Fixing up a 2001 Jeep Wrangler TJ

When my wife graduated college in 2014, her father gifted her the title to a 2001 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0L Sport 5-speed that she had been driving since she was 16.

2001 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sport 4.0L

Unfortunately, her father didn't want to put in the time, money, or effort it takes to maintain a TJ, so now my wife and I are putting some money into and bringing it back to life.

I wish I took more pictures of the various fixes and replacements I have done over the last year, but I plan on doing it going forward so I can keep a record up on this blog.

Scott Julian Driving Jeep Wrangler TJ In Snow

Now that we live in Colorado and have a son, I want to take care of this Jeep so my family can have a fun vehicle to enjoy in the CO summer and winters.

the Radiator

One of the problems I wanted to fix was the leaking radiator. Every month I was having to top off the coolant, and it became very annoying. I got under the jeep and found the leak in the radiator.

Jeep Wrangler TJ Leaking Radiator

I ended up replacing the radiator with a stock style TYC radiator (a rebranded Koyorad) for about $90. I then flushed the coolant and replaced it with some of Valvoline's Zerex G-05.

Old vs New Radiator 2001 TJ Wrangler

The new TYC radiator was an easy replacement and it works like a charm.

Sway Bar Links and Bushings

The sway bar links and bushings were in terrible shape and the Jeep rode hard and stiff as a result.

I replaced both front sway bar bushings with some stock stlye Moog brand rubber ones for $15.

New vs Old Front Sway Bar Bushings 2001 TJ Wrangler

The rubber pieces on the front sway bar links were straight fucked. I just replaced the entire links so I wouldn't have to bother with removing the rubber on the old ones.

Worn and old sway bar links 2001 Jeep TJ Wrangler

I replaced both front links with stock style Moog links at $33 a piece. This wrangler doesn't have a lift and I didn't have a use for quick disconnects

New vs Old Front Sway Bar Links 2001 TJ Wrangler

To tighten the top nut on the sway bar links I had to crawl under the jeep and literally hang myself from the sway bar with one hand to put downward pressure on the ball joint to keep it from spinning, while I tightened it with my other hand.

New Spark Plugs

I don't think the spark plugs were ever changed until I changed them at 160,000 miles. Put 6 brand new NGK ZFR5N V-Power plugs in along with a new ignition rail. The old ignition rail was causing cylinder misfires.

a Serpentine Belt and Idler Pulley

There was definitely a small whine coming from the engine bay and after further inspection I noticed that, thankfully, the belt has been replaced before but the idler pulley had not been. The idler pulley was really rusted and I was surprised it even spun well at all.

I replaced the idler pulley with a new steel Dorman one with a sealed bearing for $6 and I replace the serpentine belt, for good measure, with a Goodyear Gatorback Poly-V for another $16.

Pic is from before the replacements.

2001 Jeep Wrangler TJ Serpentine Belt Idler Pulley Replacement

Other Fixes and Replacements

I have also:

  • replaced throttle position sensor
  • flushed transmission and replaced it with Royal Purple Synchromax
  • cleaned throttle body and the MAF sensor
  • installed Pioneer bluetooth stereo with speakers
  • replaced sun visors
  • painted fender flares and bumper end caps black
  • use Mobile 1 High Mileage Full Synthetic for oil changes

Update 2015-09-29

Just replaced the front brake pads. Rear drums and brake fluid are next!

2001 Jeep worn Wrangler front brake pads

Update 2016-09-29

I have done a lot more to this jeep, unfortunately I am bad at taking pictures and updating this post.

  • rear drum brake pads & rotors
  • front and rear differential fluid
  • rear main engine seal
  • oil pan gasket
  • fog lights switch
  • mini catalytic converter y-pipe
  • oxygen sensors


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