Wednesday, August 15, 2018

FrankenJeep III

This brings us up to the present...


"Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil, as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave, or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay?" - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein

Small update on the nature of 24+ year old Jeep YJs.

So, from the moment I brought FrankenJeep home, he gave me trouble starting. Especially when cold. It improved a little after I tuned him up, went with new plugs and wires, and replaced the idle air control valve (IAC)... but he persisted in his dogged refusal to start at times. The IAC took care of some of the idle issues, and cleaning out the throttle body helped with the starting a little, but it just got worse and worse.

About a month ago, he started just cranking. He'd eventually fire over, but it wasn't looking good. After some web crawling and Youtubing, I realized that there was a delay between turning the key and when the Check Engine light came on. Once I cranked for a it, or just left the key in, the Check Engine light would eventually come on, and Frankenjeep would fire right up. Yep. It was the telltale and terrifying sign of a bad ECM. Ridiculously common on YJs, but a pain in the undead butt, ya' know?!

So I pulled the ECM (gorram 8mm bolts!), packed it up in a box, and sent it to a place I found on Ebay out of Chicago. Cost me $115. I sent it on 7/31, received it back on 8/9. Reversed the pull out, and reinstalled... and now FrankenJeep fires up EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

The idle issues are gone, and it takes like half a crank to fire it up.

NOW I can move on to the serious modifications, like a lift, tires, armor, etc.

In an unrelated note, I did do some useless, completely aesthetic and mall-Jeepy things to it.

My gear shift knob...

My transfer case knob...

And, my tire cover! 

Hmmmm. I'm sensing a pattern...

I'm looking forward to having a running Jeep, especially since this weekend is Jeepalooza 2018. In my hometown, we have the Last Stop Willoughby festival - it's named after the Twilight Zone episode where a train traveler gets stuck in a small town in the past. It's named after my hometown. The episode was written by Rod Serling... but it was contributed to by the late, great Harlan Ellison (who grew up in the next town over - Painesville). They have a big parade and over the last 8 or so years, there's also been a Jeep Parade at the end of the regular parade. We're talking 100+ Northeastern Ohio Jeeps, tooling down the road. It's an amazing sight to see!

I kind of thought, in the back of my mind, that I wanted to make sure FrankenJeep was ready to go for the parade no matter what, and now I'm happy to say he'll be there!

The adventure continues!

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