Posts Tagged ‘Maintenance’

Water Pump

May 20th, 2013 No comments

Last week my water pump started leaking coolant through the weep hole.

After reading a bit on water pump replacement, the general consensus seemed to be that this was normal with the age of my TJ and that replacing it with a genuine MOPAR pump was best.

I called my two local dealerships to check prices on the pump.   The first dealer quoted me $186 and the second quoted me $220.   Those prices were just for the pump…

After a good laugh, I checked prices online and ordered the pump, thermostat and gaskets from for $169.      I was a bit hesitant to order from their site without any good reviews to go off of, but I figured the savings were worth a shot…..and once the parts arrived in perfect shape, I will definitely be willing to order from them again in the future.

Since I was going to have everything apart, I also picked up a new drive belt.    The radiator hoses looked good, so I left them alone.

Installation of the pump was quite a pain and I made a big mess….so no pictures or write up of the work.   Regardless, it all worked out perfect and the leak appears to be solved.

Running Zerex G-05 HOAT coolant.


Maintenance Day

August 2nd, 2010 No comments

Yesterday afternoon I got time to change the oil, clean the air filter and work on fixing the attachment points for shackles on the front bumper.   The previous owner had welded bushings into the Warn bumper tabs to accommodate pulling the TJ behind his motor home.   But in doing so, he had made the attachment point holes to small for a shackle to fit in.   I used my handy dandy Dremel tool and solved that issue by making the holes larger.


Expensive Oil Change

February 28th, 2010 No comments

Last weekend I decided to service both vehicles at home since I wasn’t having any luck finding a good time to take Summer’s van in for an oil change. After knocking out the oil change on the minivan, I started changing the oil in the Jeep. I drained the old oil out, replaced the filter and then climbed underneath the Jeep to replace the oil pan drain plug.

Given my past problems with over tightening bolts, I was being extra cautious. I threaded the plug back into the pan by hand, then set my torque wrench to the correct setting of 25ftlbs. I even double checked the setting on the wrench before tightening the bolt.

Thinking all was good, I started tightening the bolt. After a few pulls on the wrench, I could tell the plug was tight and I wondered why the torque wrench hadn’t clicked yet. I hesitated and thought “one more pull and the wrench will click.” Boy was I wrong…

That last pull on the torque wrench ended up being pretty expensive. I stripped the plug threads and boogered them up so badly that I couldn’t get the plug out of the pan. So there the Jeep sat in my garage with no oil and a stripped plug.

A tow and a new oil pan later and the Jeep is healed and back on the road, but the scars from my obsessiveness about tightening bolts are still healing. I hope to never have such an expensive oil change again.


Trans Service – 36k miles

November 20th, 2009 No comments

Took the Rubi into Ellis Auto yesterday to have the 42RLE tranny service done.  It was due at 30k miles, so running a little late.  Also had the transfer case drained and refilled while the skid plate was off and the tires rotated and balanced.

Ellis got a kick out of how well the Rubi was built.  He said their service guy got quite a shock when he removed the last bolt holding the skid plate on and it fell on him.  They were impressed with the build and the quality of parts used.


September 7th, 2009 No comments

Today I did a couple of quick fixes to the Rubi:

  • Adjusted the steering wheel alignment thanks to the instructions over at   I was amazed at how loose the collar bolts on the adjustment were.  Kind of scary actually.  I think the wheel had simply slipped over time as the bolts loosened up, but now my wheel is nice and straight.
  • Added a couple of washers to the steering stops so that the tires won’t rub on the lower control arms.  I had to do this same issue on my old 97 Sahara.
  • Trimmed off some extra metal mounts on the exhaust.  Whoever put the custom exhaust on the Rubi did a nice job, except they didn’t quite meet my standards in a few spots.

Maintenance Day – 33k miles

August 30th, 2009 No comments

Yesterday, Ethan and I spent the day giving the Rubi some much needed TLC:

Billet Mechanical Door Stops

While we had fun monkeying around in the garage, I’m really happy to know these items have been completed.  The oil change was due after my drive home from CO.  The old spark plugs were all pretty worn and each had a gap between .50 and .65.   The factory spec gap is .35.  I think the Jeep was running a little smoother with the new plugs and synthetic oil…although it could simply be wishful thinking.

The BEST part of the day was when I got to take Ethan for his first ride in the Rubi.  He was really excited and loved it.  I had told him about the ooga horn before we went for a ride and he was scared to hear it, thinking it would be really loud.  During our drive I convinced him that it wasn’t too loud and hit the button.  He immediately started laughing a huge belly laugh and wanted to hear it over and over.   Later, as we were once again working in the garage, he was pretending to work on his Dale Jr. Powerwheels racecar and I overheard him “installing” an ooga horn of his own.