Saturday, June 02, 2007

6000 mile service

I can't believe I didn't pay someone to do this to my Jeep. I'm treating my Jeep as good as I treat my KLR, something I've never done with a car before. Huh.


  • 5 tire rotation
  • Grease all zerks with Mobil-1 synthetic grease (the tie rod end ones had to be greased during the rotation because there's no clearance between them and the wheel).
  • 6 quarts of 5w40 Shell Rotella T Synthetic. (Yeah, factory spec is 10w30, but oil analysis shows that the Rambler I-6 wants something with a 40 top end like what it was originally designed for because otherwise the iron numbers go up).
  • Mobil-1 oil filter (top quality)
Checked: Front differential fluid level (fine). Brake and clutch fluid levels (fine). Power steering fluid (at the 'add' mark, added a bit of ATF+4 to get it to the 'cold' mark). Radiator fluid (halfway between 'Add' and 'Full', made note to keep an eye on it). All the bolts and stuff that I messed with doing the Aussie locker install and the 2" suspension lift install. Belts. Hoses. Brake lines. Looked suspiciously at exterior of battery, and its 'Zero Maintenance' sticker. Rattled the U-joints to make sure they were still tight. Looked suspiciously at the upper header which appears to be rubbing on my oil pan skid, thinking maybe I need to clearance that a bit but dreading R&R on that skid which was a PITA to get in. Enjoyed the sight of all the little scratches and nicks on the underside of my Jeep, showing that this isn't *just* a mall queen, heh! Air filter looked fine, should last 15,000 mile like the book sez.

I suppose I should go ahead and check the rear differential fluid level while I'm at it. Anything else you can think of that I should check before I move my Jeep back to the parking lot and move my KLR back into the garage? (I already checked off all the stuff on the Jeep-provided service checklist).

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin


  1. Aren't you the busy penguin these days?

  2. Hello, Mr Penguin.
    If I were you, I would blast the stereo a little bit, just to make sure the speakers are still in good shape.

    PCV valve.

  3. Ooops!
    This thing got coil packs?

    Pull the plugs. Clean & gap them.

  4. A Jeep 4.0L doesn't have a PCV valve.

    I test the speakers every day :-).

    The Germans switched over to using coil-on-plug ignition with platinum plugs back in 2001, so the plugs don't need to be looked at for another 24,000 miles. Which is a good thing, because it's a pain to get to them (have to take off the coil manifold, and the back plug is very hard to get into because it is in a dent in the firewall due to the long I-6 engine being longer than the engine compartment!). Same reason I switched to using an iridium plug in my KLR -- the plug is likely to last longer than my KLR!

  5. Hurrah, I can bitch at you again, thank you.

    Did I miss transmission fluid level?

  6. A 6000 thousand mile check on a rig that is designed to go 200 K. You mean the dealership didn't do that for free?

    Yeah, here is an idea, next time buy a Toyota.

    Jeeps, ha, ha, ha.

    Oh, check the fluid level on your brain. I've driven my rig for three years on nothing but oil changes.

    Pat it on the dash, tell it I love it and it will serve me well to 300 K

    Never mind, I don't expect you to understand.

  7. Bryan, it's a manual transmission. No dipstick. Doesn't use up fluid in normal operations, because it never gets hot like an automatic transmission. Furthermore, it's a *GERMAN* six-speed manual transmission. It uses some special shit called "Syncromesh Fluid", you can't put normal gear oil in it because the gear oil dissolves some of the special metals they use in the thing. Unfortunately I don't have any of that "Syncromesh Fluid". Luckily, I don't need any of it, because according to the Germans, I don't ever need to change the transmission fluid. (I figure I'll change it at 90,000 miles or so just to be on the safe side :-).

    That said, it'd probably behoove me to check the fluid level, if I can figure out how to do it on that impressive hunk of German aluminum (!!!). And I better check the transfer case level too. At least it uses ATF+4 like the power steering.

    Well, BBC, the dealer did do my 3000 mile for free. As for me pumping grease into the various zerks, the maintenance schedule calls for everything to be greased every 6,000 miles, and from the feel of the rubber boots it really needed it (I pumped grease until the boots were plump, they were flat before then). All I can figure is that the dealer didn't pump grease into it. Beyond that, I wanted *my* fluids and *my* choice of grease in this thing. The dealer would put the Chrysler-recommended crap oil into the engine and put the mediocre Chrysler-branded oil filter on and pump the mediocre Chrysler-branded grease into the zerks. Frankly, I decided that if I wanted it done right, I better do it myself.

    And unfortunately because of the steering system of Jeeps, they do require religious tire rotations. The problem is the pitman arm/tie rod geometry. Basically as the front suspension moves up and down, rather than impart force to the pitman arm it changes the toe-in of the front wheels because of the way the drag link connects to the tie rod. When the suspension moves down, the drag link to tie-rod connection point stays constant rather than the drag link pushing on the pitman arm and causing your wheel to jerk, thus causing toe-in to increase and tire scrub on the corners to occur. When the suspension moves up, the opposite occurs and it is possible for the other tire corners to scrub. Actually, in normal operation there is always a little bit of toe-in (and thus tire scrub) because this helps maintain straight-line stability -- toe-out is bad because it makes the Jeep want to go in different directions from what it's already going. Anyhow, the net result is that from time to time you have to rotate the tires on the front to the back in order to even out the wear, otherwise you end up with the front tires worn out on the edges while the back tires look new. Add in the action of the Panhard rods, which tend to cause the axle to move in an arc and thus cause camber-related wear to one edge of your tire (left or right edge), and this means not only do you need to move the tire front and back, you need to cross them also so that the other edge can wear (since its left will then become its right). Anyhow, if you have leaf springs in the back and a double-wishbone in the front with rack-and-pinion steering this is all pretty moot (tires will still wear better if you rotate them, but it's not as big a deal), but on a Jeep, with its rather whacked out steering linkage and its bizarre set of axle locating linkages (needed because the Jeep uses coil springs rather than leaf springs with its solid axles in order to get a better/smoother ride than possible with leaf springs on such a short-wheelbase beasty), tire rotation becomes both an art and a necessity in order to get any kind of decent tire life out of any kind of tires on the little beasties.

    - Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin

  8. Hublet has a 4x4 (Discovery) - I've discovered it takes a lot of dosh and tlc to keep it going, (not unlike the second husband, now ex) whereas my SL 320 is a beautiful baby that purrs when I caress the dash.

    Now you grease-monkeys have orgasmed over transmission fluid and platinum plugs - GET BACK TO WORK!!

    Mitch the Bitch.

  9. Badtux,

    I'm not into Jeeps, you know I want a "chick" car. ;-)

    Thank you for telling me all about the great features on the cutie new beetle bug convertible or like I call it "The Love Bug".

    I would definitely GO FOR IT but and this is a biggy... still paying my car so no can do. ;-)

    Enjoy the beautiful sunny days with the top down on your jeep!

  10. Transfer case? You know, that kinda oval hunk of metal that sits at the end of the transmission, that the two driveshafts, one going forward and one going backward, plug into? The one that locks up and sends power to the front wheels when you pull the 4WD lever in the Jeep? It's a seperate transmission of sorts all in itself, and is full of ATF+4 automatic transmission fluid.


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