Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oops, my bad!

I've been neglecting my updates on Moto-Tux... so here's a long update on what's up with wrenching my Jeep. Remember, I sold all my motorcycles :(.

-- Badtux the Wrenching Penguin


  1. I understand you are not a fan of un-asked for advice , but after 25 plus years of making a living as a mechanic I have a small base of experience to advise from , so ...
    Mopar , especially Mopar/Jeep have an inherited problem in the vapor lines for the EVAP system . The lines are mostly hard plastic runs , but the curved ends and connectors are rubber . I found so many rotted out in the field I had to presume it was either sub quality hose or perhaps not suited to the alcohol in our current fuel .
    IF your gas cap does not fix the problem then I would order all the rubber pieces from Jeep and replace them . A simple job and 99% of the time this will repair the fault .
    As to your Brakes : Ceramic won't last as long ? I drive a 3/4 ton Chevy cab and 1/2 pickup , frequently with a full cord of wood or a load of hay . I was going thru pads every 8 months like clockwork , even with the rears adjusted every 3000 miles . I changed to ceramic and now get approx 3 years on a set of pads , but only 2 sets of pads to a rotor . I've never used "yellow pads" but if they don't last longer I would suggest they aren't worth the money . Try Napa or Raybestos Ceramic Pads .
    Also if you didn't already , get some Silicone Dielectric Grease and apply it to your Brake Caliper sliding pins , if those pins jam you wil only wear one side of your pads .

  2. I would hope that hoses on a 3 year old Jeep would not be rotted out, but I will definitely keep your advice in mind if an inspection of the system sees no obvious problems like a hose that slipped off its bib during the process of doing the lift. But I'll wait until I put on the new gas tank skid to do a full changeout if that's warranted, because that requires dropping the gas tank. The gas tank on a Wrangler is no big deal to drop -- it's strapped to the skid plate, so you drop the skid, you drop the tank too -- but still not something to do twice if you don't have to :).

    Regarding the EBC YellowStuff pads, EBC says they are a "high dust high friction" pad. As you know, "high dust" means "short life", regardless of the ceramic component of the pad. I need to go out and seat'em in good, but finding a place to run up to 60mph then brake is hard to do here in the middle of a major city without either smashing into someone in front of you or someone running into you from behind :).

    I applied some synthetic high-temperature brake grease to the brake caliper sliding pins when I did the job and tested their sliding ability. I did not see any wear and tear on the pins when I cleaned the old grease off with brake cleaner and ran my fingers along them. If I had, my first stop after re-assembly would have been the Vanco website to buy an all-new braking system. Vanco makes a dual-pot setup for the front brakes, actually an adapter for a better brake caliper from another Chrysler product that you use along with a larger disc from another Chrysler product but they package it all up in a kit with their new machined caliper bracket, that works much better than the single-pot setup that Jeep ships. The single-pot setup has a bad tendency to flex on the brake caliper sliding pins and jam as the sliding pins and brake pads wear (thus basically using only one side to brake), thus why I examined the sliding pins for signs that this had happened. I did notice that the thickness of the inside pad (where the piston directly pushes) was less than the thickness of the outside pad when I took the old pads out, so this indicates that even with good sliding pins the stock setup flexes *way* too much to get the best braking out of the system :(.

    Second your recommendation of the NAPA/Raybestos pads. I've used them on other vehicles and they last a long time and work as well as the OEM pads. They're a nice low-dust pad for restoring your vehicle to stock braking performance. Thing is, I was looking for better than stock braking performance to deal with bigger tires putting more leverage onto the brakes, and was willing to give up brake pad life to get it. Given the lousy nature of Jeep TJ brakes (they're basically Chrysler K-Car brakes, but a Jeep TJ weighs over 1,000 pounds more than a K-Car did and add in the leverage of large tires and the brakes are overwhelmed entirely), I wanted the best braking I could fit on there without springing for the $950 for the Vanco kit (which I'll probably spring for before I go to 35 inch tires, but going to 35 inch tires is going to cost bucketfulls of money for new gears and stronger axle shafts so I'm not going there yet).

  3. When I mentioned "brand" pads I meant their premium 'severe duty' lines which are mostly ceramic or mixes of ceramic now . I switched years ago now to a Raybestos full ceramic , better when hot and no fade . Something I never got even when I bought new GM brand pads at the dealer . When a cord of wet oak is wanting to push me past that stop sign at the bottom of my hill , I wouldn't use anything else .
    When you examine the evap hoses look for cracks along the length not around the line as is more common . If you see length wise cracks you found it .
    GM Service Training recommended breaking in your pads at; 45 mph , straight line braking , down to almost a stop , then continue at speed untill reasonably cool and repeat up to 6 times .
    I know , you'll still get run over , but that's what they recommend .
    Glad that you know about dielectric , lots of shop techs don't even know . Works well on spark plug boots too .
    Amazing how much bend there is at the caliper . Larger caliper and mounts sound great for a K car setup .
    My GM had a problem with caliper to knuckle clearance (not a jeep problem as I understand their system) should have been an even
    .010 but was tight on one side and not even . That adjustment and those ceramics made me a happy hauler .
    "Keep the shiney side up and the rubber side down"

  4. EBC recommends much the same for breakin, except running up to 60mph then braking hard down to 20, repeat five times. Maybe this weekend :).


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