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@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.
I have to side with your wife on this one @redwolfb14; I got a pretty good chuckle out of that mouse/mouse nest story.....thanks for sharing. That was a classic.

As far as your valve cover debacle, my hats off to you for knowing when to throw in the towel and get some help. You don't know how many members I've talked to here that don't know when to call it quits and get some professional automotive help.
 

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@Big Blue Yeah to be fair I had to learn that sometimes not doing it myself isn't that I can't actually do it. More so that whatever i'm doing is just not working and sometimes, there's simply just a better way.
I get it and don't get me wrong @redwolfb14; I wasn't calling into question your mechanical prowess; I was just saluting your savvy in recognizing that your way wasn't necessarily the best solution in this situation and walking away from what was a fairly straight forward problem in lieu of staying the course and potentially making a straight forward problem more complicated.

I've seen many guys here tackling something themselves, trying to save money, without the proper tools and/or the proper amount of time to commit to it and they end up costing themselves more money, than if they would have went to a qualified shop straight out of the gate;

I know my limitations; I won't tackle something unless I'm at least 80% certain I can accomplish it in a reasonable amount of time and without any detrimental effects. For the most part, I don't mess with mechanical issues. I'm not a mechanic which I've stated here more times than I can count. I don't have my own shop and I don't have a lift at my disposal.

I just bought my first house last November, so, I'm still in the process of buying just basic household tools and what not. I have no problem tackling exterior modifications, anything cosmetic, anything with the interior for the most part, pulling and or erasing diagnostic trouble codes, making programming changes to the PCM, enabling & disabling different features with the Appcar DiagFCA software - no problem, that falls squarely in my wheelhouse but mechanical issues (anything beyond changing the battery, the starter or changing the oil) and any suspension work, I'll always take my XK to a professional shop.

I'm fortunate that I found a good, reputable Jeep 4x4 shop only about 20 minutes from where I bought my house and I plan on using them down the road, I'll probably upgrade my front shocks & front springs in the next year or so.

Still scouting the Jeep dealerships within 30 or 40 minutes of me. I had a good one in Virginia Beach, VA but in Florida, it seems like a tougher task - at least so far anyway.
 

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@Big Blue Exactly! That said I'm going to start scouting jeep dealerships and shops around my area, i'm a little tentative until I drive her around a bit and know exactly what any problems exist but so far everything seems straight-forward.


Picked her up from detailing this morning and it's not 100% perfect detail but it's 100% better than when I took her in.
 

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Love the brown leather interior. I bought mine specifically because I wanted that interior color..
My 2006 Limited has the Saddle Brown (official Chrysler name) leather also. Everyone that sees it just loves it!

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@Big Blue Exactly! That said I'm going to start scouting jeep dealerships and shops around my area, i'm a little tentative until I drive her around a bit and know exactly what any problems exist but so far everything seems straight-forward.


Picked her up from detailing this morning and it's not 100% perfect detail but it's 100% better than when I took her in.

Looking good @redwolfb14;




 

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Discussion Starter #29
Ok quick update, so installed the Bilstein 5100's in the front and replaced the exhaust intake manifold gaskets and that leak is gone. Still haven't gotten the valve cover bolt fixed but the gasket is beefy and holding tight so no issues there for now. The only other issue is that I've developed a pretty big vaccum leak i'm not sure how this happened actually. I did have it at the dealer for the broken bolt fix but i'm not sure why this would have happened. Like mechanically nothing was necessary. In any event I'm going to replace it but I want to get some advice. It doesn't seem brittle but I don't want to develop a worse leak.. should I try to pick it out or just replace?



Attached are some photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
Since I posted this a couple of hours ago.. I took a closer look at the crankcase itself and it looked like the actual copper hose wasn't aligned properly. I started to pull ever so gently on the seal to see if it'd disintegrate but it seemed very pliable.. I slightly adjusted the hose and reseat it and problem solved. I'm still considering replacing the seal though so if anyone has a part number that would be ideal. I'll try to do some research on it, thankfully it was loud enough for me to find it easily but i'm still a bit miffed that the dealer didn't catch this out of the shop. The other thing I noticed just now was the oil plug at the top wasn't seated all the way. It's not even sloppy it just seems intentional, now that i'm thinking about it they sent this email saying they could get me a deal on something new. I didn't respond because I don't want something new. Anyway everything is good now. Maybe this is a sign to just change all the hoses now myself... First, new rims and at2s now that she has a slight lift from the bilstein's also the new head unit.
 

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Since I posted this a couple of hours ago.. I took a closer look at the crankcase itself and it looked like the actual copper hose wasn't aligned properly. I started to pull ever so gently on the seal to see if it'd disintegrate but it seemed very pliable.. I slightly adjusted the hose and reseat it and problem solved. I'm still considering replacing the seal though so if anyone has a part number that would be ideal. I'll try to do some research on it, thankfully it was loud enough for me to find it easily but i'm still a bit miffed that the dealer didn't catch this out of the shop. The other thing I noticed just now was the oil plug at the top wasn't seated all the way. It's not even sloppy it just seems intentional, now that i'm thinking about it they sent this email saying they could get me a deal on something new. I didn't respond because I don't want something new. Anyway everything is good now. Maybe this is a sign to just change all the hoses now myself... First, new rims and at2s now that she has a slight lift from the bilstein's also the new head unit.
Very good @redwolfb14; Take some pics when you get the new tires & rims put on; Maybe some before & after pics.


 

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Since I posted this a couple of hours ago.. I took a closer look at the crankcase itself and it looked like the actual copper hose wasn't aligned properly. I started to pull ever so gently on the seal to see if it'd disintegrate but it seemed very pliable.. I slightly adjusted the hose and reseat it and problem solved. I'm still considering replacing the seal though so if anyone has a part number that would be ideal. I'll try to do some research on it, thankfully it was loud enough for me to find it easily but i'm still a bit miffed that the dealer didn't catch this out of the shop. The other thing I noticed just now was the oil plug at the top wasn't seated all the way. It's not even sloppy it just seems intentional, now that i'm thinking about it they sent this email saying they could get me a deal on something new. I didn't respond because I don't want something new. Anyway everything is good now. Maybe this is a sign to just change all the hoses now myself... First, new rims and at2s now that she has a slight lift from the bilstein's also the new head unit.
I have such a hard time with poor work that I've paid for. I understand everyone is in a hurry and time is money etc. but if you want me to come back, you better deliver quality. Those seals seem quite robust. I got a new one with the complete gasket kit when I replaced my engine but the old one looked good still. It's the EGR valve tube seal I believe, sorry I don't have the PN.

It sounds like my front struts are rattling a little so I've been thinking about going with the Bilstein 5100s. I already have the 2" RC spacers, so I'm wondering if the 4600 series would work just as good as I don't need any additional lift. Do you like the way the 5100s handle and ride?
 

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I'll chime in here & say you can use 4600's or 5100's; it's just matter of personal preference; I'm actually still running 4600's with my Superlift; The 4 inch Superlift comes with new springs & shocks for the rear - but not the front, so, I just left the Bilstein 4600's on there that I already had.

I'll probably be changing them out this winter though. I have a pretty nice Jeep 4x4 shop, not too far from my house (about 20 minutes away) I'm going to see what they recommend for my current set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Yeah so far the 5100's seem excellent, the ride for me is perfect and obviously adjustable should the need arise but I can't comment on the 4600's. Like Big Blue is saying it's not really that much of a diff from what I was told; I just went with the 5100's because I could lift the front to almost dead level without using the budget spacers. That and the fact that I might go to the jba 4 inch lift later on. I'm playing it by ear to see how the jeep performs this winter. If she can swim through 12-18 inches of snow with the ko2's then i'll likely leave it as is. If not, we go higher.
 

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Yeah so far the 5100's seem excellent, the ride for me is perfect and obviously adjustable should the need arise but I can't comment on the 4600's. Like Big Blue is saying it's not really that much of a diff from what I was told; I just went with the 5100's because I could lift the front to almost dead level without using the budget spacers. That and the fact that I might go to the jba 4 inch lift later on. I'm playing it by ear to see how the jeep performs this winter. If she can swim through 12-18 inches of snow with the ko2's then i'll likely leave it as is. If not, we go higher.


I think the 5100s will be my choice also. Thanks for the feedback.


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