Jeep Creep Answers Your Off-Road Tech Questions

Jun. 17, 2011 By Jim Brightly
Have a Jeep tech question for the Jeep Creep? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to Jeep Creep at [email protected]. Donít forget to be as complete as possible with the description of your Jeep and its problems.

Previous Jeep Creep Q&As:
May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

No Jeep recalls this month.

Oil Pump Replacement
I have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0-liter. Do I need to lift the motor to change the oil pump?
Chris Lentine

You donít need to disturb the engineís motor mounts. Simply lift the front of the Cherokee about 6 to 8 inches off the ground, support the frame with jackstands, and allow the front differential to hang on its suspension. This will clear the pan so that it could be removed.

Sahara Tires
I have a Jeep Sahara model I drive it off-road during the year. I want to buy new tires for my Jeep. I want you to guide me in which kind of tires are good for it. I say again I use it four seasons of the year. Are wide tires good? And what is the way of choosing the size of tires in relationship with the engineís power?
Sina Pakmanesh

You didnít say what year your Jeep is, or what engine you have, or what transmission and gears you have. You also didnít say what type of terrain your wheels are on year-around. However, I will say that my preference is the Goodyear MT/R with Kevlar tire (size appropriate to your engine, transmission and gearing).

Doiní the Discs
I have a 1975 CJ5 that I have installed GM disc brakes on all four. They are the large calipers that they used in the Ď70s. Do I need to change the proportioning valve and master cylinder being that it had four equal drum setups from the factory?
David Miller

Yes, youíll need to change/adjust the proportioning valve but not the master cylinder. Wilwood offers everything youíll need including information, heavy-duty replacement parts, and a really good tech department. Take a look at

Veering Jeepster
I just bought a Ď68 Jeepster with the Buick 225. Body is solid. Engine runs well. It seems to have about a 4-inch lift. It is nearly unmanageable when I let off the gas and wants to veer sharply to the left. When I correct, it wants to wallow around and the left front seems to dip. Any suggestions on where to start? It is missing a steering stabilizer, and when I pulled the wheels this morning I found the front left brake was hanging up on the drum fairly bad. Off to the parts store!
Greg Ramey
Aurora, CO

Where do I start? You need to go through the entire steering and suspension systems. Your shocks will probably have to be replaced. If you donít have a steering stabilizer, install one. If you have one, youíll probably have to replace it. You also need to have the Jeepster aligned at a good shop thatís used to working on four-wheel drives. I suggest you find the location of the nearest 4-Wheel Parts shop and have the Jeepster checked out completely.

Getting Air
Iím looking to do a full air bag suspension lift to my 2000 Jeep Wrangler. I have a 7-foot tall garage door access to park it while Iím on the road driving my semi truck. Factory height fits fine but I want a lift 6-8Ē over factory then have the option to drop it back down or use the bags individually for stabilization off-road and show. Iím not real mechanically inclined. My cousin is, though. What are the parts that Iíll need and will they flex that much. Can you help?
Doug Turner
Bonne Terre, MO

Youíre in luck! At the lava tubes on the Mojave Road last weekend, I saw and spoke with the owners of a pair of Jeeps with the suspension youíre asking about. Both owners were extremely enthusiastic about the system from Off-Road Only (see However, are you entirely certain you want to go this way? Itís very expensive and takes an expert dealer to install it. I also have a 7í garage door and my 1982 CJ7 with 35Ē MT/R tires, 4Ē Skyjacker lift, and 2Ē Skyjacker body lift fits fine.

Mismatched Parts
I donít know what the heck I bought. The Jeep had approx 3Ē shackle lift and I know by the part number sticker on the ďfrontĒ spring that they are 4Ē Superliftís. But one of the front leaf spring was welded and butchered up so I ordered a replacement. I took the 3Ē shackles off and went with a more stock shackle to lower it some. The front looks good but now my rear end is hitting my gas tank. And looking from the side of the Jeep, it sure enough looks as if the rear end is set back approximately 2 inches. I donít have any stickers on the rear springs (who the heck knows if they are even the right ones). I bought all new spring plates and U-bolts because the fronts were bent. The front shocks are bolted to a bracket that is welded to the front axle (and looks factory) but why wonít it bolt to the spring plates like the rear does? HELP.

I donít know what I bought. Iíve always been a hot-rodder and my first trip to the 4x4 world is a nightmare. I want to order a whole new leaf system now that Iíve hit this (rear end set back too far) roadblock. But I donít know what I got my hands on. Been on forums all day and folks have put Wrangler parts on CJs and who the heck knows whatís under this CJ7 body.

I have a 1982 CJ7 with a Chevy 400 small block V8 and TH350 auto tranny. It also has a 4Ē Skyjacker lift, extended shackles, 2Ē Skyjacker body lift, and 35Ē Goodyear MT/R tires, and it can go anywhere I want to go. With what youíve said about your suspension, I strongly suggest you start all over with a Skyjacker lift kit and a body lift. Sounds like whatever you have was cobbled together out of mismatched and dangerous parts. Start over!

Setting the Speedo
I have an Ď03 Rubicon which I geared to 4.88s and 35Ē tires. What is the easiest way to correct the speedometer?
Chuck Barnett

I recommend the American Expedition Vehicles recalibration tool, called Pro Cal. You can find a reference to it in

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

Previous Jeep Creep Q&As:
May 2011

April 2011

March 2011 Newsletter
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