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How to change your OPDA

Chris

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One of the most common issues with the 4.0 engine in the later model Wrangler TJs is the OPDA (oil pump drive assembly). The factory OPDA is designed with two oil impregnated bronze bushings separated by an oil seal. The upper bushing is cut off from lubrication by that seal, resulting in premature failure. Over time, radial movement develops in the shaft. Eventually, the complete assembly and camshaft will fail.

Jeep / Chrysler is well aware of the OPDA issue with these cars as they issued the E05 recall for some of the 2005 model 4.0 engines due to premature oil pump drive gear wear. This recall involved engines that were built between 10/20/2004 and 02/01/2005. However, don't be fooled by the recall dates as there are many owners of 2006 models (and even the years prior to 2005) that have experienced OPDA issues, including complete failure.

A worn oil pump drive assembly will show symptoms, such as a check engine light or a squeaking noise coming from the oil pump drive assembly itself (some people describe the noise as a loud screeching sound or something similar to a laughing barrel of monkeys).

The fact of the matter however is this is no laughing matter. Ignoring a bad OPDA can and will result in catastrophic engine failure which will put you in the hole for thousands of dollars. On the contrary, a replacement OPDA is only a bit more than $100, and it's a very easy thing to change out as well.

If you recently purchased a used Wrangler TJ one of the first things you should think about doing is to change out the OPDA with the redesigned Crown Automotive OPDA, regardless of what year your Wrangler TJ is.

The reengineered Crown OPDA moves the seal above the upper bushings, allowing oil to lubricate it. An oil channel was also added to the shaft to increase overall lubrication to the area.

You can purchase the Crown OPDA here

The video below perfectly demonstrates step-by-step how to change out the OPDA.

 
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Chris

Chris

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OPDA was the first thing I did. I used the crown unit. It took me several tries to get TDC and not have it throw my LJ Rubicon into limp mode but I finally got it.

Left my iPhone on the damn bumper during one of the test runs. Bye bye iPhone.

I am getting to replace my OPDA with the crown one. I plan on using this video as a guide since it is easily the most helpful video I've found.

Sorry to hear about the phone. Hopefully you had insurance on it!
 

badlieutenant

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I had used that same video and the author of the video actually helped me out personally. The video makes it look really easy. It isn't hard, exactly, but it's either installed right or it's not. I'm talking a frogs hair off and it will throw you into limp mode. It probably took me a dozen times to get it just right.

Nope, no insurance. I didn't have a password on it either... and had some pics on there that I wouldn't want my mother to see. Heh.
 
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Chris

Chris

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I had used that same video and the author of the video actually helped me out personally. The video makes it look really easy. It isn't hard, exactly, but it's either installed right or it's not. I'm talking a frogs hair off and it will throw you into limp mode. It probably took me a dozen times to get it just right.

Nope, no insurance. I didn't have a password on it either... and had some pics on there that I wouldn't want my mother to see. Heh.

Really? It would seem that if you out the plastic retainer pin from the Crown OPDA into the OPDA that is on the engine and then removed it it would leave every thing in alignment for when you installed the new OPDA.

Any advice for when I install mine?
 

badlieutenant

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Really? It would seem that if you out the plastic retainer pin from the Crown OPDA into the OPDA that is on the engine and then removed it it would leave every thing in alignment for when you installed the new OPDA.

Any advice for when I install mine?

Okay, if I remember right, do it like this:

1) remove OPDA cap
2) turn the crank manually until both holes on your currently installed OPDA are lined up EXACTLY
3) use a marker or take a picture or something that will show you how to drop your new crown OPDA back in.
4) unplug and pull out old OPDA
5) drop in the new OPDA exactly how you pulled the old one out and hope it's exact

Turning the crank by hand to get TDC (top dead center) is a pain in the ass... and I had to do it several times. I dropped the new OPDA in and had to redo TDC, test drive it, and come back home in limp mode. This happened several times. I finally just loosened up the OPDA a tad and just barely turned it a little and it worked.

Good luck. You might get lucky on your first try. Even with a marker or a picture, I expect you to have issues getting it exactly how it was before.

Also, I recommend using your old electronic unit that was attached to your old OPDA. The new one from the crown didn't work right for me and apparently causes problems for lots of people. Just swap out the new one with your old one.
 
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Chris

Chris

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Yep I plan to swap over the electronic portion of my old unit as I too have heard that the crown electronic portion causes issues.

I've never experienced limp mode before. Can I assume that that's just the Jeep being extremely sluggish?
 

badlieutenant

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Yep I plan to swap over the electronic portion of my old unit as I too have heard that the crown electronic portion causes issues.

I've never experienced limp mode before. Can I assume that that's just the Jeep being extremely sluggish?

It won't let you exceed a certain rpm. Like 3K or something like that.
 
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Kent Feuerbach

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After viewing the video, I replaced my failing OPDA last night. Installation was a snap. Had to pull the battery cable to clear the CEL. Many kudos for posting this!
 
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Chris

Chris

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After viewing the video, I replaced my failing OPDA last night. Installation was a snap. Had to pull the battery cable to clear the CEL. Many kudos for posting this!

I'm glad you found it useful. I was trying to consolidate what I found on other forums that were basically 50+ pages of people talking about how to address their OPDA issues. You had to read through page after page of crap just to find an answer.

Hopefully this thread will give people a straight forward answer for years to come!
 

etc1006

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Is this generally a later model issue?? I had noticed a similar noise last winter after I inherited Lucy (01') from Dad. Depending on just how cold it is outside it can last a couple minutes to 5 or so... Only when its very cold out. Oil pressure around 45-50 during this while cold. A buddy looked and listened today when he came over, it was right around 32 degrees... Made a noise for maybe 2 minutes. We were looking around the alternator area (bearings?) And this is right behind the alternator... Yesterday it was quite a bit colder and did it for around 5 minutes until it warmed up.
 
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Chris

Chris

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It is almost exclusively a later model issue, namely 05 and some 06 models.

It's hard to say what your issue is without hearing the noise. If it's a lifter tick noise, that's pretty normal on 4.0 engines when they are warming up in the extreme cold. However, if it's a howling noise like a bearing, it's worth checking your oil pump drive out to inspect it.
 

etc1006

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It is almost exclusively a later model issue, namely 05 and some 06 models.

It's hard to say what your issue is without hearing the noise. If it's a lifter tick noise, that's pretty normal on 4.0 engines when they are warming up in the extreme cold. However, if it's a howling noise like a bearing, it's worth checking your oil pump drive out to inspect it.
Definitely a light growl/howl. Not what i would call a tick. I'll try to get a video in the next couple days. Supposed to be brain numbing 15 degrees for a couple days.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 
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etc1006

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Nothing like the howling ive heard in the videos ive come across on the OPDM.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 
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Chris

Chris

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Hmmm, could be something like a bad serpentine belt or idler pulley too! That's much more likely.
 

glwood

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It is almost exclusively a later model issue, namely 05 and some 06 models.

Wonder why the fella in the video says he is replacing the opda on a 2004 Wrangler? That year isn't supposed to have one...were the RHD TJs different engine-wise in 2004?
 
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Chris

Chris

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Wonder why the fella in the video says he is replacing the opda on a 2004 Wrangler? That year isn't supposed to have one...were the RHD TJs different engine-wise in 2004?

It's happened on 2004 models as well. People shouldn't think they are immune. While the recall was mostly for 05 vehicles, I've seen cases of people with 04s with the issue as well.
 

FireJeep

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My 05 had this happen and it was under warranty (it happened back in 06....) but my question is, what did they replace it with? Did they just put the same poorly engineered part back in?
 

glwood

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It's happened on 2004 models as well. People shouldn't think they are immune. While the recall was mostly for 05 vehicles, I've seen cases of people with 04s with the issue as well.
I know that they put the redesigned OPDA in the TJs starting in October 2004 for the 05 model year, so that could be the case, although it would seem they all would be considered 05s. Does the 05-06 OPDA in question look physically different from the earlier year TJ ones that don't have the oil-starvation issue?