Friday, March 16, 2007

Doing a Tune Up On a 2004 and Newer Jeep Grand Cherokee

I swear, if I still did this for a living I'd kill myself.

I was off work today and usually doing maintenance on our SUVs is leisurely for me. So, when I finished doing the Oil Change on my wife's mid-90s Grand Cherokee, I lit a Punch Rare Corojo Magnum and felt like I was starting down hill.

I was going to do a routine tune-up on my 2004 Grand Cherokee. Easy right? For Pete's sake, its screwing plugs in, isn't it?

About a year ago I did Cap, Rotor, and Wires on my wife's V8. When I finally finished the job, I was relieved. If you aren't a Jeep specialist and you have to match the V8's wires up perfectly, all I can say is....thank God I was drinking because I would have went nuts.

So, my Grand Cherokee is an in-line six cylinder. Compared to what I went through a year ago, it should be a piece of cake, right?


First off, I've been out of the business for a long time, so new developments in technology will pass me by pretty easily in this field. Back in December when I did the last oil change, I looked inquisitively at the ingnition system for the first time, knowing what was coming, and being a bit perplexed. I didn't see the usual free flowing plug wires. Instead, where the plugs "should be" I saw a plug harness bolted in by four bolts.

Today, I had the nerve to tackle it.

Years ago I learned that good mechanics "do everything by feel" rather than by sight. Today, I experienced that reality. I think I went through every socket in my tool box before I

1. finally got the plug harness off (click on the bottom picture to see what the harness looks like-its connected to the left side of the valve head)

2. removed every plug, including what appears to be the #6 plug, along the firewall and covered by a heater hose bracket, held in place by a nut in a spot tight enough that a dwarf would swear trying to loosen it. I removed all the old plugs, in and of itself no easy feat.

3. upon replacing the plugs, had to wrestle like hell to get the harness back in place, bolting it down and getting all the proper heater hoses back as they should be.

All this, while realizing my lovely wife would be home any minute now wondering why our puppy, all this time, was able to dig half way to China in our back yard.

In my mind I could hear her, "What have you been doing all day??"

*Sigh*. Nothing, Dear.