Jeep Questions? Jeep Creep Has Answers

Apr. 28, 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 [email protected], Attn: Jeep Creep.

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Jeep recall from NHTSA this month 
16V-168óChrysler is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured December 9, 2015, to January 14, 2016. In the affected vehicles, the left front brake caliper may crack due to being made from an incorrect material. A cracked brake caliper may lengthen the distance needed to stop the vehicle and increase the risk of a crash. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the front left brake caliper and depending on its casting date, replace it, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 800-8531403. Chryslerís number for this recall is S16.

Comanche Concept
I love it, as long as they make it as a two-door as shown. I am so sick and tired of four-door trucks and SUVs I could puke. I grew up in a two-door world, and donít want a taxicab for either a toy or personal transportation. This is something I would buy depending on how they price it. I drive a 1993 Chevy S10 two-door shortbed 4x4, and just keep fixing it because there is nothing out there I want new.
Jerry Hammons

Comment from story: Comanche Concept Makes the Jeep Renegade Into a Truck

Cherokee Clunking
I have a question about my Ď95 Jeep Grand Cherokee 6-cylinder four-wheel drive. When I engage it to four part-time and try to go up a small hill or try to make a sharp turn I hear a clunking noise coming from underneath. Someone told me it could be my CV axles. I replaced both of them and I am still having a problem with the clunking noise. I just wanted to know if it is the transfer case and what gear could be causing this?
Zachery Gooch Martins
Ferry, Ohio

Zach, this vehicle has a failure-prone front driveshaft at the constant-velocity joint at the transfer case yoke. Pull the front driveshaft off the rig and drive it again. If there is no clunking noise, have the driveshaft inspected and repaired. If the Cherokee is lifted, the front driveshaft is even more likely to have problems. If it is not the driveshaft, itíll be internal in the transfer case. Youíll need to have the T-case rebuilt.

Bogged-Down XJ
I have a 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic 4.0 liter two-wheel drive. When I go to accelerate the car bogs down. Any ideas why? Also, the blower motor for the heat or A/C no longer works. Both fuses were checked and appear to be fine.
Matt Michaels
Baltimore, Maryland

Matt, your blowerís problems are one of two: Either the motor itself has gone bad and needs to be replaced or the wiring has become disconnected. To test, run temporaryóor jumperówires directly from both sides of the battery to the blowerís electrical plug. Youíll need both power and ground. If it works, itís the wiring. If it doesnít work, itís the motor. On your bogging engine, you have to make sure the ignition timing is correctódo a complete tune-up. If that doesnít take care of the bogging, you have to make sure you have an unrestricted air and fuel flow. Your best bet on this is to buy a good shop manual with an extensive troubleshooting section. The manual will walk you through all the steps needed to track down the trouble.

Bad Switch
The fan for my heat-A/C does not work all of the time. The highest setting doesnít work at all.
Barbara Mitchum
Newport, RI

You need a new switch. If you donít feel comfortable doing the work yourself, youíll have to take it to a dealer or an off-road shop.

Click, Click, Clank!
I have a Ď95 Jeep Wrangler (with a 4-cyl). When I try to start it, it will make a clicking noise and then the fuel pump will kick on and the Jeep will start. I have changed the fuel pump and filter and replaced some of the sensors in the ECU box. I have been reading your site for a while and starting to wonder if it was the crankshaft position sensor? Please help me. It is taking longer for the Jeep to make the clicking noise, and it is making the noise longer. I drive it to work every day about 20 miles. What do you think it could be? I have not noticed the lights going dim when I try to start it, the engine turns over when I try to start it, but it just wonít start until it goes through its cycle (as I call it). It makes me feel like I am almost trying to start a diesel truck some days.
Steven Rivers
Austin, TX

Test the fuel pump circuit with a fused jumper wire in place of the fuel pump relay. Check for battery voltage at the relay connections if the fuel pump does not turn on. Then check for voltage at the tank wiring harness. If the pump does run, then check the fuel pressure at the injector rail test port with a pressure gauge. Does the vehicle have any sort of old or new antitheft system on it? That could be causing the clicking sound then the starting problem.

Rust Bucket Repair
My í97 Wrangler has nearly 20 years of New England rust underneath. Iíve tried to keep the salt hosed off as much as I could but winters up here in the northeast being what they are, salt still collected in the nooks and crannies of the fenders and floorboards. It isnít bad enough to need a new body and all the work that goes with that, but I still want to do something. Last spring I saw a spray can that contained paint that claimed to chemically change rust to primer paint. Can you tell me its name? I want to convert the rust and then have the Jeep undercoated.
Colin Mackey
Manchester, NH

CRP Automotive just began offering its new Fertan Rust Remover as a quick and cost-effective solution for rust on all types of metals. It is a water-based, non-toxic, and non-flammable rust treatment that quickly dissolves rust from all types of metals and leaves a clean metal surface ready for a protective coating application. The solution washes away easily with water. CRP Automotive also offers Fertan Rust Converter, a non-toxic product that converts loose rust to a powder that can be easily washed away, leaving a stable, inert surface that is safe from further rusting and can be painted. For more information, visit

YJ Dash Problems
Hi there, I finally got the right Jeep but then the dash quit working! Itís a Ď94 Wrangler. Fuses are good. It runs great, power through the fuse, heater fan is off and the entire dash including the speedometer too. I will check the ground straps. Any ideas out there?
Hawkowl DeYoung

Problems like this can be really hard to diagnose, especially without seeing the vehicle first-hand. OK, you've checked all the grounds. But have you? There should be a ground between the body and the frame, and between the engine and the frame. This is where people really screw up by not using a large-enough ground wire. I believe that both of these places should have a ground the same size as what you're using for the battery cables, and they must be making a good contact. Be sure there is a good clean connection between the steering column and the dash, as this is the ground for the ignition switch. My guess is that you're not getting a good current flow from the battery to the ignition switch. A big clue to the problem is the fact that the electric fuel pump is not working. So, the first thing to check is whether there is power to the ignition switch. Seems to me the easiest way to find this out is if the signal lights and heater work with the key in the "on" position. Next step would be to check the voltage at the wire that activates the solenoid when the key is turned to and held at the "start" position. There shouldn't be more than about a 0.5-volt drop between the end of this wire and the voltage measured at the battery. If there is no current here, then I would unplug the connector at the steering column and check the voltage there. Still no voltage? Then you have a bad ignition switch. I suggest that you consult a factory service manual on the proper way to replace this switch. So what it all comes down to is that you spend some time with a test light and voltmeter.

Lift for Cherokee
I have a 1987 Jeep Cherokee Laredo. It is bone stock as of now but I bought it with the intent of making it an off-road vehicle. This will be my first build of this kind, and I will be doing all the work myself. I am fairly handy as I am an aerospace mechanic. I am planning on putting a lift on the Jeep in the near future. I have narrowed it down to two kits. First one is the 4.5-inch X-flex by Rough Country. The other is the 6.5-inch long arm kit by Rough Country. Since there does not seem to be a company out there willing to use my Jeep to showcase their products, these kits were picked because they seem to be the best bang for the buck. I would like to know the pros and cons of each kit and why I should or should not use one or the other. The Jeep will be used on road about 50% of the time. Most of the off-roading will be light and include sand, rock and dirt mostly. Not really into mud. Lastly, if you know of a company that is willing to give me parts for my Jeep in exchange for advertisement on my Jeep then let me know. Let me ask you another question: How do you feel about using Rhino Lining as an outside coating on the Jeep instead of just a primer? Any concerns about weight or anything?
Aron Call
Chandler, AZ

Iím glad to see another Arizona wheeler coming along. When youíre finished with your XJ youíll have to come up to cool Kingman and wheel around some of our canyons.

Several years ago, we started building an XJ that we nicknamed Master ĎKee. Check out that story here for one of the first installments.

Perhaps the series will answer several of your questions and/or give you some more ideas. You asked me to advise you about a 4.5- or 6.5-inch lift. While a long-arm kit, in my opinion, is superior to a short-arm kit, since you said youíll be playing in sand, Iíd recommend going with the shorter lift. In sand the higher lift would make the XJ more susceptible to turning turtle and rolling on a side hill. Plus, using it as your daily driver would soon make the higher lift seem to be more inconvenient getting in and out of the Jeep. The main reason for the higher lift is ground clearance while negotiating boulder-strewn canyons. If thatís not going to be your preferred playground, stick with the shorter lift kit.

I once lined the inside of a Scrambler with Rhino Lining and had my Budget Camp Trailer also Rhino Lined. Itíll definitely protect the underside of your Jeep. Just make sure that all your changes have been incorporated beneath your Jeep before the Rhino Lining covers it. Itís very difficult to remove when you wish to change something.

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.

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