I have to thank everyone for their comments on my last post regarding the Jeep, amusing, sympathetic and in John Delaney’s case, bloody useful even though I am now left completely confounded! I am following up Beach Bum’s lead to Quadratec.com and Nigel’s advice to email, rather than phone. I had been looking for a quick solution but now, I guess, Marcia will just have to get used to driving in the three tonne truck again until I get this sorted.
I had to laugh at the suggestion I needed a ‘Toe Truck’. My toe is improving albeit very slowly and painfully. I did promise the Fifth Columnist no more graphic photos so you will all just have to take my word for it but yes, it was jolly uncomfortable crawling under a vehicle in the rain (it has not rained here in months, the one time I really did not want it to rain, it poured yet more misery upon me) with a sore appendage that no matter how hard I tried to avoid such an occurrence, managed to stub on every sharp object underneath the car my knee jerk reactions to which added a few more puncture wounds to my leg and head and turned the damp air blue.
On the subject of comments, I really did not expect many from those whose knowledge of things mechanical was limited but Fifth Columnist, whose interest in cars extends only to a small nod of appreciation to his chauffeur when noting the waxed-to-perfection coachwork of his classic 600 Mercedes Pullman as he climbs in came up with the best:
“If you keep ogling the nieces Marcia won’t need much persuasion to drive the truck over you, and you might worry more about your spleen rather than the jeep's spline.”
I have to confess, as she started the car up and stuck it in gear, it did occur to me that everything I own is in her name.
I’d like to think she carefully followed my instructions so that I could identify the problem but, being slightly neurotic, I could also imagine her calculating the outcome. She has this grudging respect for me knowing that I am a far better mechanic than the locals so was best placed to problem solve and restore to her a working Jeep and that if she did squish me into the dirt, the car would be seized as evidence. So long as I remain useful, I think I am safe but in the meantime, I have hoisted in the gypsy’s warning about her nieces.
Anyway, the car situation merits a summary.
John D has discovered that according to the factory records, Chrysler reckon my car is a 1996
4,0 litre, six cylinder Jeep Grand Cherokee. Now even an apprentice mechanic on his first
day at work can count plug leads. I have
eight of them. Furthermore, a six
cylinder Chrysler has all its cylinders in line under one cylinder head. A V8 has eight cylinders arranged in two
banks, forming a V and requiring two cylinder heads. I have two cylinder heads. I’m not a mechanic by trade but I was
becoming reasonably confident that there was a V8 under my bonnet (or hood if
you are American). Besides, it says V8
on the back of the car.
|That looks like a factory installed Chrysler V8 to me. I could be wrong of course.|
I checked the handbook entitled ‘1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee’. It described a 4.0 six-in-line and a
5.2 litre V8. I
checked the vehicle registration documents.
They described the vehicle as fitted with a 4.497 litre V8. Did
Chrysler ever make a 4.5 litre V8?
John D (blast his eyes) suggested the car might be a chop job, a car with which someone had gone to all the trouble of lifting out a six-in-line and dropping in a V8. If that is the case, whoever did it went to extraordinary lengths, right down to applying the factory under bonnet stickers.
|Anyone could forge those stickers with an HP printer and a bit of glue...|
The handbook announces the car as a 1996 model but the Americans are fond of releasing new models in one year and declaring them as of the next model year. A car designed during the years preceding 2013 and released that year is, therefore, announced as the 2014 model. Yes, I know it is desperately confusing and defies all logic, I guess the designers and marketing men are all Trekkies and have wasted their youth collecting New-in-Box Star Trek memorabilia and wearing underpants far too tight to let testosterone take its normal course and modify behaviour from childish fantasy to reality.
The trouble is, if it is an American 1996 model, which means it was probably built in 1995. That means it was built before the transfer case was modified. That means I cannot run the car without the front drive shaft.
To add to my confusion, I read the instructions contained in the vehicle manuals, all of which were supplied with the vehicle. It clearly states, and unless the guy chopping the vehicle employed an outstanding forger to modify the graphics printed on the centre console to factory standards and then went to all the extra trouble to wire in the relevant warning lights on the dash, that the means of switching between modes of traction is supplied by a Quadro-Trac transfer case. But, according to the manual, Quadro Trac does not have a separate 2WD function which clearly, mine has. When I first bought the vehicle, I tested all the traction functions. In 2WD I was able to pull off rooster tails and even posted videos of me doing so. In part time 4WD and Full Time 4WD it stuck to the ground like glue and in 4WD LO the car appeared willing to climb the side of a building. It all worked so I doubt there is a problem with the transfer case. I also doubt that this car is in any condition other than when it left the factory, wear and tear excluded. Could it be that this was a cross over model and that although the factory was still fitting the old transfer case they were fitting the new model year centre consoles marked up with Quadro-Trac? Mine is definitely marked up Quadro Trac yet has the 2WD slot which, according to the factory handbook, Quadro Tracs do not have. And the factory VIN database can say what it likes, this car has a V8 complete with all the relevant factory stickers. Confused? Yes I am rather confused.
|According to the driver's handbook, what you are seeing is a figment of your imagination.|
Quadro-Trac does NOT have a seperate 2WD position.
When you are up to your neck in Alligators, it is bloody hard to remember that the original intention was just to drain the swamp. All I want to know is: can I drive the car with the front prop shaft disconnected?
Anyway, it isn’t going to fix itself so I got underneath the car today and hauled the shaft off. I need either the UJ rebuild kit or a complete new prop shaft, I don’t care. I just want the right part. You have no idea how pissed off a man can get when he tracks his part all the way across the world on the DHL on-line package tracking system, slogs into town to pay the import duty when it arrives in-country only to discover it is the wrong part.
|This is the bit I need. It's a yard long and weighs a tonne. This one's fucked.|