TJ Triage Help - Rubicon Owners Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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TJ Triage Help

Recently bought my 05 TJ Rubicon about a month or so ago.
Just turned 185,000 miles.

There are many things I would LIKE to do for mods, but there are some mechanical things that need attention first.

Free cash is scarce.
That is why I need your advice on prioritizing the first couple of repairs...

Looking for help deciding what order these should be tackled:

A) OPDA
The OPDA looks to be original or at least a very early replacement.
It seems to be OK, but makes me nervous that it could go unexpectedly.
Crown replacement part can be had for about $100 and I would definitely be able to do that work myself.

B) Front Axle U-Joints
U-Joints are crusty and the passenger front makes a faint "squeak-squeak-squeak" noise as I roll out in first or second gear. It probably continues chirping at higher speeds, but just can't hear it over engine and tire noise.
Parts are estimated to run about $40-$60, plus jack stands and tools needed to remove the calipers/hubs add another $50 or so. Let's say this cost is close to the same as the OPDA at about $100 for me. I feel comfortable taking this job on myself, so labor is "free".

C) P2098 Code
"Post Catalyst Fuel Trim - System Too Lean Bank 2"
This code came up after driving 13 miles on state highway at speeds of 40-50 mph. I could be wrong, but it sounds like I might have some kind of exhaust leak near the front of the exhaust or the header. Nothing loud, but could be enough to make the O2 sensor throw this code.

I have 33" tires, so I am not expecting great gas mileage. But... I have been averaging about 11 mpg. It has been about 10.5 - 11 mpg since I got it, so it is hard to tell if this might be the reason. This issue just popped up over the weekend and I have not been to a muffler shop for an evaluation or estimate yet. My guess on this could be $100 for a band-aid repair (like a weld or something) to replacing the exhaust header for more than $500+ for parts and labor at a qualified shop.

I was originally planning on doing the U-joints first, then the OPDA if and when it ever starts to "scream like a monkey". But that was before the lean fuel code entered the picture. Now, I'm just overwhelmed on what to deal with first.

Insurance is going up $2,500 to cover a new teen driver in the house and electric utility increased to over $300 a month because to the ridiculous winter we had. Money is getting stretched beyond tight!

Knowing all this... What order do you think I should attack these issues?

Thanks in advance for your wisdom!

/l ,[____],
l---L -OlllllllO-
()_)-()_)-o-)_)

****************
05 TJ Rubicon

6 Spd. Manual
Soft Top

33x12.5x15 Tires
3" Body Lift



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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:07 AM
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Replacing the OPDA proactively would be a good idea at some point but it wouldn't be my first in the to-do list. With 185k miles on the clock, you really should do lots of routine maintenance. I would prioritize the jobs as:

Check/replace front U-joints, inspect driveshaft U-joints and grease if they have a zerk fitting
Replace the coil pack and spark plugs
Clean throttle body
Tighten exhaust system bolts, guarantee some of them are loose
Optional but a good idea - replace O2 sensors
Optional but a good idea - replace differentials and transfer case oil
Optional but a good idea - replace engine oil
Flush cooling system, use a kit - makes it much easier

If the TJ isn't a daily driver, I wouldn't bother with the OPDA until it starts to exhibit the usual symptoms.
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=======================
2006 LJ, not stock
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 11:51 AM
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The code P2098 could be related to TSB 18-028-06 which is a invalid check in the PCM programming. TSB suggest a selective reprogramming. If that is the only code and the Jeep runs fine otherwise, you can probably reset it and move on. Stop by a dealership and see if they will check for the programming for free if you like. Mine sets it off on rare occasion and it is usually after some wheeling and then getting on the highway for an extended period. Likely not a real issue.
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05 TJ Rubicon, 6 spd, RE 4.5 long arm, 35s and other mods
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
Replacing the OPDA proactively would be a good idea at some point but it wouldn't be my first in the to-do list. With 185k miles on the clock, you really should do lots of routine maintenance. I would prioritize the jobs as:

Check/replace front U-joints, inspect driveshaft U-joints and grease if they have a zerk fitting
Replace the coil pack and spark plugs
Clean throttle body
Tighten exhaust system bolts, guarantee some of them are loose
Optional but a good idea - replace O2 sensors
Optional but a good idea - replace differentials and transfer case oil
Optional but a good idea - replace engine oil
Flush cooling system, use a kit - makes it much easier

If the TJ isn't a daily driver, I wouldn't bother with the OPDA until it starts to exhibit the usual symptoms.
Thanks John!

I will tackle the front axle U-joints in the next couple of weeks.

Since the TJ is my daily, I will probably do the OPDA soon after for piece of mind.
I wouldn't want the cam gears get destroyed and have a bigger engine job that I can't afford.

Dealer did oil/filter, new plugs, new battery, front diff. fluid before I picked it up.
I should be OK for a little while with those items.
I will still change before fall comes around.

I will print your suggested to-do list and keep in the TJ, so I can check off things as I go and make sure they all get done this summer.

Thanks again!
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/l ,[____],
l---L -OlllllllO-
()_)-()_)-o-)_)

****************
05 TJ Rubicon

6 Spd. Manual
Soft Top

33x12.5x15 Tires
3" Body Lift




Last edited by tzukows; 05-01-2018 at 12:48 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 01:45 PM
Rubicus Maximus
 
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I bought a stock high mileage TJ and have replaced and upgraded lots of stuff. I'll throw out a couple things I have figured out.

If your steering is loose this may be a good priority on your list of upgrades. On my high mileage TJ I replaced the front steering components with the Curry Heavy-Duty Tie Rod System strongly suggested by the fellows here on ROF... Thank you This mod made the TJ much easier and safer to drive on the highway. https://www.quadratec.com/products/56116_200_07.htm

Now my rant My 2005 Rubicon has 120,000+ miles and the check engine light comes on with a variety of codes every time I take a trip. Often the check engine light will shut itself off and sometimes I need to clear the codes. The engine runs well with no apparent problems.

I have a new computer, OPDA, new O2 sensors and dealer update flash programming. Lots of $$$. The dealer finds nothing wrong with the Jeep now. I am not an expert just my experience tells me that codes coming up is unfortunately normal and nothing is wrong. My conclusion is Chrysler did not fine-tune the 05/06 computer after being required to upgrade the emissions on the 05/06 and the check engine light comes on when there is not a problem. The check engine light is coming on because the computer received a temporary out of bounds reading from the sensors. The TJ's were not created as a package but over time a patchwork of changes were made. Issues like the check engine light were passed on to the consumer without Chrysler taking responsibility. The dirty dogs! I may be right and may be wrong but this is what I have concluded.

On a club outing to Utah last year all three TJ's had the check engine light on at one time or another. Talking to other TJ owners suggest this check engine light issue is a common problem.

Moab, Utah, Hells Revenge Trail, Coming off the Colorado River Overlook April 2018
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinga View Post
The code P2098 could be related to TSB 18-028-06 which is a invalid check in the PCM programming. TSB suggest a selective reprogramming. If that is the only code and the Jeep runs fine otherwise, you can probably reset it and move on. Stop by a dealership and see if they will check for the programming for free if you like. Mine sets it off on rare occasion and it is usually after some wheeling and then getting on the highway for an extended period. Likely not a real issue.
Thanks Stinga!

I did have the chance to drop in to the muffler shop this morning.
He gave a look and listen and determined there are no active leaks in the exhaust up front.
I have do have the slight tap in a valve lifter, but nothing out of the ordinary for an engine with 185,000 miles on it.
Otherwise, he said everything sounds pretty good. No skips or sputters. Runs smooth.

So that put my mind a little more at rest about the what might cause the code.

I cleared the code with the scanner.
I have driven for the last two days, with no issue.

Muffler guy said no exhaust leaks and probably would not have be concerned about the code unless it comes back again.
If it does return, we know it is not an exhaust leak. I would want to check vacuum lines and possibly injector O-rings or injectors themselves.

If it is anything to do with the O2 sensors, I would hope they are not rusted in solid. That would mean replacing the header and the four sensors.
It has the Cat on the end and the two "mini-Cats" up top. That could be costly.

I am hoping it just goes away and does not come back!!!

/l ,[____],
l---L -OlllllllO-
()_)-()_)-o-)_)

****************
05 TJ Rubicon

6 Spd. Manual
Soft Top

33x12.5x15 Tires
3" Body Lift



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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrabob View Post
I bought a stock high mileage TJ and have replaced and upgraded lots of stuff. I'll throw out a couple things I have figured out.

If your steering is loose this may be a good priority on your list of upgrades. On my high mileage TJ I replaced the front steering components with the Curry Heavy-Duty Tie Rod System strongly suggested by the fellows here on ROF... Thank you This mod made the TJ much easier and safer to drive on the highway. https://www.quadratec.com/products/56116_200_07.htm

Now my rant My 2005 Rubicon has 120,000+ miles and the check engine light comes on with a variety of codes every time I take a trip. Often the check engine light will shut itself off and sometimes I need to clear the codes. The engine runs well with no apparent problems.

I have a new computer, OPDA, new O2 sensors and dealer update flash programming. Lots of $$$. The dealer finds nothing wrong with the Jeep now. I am not an expert just my experience tells me that codes coming up is unfortunately normal and nothing is wrong. My conclusion is Chrysler did not fine-tune the 05/06 computer after being required to upgrade the emissions on the 05/06 and the check engine light comes on when there is not a problem. The check engine light is coming on because the computer received a temporary out of bounds reading from the sensors. The TJ's were not created as a package but over time a patchwork of changes were made. Issues like the check engine light were passed on to the consumer without Chrysler taking responsibility. The dirty dogs! I may be right and may be wrong but this is what I have concluded.

On a club outing to Utah last year all three TJ's had the check engine light on at one time or another. Talking to other TJ owners suggest this check engine light issue is a common problem.

Moab, Utah, Hells Revenge Trail, Coming off the Colorado River Overlook April 2018
Thanks SierraBob!

I am feeling a little more relaxed about things for now...

My mileage is 10.5-11 mpg, but that has not changed. There is no difference before or after getting the fuel too lean on bank 2 code.
I think with the Rubi gears, running 33s and a honkin' roof rack, I can expect to get mileage in the mid teens that other people get with different gearing, etc.
The code probably has nothing to do with my fuel economy.

It's running great (as far as I know) and I love my TJ!

We rely on computers so much.
When computers only deal with data, things are usually pretty black and white.
Something is either working or not working.
It just makes me nervous when a code pops up like that, because it is hard to believe a computer cannot make up its mind or worse... is WRONG!
Computers aren't supposed to make mistakes.

I'll keep truckin' and see what happens.
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/l ,[____],
l---L -OlllllllO-
()_)-()_)-o-)_)

****************
05 TJ Rubicon

6 Spd. Manual
Soft Top

33x12.5x15 Tires
3" Body Lift



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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzukows View Post

My mileage is 10.5-11 mpg, but that has not changed. There is no difference before or after getting the fuel too lean on bank 2 code.
I think with the Rubi gears, running 33s and a honkin' roof rack, I can expect to get mileage in the mid teens that other people get with different gearing, etc.
Just curious how you are calculating MPG.
Is your odometer recalibrated for the 33's, or are you using a different process?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 01:04 AM
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I like how we hold the manufacture to a higher standard than the rest of the world. At best you have a 2006 TJ, that is 12 years old. How old is your smart phone? How long do you think your laptop would last if it lived in a hostile environment like under your hood. Tape it to your air cleaner for a month and see. LOL..
Aging O2 sensors are one of the biggest PITA that I deal with. Well maybe second to evap codes. Some of the replacement sensors just aren't up to quality and I honestly think after a few years the manufacture doesn't care as much and sells parts made by the lowest bidder.
I was looking at a maintenance schedule for a Ferrari the other day and they require all the o2 sensors replaced at 20,000KM's. I guess if you drive a Italian car you can afford it. But hey who owns Jeep again?
Joking aside I wouldn't go anywhere in a older vehicle without a code reader. You could buy a cheap hand held or just a plug in pod that links to your phone. It will give you piece of mind and a indication of whether you need to head home or not.
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2014 JKU, JKS lift,Poison spyder flares, bombshell covers,Rancho D2 control arms, JKS adjustable track bars, 35" Tires. GrabBars, Crawler Conceptz rear bumper, Smitty front bumper, Winch. Rough Country inner fenders, Teraflex Disco Mud Flaps
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLLJ View Post
Just curious how you are calculating MPG.
Is your odometer recalibrated for the 33's, or are you using a different process?
Thanks FLLJ!

Did not occur to me.
Tires were added before I got it; and honestly, I do not know if anything was done to re-calibrate the OD.

MPG was strictly manual with OD trip miles/gallons at fill-up.
Good point on the OD calibration.
I have no idea if it was.

Speed seems reasonable.

Miles seem normal too.
I have been running the same routes to my places of employment for many years.
I was not watching that closely, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary on the number of miles on the trip OD on those routine runs between work and home.

I can do a rough check on my way to work this week and compare OD mileage.
If it is off by a significant amount, I can look to see about re-calibrating.

If "close enough", I won't be in a big rush on doing anything with the OD.

Thanks!
I'll post an update after the weekend.
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