The penguin's motorcycling and Jeep blog
Sunday, July 17, 2016
2012 was the last year that Chrysler used HOAT (Hybrid Organic Acid Technology) coolant in their cars. This is a hybrid silicate-OAT coolant that was used by a number of auto makers in the 2000's, including Ford, Mercedes, and BMW. And HOAT has a rated lifespan of 5 years.
So time to change it. The formulation that Chrysler used for the 2012 model year Jeeps is Valvoline Zerex G-05. Chrysler's coolant was dyed pink from the factory. When I changed the fluid in my 2006 Wrangler, I used the "regular" G-05, which was dyed yellow. So anyhow, I had a gallon of the G-05 left over from then, and mixed it with a gallon of distilled water in a bucket and poured it through a funnel back into the bottle and into the distilled water jug. Still yellow.
Of course, I needed a second jug to have the 2.6 gallons needed to fill the radiator, so I popped out to the auto parts store two blocks away. Yep, they had some G-05. $20 poorer, I came back home and did the same thing -- one gallon of G-05, one gallon of distilled water in the bucket.
WTF? They changed the motherfucking dye to fucking orange! Old on the right, new on the left.
This makes no goddamned sense. Yeah, I know it's just dye, but orange is the color of GM's Dexcool, a pure unsilicated OAT that is utterly incompatible with G-05 HOAT. As in, if you mix the two it'll gum your radiator and heater core right up and Bad Things will happen. So tell me, if you have a GM or Ford car (Ford switched to Dexcool recently) with its *orange* coolant, and you come across this plastic distilled water jug full of premixed *orange* coolant and put it in your car, what the fuck do you think is going to happen?
Yeah, bad, bad things.
Have the people at Valvoline lost their ever-lovin' motherfucking minds?! Or did they, like, buy a stake in a radiator and heater core manufacturer and they want to drive demand? I mean, look. Yellow was pretty distinctively G-05. Not as distinctively as pink, maybe, but you couldn't confuse it with Dexcool or with the old green shit that had to be changed every two years or it'd clog your cooling system sure as the sun rises in the morning. But fucking orange is used by pretty much everything that's incompatible with G-05. As in, you mix orange coolant and orange coolant, and bad things are going to happen.
Oh well. It's just dye. And both of the jugs of Zerex G-05 say they comply with the Chrysler spec for my Jeep, so I have no trouble mixing the orange and the yellow. But man, this is some stupid fucking shit. Just sayin'.
- Badtux the Coloring Penguin
Saturday, July 16, 2011
And that's the end of this exhausting (heh) episode of Mod My Jeep...
-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Note that I'd already changed out the front springs, so I had a spring mismatch between front and back. The Jeep was level when I was unloaded, but load it up and the back end was dragging like a cat in heat. It wasn't a spring height issue, but, rather, a spring rate issue -- the rear springs were the original factory springs with spacers on top of them to make them taller, and simply weren't up to the same standard as the front springs, they compressed under load more than the front springs. The front springs are some Old Man Emu 933 springs that I scored off a club member, so I decided to put the matching Old Man Emu 949 onto the back. At the same time I was also going to install an Old Man Emu trackbar relocation bracket, which accomplishes two things: 1) the original bracket has a "roof" on it and will get bent up if your suspension sags too much and the trackbar "tops out" in the bracket (as will happen if you lift the Jeep and put longer springs and shocks on it) and 2) helps relocate the axle back to under the center of the Jeep, which in turn helps the Jeep track better (duh!).
So, anyhow, here's how I dunnit:
- Approximately 2 hours before starting any of this, blast the bolts you're going to unbolt with PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench, or other penetrating oil of choice. (For list of bolts, see the things we're going to unbolt below)
- Put the Jeep into 1st gear (or Park if automatic), 4-Lo, and put on the emergency brake
- Chock the front wheels front and back. (Yes, making *sure* the Jeep doesn't roll while I'm under there!)
- Remove spare tire from back of Jeep (so there's room to use the Hi-Lift there)
- Get axle jack from beneath passenger seat of Jeep, and its assorted rods and such
- Get Hi-Lift jack out of Jeep
- Line up your new parts behind the Jeep -- the springs, the bump stop extensions (if you don't have bump stop extensions already on there, necessary to keep the springs from overcompressing), a short piece of fuel line and two couplers (to extend the breather hose for the axle, which otherwise tends to top out against the trackbar at full droop) and the trackbar relocation bracket. (Sorry, I don't have specs on the fuel line and couplers, they were already in my junk box).
- Line up tools behind Jeep, including: Tall jack stand (do *nothing* under a Jeep supported by a Hi-Lift jack, they are inherently unstable, which is good if you're on the trail trying to move your Jeep around off a rock it's grounded out on, bad if you expect your Jeep to *stay* on the Hi-Lift), lug wrench, and hand tools.
- Disconnect rear sway bar at both ends
- Disconnect rear track bar at both ends (because we're going to need it out of the way to install the bracket, and it's easier this way)
- Disconnect both shocks at the bottom.
- Jack up the DRIVER's side with the Hi-Lift from the bumper until the spring starts to get loose in its seat, then put the jack stand under the frame just in front of the rear control arm mount and lower the Jeep onto it. Move Hi-Lift out of the way.
- Place the axle jack under the spring mount, jack up the axle until the tire is off the ground, and remove the tire.
- Lower the axle with the axle jack until the spring is loose in its seat. The spring should then be easily removed by lifting it and removing it to the rear.
- Remove the rubber bump stop at the top by simply grabbing it and wiggling and yanking downwards until it pops out of its seat.
- Remove the bump stop seat via unbolting the bolt in its middle. If you previously had a spacer lift, this will allow you to remove the spacer. But note that even without a previous spacer lift this makes installing the new spring *much* easier since you won't have to work it around the bump stop, and the bump stop will go through the coils of the spring. You'll also be installing bump stop extensions at the same time if you didn't already have them on there.
- You'll notice that the breather hose for your axle is basically taut with your axle at full droop. Extend the breather hose by cutting it above the fuel tank (easier if you have a body lift on your Jeep) and patching in a few inches of fuel line so that you'll have some slack at full droop.
- You already removed the trackbar above. Install the trackbar relocation bracket using the directions in the OME packet, including all the drilling and stuff (the real reason why we bothered lifting the Jeep so high in the air in the first place was to give clearance to the drill under the floorpan of the Jeep). Don't bother trying to put the trackbar into it right now, it won't go because the bracket is twisted by the axle droop, we'll put it back on after the Jeep is back on the ground.
- Install the *SHORTER* Old Man Emu 949 spring here, on the driver's side. It should just pop right in. Jeeps tend to sag at their passenger rear due to the weight of the spare tire carrier and the torque of their engine, so the taller spring goes on the passenger side.
- Work the bump stop extension, bump stop seat, and bump stop bolt through the coils of the new spring, and bolt them into place. You can't get a torque wrench up here so it's probably a good idea to use blue (medium strength) threadlocker on the bolt too, to keep it from going anywhere.
- Work the rubber bump stop through the coils of the new spring, and push it into place. A prybar prying against a coil of the springs can help get that last little bit of oomph to get it seated.
- Jack up the axle enough to match the bottom of the shock with its crossbolt, and install the rear shock again. This is easier than compressing the shock by hand to install it after the tire is back on.
- This also jacked up the axle enough to put your tire back on. Do so. Torque your lug nuts in criss-cross pattern to 100 ft/lbs of torque. (This is *IMPORTANT* -- use an actual lug wrench here, if you overtorque your lug nuts, you *will* stretch your axle studs and cause them to fail on the trail, and of course undertorquing them is equally a bad idea since wheels that come off while you're driving down the road are unwanted).
- Lower your axle jack and remove it. Note that this will be using your shock as a limiting strap holding the tire off the ground (usually it's the trackbar that limits downtravel here), but this won't hurt it here.
- Jack up the Jeep from the rear bumper with the Hi-Lift enough to drop the axle stand and pull it out of the way, then lower the driver's side to the ground.
- Repeat the process to remove/install the spring on the passenger side (remember, the TALLER spring goes on the passenger side), with the exception that on the passenger side you don't have to install a track bar bracket (doh!).
- Now, with the Jeep back on the ground on its own four wheels with the new springs and no jacks or jack stands under it, reinstall the track bar. It *should* match up hole-wise on both ends, because the geometry of the control arms naturally wants to center the axle (though not strongly enough to do without the track bar) and the new location of the axle end of the trackbar is in the proper place where, with these springs, the trackbar should match up. If not, you may need to get a piece of 2x4 and pry between the tire and frame until the axle is centered and you can bolt the trackbar into place.
- Reconnect the rear sway bar.
- Put the spare tire back on the Jeep (duh!) and replace all the jacks and the lug wrench into their proper nooks and cranny in case you have a flat.
In my case, the process was made more difficult by the fact that my original trackbar bracket was bent up from the trackbar topping out against it due to the extra sag allowed by disconnecting my sway bars up front, the longer Old Man Emu shocks, and the spacer lift. The lesson there is that if you install *any* lift, even a 2" spacer lift, you need to relocate the trackbar bracket at that time rather than at some later time because the trackbar bracket becomes the limit on downtravel at that point. So I had to sort of hammer and bend and press things into shape again. But it's all together now.
So how does it work? Well, the rear end of the Jeep is now about 1 1/4" higher off the ground than the front end of the Jeep. On the passenger side, from rocker to ground is 22" immediately behind the front wheel, and 23 1/4" immediately in front of the rear wheel. So when I put a full trail load into the Jeep (tools and water are *heavy*), the rear should sag to the point of basically being level.
But does it make it too harsh on the pavement? Well, remember, I'm using the Old Man Emu shocks that are basically matched to these springs. I decided to put things to the test and, uhm, I can't notice any difference from previous. The ride is firm, but not jittery or harsh. It helps the handling a bit, it seems, but not by much. Probably just psychological on my part.
So anyhow, I'm done with getting clearance. I may add some bump stop extensions up front to put 33" tires under here, but it appears that I only need 1/2" of additional bump stop up there to clear 33" tires under my fenders. While bouncing me Jeep up and down to test for things that go "clunk" when they shouldn't, I also noticed that one of my front sway bar links has gone bust and has movement in it that it shouldn't have, I'm sure that replacing that will help the handling a bit, luckily I have a spare in my junk box. So anyhow, that's that... the next step is going to be the expensive one, re-gearing to 4.56 front and rear, installing lockers, and actually purchasing 33" offroad tires to put on the thing. The re-gearing and lockers will be over $2,000 (eep!), the tires and wheels (to replace the bent-up ones) will be over $1,000 (gulp!). Oh well, it's still cheaper than buying a new Jeep!
-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin
Saturday, May 21, 2011
So why aren't diesels so popular here in America? Well, let me count the ways...
- No market for fuel economy. Fuel is $10/gallon in Europe right now. It's "only" $4/gallon here in the USA. So people don't care about fuel economy, they get the engine that's cheapest, and a gasoline engine is generally cheaper than a diesel because it doesn't have to be built as sturdy (due to lower compression and less torque).
- Poor diesel fuel. Even current "low sulphur" diesel fuel here in the U.S. would be illegal to sell in Europe, because it still has enough sulphur in it to cause soot (the black smoke you used to see coming out of the back of diesel-powered vehicles). This in turn means it's extremely expensive to certify diesel vehicles here in America, because you must add filters and traps and possibly urea injection in order to deal with the poor fuel. Not to mention the number that the crappy diesel fuel sold here in America does to injectors and fuel pumps... you go by the VW TDI forums, you'll find that VW has been replacing thousands of fuel pumps because gas stations mixed gasoline in their diesel tanks and wrecked the lubricousity of the fuel, thereby depriving the pump of lubrication and causing it to self-destruct.
- No volume. It costs roughly $100M to certify a new engine/transmission combination if you have to do major work to it in order to . If you sell 10,000 vehicles per year over the next 5 years with a given engine/transmission combination, that means you need to charge roughly $2,000 extra apiece to pay off the EPA certification costs. And see #1.
So next thing I'm waiting for is the 3.6L Pentastar engine to make it into the Wrangler. The Pentastar makes almost 300 horsepower. It was supposed to make it into the 2011 Wrangler but didn't, probably because it turns out that it makes too much horsepower for the old transmission and they had to use a new transmission but the new transmission is three inches longer, meaning they had to relocate the engine slightly forward to make room for the new transmission, meaning they had to put slightly longer sheetmetal on the front of the Jeep to make room for the engine being further forward, meaning it required more work than just swapping a new engine into the Wrangler. But with the 3.6L Pentastar and new sheetmetal, the Wrangler ought to get better mpg than it currently does. Not that this would be difficult... my Wrangler is averaging 12mpg in the city. Something to do with the aerodynamics of a barn door and big sticky tires...
-- Badtux the Auto Geek Penguin
Monday, April 11, 2011
So I go to rotate my tires, head into the console to get the wheel key, and... err... no key. And no idea where it went. I cleaned the car out so I know it's nowhere on the floor of the car, but it's not in the glove compartment, console, nor in the coin cup, the map pocket, or the door pockets.
What next? Well... I tried getting a pipe wrench over one of the "locks". Nope, my offset's wrong for that. So next I tried hammering a 16mm socket onto the head of one of these things. It went on okay, but didn't bite deep enough and stripped out. So next thing I did was hammer a 5/8" socket onto the head of one of these things and... success. Removed it like it was intended to come off that way. Getting the 5/8" socket off the "wheel lock" took a large bench vise and two large prybars, but if I were intent on stealing the wheels I would have just brought a handful of 5/8" sockets with me... not that anybody is going to steal rusty steel wheels in a size that fits almost no vehicles anyhow, sheesh!
So anyhow, now I've replaced these so-called "wheel locks" with lug nuts from my stash of random junk (what, you don't have a stock of random stuff like lug nuts, tie rod ends, and so forth? Sheesh, next thing you tell me is that you don't even have a torque wrench!). So I'm good to go tomorrow on rotating my tires. But sheesh, what a PITA.
-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Now, a note about anti-freeze. There's basically three kinds of antifreeze out there. The first kind is the old-fashioned green shit that has to be changed every year and which causes deposits in your radiator if you mix it with anything other than distilled water. This is what's available at your local Wal-mart. The second kind is the GM OAT (Organic Acid Technology) coolant, which is dyed orange, which has a bad tendency to eat pot metal parts of your engine such as the thermostat housing. This is *also* available at your local Wal-mart. The third type is a hybrid, HOAT, which has silicates to protect pot metal but also has the long-lasting organic acids to combat corrosion of the other metals in your engine. Ford and Chrysler have settled on this one for their new cars, both use Zerex G-05 HOAT coolant, dyed yellow for Ford (and for the aftermarket), pink for Chrysler. (Yes, *PINK* -- there are sources on the web that say that Chrysler's HOAT is dyed orange like GM's OAT, but the factory fill in my Jeep was quite blaringly PINK). Unfortunately only professional auto parts places like NAPA and Carquest, or dealerships, carry the HOAT coolant -- unlike the OAT or the green shit, you can't get it at Wally World or Auto Drone. And it's *expensive*, $15/gallon at NAPA...
So why is this important? Well, first of all, don't put the orange shit into your car unless that's what your car came with. OAT works by allowing the metals to corrode, then bonding with the corrosion to form a film. Thing is, some metals don't corrode with the correct chemistry for OAT to bond with to create the anti-corrosion film, and you end up with Bad Things Happening. So only cars designed for OAT (i.e. with the correct metal alloys exposed to its cooling system) should get OAT. But if your car came with OAT, you should stick with OAT for one good reason: all other chemistries will, over the long term, clog up your radiator and cooling system with silicate deposits. Only OAT is guaranteed to never do that, for the simple reason that it has no silicates.
Secondly: For everything else, HOAT is the correct thing to use. I've talked to people who restore old cars. To a man they recommend HOAT for *everything*, because it stops corrosion without unduly clogging up your cooling system and is safe for *all* metals, not just the ones that OAT chemistry was designed to bond with. Which is why any shop worth its salt should have only two coolant types in its quiver: the GM Dex-Cool OAT (orange), and the Zerex G-05 HOAT (yellow). The green shit should be consigned to history along with leaded gas and carburetors, it just doesn't work as well as the new stuff. Yet the green stuff is still the most common coolant even shops put into cars... despite the fact that it's crap. But it's cheap. Which is all that counts when someone cares more about profit than about their car's lifespan.
So anyhow I scored some Zerex G-05 (yellow) for about $5 a gallon less than the pink-dyed MOPAR HOAT at the Chrysler dealership (pink), so now have kind of pinkish-yellow coolant in my Jeep (since the cooling system holds a total of about 2.65 gallons and I put a little less than 2 gallons of coolant into it, the rest was in the heater core and other places in the cooling system). Note that the G-05 *IS* the MOPAR coolant, Zerex simply dyes it pink rather than yellow. It seems that pink is a stronger color than yellow, so 3/4th gallon of pink makes 2 gallons of yellow pinker than you'd think. Curious, eh? So anyhow, mixing G-05 with G-05 should be fine, I just refreshed the anticorrosion package with my infusion. Since I only changed out around 2/3rds of the coolant with the radiator and reservoir change, I'll go ahead and do it again in around three years, since I put around three years worth of anticorrosion additives in there with the new coolant.
Next thing I did was change the front differential fluid. I had two quarts of Royal Purple 75W140 left over from my last differential fluid change, and used that. What I discovered inside the differential was that the old Royal Purple fill had sludged up a little since my last change of the front differential fluid, at 20,000 miles. So this is the last time I'm filling with the Royal Purple, the next fill is going to be the Mobile 1 75W140 synthetic. I've already purchased the Mobile 1 plus the limited slip additive for the rear differential and will be changing that out shortly.
Some other fluids that can be changed:
- Brake fluid -- probably the most important one to change. Chrysler uses low-spec DOT 3 brake fluid. Going to DOT 3/4 should get me better specs as well as get rid of any moisture that's accumulated in the system over the past five years. I have a Mitey-vac vacuum pump somewhere, I need to find it (haven't used it since I moved to the "new" place eight months ago)...
- Transmission fluid -- this uses Synchromesh fluid. Chrysler doesn't even have a fill spec on this, it's supposedly a "lifetime" fluid. Probably going to leave this alone for now, and change it at 90,000 miles just on general principles.
- Transfer case fluid -- this uses ATF+4 automatic transmission fluid, which is good stuff (much better than the old GM Dexron III from days of yore). It's spec'ed to be changed at 80,000 miles. Won't hurt to change it anytime between now and then.
- Power steering fluid -- this, alas, got changed last year when the moron ran the red light and broke my steering box with the side of his car. So I'm fine there.
Oh, while I was at it I put some new light bulbs into my lights. But I'm not telling you what they are, because they're a bit, err, not DOT-certified. But at least I'll be able to see at night!
-- Badtux the Blindingly Bright Penguin
Friday, December 24, 2010
There is a bracket welded to the frame that this mounts to. The part of the bracket closest to the outside of the Jeep has a nut welded into it and you go down from the top through that small hole in the motor mount. On the part of the bracket closest to the Jeep, there's just a hole. A stud comes down from the motor mount that must be pushed through that hole, and then you put a nut on the stud from the bottom. You can't come in from the top because the stud is below that big rubber bushing you see. Then the engine has a forked bracket that comes on either side of that big rubber bushing, and a crossbolt goes through the forked backet and through the big bushing in the middle of the big rubber bushing, and that's what holds the engine up off the frame, nicely isolated by a big rubber donut all around. Here is what it looks like installed in the Jeep (sorry I didn't get a better picture): So anyhow, it's been raining here in the Silly Cone Valley for 40 days and 40 nights, well, feels like it. I decided to take a trip in my Jeep for Christmas. Before taking any trip, I inspect my Jeep to make sure all the fluids are okay, all the bolts are nice and tight, none of the u-joints or tie rods or anything waggle when I whack'em with a rubber mallet, and so forth. And so things were going along fine until I got to the passenger side motor mount on the underside, looked up to where there's supposed to be a stud and a nut holding the engine side of the mount down, and... err. Yeppers, the blasted stud snapped right off at some point in the recent past!
That's from right after I pulled it. To pull it, you first remove the nut from the stud. Well, if there's a stud :). Then you remove the bolt. Then you put your floor jack and a piece of 2x6 under the oil pan skid plate and jack up the engine until the mount is just barely above the frame. Then you remove the crossbolt and the motor mount slides right out.
So anyhow, thanks to Christmas I can't get a new motormount until January (because all the suppliers are on holiday). So I rednecked a temporary fix: I drilled out the remnants of the stud, and jammed a nut on top of it, grinding out just enough so I could tap in the nut with a drift to retain it. This is a flange nut, which has a serrated bottom, so once there's pressure on it from a bolt pulling it towards the frame, it's not going anywhere. But there has to be enough friction to allow it to get pressure on it. Thus why I had to barely grind out enough to be able to force it in there with the drift and 3-pound hammer:
Once I did this, I then had to properly space out a bolt so that it wouldn't bottom out on that bracket part that's above the nut, yet would grab enough threads to not strip out. That required trial and error with various washers and nuts lying around. But I found the right combination, and now it's all installed again, waiting for a new mount but quite usable in the meantime.
As for why the stud broke: It was a metric grade 8.8 bolt welded to the motor mount before the top part of the motor mount was fabricated. Metric grade 8.8 (not to be confused with SAE grade 8, which is the equivalent of metric 10.9) is barely above compressed oatmeal on the hardness scale, but normally won't break in this application. It does bend fairly easily if not fully retained by a torqued nut, however, and also stretches fairly easily if overtorqued or given a sudden shock in the longitudinal direction. What I'm suspecting is that the bolt stretched, perhaps from the oil pan skid plate getting whacked by a rock, letting the motor mount jump around bending the stud back and forth until it work-hardened and finally snapped off. I didn't catch it because I was testing the nut by putting a wrench on it and seeing if it would move, and of course it was corroded in place and wouldn't move -- and unfortunately the place it was corroded into did not put enough pressure on the now-stretched stud to keep the motor mount from moving around.
All of this is compounded by the fact that I can't get a torque wrench onto most of these bolts due to lack of access -- all my torque wrenches are too big to fit into these cramped quarters and it's problematic running long extensions thru u-joints and expecting to get the right torque reading on a tork wrench -- so I'm just hoping that I'm putting the right torque on them. It may be that I had already put close to too much torque on the bottom, and whacking my belly pan on a rock was just enough to finish it off.
So anyhow, needless to say I'm not happy here, I think they should have gone with at least a metric 10.9 grade bolt for the stud because they don't stretch as easily, but at least I'm on the road again. And that ends today's adventure in Jeep wrenchin'...
-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin