Jeep Q&A: Jeep Recall Update, Manual Hubs, JK Wrangler Lift Kits

Jul. 27, 2016 By Jim Brightly, KF7SCT

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

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Five Jeep recalls from NHTSA this month 
16V-284: Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2016 Jeep Cherokee vehicles manufactured October 3, 2015, to March 22, 2016. The right halfshaft may have been incorrectly manufactured, causing it to fracture without warning. A fractured halfshaft may disconnect from the drive axle, increasing the risk of a crash. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the right halfshaft, free of charge. The recall began on June 30, 2016. Owners may contact Chryslerís customer service at 800-853-1403. Chryslerís recall number is S39.

16V-287: Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2016 Jeep Cherokee vehicles manufactured September 30, 2015, to October 2, 2015. The left halfshaft may have been incorrectly manufactured causing it to fracture without warning. A fractured halfshaft may disconnect from the drive axle, increasing the risk of a crash. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the left halfshaft, free of charge. The recall began on June 30, 2016. Owners may contact Chryslerís customer service at 800-853-1403. Chryslerís recall number is S38.

16V-288: Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2011-2016 Right Hand Drive Jeep Wrangler vehicles manufactured February 16, 2010, to May 2, 2016. The clockspring assembly may become contaminated with dust and cause the air bag circuit to fail. Failure of the air bag circuit may prevent the driverís frontal air bag from deploying in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the clockspring, wheel back cover, and column shroud, free of charge. Remedy parts are currently unavailable. Interim notices were mailed to owners on July 5, 2016. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts become available. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403. Chryslerís number for this recall is S40.

16V-290: Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2007-2010 Jeep Wrangler JK vehicles manufactured March 2, 2006, to August 13, 2010. The clockspring assembly may become contaminated with dust and cause the air bag circuit to fail. Failure of the air bag circuit may prevent the driverís frontal air bag from deploying in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the clockspring, wheel back cover, and column shroud, free of charge. Remedy parts are expected to become available in November 2016. Owners were mailed interim notices on July 5, 2016. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts become available. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403. Chryslerís number for this recall is S33.

16V-352: Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2004-2008 RAM 1500, 2005-2009 RAM 2500, 2006-2009 RAM 3500, 2007-2010 RAM 3500 Cab Chassis, 2008-2010 RAM 4500 and 5500 Cab Chassis, 2004-2009 Dodge Durango, 2007-2009 Chrysler Aspen, 2007-2012 Jeep Wrangler, 2008-2012 Dodge Challenger, 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum, 2005-2012 Chrysler 300, 2006-2012 Dodge Charger, 2005-2011 Dodge Dakota, and 2006-2009 Mitsubishi Raider vehicles originally sold, or ever registered, in AL, CA, FL, GA, HI, LA, MS, SC, TX, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands, or ďZone A.Ē

Additionally, unless included in ďZone AĒ above, Chrysler is also recalling 2004-2008 RAM 1500, 2005-2009 RAM 2500, 2006-2009 RAM 3500, 2007-2009 RAM 3500 Cab Chassis, 2008-2009 RAM 4500 and 5500 Cab Chassis, 2004-2009 Dodge Durango, 2007-2009 Chrysler Aspen, 2007-2009 Jeep Wrangler, 20082009 Dodge Challenger, 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum, 2005-2009 Chrysler 300, 2006-2009 Dodge Charger, 2005-2009 Dodge Dakota and 2006-2009 Mitsubishi Raider vehicles originally sold, or ever registered, in AZ, AR, DE, Washington D.C., IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MO, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NC, OH, OK, PA, TN, VA, and WV, or ďZone B.Ē

Lastly, unless included in ďZone AĒ or ďZone BĒ above, Chrysler is recalling certain 2005-2008 RAM 2500, 2006-2008 RAM 3500, 2007-2008 RAM 3500 Cab Chassis, 2008 RAM 4500 and 5500 Cab Chassis, 2004-2008 Dodge Durango, 2007-2008 Chrysler Aspen, 2007-2008 Jeep Wrangler, 2008 Dodge Challenger, 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum, 2005-2008 Chrysler 300, 2006-2008 Dodge Charger, 2005-2008 Dodge Dakota, and 2006-2008 Mitsubishi Raider vehicles originally sold, or registered, in AK, CO, CT, ID, IA, ME, MA, MI, MN, MT, NH, NY, ND, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, and WY.

Scratch Repair
I was recently transferred from the East Coast to Casa Grandeówow, itís hot!óand we didnít have a brush problem back there. Iíve been wheeling a couple times with my 2014 Rubicon Unlimited (man, am I glad its air conditioning works so well!) and have noticed some brush scratches. My coworkers told me itís called ďdesert pinstripingĒ out here. Iíve noticed that a lot of the local Jeeps have it, but I want to keep my Rubicon looking good for as long as I can. Iíve washed and waxed the Jeep and most of the striping has disappeared but I still have some remaining. What can I do?
Rudy Hindelang
Casa Grande, AZ

Rudy, if you have a hand drillóeither battery-powered or 120VACóyou can buy a 3M Trizact Precision Scratch Kit (see the photos) which is designed for remove blemishes in the clear coat of your Jeep. Follow the instructions that come with the package. If youíve never done this before, and from your questions I donít believe you have, try the procedures in an out-of-the-way place first. Perfect your technique before moving to the more visible locations. The supplied spin wheel is equipped with Velcro and so are the two pads. Everything you see in the photos comes in the 3M box. Youíll be amazed at the results!


Full To Part-Time
I have a full-time four-wheel-drive CJ7 and I want to know if putting manual locking hubs will work to disengage the four-wheel drive?
Robin Gould
Cincinnati, OH

Thatís called Quadra-Trac, Robin. And no, just installing hubs on the front axle wonít do it. Youíll have to modify the Quadra-Trac transfer case or replace it with a Dana 300 transfer case. And Iím not sure if modification kits are still being produced because of the CJ7ís age. You could lock up the T-case, but then youíd have the front driveshaft and front axles spinning all the time with nothing attached to them. Itís been so long since Iíve driven a Quadra-Trac Jeep, I canít remember for sure, but I think disengaging the front hubs would allow the T-case to act like an open differential and it would just spin without powering the rear end. Youíll more than likely end up replacing the T-case with a Dana 300 manual unit, which may also involve new driveshafts.


Tomb Raider
I just bought a 1998 Jeep Wrangler. It says Tomb Raider on the window and with the Jeep logo. Did Jeep make a 1998 Tomb Raider Edition? The only info I can find is on the 2003 Rubicon Tomb Raider.
Amos Decker
Indianapolis, IN

Iím afraid someone got busy with bogus decals, Amos. According to my research, only Rubicons were tagged as Tomb Raiders, which was a very limited edition for a movie, and Rubicons werenít available in 1998.


Willys Starter
I have an older 1962 Willys pickup with the Tornado 230-cubic-inch engine that needs a new starter. I have been offered a 24VDC starter. Will the 24VDC starter work in a 12VDC system as is? Or do modifications need to be made to it?
William Smith
Everett, WA

The 24VDC starter wonít work, Bill. It may try to turn but it will have no torque. Your best bet is to take your existing starter to an auto electric shop. A good one can rebuild the one you have. Let your fingers do the walking, either on the Internet or in the Yellow Pages. You should be able to find a shop in Seattle. You can also try the Omix-ADA website; they offer many kinds of original Jeep parts.

JK Lifts
I have a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and am perplexed about what lift kit to get. I prefer rock crawling over sand. Iím told that the Rubicon Express Lift Kit would be the best but this being my first Jeep and me being a rookie to the off-road world, I would like some suggestions. As a footnote, I took my stock Rubicon to Moab this year and was very impressed with its performance on some tough trails like Golden Spike, Gold Bar, Poison Spider, and going across the Golden Crack. They have done a great job designing this vehicle. Thanks for your help!
Charles Donaldson
San Bernardino, CA

Obviously, you havenít been reading the rest of this website, Charles. Over the years since the JKs were introduced in 2007 several JKs have been lifted with a large selection of manufacturers. I installed two Rancho lift kits and a Daystar kit on Rubicon Unlimiteds, so do a search on this website and read each article before you pick, although the Rubicon Express kit has a very good reputation.


Grinding
I have a Ď95 YJ 4-cyl. It is pretty stock. I have noticed in the past couple of months a noise which appears to come from the right side of the Jeep. When I first heard it I thought it was the driver side. Pondering all that may be wrong; I changed out a U-joint on the driver-side front axle. Now it appears that it is from the passenger side. My next thought and step would be to change the passenger side U-joint axle. What about the possibility of it being a wheel bearing? Oh, by the way, the noise sounds like grinding when I start out in first gear and I hear it sometimes while itís in second. Since I drive with no top and doors I canít tell if the grinding is constant in every gear. One person suggested that maybe it was my T-case but I canít see the logic in that. Any suggestions?
Andy Pears
Oxnard, CA

I suggest you buy a mechanical stethoscope, take off the shifter floorboard plate, have someone else drive the Jeep, and listen to the tranny, transfer case, and bell housing (if you can reach it) to try and isolate where the sound is coming from. Put the Jeep on a lift with all four wheels of the ground and let it idle in first gear and check everything behind the transfer case with the stethoscope. Shift it into 4WD and again let it idle in gear. Check everything forward of the transfer case. This should lead you to the noise. All the parts should be available from Omix-ADA.


Swinging Doors
I have a 1989 Wrangler soft-top and when it gets coldóbelow 35-40 degreesóthe doors wonít stay closed. The strikers stick. I have taken it to several people who have ďcleanedĒ it and said that was the problem. When closing the door in their shop (which is warm) the door stays closed. When they get cold again, the doors wonít stay closed. I have been taking a hair-dryer with me to warm the plates up but that is getting old and looks ridiculous.
Rick Henderson
Hanover, PA

You need to open the clearance slightly on the latch tooth-to-housing fitment in order to allow the tooth to move freely outward when cold. Although Iím more familiar with Bestop doors, several manufacturers offer new doors for your Jeep, so you may want to simply order some new doors.


Front-End Alignment
I need to know what the front axle angle should be, so I can get rid of my wheel wobble. It has been lifted with an over axle lift by the owner before me and I believe they put some pitch to the front axle to keep from buying a high-angle driveshaft.
David Robinson
Fort Lauderdale, FL

First of all, David, you didnít say what model Jeep you have. Therefore, youíll have to find the specs you need in a Haynes or Chilton shop manual for your model Jeep (available in any auto parts store or 4-Wheel Partsí website). However, that will be the stock spec, so I recommend taking it to a good off-road shop, which could determine what spec you need to use and then shim the axle housing to that spec. The shop would also verify that all the other alignment specs (toe, camber, etc.) for your front axle are correct.

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. For some reason the questions have fallen off, and I know we havenít answered all your Jeep technical questions. There are no dumb questions; only unasked questions. Send them in and try to stump us.óJim Brightly

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.

Send your Jeep questions to editor@off-road.com, Attn: Jeep Creep.

More Jeep Creep Q&As
June 2016

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April 2016


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