Thursday, February 02, 2012

Back on the Road

The Jeep that is.

I owned a Mustang once. I mean twice. Both were great in their own right. A 1967, old iron that carried respect and inspired awe, and a 1998, that owned the streets in modern fashion--at least to my mind. I was somewhat sad to see the '67 hauled off after I sold it to a father and son team off ebay. "Relief" is perhaps the best word to describe the emotion I felt when I took the money and ran, almost literally, to the bus stop after selling the '98. With 267k on the odo, it had more than paid its dues, carrying me from A to B during the best and worst of times.

But the Jeep. The Jeep. A Wrangler in 4WD with the legendary 4.0 under the hood. It's a whole different ball of wax altogether.

Jeeps are built like little tanks. Whereas Mustangs are built for speed, Jeeps take an entirely different approach, much like the turtle in the turtle and the hare parable. Mile for mile, the Jeep keeps marching along. It is not concerned about speed or obstacles, only about finishing the race.

Except when there is an electrical problem, that is.

LOL, I love Jeep Wranglers and their XJ (Cherokee) brethern. They inspire within me a wanderlust that can only be satisfied by getting behind the wheel and slamming the gas. If one can deal with their idiosyncries and not mind being stranded here and there occasionally, then owning a Jeep can be an absolute joy, albeit one that can be difficult to explain to others who don't share the same gluttony for occasional self-inflicted hardship and challenge.

These were my thoughts as I was lampooned on shoulder near the interstate by my house one morning several weeks ago, dialing AAA. I felt no animosity towards me vehicle, only a sense of angst that I couldn't get it to start, and awe mixed with fear at the mechanical conundrums that lie before me. Thank goodness for the Jeep forums, which helped in diagnosing and resolving my issues.

Things that got replaced/installed in this process:

*Champion 7034 sparkplugs
*Crankshaft Position Sensor
*Camshaft Position Sensor
*CCV Valves & Hoses
*Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor

The K&N air filter was cleaned, as well as the throttle body, Idle Air Control Sensor, fuel system (BG44k), and the battery, after being tested, had it and its cable leads cleaned up.

The Jeep is up and runs incredibly strong right now, but one last hurdle remains before full harmony can be achieved--the Fuel Regulator/filter on top of the gas tank. The check valve in it has failed, and so I have to crank 2 sometimes 3 times to build up enough fuel pressure to get her to fire up.

Through all this, I have grown ever closer to my '01 Wrangler, especially after driving the minivan to work. While the latter vehicle is perfectly comfortable, I love the fit and feel of my beast 4WD. After all this I am now inspired to spend stupid money on insane modifications that will actually kill MPG and street manners, and create increased off-road performance and personality.

Tragic or not, I just love these damn things. I guess I do fit in out here after all, lol.

Over & Out,


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