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February 2002 Techline

Willie Worthy | Writer
Posted February 1, 2002


What's That Noise?
QI own a 2001 Wrangler that I like to take camping, usually in the middle of nowhere, and usually during the summer. So I like to remove my Jeep's doors. The problem is that when I'm in the campsite I like to leave the keys in the ignition so I won't lose them. When I do that, there is that incessant beeping if the door is open. On my last truck, a 1996 Dodge Ram, it was very simple to remove the buzzer. I can't seem to find the Jeep's beeper. Can you help?Matthew D. FellowsLong Beach, California

A Dave Harriton at AEV (which builds stretched TJs,, 406/251-2100) tells me that what you're hearing is actually a tone generator that is integrated into the dash circuit. So it cannot be removed. Dave says that there are four switches that activate the unit: a driver's-door-jamb switch, a driver's seatbelt switch, a key-in-ignition switch, and the headlamp-on switch.

You might be able to accomplish your goal by eliminating or bypassing the door switch, but doing that could cause other issues. As far as we can tell, there are no simple ways to solve this problem.

The Fix Doesn't Fix It
Q I read with interest your answer to Jason Herrick's question regarding heating problems with his Bronco ("Par-Boiled Bronco," Oct. '01). My overheating problem is not with a Bronco, but with a Jeep Wagoneer. The things you said to try on Herrick's Bronco didn't seem to work on my Jeep, which still overheats. Any clues that will help me with my Wagoneer?Mike SmithLos Angeles, California

A I've heard from Jason since that letter, and my answer, appeared in Four Wheeler. He told me that his heating problem stemmed from a slight leak at the thermostat housing. This leak prevented any build-up of internal pressure. It should go without saying-but apparently it does not-that the entire cooling system must be completely sealed. It must exhibit no leakage whatsoever. This naturally includes the radiator cap. It must have a tight seal that holds pressure. Check the cap and the radiator's sealing lip for full contact, as the cap certainly is part of this equation.

Now, to your Wagoneer: I am not sure if it has an overflow catch tank. These overflow tanks do more than just catch the hot coolant. They also cycle the coolant as it heats and cools. That does two things-it keeps the radiator completely full of coolant, and it helps to eliminate any air bubbles in the system. Installation of a fan shroud, if yours is missing the stock item, would be a step in the right direction, but be sure that the shroud is big enough to pull air through the entire radiator, not just the radiator's centersection.

You might be tempted to turn to an electric fan, but I've got to tell you, I am not a real fan (pun, get it?) of electric fans, or flex fans either, for that matter. I believe that a fixed-pitch high-capacity fan that's driven by your engine's accessory drive belt is the best answer.

Now we come to something that is most likely the culprit. To get air to flow through the radiator into the engine compartment, air has also to get out of the engine compartment. Years ago I had a Wagoneer that had an overheating problem. I finally solved the problem by installing some hood vents and by cutting some two-inch holes in the inner fenderwells to allow air to escape. It made a world of difference.

Too Much Tire
Q I just bought a '91 Toyota 4x4 with a 22R-E four-cylinder and it can't turn the 32-11.50s on it. I've been wanting to run 38-inch Swampers but don't have the power, so I'm going to put a six cylinder in. What is your opinion of this, and do you have any suggestions that will help me get the 38s on the truck?Jon AnsleyElysian Fields, Texas

A Well I am sure that you can turn the 32s, just not very well in Fifth gear. Buick and Chevy V-6 engines are the most common engine swaps, but if you want to run the 38s, you have a lot of planning to do besides just an engine swap.

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