokmen Adjustable Control Arms Currectlync Steering
Rokmen Trail Corners Metalcloak Overlines Kentrol Hood Latches JK Turn Signals Xenon 4" Flat Flares Hood Decal Duratracs
Derale Tranny Cooler DieHard Factor 55 Thimble Ten Factory Front Chromo Shafts

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Unread 11-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #3
MyJKU14
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I've never had an easy time getting over the passes out here...or getting to the ski resorts for that matter.
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Unread 11-06-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
Jeffro06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK_Katie View Post
I've never had an easy time getting over the passes out here...or getting to the ski resorts for that matter.
Me either.
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Member of JGW (Jeff's Gone Wheeling) and IndyORV
My Old YJ Build My Mods My YouTube Channel

Moab Trails I've done: Onion Creek, Long Canyon, Dome Plateau, Top of The World (2), Fins-N-Things (2), Poison Spider,
Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim, Hell's Revenge (2), Baby Lion Back, Cliff Hanger, Moab Rim, Kane Creek Canyon, Strike Ravine

Shortcuts to key points in my build: MTRk's OME 2" HD Lift Antirock Skidrow steering box & radiator skids LoD rear bumper
Rokmen Mercenary bumper w/Superwinch Rokmen sliders Skidrow engine skid Rampage Top CB set up
Custom trunk Rokmen 1" Billet spacers JJ track bar Rokmen Adjustable Control Arms Currectlync Steering
Rokmen Trail Corners Metalcloak Overlines Kentrol Hood Latches JK Turn Signals Xenon 4" Flat Flares Hood Decal Duratracs
Derale Tranny Cooler DieHard Factor 55 Thimble Ten Factory Front Chromo Shafts

Get your build sheet here.
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Unread 11-06-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
tjkj2002
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Your tires will cause your issue as will needed maintenance like plugs,diff fluid,and such.
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Unread 11-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #6
MyJKU14
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And if the tired are fine, maintenance is fine...It means the engine in the KK's is a POS at altitude and climbing mountains.

Sent from my iPhone using JeepForum
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Unread 11-07-2013, 12:57 AM   #7
tjkj2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK_Katie View Post
And if the tired are fine, maintenance is fine...It means the engine in the KK's is a POS at altitude and climbing mountains.

Sent from my iPhone using JeepForum
The tires are bigger then stock and will always mess with the trans shifting unless corrected.That goes for your LJ also since they both have the same trans if automatics.
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Unread 11-07-2013, 08:23 AM   #8
MyJKU14
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Right, I get that bigger tires mess with your tranny and that the bigger tire will make it more of a lug going up hills, but I have stocks on the KK and it still chug-a-lugs up the mountains here. My LJ is manual so it's hard to compare and the 44's on the Rubi help.

I just think it's the engine that doesn't have a whole lot of power for the weight of the KK. It does fine for a DD, but if you're climbing from downtown Denver into 8k+ feet every weekend this might now be the vehicle of choice if you want power.
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Unread 11-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #9
98ZJ SFD
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I have some decent hills on my daily highway commute. Before I put the DuraTracs on, it struggled with hills. Now it's worse than it was before. It's a guarantee that it'll downshift a few times to maintain 65 and it's a struggle.
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Unread 11-07-2013, 08:53 AM   #10
irnmadn88
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09 KK = 4 year old vehicle. How many miles on the odometer?

Stock configuration?

Regular maintenance?

I posit this:

As mileage increases, so does wear on the engine and so does carbon build up. Both of these can rob the engine of power.

Have you had a compression test done on the motor?
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Unread 11-07-2013, 01:46 PM   #11
Ted15
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For whatever reason, jeeps are underpowered, at least most are. Somebody thought it was a good idea to put a v6 in a vehicle that should have a v8. Even the old straight six would've been better. Add a gear ratio that keeps the engine rpm's too low and the result's are low power and low gas mileage. I don't live in the mountains but I've towed my popup camper (2000 lbs empty) behind a fully loaded and occupied KK and it wouldn't get out if it's own way. I lifted it and put on 245/75-16 tires and that made the valves ping while going up small hills. I regeared from 3.73 to 4.10 and the power issue is totally gone. The mileage hasn't gotten any better though and I expected it to.
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Unread 11-07-2013, 03:02 PM   #12
tjkj2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK_Katie View Post
Right, I get that bigger tires mess with your tranny and that the bigger tire will make it more of a lug going up hills, but I have stocks on the KK and it still chug-a-lugs up the mountains here. My LJ is manual so it's hard to compare and the 44's on the Rubi help.

I just think it's the engine that doesn't have a whole lot of power for the weight of the KK. It does fine for a DD, but if you're climbing from downtown Denver into 8k+ feet every weekend this might now be the vehicle of choice if you want power.
I have no issue climbing the passes on I-70 with my KJ(same 3.7 as the KK) and it weighs about 6200lbs with 35" tires,granted I do have 5.13 gears but 5.38's would have been better for here in CO.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
MtnmedicKK
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I drive up I-70 and up over Berthoud Pass weekly. Ive only had my KK for a month or so (its a 2011 Renegade with 11,000 miles on it) Ive found that if I find my Zen and form a mind meld with the KK I can, on rare occasions avoid needing to shift into 2nd (on I-70). Thats only possible if I rn in Tow/Haul mode (4th locked out) and keep a consistent speed. But if I just drive normally, i do find that it will need to dip into 2nd, once i get up to 70, it'll go back into 3rd and can stay in 3rd with some concentration.

My KK replaced my 07 KJ which had 187,000 miles on it. I really miss the KJ when climbing hills and on curvy roads, it was more fun to drive and held speed much easier. I do love the.KK, just gotta get used to its quirks.

Also, when I added my Rola roof basket (which is pretty low profile) and removed the little front bumper airdam, I immediately noticed the KK working harder to maintain highway speeds and a drop in gas mileage.
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Unread 11-09-2013, 11:42 AM   #14
Jeffro06
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I don't think the OP cares....since he hasn't been back in here.
__________________
Member of JGW (Jeff's Gone Wheeling) and IndyORV
My Old YJ Build My Mods My YouTube Channel

Moab Trails I've done: Onion Creek, Long Canyon, Dome Plateau, Top of The World (2), Fins-N-Things (2), Poison Spider,
Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim, Hell's Revenge (2), Baby Lion Back, Cliff Hanger, Moab Rim, Kane Creek Canyon, Strike Ravine

Shortcuts to key points in my build: MTRk's OME 2" HD Lift Antirock Skidrow steering box & radiator skids LoD rear bumper
Rokmen Mercenary bumper w/Superwinch Rokmen sliders Skidrow engine skid Rampage Top CB set up
Custom trunk Rokmen 1" Billet spacers JJ track bar Rokmen Adjustable Control Arms Currectlync Steering
Rokmen Trail Corners Metalcloak Overlines Kentrol Hood Latches JK Turn Signals Xenon 4" Flat Flares Hood Decal Duratracs
Derale Tranny Cooler DieHard Factor 55 Thimble Ten Factory Front Chromo Shafts

Get your build sheet here.
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Unread 11-11-2013, 02:48 PM   #15
Sagerist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffro06 View Post
I don't think the OP cares....since he hasn't been back in here.
Geesh, been three days (the weekend) which was spent actually outside doing stuff vs sittin in the office in front of the computer where I actually have time to check the site. And especially since it wasn't a pressing matter, its nice to give it time and get a bunch of feedback. sooo yea..... chill

I am willing to bet that my tires being bigger than stock (although barely, half an inch taller) are playing a factor in the jeep struggling now and each tire is 35lbs. I had the (bigO AT, no idea how much they weighed) 235/70/16s on before when it was doing "OK" on the hills.

Right now I have 65K on her avging 13K per year and nearly all highway driving back and forth from home to work all day.

Definitely time to change the plugs and fluids again, since its been 30K since the last time when i had the dealership do it (stupid?). Anything else besides whats in the manual and the basic plugs, fluids basic maintenance I am overlooking?

But i just wanted to get a feel of what you guys have been experiencing and what, if anything, you have done to combat it. Of course the best answer is to re-gear, but i am saving that venture (and $$$) for my YJ project.
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89 YJ 2.5L
OME 36R's, Bilstein 5100's, Bserk 5/8" shackles, 33x10.5 BFG's on 15x8

09 KK Sport 4X4
235/75/16 GY Slnt Armor
CB 2' Firestik
Fire/EMS Radio
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