Need help with valve stem seal replacement 5.7L - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-08-2019, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
cef911f1
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Need help with valve stem seal replacement 5.7L

OK guys, I need some advice. I'm not a professional mechanic but I've been wrenching on my own cars as well as those belonging to friends for over 50 years. I am, however, a retired mechanical engineer with 35 years of experience in the auto industry. As a retirement hobby, I have built and outfitted my own shop where I restore old cars for fun. I have more tools than the average guy and probably more than many pros.

So here's my problem. I have several leaking valve stem seals as well as leaking gaskets allowing oil into the sparkplug wells. I have the FSM for this vehicle and at present, have removed the one sparkplug from each cylinder, removed bank 1 valve cover, both rocker arms and have successfully replaced the intake valve seal on cylinder 1. I first tried to use compressed air to hold the valves up while I did this but even though I'm confident that my airline was fully screwed into the spark plug hole, I could hear air leaking so I decided not to trust that method and reverted to the old school rope trick. That worked great for the intake. However, once I freed the keeper on the exhaust valve I found that the rope hadn't locked up the valve. It has about a half-inch of travel and I can's seem to keep it from falling down so I can't compress teh spring enough to replace the keepers. I've tried to remove and reinsert the rope numerous times with the same result. I've gone back and tried to use the compressed air method but that won't hold the valve up either. (I put an o-ring on teh valve stem to keep it from falling while I applied the air. With 30 PSI applied, I can easily push the valve open.)

I'm struggling to come up with any new ideas. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Note: I'm using 1/4" braided cotton rope. I feed as much as I can into the cylinder with the piston all the way down. Then I turn the engine by hand until it locks up. Should I try a different type/size rope? Should I put all of the sparkplugs back in except for the one and retry the air?

Edit: I'm using this valve spring compressor. https://racetoolsdirect.com/product/...ng-compressor/


2004 WJ (4.7L 4x4 Ltd.) (donated to charity)
2008 WK (5.7L 4x4 Overland)
2014 WK2 (5.7 4x4 Ltd.)
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 04:01 AM
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Just a little idea from left field, do you know if the valve is able to fully close? I know its pretty rare but these Hemis did have issues with valve seats becoming unseated and causing issues.

2005 WK Limited Hemi, 2" OME lift, header back exhaust, 245/75/R17 MT, Superchips tuned, Roof rack
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I know it can fully close. With the rope in teh cylinder and compressed until the engine locked up, I could still move teh valve up and down about a half-inch. Since soliciting ideas, I was able to finally get the valve locked up using a different type of rope. (Guy at Lowe's though I was crazy. I bought six-feet of every type rope they had that would fit through teh spark plug hole, lol.)

Anyway, I have a much bigger problem now. While attempting to put the keepers back on teh number 1 cylinder's exhaust valve, I lost one of the keepers. I'm relatively certain that it went down the oil gallery hole adjacent to the number 1 cylinder's exhaust valve spring. I'm trying to decide what to do next.

My choices are:
1. Assume that the keeper is too big to get caught in anything other than the oil strainer on the oil pump and do nothing (I have some extra keepers).

2. Remove the cylinder head and see if I can retrieve it assuming that it hasn't gone all the way to the oil pan. (A lot of extra work and expense. Plus getting to the exhaust manifold bolts looks to be all but impossible.) (I am tempted to try to do this though as it would be a lot easier to replace teh valve stem seals with the heads on the bench.)

3. Remove the oil pan and see if I can retrieve it. According to the Factory Service Manual, this requires disassembling the draining the coolant (fresh), front suspension and outer tie rods and removing the front diff. A whole lot of work which also means draining the oil (it's fresh), draining the diff gear lube (also fresh), and then new gaskets and a wheel alignment.

Any opinions? I've solicited opinions on Reddit's r/MechanicAdvice/ and have gotten just two responses. The first said if it were a customer's car, they would retrieve the keeper. The other said, my assumption is correct and it won't hurt anything leaving it in there and just using a new keeper.

2004 WJ (4.7L 4x4 Ltd.) (donated to charity)
2008 WK (5.7L 4x4 Overland)
2014 WK2 (5.7 4x4 Ltd.)
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 12:27 PM
90grandoneer
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I see yours is an 08, so you shouldn't be having any valve seat problems. How many miles are on the vehicle?

First, valve stem seals on the Hemi's rarely go bad to the point they leak. If you're getting oil in the spark plug wells, it's more than likely coming from the rubber plug well seals in the valve covers. This is a common problem. Just change the valve cover gaskets.....the plug well seals come with the cover gasket kit. IMO, you're going about the seal change all wrong. Stuffing rope down the cylinder is not a good way to hold the valves up. All you need do is hand crank each cylinder to top dead center on the compression stroke and the valves for that cylinder should be closed and easily held closed with compressed air. If you're sure you have the piston for that cylinder on top dead center on the compression stroke and you're still getting leakage, you are losing air somewhere else.....usually a leaking valve or broken valve spring, but could be from somewhere else too. Years ago, when I installed performance cams in both my early 5.7's, the way I described above is the way I changed over to 6.1 valve springs. I didn't change the seals at that time, as there were no problems with any of them. Pretty easy job using a cylinder leak down manifold and compressed air. Also, be aware that valve train issues on the 07> Hemis are really quite rare.....leaking valves and/or valve seals. If someone has tampered with the engine, then who knows what has been done?

A year or so ago I finally pulled the heads on both my early (05 and 06) 5.7 Hemi's and had all the valve seats and other performance work done on them. All the seals (mileage range ~76K-107K) and valves were fine, but a few valve guides did have to be replaced, even on the engine with the lower mileage. When I pulled the heads on my 06 6.1 Hemi do do the cam, I also did the heads since they were off. At about 164K the valve seals and valves were still good but it too needed a few valve guides.

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, AFE Air Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, DS and HP tuners, Transgo Shift Kit, ARH Long Tube Hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads w/new valve seats, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's. Also 05 Hemi LX modded exactly like WK and Comp Cammed 06 300CSRT8.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cef911f1 View Post
Yes, I know it can fully close. With the rope in teh cylinder and compressed until the engine locked up, I could still move teh valve up and down about a half-inch. Since soliciting ideas, I was able to finally get the valve locked up using a different type of rope. (Guy at Lowe's though I was crazy. I bought six-feet of every type rope they had that would fit through teh spark plug hole, lol.)

Anyway, I have a much bigger problem now. While attempting to put the keepers back on teh number 1 cylinder's exhaust valve, I lost one of the keepers. I'm relatively certain that it went down the oil gallery hole adjacent to the number 1 cylinder's exhaust valve spring. I'm trying to decide what to do next.

My choices are:
1. Assume that the keeper is too big to get caught in anything other than the oil strainer on the oil pump and do nothing (I have some extra keepers).

2. Remove the cylinder head and see if I can retrieve it assuming that it hasn't gone all the way to the oil pan. (A lot of extra work and expense. Plus getting to the exhaust manifold bolts looks to be all but impossible.) (I am tempted to try to do this though as it would be a lot easier to replace teh valve stem seals with the heads on the bench.)

3. Remove the oil pan and see if I can retrieve it. According to the Factory Service Manual, this requires disassembling the draining the coolant (fresh), front suspension and outer tie rods and removing the front diff. A whole lot of work which also means draining the oil (it's fresh), draining the diff gear lube (also fresh), and then new gaskets and a wheel alignment.

Any opinions? I've solicited opinions on Reddit's r/MechanicAdvice/ and have gotten just two responses. The first said if it were a customer's car, they would retrieve the keeper. The other said, my assumption is correct and it won't hurt anything leaving it in there and just using a new keeper.
Wish I had gotten to you sooner on the keeper issue. Those things are soooo small and oily that it's quite easy to drop one. When I did my cam/valve spring change, I had several spares standing by and also put little pieces of paper towel in every hole around the cylinder I was working on. All this being said, if the keeper went down a drain hole, it'll end up in the pan and most likely won't cause you an issue. What I would recommend though is, if it went down a drain hole, that you carry on and finish your job and drain the oil and see if you can fish it out through the drain plug hole using a flexible magnet. If you can't, pick up a magnetic drain plug and install it with fresh 5W-20 oil and drive it. Next oil change, it'll probably be on the magnet. Pulling the pan on a WK is a giant PITA. If you're really worried about it, I'd opt for pulling the timing cover first, as you can see into the pan pretty well once it is removed. If you end up doing that, while you're at it, drop a mild performance cam into it. You wouldn't be sorry. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, AFE Air Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, DS and HP tuners, Transgo Shift Kit, ARH Long Tube Hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads w/new valve seats, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's. Also 05 Hemi LX modded exactly like WK and Comp Cammed 06 300CSRT8.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very, very much for your reply and advice. I had also posted this new dilemma on Reddit's r/Mechanicadvice. I got two responses; the first being from a pro who said if it happened in his shop, to a customer's car, he'd do what was necessary to get it out. The second response agreed with my assumption that it probably wouldn't hurt anything to leave it.

I'm going to go with your advice and drain the oil. I currently have a Fumoto valve instead of a drain plug but I think I still have the original one but it's not magnetic. So far, I haven't found one that says it fits. I'm a little baffled why they all say that as the plug is at an angle in the pan so clearance should be an issue and they have the correct thread (14mm-1.5). I'll have to research pulling the timing cover to see what that entails. I'm also considering just pulling the heads to make it easier to replace the valve stem seals.

2004 WJ (4.7L 4x4 Ltd.) (donated to charity)
2008 WK (5.7L 4x4 Overland)
2014 WK2 (5.7 4x4 Ltd.)
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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While I do have several leaking sparkplug well seals, I'm also getting blue smoke on start-up, especially when it's cold outside. Also, a couple of plugs on each bank are definitely oil fouled. The vehicle has 150K miles on it and was purchased used for hauling our dogs around. I also have a 2014 JGC Ltd. with the 5.7 L.

Before these two, I had a 2004 with the 4.7L. Tell me, did you have any issues pulling the heads? Clearances around them are not great and I'm a bit concerned about getting the exhaust manifolds undone. The vehicle has spent its entire life in the south and is virtually rust free. However, exhaust fasteners rust regardless of the environment.

Top dead center on teh compression stroke seems to me to be a moot point with the rocker shafts removed. I do know the piston is at teh top of its stroke. I don't seem to be burning oil after the engine is warmed up (no smoke) and the plugs that aren't oil-fouled look great. So, I can't explain why I can't build pressure in any of the cylinders. I have three different hoses with matching sparkplug threads and o-rings and I've tried them all. Two of them have very short threads and I can't get them to seal at all. The third one, I made from an old compression tester and some brass fittings such that there's a long nipple that goes down into the sparkplug well and I can put a wrench on the exposed fitting and tighten it. I know the hose assembly is air-tight but I still can't get enough pressure where I'm comfortable with it holding the valves up. The rope method has been around a lot longer than I have (68 years) and is tried and true.

2004 WJ (4.7L 4x4 Ltd.) (donated to charity)
2008 WK (5.7L 4x4 Overland)
2014 WK2 (5.7 4x4 Ltd.)

Last edited by cef911f1; 10-10-2019 at 02:07 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 02:13 PM
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FWIW, IMO, it's overkill to pull the heads just to replace the valve seals, unless you have a zillion miles on the vehicle. In any case, if you do pull the heads, then I'd have them rebuilt by a shop that specializes in engine building/valve jobs. When I did the 6.1 heads, the complete job cost under $700 and another $200 for a top end gasket kit.....which comes with all the gaskets and seals (including valve seals) that you'll need to do the job. Also, if you go that route, consider installing 6.1 valve springs while it's apart.

I have Fumoto's on my two 5.7's also and a magnetic plug on my 6.1, only because it had the cam and valve lifters go bad and I am trying to make sure I get as much of the debris and fine metal powder out of the oiling system as possible. I've driven it almost 6000 miles since changing the cam and lifters and, so far, there have been no ill effects and the vehicle runs great. I've even taken it on a 2000 mile trip and a shorter 600 mile trip without issue. In other words, I am not worried about anything else causing issues. Oil pressure, compared to the two 5.7's is, at hot idle about 2 lbs. lower and about the same as the 5.7's at cruise.

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, AFE Air Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, DS and HP tuners, Transgo Shift Kit, ARH Long Tube Hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads w/new valve seats, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's. Also 05 Hemi LX modded exactly like WK and Comp Cammed 06 300CSRT8.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I don't want to spend another $200 for a top-end gasket set either especially since I already have the valve cover seals, etc. Plus, I really don't want to pull the extra work of pulling the heads. It's just that I'm having a hell of a time with the keepers on the exhaust valves, obviously, lol. I have the factory service manual and pulling the heads and/or pulling the oil pan is just way more work than I want to do. I have my own shop where my hobby is restoring old cars and I'd much rather be working one of them. (They're a hell of a lot easier to deal with.)

2004 WJ (4.7L 4x4 Ltd.) (donated to charity)
2008 WK (5.7L 4x4 Overland)
2014 WK2 (5.7 4x4 Ltd.)
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 03:27 PM
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If you haven't gotten to the keepers on the No. 8 cylinder (rear passenger side), you're in for a real treat when you do. They were the most difficult, IRRC.

I hear what you're saying about working on these things. They're not easy.....or fun to work on. I used to restore old Mercedes and they were much easier and a lot more simple to work on.

If you're still not able to hold pressure in the cylinders, I think I do a cylinder leak down test and a compression check. Since you've already got it sort of apart, you'd have to reinstall the rockers for the compression check. You can do the leak down test with them off. These two tests will give you a good idea of what is going on and pinpoint where the problem(s) lie.

As far as removing the heads goes, it's not all that difficult. You can pull them with the exhaust logs in place.....and reinstall them the same way. I don't have that luxury because I have long tube headers on mine and have to unbolt them from the head before it can be removed.....a real pain. All of the stuff bolted to the heads needs to be disconnected/unbolted/removed. It's easier to pull the fender wells, remove the battery/battery box, and bungy everything else out of the way.....alternator, power steering pump, electrical boxes, etc. You don't have to disconnect any of the wires to the alternator, the A/C lines or the power steering hoses. If you go this route, be sure to use all new exhaust manifold bolts/studs (preferably a better quality than the stock ones) and make sure the exhaust log flange surface is flat. Also, with your mileage on the vehicle and while the heads are off, I'd highly recommend you change EVERYTHING that is easier to get to while it's apart......starter, starter yellow wire repair, motor mounts (if needed), front differential bushings, the MAP Sensor, heater/radiator hoses (if needed) and, for sure, all four oxygen sensors.

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, AFE Air Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, DS and HP tuners, Transgo Shift Kit, ARH Long Tube Hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads w/new valve seats, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's. Also 05 Hemi LX modded exactly like WK and Comp Cammed 06 300CSRT8.
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post #11 of 13 Old 10-10-2019, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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LOL, I'm still fiddling with cylinder 1 which is probably the easiest to get to. I've removed the battery, and the air filter and airbox. I have all of the wires disconnected and /or tied up out of the way. And, now, I've removed (and labeled) all of the pushrods and plugged their holes as well as the oil ports. I got some new keepers this afternoon. Tomorrow, I'm going to drain out the new oil and investigate how hard it will be to remove the exhaust log to pipe nuts. (I soaked them with PB Blaster earlier. Unfortunately, the head on my only flexible magnetic retrieval tool is too big to go through the oil drain plug hole. I ordered one today that is only 5/16" in diameter along with a magnetic drain plug. (I love Amazon Prime.) Knowing how difficult it is for me it is to get the damn exhaust valve keepers back in place, I'm seriously leaning toward trying to remove the heads. Plus, I'm running out of bandaids, lol. I'm not sure how much other stuff I want to replace. Maybe the alternator. I replaced the radiator, water pump, serpentine belt, belt tensioner last year. That wasn't particularly easy either. IIRC, I went through a bunch of bandaids on that job as well.

I much prefer working on my TR6, my Bug or my 911. And, as bad as the Jeeps are, they're not as bad as working on my wife's '04 Mini Cooper S.

2004 WJ (4.7L 4x4 Ltd.) (donated to charity)
2008 WK (5.7L 4x4 Overland)
2014 WK2 (5.7 4x4 Ltd.)
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post #12 of 13 Old 10-11-2019, 10:05 AM
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Yes, the TR6, Bug and 911 are all "basic" automobiles (the early ones anyway) compared to today's all electronic "marvels". I much prefer the 50's-80's stuff. Older than that is even more basic by today's standards. Also, I am getting too old for some of this stuff now and probably won't be doing any real serious stuff, plus I have all my vehicles just about the way I want them now.

One of the tuners I have is an HP Tuner and you almost need to be rocket scientist to figure it out and make the correct changes without screwing something up. For me, the key is lots of research, user forum reading and trial and error.....one step at a time and back everything up. It's so complex for this old timer and more difficult because there is no user's manual or instructions.....too much to cover. It took me about a week and a half to get the transmission settings the way I wanted them on my 5.7 LX. I also have a 6.1 LX that is "suppose" to be the same as far as the transmission goes, but it's not. I am still trying to get the settings correct on it as time allows.

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, AFE Air Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, DS and HP tuners, Transgo Shift Kit, ARH Long Tube Hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads w/new valve seats, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's. Also 05 Hemi LX modded exactly like WK and Comp Cammed 06 300CSRT8.
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post #13 of 13 Old 10-11-2019, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I'm getting up there as well and don't have the same drive that I used to. My Porsche is done. It's Guards Red with a Gray-Green leather interior. (Somewhat rare and I love it.) I actually bought it new n '86. In the late 90's it was completely disassembled and restored to mint condition. For the most part, it's a garage queen and rarely gets driven. It's had some performance mods but nothing outrageous. It has the teh tail and front spoilers along with teh H4 headlights. It's been lowered and chipped and a few other things. My Bug is a'65. It too is Guards Red but with a white/gray interior. It just needs the interior completed. I was working on that when I had to stop and work on the wife's Mini (also red) which is in my shop and on my lift. She doesn't want to part with it so it's getting a major overhaul. My TR6 is a '71 that needs a full restoration. I plan to do a body-off job on it. I will be red with a tan leather interior if I ever get to it. Then there are teh two JGCs. Both black; the '08 is an Overland and the '14 is a Limited. Both are bone stock.

Anyway, thanks again for all your advice. I'm taking a day away from teh beast today. Wife's been in Europe for teh last couple of weeks and coming home tomorrow. Time to clean house and do some yard work.

2004 WJ (4.7L 4x4 Ltd.) (donated to charity)
2008 WK (5.7L 4x4 Overland)
2014 WK2 (5.7 4x4 Ltd.)
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