ElectricWizards 2000 TJ Sport Build

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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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Sep 22, 2018
446
Portland, OR
OK, I called the dealership in AZ this morning about the seals. They checked and don't have any :( They are going to check their parts network and get back to me.

I checked quirkparts on ebay and they have a set of door seals for $250 (left/right sold individually). You weren't kidding when you said OEM ones were expensive.
Well doesn't hurt to look! :)

Dang that's even more than when I looked last year! I guess they really are starting to become rare.
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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Sep 22, 2018
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Yesterday I spent some time cleaning up my OE windshield-cowl seal with hopes of being able to reuse it. I removed the RTV from my previous repair attempt this summer and cleaned up all the built up grime.
It was a painful process of carefully cutting with a hobby knife and sanding with a 3M bristle disc. In the end it came out looking pretty good.

Today I braved the rain and setup my QuickShade over the TJ and set out to get the OE seal back on. My plan this time was to use a generous amount of RTV on the bottom corners and along the top of the seal in hopes to stop any leaks. Previously I had only done RTV on the top. I never see a practical reason for me to want to fold the windshield.


To add to my disappointment and anger about the Omix-Ada seal I was greeted with this mess when I opened the door today:

351whex.jpg


Yup, I can only assume that Omix-Ada seal didn't even solve the problem, on top of all the other issues I ran into. In the picture I circled where the water is dripping from.
I would like to mention when I got the seal removed I wasn't able to definitively tell where it leaked in from, but because of the location of the drip I can only assume it to be from the seal.


To begin, I decided to remove all the cowl screws and get the windshield folded down. I would've removed the cowl cover but due to my issues in the last post it was thoroughly wedged in there; I had to remove the seal first. Once the windshield was folded down it was pretty easy to work the seal out from behind the cowl cover, and then I was able to remove the cowl cover like normal.

Interestingly enough there wasn't any water in the HVAC intake like last time. This will require further investigation; it is causing me another leak on the passenger side.


The windshield-cowl seal has some foam added on the top side of the corners. The foam on my OE seal wasn't salvageable but I had some 3M foam tube left over from an Omix-Ada Hardtop Seal kit, it seemed like it would work well.

166xd4.jpg


It gets affixed to the seal like so (pic is of the evil Omix-Ada seal):

j7xa4h.jpg


I also required 5 plastic push-pins to hold the seal in place. I've got a kit of various sizes and the 3/16" pins worked well.

My plan for laying down the RTV was to put a bead around the edge of the tub where the cowl seal sits. I also put a bead on the bottom of the cowl seal for additional leak defense. Simulated RTV beads shown in red in the pics below:

2jcsep4.jpg

2lj6n9y.jpg


Once the seal was attached and RTV'd I applied the foam strips to the corners and laid a generous bead of RTV across the entire top (including on top of the foam strips, they're not attached in the pic), again simulated below:

2464bhg.jpg


After that it was just folding and bolting the windshield back up. Putting the cowl cover back on and screwing it down is 100% easier with the OE seal ;). No cursing and anger today!


Once all that was wrapped up I decided to do a bit of investigating as to why I was having so many problems with the cowl cover. I measured the thickness of the seal where the cowl cover presses against it and the Omix-Ada seal was almost 1/8" thicker!! OE specs my ass ;).
Not only that, but the material is easily twice as tough as the OE rubber, it pretty much has no give. Not ideal considering the cowl cover needs to compress into it to screw down properly.
Circled below is the portion of the seal I'm referring to (pic was from a few days ago):

2ir8cpl.jpg



That's about it! I certainly hope this doesn't leak anymore; I'm not even sure what I'd do if it does ;). We will see in time, the rain will be back soon!

Next leak related issue I want to figured out is how water is getting into my HVAC intake, but that'll be for another day..
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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Sep 22, 2018
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I would also like to mention that Amazon is allowing me to return the Omix-Ada seal. That's definitely one of the perks about Amazon, they'll let you return almost anything! ;)
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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Sep 22, 2018
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Today I took my friend (who's a recent transplant from Texas) out driving in snow for his first time. He has a stock 87 XJ, and man, that thing was a champ! He had no problems keeping up with me and he quickly was no longer nervous of the icy/snowy roads.

We decided to drive up to Hideaway Lake. It's a small alpine lake situated between Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson @ ~4000ft elevation. We encountered icy roads all the way down at 1400ft.

Here are a couple pictures I took today:

1zyequ.jpg

This is standing on the shore of the lake looking out. It has probably about 6" of snow on top of the ice. After taking this picture me and my buddy carefully walked out to the middle.

5pixja.jpg

And of course I had to get a picture of the Jeeps!

--

Last night it rained a bit and I also encountered rain while driving up to the mountains today. So far no leaks inside!

I'm not 100% convinced I fixed my problem just yet since it wasn't a very hard rain, but the real test will come this week with the next batch of rain. Hoping to not find a lake inside the Jeep!
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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Sep 22, 2018
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It seems the forum had a bit of amnesia and lost some posts, so here's a recap:

I've still got a bit of a leak dripping down from the OBD harness under the dash. So far it doesn't seem to be as bad as it was previously:

20181211_124946.jpg


My current theory is that it's leaking in from the windshield hinge bolt holes. I found in the FSM that there is supposed to be sealant behind the hinge:

INSTALLATION
(1) Paint as required.
(2) Clean the contact surface of the hinge and cowl
with isopropyl alcohol or equivalent.
(3) Apply a 4 mm bead of Mopar Vinyl Acrylic
Sealant or equivalent around the perimeter of the
hinge contact surface. The bead should be 10 mm
inboard of the edge.

(4) Position the hinge on the vehicle.
(5) Install the bolts attaching the hinge to the
windshield frame.
(6) Install the bolts attaching the hinge to the
cowl.
(7) Ensure that the sealant provides complete coverage.
Wipe away excess sealant.
(8) Install door.
Hoping I'll be able to solve the issue by resealing behind the hinge.
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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Beautiful! Where is this at?
The spot is called High Rock; it's the site of an old lookout tower. It's accessible via an extremely beautiful drive along the Clackamas River.

EDIT: It isn't the swimming spot on the Clackamas known as High Rocks ;)
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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An interesting observation from this week: even though we had inches of rain fall, the TJ barely leaked at all. Where it did leak from wasn't from the OBD port region like I have been seeing, but rather seems like it came in from under the drivers door up towards the dash.

On the passenger side I also noticed some water. It seemed like it shipped down from above the kick shield in the passenger foot well. Guess I'll have to figure out that one now too!

In both cases though the water was much less than I've seen previously from similar storms, so I feel like I'm making progress at least!

Chasing water leaks is fun :)
 

tomtaylz

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An interesting observation from this week: even though we had inches of rain fall, the TJ barely leaked at all. Where it did leak from wasn't from the OBD port region like I have been seeing, but rather seems like it came in from under the drivers door up towards the dash.

On the passenger side I also noticed some water. It seemed like it shipped down from above the kick shield in the passenger foot well. Guess I'll have to figure out that one now too!

Chasing water leaks is fun :)
My solution has been working great! :risas3:
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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My solution has been working great! :risas3:
Yeahh, not quite as easy for me to do it your way ;)

I have considered seeing what it'd take to build a cover over my driveway. It'd have to be custom, all the out-of-the-box ones I've seen are far too large for my driveway. I'm sure the city would have a problem with it though, they've always got something up their ass around here.
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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I was out driving on some snow covered FS roads today when I hit a good bump and somehow managed to take out my CB radio.

The radio made a horrible squeal noise after the bump and didn't seem to be working, so I shut it off for the time being. Later when I had a chance I grabbed my buddies handheld unit to test the one in my Jeep. I noticed the hand unit of my TJ radio was quite warm. I could transmit fine using the TJ CB and pick it up with the handheld, but I couldn't receive anything on the TJ CB.

When I got home I checked the SWR, and when keying the radio the meter never even twitched; and after about 30 seconds the radio started making the horrible squeal sound and I could feel it getting warm.

I'm really not positive about what happened, the bump wasn't really that terrible. The antenna has certainly seen worse abuse than it should've seen from that bump; and there wasn't anything inside the TJ that should've damaged the radio or the antenna coax. I've already purchased a replacement antenna to try out first, certainly hoping that's the issue ;)
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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That's odd. I've never heard of bump taking out a CB radio / antenna!
Same, which is why I'm confused over the entire situation! That antenna has been caught in trees dozens of times!

I'm hopeful thats the problem though since my radio is still transmitting okay.
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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Well I'm now pretty certain CB radio died on my Christmas day trip (post #149).

I got a replacement antenna in today and swapped it out to no avail. I also tested the continuity of the antenna coax and it checked out fine, no shorts either. A final check with an SWR meter never even budged the needle. The radio also wasn't even picking up static, so definitely not a good sign.

I guess I'll be checking with Cobra regarding warranty. The radio is only a year old and certainly hasn't been abused.
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

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At least the radios aren't that expensive. You can get a really nice Uniden for around $40 tops. Still, that is definitely premature failure!
I'm hoping Cobra will warranty my unit since it's only been a year. I went to some extensive efforts to make a clean and out of the way setup so I'm hoping to stick with the 75WXST.
 

Chris

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Sep 28, 2015
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Salem, Oregon
I'm hoping Cobra will warranty my unit since it's only been a year. I went to some extensive efforts to make a clean and out of the way setup so I'm hoping to stick with the 75WXST.
Oh damn! That’s considerably more expensive than the Uniden PRO 520XL I was planning to buy. I’m going to go a step further and get a HAM radio as well. I want to be able to get that extra range if I need it.