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Just got myself a used wrangler, what to fix first?

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silvertoy
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Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: N.E. PA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:56 am    Post subject: Just got myself a used wrangler, what to fix first? Reply with quote

Okay, so I had a 2003 Wrangler sport which I traded in for a 2007 FJ Cruiser, which I traded in for a new car for my new wife, with the condition that I would find myself a beater jeep that I could still use offroad.

Well mission accomplished, Last night I picked up a 1999 Wrangler Sport with 171,000 miles. Problem is, before everything was under warranty with my old Jeep, and now, I'm warranty-less and there's a lot that this baby needs. I'm fairly mechanically inclined and can do routine maintanence like changing the oil, rotating the tires, etc. I've even done some minor engine work on my old J-10 that I had as a kid. But now I'm going to take the next steps into becoming intimately familiar with every inch of my wrangler. I bought a haynes manual and read most of it yesterday, and found it to be horrible, thanks to it's overly general content (1987-2003).

My question to you all is this. I'm starting with the front end. The brakes pulse (about once per tire rotation) and are very weak. There is also a lot of clunking noise coming from the front Right wheel area when bounching around, particularly in 4x4. I'm thinking it's the axle U-Joint (the one right behind the rotors). But while I'm in there, I'm thinking of replacing the pads and rotors too. I see the thread on replacing the u-joints, but I don't think it's helping me much, I did find this:

http://www.myjeepxj.com/index.php?page=u-joint-replacement

Is that going to help me much here as it's for an XJ, or is that pretty much what I'm going to be looking at?

Next thing, if I'm going to be replacing my Rotors and Pads, what's the advantage of replacing the calipers too? How would I know if they needed replacement? I see the excellent writeup on how to replace them here, that's a big help.

While I'm in there, are there any other parts I should look at replacing? I'm only going to do the right side tonight, unless I find I'm able to do all of this in under an hour.

Thanks all, I'll try to do a write up when I'm done.
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Orangeamc13
Got Rev Limiter?
Got Rev Limiter?


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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

welcome I agree with noise being the axle joint. That writeup will work, XJ's and TJ's have the same front differential D30. The only thing that I would do different is not remove the tie rod. I find it hilarious that the ass that wrote that, removed his. It is easy enough to remove the hub assembly without doing that. I've lost count of how many times I've removed a hub, and I've never removed the tie rod.
I would change both of the axle joints, because you probably don't know when they were last replaced, and if one side is gone the other is probably on its way out. I would plan on it taking well over an hour! If those u-joints are original they could be a real pita.
I'm sure the calipers are fine. If the pistons press back into them easily and there aren't any visible signs of leakage, they're good! You should bleed them while you're at it, only cause you mentioned they are weak. Even if no air comes out, you can feel confident that there is no air in the lines.
The only other thing I would check, while I was at it, is the hub assembly. If there is any play or they seem bad replace them.

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Orangeamc13
Got Rev Limiter?
Got Rev Limiter?


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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah, I just remembered. Make sure you get the greasable axle u-joints with the flat button style grease fitting. They will last a lot longer if you grease them regularly! Mr. Green
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blktrax
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Joined: 01 May 2007

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woah....... Brakes.

I would say your definatly starting in the right place.
Above anyhting else the brakes ate the most important thing on any jeep and usually the last thought of.

My 97 with only 90k Miles I went ahead and did the whole thing. and why...

Pads and rotors are a breeze, DON'T OVER TIGHTEN Caliper bolts torque spec is like 11 foot lbs. very not tight.

But after compressing the Phenollic (see crap) pistons in the caliper they usually don't operate like they should, and for the $30 or less each, you can pick capalers up from advance or autozone it's silly not to do them.

Both mine locked up and warped a new rotor... (grrr) lesson learned.

The other thing being, doing the rear shoes with new drums and properly adjusting the parking brake. Theres nothing worse then finding your jeep not where you parked it, or get out ot look at and obsiticle and find your jeep left without you.


Anyway onto the other stuff Jeeps make a lot of "klunk" noises. Most likely the one youre hearing is worn out Sway bar bushings and Sway bar end links, $25 from advance each, or get quick disconnects.
Other possibilites are wornout ball joints, and a good alignment guy and fand that out. easily.

The U-joint makes more of a click/popping noise, but with that many miles could be also.

Change all the fluids, Diffs, Transfer Case, Transmission, Engine, Coolant.

Front Brakes Calipers, Rotors Pads, U-Joints if you want to. If youre going to be that deep might as well put some Alloy Axle seals if you plan on hangin on to the dana 30.
http://www.northridge4x4.com/proddetail.php?prod=ALLOYUSA-SEAL-A

Rear brakes, Drums, Shoes hardware kit

Flush as much of the old brake fluid as possible, over time it collects moisture and gunk from the system, Clean fluid=Better resistance to heat =Better braking.

Adjust parking brake

Here are some great sites I used starting out in my projects.

http://www.stu-offroad.com/

http://www.4x4xplor.com/tj.html

Good luck with it.
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silvertoy
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Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: N.E. PA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I just went to buy some rotors... But I couldn't because I don't know what kind is on there now.... What is up with the difference between composite and cast, I mean, I know the difference in how they are manufactured, why can't I interchange them, are they different sizes, offsets??? If I buy the composites that AA autoparts has from raybestos, am I going to cause some major problems here. When I take the rotors off to get to the u-joint, I'll go ahead and take them over to AA with me and compare sizes.

Thanks for the tips Orangeamc13, I was wondering if I could get away with not detaching the tie rod as he wrote "optional". I'm going to attempt to take out both u-joints tonight and replace them both. But I'll leave the brakes for another day, even though I'll have all the parts right there. We'll see how it goes.

I'll try to take them off with my vise, if not, I've got a buddy with a press who can probably give me a hand.

Any help on the brake will be appreciated, I'm gonna go scour the internets now for anything I can find on it.
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silvertoy
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Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: N.E. PA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://jeephorizons.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=9412&highlight=composite++cast+brakes

Oh snap. Hmmm, I don't have any idea after reading that post how to determine which my rotors are. I'm thinking they're cast, I'll just have to take them with me and measure them.

blktrax mucho thanks too.
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blktrax
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Joined: 01 May 2007

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.stu-offroad.com/suspension/frontbrake/frontbrakes-1.htm

Well see even I learned something here, musta just got lucky. I bought the cheapest rotors they had, and got the Wearver Gold pads because of the the anti-squeel shims on the back of them.


I've personaly done brakes on a 02 a 99 and on my 97tj and twice on my 95 XJ. All used the wearver rotors from Advance auto parts. My ASSUMPTION is the Composite rotor is for ABS equiped models. None of the ones I've worked on have had ABS.
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Orangeamc13
Got Rev Limiter?
Got Rev Limiter?


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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

silvertoy wrote:
When I take the rotors off to get to the u-joint, I'll go ahead and take them over to AA with me and compare sizes.


That's the easiest way to do it. Just match up the new rotors to the old ones.
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silvertoy
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Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: N.E. PA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found some info while looking for some answers on my front brake rotors. It's apparently a mid-MY'99 change and they changed to the cast version from the 2-piece welded composite rotors because they separate.

To determine which you need.
Measure old rotors by laying mounting surface flat.
Measure from surface to the bottom of disc.
If its 2 and 5/16" use the composite rotors.
Composites usually have a darker colored hat.

I didn't have time to do anything tonight, and tomorow will be the same.
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silvertoy
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Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: N.E. PA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does any one know what size the Axle nut is? 36, 37, 38?
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cromb
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Joined: 07 Sep 2007

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Cherokee is 36 but yours may be different
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silvertoy
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Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: N.E. PA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm betting it is a 36 then.

I was trying to figure out how to take off the axle (as I've read that it's taken upwards of 500 ft-lbs to remove it) and was wondering, does anyone see any problems with me using an impact wrench to take it off?

I've got a 1/2" drive impact wrench with 200, 400, and 600 ft-lb settings, I would start out low obviously. I also read it's not threaded backwards, so it'll come off in the same direction as the lug nuts, I hope. I also hope that there won't be any problems with me using my 36 regular socket in the impact wrench. Any suggestions? I'll probably try my breaker bar first, just in case.
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silvertoy
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Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: N.E. PA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whew, what a day. Here's what I replaced.
Front U-Joints, left and right,
Front Rotors, left and right,
Front Calipers, left and right
Front Brake Pads
Also squeezed in, Spark Plugs, Oil Change, new CD player (had a tape deck) and roll bar speakers, I also charged the AC, which, sadly, didn't work so I have to delve deeper into why my AC isn't working.

So the hardest part proved being replacing the u-joint and getting them separated from the axle parts, good god! I luckily had a friend with a 12 ton press to take them out, and we needed every ton of it. It was a VERY difficult job. putting back in was a snap, taking out was a nightmare. The 3 bolts that hold the hub on to the knuckle were a bear to remove as they were pretty rusted but, I didn't see any need to replace them as the threads were still in tact where it counted. The trick of sticking a socket between the hub and the knuckle worked like a charm, otherwise I NEVER would have been able to remove the Hub. The Axle nut was no problem at all to take off, which after reading some of the posts had me worried, but it came off pretty easily. I still have to bleed the brakes (tomorrow night) And I now need to start reading up to find out what else could possibly be wrong with my AC, it's not like it just doesn't get cool, it doesn't do ANYTHING when I switch it over to AC.

Round 2:
Rear Brakes, drums, shoes,

Round 3:
2" lift, haven't decided on which lift, yet, but 2" with adjustable dampers is all I KNOW for sure.
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silvertoy
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Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: N.E. PA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly I had bled the brakes sucessfully and put one tire back on, when I got to the last Lug on the second tire and the stud started spinning, needless to say, I had to cut the lug off (thank god for my dremel) and go back to AA and luckily they had a hub for me so I was able to finish the job after taking it all apart and putting it back together again. But, hey, now I have a new hub and bearing no complaints.

Couple questions.... One I'll address in a new post about AC. The other I'll address in a new post regarding my steering. Thanks to everyone for their help so far.
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blktrax
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Joined: 01 May 2007

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If youre gonna do the rears might as well to the wheel cyclinders theyre like 12-14 bucks each and dont forget the hardware kit, 9x out of 10 you'll loose bend or brake (pun) one.

Whole new system fully bleed, Wink no rolly off cliffy
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