Preventative Maintenance - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-07-2008, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Preventative Maintenance

It strikes me that are a lot of very knowledgeable people here and sharing some of that knowledge when it comes to preventative maintenance may not be a bad idea.

So post up your maintenance tips and checks that you do to both, spot problems before they happen, and also help prevent them happening.

Here's some of the stuff I do:

1/ Rotating Wheels - Brake pads & ball joints
When rotating the wheels, I look at the brake pads and check for wear. I also grab the front tires when they are off the ground at the top and bottom and give them shake, checking for free play in the ball joints. When it's back on all fours, grab the drag link and tie rod and give them a good shake and see if there is any free play.

2/ Oil Change - Lube
When doing an oil change I also lube all the grease points. I use a needle adapter for the ball joints and rod ends, etc, that don't have a grease fitting.

3/ Oil Change - Fluid levels
It takes just a minute or so to check the PS and brake fluids, and the transmission fluid while you have the hood open to add new new oil.

4/ T-Case & Diffs
Every 10k miles or so I check the t-case and diff levels and fluid condition. Check the diff fluids after anytime you've been in deep water.

5/ Torque Settings
Every so often and after every wheeling trip I check the torque settings on the control arms, track bars, etc. Check for signs of bolts moving (worn surfaces, etc) as you may have elongated holes/mounts, especially if the bolts were torqued correctly.

None of the above takes long, and is well worth doing. You can spot a lot of potential problems early if you take a few minutes every so often to check things out.

If you rely on others to do you oil changes etc, make sure they actually do lube the points they are supposed to, as my general experience is that they don't do it, even when they've said they did.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-08-2008, 05:27 AM
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When I have my tires in the air. I do what PhilD does but add:

1. A Front u-joint check. I use a hammer handle or wood stick and turn the tires whiile putting pressure on the joint, checking for slop.

2. Pull in and out on the rear tire to check for worn bearing or retainer.

3. Instead of pulling on the tie-rod and draglink. When I set the truck back down I turn the truck on and shake the steering wheel back and forth and watch the TREs to check for wear.

PhilD has some great info.

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-08-2008, 06:17 AM
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I make sure it's clean under there before I wrench; you can't spot trouble through road splooge...

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post #4 of 12 Old 09-08-2008, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncojohn View Post
When I have my tires in the air.
Speaking of tires, when rotating them I give a quick visual inspection, and check the tread wear. If they wearing more on the outside I adjust my toe to be toe out, and if they wearing more on the inside I adjust for toe in. With 37's a 1/8" difference front to rear is about 0.20 which is factory spec (toe in).



Quote:
1. A Front u-joint check. I use a hammer handle or wood stick and turn the tires whiile putting pressure on the joint, checking for slop.

2. Pull in and out on the rear tire to check for worn bearing or retainer.
Good things to check
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-08-2008, 08:05 AM
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Every Fall

Excelent tips.

I live in Canada (Ontario) where salt is seen as the solution to snow and ice.

Every fall, I find a dry day and crawl under the jeep and check for rust. I always have my vehicles undercoated the day after I bring them home from the dealer. Each fall I check for cracks or scrapes in the undercosting and touch up the undercoating. Also it gives me the chance to snoop around down there to see if anything needs greasing, or is loose and warn especially regarding the exhaust system.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-09-2008, 07:51 AM
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good thread! checking your drag link is a good idea, i just checked mine a couple days ago and it had LOTS of play. 35K miles and already worn out....

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post #7 of 12 Old 09-09-2008, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilD
I use a needle adapter for the ball joints and rod ends, etc, that don't have a grease fitting.
can you give more details how you grease them? stick the needle in the rubber boots?

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post #8 of 12 Old 09-09-2008, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07_Rubi View Post
can you give more details how you grease them? stick the needle in the rubber boots?
Yup, it obviously makes a small hole in the boot, but I'd rather have them full of grease than dry. I've got 40k miles with 36's and 37's on my original ball joints and they are still good and tight.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-09-2008, 08:56 AM
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I also check the torque on all the control arms every couple of trips (as others have stated) - I do find they loosen up a bit from time to time. I have paint striped the caps on the front axle outer U-joints and check these regularly to see if they have rotated. I also check the torque on the wheel lug nuts before every trip. Before each trip I grab both the front and rear bumper and shake them back and forth to see if there is any looseness, knocking, clicking, etc. Then I bounce them at each corner listening for the same thing. I also grab the top of each tire and try to rock it side to side to see if there is any looseness. I have the Jeep serviced every 3000 miles and grease everything myself every couple of trips - the only difficult thing here is getting at the center lube point on the dual cardans on the driveshafts. I always check all the underhood fluids before each trip.
post #10 of 12 Old 09-09-2008, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcg View Post
the only difficult thing here is getting at the center lube point on the dual cardans on the driveshafts.
I can't seem to do mine without taking them off.

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post #11 of 12 Old 09-09-2008, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilD View Post
Yup, it obviously makes a small hole in the boot, but I'd rather have them full of grease than dry. I've got 40k miles with 36's and 37's on my original ball joints and they are still good and tight.
thx for the info! i'll have to grease mine when i get it back from the dealership.

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post #12 of 12 Old 04-25-2009, 10:14 AM
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*bump*
Another good one is to use Heavy Duty Silicone spray applied to all rubber gaskets, etc. Also good to apply to parts/bushings/to keep squeeks to a minimum.

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