INSPECTING AN OLD Full Size Jeep & other old trucks
Under the Hood before driving
1. Open the radiator cap. Does the coolant look good and clean? Does it have an overflow bottle? Check all the belts.
2. Check the oil levels in the engine, power steering and brake master cylinder for color, consistency and contamination.
3. Check the transmission dipstick and power steering pump fluid level for the look and color? Does it have a burnt smell?
4. Check the battery fluid levels by removing the caps. Check the cables for corrosion. Look for signs of burned insulation on all wiring and for poorly done modifications.
5.Check for leaks from the weep hole under the water pump.
6. Check the air cleaner filter, operation of the two vacuum flaps in the snorkel and that the engine vacuum lines are hooked to something. Are the Emission devices in good order?
Under the Truck
7. Check for maladjusted bearings. Put the truck up on jack stands. Pull the top and bottom of the front wheels, do they move? Turn the wheel and listen for any grinding noise that would not be good.
8. Check for play in the steering. Move the wheel from side to side. If tight fine, if loose look at the tie rods, drag link and ball joints
9. Check the tires, weather/age cracks, odd wear patterns and pressure.
10. Check the front differential oil level and condition. How do the springs look? Check all leaves for cracks. Check the frame area where the rear of the front springs attach for cracks!
11. Check the front drive shaft, turn it and pull it up and down, does it move up and down? The U-joints and or double cardan joint could be dry or bad.
12. Check for leaks around the oil pump, filter housing, front and rear engine seals.
13. Check for cracks in the manifolds, header pipe and condition of the exhaust systems.
14. Check the brake and fuel lines for leaks and cracks.
15. Check the transmission for leaks, including the shifting shaft.
16. Check the exhaust heat riser valve for easy movement. Make sure it is open when the engine is warm.
17. Check the operation of the Emergency brake. Examine e-brake cable.
18. Check transfer case oil level, type and condition of fluid, for leaks and condition of vacuum lines.
19. Check the frame for rust-out. Look closely at the area of the fuel tank. The tank is mounted close to the inside of the frame rail. Frame and gas tank skid is susceptible to rust in the later models. Check it well!
20. Check the rear driveshaft for play and lubrication.
21. Check springs and shock mounts.
22. Check rear differential fluid level, type and condition
23. Listen for noises in the differential.
24. Check rear wheel bearing play and brakes for binding.
25. Lower the truck and set the emergency brake, make sure it is holding.
26. Start the motor and check the color of any smoke coming from the tailpipe and check the oil pressure gauge and the charging circuit.
Listen for any knocking, piston slapping, or anything out of the ordinary.
Listen under the dash and hood for any hissing from vacuum leaks. After a minute or so, trip the throttle to come down off the fast idle. Was the choke operating properly? How does the engine sound now and is it fairly smooth running ?
Put the tranny in neutral and check the transmission fluid level.
27. Put the car in reverse, release the emergency brake and back up. Listen for unusual noises. Feel any vibrations?
28. Now put the transmission in drive and roll forward a bit then apply brakes, were they smooth? Did the pedal feel firm? Did it pull steering wheel to ether side?
29. With slow acceleration how is the 1/2 shift? And the 2/3 shift? Check that all gauges are showing normal operating values.
If there is a lockup torque converter, you'll find out between 45 and 55as it feels like a shift into 4th gear.
Are there any vibrations? How is the steering? Apply the brakes again smoothly and come to a smooth stop. Did the truck stop in a straight line?
30. Now accelerate briskly and check for any pinging, hesitation, knocking, backfiring, jerking or vibration? A chain jumping on a sprocket in the Transfer case will cause a loud banging noise and a jerking feel in the drive line. Did the transmission shift pattern feel correct? Check the color of any smoke that may be coming from the tailpipe.
Check the operation of the four-wheel-drive and two-speed system. Some ‘4x4s’ do not have a two speed transfer case! There are quite a few Four wheel drive combinations used in FSJs
31. Check the interior lights, windshield wipers, radio, power seats, windows, door locks, and tailgate window. Look under the dash at the wires. Look at the amp meter wire for signs of overheating because it can be a fire hazard. Also look for evidence of being flooded or simple water leaks. Check under the floor mats and seats.
32. Check all the exterior lights and turn signals and don’t forget the license plate light.
33. Check for crash damage and repainting. Using ‘high-lights’, sight down the sides of the fenders and doors for wrinkles and imperfections in the reflections. Do all the panels fit correctly? Look for paint ‘over-spray’ on rubber seals and panels that didn’t have paint from the factory.
34. Check the VIN, (Vehicle Identification Number), license number and Emission sticker. Do they match the truck’s title and papers?
Have a good one and
CUL.. Don S..