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Unread 03-14-2014, 08:44 AM   #1
wchancey
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Harrison, mi
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63 year old with a bucket list

Just bought my first 4WD ever , it is a 2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo with a 4.0 not sure about the 4WD part it has , 4 part time , 4 full time , neutral , 4 low.

I took it to my mechanic and the biggest problem he could find was the rear wiper doesn't work.

Now the stupid bucket list question , I have never been out 4 wheeling before. Is this jeep good for off roading , not talking about mountain climbing , just getting off the beaten path. Or is this more for just some bad days in the winter ?

I live mid Michigan with lots of off road trails , fire trails and such , looks like mostly sand and gravel type trails. As I have driven by in the past I have often wondered where they go what was out there , but I have always driven vans since my hippie youth and they suck on those types of roads.

I want to explore and play this summer was this jeep a good choice?

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Unread 03-14-2014, 08:58 AM   #2
ChrisHager
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Your 4WD is Selec-Trac (242 transfer case).

The WJ is a great choice for winter driving AND getting off the beaten path. They can handle quite a bit in stock form!
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Unread 03-14-2014, 09:17 AM   #3
shockracer
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It is a good choice.

Congratulations and welcome

The WJ is vary capable if driven correctly. I suggest searching for an off-road or trail group to join and start having fun.
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Unread 03-14-2014, 10:05 AM   #4
greeky510
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Welcome to Jeepforums. I've owned my 00 Grand Cherokee with selec-trac like yours for around 7 years now. Its 4x4 capabilities still amaze me sometimes.
Read up online how to properly use your transfer case. That and some common sense and you'll be golden.

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Unread 03-14-2014, 10:13 AM   #5
grussell
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Welcome. This forum will help you become very educated on your new WJ. The 4.0 engine is a solid engine if not abused.
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Unread 03-14-2014, 10:17 AM   #6
alfaitalia
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I never cease to be amazed where I can get in my WJ (and so do some of my Land Rover Defender driving friends!).....and I "only" have the 247 TC with open diffs. Tyre choice is EVERYTHING.....my grabbers have completely changed where I can now drive the old girl!

Get some good rubber on her and with the 242 you will get most places. Have you got any sort of lockers or varilock axles?.....even better if you have!
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Unread 03-14-2014, 10:37 AM   #7
04WJUSNPA
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This is my 1st WJ, but my 6th 4X4 so far no complaints, i will say that the clearance at stock vs. my stock GMC Sierra is not the same, But with $200 BB Spacers, Shocks and stabilizer that was easily corrected. As for the actual 4 wheel capability it is very good whether it is winter roads or muddy trails.
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Unread 03-14-2014, 07:34 PM   #8
2ndhandWJman
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Congrats on buying the WJ! Think of it like this; it's an off road capable station wagon. Just the addition of a good all-terrain tire will give you plenty of capabilities for trail exploring. I've had mine for almost a year, so far it's proven itself to be great in crappy winter weather and enjoyable for a long highway drive. I wish I would have purchased one of these years earlier.
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Unread 03-14-2014, 09:21 PM   #9
michiganmaveric
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You have the 242 transfer case which in my opinion is the best. A couple of things. Never use 4 wheel part time on dry pavement, it is for use on slippery stuff like sand, gravel, snow ECT. If you use it on dry pavement you could damage the T-Case. 4 wheel full time can be used anytime, even on dry pavement. 4 low I never used in 8 years here in Michigan and am not a good source of info on it, others might chime in to give you some pointers on it. Good tires are a must for the trails, and opinions very on the best ones.so take your pick. Believe it or not, you really do not have a true 4 wheel drive vehicle. You have open differentials so only one wheel on either axle is being driven at a time. I had an XJ with the same set up and did get stuck a couple of times with it. When I bought my WJ I put Detroit True Tracs in both differentials and never had a problem in over 300,000 miles (and I went through some pretty deep snow, I was cutting off the top of the snow because it was so deep). I even had to help a couple of Wranglers up a hill in Oklahoma because they could not get up it by themselves (bad tires).

Never go wheeling by yourself unless you are within walking distance of civilization, or have cell phone service. A winch, hi lift jack, come along are good ideas for your rig and would help if you do go by yourself and get stuck.

I do not know how much money you want to put into your rig, but for wheeling a lot of guys put a lift on it, 2 to 4 or 6 inches.

Welcome to the forum and enjoy your rig.
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Unread 03-14-2014, 11:21 PM   #10
dahreno
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Congrats for your purchase of a 4 wheel drive vehicle. You should do what I did, go online and find a couple 4 wheel drive clubs locally that go on day trips. The more you use it, the more you will understand it's capabilities and enjoy it. I am not to far behind you as far as age is concerned and 4 wheeling has opened up a whole new life for me.Please stay on designated trails, don't go off the trails, be a good land steward .Go to Tread lightly!.com , and blue ribbon coalition and see what they are up to. You may end up doing what my wife and I do and just go out sometimes with like minded people and help clean up the great outdoors. It's a great way to meet people and do some 4 wheeling at the same time !Good luck, have a blast, don't go out alone, carry some tools and post up here the trips you take !
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Unread 03-15-2014, 12:42 AM   #11
MEinSoCal
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with some good all-terrain tires (M+S), a stock WJ grand cherokee is an excellent vehicle for snow and offroad driving. also the 4.0L is a great engine. i've gotten 230K on my 1999 Laredo with proper maintenance.

also, if you don't already have it, get some factory OEM tow hooks for the front... just in case. congrats and enjoy your first Jeep
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