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Unread 04-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #1
JDTech
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Winter Haven, FL
Posts: 3
Buying a 2002 Liberty Sport

Hello,
I'm close to closing on a 2002 Liberty Sport for my son but I've read several reviews and forum posts about failures with the 3.7 liter engine. If I do buy this Liberty what should I do to prevent any engine failure issues? It has 130,000 miles on it now and test drives ok. Are there any other concerns to look for before I buy it?
Thanks for any input!

JD

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Unread 04-07-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
Skipper6413
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2011 KK Liberty 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texarkana, Texas
Posts: 337
JD,
There's an app called mobile car check for android phones. Pretty good checklists for buying used car. Specifically, the libs are decent engines. Only thing I've heard is be wary of overheating.

Check code histories and for leaks. Check for a service history. Do you know history of how well it was treated or run the crap out of it? Check the whole vehicle not just the engine. Kbb the value for a good expected price for what you are paying.
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Unread 04-08-2013, 05:29 AM   #3
Georgeandkira
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hackensack,NJ
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Hello, Put it in 4WD and see if it bucks horribly in turns. This is how I was drawn into the world of Liberties. Look rearward down the length of the front driveshaft to the CV joint at the transfer case. The rubber weather seal is much smaller than a regular boot. Make sure it's there as water will enter the CV joint and lube will leak out. Also remember, these things drink their share of fuel (kid's car, and all). Kira
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Unread 04-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #4
JDTech
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Winter Haven, FL
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Thanks for the responses. Is there an oil pump issue with the early 3.7 engines? I read so much bad stuff about them and was wondering if there was a fix that could be done to the early engines. I'm completely ingnorant about this issue, so please if it's a misinformation issue that's floating around out there I'd like to know that as well.... I do like the Liberty more as I consider other small 4x4s. Great project SUV potential.

Last edited by JDTech; 04-08-2013 at 05:30 PM..
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Unread 04-08-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
Skipper6413
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2011 KK Liberty 
 
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I own two Liberties: a KJ and a KK. I haven't had any such issue nor heard of one. As long as you do regular services you should be just fine.
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Unread 04-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
grenade187
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2002 KJ Liberty 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: vancouver, bc
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgeandkira View Post
Hello, Put it in 4WD and see if it bucks horribly in turns.
If you drive on asphalt in 4WD it will "buck" or hop around corners because the transfer case and differentials are trying to rotate all four wheels at the same speed. When you turn, the inside wheels rotate slower than the outside ones. You should NEVER drive in 4HI or 4LO on bare asphalt or you will eventually cause severe damage to either the transfer case, differentals, or driveline components. If you're equipped with Selec-Trac and have the 4 Full-Time option, it doesn't matter, it is essentially All Wheel Drive - like a Subaru or Audi. 4 Part-Time and 4LO are ONLY for low-traction conditions - snow, mud, sand, gravel, etc.


I bought a 2002 3.7L Limited back in '06 and had it ever since. I've put over 130,000km on it (now at 230,000) and it has been a great truck. What Kira said about the CV joint on the front driveshaft at the transfer case end is correct, the rubber boots eventually crack and the CV will become contaminated. Easy fix, the driveshaft comes out with 6 bolts at each end, you can drive it without the front driveshaft if necessary. CV rebuild kits are available for around $70, I think. My radiator cracked at around 205,000km, replacement was around $160CAD, about 2-3 hour job to change it out. Other than that no problems. Just make sure it gets all its regular fluid changes at proper intervals and it should treat you pretty good.

As far as problems with the early engines, my truck was built in 02/02 so probably one of the earliest ones out there and it haven't had to do anything to it, still runs great.. it does consume about 1 to 1.5 quarts of oil between changes though. I'd say fairly typical of an engine with 230K.
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Unread 04-08-2013, 08:04 PM   #7
JDTech
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Thanks, I appreciate the information.
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Unread 04-09-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
Gunpowder
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2002 KJ Liberty 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 55
Valves can drop in the 3.7. Usually #2 but mine was #4. It is in the shop right now and we are truing to decide if it is worth fixing. It was $3K for heads and a 1 new catalytic but they discovered piston damage in the cylinder. Just a ding but they think they want to repair it or install a new engine. Haven't herd the price yet so not sure what to do.

It sucks gas though. 15-18 MPG
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