Jeep Commander Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sold my 2012 Ram 1500 because I no longer needed a pickup and was planning on just buying a new truck. Unfortunately the new 2019 RAM looks silly to me and even though they have the classic it didn't have the trim level I wanted so even then it'd just be sitting most of the time. I'm not driving much so I decided instead of wasting money to maybe build a jeep. The new Jeeps have the same problem, they all look the same to me (as in, rounded suv body and not like jeeps) so when a copart 2006 Jeep Commander Limited (leather, nav, cd changer, etc) came up for 1k usd.. clean title, runs & drives.. I figured i'd have to swap out the engine and do some body work. That was a couple of weeks ago, car is surprisingly in really good shape with 155k on it. The previous owner kept the interior leather in good condition and with the exception of some dirt, broken passenger sunshade and broken antenna grommet it was great, no major dents or body damage at all. The bumper, hood and roof rack, lights were faded and mechanically the pcv valve, ignition coils, battery, spark plugs, oil needed changing. Changed out that sunshade, will possibly repair the old one, sanded and primed the racks have to install the new lights (polished the old ones but they are so faded i'd have to pull them out to do a good job, may as well swap now) and still there are some things to do. Yesterday after changing the coils noticed a small leak on the drivers side engine valve cover gasket and the AC was working weakly but looks like it finally gave up the ghost so there is probably a leak somewhere. 50/50 says a recharge will fix it, maybe change the thermostat while I have the front down but will try to get that before it gets cold here in the north, a budget 2 inch level in the front, some new shocks, brakes, wheels and tires and then a full detail. Will probably just go ahead and change out all remaining fluids, engine coolant/trans/diff etc next. Otherwise I'm probably 2.5k USD in total taxes/fees etc. So far this forum has been really helpful in understanding general themes and issues to look out for!! Thanks for having me!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,759 Posts
Sold my 2012 Ram 1500 because I no longer needed a pickup and was planning on just buying a new truck. Unfortunately the new 2019 RAM looks silly to me and even though they have the classic it didn't have the trim level I wanted so even then it'd just be sitting most of the time. I'm not driving much so I decided instead of wasting money to maybe build a jeep. The new Jeeps have the same problem, they all look the same to me (as in, rounded suv body and not like jeeps) so when a copart 2006 Jeep Commander Limited (leather, nav, cd changer, etc) came up for 1k usd.. clean title, runs & drives.. I figured i'd have to swap out the engine and do some body work. That was a couple of weeks ago, car is surprisingly in really good shape with 155k on it. The previous owner kept the interior leather in good condition and with the exception of some dirt, broken passenger sunshade and broken antenna grommet it was great, no major dents or body damage at all. The bumper, hood and roof rack, lights were faded and mechanically the pcv valve, ignition coils, battery, spark plugs, oil needed changing. Changed out that sunshade, will possibly repair the old one, sanded and primed the racks have to install the new lights (polished the old ones but they are so faded i'd have to pull them out to do a good job, may as well swap now) and still there are some things to do. Yesterday after changing the coils noticed a small leak on the drivers side engine valve cover gasket and the AC was working weakly but looks like it finally gave up the ghost so there is probably a leak somewhere. 50/50 says a recharge will fix it, maybe change the thermostat while I have the front down but will try to get that before it gets cold here in the north, a budget 2 inch level in the front, some new shocks, brakes, wheels and tires and then a full detail. Will probably just go ahead and change out all remaining fluids, engine coolant/trans/diff etc next. Otherwise I'm probably 2.5k USD in total taxes/fees etc. So far this forum has been really helpful in understanding general themes and issues to look out for!! Thanks for having me!
@redwolfb14;

Welcome to the forum; Post some pics of your Commander when you can; Here are some links if you want to order any other parts for repairs or upgrades to your XK;

Chrysler/Jeep Factory Parts: https://www.factorychryslerparts.com/

North American Parts: https://northamericanparts.rpmware.com/store/account/login.aspx

JeepinByAl: JBAoffroad.com

JustforJeeps.com - https://www.justforjeeps.com/

Rough County lift kits - Suspension Lift Kits, Body Lifts, Leveling Kit, 4x4, Jeep, Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Off-road Truck | Rough Country Suspension Systems®

AFE: Advanced FLOW Engineering | Engineered Adrenaline

CARiD.com - https://www.carid.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwiYG9BRCkgK-G45S323oSJABnykKAhh8eDfktvKOcXIbZZtyM9MiasWVk-Mba45s2yxNrrxoCEBbw_wcB

Bilstein shocks & struts - Home

WAM Custom Bumpers - https://wambumpers.com/

JeepSteel Custom Bumpers - https://www.jeepsteel.com/

4WheelParts.com - Truck Parts & Jeep Parts - Lift Kits, Winches, Tonneau Covers, Tires, Wheels, Bumpers, Performance ? 4 Wheel Parts

RockAuto - https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/jeep,2006?a=Referer+www.google.com+URL+/en/catalog/jeep

Also, please read the new member required reading below if you haven't done so already; lots of good information in here;

REQUIRED READING!!! New Member Introduction post & other important new member info.

Thanks and again, welcome aboard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, much appreciated.



I wanted to start a journal thread or something to keep track of everything i'm doing. I'm not sure if I have access but I can just post here if that is ok.


Today I decided to change the drivers side valve cover gasket because it was leaking in the rear. The existing gasket and spark plugs gaskets looked like they had never been changed; ever. The grommets were actually in really good shape. Cleaned the cover and applied new valve cover and spark plug gaskets. Unfortunately trying to torque down the first valve cover bolt, it broke in the thread; had to order a new valve cover bolt and one of the ignition coil bolts was just completely missing. Ordered that at the same time, so we'll fix that up when they get in. I'm not sure if I should drill/ez-out it as the bolt was rusty where it snapped, we'll see. I'm tempted to just start changing the passenger side before it begins leaking but it's not crucial right now.



Depending on when everything comes in i'll probably change the headlights out if my kids will give me a minute to breath. Otherwise we'll wait the couple of days.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,759 Posts
Thanks, much appreciated.


I wanted to start a journal thread or something to keep track of everything i'm doing. I'm not sure if I have access but I can just post here if that is ok.

Today I decided to change the drivers side valve cover gasket because it was leaking in the rear. The existing gasket and spark plugs gaskets looked like they had never been changed; ever. The grommets were actually in really good shape. Cleaned the cover and applied new valve cover and spark plug gaskets. Unfortunately trying to torque down the first valve cover bolt, it broke in the thread; had to order a new valve cover bolt and one of the ignition coil bolts was just completely missing. Ordered that at the same time, so we'll fix that up when they get in. I'm not sure if I should drill/ez-out it as the bolt was rusty where it snapped, we'll see. I'm tempted to just start changing the passenger side before it begins leaking but it's not crucial right now.



Depending on when everything comes in i'll probably change the headlights out if my kids will give me a minute to breath. Otherwise we'll wait the couple of days.
Once you reach 5 posts, you can post a thread in the "Picture / Media Post" sub-forum in the My Garage section to document all of the modifications that you do to your Commander as you're doing them, that's typically what most members do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.


So yesterday I decided to drill out the broken valve cover bolt. This was a mistake, two broken drill bits and a slightly mangled valve cover hole and it's still not out. Ordered some new bits and hopefully i'm able to get through and am able to tap the hole. If not i'll just tie it down somewhere with some hanger wire while I drive it over to a machine shop. Don't want to damage it anymore than it already is. While waiting for those bits i'll go ahead and replace the front headlight/fog lights. I've read it's a full on job so i'm not looking forward to it but it's gotta get done, so sometime this week.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,759 Posts
Thanks.


So yesterday I decided to drill out the broken valve cover bolt. This was a mistake, two broken drill bits and a slightly mangled valve cover hole and it's still not out. Ordered some new bits and hopefully i'm able to get through and am able to tap the hole. If not i'll just tie it down somewhere with some hanger wire while I drive it over to a machine shop. Don't want to damage it anymore than it already is. While waiting for those bits i'll go ahead and replace the front headlight/fog lights. I've read it's a full on job so i'm not looking forward to it but it's gotta get done, so sometime this week.
Yep, it's really a little more work than it should be because typically, you have to remove the front bumper cover to get the access needed to complete the job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Man, at $1k that's a steal! Good luck with that valve cover bolt....I snapped off an oil pan bolt- was lucky enough to be able to get the threads out without drilling, though. I have since learned to just always run a tap in any smaller threaded hole on the heads and blocks of these things before trying to put the bolts back in!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Too hot today, will try to get the lights in tomorrow or if the sun gives me reprieve later this evening. In the interim the bracket for the antenna mount was cracked and broken off which let the mount and antenna drop into the passenger side wheel cavity. Popped off the trim clips; or rather, half came out the other half were destroyed coming out. In any event got in there and found what feels like a plastic bag with padding in it. I'm not sure if the previous owner added it as a protective measure or what. Seemed like it could have been done yesterday so I think I might just leave it. In any event added a new antenna mount and screwed in the antenna and that was fine. While popping off the trim clips for the wheel well decided to to take off the plastic side rocker panel to inspect for rust. Looked pretty good, some minor spots i'll brush down and hit with some rustoleum rust restorer. Broke some of the clips getting the plastic panel off, will try to repair, jb weld them and then hit the whole thing with a couple coats of matte black. Decided it might make sense to replace them shortly anyway so found a thread where BigBlue was talking about it. Made the search easy of course. I really like the 4xguard but we'll see if I get a response, otherwise it'll be mopar or rocky road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Too hot today, will try to get the lights in tomorrow or if the sun gives me reprieve later this evening. In the interim the bracket for the antenna mount was cracked and broken off which let the mount and antenna drop into the passenger side wheel cavity. Popped off the trim clips; or rather, half came out the other half were destroyed coming out. In any event got in there and found what feels like a plastic bag with padding in it. I'm not sure if the previous owner added it as a protective measure or what. Seemed like it could have been done yesterday so I think I might just leave it. In any event added a new antenna mount and screwed in the antenna and that was fine. While popping off the trim clips for the wheel well decided to to take off the plastic side rocker panel to inspect for rust. Looked pretty good, some minor spots i'll brush down and hit with some rustoleum rust restorer. Broke some of the clips getting the plastic panel off, will try to repair, jb weld them and then hit the whole thing with a couple coats of matte black. Decided it might make sense to replace them shortly anyway so found a thread where BigBlue was talking about it. Made the search easy of course. I really like the 4xguard but we'll see if I get a response, otherwise it'll be mopar or rocky road.
The plastic bag material is for sound deadening.It is filled full of Hollofil material.Similar to what you find in a cheap pillow. It's that white fuzzy stuff. You can take it out. If it's starting to disintegrate. I replaced mine a few years ago. Because I added some asphalt pads to the inside of the fenders and doors. Also known as Q pads.
You don't have to have it. It's just a little added feature to make a quiet cabin. I like to keep things shipshape.


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy, using speech to text
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,759 Posts
Too hot today, will try to get the lights in tomorrow or if the sun gives me reprieve later this evening. In the interim the bracket for the antenna mount was cracked and broken off which let the mount and antenna drop into the passenger side wheel cavity. Popped off the trim clips; or rather, half came out the other half were destroyed coming out. In any event got in there and found what feels like a plastic bag with padding in it. I'm not sure if the previous owner added it as a protective measure or what. Seemed like it could have been done yesterday so I think I might just leave it. In any event added a new antenna mount and screwed in the antenna and that was fine. While popping off the trim clips for the wheel well decided to to take off the plastic side rocker panel to inspect for rust. Looked pretty good, some minor spots i'll brush down and hit with some rustoleum rust restorer. Broke some of the clips getting the plastic panel off, will try to repair, jb weld them and then hit the whole thing with a couple coats of matte black. Decided it might make sense to replace them shortly anyway so found a thread where BigBlue was talking about it. Made the search easy of course. I really like the 4xguard but we'll see if I get a response, otherwise it'll be mopar or rocky road.
Oh the memories; not a fun job getting them off;

https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/27-mygarage/56722-big-blues-garage-upcoming-upgrade-do-list-24.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Too hot today, will try to get the lights in tomorrow or if the sun gives me reprieve later this evening. In the interim the bracket for the antenna mount was cracked and broken off which let the mount and antenna drop into the passenger side wheel cavity. Popped off the trim clips; or rather, half came out the other half were destroyed coming out. In any event got in there and found what feels like a plastic bag with padding in it. I'm not sure if the previous owner added it as a protective measure or what. Seemed like it could have been done yesterday so I think I might just leave it. In any event added a new antenna mount and screwed in the antenna and that was fine. While popping off the trim clips for the wheel well decided to to take off the plastic side rocker panel to inspect for rust. Looked pretty good, some minor spots i'll brush down and hit with some rustoleum rust restorer. Broke some of the clips getting the plastic panel off, will try to repair, jb weld them and then hit the whole thing with a couple coats of matte black. Decided it might make sense to replace them shortly anyway so found a thread where BigBlue was talking about it. Made the search easy of course. I really like the 4xguard but we'll see if I get a response, otherwise it'll be mopar or rocky road.
Spraygun already chimed in on the plastic bag of padding; but as for the broken clips, I have a post near the end of a headlight replace/install thread that has links to all the different panel clips and rivets you'll need for all parts of the front end!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks all, info has been super helpful. So today I finally got a couple of hours to pull down the front. Things were going well until I noticed the rust. I've been under the truck before but having the front down exposed Northeast rust over 13 years I wasn't able to see. The control arms, even the front shock covers. I'll probably end up replacing the whole front end at some point but needless to say it needed to be at the very least coated before I put everything back. Grabbed a couple cans of rust reformer and a solution of vinegar and rubbing alcohol and went to work. Tried to hit anything that looked like it was remotely brown with a wire brush and the solution. I let it dry and then hit it all with a can of rust reformer, I was extra liberal in coverage because I'm not sure if i'm going to get a chance to do undercoating before it gets cold. May have it done when I get it detailed but winter is around the corner and I have but so much time. I'm going to let the reformer fully dry over night before I hit it with another coat of black enamel and put the frontend back together. Got some photos here...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks all, info has been super helpful. So today I finally got a couple of hours to pull down the front. Things were going well until I noticed the rust. I've been under the truck before but having the front down exposed Northeast rust over 13 years I wasn't able to see. The control arms, even the front shock covers. I'll probably end up replacing the whole front end at some point but needless to say it needed to be at the very least coated before I put everything back. Grabbed a couple cans of rust reformer and a solution of vinegar and rubbing alcohol and went to work. Tried to hit anything that looked like it was remotely brown with a wire brush and the solution. I let it dry and then hit it all with a can of rust reformer, I was extra liberal in coverage because I'm not sure if i'm going to get a chance to do undercoating before it gets cold. May have it done when I get it detailed but winter is around the corner and I have but so much time. I'm going to let the reformer fully dry over night before I hit it with another coat of black enamel and put the frontend back together. Not letting me upload but i'll post some photos of where we are.

Some photos, let me see if these actually post here. Ok got 5 in here.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Have to ask: Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol? What does that do exactly? I use a lot of rust remover and 3M rubberized undercoating but never heard of vinegar and alcohol before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
@brattrw; Vinegar is an excellent remover of rust and alcohol is a great in breaking up grease. What ends up happening is that the alcohol will break up any grease and the vinegar will eat the rust. In the process alcohol will evaporate leaving the vinegar in places you likely can't hit with any tool at all. Neglected engine bays/undersides usually have lots of grease and rust so the solution with a wire brush helps speed up the process of cleaning. As well as getting into areas you can't necessarily reach with a tool. After hitting everything a couple of times, wire brushing and letting it dry. The area can be neutralized with a rust reformer product and then coated with some paint. The reason why we don't use a rust stripper or powerful degreaser is because it'll eat through plastic cables or get sprayed into a place we can't reach and begin actually causing pitting or eating away at weld seams etc. Every half decade or so I also get a gallon of vinegar and a bottle of alcohol and soak my wrenches and other oil soaked tools for a couple of days and then clean them off. They come out like I just bought em!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,759 Posts
Nice work @redwolfb14;

I'm pretty fortunate that I don't have the rust issues that I've read about from a lot of other members here; I have some minor surface rust here and there underneath on the chassis, but thankfully, nothing serious. I've already replaced the factory plastic rock sliders/doors sills underneath and no rust at all there & all of my door jambs are spotless.

However, the very next big thing on my to-do list is to take Big Blue somewhere for a professional undercoating/rust-proofing job. I want to get that surface rust removed and have it professionally undercoated, so, I won't have to worry about it again in my lifetime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
@brattrw; Vinegar is an excellent remover of rust and alcohol is a great in breaking up grease. What ends up happening is that the alcohol will break up any grease and the vinegar will eat the rust. In the process alcohol will evaporate leaving the vinegar in places you likely can't hit with any tool at all. Neglected engine bays/undersides usually have lots of grease and rust so the solution with a wire brush helps speed up the process of cleaning. As well as getting into areas you can't necessarily reach with a tool. After hitting everything a couple of times, wire brushing and letting it dry. The area can be neutralized with a rust reformer product and then coated with some paint. The reason why we don't use a rust stripper or powerful degreaser is because it'll eat through plastic cables or get sprayed into a place we can't reach and begin actually causing pitting or eating away at weld seams etc. Every half decade or so I also get a gallon of vinegar and a bottle of alcohol and soak my wrenches and other oil soaked tools for a couple of days and then clean them off. They come out like I just bought em!
That is awesome info! Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
So, got the new headlights in, valve cover gaskets replaced and have been ride testing to get a feel for whats crucial next. Most of the rust has been cleaned/reformed... I've ordered Bilstein 5100's for the front and will put them at the lowest setting to level her out and then plan to get the exhaust manifold gasket and heat shields replaced. While pushing her I can definitely hear what sounds like an exhaust leak and it's obvious the heat shields are broken at the bolts (it seems like it took another 6-7 years for Chrysler to fix the issue and use proper bolts, my Ram 2012 had the same issue) From there she's off for a detailing, some new rims/tires and full brake replacement. The last will probably be the engine shop to get that valve cover hole drilled out, filled with aluminum and retapped. So far with all the other bolts down it doesn't seem to be a problem but I just added beefy brand new gaskets so i'll keep an eye on it but I should really get it done. I think we'll be ready for winter after all that. I want to replace the head unit as well so we'll try to fit that in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Is the valve cover bolt hole too large to drill out and install a helicoil? I did that on one of mine. I was able to find the helicoil kit at O'Reilly's Auto parts.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
@Sevenjays Yeah, it's completely destroyed. The drill bit tilted and pretty much opened the hole on one side, it's on the drivers side front top bolt towards the grille. The only way to fix it properly will be to drill an even bigger hole, tack in a piece of aluminum rod, drill a hole and helicoil. It's not a difficult job but i've broken like 6 drill bits at this point... I'm just going to take it to a shop and have someone do it before I make it worse.


As an update, maybe last week or so I started smelling what seemed like a dead mouse in the jeep. I wrote it off and started driving the jeep around, maybe 2 days later the smell got worse and I knew something was living but now dead in the jeep. I'm not sure why I was so upset, my wife had a good chuckle, but I guess it was because the inside of the jeep is in really good condition. In any event, I narrowed it down to the center console. Pulled out the passenger seat and started breaking it down. Imagine my surprise when I found 3 dead mice and a nest behind the two vents in the center console. They had to have been in the Jeep since I got it from auction because it was a proper nest. Probably died from starvation because i'm in the woods I suspect if they ventured out they would have been eaten pretty shortly there after. It took a full day to get the goddamn thing cleaned up properly. They had chewed through the foam but thankfully none of the electrical was touched. Replaced the foam, gave the center console a once over and let it sit, just incase I missed any of our little critter friends. I have no idea how they got in there but I didn't want to put everything back together until I was sure. Smell is gone now but I decided to make an appointment to get the entire thing detailed asap; that's tomorrow 8am.



So detailing appointment tomorrow, i'll do a before and after for that.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top