Help Me Decide WJ Vs. XJ -
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Unread 04-13-2014, 07:05 PM   #1
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2003 WJ 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 308
Help Me Decide WJ Vs. XJ

So I'm a wrangler guy, I've had a TJ and currently have an LJ. I am in the process of selling my LJ because I just had a youngin and am looking to have a 4-door vehicle. I cannot afford a JK so that is off the table. I am looking into getting a WJ or XJ as daily driver and wheeler. Help me decide which.

If I get a WJ I want a Laredo, so the components will be similar no matter if I get the WJ or XJ. So in my mind here are the pro's and con's.

WJ Pros
-Newer vehicle, lower miles, I am looking at the 2004 year model
-Rides better (so I've been told)
-Slightly bigger, more cargo room
-More rigid unibody
-Seems I can run a 3" lift, and squeeze some 32's with no SYE (based on research)

WJ Cons:
-Laredo has a D35 rear axle.
-Doesn't seem to have the aftermarket support that a XJ has.

XJ Pros
-More aftermarket support, which means more bolt on stuff for a guy like me
-Better off-road??
-More aftermarket support means I can build a meaner vehicle easier
-Chrysler 8.25 axle

XJ Cons
-Cheaper as far as construction (I've had an XJ before, thing rattled like a can)
-00 and 01 has head issues, so that puts me looking for a 99
-Unibody seems to flex more

This ride will be seeing 95% on road, hitting some trails 4-6 times a year but when I go I like to play hard. I think I have decided on a WJ but am open to having my mind changed.

Short term Build plan:
2004 WJ Laredo
3" IRO Lift (maybe some hybrid parts in there, such as JKS trac bar and such)
JCR Rock Rails
"Lunch box locker" in the D30. Leave the 35 stock.
JK Rubi take off 32" wheels and tires (with spacers)

Second phase would be:
Custom front and rear bumper with winch and tire carrier
Gears and upgraded axles (at least rear, maybe front)

2003 WJ Laredo
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Unread 04-13-2014, 07:24 PM   #2
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2000 WJ 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: flowery branch, georgia
Posts: 168
I have a wj and I love it. Like any other vehicle it has it's quirks. I like xjs but the inside is to cramped for me but I'm also 6'5". I like all of the accessories the wj comes with it's just more comfortable for me as a dd. maybe a some one with a little more knowledge can chime in but I think the 4.0s with the tow package came with a d44 but I'm not sure.
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Unread 04-29-2014, 08:54 AM   #3
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2006 WK 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Waterford MI
Posts: 135
I'd go with the WJ, much better ride, brakes, comfort. Lot LESS road noise as well.
2006 GC Limited 5.7 Hemi Stone White BT c/can Mopar cold air
1995 Cobra Mustang Procharged
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Unread 04-29-2014, 07:53 PM   #4
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2004 WJ 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Colorado, CO
Posts: 4
I have a 2004 Grand Cherokee Special edition which is exactly the same as Laredo except for bumper colors and sideskirt colors basically.

I like to off-road but I also daily drive 30 min to school one way, driving it's fine with a 3.5 inch lift and 32s with stock gears, and the toe package does give you a D44 in the rear which is nice.

The 32 inch tires will rub with a 3.5 inch on the stock bumper I trimmed less than a inch off barely anything and it fixed it but it now rubs on my fog light mount because I cut some of the splash guard out.

And with any lift on a grand expect to have to deal with death wobble new tie rod ends and track bar bushing and RC dual stabalizer fixed mine so be prepared for that if you go with the WJ.

Just some info on my build on my WJ, haven't worked on XJs but I wouldnt mind one myself
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Unread 04-29-2014, 08:03 PM   #5
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2004 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: , Tyrone, Pa.
Posts: 2,973
Go WJ. There is alot of aftermarket support for them as far as lifts, bumpers and so forth. Iron Rock Offroad and more. Be careful of a "Lunch Box" locker. They are horrible in the winter. Everyone I know that has one removes it before winter if they use their Jeep as a DD too. They lock on a turn and with a slippery surface it will push you. Make a turn out of a stoplight in the winter and your turning it will push you straight. You will lose control of your steering. Just a heads up.

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2004 TJ Rocky Mountain, 4" Fabtech, Engine Mods, Sitting on 35"s
Just a Jeep Selling Nut
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Unread 05-02-2014, 06:25 PM   #6
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2003 WJ 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 308
I bought a WJ. Build thread is in my sig.
2003 WJ Laredo
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