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Unread 05-23-2003, 06:07 PM   #1
dicknjane
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Join Date: May 2003
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So many problems so little money

I bought a '77 cj7 a year and a half ago off of Ebay Motors (please don't chastise me for that one...i've learned my lesson the hard way) from a seller in New Jersey. Threw caution to the wind and flew out there to drive it home, figured if I had trouble I could haul it back. I managed to get 20 minutes out of Philadelphia when the steering nearly gave out and I was randomly coasting down the interstate. Upon inspection I discovered the steering linkage was riding on the springs and had been for some time. Towed it home and changed out the generic worn-out shocks with Rancho RS5000. Found the steering gear box to be shot as well and replaced it with a remanufactured unit. All told there are probably too many problems to list here and I need some specific help with several areas so I can get the Jeep back on the road at least for in-town driving.

First, replacing the shocks wasn't enough, the ride is seriously hard hitting metal to metal with small city potholes. The steering still wanders but I'm not sure if that is partly due to the 2" body lift and 32 inch tires. The linkage is still threatening to be destroyed sitting on the springs. The spring hangers were sawed off only leaving two options (both poor) for where to put the springs. My question is, should the body lift be removed and if so, will that correct a large portion of the steering and ride issues. If not, should I replace the body lift with a suspension lift to possibly remedy what looks like a poorly done modification. I don't think the guys working on it made the necessary adjustments to the rest of the jeep when they added the lift. Can someone give me a good list of what should be done with the addition of a body lift.

Next, the entire Jeep leaks fluids...the engine needs all new gaskets (won't start now with fully charged battery and putting gas in the carb). The major concern for me is the transfer case which has been consistently dripping all winter. The quadra-trac emergency drive light is always on (no matter how the switch is turned...probably electrical) and I'm not positive it is in 4wheel. It has the optional reduction unit which is in high range and I've read elsewhere the reduction unit is not a great option to have. Questions here, should I remove the reduction unit; is that advisable? With the amount of leaking I have out of the Quadra-trac unit and knowing it's been driven that way probably for years, should I try to repair the unit I have or try to find a remanufactured unit...does the cost of repair outweigh the cost to replace...and/or is repairing the existing unit a serious pain?

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Unread 05-24-2003, 10:02 AM   #2
rustyCJ
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the body lift has nothing to do with the ride. the only steering related issue you have to deal with for a body lift is the steering shaft(the shaft between the box and the column). what do you mean its metal to metal from potholes? steering linkage is on the springs? spring hangers were sawed off? how are the springs mounted now? is your axle over or under the springs?

the reduction unit is a great option to have, it takes you from a 1:1 to a 2.?:1 ratio. the quadratrac either is working or isnt. if your jeep is moving it is working and you also are in 4wheel drive. you should check the vacuum hoses on the quadratac, they are prolly wrong hence the emergency drive light being on. driving on pavement while in emergency drive is a bad idea. what exactly do you mean repair? stopping the leaks? as long as it had adequate TCL-1(there is a recipe somewhere to make your own)in it should be fine.

if you still feel you need to remove the reduction unit, i will trade you the reduction unit for the rear cover to replace it.
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Unread 05-25-2003, 09:34 PM   #3
Lightningdon
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"Next, the entire Jeep leaks fluids..".... this just means it's "self lubricating"
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'75 CJ5 304cid, t18 tranny w/granny low, model 20 T Case, DANA 44 rear, 30 front, 4" suspension lift, 33" tires, in need of more work!

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Unread 05-28-2003, 09:10 PM   #4
dicknjane
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self-lubricating the jeep, the box under the jeep, the garage floor under the box...

When I posted the last message I hadn't been in the Jeep all winter and was pulling much from memory of the ride. I think I can attribute much of the ride to the 32" tires. The metal to metal sounds come from several places all when I take a bump at an angle. There's a metal squak from under the driver side floor, another clanking sound from the rear which could be the exhaust.

The tie rod sits on top of both sets of leaf springs. The leaf spring hangers to which I was referring is what should be the front shackles. They are currently metal brackets connected to the front bumper with two threaded rods tying both the driver and passenger springs together. (Please let me know if a photo would help here.) The brackets had 3 sets of holes for the springs to be mounted but the lower holes were sawed off. This same system is used on the rear springs attached to the rear bumper. The springs sit below the axles.

As far as the emergency drive light being on, I will check the vacuum hoses and probably the entire electrical setup. When I try the knob meant to switch from 4wheel to emergency drive, it doesn't do anything which leads me to believe it isn't hooked up properly. As far as the leaks go, I plan to purchase all new gaskets for the quadra-trac, and I've found TCL-1 from 4wd.com. The reduction unit will stay in, I would like to try everything out as is, once fixed, before I consider swapping anything out.

Thanks for the response, any further help you can provide is appreciated.
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Unread 05-28-2003, 10:10 PM   #5
rustyCJ
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if you could send me a pic or post it on here of the front steering linkage and the spring mounting that would help a ton. i just cant picture what you are describing.
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Unread 05-28-2003, 11:13 PM   #6
CJ7Danny
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Dickandjane,

The steering linkage typically is immediately above the front springs. However, nothing should actually be touching the springs.

From the description of how your springs are mounted, that might be the cause of your problem. The relocated spring shackles caused a clearence problem with your steering linkage.

Overall, it sounds like you've got a ton of work to do the chasis before this Jeep can be considered road worthy.
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Unread 05-29-2003, 07:52 AM   #7
dicknjane
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I have posted the gallery of the front and rear spring assemblies at http://www.seespot.net/index.cfm?pageid=80 . There are two pages in the gallery for the front and rear assemblies. Let me know what your take is on this.

I see the potential for a serious overhaul of the entire suspension system, but I would like to know how I can at least make it roadworthy for the timebeing. As the subject says '...so little money'...

Thanks!

Last edited by dicknjane; 05-29-2003 at 07:54 AM..
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Unread 05-29-2003, 12:40 PM   #8
rustyCJ
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easy fix

everything is ok, just take off the stupid shackles. that stuff isnt mounting brackets, it is really nothing more than extended shackles. this is causing the poor handling cause it is eliminating the castor of the front axle. it looks like the front shackle mounts are still there so it isnt anything more than un-bolting everything and sticking normal length shackles on. I have some stock front shackles that will fix the handling problem and may even get the sway bar link off the tie-rod if your interested. if stock length shackles dont get the sway bar link off the tie-rod you will need to get/make extended links.

do the same to the rear, remove the goofy setup there now and put actual shackles on. you have helper springs on the rear packs.

this will fix a ton of your problems with handling and ride quality. you are going to lose lift but it will be streetable again and it will only cost you some new shackles. $9.95 a piece(you need four) from 4wd hardware. i will sell you a used front set for $10 plus shipping. i will have to dig into the parts box to see if i have a rear set.

I hope this helps
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Unread 05-29-2003, 01:36 PM   #9
dicknjane
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Excellent! I'm going to order up front and rear shackle kits with bushings. The whole mess needs to be cleaned up!

There are two other major issues I'm trying to remedy to get the Jeep going again on a regular driving basis. The first is the metal whine I'm hearing when using the accelerator. I assumed initially it was the transfer case, but now I'm concerned it is also the axles or the front or rear end going out. With the noise only noticable when accelerating is there anything I can single out?

Next, when I put down the accelerator at anything less that granny speed, the engine slows and loses power before regaining and taking off. The engine has numerous problems with leaks and the sounds of misfiring (sputtering/rumbling noises), but I'm wondering if this is simply a mixture problem or something more serious. If the carb is tuned improperly could it be giving the engine too much air when I try to accelerate too fast? I do have somewhat of a lead foot, but I think even my 80 year old grandmother would have trouble...

Again, thanks for the help!
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