1. #1
    DieselJerry's Avatar
    DieselJerry is offline Junior Member
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    New owner of a 2003 CJ

    Hello, I am a new...and proud owner of a 2003 CJ Sahara. Wednesday (6/26/19) will be one week of ownership. So far so good, but have some concerns and questions.
    Concern #1. The smell of coolant. When I shut it off and get out I smell coolant. I noticed the level in the reservoir is low. I did not check it when I was inspecting it before purchasing (rookie mistake especially since I am a marine mechanic). At this point I will top off and monitor. No puddles have been seen after parking it.
    #2 How do I remove this
    New owner of a 2003 CJ-image1561370335.093515.jpg
    I have a custom made cell phone bracket and I want to mount it there.
    Thanks in advance for any info.


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  2. #2
    southtj's Avatar
    southtj is offline Senior Member
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    Re: New owner of a 2003 CJ

    Congratulations on the new Jeep and welcome to Jeepz. I've got a 2003 sahara as well. The designation for this model is TJ. CJ's were the older round headlight jeeps then came the YJs with the square headlights then the TJs from 96-2006 I believe.

    You'll just have to monitor the coolant leak. Look around on the ground in the mornings and see if there is any on the ground.

    To remove that dash piece, remove the long strip of trim that runs the length of the windshield just behind it. You can pry it up with a flat screwdriver from either end and then gently pull it up. From there you'll see two phillips screws hold that black piece that has the vents, surrounds the radio and hvac controls. Remove the two screws and gently pull away from the dash to remove.

  3. #3
    DieselJerry's Avatar
    DieselJerry is offline Junior Member
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    Re: New owner of a 2003 CJ

    Thank you. I don’t know how I got the CJ / TJ thing messed up.


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  4. #4
    JPNinPA's Avatar
    JPNinPA is offline Senior Member
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    Re: New owner of a 2003 CJ

    First fill the radiator when cool. Add coolant to the reservoir to the full cold line. Check again in a day or two refill then monitor then monitor.

    Low coolant may let air in. Air in the system can result in boil over into the expansion tank.
    The reservoir is really an expansion tank. As the fluid heat ir expands. The radiator cap opens when the fluid reaches 18 psi allowing fluid out. Ir comes back in when as the engine cools.
    A bad radiator cap will either open at lower pressure allowing more fluid out overflowing the expansion tank.
    There are a few more causes for smelling fluid. Much worse. If your head is cracked often the radiator boils out immediately after you shut the engine off. Check your oil dipstick if the oil looks like chocolate milk shake you have an issue. You could also check the oil filler cap. Often this milky oil gathers under the cap.


    Regards,
    JPNinPA

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  5. #5
    DieselJerry's Avatar
    DieselJerry is offline Junior Member
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    Re: New owner of a 2003 CJ

    I heard that the head is an issue on these. I checked the dipstick and it was clean. I will check the filler cap as well. One guy at a car show said the head cracks at 120K and I have a little over 150k. He said “your fine then”. I left that conversation a little uneasy. Like you said top it off and monitor at this point.


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  6. #6
    TerryMason's Avatar
    TerryMason is offline Administrator
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    Re: New owner of a 2003 CJ

    My wife's old Honda Pilot would smell like coolant when running, but I never saw a leak. I found that when it was really, hot coolant was leaking out of a crack and escaping as vapor. I couldn't find the issue until I took a good (careful) look at it while it was running and hot.

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