Jeep Creep Off-Road Technical Questions and Answered

Oct. 19, 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 editor@off-road.com, Attn: Jeep Creep.

Previous Jeep Creep Columns
September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

 

No Jeep recalls this month.

 

To Stabilize Or Not
I have a 1983 CJ7 thatís built: One-ton Chevy axles with 40-inch Mickey Thompson tires on it. 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

Hi, Chris, I believe a double stabilizer kit would help you with the wandering. Since you have a Chevy front axle, you might have to fabricate the axle mount, however, because I donít think youíll find a ready-made unit. Iíd also suggest having it aligned, have the shop also make sure everything is tight, and have all four tires rebalanced, just to make sure one of these items isnít the cause.


Jersey Jeeping
I want to find some south Jersey trails that I can take my Jeep to. Please give me a list if possible. I am working on trying to update our club section if at all possible. Also, I would direct them to the forum if nothing else.
Bob

See http://www.pineypower.com/offroading.htm, Bob, for trails in the Pine Barrens, and then Google ďNew Jersey off roading trails.Ē Youíll be amazed how many hits youíll get. As for finding some trail partners, try our forums here at http://forums.off-road.com/ to find other New Jersey off-roaders.


Chevy Conversion
Iím in the middle of putting a Chevy small block engine in my 2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ. How far back and how low should I set the motor? I currently have it set with just enough clearance for the distributor to be pulled if needed. And I have about six inches of clearance between the air cleaner and hood. Iím also going with a turbo 400 and a Dana 300 T-case with front and rear Dana 44s.
Mark Riffey

Your clearance is good for the distributor, and the oil pan should not be lower than the transmission cross member. You really need a two-inch body lift to make the combo work well. Then you can clock the T-case up a bit, and your front driveshaft will be a tight fit past the transmission modulator. Use a small or Jeep angle adapter from Quadratrac TH400. A TH350 is a much better fit.


Cherokee Cabling
I have a Ď99 Cherokee with a six-cylinder and automatic transmission. I changed the transmission and the one I put in has a different wire set and does not match the wire harness on the Cherokee. I took two of the switches off the old trans and fit them on the replacement but one has a six-wire plug and the other has a seven-wire plug and I cannot remove it from the trans. What can I do now?
Troy Miller

Locate the transmissionís ID plate, Troy, and see what year the transmission is. Then get a wiring diagram for both yours and the donor tranny in order to build an interface cable. Or take to the Jeep to a good shop.


TJ Custom Bumpers
Why canít Bestop make a one-size-fits all bumpers for Jeeps with some extra mount holes so we all could use the newer í07 and up bumpers? Some of us like the newer styles. If Bestop could make them optional for TJs, anyone that likes the Ď07 and newer bumpers could order one. Or at least could Bestop make one fit for my Ď04 TJ Rubicon to work with a Currie aftermarket anti-sway bar.
Fred Macalus

Well, Fred, I passed on your suggestions to Bestop, however, I believe Bestop is already doing what youíve asked. JKs are much wider than TJs so a JK bumper would look really odd on a TJ, and stick out on both sides. But Bestop does offer the same bumpers for the TJ that they do for the JK Ė take a look at http://www.bestop.com/. Also check out http://www.off-road.com/jeep/review/bestop-highrock-4x4-narrow-front-bumper-53413.html. Or you could have custom bumpers built by R&R Hitches in Kingman, AZ.


Lost Throttle
I have an Ď06 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 how they did not come with dipsticks?
Jeremy

If the engine revs up at the same time, it sounds like you have a low fluid condition in the automatic transmission. If not, either one of your suggestions might be causing the problem. In order to discover how to check the fluid level, either buy a shop manual with the tranny fluid check information in it or stop by a local oil changing shop and ask them. I think you also need to take your Cherokee to a good tune-up shop and have them Ďscope it and check your engine computer.


Axle Ratios
I own a í93 YJ with a 4.0L engine and slip-yoke eliminator kit and a custom driveshaft. Iím putting on 35x12.50 tires on 10-inch wide rims, and Iím not sure which gears to use. Itís my daily driver and I occasionally tow a small fishing boat, and I take it wheeling whenever I can get away. Iím torn between 4.10s and 4.56s. I have 3.07:1 gears right now, and Iíve been told that I will have to change carriers. Is this true?
Brian Babbit
Bisbee, AZ

First of all, Brian, you need to go to Randyís Ring & Pinion website (www.ringpinion.com) and use its ďDiff WizardĒ to determine what gears you need with engine, transmission, and tire size combination. However, you did ask me, so the 4.10:1 gear ration would be good with an automatic; while I think the 4.56:1 gears would go better with a five-speed manual transmission. Actually, I think youíd really prefer either 4.27:1 or 4.88:1 gears, but neither one is available for your Dana 35 rear end, and the 4.88 pinion gear would be tiny in your Dana 30 front differential.

And you will need to change carriers. The Dana 35 requires a carrier for 3.54:1 and lower (higher numerically), and the Dana 30 must have a carrier for 3.73:1 and lower.


YJ U-Joints
I have a bit of a problem with my Ď97 Jeep. I am pretty sure itís an SE model because itís basic all around the board. Nothing fancy about it; no lift and no aftermarket productsóeverything is stock and basic. I am a college student and canít afford most aftermarket upgrades but thatís neither here nor there. Recently I have begun to hear a rattling noise coming from the front of my Jeep. Also when I put it in 4WD I hear a horrible grinding noise after I release the clutch and almost a type of THUD when it finally engages in gear. So I have been driving in 2WD and not worrying about it but now I have that stupid rattling noise. About two months ago I had my U-joints replaced because my mechanic told me they were going bad and I would know they are bad because I could hear rattling from the front of my Jeep. It was maybe a month after my U-joints were swapped out that the noise started up. At first I could barely hear it and it only happened after I had been driving for a really long time. However, now it will start as soon as I start moving and itís really loud so much that I can hear it over my music. I am almost positive the noise is coming from my axle somewhere but I don't know what and I still donít know why my 4WD is acting up. Please note that the 4WD acts up in both H and L and itís not falling out of 4WD it just makes terrible noises. So if you have any idea what could be wrong it would be greatly appreciated.
Jonathan Weick

At first blush, it sounds to me like one of the replacement U-joints may be bad. Have you returned it to the mechanic that installed them? They should be warranted. Also, Iím assuming you donít have free-wheeling front hubs. If you had hubs, you could disengage them while in 2WD and ascertain if the noise went away. You also need your transfer case shifter adjusted.


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.

 

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 editor@off-road.com, Attn: Jeep Creep.

Previous Jeep Creep Columns
September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

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