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Unread 09-24-2013, 02:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 413
So with my (relatively) cheap jeep search continuing I've expanded my search to JK's. I've seen some 2007 and 2008's in the 14,000 range with 100-130,000mi. I understand this motor and trans where short lived (by jeep standards). I've had older jeeps in the past with high mileage but they all had the old 4.0 which could go forever. How does the 3.8 compare in longevity and can I expect to get some years out of a high mileage JK? Also how do these new transmissions hold up? Thanks!


1969 Camaro z28 clone
2010 JK Sport
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Unread 09-24-2013, 07:50 AM   #2
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, New York
Posts: 2,009
Some 3.8s would burn up and spin bearings, but that was at a younger mileage. The 3.8 was a long lived engine in the minivans (250K of soccer mom use not uncommon). If it's made it to 100K+, it should be good for another 100K

My only concern would be electronics failure. But that's on almost any modern computer rich vehicle ... IE - sentry key, body modules, etc. We lost the SKIM (Sentry Key) at 45K miles in a snow storm. The electronic swaybar disconnects never worked. The throttle body also had problems.

I was looking at some higher mileage JKs, but spending nearly $20K for something with over 100,000 miles ... just doesn't do it for me.
2000 XJ - 3.5'' Lift & Skinny Mudders.
Previous: A CJ, Few TJs and JK.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 855
The 3.8L V6 is decent reliability wise (though not as good as the 4.0L I6)though it is severely underpowered.

The main worry drivetrain wise would be the transmission if it is an auto. The 42RLE in 07-11 JKs is very weak (it is converted from the 42LE FWD car transmission). If properly maintained it might go 150k mi before needing a rebuild, if the fluid was never changed it could fail at any time (if it hasn't already).

The manual is solid though at 100k mi + there is a decent chance it will need a clutch kit soon if it hasn't been replaced already.

As Millermagic stated electronics could also be an issued (especially if the Jeep was used for water crossings).

I personally could never see paying $14k+ for a JK with 100k mi+ on it. Remember the base price for a new 2 door JK is $22k and $26k for a 4 door. New ones also come with a better engine (3.6L Pentastar V6) with allot more power and a better automatic transmission (Daimler W5A580), the manual is the same in all year JKs. Used JKs aren't a really good buy, they just hold their value too well that you end up getting an older, higher mileage vehicle and not saving a whole lot over the price of a new one once you factor in maintenance items that will likely need to be done soon(especially if you finance it, remember interest rates are higher on used vehicles).
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