B. Repairs and Improvements


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2005 Jeep Wrangler

TJ Unlimited




So, since I do not like working on dirty equipment, I started by washing the outside of the  Jeep.  It had mud sprayed all over it from just driving it on the dirt road I live on.  

Then my wife and I cleaned for a full day to get the inside up to par.  It still has some white paint stains in places that are inconsistent with "some spilled paint".  There was also paint on the outside of the vehicle, so I suppose a college prank of some kind caused the paint to be splattered everywhere. 

But, I knew it was there when I bought it and cleaned as much of it as I could.  It will be just fine for my use.

I used some engine cleaner and a pressure washer to clean as much as I could off the frame under the hood.  Much of the grimmy stuff came off.  There is still some baked on dirtand grime that will need more attention.

The Jeep cleaned up pretty well.  There will always be remnants of white paint inside, but most of it is gone. 

I began the mechanical repairs by making some lift arm supports to cradle the frame so I could put it on my lift.  

They  worked out great.  The lift had no problem lifting the Jeep.  

Centering the vehicle was the hardest part of lifting it.  I had to make sure it was balanced and that the arms would reach the frame.  With the garage door in the right position I was able to get a full lift.

I started with the shimmy issue.  It was pretty bad and had to be addressed.  Along with the shimmy I could feel some driveline vibration while driving.  My brother and I jacked up one front tire and started checking for driveline problems.  Immediately we noticed the front U-joint was bad.  It had almost a quarter inch of side to side movement in it.  That had to be fixed.

I removed the front driveshaft so I could install the new U-joint using the shop floor press.   Then I marked the front axle pinion shaft and nut before removing the nut and the yoke so I could replace the pinion seal.

The yoke had a small groove where the seal rides.  No one in town, including the Jeep dealer keeps the correct parts in stock.  I bought two seals at Autozone, but when I was ready to put them in, it was apparent they were not the correct seals.  The original seals have a metal lip on them.  

The seals from Autozone did not have the lip so I took those back.   

Amazon had the correct seals and the yoke.  They also have fast shipping.  So I ordered a new front yoke and seals.  I had to wait two days for the parts to arrive but I got the correct ones and I got them installed without any issue.  

The new front yoke measured to the thousandth the same as the old one.  So, I put the nut back into the same position it was in originally.  

The rear axle yoke was still in good shape.  Since the rear axle is a Dana 44, it does not have a crush sleeve in it.  I tightened the rear pinion nut to 180 ft/lbs (the service manual says 160 to 200 ft/lbs).  The nut was exactly where the marks said it should be.

I replaced all the ujoints in both the front and rear dirveshafts including rebuilding the CV joint on the front driveshaft.  Autozone did have greaseable Moog ujoints.  

I found the floor press was difficult to use on the ujoints so I bought a cheap ball joint press from Amazon.  It worked great for replacing all the ujoints.  I also found the socket yoke for the CV joint on Amazon.  It was the greaseable type so the slinger was not needed in the CV joint.

That fixed almost all of the front end shimmy even though the wheels and tires had not yet been swapped.  

I installed a cheap steering stabilizer as preventive maintenance.  

Then I found some OEM 15"x8" wheels and installed a new set of 30x9.5 Hankook tires on them.  That fixed all the shimmy and the Jeep runs very smoothly.

I removed the diff covers, drained the oil and cleaned them up before reinstalling them.  

I used synthetic 75W-140 as suggested by the service manual for towing.  I plan to pull a trailer now and then so I used 75W-140 synthetic diff oil as suggested in the Service Manual for towing applications.  I like the idea of using a synthetic oil anyway.

I ordered a WranglerFix PCM and installed it even though the OEM PCM is working fine.  Two of the connector tabs on the PCM were missing on the unit I received.  So Mark at WranglerFix offered to compensated me after I found a way to secure the connectors or he would send another unit.  I found a simple way to make a keeper to hold two of the connectors on firmly.  

Thanks Mark!  I will keep the OEM PCM for backup.

The PO had also told me that he just replaced the O2 sensors but I started getting P2096, P2098 and P0153 codes.  I also looked for exhaust leaks but did not find any.  So I ordered all new O2 sensors as suggested in the forums I read.  

When I was attempting to replace the first sensor,  I found the exhaust pipe was loose where it attaches to the manifold.  There was not a gap you could see or hear so not very much exhaust could have been escaping.  After tightening the two retaining nuts, I drove it to see if it was fixed.  I was amazed that is was!  I would never have suspected just a loose connection like that could cause this problem.  

Over 200 miles now and still fixed.  So, I just put the new sensors on the shelf for later use.  

The OBDII port plastic was broken and it was dangling.  

I found a replacement on Amazon and installed it.   I found out a few days later I had somehow not installed one of the connections in the correct slot.  I could not get a scanner to work properly until I fixed that.  

I should have been more careful!

The rear glass lift supports were shot.  They would not support the glass.  I found new ones at Quadratec.  They fit nicely and support the glass. 

I replaced the the weather seal on the bottom of the hard top glass.  It had broken plastic where it attaches to the bottom edge of the glass.  I found the new seal on Ebay at I used Permatex Black Silicone Adhesive Sealant to glue the new piece onto the glass.  Duct tape held it in place for 24 hours and now it is good as new.  I also removed the black brackets on the sides of the body since the new plastic part did not align with them and they are not needed for the hardtop.

The new seal was still not contacting the top of the tailgate correctly.  So I ordered some flap type trim seal from Amazon.  It fit nicely and really holds the bottom of the glass firmly.  

It even keeps the window from rattling like it did before.

I used a hood support rod I got off of Ebay and a small block of aluminum to fabricate a tailgate holder to the tailgate from swinging while I have it open for loading. 

I also fixed the rattling tailgate latch cover with a screw

I fixed the broken center AC vents, replaced the missing OEM cup holder and  painted the insturment cluster and center dash covers.  I also installed WeatherTech front floor mats.  I made and installed some rear mud flaps for when I do pull a trailer since I live on a dirt road.

The last drive-ability issue I really need to fix is the P0344 code that pops up on cold (below 30 degrees) mornings.  It goes into limp mode and I have to clear the code.  Then it runs just fine.  I am looking for a used OEM Cam Sensor to try since the PO replaced the original one when he changed the OPDA.  The PO spaced the new sensor out a little with a thin washer.  So far, it only is a problem on cold mornings. 

The last drive-ability issue I really need to fix is the P0344 code that pops up on cold (below 30 degrees) mornings.  It goes into limp mode and I have to clear the code.  Then it runs just fine.  I am looking for a used OEM Cam Sensor to try since the PO replaced the original one when he changed the OPDA.  The PO spaced the new sensor out a little with a thin washer.  So far, it only is a problem on cold mornings.


I also will upgrade the brakes for towing.  But that can wait for now.

The Jeep looks and drives a lot better now!




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