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New XJ 1998 Owner -lots of questions -help for the gurus


 
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Paddy
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Joined: 12 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: New XJ 1998 Owner -lots of questions -help for the gurus Reply with quote

Very glad I came across this board, hopefully you all can ease my mind, lots of questions. This is my 5th Jeep, I had a CJ, 2 x YJ, and a TJ, so I know them pretty well. I picked up a '98 Cherokee with the 4.0/auto, 78K on it. The previous owner added 235/75/R15 BFG KO's, K&N filter, Dynomax exhaust, MSD wires, shift kit, and 2" Reese hitch. I have a 60 day, 3000 miles warranty, so I want to confirm that my issues are not big problems.

1) The Jeep is road noisy, the dealer said its the tires -true?

2) The turn signal is shot, is this an easy fix, or do I have to pull the wheel? DIY or return to the dealer?

3) I get the occasional anti-freeze smell, no leaks, just smell, is that because of the two piece radiator expanding? Had it on my TJ

4) Gas gauge get a wild hair up its tail once in a while, goes from 3/4 full to empty, then back up. Worry, or let it go?

5) First tank of gas wasn't great, i'm a tick above 1/2 at 90 miles. Not good?

6) Thinking poor gas mileage could be due to the fact previous owner did not flash the ECU after he added exhaust and K&N, -had the same problem on my TJ, mileage was worse after exhaust, had to disconnect the battery -corrrect?

7) Are the front shaft always locked in, or is there a disconnect system?

Cool Did they upgrade the hubs bearing assembly on the '97 an up Jeeps. My '88 had the older, crappy, and expensive design.

9) Is the heater core a bitch to get to?

10) I soaked the throttle body with Sea Foam Deep Creep, are there any other sensors I can clean? Should I just replace the crank position sensor?

11) Jeep idles 90% smooth, with a hic-cup every minute or so, should I expect miracles or they run like this.

12) Did they come with D44 rears, or do I have the lovely 35?

Sorry, I want to cover as many issues now before the warranty is gone.
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scorpio_vette
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Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Location: milwaukee WI

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: New XJ 1998 Owner -lots of questions -help for the gurus Reply with quote

Paddy wrote:
Very glad I came across this board, hopefully you all can ease my mind, lots of questions. This is my 5th Jeep, I had a CJ, 2 x YJ, and a TJ, so I know them pretty well. I picked up a '98 Cherokee with the 4.0/auto, 78K on it. The previous owner added 235/75/R15 BFG KO's, K&N filter, Dynomax exhaust, MSD wires, shift kit, and 2" Reese hitch. I have a 60 day, 3000 miles warranty, so I want to confirm that my issues are not big problems.

1) The Jeep is road noisy, the dealer said its the tires -true?
most likely, but it's hard to say without hearing it.

2) The turn signal is shot, is this an easy fix, or do I have to pull the wheel? DIY or return to the dealer?
everything is DIY if you want to learn and have/buy the tools. i would at least theck the bulb. if it's the switch, you should be able to do that through the steering column. get yourself a factory service manual, or go to http://www.alldatadiy.com/ , or at least get a chilton or haynes manual from autozone or checkers.


3) I get the occasional anti-freeze smell, no leaks, just smell, is that because of the two piece radiator expanding? Had it on my TJ
get a pressure tester and follow the instructions that came with it. leave the system pressurized for a few hours and see if it'll start leaking. most likely if you absolutely can't find a leak anywhere, it is the radiator. it's pretty common.


4) Gas gauge get a wild hair up its tail once in a while, goes from 3/4 full to empty, then back up. Worry, or let it go?
could be a bad gauge, loose/bad wiring, or bad sender. that will require testing


5) First tank of gas wasn't great, i'm a tick above 1/2 at 90 miles. Not good?
so that would be roughly 180 on a tank. that's bad, but it could be worse. i would make sure everything is where it should be and functioning. (tuneup, coolant thermostat, exhaust, etc,etc,etc,) you didn't say if the jeep was lifted. if it is, it will affect the mileage a little. if you can get about 15mpg, then your pretty average. if you can squeeze 16-18mpg, then be happy


6) Thinking poor gas mileage could be due to the fact previous owner did not flash the ECU after he added exhaust and K&N, -had the same problem on my TJ, mileage was worse after exhaust, had to disconnect the battery -corrrect?
with some of those mods, you really don't have to. the computers "learn and adjust" to different settings. it will take a little while before it adjusts itself, but unless the previous owner did all these mods the day before you picked it up, it should already know how to run it. and if you want, just disconnect the battery for a few hours and then drive "normal" for a while so it can relearn everything. just don't disconnect the battery if you have to go for emissions in the next couple weeks.

7) Are the front shaft always locked in, or is there a disconnect system?
if you owned a TJ then you know how this front axle works. it's the same.


Cool Did they upgrade the hubs bearing assembly on the '97 an up Jeeps. My '88 had the older, crappy, and expensive design.
i believe so

9) Is the heater core a bitch to get to?
everyone i've ever done was

10) I soaked the throttle body with Sea Foam Deep Creep, are there any other sensors I can clean? Should I just replace the crank position sensor? not really. if you have problems with your shifter/reverse lights/no start, you might want to clean the neutral safety switch. it's a $200 replacement part, but 99% of the time all you need is 20 minutes, a can of break cleaner, and some grease and you can fix it yourself and safe the $200.

11) Jeep idles 90% smooth, with a hic-cup every minute or so, should I expect miracles or they run like this.
discribe "hic-up". are we talking almost un-noticible shudder, or a several hundred RPM jump/drop???

12) Did they come with D44 rears, or do I have the lovely 35?
Chrysler 8.25 or D35. D44 only came in 87-89 i believe. the edge of the diff cover on the D35 is flat. the edge of the diff cover on the Chry8.25 as a little rounded lip.

Sorry, I want to cover as many issues now before the warranty is gone.
while these vehicles are very very reliable, you might be dissapointed if you don't do the work yourself. if you do the work yourself and learn all the interchangability, easy way of doing things, etc, etc, etc, then these vehicles are really cheap to work on. but if you run to the shop for most of your stuff, then it could get expensive.

________
BMW R27


Last edited by scorpio_vette on Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Paddy
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Joined: 12 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:26 am    Post subject: 1998 Cherookee Reply with quote

Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions Scorpio. I usually rip things apart myself, so with a little guidance I will be OK.

Where is the nuetral safety switch?

The Jeep idles fine, the tach is pretty rock solid, just the occasional change in exhaust sound.

The turn signal switch is shot, just want to make sure I do not have to pull the wheel, just unscrew the cover.
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ThePhantum
Pissed-Off Admin
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Location: I knew it...I'm surrounded by Assholes!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: New XJ 1998 Owner -lots of questions -help for the gurus Reply with quote

The NSS is on the pasenger side of the tranny. Here's a writeup on cleaning/rebuilding it:
http://jeepin.com/features/nss/index.asp


Paddy wrote:

Very glad I came across this board, hopefully you all can ease my mind, lots of questions. This is my 5th Jeep, I had a CJ, 2 x YJ, and a TJ, so I know them pretty well. I picked up a '98 Cherokee with the 4.0/auto, 78K on it. The previous owner added 235/75/R15 BFG KO's, K&N filter, Dynomax exhaust, MSD wires, shift kit, and 2" Reese hitch. I have a 60 day, 3000 miles warranty, so I want to confirm that my issues are not big problems.

1) The Jeep is road noisy, the dealer said its the tires -true?
The K&N filter will make it noisy, so will the Dynomax. Add that up with the BFG KO's and that's most likely the road noise.

2) The turn signal is shot, is this an easy fix, or do I have to pull the wheel? DIY or return to the dealer?
I'm pretty sure you have to pull the steering wheel to get to the turn signal switch. You have to make sure that the airbag is disabled before you futz with it though.

3) I get the occasional anti-freeze smell, no leaks, just smell, is that because of the two piece radiator expanding? Had it on my TJ
My advice? Replace the radiator. The factory unit is a 2 row plastic POS and it will fail eventually. You can pick up a 3 row all metal unit for around $135. Takes about 2 hours to replace.

4) Gas gauge get a wild hair up its tail once in a while, goes from 3/4 full to empty, then back up. Worry, or let it go?
There was a recall for 97-99's on the fuel sending unit. Take it to the dealer and they can check to see if it's been done. If not, they will do it for free.


5) First tank of gas wasn't great, i'm a tick above 1/2 at 90 miles. Not good?
6) Thinking poor gas mileage could be due to the fact previous owner did not flash the ECU after he added exhaust and K&N, -had the same problem on my TJ, mileage was worse after exhaust, had to disconnect the battery -corrrect?
For both of these, yes, reset the ECU. The computer runs the engine based of off historical data. Clearing that historical data will help it adjust to all the mods much quicker.

7) Are the front shaft always locked in, or is there a disconnect system?
92's and up are all non disconnect

8 ) Did they upgrade the hubs bearing assembly on the '97 an up Jeeps. My '88 had the older, crappy, and expensive design.
Not that I know of. The unit bearings are the same...they are crappy and expensive.

9) Is the heater core a bitch to get to?
You pretty much have to remove the entire dash to get to it.

10) I soaked the throttle body with Sea Foam Deep Creep, are there any other sensors I can clean? Should I just replace the crank position sensor?
Ditto. If they are not acting up, leave them alone. But I would pull the IAC motor off the TB and clean it, if necessary...just to prevent it from sticking.

11) Jeep idles 90% smooth, with a hic-cup every minute or so, should I expect miracles or they run like this.
Since the hiccup is just a little change in exhaust tone and it idles fine it shouldn't be a problem, mine does the same thing.


12) Did they come with D44 rears, or do I have the lovely 35?
It's either a D35 or a Chryco 8.25. If you have ABS it's a D35. If not, it's a crapshoot. It's easy to tell the difference though...on the Chryco, the bottom of the diff has a flat lip on it. Here's a pic, the Chryco is on the left:


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