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Unread 06-14-2014, 07:37 AM   #1
chilliwangler
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04 WJ Build - North of the 49th

Just another build thread for a 2004 WJ. I bought this Jeep with 18,000 km on it after someone's lease expired. I had a young family and needed a vehicle that would pack up the family, work well as my DD to cover off my large sales territory while allowing me space to carry stuff I needed to demo, pull a utility trailer for various reasons, and most of all allowed me to get into the bush to fly fish, hike, hunt, and all the other things that I like to do outside. The Grand Cherokee was a perfect fit for me and I liked the 2004 Laredo model for it's looks and it's off-road capability. I had also heard a lot of great things about the 4.0 I6 motor and that it was quite reliable. That was a bonus for me too since I knew that I was going to rack the miles on it.

I put a lot of time behind the wheel since I am in sales, but I am happy to report that other than a couple front axle seals, warranty recalls, and regular maintenance stuff like brakes, etc., the Jeep had been rock solid for me. In Dec 2011 with 272,727 kms on her I decided to take it in to get some work done. Space and time constraints kept me from doing any major jobs on the Jeep throughout its life. She had started to leak some oil on the driveway and throw some check engine codes so I took her in to a shop.

This is what was done:
- Rear main seal, oil pan gasket, and valve cover gasket all replaced.
- Bank 2 Sensor 2 Oxygen sensor replaced
- Evap leak test - diagnosed as a defective pump - More on this later
- Adjustment to transfer case shifter and switch - Dash light wasn't working
- Replaced thermostat

I didn't bother with the Evap repair at the time because I was already thinking of retiring the old girl as my DD and I had over a year before I had to get it Aircared again for insurance.

At the end of Nov 2012 I decided that I needed a newer vehicle that wouldn't be so heavy on my wallet for fuel since I was averaging around $600 per month in gas. I pulled the trigger on a new 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe 2.0T and the Jeep was left in the driveway. I was thinking of selling it for the longest time so that I could take the money to save up for something else, but after thinking about what I would actually get for it I decided to hold off and take some time to truly evaluate whether it was worth selling. At the time I retired her she had over 300,000 kms on her, but she didn't owe me a dime.

At the time of the Evap test that was done in Dec 2011 I was quoted about $400 for the repair. Since I own the service manual for the Jeep I decided to hold off until I had some time to look at it. Fast forward to Aug 2013 when I was due to renew my insurance and pass an Aircare inspection I decided to pull the back bumper off and take a look at what was going on. I am happy to report that the repair cost me all of nothing other than some of my time. The problems was simply a major crack in the hose going into the canister. I cleaned the area up since it was full of oil and dirt from the rear diff vent hose issue, trimmed the hose, re-installed, cleared the codes, and voila. No codes since.

So there is the history of my Jeep. Fast forward to today and I have decided that she needs some love and attention. After a buddy moved back home from Ontario, and we had a few beers in garage, I decided that it was time to lift her up a bit and make her more of an Expedition Rig.

Here's how she sits after retirement and before any mods other than a new stereo I put in years ago for Bluetooth integration and iPod auxiliary jacks with charging.

Let the games begin.

stock-2004-wj-after-retirement.jpeg

cab.jpeg

cab-2.jpeg

cab-3.jpeg

engine-comparment.jpeg

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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-14-2014, 07:38 AM   #2
chilliwangler
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Build Sheet

Nothing fancy on this model. This is the build sheet from Chrysler.

Prem Cloth High-Back Bucket Seats
Dark Slate Gray
Monotone Paint
4.0L Engine(ERH)/4Spd Auto Trans(DGK
136 Amp Alternator
625 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
Low Back Bucket Seats
Highline Door Trim Panel
Rear 60/40 Folding Seat
Child Seat Anchor System-LATCH Ready
Next Gen Multistage Front Air Bags**
Floor Carpet
Cargo Compartment Carpet
Cargo Tie Down Loops
Front & Rear Floor Mats
Cargo Trim Panel w/Storage Net
Driver Foot Rest
Passenger Assist Handles
Mini Overhead Console
Full Length Floor Console
All 4-Speed Automatic Transmissions
4-Spd. Automatic 42RE Transmission
Lock-Up Torque Converter
Selec-Trac Full Time 4WD System
Dana 30/186MM Front Axle
3.55 Rear Axle Ratio
Dana 35C/194MM Rear Axle
4.0L I6 Power Tech Engine
Tinted Windshield Glass
Front Door Tinted Glass
Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass
Flipper Liftgate Glass
Rear Window Defroster
Rear View Day/Night Mirror
Sun Visors w/Vanity Mirror
Power Mirrors, Fold-Away
Remote Keyless Entry
Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System
Air Conditioning
Hood Insulation
Deluxe Insulation Group
Route L1 - CP, Annacis Island
Instrument Cluster w/Tach
230 KPH Primary Speedometer
Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Rear Window Wiper/Washer
Dual Note Electric Horns
Glove Box
12V Auxiliary Power Outlet
Power Accessory Delay
Power Locks
Power Windows, Driver One-Touch
Power 6-Way Driver Seat
RADIANT SILVER - DIM GRAPHIC - "4X4"
RADIANT SILVER - Badge
EXTERIOR COMPONENT COLOR
EXTERIOR COMPONENT COLOR
Illuminated Entry
Warning Chime
Vehicle Information Center
Courtesy Lamps
Glove Box Lamp
Rear Courtesy/Reading Lamps
Cargo Compartment Lamp
Traveler/Mini Trip Computer
Halogen Headlamps
Daytime Running Headlamps, High Beam
CHMSL Lamp
Front License Plate Bracket
Body Color Grille
Black Windshield Moldings
Jeep Badge
Side Roof Rails
Adjustable Roof Rail Crossbars
50 State Emissions
Federal Tier 2, Bin 9A Emissions
20.5 Gallon Fuel Tank
Engine Block Heater
Speed Control
Graphite Metallic Clear Coat
Graphite Metallic Clear Coat
All Radio Equipped Vehicles
AM/FM Compact Disc Radio w/Chgr Ctrl
6 Speakers
Fixed Long Mast Antenna
Power Steering
Steering Wheel
Normal Duty Suspension
Tilt Steering Column
Full Size Spare Tire
Inside Mounted Spare Tire
P225/75R16 OWL All Season Tires
Goodyear Brand Tires
16" Steel Spare Wheel
16X7.0 Lux Alum Silver Wheels
All Steel Wheels
All Aluminum Wheels
English/USA Language
Protective Coating and Remover
Build To Canada Mkt. Specifications
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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-14-2014, 07:38 AM   #3
chilliwangler
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Time to lift - OME HD Kolak Performance Kit.

So after contemplating what I was going to do for a lift, and spending countless hours on the forum looking at different WJs, I decided to contact Nick of Kolak Performance since everyone spoke so highly of the guy. Since I am in British Columbia I was getting frustrated at prices coming in from local shops that seemed way too high based on what I was seeing online from the US. I have one major advantage in that I live less than 20 minutes from the Sumas, WA border crossing and drive by the crossing multiple times every week.

I decided that I wanted to have more of an expedition rig that would fit into my lifestyle more than a crawling style rig. I had also decided that I really wanted to run a set of Rubicon takeoffs with 255/75R17 BFG tires, but I didn't want to go crazy high on the lift either. After talking to Nick I decided to go the route of OME springs and build around that.

Here is what I ordered:

Spring isolator set (all 8 pieces)
2004 WJ 4.0 I6 - OME HD springs (set of four)
2004 WJ - OME 10mm spacers (set of four)
Bilstein 5100 series shocks (set of four)
MOOG Super Trail Boss steering stabilizer
IRO front adjustable track bar
IRO rear extended end links
JKS front swaybar disconnects

I also found a set of five almost new Rubi take offs locally that I picked up at what I considered to be a decent price.

All told I saved a lot of money going through Nick, and with most of the shipping being prepaid to the border it made the deal even better. Let's hope that Can $ stays up there against the US. I wish it was still on par, but .90 on the dollar isn't too bad. Since the parts came in through various shipments I was also able to whip across the line and bring back the parts without any hassle or extra fees. I ended up paying a total of around $100 in taxes when it was all said and done. Still way cheaper than the prices I was quoted locally.

So after a couple weeks of waiting for parts to trickle in I finally had everything I needed to move forward. I picked up some tools that I needed and we got all set up to tackle the lift in a buddies driveway. The total job ended up taking us a couple of evenings after work and there were really no major issues other than a couple of stubborn nuts and the track bar.

I am very happy with the stance of the lifted Jeep. However, the tires didn't fit with the stock control arm length, so now she sits in my driveway until I can get time to do some trimming. The bumper will need trimming and I expected that. Unfortunately I will also need to do some trimming at the back of the front wheel well. I picked up a set of Bushwacker Cutout Fender Flares, but I have been on and off the fence of whether I like them or not. I won't be upgrading the front bumper for a while and that is my biggest complaint on the look of them. I also want to make sure that the wheels don't get inset too much with flares on either. I guess I could always increase the spacers to larger ones to push the wheels out. I am not sure how much that will affect the strength of the stock hubs, lugs, axles, ....??? As you can see I am not much of a mechanic yet.
parts-loaded-up.jpg

front-lift-ome-spacer.jpg

front-lift-complete.jpg

post-lift-stance-3.jpg

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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-14-2014, 07:39 AM   #4
chilliwangler
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Upgrade and Wish List

Just a wish list of things that I want to do in no particular order.

Lift and Tires - Done
Adjustable Control Arms
Husky Front and Back Liners
Skid Plates
CB Install
New Headlights
Bushwacker Flares
Roof Basket
Bumper(s)???
Front - http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...umper-1881626/
Rear - http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...-22-a-1619433/
Winch
Spare Tire Storage - Rear bumper eventually.
Tablet install
Map Light Mod - Night Light
Interior LED upgrade
Rear Tailgate Dome Light
Hot Water Shower
Dual Battery Setup
Onboard Air

Expedition Trailer
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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-14-2014, 07:40 AM   #5
chilliwangler
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Space 4 for future notes

Reserved for future posts on the Jeep
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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-14-2014, 07:51 AM   #6
cr8zynelly
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Can I have space 6? For future comments on your future notes?
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Unread 06-14-2014, 07:54 AM   #7
chilliwangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cr8zynelly View Post
Can I have space 6? For future comments on your future notes?
My OCD gets the best of me. I have done threads on forums before and I get frazzled when I have to review my thread to find the info I want. You are welcome to space 6. LOL
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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:35 AM   #8
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Got a few things accomplished yesterday. - Installed new Moog steering damper - Put the final coat of paint on all wiper arms - Cut polished all plastic pieces for wiper arm mounts and caps - Cut polished all light lenses. Not happy with results on headlights so new ones have gone on the list of updates. - Cut polished all rain shields over windows - Removed front bumper in preparation of trimming - Measured, trimmed, and bent front fenders. Trimmed inner pinch weld also. Took it for a drive for the first time post lift.
moog-installed.jpeg

headlight-before-polish.jpeg

headlight-after-polish.jpeg

bushwacker-cut-plans.jpeg

post-trim-bending-flares-2.jpeg

bushwacker-measurements-front-trimming.jpeg

post-lift-stance-2.jpeg

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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #9
gtg413i
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Hi, looking at your thread. I have a pretty similar setup you are going for. I didnt see mention of extended bump stops. Do you hae those? With thos, i didnt need to trim the rear sheet metal of the front tires. It rubs a bit, but i wheel disconnected also and not much problems. The tire did bend the top of the well out a bit, but you can onlynotice if i tell someone about it. I personally think the bushwckers look good on certain rims, but other than tire ccoverage, they dont give much more clearance when cutting. I hoped they allowed 33" tires on 3" lift and i would buy them.
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Unread 06-15-2014, 11:03 PM   #10
chilliwangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtg413i
Hi, looking at your thread. I have a pretty similar setup you are going for. I didnt see mention of extended bump stops. Do you hae those? With thos, i didnt need to trim the rear sheet metal of the front tires. It rubs a bit, but i wheel disconnected also and not much problems. The tire did bend the top of the well out a bit, but you can onlynotice if i tell someone about it. I personally think the bushwckers look good on certain rims, but other than tire ccoverage, they dont give much more clearance when cutting. I hoped they allowed 33" tires on 3" lift and i would buy them.
I have not extended the bump stops as of yet. I am waiting to get things set up and then wheel a bit to see what kind of clearance I have and need. With the setup I installed I ended up needing to trim just to turn the wheels. I will probably get some adjustable CAs soon to centre the wheels, but for now I decided to trim. I spent some time today placing the Bushwackers temporarily on the front and stepped back to ponder the look I wanted. I have decided to go ahead and complete the Bushwacker install after all. I think I can make it all flow quite nicely with a bit of rocker panel and trim painting. I know I won't get any additional top clearance, but I can use bump stops if need be. I'm hoping to complete the install this week.

Len
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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-15-2014, 11:12 PM   #11
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So today I spent a bit of time on a few quick projects before I had to go pick the kids up for Father's Day dinner.

- Installed the wiper arms I finished painting along with new wiper blades.
- Trimmed the front bumper enough to get me mobile and reinstalled it. I am sure I will need to trim more.
- Took the air filter basket and intake shroud off and cleaned the throttle body. It was pretty gummed up. I think I will do a full Seafoam treatment. I haven't used it before but it seems pretty simple.

That was it for today.

Len
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2004 Jeep WJ Laredo - Build Thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...-49th-2493281/
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Unread 06-16-2014, 04:39 AM   #12
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Good looking build so far!
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Unread 06-16-2014, 10:40 AM   #13
gtg413i
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Without bump stops you'll be all in your wheel well with a I disconnected sway bar. This is me stuffed with extended bumpstops. Also. I am sure you know this but you need to do washer bottle relocate and trim some metal on the back of the front bumper.
image-3013752369.jpg

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Unread 06-17-2014, 08:07 PM   #14
JeepinAaron
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Nice jeep. I love the tire wheels. I just got this lift. I think I will go 31" tires to avoid the rubbing.
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Unread 06-19-2014, 01:40 PM   #15
chilliwangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepinAaron View Post
Nice jeep. I love the tire wheels. I just got this lift. I think I will go 31" tires to avoid the rubbing.
Thanks. I really like the look of those rims on my Jeep with the colour. The tires are a good size too for the look, but they came with plenty of trimming needed and other fun stuff. Oh well. That's what I knew going into this project. I took it out last night to do some mild flexing disconnected and I really like the feel of the suspension. I will need to extend my bumpstops about 3 to 4 inches when it is all said and done to avoid ripping out the front fender like gtg413i mentioned.

The back stuffed in quite nicely, but rubbed a bit. I will be getting the flares finished soon and that will open the back up a bit to stop that problem.
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