Jeep Creep Answers Off-Road Tech Questions

Apr. 13, 2012 By Jim Brightly
In your Jeep Creep questions, please list your first and last names, your hometown, and your state/province/country, so that we can publish that information here. If you donít provide this information, we may not be able to publish your question and answer. Donít forget to be as complete as possible with the description of your Jeep and its problems, too. Send your questions to, Attn: Jeep Creep.

Previous Jeep Creep Columns
March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

One Jeep recall this month
12V-085: Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2004 and 2005 Jeep Liberty vehicles manufactured from July 3, 2003, through July 14, 2005. Some vehicles may be equipped with rear lower control arms that can experience a rear suspension lower control arm fracture due to excessive corrosion. A fracture of the rear lower control arm may result in a loss of vehicle control and may lead to a vehicle crash. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear lower control arms on all affected vehicles originally sold in, or currently registered in the NHTSA defined salt belt states, free of charge. The safety recall began on March 26, 2012. Owners may contact Chrysler at (800) 853-1403. Chryslerís safety recall number is L27.

JK Hood Control

As I said in an earlier emailówhich you answered very well, by the wayóI own a 4-door Jeep JK Rubicon. Every time I drive in wind or pass an oncoming semi on a two-lane road at speed, I think my hood is going to twist and snap itself right over my windshield. What can I do to stiffen the hood up, and to slow my heart down?
Robert Foster
Las Vegas, NV

I have two product ideas for you, Robert. There are others out there, but I have personal experience with these products. I used a bug shield from Bushwacker ( to both stiffen the hood and change the airflow so that most bugs fly right over the Jeepís top. I also installed a set of Daystar Hood Wranglers (, which are stiffer and tighter hood latches that look OEM. They tighten the hood down really well and I havenít had hood flop since I installed these two products.

High Times
My 1995 Jeep Wrangler 4-cylinder is idling high, and the fuel injector is making a howling noise. We replaced a blown-out muffler, gasket on the valve cover, map sensor, map vacuum, IAC motor, spark plugs and wires, and installed new fuel injectors. Nothing seems to work. The idle is still high, the fuel injector is still howling and I am afraid the muffler is going to blow again, please help.
Susan Duren

Susan, you have a possible vacuum leak, stuck idle air motor, or stuck throttle body. Youíll have to track it down on site, or have an accredited tune-up shop take care of it.

North to Alaska
I have a 2009 Rubicon in Alaska, and I want to put a good lift on it. I also want to go to the largest tires the stock engine can push without going to 91-octane gas and a straight pipe with a power chip. I am thinking of a 4- to 6-inch Skyjacker long-arm lift and 35Ē tires. I could use any and all input you care to share with me. I will be going back in a long ways on trails with no one living around, so I donít want to breakdown. (I will be adding armor and skid plates as money is available.)
Dale Bell

Dale, either height sounds great! Iíve installed Skyjacker lifts on many different types of vehicles over the years and Iíve never been dissatisfiedóIíve had a Skyjacker 4-inch lift on my 1982 CJ7 for nearly 15 years. With 35Ē tires youíll need either aftermarket wheels with the proper offset or 1-inch spacers between the OEM wheels and the brakes. Any tire taller than 33 inches will contact the frame in tight turns without the additional spacing. The V6 will handle the taller tires, but you may want to go to deeper gears for improved highway travel and better RPM multiplication (I have 4.88:1 gears in my 2007 Rubicon Unlimited).

No ZipÖper
I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler with a back window zipper broken. I need to know where I can get a new one?
Patrick Twist

You didnít tell me where youíre located, Patrick, but I assume you can Google a boat shop in your area. Boat shops fix zippers all the time.

Towed & Broken
I have a Ď92 Renegade. It was running perfect until it got towed for being parked in my own visitor parking. Now it has fuel but no spark. I have replaced the coil, the cam sensor, and the computer or ECU and still getting no spark. My dad has been a mechanic for 40 years and I have been one for 15 years and we are stumped. Iím about ready to burn my truck. Please let me know if you have anything to offer. Plus, I checked all the plugs on the steering column and I have power to the coil but nothing from there on.

Iím assuming it was in gear when towed? Therefore, I think a link in the accident safety shutdown system has activated. You need to take it to a shop with a ĎScope and have it diagnosed.

Electrical Fits
I have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee and it wonít stay running for more than a few seconds. Then it quits. And none of the gauges are working; tach, oil pressure, fuel, etc. The engine light is on and the key light flashes. I gave it a boost and I might have hooked the battery cables up wrong. I was wondering if you could give me any advice on what to do?
Jason Martin

It needs to be checked with a computer scanner, Jason.

Shockleyís Suspension
I have a 2001 Jeep Wrangler with a 4-cyl. engine. I have put a snow plow on the Jeep and put coil spring air bags on the front coils to carry the load. I purchased the air bags through JC Whitney and they work for a while but then they start leaking where the fitting is molded into the bag. Is there any place that sells either air shocks or heavy-duty coil springs that I can put on my Jeep that will carry an extra 1,000 pounds on the front of my Jeep?
Thomas Shockley

Take a look at

XJ Econo Lift
I have an Ď87 Jeep Comanche two-wheel drive. I would like to lift it say two inches to start. Is there a ďcheapĒ way of lifting the rear? I know of using lowering shackles to raise rear. Is there another possible way? Say using springs from the wreckers? The lift kits are out of my budget right now, and converting the current configuration from under the axle to over the axle is out of the question right now.
Richard Frausto

I suggest you use a budget 1-3/4 inch lift kit from 4WD Parts or Quadratek. A 1987 4x4 Cherokee kit will work fine on your Comanche. In fact, in the future if you wish to convert your Comanche to 4WD, a wrecked Cherokee will work fine as the donor car.

Sahara Suspension

I am wondering if I can fit a 33Ē tire on my factory 2002 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. I have 32s on it now and want to get a set of 33s or 35s on it without getting new rims. I currently have a 3-inch lift on it with room to spare in my wheel wells. I am looking at a set of 33x12.50x15 and that is what I would like to get on there. My current tires are 32x11.50x15 so going to a 12.50 from an 11.50 isnít going to be too wide for the factory rim?
David L Riley

Yes, you can install 33Ē tires under your Sahara with its 3Ē lift without new rims. You could even fit 35Ē tires, but with the stock rims you might need spacers or to adjust your steering stops. The larger tires will just give you more rim edge protection. And, obviously, you wonít have as much floatation as wider rims would give you.

SOA Suspension
Iím a 16-year-old high school student so money is very low. I just bought a Ď94 YJ with a 4-banger. Iím trying to decide how to get the lift I want for cheap. I have buddies that have gone through Rough Country and they love it, so Iím stuck between a 4-inch lift or doing an SOA conversion. What would I need to do for both? I have shops I can get work done in for almost free, so thatís not much of a problem. Iíve read that I can get away with axle shims and transfer case drop brackets for the SOA, is this true?
Cainnan Dutton

Although itís a cheaper way to go for an SOA lift, Cainnan, I donít recommend doing a spring over. While it seems to be simple, it can give you a whole new set of problems, like severe bump steer, accelerated U-joint wear, difficulty in maintaining alignment, etc. However, on the good side, the money you save in not buying a good lift kit can be spent correcting all the evils that come with the SOA lift. Save your money and leave your Jeep alone until you can afford a professional kit from Skyjacker, Terra Flex, or one of the other excellent manufacturers.

As usual, each month, Iím shouting out a huge THANK YOU to Paul Schupp at Rock Lizard 4x4 in Kingman, Arizona, for his invaluable assistance in answering many of the Jeep Creep questions. Newsletter
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