Re: 1977 Jeep 258
Always glad to have new Jeepers and new board members!!!
All BS Aside.
Here are some tips from a guy with 30 years in the trade...
First off, get yourself a little 'Tool Bag' (boxes rattle) for the Jeep 'Must Haves'.
Good place to keep your Jeep tools and spare parts.
Believe me, in no time you will need a full size storage locker to keep the 'Extras' crap...
Tow straps, anit-sieze compound, duct tape, jack handle, Martini shaker![img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
And NEVER take a cigar from Jim_Lou and Frank! Those things will turn you green![img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]
Take an afternoon to read through your service/repair manual.
Haynes #50020 is an excellent choice.
Use 'Post-It' notes sticking up with different things you find for quick reference bookmarks.
A zip lock bag makes the book 'dry' enough to take with you.
(A big zip lock bag with clear sides will keep the greasy finger prints off your instructions when working!)
Remove, plugs one at a time so you don't get the wires mixed up.
Once you screw the firing order up, it's a pain to get straight when you are new at this.
Take a good look at the plug. Lot's of crap and you have a problem.
If it's just dirty and a little discolored, you are probably good to go.
Check your service manual for color pictures of spark plugs with different things wrong with them.
Don't pry down on the center electrode of the plug when you gap the plugs. (No matter what you have been taught)
The center electrode is connected to a resistor pile in the center of the plug that can be easily cracked.
Use needle nose pliers or some other tool and grab onto the ground electrode to set gap.
Use a little thread anti-seize on the plug threads before inserting new plug.
A little dielectric grease on the top and porcelain part of the plug wire will help you get the boots off the next time, and keep the water and crud out.
(Small tubes of both are available at any discount auto parts store for just a couple of bucks)
If you drop a spark plug, throw it away, don't try and use it.
It's too easy to break the carbon pile resistor in the center of the plug when you drop one on hard surfaces. (hard, like it clanging on every engine & frame component on it's way to a concrete driveway...)
Tightening new plugs, screw them in finger tight, then use a spark plug socket and turn them 1/8 turn more.
This is plenty tight. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.
(Common Newbie mistake, cranking on plug wrench)
Put the plug wire back on and you are done with that cylinder, move to the next one.
It will go pretty fast once you get the hang of doing it correctly.
'74 -'77 has a Prestolite ignition in it.
The Prestolite ignition is a 'Stand Alone' and there are no upgrades for it.
Prestolite ignitions are weak and trouble prone.
The distributor has a plastic vacuum advance (look for a rubber vacuum line going into the side of the distributor).
Check that plastic body closely for cracks.
If you find cracks, let me know and we'll walk you through an ignition upgrade...
It's good to replace that vacuum line when you do major tune ups. Saves splitting ends and cracked or collapsed lines while you are out somewhere.
When you put the vacuum new line on the distributor, don't hook it to the carburetor right away...
Use your mouth and suck on the clean end of the line, try and draw a vacuum.
If you can't hold vacuum on the line, the diaphragm in the vacuum advance is ruptured and it's time for a new distributor. (Vacuum advance alone will cost as much as rebuilt distributor)
When you replace the distributor cap & rotor let us know and we'll help confuse you!