-   Grand Cherokee General Discussion (
-   -   '04 2WD WJ Laredo to '04 4WD WJ "Limited" Build (

JeepsOLot 11-27-2009 10:39 AM

'04 2WD WJ Laredo to '04 4WD WJ "Limited" Build
Well, instead of keeping up with several threads, I'm putting everything in this one.

Just a little background. This is an '04 WJ that I bought for my wife in Feb '08. It's an Inferno Red Laredo with less then 24K on it when we got it, but, it has 59K right now. The engine is the 4.0L I6 with the 2WD 42RE auto. It has the standard AM-FM-Cassette-CD radio, power driver's side seat, cloth interior, and no cross bars for the roof rack.

With all the Cash for Clunker Jeeps hitting the junkyards, my wife and I got to thinking, why can't we upgrade to the various features we would like? Everything's pretty cheap through the yards, and they would be OEM, so fitment wouldn't be a problem. The features we want to add are: 4WD (242 T-Case), Rear Factory Hitch with wiring, Overhead console with the Homelink (garage/gate opener buttons), '02-'04 White Gauges, Factory CD Changer, Crossbars for the roof rack, Radio Controls on the steering wheel, Leather Seats and Power Passenger Side Seat, Fog Lights, and anything else that I can find that'll work, :thumbsup: The uses for this WJ include: mall crawling for the most part, very mild off-roading (dirt/gravel roads and some beach sand driving, taking the fam out on the beach), and use the Full Time 4WD for bad weather and snow (for whenever we get out of FL and move to NC).

What's been put on so far: Hitch with wiring (all bolt in and plug and play), Roof Rack Crossbars, and the EVIC Overhead Console with the Homelink (Plug and Play).

A couple of weeks ago, I got the 4WD Shifter because the tranny shifter sliders were broken, so, I upgraded!
2WD Shifter, complete with rust, have no idea why it's so rusty!!
Here's the 4WD Shifter for the 242 installed. Now, the shifter plate was in great shape, considering the Jeep was a '99 model and God knows how long it was in the yard.

Went back last weekend to find that the '99 I was going to get the 242 out off was gone, the whole line that it was in was gone, :crying: SO, I'll have to drop back and punt on this one.

I got a set of '01 White Faced Limited Gauges. All was good until I tried to swap out the odometer, it was easy if it was a '99-'01, but, the '02-'04 odmeters are totally different, :brickwall. I tried to swap out the individual gagues into the '04 cluster, but, while the tach and speedo worked fine, the four smaller gauges went crazey. I could put the whole '01 cluster in and everything would work, except the odometer would read 151K miles from the previous Jeep, instead of the 59K miles that are on ours, BIG problem! As far as this is concerned, I'll have to wait out for some '02-'04 gauges, grrr!

I got a CD changer as well as the cover that goes over it in the cargo area. I also got the plug that goes into the changer, but, I'm still waiting on the plug that goes into the radio, it's different from the '99-'01 WJ's to the '02-'04 WJ's.

Yesterday, I installed the steering wheel radio controls, :thumbsup: Wife likes these REALLY well!! After the CD changer and gauge wiring issues, I'm looking for only '02-'04 electrical parts, as there seems to be major wiring changes in '02. Here is a price comparasion between the factory price (Info from WJ, and what I paid at the junkyard. To convert the steering wheel for radio controls, I had to buy the radio switches and a harness that has both sets of plugs for the radio switches and the cruise control switches. At the junkyard, I paid $4.70 out the door for the harness and both switches. If I got JUST the harness from the stealership, it would have set me back $165, PLUS $39.70 for EACH switch!! As far as the install, It went great, I did have to drill out the holes for the switches on the steering wheel, but, other then that, it was plug and play, everything works, :thumbsup:

That's it for now, I'll add updates, as well as questions and comments as I go. :2thumbsup:


footinmouth47 11-27-2009 11:01 AM

looks great. hope you can find all the other goodies you are looking for. I did kinda the same thing with the 5.9 I found, upgraded all my interior stuff and put on the 5.9 grill. I love it.

Mazdarx 11-27-2009 01:46 PM

Wouldn't it be easier, and maybe cheaper, to get a 4wd limited model?

JeepsOLot 11-29-2009 11:26 AM

Yesterday, I got the wiring for the rear 12V outlet run and hooked up. I just tied it into the constant 12V Outlet on the lower center dash. :thumbsup:

Greg, thanks for the comments, I hope I can find everything too!

Mazdarx, it might have been easier if we got the fully loaded 4WD Laredo we were looking at when we bought this one, but, let me set the tone as to why, and when, we bought what we did.

My wife is involved in Girl Scouts, and, at the time, we had my YJ, and her '96 Nissan Sentra. When Girl Scout cookie time came about a year and a half ago, obviously, neither of our vehicles could be used for carrying around cases of cookies. We borrowed her mom's '00 2WD Laredo with power everything and leather seats. It worked great, it was comfortable, had pleanty of power for our needs, and we just loved it (Sorry Mean Max, :D). So, with my wife's car not going to last much longer, this is when and why we started to look and getting a Grand for us.

At the time, we were looking at three '04 Grands, all with the 4.0L that my wife really wanted; a white Special Edition with Quadra-Drive (249 All Wheel Drive)( My wife currected me, I thought it was a Limited), a blue Laredo with Select Trac (242 T-case) with power everything, sun roof, and black leather seats., and this 2WD Inferno Red Laredo with a couple of options, but not much. Now, the 2WD Laredo had 23,900 miles on it, and cost $14K, the 4WD Laredo had 36,000 miles and was $16K, and the Special Edition had 40,000 miles and was almost $17K. We did test drive all three, and, we were not impressed with the All Wheel Drive Special Edition. With the V8, it would have been fine, but, the I6 was struggling. It was down to both Laredos, and, at the time, we just couldn't justify the extra $2K for the 4WD option, which would never get used down here. Hence, this is the reasoning in buying the 2WD Laredo as well as it having over 10,000 miles less then the other two.

The timing didn't help either, my wife's car was on the way out, and, we needed an SUV now for several reasons; three dogs, have one child and would like another at some point, and the 4.0L engine. After all my poor 4.0L has been through, my wife was VERY insistant on this engine, and, with the '04 model being the last year of the 4.0L in the Grand, that's the year we were concentrating on.

Now, fast forward to 5 months ago. The Cash For Clunkers was in full swing, and, while look for parts for my beater Honda in the junkyards, I saw all of these WJ's coming out of the woodwork! We got to thinking, why not upgrade to the options that the blue Laredo had?

As for pricing, these are what the one junkyard I got to charges; $35 per front leather seat and assorted electric motors/track for the power option, $30 for the whole rear leather seat, $95 for a front D30 with everything attached, $65 for the 242 t-case/OD Unit, $16 for each drive shaft, $5 for the CD Changer, $25 for the factory hitch, $7 for the hitch harness, $4.70 for both steering wheel radio switches and harness, and $15 for an EVIC with the Homelink buttons and the Instant MPG meter.

I'm not a math major, but, even if I get someone to professionally rebuild the t-case, front D30, and the OD unit, I'll probably come out dead even, or slightly ahead, if I had just got the 4WD Laredo. The other things to consider, I would be paying interest on that $2K that I would have paid on the 4WD Laredo, and the 2WD Laredo had a lot less miles then the 4WD one.

So, the bottom line; would it be easier to have gotten one with all the options I wanted, yes, but, would it be cheaper, not really, at least in my case.


JeepsOLot 11-29-2009 11:53 AM

In my looking around at my junkyards, what do I look for when look for the Up Country springs and shocks? What I mean is, what other options would be on the WJ that would meant it came with the Up Country Package? Thanks!


Apollo21 11-29-2009 03:02 PM

288 Attachment(s)
all Overland editions built prior to the spring of 02 have it standard. i would look at wjjeeps for more info

JeepsOLot 12-05-2009 10:12 PM

Ok, time for an update. Found the Spartan Burl wood dash trim pieces that were in an '01 Limited in good shape. I swapped my brushed alunimum trim Laredo pieces out for these. I also swapped out the bottom center bezel with the cubby hole with the one from the '02 Limited that has the drop-down ash tray. Figure it's better for holding things then that stupid cubby that, everytime you hit the gas, they slip out, and go on the floor under feed, which isn't good. Another reason why I got that was the constant power outlet on the '04 Grands has a plastic cap that you have to pull out when you want to use it. On the one from the '02, it has a flip down cover for that outlet, easy to use, and it looks better, :D

I got several things at the stealership, but wasn't too bad. I got the harness for the CD Changer to radio for $45, the four mounting studs for the CD Changer bracket to body, $3.75 a piece, and the rubber cap for the receiver part of the hitch, $10.40. I got the hitch cap one already, but, as for the CD Changer stuff, I had order those, and they should be here next week.

Ebay items: looks like somethings that I can't seem to find at the junkyard, I'm going to have to resort to ePay. I'm getting the white electroluminescent gauges for an actual '04 Grand (woohoo! No wiring hiccups, :thumbsup:) with 43K miles on the odmeter. I can swap out the odometer on these, just unsolder both off the clusters, swap, resolder, done, :D I've found several Grands with the tranny and OD unit for the 242 still in the Jeeps, so, I'll snag the OD Unit off those. As for the actual 242, I've found several with varying prices on eBay, ranging from $75 for an '04 example with around 89K miles, to $600 for a factory reman. That looks like will be an eBay purchase, as, by the time I get around to look every two weeks at the junk yards, the 242's are already yanked. The other thing that will be an eBay item is that driver's side Limited Slate Gray leather seat. I've seen some for under $200, but not the right color yet.

One thing about my trim code. This is my trim code, E7L5. According to WJ Jeeps, this means cloth seats with separate head rest, with the color being Taupe. Now, I've seen what looks to be Taupe in the junkyard WJ's, and it doesn't look like mine, which, just from looking at it, looks like Slate Gray. If I did miss that, and mine is actually Taupe, I'll be mad, because I passed up a perfect matching Taupe leather seat set for $75 at the junkyard, :brickwall

Well, that's all for now. I'll take some pics tomorrow of the interior to show the changes. I'll again post on the installation of the CD changer and cable, with pics, next week when I get all the parts.


JeepsOLot 12-06-2009 09:34 AM

Ok, here are the pics for the Mods that have happened so far. I listed the year and Trim Level of the WJ that I got these pieces from, for anyone that is interested.

Factory 2" Receiver Hitch from a '99 Limited

Sunvisors with lighted Vanity mirrors, and slide-out shades for extra sun coverage from an '00 Laredo, as well as the EVIC (Over head console computer) with the Instant MPG feature and Homelink buttons from an '01 Limited

CD Changer box and Rear 12 Volt Outlet, the Changer box, as well as the changer itself, are from a '99 Limited, and the 12 Volt Outlet is new from the stealership

Dash with Spartan Burl Accents from an '02 Limited

Center and Passenger side Dash with the Spartan Burl Accents

Driver's Side Vent with the Spartan Burl Accent

Radio Bezel with Spartan Burl Accent

Radio Bezel with the original Brushed Alunimum Accent

Passenger Side Dash with Spartan Burl Accent

Center Lower Dash Section with Ash Tray and Flip-Down cover for the 12 Volt Outlet, from an '02 Limited

Center Lower Dash Section with Cubby Hole and plugs for the outlets, Original '04 Pieces

More to come when I install the changer and the cable for it. Need to wait for the cable and mounting studs to come into the dealer, hopefully on Tuesday. This week, again hopfully, I'll be getting the Electroluminescent White Gauges from ePay, these are '04 gauges, so, all I have to do is swap the odometer, and I'll be straight.


JeepsOLot 12-09-2009 04:32 PM

New update, got the CD Changer mounted and wired up, :thumbsup:

Here is the Changer Box, with the Cubby Tray that was in it's place.

Here is the Changer inside the box.

It works great, a '99 Changer in an '04 GC, :thumbsup: Wifey loves this, with the steering wheel controls, she can control everything (Dash radio, CD player, tape deck that has the Sat Radio, and the CD changer) without her hands leaving the steering wheel, :2thumbsup:

Oh, and I got ahold of a 242 t-case off of ePay shipped for $175, and it only has 80,000 miles,:2thumbsup: Anyone thinks this is a good deal?


squashman702 12-09-2009 07:10 PM

Good deal for the case, even better if it's a 242HD.

JeepsOLot 12-09-2009 08:40 PM


Originally Posted by squashman702 (Post 8446355)
Good deal for the case, even better if it's a 242HD.

How can you tell if it's a 242 HD? The auction stated that it came from an '04 Grand with the 4.0L. I thought the HD was behind the V8, I think 4.7, am I right? Thanks! I just can't believe that noone sniped me on it, since it was the only 242 I saw that was under $250 at the time, and that wasn't including shipping.

Now, I just have to pull a 4x4 OD unit off a 42RE. The front axle I'm not worried about, just about every WJ that was 4WD, still had the D30, and, some, with the shafts hanging off the pinions. :D


madrabbitt 12-09-2009 09:37 PM


Originally Posted by JeepsOLot (Post 8419173)
Ok, time for an update. Found the Spartan Burl wood dash trim pieces that were in an '01 Limited in good shape. I swapped my brushed alunimum trim Laredo pieces out for these.

Out of curiosity, there were 3 pieces, right? 3 inch above the far left vent, radio bezel, and the one above the airbag

How hard was it to swap the one airbag one, i heard its a real pain to get that part of the dash apart.

I've been wanting the aluminum color ones for a while, but i didnt know how much effort the swap was, and i've got better things to do then pull apart my dash (again)

JeepsOLot 12-10-2009 09:01 PM


Originally Posted by madrabbitt (Post 8447575)
Out of curiosity, there were 3 pieces, right? 3 inch above the far left vent, radio bezel, and the one above the airbag

How hard was it to swap the one airbag one, i heard its a real pain to get that part of the dash apart.

I've been wanting the aluminum color ones for a while, but i didnt know how much effort the swap was, and i've got better things to do then pull apart my dash (again)

Well, on the donor vehicle, I just unscrewed the bottom trim piece just under the airbag area adn the very top of the glove box opening. Then, I just pulled up the dash above the glove box, then, unbolt the 4 10mm bolts.

The problem with doing this to your dash is, the flap that you move up to see the bolts, it won't go back all the way down. What I did on my dash is pry the trim piece over both vents, and bend out. THen, I just grabbed, and broke the mounting tabs off the bolts, got as much of the plastic from the old trim piece off as possible, then, I double side taped the new piece in place, doing some trimming on the backside to let the trim piece fit into the dash recess. It seemed to work pretty good for me. I've got the driver's side alunimum trim piece and the radio alunimum trim piece with the vents, if you are interested, they aren't doing me any good here, LOL! You'll just have to aquire the passenger side trim piece, and you should be good to go.

That is the easiest way to do that, unless you can totally take apart the entire dash, and do it the right way, :shhh:

Good luck, :thumbsup:


JeepsOLot 12-10-2009 09:04 PM

OK, got my Electroluminescent Limited gauges from ePay for $80, :2thumbsup:. These were from an '04, so, I could garantee that they wouldn't have an issue with my '04 WJ. Here is how they look in the dark

I'll take a pic of them tomorrow to show them in the light.


madrabbitt 12-11-2009 01:01 AM

Thanks for the info. I'm not really a fan of the idea of tearing apart the dash just for appearances.
I'm probably going to get the vinyl that looks like the brushed aluminum, put that on, and see how much I like how it looks.

What I really want, is a dark grey woodgrain, and i'm trying to see if I can get a wood dash company to do me just the two wood pieces that a laredo normally has, but in the grey.

The time now is 09:59 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.