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Old 08-08-2016, 11:31 PM
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Inherited 98 Grand Cherokee Limited

HI!
I live in a suburb of Dallas. My grandmother cannot drive anymore, so we bought her car for my son when he turns 16. My son is doing as much of the repairs/maintenance himself as possible. I'm just trying to figure out parts/instructions. Then I watch from inside the house as he works in the Texas heat!

It's badly faded from the sun but is a great car! Only 45k miles!!!

We're working on some things-- It has been mistreated by my (idiot) uncle, and until we worked on it to get it running had not been driven in 9+ months.

We changed out the alternator and battery and it's surprisingly running very well!

A few things that confuse me:
* Idiot Uncle left the sunroof open for 6 months (carport). Obvioiusly it trashed the roof liner, but now the sunroof glass does not close correctly.
I tried the factory reset instructions I found on this forum (a dozen tries!), but didn't help. We did clean out the tracks, no improvement.
Praying we can fix this cheaply and easily-- as I'm nervous about rain.

*When we run the air conditioner, the ac is loud and makes the car shake. Going to try charging the freon which I know is low, but nervous it's the compressor.

*one of the back windows makes a CRACK noise when opening-- reading that's the regulator. Will eventually replace.

*passenger front door window keeps sliding down on it's own. this one confuses me. Not sure if it's the regulator, the clips, or the ball bearing window rollers. Been google-ing and searching this forum but cannot quite tell. And I cannot figure out part numbers to order on ebay (or somewhere else?) Was hoping to order the parts BEFORE opening up the door, because I thought it might be good to reduce number of times we open all that up.

*every time we use the front wipers, the headlights come on for EXACTLY 10 seconds. If it's night time and the lights are already on, nothing changes. What the heck??? LOL

*Only one of the speakers work and it's performing poorly. Don't know if it's just dead or maybe a psycho squirrel got into some wiring or something...

*Driver side mirror is completely white swirled. Cannot see. Side mirror motor is fine, but need to replace the mirror.

*we took the car to the carwash and used the power sprayer to clean under the hood. Now when we go in reverse, the car shakes/shimmies and the check engine light comes on. It drives fine in drive. Figuring we did something when washing the car (as it didn't do that until we started it at the car wash)
We tried pulling all the spark plugs and putting them back. It's now been 24+ hours, so I'd assume it's dried out by now. It's 105 outside.


I'm not a mechanic, but I'm good at searching out instructions/videos!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-25-2016, 09:45 PM
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Re: Inherited 98 Grand Cherokee Limited

Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfulheart View Post
HI!

I live in a suburb of Dallas. My grandmother cannot drive anymore, so we bought her car for my son when he turns 16. My son is doing as much of the repairs/maintenance himself as possible. I'm just trying to figure out parts/instructions. Then I watch from inside the house as he works in the Texas heat!



It's badly faded from the sun but is a great car! Only 45k miles!!!



We're working on some things-- It has been mistreated by my (idiot) uncle, and until we worked on it to get it running had not been driven in 9+ months.



We changed out the alternator and battery and it's surprisingly running very well!



A few things that confuse me:

* Idiot Uncle left the sunroof open for 6 months (carport). Obvioiusly it trashed the roof liner, but now the sunroof glass does not close correctly.

I tried the factory reset instructions I found on this forum (a dozen tries!), but didn't help. We did clean out the tracks, no improvement.

Praying we can fix this cheaply and easily-- as I'm nervous about rain.



*When we run the air conditioner, the ac is loud and makes the car shake. Going to try charging the freon which I know is low, but nervous it's the compressor.



*one of the back windows makes a CRACK noise when opening-- reading that's the regulator. Will eventually replace.



*passenger front door window keeps sliding down on it's own. this one confuses me. Not sure if it's the regulator, the clips, or the ball bearing window rollers. Been google-ing and searching this forum but cannot quite tell. And I cannot figure out part numbers to order on ebay (or somewhere else?) Was hoping to order the parts BEFORE opening up the door, because I thought it might be good to reduce number of times we open all that up.



*every time we use the front wipers, the headlights come on for EXACTLY 10 seconds. If it's night time and the lights are already on, nothing changes. What the heck??? LOL



*Only one of the speakers work and it's performing poorly. Don't know if it's just dead or maybe a psycho squirrel got into some wiring or something...



*Driver side mirror is completely white swirled. Cannot see. Side mirror motor is fine, but need to replace the mirror.



*we took the car to the carwash and used the power sprayer to clean under the hood. Now when we go in reverse, the car shakes/shimmies and the check engine light comes on. It drives fine in drive. Figuring we did something when washing the car (as it didn't do that until we started it at the car wash)

We tried pulling all the spark plugs and putting them back. It's now been 24+ hours, so I'd assume it's dried out by now. It's 105 outside.





I'm not a mechanic, but I'm good at searching out instructions/videos!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


I know some of what you're going through as I own a 97 GC ZJ 4.0L straight six 4x4. I've kept mine in excellent appearance but after owning it for 18 years we too live in the desert in California's Palm Springs area (about 90 miles to Calexico border town. Average summer temp from May into September 105 to 125 degrees. Dry heat helps but if it is work I'm going to do myself I wait until winter when temp average between 70 and 90 during the day and can drop to near freezing at night (although generally 45 to 65 degrees at night. Also our wet season is January and February but on two of the 23 years that we live here has it rained sufficiently to flood the washes.

The reason I wrote as to do more with your comment on the A/C Compressor. I put over $5,000.00 in repairs since 2010. The last repair was the replacement of the A/C Compressor which wasn't as bad as I thought. I bought a new compressor from Autozone or similar with the O'Reilly chain of Auto-Parts stores. Had mine converted off freon some time ago but coolant fill can still be costly. The compressor was less than $200 and if you have the in-line six the compressor install is not that difficult. Autozone does keep you in the loop on all parts you should change out at the same time. I left out replacing the interior heater core parts. Not that expensive but I was on a tight budget before the heat arrived this year. The idler and tensioner pulleys on the ZJ are interchangeable and only a sleeve inert the comes with the pulley needs to be used on one pulley. (Changes the inside diameter). If the Alternator is working then you should not worry about the compressor cost. Mine came with a two year warranty and so far it cools just fine.

The most costly work I had done was warped cylinder heads and as long as the heads are not cracked they can be sent to a shop to repair and flatten but the total cost on that was around $1,200.00 in California.

Replacing the fuel pump is labor intensive especially if you have a 4x4 as the skid plate and fuel tank need to be dropped in order to replace the fuel pump as it sits on top of the fuel tank. But once in 153,000 miles isn't a bad investment and ran around $800 including labor. This is the time to also check and replace your emission hoses and gas cap and all clamps for a tight fit. I'm fortunate to have a Mechanic who will warranty his labor and let Autozone warranty the parts. So he let's me search for the best price on the parts and I sprouted them while he installs.

Transmission rebuilding is always expensive but if you take care of your transmission by changing fluids on schedule and watching for leaks there are still the front and rear seals that I had him replace along with a few bad sensors. Everything works great now.

Oxidation without rust can be removed with some of the newer products on the market. I fell for my '97 and the'98 if only for the plastic side guard panels that kept it free from dents.

Hope these tips will help a bit.
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:01 AM
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Re: Inherited 98 Grand Cherokee Limited

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Old 08-26-2016, 02:43 AM
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Re: Inherited 98 Grand Cherokee Limited

So far, after rereading, it sound to me (especially after you power walked under the hood) that a lot of your wiring harnesses and possibly some of you hoses (especially being in a normally arid part of the South) have cracks and some of your wiring is shorting out. Water acts as a conductor of electricity and if two wires are close together (tied in a harness) my guess is that moisture is arcing connections.. This is a 17 year old vehicle so dryness and age will crack the insulation around wiring and this can be the cause of shorts. One way to know is to first keep it garaged or out of the weather and see if some of the problems that started after the power was begin to go away.
Check all your hoses and all plastic parts to see if there are any cracks in the hoses.
You mentioned that one problem triggered the check engine light. We're you able to buy a OBD meter and plug it into the diagnostic port located below the steering wheel under the dash? Copy the codes and check the code error numbers that will start with something like P0###. Most service manuals will list the error code to help you narrow down the problem. I would suggest you not reset the codes but keep them in case you need a professional mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem. Resetting the code doesn't make the problem go away, it just hides the light and waits for the same problem to trigger the code again.

BTW, don't rule out those pesky rodents. They can get under the hood and chew away at wires especially if the car sat for a long period of time without being used.

If you have an O'Reilly or Autozone, many will lend you a meter to pull the codes. I went to an Autozone in Amarillo on my way to Rochester Minnesota and the lady who managed the store came out and ran the codes for me then printed out a stop listing the diagnostic codes that set my check engine light on. No charge and extremely helpful.
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