Jeep Creep: CJ7 Ignition Troubles, TJ Replacement Bumpers, Snorkel Install and More

Aug. 15, 2014 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.

Previous Jeep Creep Column
July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

Jeep recalls from NHTSA this month:
14V-293: Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2014 Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured January 16, 2014 to April 8, 2014, Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured January 16, 2014 to April 8, 2014, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT vehicles manufactured February 3, 2014 to April 8, 2014, and Jeep Cherokee vehicles manufactured March 6, 2014 to April 17, 2014. When the adaptive cruise control is engaged and the driver presses the accelerator pedal to increase the vehicleís speed more than the cruise control system would on its own, the vehicle may continue to accelerate briefly after the accelerator pedal is released. The unintended continued acceleration may increase the risk of a crash. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will re-flash the Driver Assistance System Module (DASM), free of charge. The recall began in June 2014. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403. Chryslerís number for this recall is P31.

14V-354: Chrysler is conducting a limited regional recall for vehicles originally sold or currently registered in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and equipped with Takata-brand air bag inflators. Upon deployment of the driver side and/or passenger side frontal air bag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of one of the affected frontal air bags, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring the vehicle occupants. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers replace the air bag inflator(s), free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403.

Wonít Keep Running
I have a 1984 CJ7. Over this past spring it began doing something that Iíve never heard of before, and neither have my friends have either. Every once in a while, Iíd start the engine with the key and as soon as I let go of the key the engine would quit. At first this only happened once in a while and then it happened more and more often. Sometimes if I held the key just right during the start circuit, it would keep running. I changed out the electric module on the steering column and it worked better for a while but now itís happening again. What is causing this?
Colin Murphy
Shreveport, LA

Harvey, there is an ignition rod inside the outer shell of the steering column connected to the ignition switch and the module at the bottom of the column. With age the rod can bend over time. It can move the switch on the ignition module into the start position but not the run position. Youíll have to disassemble the steering column, including removing the steering wheel, and straighten the rod. If you donít feel comfortable rebuilding the steering column, please take the Jeep to a qualified shop.

Strange-Looking Jeep
I pulled into a supermarketís parking lot the other day and saw a really strange and old Jeep. It was a flat-fender and looked to be in pretty good shape, but it had a really high hood. It looked like the Jeep factory added a narrow panel to each side of the hood to raise it up. Iím familiar with the CJ2 but this wasnít one of those. Was this a Jeep model or was it customized for some reason?

Harvey Peterson
Boise, ID

Whatís really strange Harvey is that youíve never seen one before. Youíre talking about the Willys-Overland (and later just Willys) Model CJ3B. Only the ubiquitous CJ5 was built for a longer period of time. The CJ3B was built in the US from 1952 to 1968 and is still being built today in India. Slightly more than 150,000 of them were built in the Toledo factory. The higher hood was to accommodate the taller F-head overhead valve Hurricane engine. The CJ3B also had a one-piece rounded windshield. CJ3B owners are quite vocal in their love for this model. I remember, while I was a staffer on Four Wheeler magazine in the Ď70s, saying something about them not being the most attractive Jeep model Iíd ever seen, and I received several letters from owners telling me off.

Bumper Cars
Can you please tell me if a 2006 TJ factory bumper will fit on a í92 YJ?
Dan Shockley
Carlsbad, NM

With the caveat that anything can be made to fit anythingówithin reason, of courseóthe answer is no, not easily (Iím assuming, of course, that youíre asking about a front bumper). Youíd be better off buying an aftermarket bumper or having a local shop fabricate one for you.

Action Advice
I need your advice. I have a 1999 Cherokee 6-cylinder with headers, MSD ignition system, cat-back exhaust, Jet chip performance, Airaid intake, and throttle body spacer. I still need a few more horses. What do you think about removing the catalytic converter? And how can I bypass the O2 sensors? Or do you know of any super high-flow catalytic converter that fits my toy? I only use it for off-road and rock crawling competition, not for highway use, because of the hydraulic steering kit. I will really appreciate your help and advice for this new modification to my off-road toy.
Gabe Gonzales
Nogales, AZ

Since youíll be trailering your toy and applying an off-road sticker so youíre not worried about passing smog, Gabe, you can pull the catalytic converter without touching the O2 sensors (youíll need them for the computer anyway). The less restricted exhaust system should give you a few more ponies.

Snorkel Install
I slid down a snow bank and wrecked a front fender. I need a template to reinstall the snorkel. I already got rid of old fender (dumb!). Can you help? Maybe send me a copy of a template?
Rocky Stanza
Canaan, NH

Just give ARBís ( customer service department a call, Rocky. Iím sure theyíd be happy to send you another template. You didnít mention the manufacturer, but ARBóin addition to their fridges and bumpersóhas supplied all the snorkels Iíve seen on the trails.

Whirring Wrangler
I have a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport. I got in to go to work today and I noticed a noise as I accelerated down the interstate. It sounds like a loud whirring noise, or what a Japanese car sounds like when a teenager accelerates through the gears (LOL). Has anyone experienced a problem like this? Do you know what causes it? I purchased the vehicle in December and really love it. Also, is the suspension more heavy duty than a normal truck or SUV?
Dale Palos
Louisville, KY

The TJís suspension is no more heavy duty than any other SUV, because thatís exactly what a Jeep is. The ďwhirring noiseĒ you describe sounds to me like your declutching fan is no longer declutching, which means itís operating all the time. Thatís what you could be hearing.

Retiring the TJ
Iím looking for new tires for my boyfriendís Ď05 Jeep Wrangler. Right now it has off-road Super Swamper tires on it. However, we are looking for all-terrain tires for everyday use. The tire size that I am seeing on his tires now is 10.50X34X15LT. What size tires should I be looking for in all-terrain so that there is not a huge difference in what he has now? I just canít seem to find that exact size?
Melissa Guthrie
Centerville, GA

First of all, Melissa, you donít need to exactly match the size of the Super Swampers. As long as youíre replacing all five tires, and your boyfriend likes the Jeepís performance with 34-inch tires, you can buy tires that are 33 inches to 35 inches in diameter to get the same performance (after all, thatís only a half inch difference). Stop by your local tire store, 4-Wheel Parts store and/or Walmart and ask advice on the best all-around tires for your area. Picking out a tire tread for Georgia mud is different than picking out a tire for the terrain here in Arizona. Here, I lean toward a set of Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar or Duratrak tires because they work like lockers on Arizonaís dry rocky and sandy trails. The Super Swampers on your boyfriendís TJ have an open, self-cleaning tread that works really well in the Georgia mud. Youíll need to find a compromise tread thatís slightly more closed for highway performance but still self-cleaning for the mud runs.

Dead Wrangler

I have a Ď98 Wrangler that wonít start. The engine turns over fine, but no spark, fuel pump not running, no power to coil, no check engine light and the gauges are not working. Unplugged the CKP and still no gauges. Iím leaning to the ECU, shutdown relay or possibly a bad ground. Thoughts?
Andy Moon
Shawano, WI

Andy, Iím leaning more toward your ignition switch or its cabling. Start checking for power at its plug and the base of the steering column. I bet youíre getting power in but no power out, or it may just have become unplugged.

I have a request of all the readers out there. Send us your questions. 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 [email protected], Attn: Jeep Creep.

Previous Jeep Creep Column
July 2014

June 2014

May 2014 Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!