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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Folks,
I'm usually pretty darn good at all the basic and even 2nd level shadetree mechanic, General Jeep Stuff as I have been working on my own Mopars and Jeeps for over 25 years now.

2000 WJ, 4.0 242 TC, very well optioned but Larado model, but not quite an LTD. ME ONE owner, always changed oil like clock work until about two years ago. Then Life GOT Insane and I Got very sick and so did others, TOO long a story to tell....

So to put it mildly life was in the toilet and I got SUPER Lazy about oil changes, super year or two lazy (Yeah I know I've Preached the same thing ALL MY LIFE, See me Kicking my own @$$ stuck here in Lake Placid???) but I hope none of you ever have the amazingly bizzare and long list, in sequence horrible experiences that my family and I have. I feel like a smoker who only smoked for a couple of years and yet here I am with super bad symptoms of Lung Cancer shortly into it all.

So this summer I finally changed the oil and we developed a bit of an rocker arm, lifter tap that got better with warm up in the warm weather but still I popped the valve cover to check things out. BUT since this was a Mobil One Car ALL its life, to my suprise except for a normal amount of NOT Gritty at all, slight coating of wipeable away dark stuff on the Valve Cover, the top of the Motor was AMAZINGLY Clean. As the old saying goes you could have practically eaten off of it... Yeah, I almost passed out myself in disbelief. I rotated the engine to TDC a few times, and double checked torque on the rocker arm, bridge bolts, some where slightly but honestly loose, nothing your fingers would have ever done, already there but a few lbs's off perhaps. And not all either... Buttoned the valve cover back on and now baby looses NO Oil what so ever practically. Almost ALL Ticking gone and it got better with warm-up this summer. But it seemed like One Cylinder was still not quite right, still a slight tick, but I was happy and again life is better but far from perfect, neither am I and so I was content to leave it alone at least til the hottest weather passed for cool fall weekends in the driveway.

So this weekend, NOW, I got a great opportunity to go to the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid to attend my lifetime certification coaching class here and attain my Level 4 status... GREAT CLASSES Amazing Lifetime Achieving Coaches, teachers and speakers brought in some from Colorado USA Hockey's Home... If not for my 4.0 I'd be in complete heaven right about now... Some very nice fellow coaches too. Although my stamina stinks we even got to skate on the SAME SLAB of ICE, that the 1980 Miracle occured on, to observe and practice a few new drills and other small ice games to help our kids with.

So I leave our home just north of Syracuse in the early afternoon without a lot of time to spare on Friday to get to our first 5:30 lecture to start the weekend. I travel north on an interstate for about an hour or so before getting on the smaller secondary roads up around Watertown Fort Drum area. It is there that I start to notice that I've got a noticably louder and not quite as ignoreable Valve Noise. That typical louder, adjustable hydrolic rocker arms are REALLY out of adjustment like sound that I've heard come out of old GM and Ford In-Lines (not as solid as AMC, Mopar Design...) chacking up a storm, but not necessarialy ALL of them.... It seemed more like one, perhaps two at best. So again I'm thinking like I must have a weird bolt or two, that need loc-tite or replacement, stretching or something else like that.... So with $250 dollars of non refundable level 4 class that I have wanted to take for years, I pressed on into the Adirondeck Mountains on Route 3 to LP... At first the noise seemed to be bad at first off the gas excelleration but then settled in and almost went away with normal speed, but it was almost there...

Needless to say the longer I drove the worst it got, to the point where it was noticable all the time, and in town for lights I started to really feel like I sound like "THAT GUY" that others know something ain't right and why am I still driving this car. The worst part was the 30-40 miles of constant hills with NO CELL COVERAGE as this noise got worse and worse it seemed with every hard climb. I tried like HELL to make her LUG instead of Down Shift to increase RPM's which made those darn arms clack like all heck.... But once or twice I really didn't have any choice like the MORON in the FORD PU trailing this HUGE Trailer who had a long line backing up but refused to really pull over enough....

So by the time I reached Lake Placid I thought the darn thing was about to give it up on me, super loud and not as thin sounding as normal upper rocker arms might sound like either. Noise is very loud on the manifold side it seems, and now "Feels" Sounds deeper, almost like now I'm a bit concerned it might be something more difficult or deeper at least.

So for the real mechanics that have seen a few hundred train wrecks, if lifters were really messed up or clogged, that started as a tap, perhaps something is clogged like a feed hole, could it really get this BAD this fast, only 150-200 miles from almost not a real concern for an engine that is Known to tap a bit with age??? Could the lifters be bouncing around and making noise that might sound a bit deeper, less thin, like normal loose valves tapping, clacking away? Could a rod bearing getting spun start out like it was a light, thin sounding valve issue?

Lastly, the darn thing still seems Normal and smooth in terms of power and torque. As a matter of fact I made more use of lower end torque in an attempt to not make baby Rev to much which seemed to make them scream more. Most of the trip returning to a more cruise coast like 2 grand to 2,250 rpm's seemed to almost find a quieter happy spot which made me feel even more like it was simply lifters, vavle as I was thinking the constant speed and pressures (both pressures) were keeping things in a HAPPY PLACE, tighter together with less stress, bounce, snapping and constant happy feed of oil to keep things tighter... Am I making sense do you get this???? Also a good part of that last 2/3's of the ride coasting seemed much quieter than excellerating which again I attributed to valves being left with more oild pressure and now reverse mechanical like pressures.

Another question thought was, what about a badly burnt, wasn't rotating well exhaust valve slowly at first and then quickly (why who knows?) getting "Swallowed"??? I've heard that our heads on these vintages of motors sometimes get head cracks. Is this a normal progression of increased symptoms for ANY of these or other ideas.

Lastly, I am super far from home, and would much prefer to be able to limp this thing home as long as I'm not going to grenade my poor 4.0 to death and I have NO Tools and not too sure what I can get here while stuck here without much transportation as others head home tomorrow around 1 p.m. I am hoping against all hope to simply find a very loose or upset, perhaps even broken or warped Rocker Bridges or bolts which hopefully I could get at a local auto parts store since the 4.0 is still such a high numbers engine especially in a lots of folks like 4X4 kind of place like here... But I do not know any of the parts stores, how I'm going to get back and forth, no less get my hands on any tools either.... So I can't pull a head and timing chain case, harmonic balancer here in the drizzling damp, OTC parking lot that's for sure so PLEASE I super hope it is not a super bad must come out lifter and or cam....

Once I get home to my tools and garage that's another story.... But until then I'm really in need of a wing and a prayer for a fairly simple, nominal repair even if it is just enough to get home on a basic cheapo $20-$50 tool kit for a basic socket set.... Then I can effect better longer lasting repairs at home for sure... And to top it all off, last week we got nailed with a terrible unexpected business expense and skipped payroll, so anything over a few hundred bucks is Screwed time.... So if there are ANY of you here that are within a reasonable drive to my location who would like a ton of appreciation and a few spare bucks for an afternoon's assistance, with tools and sweat, PLEASE write back here, PM me and we can swap cell phones or something. I will try to check this account before and after classes 8 to about 1 pm if I can.... I'm Paul and my email is hockeyref1 at yahoo dot com (trying to avoid getting spammed to high hell here with that...) I may be allowed to stay an extra night too but that's not definate yet as our seminar is only scheduled as of tomorrow and I'm begging here. They gave us an AMAZING Deal for class and room and board all for the $250 per coach... I'm waiting to here back from the guy at the front desk tomorrow.

Oh and I'm without a factory service manual either obviously..... Torque specs for my vavle cover and rocker arms anyone? 2000 4.0 What a great weekend for this here coach and what a messed up one for this Jeep Lover... That's not some Big Foot you hear screaming in the woods tonight in upstate NY, that's ME all pissed off at myself for not taking the great care of my WJ like I knew I needed to and should have....

Night and Thanks One and All.....
Paul
 

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Thanks for the book, check your torque converter bolts, simply remove the inspection/dust cover and rotate the flywheel with a screwdriver to check the bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Anyone Else????

Utah... Thanks Much. I read something last night at another Big Jeep Site that spoke of Piston Slap, breaking skits (the badside of the same I guess?) I'm not so sure it's a rod though, cause it sure sounded like upper end, thin when it started... Love to find a simple broken set of rockers or bridge set-up.....

Gotta get back to class.... Check in later....

Thanks again.
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
NOT the Flex Plate or it's Bolts.... Back to Rockers, Lifters

So I'm warming up after crawling under the WJ in the wet here.... with shredded white cardboard in my hair. Dry clothes and going back out to pull the valve cover and take a peak under there..... Finger's crossed for something simple and reasonably cheap under there. Bent pushrod, bad, worn rockers and or Pivots Bridge set-up....

Still super open to good suggestions including easy ways without my garage full of decent tools to figure this one out.... Thanks in advance and send me good Jeep Vibes here please.... Thanks again...

Paul
 

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Does it do it more(louder) when in neutral or in gear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"She's Dead Jim"

Well Folks,
Just felt I should update all of you here who were kind enough to try and lend a hand when I was so stuck last week. I tried to limp baby home and warmed her up slow and normal to try and get things as expanded and tight as possible. So I didn't drive more than a mile or two and she died a fairly quiet but clearly "I'm Done" death. I wasn't going to fast and was actually coming off the gas a bit on a rural road curve at about 40 mph or so... and suddenly she started to studder and as I gave her gas she studder the same or more and I could feel the Power Assist starting to fade away. Luckly I was at an area with a nice clear stretch of shoulder and coaxed her onto the side there to get her out of harm's way.

So I had to rent a modest sized box moving truck (16 footer) along with a full car hauler, all four wheels and then get this now Dead WJ onto the darn trailer. Well these two good sized Louge team young guys did me a Huge Solid and darn it if they didn't two man this darn Dead 4000 lbs Jeep up and onto the car carriers. I told them to go make the first big cut the next day Cause I'm rooting for them, I want to see their faces on TV winning Medals and making us all proud... THANKS GUYS!!! And then a friend and his teenage son with some great ride on mower like tractors helped me and my son drag the thing off via her hitch into our driveway for the moment.

So now the old 4.0 is locked up tight and I could not rotate it in either direct with a 1/2" drive on her crank. But it really didn't Granade with a loud bang or throwing a rod threw the pan or anything... Not at all what I expected...

BTW, are modern 4.0's "Interference" or "Non-Interference" motors? So if like the timing chain popped or something similar would there be valves hitting pistons and the like or are these things Old School Modest Compression enough that I might have internals left considering in there....

Also, it is my very learnered friend's opinion as a 15 year Mopar trained Jeep, Chrysler mechanic that I probably cracked that all too common, 331 head thing on these last of the 4.0's. He says in all his years in the business that was the almost always reason for these things to start making noise, getting worse and knocking like mad, leading to an eventual dead Jeep. Some last a good long time that way while others like mine, most of them don't make it very long to give up the Ghost....

Anyway, thanks again to one and all and wish me luck on how to salvage her from here...
"She's Dead Jim..."
 
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