I think everybody has heard the saying, “If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all!” I’m pretty sure this phrase was invented to describe my life, especially in regards to me and my Jeeps. There seems to be some type of unnatural curse looming over my CJ, maybe I somehow got on the wrong side of a voodoo priestess and she placed a hex upon my poor Jeep, cursing her to never be drivable for more than one month at a time. At least that is sure what it seems like!
Let me give you an example, a little over a month ago I competed in the Old School Rock Crawl; while there, except for my two obvious breakages, my Jeep ran and drove virtually flawlessly. Since that time I have driven the Jeep a literal total of less than a few hundred yards, and yet I have had two separate issues arise causing my Jeep to be undrivable. As I mentioned before, after the OSRC I needed a new transmission mount and to have my transmission pan resealed. All of this was done and completed while my Jeep still sat on the trailer after the Rock Crawl. When those repairs were finished we pulled my Jeep off the trailer, and low and behold it won’t steer, at least not at all like it should.
My CJ is equipped with hydro assist steering, which means I have a hydraulic actuated ram mounted to my front axle which makes turning my wheels much, much simpler. Typically when a Jeep is in lo range four-wheel drive, with a locker in the front axle, it is almost impossible to turn the front tires. But with a hydro assist, the added power of the ram makes turning virtually effortless: I can turn my 40″ tires with 5 psi in them, in 4-lo on asphalt, and I can turn my wheels from lock to lock with one finger! Hydro assist is a lifesaver for anyone running big tires at low pressure with a front locker, and especially for someone like me with minimal arm strength. Anyway, back to the point, my Jeep should turn smoothly and easily, but it wasn’t! And yet my hydro boost brakes, which run on the same system, were working fine. To diagnose the problem I had to have Steve Nantz, the owner of the Moab 4×4 Outpost, come over. He determined that my power steering pump was going out, and what little pressure was left was being used by my brakes, so my steering was getting nothing.
So a $50 pump later, I should be good to go right? No, remember this is my luck were talking about! My friend who installed the pump took it for a quick test drive to make sure everything was working correctly, just around the corner from my house in some dirt hills. The steering is working as it should, but as he accelerates up the first hill, the Jeep dies and will not restart. They are forced to drag it home dead on the end of the tow strap.
After determining that we are getting spark, we figured out that gas is getting to my fuel injection system, but it’s not spraying out my injectors: no fuel = a not running Jeep. And now we get to very fun game of diagnosing which electrical system is not working (I HATE electrical problems! I think in Hell, people are forced to try to diagnose electrical issues in vehicles all day long for eternity! The very thought makes me shudder!). It could be a fuse out, but my luck makes that simple fix unlikely. It could also possibly be my electronic control unit (ECU), or even my throttle position sensor (TPS), or who knows what else, maybe a broken wire somewhere, or something came unplugged, or, or, or…! Did I mention I hate electrical problems?
Now remember this has all happened with my Jeep sitting in my yard, not going anywhere, not doing anything, not even hardly running for more than a few minutes! This is my life, this is my luck. If anybody wants to trade, even for a day or two, please, please let me know, both my Jeep and I would be very appreciative!