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Calling all Jeep Doctors - Diagnosis Please!


 
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seancutch
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Joined: 23 Apr 2007

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject: Calling all Jeep Doctors - Diagnosis Please! Reply with quote

Hello All,

So I took the plunge, and joined the Jeep club ('94 GC limited, 100k miles). I love it to death, but after driving it for a few weeks, I've noticed some troubling symptoms. I was hoping to get some diagnostic advice from the pros before I take it apart/take it to a mechanic (not exactly a great mechanic myself - I've done minor maintenance such as plugs and wires, but nothing further). Here we go:

Problem #1: suspect head gasket - The engine idles a bit rough, and puffs white smoke on startup (possibly during driving, never looked that closely while underway). I had attributed this to just being a 13 year old car, until I started getting low coolant alerts once every 2 weeks or so. On reading the forums tonight, this looks like the likely culprit.

Problem #2: suspect bad TC - There is a bit of "walking" in tight turns. I knew this when I bought it, but my roomate said that this would happen on any 4 wheel drive car. On reading these forums, it appears that walking is not normal on a GC. The walk seems to be worse in drive than in reverse - does this matter, or am I just imagining it?

#3: miscellaneous - I have noticed a thump (not all the time, but frequently) when I pull my foot off of the accelerator, but before I put my foot on the brake. On checking some service records the previous owner had kept, at one point it was noted that the saw bar links to the differential were worn - could this be causing any of these problems.

One final question - how urgent are these repairs? Are they merely annoyances (just uncomfortable in turns and requiring a little coolant every couple of weeks) or will they develop into more major problems given enough time? I ask because I am a student on a tight budget, and if these things can wait for a few years (when I will theoretically have a job, and more disposable income), then I'll put up with the annoyance.

Thanks so much for all your help!
-Sean
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1fox2go
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Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Location: Fishersville, Virginia

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if it is a head gasket, thats first priority, then i would fix the tcase, then try to find the noise
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phxZJ
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Joined: 24 Apr 2007

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how does the oil look? if you see beeds of water on the dipstick or discolored oil (light brown -caramel ) = bad news. that noise maybe a u-joint. good luck
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Orangeamc13
Got Rev Limiter?
Got Rev Limiter?


Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Location: East Springfield, Massachusetts - U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, you paid $4500 for a 94 with 100k miles!!! That sucks! Have you picked up a manual for your JEEP?
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swamp boy
Cherokee Muderator
Cherokee Muderator


Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crawl underneath and grab the front drive shaft and wiggle it.. If it has slack in it at the axle you can change that U joint yourself.. It it has slack at the back you CAN change that one yourself but its very hard.. Its easier to find a shop to rebuild it.. If neither end wiggles , Go to the back shaft..

Both ends of that shaft can be changed yourself at home..

From the discription I am thinking that one of your Ujoints is bad..

Also take a peak at the front axle U joints they normally only clunk when you are turning but its not impossible..

The walking in corners is probobly the T case but its not something you have to replace right away.. It will last forever like that.. (within reason)

The head gasket should be your primary concern now.. And if you do it yourself make sure when you pull the intake off you go ahead and change the phlenum (sp) gasket ..

Good luck..


Carl
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Unless you include the sawzall work..

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5.9 andy
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Joined: 15 Feb 2007

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey i have a bad coolant system to in my 5.9JGC . like you i just have to add about 1/2 gallon evry 2 weeks, a gallon of ready use peak anti-freeze cost me little over 5$ a gallon, but thats because i got a good deal because i bought 50$ with at once go i got like 9 gallons. just ask ur local shop for a similar deal.
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seancutch
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Joined: 23 Apr 2007

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice guys. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back, but I have been sick as hell this last week, and laid up in bed (must be my lucky week...). Here's a quick update:

As far as water in the oilpan, there isn't any (at least not yet). I'm taking her in for a top to bottom diagnostic tomorrow (mostly because the more I learn about the car, the more I realized I missed during the buying process). This is also to more concretely diagnose the head gasket issue, since I'm letting the pros do that one and it's looking like it will run at least $1k, it would be nice to know for sure that it is the problem before they tear the block (and my checkbook) apart. I know, it's the "wussy way out," but seeing as I just changed my first set of plugs last week, I figure I'll let the pros do the more major surgery, if necessary.

Haven't had a chance to check the u-joint yet, but it's on the top of the list for the next time I have a few extra minutes.

As far as the tcase, I guess I'll let that one slide for a bit (most likely, once the next round of student loans comes in). I think I'll try to tackle that one, since it doesn't look too difficult (thanks to Swampy's great writeup). It will also give me a chance to scavenge for parts, and convince one of my more mechanically inclined friends to lend a hand.

BTW: Orange, I talked the purchase price down to $3300, and I keep my Chilton book on my bedstand (although I'm putting serious consideration into getting a separate copy for the bathroom).

Thanks again for the help!
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Orangeamc13
Got Rev Limiter?
Got Rev Limiter?


Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Location: East Springfield, Massachusetts - U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seancutch wrote:
BTW: Orange, I talked the purchase price down to $3300, and I keep my Chilton book on my bedstand (although I'm putting serious consideration into getting a separate copy for the bathroom).


That a little bit more in the ballpark. But if the guy let you talk him down to $3300 from $4500, that really makes me wonder why (was he hiding something?).

You need to get one manual for the bedroom, one for the bathroom, and one for the garage!!! rofl rofl rofl

Remember, just because someone works at a garage "professional mechanic" doesn't mean they know their ass from their elbow. Basically watch out and don't let them screw you around. If they see that you don't know whats going on, they'll take full advantage of it!!! Mr. Green

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seancutch
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Joined: 23 Apr 2007

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: took it to the local garage today, and they found a "big leak" in the radiator (I didn't notice a puddle where I park, but it's a gravel driveway, so maybe it just wasn't leaking fast enough to leave a visible pool. Or, maybe there are a lot of dead squirrels around the neighborhood this week...) and a cv joint that was rusted. I can't say I'm thrilled to be making these repairs on a car I've only had for a few weeks (in general, if I have to fix something, I like to at least get to enjoy breaking it first), but a cv joint and a radiator are still a helluva lot cheaper than a head gasket and a transfer case.

Keeping my fingers crossed. I do love this car...
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DankNesS
Member


Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

first off congrats and welcome to the club!

jus a lil fyi it is a Jeep not a car... its all good though its a very common error Razz

as far as the cv i would go to a u pull and get the drive shafts from a jeep that has the ujoint kind i believe they are.. im a lil sleepy so maybe wrong name.. either way one has a rubber boot the other does not... the one with out is stronger and better cha ching

as far as tcase i would not loose any sleep over this.. they are about 120 to 150 from a u pull and pretty easy to do id say you and a bud could do the whole thing in an afternoon... pretty straight forward id say.. with the help of this forum you can do it no problemo thats what it is for... so feel free to ask any questions at all even if you think it is dumb.. ive asked plenty of noob questions and now i feel pretty well educated... plus ive studied this internet for countless hours and ive spent just as much workn on my jeep x5 so ya get to know your jeep and do it all yourself!! you will learn tons save mountains of $$ and most improtantly be able to fix what you break on the trail
happy jeepn
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