Jeepers Creepers

November 28th, 2006 by William

I’ve never owned a car that didn’t rattle and squeak a little, but even I have my limits. My Jeep has always put out a good rattle on the freeway. With mud tires that are always going out of balance, it seems that 4th gear causes an ash tray full of change to start singing right around 2000 rpm. In the past I would just live with these rattles, but after swapping a modern fuel-injected motor into my CJ7 I decided that the Jeep deserved to be treated a little better, so I started going after each rattle I heard.
My 1986 Jeep CJ7. I can just hear it squeaking.

Chasing rattles is no easy task but after tightening loose bolts, lubing grease fittings, adding shims to doors, and sticking empty matchbooks in windows I eventually got the rattles to a minimum. Of course, that’s when the mother of all rattles decided to strike. While driving on the freeway I heard a noise that sounded like a chipmunk caught in a washing machine. It was shrill, loud, and horrible. I limped home very cautiously fearing a mechanical problem, but after an extremely thorough vehicle inspection I found nothing. Worse yet the rattle seemed to occur completely at random.

More tightening and lubing proved futile. Just when I thought I found the source and fixed it, the chipmunks would sing their siren song. So I decided to give up and just live with it. It wasn’t a mechanical problem so there was no real danger, only a foul sound in my ear. After a month of looking the other way toward my death rattle, the sound has completely vanished. It was almost as if someone was trying to get me angry and when they found out it wasn’t working they simply gave up.
I’m sure there is a lesson to be learned in all of this, but I have no idea what it is… perhaps it’s as simple as: “why don’t you just leave well enough alone?”

-Bill Mertz

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2 Responses to “Jeepers Creepers”

  1. dana Says:

    Interesting pieces on the Jeeps. I scour the internet sometimes (mostly out of boredom, but a lot out of genuine interest) for articles on Jeeps, particularly those of the fans. As with everything, Jeep, too, has its critics, but I love my Jeep. I have a 1991 Cherokee sport 4×4 that I have had for six years, and I absolutely love it. It is nimble and versatile, but so much fun to drive, wherever I go. I am sold on the Jeep brand. They are reliable, practical and safe, and even my box has its own style and character. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The interesting thing was when we bought it, we got the vehicle we needed, but also everything we wanted. The 4.0 inline six was the best way to go for that vehicle, what a workhorse! As with all good thins, however, sadly that, too, must come to an end, but I am looking forward to trying out the Compass, and see if Jeep can sell me on a new direction. Happy driving!!!

  2. chasing stopped cars Says:

    chasing sports cars chasing sports cars

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