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Unread 06-23-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
nnovello
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Babylon, NY
Posts: 8
Wj To dump it or not to dump it...

Hey everyone, I've spent more time on this forum in the past year than with my very jealous GF. Yes babe I love my Jeep more than you. Anyway I'm surprised it took me this long to join...

So heres the deal, I bought my '01 WJ 4.0 Selec Trac w/ 73000 miles, all stock about a year ago from a Used Dealership (and a 3 month warranty) with the intentions of spending every dime I have on lift\tires\the whole 9 yards. But the truth is the rig has been somewhat of a nightmare. I'm trying to decide whether to dump it and start fresh or to hold on. The truck is really clean with a bunch of options and I'd hate to dump it for another with just as many problems.

So here are my problems:
Engine:

-Began losing coolant from the first month I bought it. There were no visible signs of leak. Did a pressure test, the truck held pressure. Got progressively worse to the point where I did a daily coolant level check. I did notice that the radiator was brand new. Maybe the previous owner had a clogged radiator, and overheated? Maybe its a cracked block or head gasket? Oil is not milky, heater and exhaust didn't smell of coolant. Heat blows hot and passenger floorboard is not wet so not the blender door.
I brought it back to the Dealer. He claimed to have replaced the head gasket for free, but I know that's bull****. Probabely just added some engine seal. Despite this, no coolant loss in the past 3,000 or so miles since then.

-On a few occasions the truck would randomly lose all oil pressure while idle and warm. Stepping on the gas would alleviate this problem. Then on a cold winter day after letting it sit for a weekend truck had no oil pressure at start. Had it towed back to the dealer. Dropped the pan and found that all the oil had turned to sludge. Was running pennzoil 10w-30 high mileage at the time. Dealer ran detergent through it and changed oil pump and also sending unit. Put a good oil filter on it as well. Seems to have cured that problem so far.

-The truck likes to burn oil. Not to a concerning level but enough to the point that oil is now a part of my monthly budget. Bought mobil1 synthetic and matching filter. I plan on changing the oil and the spark plugs this weekend.

-Truck started to overheat one hot summer afternoon. I limped it back to the Dealer thinking it had something to do with the head gasket(although the coolant and oil were good). I made sure to pull up to the dealer as the coolant started to boil over and cursed out the dealer. Turned out to be just the fan relay. I made a real *** of myself and soured our relation just a bit.

Drivetrain
-The transmission started to make a whining noise when accelerating and pops in and out of 4th when on the highway. Maybe its the torque converter not locking and overdrive kicking on and off? Brought it to a trusted mechanic friend. Said transmission is a ticking time bomb. Flushed and changed the filter anyway. Should I add that Lucas oil ****?

-When the transmission is cold, putting it into reverse results in a loud whirring noise. On a few occasions (usually when on an incline) it refused to catch at all.

- The rear differential makes a whirring noise when I let go of the accelerator at highway speeds. It's not tire noise. It had the noise when I bought, The dealed claims that they changed the pinion seal. Seemed to have gone away but now has come back. But maybe not the diff. -maybe wheel bearing? Gonna jack it up and check for play this weekend.

-One day while doing about 45 on the highway I heard a grinding noise from underneath. The steering wheel started to shudder real hard and it felt like I lost all engine power, oil and temp were normal. After pulling over, I shifted to neutral and all of the gears and heard a terrible grinding and popping noise from underneath, that grew louder as I gave it gas. It stunk as well like something was burning. I shifted the transfer case through all the positions as well. The noise stayed as I limped home. The next morning I planned to take it to the mechanic, but the noise dissapeared and hasn't come back since. Transfer case? Or maybe plugged catalytic converter that cleared up while I was limping home?

-Just to add insult to injury my rotors are definitley on their way out as well.

So it seems that the three most expensive things to repair are going bad. Engine, trans., and the diff.

I do have a hookup at a junk yard and can get almost any part I need for cost, but i'm not a confident enough DIYer to start pulling the head off myself or doing any other major work. Besides the truck is my daily driver. And the Used Dealer is gonna charge me full price or more for any labor I do. My mechanic friend isn't gonna do me any favors as well.

The Jeep has 82,000 miles on it now and seems to be running good enough to sell it at full value. Should I keep it or does it seem like this truck is totally screwed? If I buy another with similar miles should I expect to have the same problems?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
-nnovello

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Unread 06-23-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
FleshEater
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If you've been on here that much you should know to QUIT GOING TO THE DAMN DEALER. How much did you pick this WJ up for?
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Unread 06-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
tommyq02
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Isnt half the fun of owning a jeep discovering the issues?

I have this battle myself everytime i must do any repair or something goes wrong. Its a roll of the dice. You can dump and buy another and havethe same issues. The way I see it is I know my jeep and whats been done to it. I dont want to start over.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
WarInc
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I would advise against switching to synth oil if you have a leak or are burning oil. At min get the high milage synth. Synth oil is much thiner then dino oil and might make things worse

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Unread 06-23-2011, 01:56 PM   #5
gvos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyq02 View Post
Isnt half the fun of owning a jeep discovering the issues?

I have this battle myself everytime i must do any repair or something goes wrong. Its a roll of the dice. You can dump and buy another and havethe same issues. The way I see it is I know my jeep and whats been done to it. I dont want to start over.

Quoted for truth, if you love Jeeps and like wrenching then keep it. If it's over your head or not somehting you wish to do, then get something else.

I've owned my 00 GC with 113K for 3 months and changed the crank position sensor, cam sensor, fuel filter, fuel pump, spark plugs, cleaned TB, IAC, replaced PCV, changed both diffs, tranny and TC are next. Next I have to pull the dash for a heater core replacement, which I have bypassed at the moment since it's a 100 here for the next several months. Which will require that, plus blend doors and while I'm in there the evaporator. Granted most of this is standard maintenance but the PO looks to have just drove this Jeep and not performed any maint at all.

Now that I've done all this at least I know what I have as stated above.

This is my DD so it is frustrating at times, but I love my Jeep so I deal with it and don't mind wrenching when needed.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 02:02 PM   #6
icecool742
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyq02 View Post
Isnt half the fun of owning a jeep discovering the issues?

I have this battle myself everytime i must do any repair or something goes wrong. Its a roll of the dice. You can dump and buy another and havethe same issues. The way I see it is I know my jeep and whats been done to it. I dont want to start over.
yep.

my 01 TJ I6 motor had oil pressure jump up randomly for little bit and goes away .
WJ same as you was trying to figure out to dump or not to dump .
at this point I already know what has been done whats new . and what might go next.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 02:18 PM   #7
tommyq02
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Cant say I have had the worst luck. First order of business was CV axles. I knew it when I bought it. The wet passenger floor was a surprise I didnt find till I got home. Wasnt heater core, windshield or a/c. Some seam sealer in the far upper passenger corner behind the dash had rotted out. Regardless the dash still had to come out to repair it. While in the there i did the core, evap, etc. Looking back now if anyone has the same issue I would just take off pass fender and plasma cut to access from outside. Took me 9 hrs to remove repair and replace dash. Getting ready to do a lift. Not certain which route I will take but i understand that I am opening the door to more needed overlooked maintenance items on a truck with 140k miles. All the while getting 13 mpg. I only paid out $2800 for the truck and have under $3500 total in repairs because i perform the labor. I wouldnt think twice about putting a new engine or tranny in compared to paying a new car payment. Plus they dont make a JGC like this anymore.

Just Fix it and wait for the next thing to break like the rest of us
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Unread 06-24-2011, 09:55 AM   #8
nnovello
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I picked the truck up for 8,000 which is by no means over priced here in NY. The truck is really clean, and it came with brand new tires(kind of wish they were old so I could put 31s on...) and brakes and **** like that. When I drove it off the lot it was running like a champ. And the mechanic I brought it to before I bought it seemed to think it was a pretty good buy as well.

I know the Used Dealer was jerking me around a bit but he did do some things for free even past the 3 month warranty. New dash tweeters, key fob, headlight assemblies, stupid band-aide **** like that. I didn't like dealing with him but I figured get as much as I can from him. 8,000 for some accessories and a fubared drivetrain.

Im no mechanic, but I have no problem getting my hands dirty for normal maintanence. I've been working on boat engines for years. But major engine\tranny work is way past the scope of my abilities. I would have liked to put my money into upgrades, but seems like I'll be emptying my wallet for repairs (just making it better right?...fml).

I wanted to make sure that i'm not making a stupid mistake holding on to it. Sometimes I doubt spending that much dough for **** that doesn't work. I would have been better of buying a ZJ and dropping a rebuilt 4.0 in it for less money. When I'm on the highway and the transmission is slipping bad, I think to myself for that kind of money I could of got a honda civic that will never break down.

- And then I think to myself, f*ck that.

Just wanted to make sure that I'm not alone on this.

BTW I don't think I have an oil leak, i'm just burning a bit of oil- which doesn't seem too abnormal for a truck with 80,000 miles on it. Either that or the oil is turning to sludge again and coating every crevice. From the research I've done synth oil should alleviate that problem a bit?
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Unread 06-24-2011, 02:09 PM   #9
FleshEater
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What kind of "upgrades" were you planning on getting? What size lift, tires, etc.? This vehicle will get you nothing in return so you might as well fix it...the hard part is shelling out all the dough to fix it PLUS lift it and put bigger tires on.
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Unread 06-24-2011, 05:07 PM   #10
tommyq02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnovello View Post
I picked the truck up for 8,000 which is by no means over priced here in NY. The truck is really clean, and it came with brand new tires(kind of wish they were old so I could put 31s on...) and brakes and **** like that. When I drove it off the lot it was running like a champ. And the mechanic I brought it to before I bought it seemed to think it was a pretty good buy as well.

I know the Used Dealer was jerking me around a bit but he did do some things for free even past the 3 month warranty. New dash tweeters, key fob, headlight assemblies, stupid band-aide **** like that. I didn't like dealing with him but I figured get as much as I can from him. 8,000 for some accessories and a fubared drivetrain.

Im no mechanic, but I have no problem getting my hands dirty for normal maintanence. I've been working on boat engines for years. But major engine\tranny work is way past the scope of my abilities. I would have liked to put my money into upgrades, but seems like I'll be emptying my wallet for repairs (just making it better right?...fml).

I wanted to make sure that i'm not making a stupid mistake holding on to it. Sometimes I doubt spending that much dough for **** that doesn't work. I would have been better of buying a ZJ and dropping a rebuilt 4.0 in it for less money. When I'm on the highway and the transmission is slipping bad, I think to myself for that kind of money I could of got a honda civic that will never break down.

- And then I think to myself, f*ck that.

Just wanted to make sure that I'm not alone on this.

BTW I don't think I have an oil leak, i'm just burning a bit of oil- which doesn't seem too abnormal for a truck with 80,000 miles on it. Either that or the oil is turning to sludge again and coating every crevice. From the research I've done synth oil should alleviate that problem a bit?
I sold a honda civic to buy my jeep. The honda gave me just as many problems..Im not a certified mechanic but i strongly recommend you do not put synthetic oil in your jeep with 80k. You state you dont have an oil leak....switch to synthetic and you wont be able to make that statement again! I feel your pain on the tranny. So your skill level might not be up to rebuilding one but how about to swap one out with a junkyard one. Find a low mileage and have at it. Cant be more than $600. Even with no experience and basic tools and a friend you should be able to get in done in less than a weekend.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 02:25 PM   #11
nnovello
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Well tommyq you were right... rear main seal is leaking. FML. Its a slowish leak, but its gotta go. The oil looks filthy with only 400 miles on it. Gonna drop the pan, clear out any sludge I can find and while im at it get at the seal. Its too late to go back to dino I think, so ill stick with synth.

Kind of off topic-
but i've noticed a real loss in power lately. Also a hissing noise on acceleration. Gonna try PCV valves cause there cheap? probly intake manifold? Exhaust leak? Or all my seals are shot from a cracked head... Haven't had enough time to pinpoint the sound. At this point I don't wanna put to much money in cuz im already planning on dropping in a reman. Id rather spend my agony time troublshooting death wobble rather than oil leaks.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 11:17 PM   #12
xSnoWx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyq02 View Post

Just Fix it and wait for the next thing to break like the rest of us
HAHAHA, OMG I love it, yea, same boat as me, except got my 00 from down south (14hr drive back) radiator crated next day, (used dealer f'd me on it) aside from that, found cooling fan relay had let go and suspect it took out rad, then had damaged from lower control arms, done front end (all tie rod ends and balljoints) brake caliper slide brackets worn out causing calipers to stick (before I found the love of rockauto) replaced both front calipers,brake pads, rotors (omg its soo hungry for rotors, damn teeves calipers) front cv bots(not torn-count as a maintenance item) v/c gaskets, cleaned throttlebody, the noise you hear from what i've learned is the rear axle bearings, specifically for me left/rear (and anyone that says its tires can go F themselves - swapped through three sets (one was winter) and still there, right/rear/axle seal just started leaking, all lift gate struts/hood struts, but overall, my wife loves driving the Jeep, and totally agree

bought the vehicle cheap with higher mileage, so far has 306,000km's on it, put 80 of them on it in two years now
Best thing I've learned, work at a dealership for discount parts,labour, and access to Scanner YaY!

You can throw it out and go and buy a new vehicle, lets say starting at what 10 - 25,000 now, even another 5k, there's alot you can do for 5,000 on your Jeep hope you keep it and it works out.
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Unread 07-12-2011, 07:49 AM   #13
tommyq02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnovello View Post
Well tommyq you were right... rear main seal is leaking. FML. Its a slowish leak, but its gotta go. The oil looks filthy with only 400 miles on it. Gonna drop the pan, clear out any sludge I can find and while im at it get at the seal. Its too late to go back to dino I think, so ill stick with synth.

Kind of off topic-
but i've noticed a real loss in power lately. Also a hissing noise on acceleration. Gonna try PCV valves cause there cheap? probly intake manifold? Exhaust leak? Or all my seals are shot from a cracked head... Haven't had enough time to pinpoint the sound. At this point I don't wanna put to much money in cuz im already planning on dropping in a reman. Id rather spend my agony time troublshooting death wobble rather than oil leaks.
IF it makes you feel any better on my way home this weekend my tensioner pulley decided to pull a disappearing act on me. Didnt notice till i went to change lanes with no power steering. Looked down and she was cooking just under 260 degrees. $16 part literally 5 minute fix but had to wait 2 hours for someone to come get me to go get my tools. What lesson did I learn here? keep a tool kit in the jeep!

Hissing is probably a vaccuum leak check all the hose on intake. Replace the pcv valve anyways because they are only $4
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Unread 07-12-2011, 07:53 AM   #14
tommyq02
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[QUOTE=nnovello;11840056]Well tommyq you were right... rear main seal is leaking. FML. Its a slowish leak, but its gotta go.


I prefer to use castrol high mileage. Synthetic is a thinner oil (because of consistent molecule sizing) and will tend to find leaks you didnt know you had (blocked by larger molecules of conventional oil). You can switch back to regular oil though that will most likely not stop the current leak but may prevent the headache of more in the future.
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Unread 03-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #15
nnovello
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Pretty old thread, but having my first post on it clarifies things a bit...

So i've been driving the 4.0 for three years now with a cracked head (#0331, blegh). I never thought it would last this long, but now at idle i'm at a measly 6 psi for oil pressure. Bearings are way beyond spec., and its time to make a move. Originally the plan was for a stroker, but the tranny is starting to slip pretty bad too, so i'm pretty much done with this truck. Instead of sticking with the 4.0, i've decided I want a bit more oomph, in 8 cylinder form... also it's mostly a DD so I wanna stick with the WJ.

A lot of the 4.7s around here claim to have "new radiators".
Does this basically mean it overheated? Should I avoid these like the plague?

Is it true that if the 4.7 overheats just a little, head gaskets are toast? Really don't wanna run into the same **** I did the last time...

Anything else I should look for in the 4.7?
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