Jeep Creep: Cherokee, Wrangler Off-Road Tech and More

Jan. 31, 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 don’t provide this information, we may not be able to publish your question and answer. Don’t 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:
December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

No Jeep recalls this month.

2012 Wrangler
I’m really interested in purchasing a new Wrangler Unlimited before next summer. What’s a-must-have accessory list for an outdoorsman like me who like to fish & hunts big game?

Charles House

Wow, Charles, I envy you! I’d love to trade my ’07 Rubi in on a new one! Here’s my wish list for you. First and foremost, choose the Rubicon package! By chance, did you see the review on  You get a much heavier-duty chassis including Dana 44 axles and a transfer case with 4:1 low range. Also, I highly recommend the five-speed automatic with cruise control. Not knowing where in the country you live, I’m going to suggest the Arctic Edition as well (see Next, ask the dealer to have a local 4-Wheel Parts shop to add the protection of a full kit of Bushwacker Body Gear before taking delivery. If you’re going to be traveling on rocky trails or in overgrown dense forests, you should consider a lift kit and taller tires at the same time.

I also want to mention, Charles, that Strattec Security Corporation has recently introduced the Bolt Spare Tire Lock for 1991 to current Jeep Wranglers. The Bolt Jeep Spare Tire Lock features the company’s one-key lock technology, and it works by permanently programming the lock to the Jeep’s ignition key to prevent problems with lost keys and costly lockouts. To use it, simply insert the Jeep’s ignition key into the lock cylinder, turn once and spring-loaded plate tumblers move up and down until they are matched exactly to that key. Give it a look at

iPad GPS
I own a 4-door Jeep JK Rubicon. I just recently purchased an iPad 2, and I would like know if there are products that will allow me to use the iPad 2 as a GPS and be able to mount it in the Jeep?

Robert & Gabrielle Foster
Las Vegas, NV

To use the iPad 2, you’ll need three things: a mount to carry it, software to utilize it as a GPS device, and a GPS antenna to connect the iPad to the satellites. The iPad, I believe, has software available, check out This site has videos available and the kit may include the antenna as well. For the mount, I highly recommend a Ram mount (see I would recommend using this mount to place your iPad in a vehicle: RAM-B-316-1-AP8.

Wandering Seven
I have a 1983 CJ7 that’s built. I have 40” Mickey Thompson tires on it, and one-ton Chevy axles. But I have no steering stabilizer setup on it. The Jeep wanders back and forth a lot when on the road. Will a stabilizer system help take care of the problem?

Chris Gotta

A heavy-duty steering stabilizer—the heavier, the better—should help some. But you need to do some other things as well. Make sure all the suspension components are tight and well greased (shackles, spring mounts, ball joints, etc.). Then do the same to all the steering components, including the steering gearbox (these often “stretch” the frame metal at the mount’s holes and become loose—the gearbox may also need a cross-frame brace available from

Cherokee Speed Bump
I have an ‘06 Grand Cherokee Laredo with the V6. Can you tell me why when I either hit a bump or go around a corner I lose throttle response? Would this be some kind of fault with the throttle position sensor or with the traction control system? Also, how can I check the fluid level on the tranny, seeing as how they did not come with dipsticks?


First of all, you need to acquire a shop manual for the Grand Cherokee; this will tell you where to find the trans fluid level information (if your owner’s manual doesn’t have it). Does the engine rev up a little, like it would if the trans was cavitating from a low fluid level? The shop manual will also include a troubleshooting section to assist you in finding a solution to your problem.

Four-Banger XJ
I have a problem with my 2.5L-powered 1986 Jeep Cherokee. I have no power to my fuel pump. I have good power at the harness right before the pump, though. I replaced pump, but still nothing. I tested the wire that is on the sending unit inside the intake. It has power when it is not on the pump, but as soon as I put it on the pump I lose power. Please help.


Start at the battery and clean all the connections—including the battery cables—to the fuel pump. Check the fuel pump fuse and the pump relay connections. And make sure the wire isn’t broken within its insulation.

Hi, my wife’s 2003 Jeep Liberty Renegade was in the shop and she was told that the drivetrain or driveshaft’s boot was missing (don’t know how that happened). They replaced the whole driveshaft. They said that’s how the part comes. You can’t just replace the boot. Is that correct?


For the Jeep’s front shaft, that is correct, Bruce.

4.2L Head Conversion
I have the head and the MPI conversion kit. I bought the OEM exhaust manifold for a ‘95 Wrangler 4.0. The face of the exhaust manifold is about 1/8” thicker than the intake and therefore I cannot bolt them up together. Looking for offset washers or shaving the face. Any ideas?

Oceanside, CA

You’ll have to contact Advance Adapters or have a shop mill the washers for the offset.

Dana 44 Leaks
The rear axle in my 2003 TJ (Dana 44) is bringing fluid up out around the yoke shaft. I replaced the seal and oil slinger but it’s still doing it. I also made sure the breather tube was clear. Any ideas?

Shane Dunnaway
Olancha, CA

How’s Nine Mile Canyon and Monache Meadows, Shane? Been there lately? You have a bad pinion-to-yoke seal undernut, bad seal, or bad yoke.

4.2L Head Conversion
I have found a ton of information and write-ups on swapping a 4.0L head on a 258. However, I can find nothing on what to do with the EGR valve. I know not everyone who has done this is installing fuel injection. I want to use my existing intake with a Motorcraft 2100. Emissions are not an issue, but I am concerned about detonation. Do I need to fabricate a pipe to connect the EGR, or can I get away without it after installing the 4.0L HO head? All comments are welcome.

Erik Koederitz
Savannah, GA

You may have a ping. If so, fabricate a tube to mount the EGR valve or retard the timing a bit.

44RE Problems
I have a ‘96 Grand Cherokee Laredo. Sometimes when I come to a stop the tranny locks up and stalls out the engine. Also it started being very slow going into gear when it’s cold. Do you have any ideas what might be causing this?

Thanks, Will

You need to visit a transmission shop ASAP!

As usual, each month, I’m 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.

Previous Jeep Creep Columns:
December 2011

November 2011

October 2011 Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!