Category Archives: Repairs

You again?


Damn this trouble code!  I believe this code points to one of the O2 sensors downstream, but I’m starting to think this is one of those catch all codes that’s designed to drive owners nuts!  I’m not a mechanic, but I can change out a sensor… again!  However, I would love to know the root cause of this issue so I can fix it once and for all!

Update:
After a bit of digging on assorted online forums, the signs are pointing to a failed or failing catalytic converter.  So off to the parts e-store I go!  Time being a premium these days, I’m sure I’ll get the parts soon but they’ll sit on my shelf for a while before I can find the time to pull out the pipes for a replacement.

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Maintenance Brake

As you can tell by the parts stack above, I’ve got my hands full doing a little brake work this weekend.  After a few drives, I thought I should replace the pads since the brakes were a little light, but since I had no idea when the rotors were done (and they looked a bit worn), I figured I should swap those out too.  And then after looking around the underside of my TJ, I saw a little too much rust for my comfort on the calipers and went ahead with a new set of calipers all around too.  Since I’m not really upgrading, just replacing, these parts aren’t terribly expensive.  At the pace that I wrench, this will deff be a few hours worth of work getting my stopping power back.  I’ll post up some comparison pictures and gripes after the work is done but won’t be doing another write up.  This one applies to TJs too.

What’s that third pedal for?

Things I’ve learned today… Before tossing the keys to your Jeep to anyone, make sure they understand that it’s a manual transmission and how to properly start it.  I tossed my buddy the keys, he put is foot on the brake (the e-brake was on & it was in gear), and proceeded to crank it for all it was worth.  The screeching sound of grinding metal echoed through out my garage.  When everything went silent, she would turn over no more.

My local garage wanted to charge me $400 for parts & labor for a new starter motor.  I sent them to hell and you should too since all it takes to replace the starter on a manual transmission Wrangler TJ is a whopping three bolts and a single clip.  I spent more time repairing the clip (it broke due to corrosion when I attempted to gently remove it) then all the other steps combined.  My local Autozone had a starter in stock for around $100-$120 depending on what coupon you use.  Don’t forget to set the parking brake and leave it in gear before you start working whether you are up on jack stands or sitting on the ground.

First, start by disconnecting the negative terminal on the battery and tuck it aside.  Next, disconnect the power wire from the starter shown in the picture below (it’s a 12 or 13 mm nut I believe) and GENTLY remove the black clip on the right hand side of the starter.  Ignore the other terminal on the starter motor.  The ground is grounded to… well, itself.

Remove the 15mm bolt at the bottom of the starter motor and set it aside (you will reuse this bolt).  I’m pointing to the bolt in the image below.

Next remove the second and final 15mm bolt (set it aside for reuse) holding on the starter. The starter should remove freely.  I’m pointing to the last bolt in the image below.

Here are some glamour shots of an Autozone Durlast starter.  I know, not a very glamorous item, but very necessary.



Ugh, looks like I fished the broken starter from the bottom of a lake!  Makes me wonder what on earth the previous owner did to my poor Jeep.

Re-installation is the exact reverse of removal.  Start by bolting the starter back in place with the two 15 mm bolts you set aside.  Connect the red power wire to the starter motor, and reattach the clip.  This is the part that I dorked up.

The clip (pictured above) is comprised of a plastic housing (top) which contains the metal contacts (center).  I picked up a close enough version (bottom) from Napa & soldered it up.

Unfortunately, that brilliant plan didn’t fit in the plastic clip.  So I stripped it all back apart to start again.  In the end, I took a wire brush to the broken metal clip, soldered the wire to it, popped it back into the original plastic housing and plugged her up.  Finally, finish up by connecting the negative terminal and test your work by turning over the engine.

Autozone Duralast Starter Sound Bite 2006 Wrangler Rubicon

You, rockstar, just saved around $300 vs. going to the shop!  Put that money into some mods instead.  Some armor perhaps?

Denied!

Damn.  I’m convinced I have more trouble with state inspections than ANYONE I’ve ever met.  I thought certainly a bone stock Jeep could pass with flying colors, but the state ain’t having it!  The TJ failed due to a worn drive belt, rusty exhaust hangers, & readiness sensors not being set.

The drive belt is an easy fix despite the shop wanting $200 (that’s two HUNDRED bloody dollars!) for a $20 part & 5 minutes worth of work.  I sprung for the $30 belt from Autozone (3 year warranty on the belt thank you very much!) and popped it on.

The exhaust I knew was rusted out and was on my ‘to replace list’ anyways, I just didn’t expect to replace it immediately.  I’ve got an exhaust kit shipping to me now that I plan to write about when I swap out later this week.  The only downside is that since this is kind of an emergency (can’t title the Jeep if I can’t pass inspection), I picked up the cheapest kit I could find instead of taking my time to do a bit of research.  I watched a YouTube clip or two of the exhaust note and it didn’t sound bad at all.  Especially for this price point.

As far as the readiness sensors are concerned, I just need to drive it a bit to get those things to set themselves.  Luckily, I already have a Veepeak bluetooth OBD II scan tool & combined with the OBD Fusion app to check the readiness status.  Hopefully this three pronged approach will have me up and running legally by the weekend.  Fingers crossed!

One beefy X-Member

I’m not sure why I didn’t post these pictures years ago, but better late than never!  Here are some glamour shots of the Artec Industries ARTJK2003 crossmember for a 2013 JKUR.  This piece fit perfectly and is incredibly strong.  If I had one regret, it’s that I didn’t do this mod as soon as I got my JKUR.  The stock crossmember might as well be made out of aluminum foil by comparison.

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And while I was at it, I figured I might as well touch up my skid plates too.
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