Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Helena, Montana
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Postal CJ8 Update ... fixed for now
We think we got it fixed, for now. What an interesting jeep... the hinges for the cargo door are amazing and the Jeep logo on the cargo door is just plain cool.
Eric and Jason showed up in Helena at about noon on Monday. we stopped by to see my buddy Stan (he's my mechanic friend) and he took a look at it. We decided that the exhaust manifold had a blown gasket and the tranny fluid looked thin... really thin... It wasn’t burnt, but looked like someone had put motor oil in it (little wonder that Eric couldn’t read it).
After a quick stop at the parts store we headed out to Stan's garage. Eric and Jason serviced and flushed the tranny while I did some work.. By this time Doug Herold had heard about the event and stopped by to help out. We looked the manifold gasket problem and the front exhaust manifold bolt fell out in Eric's hand, it must have been on the verge of falling out. Upon closer examination we could see that the head had a bolt broken off in it. Stan has several bolt extraction kits, so we spent several hours drilling out the broken bolt. We first tried to center drill it, but even with a guide, it was still a bit off center. Then we increased the size of the hole a little with a left hand drill bit, hoping that the bit would bite into the bolt and back it out… no luck. Then we tried and extractor and it wouldn’t bite either.
Up to this point we hadn’t pulled the manifolds. We finally faced up to the fact that we were going to have to remove the manifolds and drill the bolt out and re-tap or helicoil. So we pulled the manifolds and began drilling again. The more we drilled, the more we became aware that we were approaching the head bolt pocket. Not being sure of whether the manifold bolt was contained in a separate pocket, or not, we did some head scratching, looked at some of the other bolt holes, and decided that it was ok to remove the head bolt and drill on through. We remove the head bolt and discovered how the bolt had been broken off… it had bottomed out against the head bolt.
As we began drilling out the manifold bolt hole, it became painfully obvious that a previous attempt had been made and that the results were less than ideal. The bolt hole had been “wallowed” out pretty well and even the Helicoil would only have about 6-7 threads in good metal. Well, we tapped out the Helicoil and installed it with JB Weld.
All this time, the manifolds were simply laying in the engine bay and and we hadn’t had enough room to see if the manifolds were warped or not. After several attempts to install the old exhaust manifold, we decided that it was warped. FORTUNATELY, a friend of mine had retained my manifolds when I did my 360 swap, and he had given them back to me earlier that day when he saw that we were going to be getting into the manifolds. The exhaust manifold was a perfect match, so we used it and eventually got it all back together. The Helicoil had so little good metal that we decided not to crank it all the way up to the 23 ft/lbs called for.
After setting the timing, we decided to call it a night at about 1:30. Eric and Jason followed me out to a camping spot on public land near my house and I dropped them there for the night.