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Problems / Dealer Service Having a problem with your vehicle? Were you treated fairly or poorly at a dealer? Warranty issues? Let us know.

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Kendall, Fl
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All Issues Bundled Into One Post

Hello fellow Commander lovers...need your help please. Hope it's ok to bundle all these things together ...just wanted to give the reader all other symptoms and info they may need to make the best educated guess or deduction.

So all I've done to my truck is replace the alternator and serp belt ( I have been driving another vehicle.)

Ok so ...
My latest issue is that I discovered the inside passenger side tire and pretty much most any metal suspension components down there, covered in "oil"(?)

I have traced the leak to what I believe is the CV Axle boot.

Here, for your dissemination are facts that have occured and that I have witnessed, which I feel may be useful to a diagnosis, in the last few weeks of minimal to and from work, and some highway driving under 5 miles each way about 5 or 7 times in the last 3 months.

Please help me figure out what problems I am facing as I believe there are a few of them.

•I have the roaring engine sound that I believe is due to the fan clutch being bad (starts cold and wakes up the whole neighborhood ...put it in Reverse and it drops to 500rpm and sounds perfect other than what I believe is an exhaust leak which I haven't tracked down yet.

•I have had overheating at idle (and ONLY at idle or when I come to a stop light)

>Needle goes to 'H' and immediately starts to drop as SOON as I hit the gas ...settles to normal by the time I am at 20mph+

>Found a slow coolant/radiator leak coming from (as best as I can tell) black, tubular, plastic piece under the rad. cap that looks like it has some sort of removal cap that has what appears to have 5 or 6 sided recess/hole ... Almost looks like it would fit an Allen key??

Of course, it could just be as simple as the cap being bad and the water pools under it at that plastic piece. Then again, I notice that the leak goes ubtil the reservoir tank is empty and the water level drops below the level of that plastic piece ...in other words, there is fluid in the radiator but not enough to keep res. tank filled; make sense?

>Also, leak doesn't seem to occur when car is at running temp. but constantly drips when parked if res. tank is full. . . A drop evwry 10 seconds or so.

•A/C is "ice cold" (for Jeep anyway) while driving and slowly goes to "luke warm" at idle or in park

•Passenger side A/C is noticeably warmer than Driver side at idle or in park, and only at idle or in park -leads me to believe blend door or motor is broken and stuck in "outside air"mode because a) that happens and b) I smell all outside fumes and odors

•On 2 individual occasions, separated by about 8 hrs (the first after driving about 3 miles to work and the second after sitting in the parking garage all day and leaving work), a tapping sound coming from the front of the vehicle, down toward the wheels.

It sounded at first like a light tap, sort of like a faint sound of a playing card on bicycle wheel spokes...it occurred only when pressing the brakes at very, very slow speed.
The second time it happened it was more noticeable in that same scenario but it was now worse, way worse, when accelerating (??)

The sounds varied from someone doing a drumroll with drumsticks on metal to a mini jackhammer or empty Gatling gun.

The more I accelerated the worse it would get til it would go away. Them go back to the playing card on spokes and back to drumroll ...then it just disappeared and hasn't come back once (did it for like 2 days worth of driving, which is not much)

>This occurred about 1 week before I found the oil all over the place on the passenger side tire etc

•Car clunks into gear (harder into reverse than Drive but into both)

•I have found the Power Steering pump gauge on the cap bone dry on two occasions now (I filled to more than correct level with Mopar fluid from dealer both times ...lasts about a week each time thus far
I can not find a leak ANYWHERE when inspecting the lines of the PS reservoir. Not able to see if the cooler has a leak BUT, there has been ZERO evidence of PS leak in my driveway

•Whole vehicle seems to rock like a cradle/bounce from left to right slightly when at idle (imagine your passenger shaking their leg or tapping their foot while at a red light or parked and you can feel that very slight rocking back and forth ...like that)

•When I first started driving the vehicle, she would give the sensation that she wanted to accelerate/drive off ever so slightly, on her own, even when brakes are fully depressed. As I've driven her more, that has gone away

•Brakes don't exactly stop like champs ...o have had a couple of occasions when I had to stop hard and short and I actually had a split second thought in my head "Well, here we go, we're not gonna stop before we see what's inside this person's trunk, brace yourself"

They feel what I guess could be characterized as "spongy"(??) or as though they need to be bled.

•As mentioned above, I found a mess of oil (?) under most of the steering/suspension components and the right front tire


>Theories are:
*Power Steering fluid is somehow leaking on that side and splattering onto the axle and it goes all over the place when it is spinning. This would explain the power steering loss and I thought that maybe this was the leak but it still doesn't explain why I never saw anything in the driveway until this 'catastrophic' level of fluid loss presented itself

*Radiator leak has been falling right on top of axle and it somehow diluted the gear lube in there to the point that it began to leak out

Notes:
×Fluid on ground and on most components has the consistency of PS fluid
×Oil like fluid does not come from any higher than the highest boot so it has to be coming from there

Ok, I think that's everything that could possibly help anyone come up with some theories

I'd like to resolve these issues so that I can move on to more cosmetic and maintenance type stuff

Questions & Request for your Thoughts/Opinion/Insight:

-Would you replace the PS pump?
-Do you think PS pump is bad and it killed the Fan Clutch since that pump runs the fan clutch?
-Would you replace tensioner?
-Is leak from boot only possibly or is it axle seal that I know can happen on these things. What would the difference be?
-How do I fill the axle?
-Where is the fill hole?
-Is hard clunky shifting due to needing a trans flush or drain and fill job with fresh fluids and not something more serious like UJoints? (Rides pretty darn smooth for an 11 yr old truck so I'm thinking maybe not UJoints)
-What would you do (that I haven't either mentioned or maybe thought of) if your commander had 165K Miles?


Thank you SO much for your help in advance, and sorry for my super long post and any typos.

Your insight and advice is greatly appreciated. Really love this truck and want to keep it for many years. Want to turn it into a truck that can off-road AND win a little local car show or two ...hey, a guy can dream right? 🤪
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 11:27 PM
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Felix;

All kidding aside here; If you have THAT MANY issues going on - you need to go to a reputable shop; The longer you wait, the worse your problems are going to get, most likely;

One or two issues, I could see trying to take a shot & fix yourself - but you rattled off at least 8 or 9 different issues; Maybe some are related, but, that is just too many problems to try & deal with on your own in my opinion - unless you are a professional, certified mechanic.

I would do some research, find a reputable shop & get your XK to them soon - before you wind up having a catastrophic failure, of some sort.


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Last edited by Big Blue; 10-03-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 02:01 AM
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I would agree with Big Blue, strange things agoing on, might be best to have a pro look into it. If it were a 5.7L I would say that most of those problems are related to the lack of power steering fluid, the hemi uses a hydraulic motor to run the cooling fan, but I was of the understanding that 4.7L had fan a mechanical clutch attached to the front of the engine. But for the sake of conversion if you did have a hydraulic fan, the roar could be from air in the power steering return line allowing the PS fluid to rush through for a short while. The AC would be less effective if the fan were not operating correctly. The engine would heat up quite a bit while not moving(especially if you had the AC running) if the fan were not correctly working. and it may be a small leak in the PS line only under presser(higher rpm) making a drip while moving splatter under but not drip while parked. I can't say that I have heard it, but I would suspect that air moving through the PS pump could make the sound that you described.

So PS pump bad: likely so, from running low on fluid because of a bad seal or hose.

Photos look to be PS fluid, not CV grease or diff oil.

Clunking most likely front Diff bushings bad.

But really, from here (3000+ miles away from you) don't be afraid to have a mechanic look at it.

Best of luck
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Blue View Post
Felix;

All kidding aside here; If you have THAT MANY issues going on - you need to go to a reputable shop; The longer you wait, the worse your problems are going to get, most likely;

One or two issues, I could see trying to take a shot & fix yourself - but you rattled off at least 8 or 9 different issues; Maybe some are related, but, that is just too many problems to try & deal with on your own in my opinion.

I would do some research, find a reputable shop & get your XK to them soon - before you wind up having a catastrophic failure, of some sort.
What he said! You've got SO many things going on here that a shop bill would probably be more than the truck is worth.

It is best not to let maintenance issues pile up like this, otherwise you end up with so many things going on at once that it becomes a chocolate mess. In all honesty, even if you are capable and willing to do the work yourself, it sounds like you're going to need to throw quite a few parts and a LOT of labor at this thing to get it close to proper working order.

The first order of business would be finding that oil leak. If you're losing PS fluid, that's probably the culprit! Keep looking. Often the best way to find oil leaks is to degrease and pressure wash the engine and let it dry. Much easier to find leaks when the engine bay and components are clean. Be careful not to hit the electrical components.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 12:23 AM
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Tried to address some things for ya. You've got a lot of work ahead of you. Nothing I wouldn't do myself, but I have a LOT of experience on this truck.

Some notes on the cooling issues:
- First of all, you probably need to replace the water pump.
- Then, check that your electric fan is working.
- You have a leak on the overfill tank side, which won't do you any favors. Find that. From what you describe it's as if the overflow tank isn't even connected.
- Sounds like you also have a bad rad cap. I would do a complete flush and shotgun a lot of the parts in the cooling system that are easily replaceable.

Tapping sound seems a lot like a bad wheel bearing to me.

You need a complete brake overhaul. Pads, rotors, and fluid. I like Hawk LTS pads. They puke dust but they stop amazingly well.

Bounciness at idle - this would be pretty low on my list if I were you. But, vacuum leak, or manifold pressure sensor, or idle air control valve all come to mind as possibilities.

"-Do you think PS pump is bad and it killed the Fan Clutch since that pump runs the fan clutch?"
A 4.7 does not have a hydraulically driven fan. You have at least an electric, and maybe a mechanical with a thermal clutch.

"-Would you replace tensioner?"
If it has never been replaced, probably.

"-How do I fill the axle?
-Where is the fill hole?"
I'm not sure what you mean here. There is a front diff, but you didn't mention it leaking (never mind, found that part). The fill hole is up on the front diff, I don't recall exactly where. You check the level by removing the FILL screw and a little should just leak out. DO NOT REMOVE THE DRAIN PLUG UNTIL YOU HAVE CONFIRMED YOU CAN REMOVE/INSTALL THE FILL PLUG. Seriously. The fill and drain plug are both inset hex socket screws. One of them is lower than the other. I bet you can figure out which is which .

"-Is hard clunky shifting due to needing a trans flush or drain and fill job with fresh fluids and not something more serious like UJoints? (Rides pretty darn smooth for an 11 yr old truck so I'm thinking maybe not UJoints)"
If you've never serviced the trans this is a pretty easy one. Yes.

"-Is leak from boot only possibly or is it axle seal that I know can happen on these things. What would the difference be?"
Last time I blew a CV boot, it threw thick, gross grease everywhere. That looks like an axle seal issue to me. Buuut...

Your steering rack is leaking. That's where all of your PS fluid is going. Might fix that obvious issue first and see where to go from there. Still need to check your front diff fluid level.
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Last edited by Aerogt01; 10-04-2019 at 12:25 AM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 06:36 PM
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Don't want to beat on the horse some more here, but just chiming in with an "I agree with them"....especially with everything Aerogt01 said.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 10:27 PM
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So I really don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but you mentioned your temp gauge sits at H when you're at a stoplight. In short, this is very concerning. Not the problem itself, but the result of an overtemp is.

You may need to entertain the idea of a blown head gasket.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2019
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Thank you all for your help guys. Going to read through your suggestions and comments and think long and hard about what to do overall. Going to try to get the water pump and fan clutch changed out tomorrow (bought it last week but ...rain)

From there I'll look at the next issues and compare prices I can get the parts for vs what a shop will charge me for the labor and see if it's something I think I'm willing to tackle

Will keep you guys posted.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2019
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Not sure if I mentioned it earlier but the needle hasn't moved ever since I filled the radiator and reservoir tank. Idle, moving, etc. Not an inch.

Going to check levels tomorrow on try replacing the cap as I think that's actually what's bad and just leaking in a way that makes it look like it's the radiator that is leaking just under it.

If it goes away, will do a flush and refill with zer3x g05 I think it is(?) And move on to other issues.

Steering leak is probably first on the list of things to get checked and fixed next. Let's see what I discover tomorrow
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Btw, This is a picture of where the leak appears to come from. This is looking from the bottom of the vehicle, upward.

Leads me to believe there just happens to be a small crack at the neck of this black plastic piece, or the cap is bad.
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