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  #1  
Old November 29th, 2017, 10:42
IntrepidBear IntrepidBear is offline
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Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

I have been lurking on the forums absorbing the collective wisdom on the forum.

I have a 89 Renix era XJ 4.0 engine, AW4 Transmission, D30 front w/ disconnect axle, and Dana 35 rear. 141000 miles.

The vehicle has a ton of sentimental value to me and I have started the process of getting her back on the road. She has been in storage for 15 years, I parked her when the Ignition Control Module went bad, and I didn't have time to sort it out.

About a year ago I went through the basics, replaced the fuel pump, filter, injectors, and all associated o-rings, fuel pressure regulator. Plugs, cap, rotor. and battery. I did the brakes, front and rear. Put new tires on it, and replaced hoses, serpentine, air filter etc. I had a little trouble getting a spark, but eventually tracked it down to a bad connection between the coil and the new ICM. Low and behold she fired up.

At idle she sounds great, and revs, without issues. In drive she lacks power it almost feels like the transmission is slipping badly. I drove her a mile or two but she barely made it up an small hill outside the house. Right before I parked her she was driving fine.

Questions: Any suggestion as to what could be causing the severe lack of power/slipping?

Has anyone else had these types of symptoms after storing their vehicle?

Can transmission go bad simply with storage?

Any other service items that I should be concerned about?

Thanks guys.
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  #2  
Old November 29th, 2017, 11:28
blakews2217 blakews2217 is offline
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Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by IntrepidBear View Post
I have been lurking on the forums absorbing the collective wisdom on the forum.



I have a 89 Renix era XJ 4.0 engine, AW4 Transmission, D30 front w/ disconnect axle, and Dana 35 rear. 141000 miles.



The vehicle has a ton of sentimental value to me and I have started the process of getting her back on the road. She has been in storage for 15 years, I parked her when the Ignition Control Module went bad, and I didn't have time to sort it out.



About a year ago I went through the basics, replaced the fuel pump, filter, injectors, and all associated o-rings, fuel pressure regulator. Plugs, cap, rotor. and battery. I did the brakes, front and rear. Put new tires on it, and replaced hoses, serpentine, air filter etc. I had a little trouble getting a spark, but eventually tracked it down to a bad connection between the coil and the new ICM. Low and behold she fired up.



At idle she sounds great, and revs, without issues. In drive she lacks power it almost feels like the transmission is slipping badly. I drove her a mile or two but she barely made it up an small hill outside the house. Right before I parked her she was driving fine.



Questions: Any suggestion as to what could be causing the severe lack of power/slipping?



Has anyone else had these types of symptoms after storing their vehicle?



Can transmission go bad simply with storage?



Any other service items that I should be concerned about?



Thanks guys.


Checked the fluid in the trans? Does it rev and not move as it should ( rpms rise while it does not equate to movement. )


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  #3  
Old November 29th, 2017, 11:50
IntrepidBear IntrepidBear is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

The transmission does engage, but as the revs keep rising the forward movement does not translate to much power to the wheels.

I checked the fluid cold, and its a little low. Next I was planning to drop the pan, change the filter and give it some fresh fluid.
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  #4  
Old November 30th, 2017, 06:07
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cruiser54 cruiser54 is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Try this:

Put the shifter in 1-2 and see if it takes off normally.

This could be as simple as a bad connection in the trans plugs under the hood, a dirty fuse at the transmission control unit, or bad tCU,
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  #5  
Old December 1st, 2017, 08:03
Afireinside Afireinside is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Check the trans fluid hot and in park or neutral. It should be way over full when cold. I bet some fluid leaked over the past 15 years lol.
Good luck
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  #6  
Old December 1st, 2017, 14:38
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Ecomike Ecomike is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

141,000 miles on a 89 is way too many miles, time to junk it, I'd be happy to help you out and take it off your hands.



Afireinside and cruiser54 made good suggestions.

The Tranny fluid can go very bad after 15 years (it can oxidize, it use to be made from refined peanut oil). I would drain 3 quarts from the drain plug, and refile with only DEX III, nothing else, 3-4 times, run it in each gear and neutral and park, all at 0 mph, to let it circulate for about 10 minutes. Make sure the fluid gets hot!!! Do not try to drive it yet.

Then drain it and refill. After 4 times (the AW4 and TC holds about 10 quarts) add a pint of Trans-x to help dissolve any baked on varnish in the valves and to re-swell the o'ring seals on the shafts and valve body spools. It is not a good idea to drain it all once, not is easy to do. It is best give it 4 transfusions, and slowly clean it up. I would change the filter after the 3rd transfusion.

Get it circulating and hot, with out driving it and then test drive it again. But before you test drive it, make sure the TCU has power and test the solenoids and wiring, clean the wiring harness connector going the transmission with electric/plastic safe solvent.

Do the first test drive manually in 1-2, then 3, then D to see if shifts and if it has power.

Also make sure the Transmission pressure cable at the throttle body has been adjusted properly!!! There is a huge thread, and you tube video on that. Takes about 60 seconds to do. It controls the Tranny pump pressure internally...

You want to get clean fluid in there, get it circulating with some Trans-X to clean up and re-wet those clutch plates in the Tranny with clean fluid and in the TC (Torque Converter) before you try to drive it again!!

Also, in the process drop the pan and clean it and change to filter.

You have an 80% chance imho of the transmission coming out OK.

You may see a tiny bit of haft seal leaks at the engine RMS and the transmission front and rear seals after 15 years of the shafts laying on the bottom of the seal areas. With some oil, RMS sealer additive and Trans-x additives for the Tranny those seals may fix themselves over several 1000 miles of DD operation.
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  #7  
Old December 1st, 2017, 23:49
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88trailcrawler 88trailcrawler is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

All good suggestion above from people WAY more qualified than me. However I will add based on my experiences.

Unplug the TCU fuse (under the glove box). If you can manually shift through the gears should eliminate internal transmission problems.

Research how to test your TPS as one side communicates with the transmission.

And finally, I do whole heartedly agree that an 1989 XJ with 141k miles coming out of 15 years storage just sounds like an awfull train wreck. Let me know your location and I’ll gladly come discard if it for you.

Last edited by 88trailcrawler; December 1st, 2017 at 23:52.
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  #8  
Old December 2nd, 2017, 10:32
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Saudade Saudade is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Welcome back!! My '88 has 202,000 miles and is my daily driver.

Was it stored indoors?

In addition to the other suggestions, I think I'd pull the seats and carpets to check the floors. Also have a peek inside the exhaust. The smaller critters may have made nests, chewed wiring, stole seat foam.

Did you measure your fuel pressure?
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  #9  
Old December 3rd, 2017, 15:36
Afireinside Afireinside is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Please don't try and drive it until you verify the atf level! You will kill a possibly good trans if you try!
Good luck
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  #10  
Old December 10th, 2017, 11:16
IntrepidBear IntrepidBear is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Thanks for all the great responses guys! Very much appreciate it.

I haven't had a chance to work on it recently, work hijacked my schedule for the last few weeks.

Great tips on the transmission, I ill take your advise and flush it with TransX. I am hopeful that it is a low/bad fluid, and that it will remedy itself with a proper service and pan filter drop.

Does anyone have the link to the video on how to adjust the transmission pressure cable? I can google it, but it's not something that I have done before.

I should be able to dig into it over the holidays once work cools down a bit.

I'll check under the carpet, but I'm hopeful that the rust shouldn't be too bad. It has lived in Southern California until I parked it back in 2002. It was stored in the humid tropics, but indoors.
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  #11  
Old December 10th, 2017, 11:59
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Ecomike Ecomike is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Unless it has been exposed to salt, beach or salted roads, the 87-90 jeeps do not rust. But not having a good battery connected them, does seem to encourage rust every where.
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Quote=8Mud: "Go ahead and put up the best fence you can build, I'll bet on some Mexican with a few dollars of nails and a pile of scrap lumber."
34 MPG , '85 2WD Cherokee Pioneer with custom installed, 64 hp, 2.2 L Nissan SD22 Diesel 5 spd Manual; & 4 Renix XJs, '87 Wagoneer 4.0, 4WD, 89-Cherokee, 4WD, '87 Cherokee 2WD, & '89 Cherokee Pioneer 2WD, all 4dr. #2091
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  #12  
Old December 10th, 2017, 12:25
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cruiser54 cruiser54 is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Here's the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0di1z5j1fU
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  #13  
Old December 10th, 2017, 16:22
BALTANAKT BALTANAKT is offline
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Re: Reviving a 1989 XJ after 15 years in storage

Man, I love the old early model XJ's. Happy to see one being revived.
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