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Unread 03-04-2011, 12:33 PM   #91
6Speed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liljpy View Post
The only time you should be replacing your OPDA is if the shaft and/or upper bearing are not salvageable. The currently available Crown gear does work, you just have to accurately drill 2 holes and polish the gear so it slides over the OPDA shaft.

I chose not to do the FogMod in favor of periodic (every oil change) inspections during which I will reapply the Shell grease. I pulled it over the weekend and the new gear and OPDA shaft look perfect after 2000 miles of harsh driving. Yes it's 15 additional minutes of work every oil change, but much better than giving any more hard earned money to Chrysler IMO.
What if there is already wear on the gear? Doesn't that mean there is also the same wear pattern on the cam gear?

Assuming the wear on both gears match, and if I install in a new gear, isn't it going to wear funky against the cam gear that has it's on wear pattern established?

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Unread 03-04-2011, 12:39 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6Speed View Post
What if there is already wear on the gear? Doesn't that mean there is also the same wear pattern on the cam gear?

Assuming the wear on both gears match, and if I install in a new gear, isn't it going to wear funky against the cam gear that has it's on wear pattern established?
This is my concern as well. Some discussions I've had with people that have a lot of engine building and teardown experience suggests that once the helical gear on the cam itself is worn, it's done. You've worn down past the surface hardening and any new OPDA gear you install will pick up the wear pattern and continue to eat away at both parts. I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I'm going to have to replace my camshaft this summer and the OPDA gear and start fresh.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by TJJP77 View Post
This is my concern as well. Some discussions I've had with people that have a lot of engine building and teardown experience suggests that once the helical gear on the cam itself is worn, it's done. You've worn down past the surface hardening and any new OPDA gear you install will pick up the wear pattern and continue to eat away at both parts. I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I'm going to have to replace my camshaft this summer and the OPDA gear and start fresh.
Exactly. That is what I was thinking. If Jeep doesn't issue a recall on this, and they SHOULD, I'm going to do whatever preventative maintenance I can do, run the best oil I can, and drive it till it gives me problems. When that time comes that it is throwing codes and no longer drivable, rather than spend thousands to replace the cam and gear, I'll put that money towards a v8 conversion.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 12:53 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6Speed View Post
Exactly. That is what I was thinking. If Jeep doesn't issue a recall on this, and they SHOULD, I'm going to do whatever preventative maintenance I can do, run the best oil I can, and drive it till it gives me problems. When that time comes that it is throwing codes and no longer drivable, rather than spend thousands to replace the cam and gear, I'll put that money towards a v8 conversion.
If you can do the work yourself, the cam isn't that expensive. There's also a trick for removing it without yanking the head, but it means you will be re-using your old lifters on the new cam, which is supposedly a big no-no.

My engine only has 12,000 miles on it so I'm going to try the cam only anyway - my "experts" feel that with such low miles, it's a low risk as the lifters shouldn't have much wear anyway. I'll just coat the cam lobes with a ton of break in lube and let the engine idle for a while after re-assembly to allow it to gently burnish in. I think it will be ok. I've done lifters only on another vehicle and the world didn't come to an end - it's still going strong with no ill effects.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by TJJP77 View Post
If you can do the work yourself, the cam isn't that expensive. There's also a trick for removing it without yanking the head, but it means you will be re-using your old lifters on the new cam, which is supposedly a big no-no.

My engine only has 12,000 miles on it so I'm going to try the cam only anyway - my "experts" feel that with such low miles, it's a low risk as the lifters shouldn't have much wear anyway. I'll just coat the cam lobes with a ton of break in lube and let the engine idle for a while after re-assembly to allow it to gently burnish in. I think it will be ok. I've done lifters only on another vehicle and the world didn't come to an end - it's still going strong with no ill effects.
I've done cam/heads swaps on GM stuff, but never a Jeep. What is the projected time involved for swapping the cam on these motors? Do you have a link to a writeup for the trick you mentioned?
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Unread 03-04-2011, 01:02 PM   #96
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I've done cam/heads swaps on GM stuff, but never a Jeep. What is the projected time involved for swapping the cam on these motors? Do you have a link to a writeup for the trick you mentioned?
Dunno on the time - a complete cam swap done by the factory service manual method is around 9 hours flat rate. You would still have to remove the radiator, condensor and grille with the trick I'm going to try, but not removing the head is a huge time saver. After I get home from work and have some time, I'll post up the method that an old AMC expert told me about...no time right now to get into all the details....stay tuned.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 01:20 PM   #97
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HYPOTHETICALLY (fortunately still)

worst case :
OPDA gear is showing wear AND cam counterpart gear is showing wear. =>
a) codes get thrown (should happen far before b) )
b) oil pump failure ... engine has to be rebuilt.

repair:
a) rebuild OPDA with crown gear and fogmod ... replace cam ...
and in case of b) buy rebuilt engine or rebuild or STROKE

pulling the cam is already tempting to stroke in one go!

(I think swapping in rebuilt short blocks are not that expensive in comparison to the hassle of just replacing a cam)

if crown will come up with a new design even better ... I will use that instead of rebuilding my old OPDA for sure.

conclusion: the untouchable reputation of the 4.0 has some cracks now for the 05 and 06 owners ... and it is more than annoying because we were living in the illusion zero problems from the engine in stock form.
but for me I will make the best out of it since I got my lemon already and I am not giving my TJ up ... this unexpected natural born defect of my TJ baby will make my wife mod more compatible with a stroke mod.

most of us have spent far more money in TJ mods than this is issue going to cost worst case ... how many trannies, gears, axles and shafts get sacrificed while having fun with our toys offroad. THE FUN MUST GO ON!

(well ... doctor chrysler still has to expect trouble for his missing/incompetent help during and after the birth
and just for fun: I asked my local Jeep dealer today for the price of a new 05/06 OPDA ... the part was "blocked" in the system, nothing in the country and no stock at Daimler germany ... and the best part: the dealer was totally confused and did not know ANYTHING why the part was "blocked" by the system! so sad )
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Unread 03-04-2011, 04:28 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6Speed View Post
Exactly. That is what I was thinking. If Jeep doesn't issue a recall on this, and they SHOULD, I'm going to do whatever preventative maintenance I can do, run the best oil I can, and drive it till it gives me problems. When that time comes that it is throwing codes and no longer drivable, rather than spend thousands to replace the cam and gear, I'll put that money towards a v8 conversion.
I am going to do the FogMod, but I hear you on the V8. I have thought about putting the motor from my 06 (15k miles) in my 03 with the old style OPDA, and then put a Hemi in the 06. Lots of money, but I would be getting a new motor in my DD and a huge upgrade for my toy.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 04:55 PM   #99
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Maybe it's the optimist in me, but I don't have much concern with the camshaft gear. The OPDA gear is the sacrificial part so I would expect the wear on that gear to be significantly worse than the camshaft. I've seen some wear on the camshaft, but I would expect it even if there was no problem with the OPDA. The camshaft is a bigger gear and while I agree about the helical wear and surface hardness, I believe (hope) the camshaft is okay. I believe the same about my lifters and lobes. If it does go, I'll deal with it then.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 05:22 PM   #100
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Is there any way to use a ODPA and computer from a 2004?
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Unread 03-04-2011, 05:32 PM   #101
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Just for S&G's I sent Jeep an e-mail reference my displeasure with the way the OPDA issue is being handled, the inability to get a replacement, and the apparent total lack of concern on their part. Here's the reply I got today:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep
Thank you for contacting the Jeep Customer Assistance Center.

Your email was reviewed by Customer Care for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep® and
Ram vehicles and has been forwarded to a more appropriate area for their
attention and response.

This referral action will provide the best opportunity for your request.
A representative will be in contact with you within one (1) business
day.

Chrysler Group has made tremendous gains in customer satisfaction and
vehicle quality and we are dismayed to learn that your expectations have
not been met. Please accept our apology for the problems you have
experienced.

Thank you for taking the time to communicate with us.
I wonder if that's their way of saying FU?
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Unread 03-04-2011, 05:52 PM   #102
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Well, sign me up for the Crown part if there is a waiting list. I keep greasing mine now and am awaiting one from a vendor, but have about gave up hope. I figure my ticking time bomb will blow up when I am about to write a tuition check for college for my son. *sigh*
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Unread 03-04-2011, 05:53 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffro06 View Post
I wonder if that's their way of saying FU?
Computer generated FU.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 06:11 PM   #104
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So, is the general perception that Chrysler will not make or stock OPDAs, so that whenever one goes bad there wont even be a replacement available? If that is the case, I wonder if that opens the door for another company to make clone parts?
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Unread 03-04-2011, 07:20 PM   #105
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Okay...I'm back with the "trick". To perform the trick you need to remove anything that would impede with sliding the cam out of the block - that includes the belt and fan, the radiator, the grille and condenser and of course the timing cover and timing gears. You will also need to remove the valve cover, all the rocker arms and all of the pushrods.

On the front of the AMC 6, there is an oil gallery plug just above the cam bore. Remove this plug and find a suitable rod to insert in the bore that is long enough to go all the way to the back of the engine - this rod will stop when you hit the first lifter. Using a magnet or hook of some sort, lift each lifter one at a time just enough to push the rod past the lifter, but not enough to lift the lifter completely out of it's bore. Repeat this process untill all 12 lifters are up and away from the cam being supported by the rod. You can now remove the camshaft without fear of the lifters dropping into the pan and without having to pull the head.

When installing the new cam, just coat the heck out of all the lobes and the helical gear with some sort of heavy moly grease and slide it in - pull the rod out carefully, allowing the lifters to drop back onto the cam. Button everything up, start the engine and allow it to idle for a while to burnish in the OPDA gear - do not rev it up or you could damage the fragile surfaces as they set their into initial wear pattern.

That's pretty much it - if you pull the cam and find a lobe that looks damaged, it's probably an improperly hardened lobe - the lifter foot will be severly worn/mushroomed as a result, so then you're unfortunately back to pulling the head.
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