Just bought a YJ

Chris C

New member

So, I just brought home my '89 YJ with 20,000 miles on the brand new engine. My question is; the bearing at the bottom of my steering column seems to be shot. How do I fix this? Also, anything I should check on the Jeep while doing my regular maintenence tuneup tomorrow? Any pointers for newbies??

Chris C.


Check the frame. Just under the doors and in the front under the Jeep molding. Make sure your diffs are lubed up. Some peoepl run them off road in deep water nad get water in there. Cheaper to change the oil now than the gears later!

You need to service E V E R Y T H I N G !!!
You have no way of knowing when or even if anything has E V E R been serviced.

So you need to service everything & keep a record.

>Buy a service manual.
>Change engine oil & filter
>Replace all filters (air/pvc/fuel)
>Change front & rear axle lube
>Change Transmission oil & filter
>Change transfer case lube
>Clean & repack front wheel bearings
>Clean & repack rear wheel bearings
>Brake inspect & repace if necessary.
>Rotate the tires & air up

Cooling system service :
>Flush cooling system
>Replace all hoses & clamps
>Replace thermostat
>Replace radiator cap
>Install new coolant 50/50 mix
>Add 1 can of RESTORE cooling system conditioner

>Replace all belts

11 years old I would replace the water pump before the cooling system service just as cheap insurance. It's all going to be torn apart anyway for the cooling system service, this will be a most opportune time to pull the pump.

If the battery is more than 3 years old, i'd pitch it and get a new DIEHARD from Sears.
Replace battery cables if they need it.
Sears will install it & test your charging system for free when you buy a new battery.

Starter. If it gives you any trouble, any at all, even a funny sound, i'd pitch it too. It would be a drag to do all the above, have a new battery & the starter quit & left you sitting way back in the forest! Remember, it too is most likely 11 years old.

Do a major engine tune up :
>wires. Buy the best (most expensive) set of spark plug wires you can afford. You want them to not short when you get them wet 30 miles of pavement. All dielectic grease to all the connectors
>Set the timing & put some fuel system cleaner in the tank a couple of tankfuls.

You need to make this truck robust for off road fun. Ain't nuthin I hate more than a trailside breakdown. When I hit the trail I wanna W H E E L not twist wrenches. So I do that in my driveway at my convenience.

Remember :
AAA does not offer trail service.

I hope this helps...

Welcome to the world of Jeeping! Now that you've taken the plunge, Look at Sillsmack's reply, although quite intense :) it's a good idea. I would double this one. Check and tighten everything. (Jeep bolts come loose) Another great idea is to find a Jeep club in your area and go out with them and learn the "CORRECT and SAFE" way to run.(it's not fun upside down) You'll be surprised what it will do and where it will go. Happy Jeeping


Thanks for all the help you have already given, I really appreciate it! Let me ask another Newbie question....How is the gas gauge on these things? Mine seems to be WAY off. It said I had a half of a tank today, and was dead empty!!! Anything to do for this problem??? Thanks all who have helped, I am sure I will frequent this board for info. It helped infinately with my last car. P.S. Anyone interested in a 315 HP turbo car for $4K??? See ya,

Chris C.

The gas tank may have been hit. The floater may be off due to this. Also... NEVER call your JEEP a TRUCK. It is a JEEP.. a YJ.. a RIG.. but never a Truck or a car!!!!