I’ve had a few Jeep Wrangler TJs over the years. The latest is Ruby. She’s a 2005 Rubicon Unlimited (sometimes called a model LJ – for “long jeep”). That model still has the Chrysler straight 6 cylinder engine, but is mated with a Mercedes 6-speed manual transmission. You get the best of American torque with a fancy European transmission.

I’ve got the soft top for it, but I added the hard top in 2023 to make her less noisy during longer rides – especially at freeway speeds. I need to rig up something in the garage to make the top easier to remove and we will be all set for Summer jeeping.

Part of Jeep ownership is wrenching on the vehicle sometimes and fixing little issues. However, some issues are bigger than others. Ruby was recently cured of a nagging problem. She kept failing into a “limp home” mode, which limited the engine to 2400 RPMs and threw a code saying that the camshaft position sensor was bad. This is a common issue in Jeeps of her vintage and can be very hard to nail down. Causes can include bad sensors, bad wiring, bad ECU, bad oil pump drive assembly, bad timing chain, and on and on. I threw a lot of time and parts at the problem. I gave up trying to fix it on my own and took it to Govednik Automotive. Of course, when I took her in, Ruby was running perfectly and refused to act up for the repair shop. Rather than send her home, the pros at Govednik went back to basics – wiggling parts of the wiring harness until they tripped the check engine light. Some new wires and a fresh plug and she was back in action. Sometimes it really pays to spend some money on a pro.


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