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February 2011 Techline

Y Pipe
Willie Worthy | Writer
Posted February 1, 2011

Mystery CJ Clutch Clatter and Dakota Four-Cylinder Exhuast Noise

Sometimes, readers are nice enough to share some information with me about certain topics.

Dan Lasich just sent me a link to a website,, that really does have books for cars. In fact, they have just about anything you like when it comes to manuals-such as factory service manuals, owner's manuals, sales brochures, parts interchange manuals, and a host of others. It's well worth checking out. -Willie Worthy

Mystery CJ Clutch Chatter
Q I have an '85 Jeep CJ-7 with the 258ci six-cylinder engine and Borg-Warner T-5 manual transmission. There is a loud chatter noise coming from the clutch at speeds over 55 mph (tach reading around 2000 rpm), but only when gas is applied. It quiets and goes away when you let off the gas. I have a Centerforce Stage 2 clutch that I installed 1,000 miles ago, replacing the throw-out bearing but not the pilot bearing. What would cause this noise?
Matthew Krzeniak
Chicago, IL

A I am really not sure why the clutch should be making noise at highway speed and is (if I understand what you're saying) not making the noise at the same rpm and lower vehicle speed. Are you sure it's coming from the clutch and not the transmission? The T-5 is noted for having some bearing problems that will cause noise when in Fourth or Fifth gear, but usually the noise is foreshadowed by difficult shifting. Perhaps you can give me a few more clues?

Weird Dakota Four-Cylinder Exhaust Noise
Q I have a '97 Dakota with the four-cylinder engine. Yes, it is underpowered but I like the truck, so I just live with it. The problem I am having is an exhaust "puffing" sound. I think that it is coming from the exhaust manifold, but I'm not sure. Do you have any idea what this noise is and how can I fix it?
John Denver
Flagstaff, AZ

A This is a pretty common problem with the 2.5L engine that was used in both the 1996-99 Dakotas and various models of Jeeps from 1991 to 1999. It seems that the outer two studs on the exhaust manifold have a bad habit of shearing off. The bad news is that it's a lot of work to fix.

You have to remove both the intake and exhaust manifolds to have enough room to remove the broken studs. One trick is to weld a nut onto the broken stud, and while it's still hot, squirt the stud with a penetrating oil. The thermal shock of heating, when welding and cooling with the penetrating oil, really helps to loosen the bond of rust that is usually present. There are special stud-removal tools available-even Sears sells one. None of them are fun to use. The problem with welding the nut onto the stud is that you usually only get one chance, so the weld better be good. Otherwise, the stud usually becomes too hard to drill out.

Once the old studs are out and you're ready to install new ones, get the right ones from either your Jeep or Dodge dealer. I believe that they both use the same part number (p/n 06036193AA). Torque the new studs to 126 in/lb. An easy way to do that is by locking two nuts together on the studs' outer threads. Before you put it all together, you might want to consider elongating the outer holes on the intake manifold so that it can expand and contract without putting pressure on the studs. Torque all the bolts, starting with the center bolts and working outward.

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