Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tonight's project involved a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was literally puking coolant from somewhere. After a real quick look I figured it was either coming from the water pump, a split hose or maybe a freeze plug. After opening the hood, I realized that, even though the Grand Cherokee has the same motor as the Cherokee, the configuration of almost everything else is really different. I wanted to remove the fan shroud, fan, serpentine belt, power steering pump, and air compressor just so I could get a better look at things near the water pump. After a lot of questioning and some cursing, I realized that in order to pull the stinkin' fan shroud, the entire front end has to come off including the radiator. The fan shroud is held on with 4 bolts and the bottom 2 are literally right up on the unibody. Not sure what Chrysler was thinking other than not having consumers work on their own vehicles.

Eventually I gave up on the shroud and was able to wiggle the belt off and then remove the power steering pump and then I saw the forward most freeze plug was about halfway out. It was a freeze plug block heater and the bolt was hand tight. Once I pulled it out this is how the inside looked:

Weird. The left tightening arm is completely gone and the right one is cracked so it literally was ready to fall out which explains why it was leaking as bad as it was. I am ecstatic to not have to do the water pump on this dumb vehicle.


John said...

Hey Chris,

I came across your post from a Google search. I just replaced the electric radiator fan on my 2004 Grand Cherokee. I agree! The shroud bolts are definitely dumb! I had to torch a 10mm wrench and bend it so that it would fit up in there. And had to remove the driver side bolt from underneath.

Chris said...

Yeah I won't forget that repair for a while. I will never own that vehicle or work on it again. That's a lot of stuff to remove to do almost anything on that front end. I can't imagine doing the rad fan. If I would have been able to get those lower bolts off I think I would have gladly wrapped Duct tape from that section out and over the grill and back into the engine bay a few times and ditched those bolts. Did you actually get them back in?