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Unread 10-13-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
cedxc2005
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Wj Growing Pains...

Well JF, it has been quite a long time, but I'm back. Did a lot of stuff since my last post, but almost none of it was Jeep-related. Biggest thing: I moved to NYC and started working.

Anyway, my WJ ('04 4.0L) hit 90k recently, and to put it bluntly, bigger pieces are starting to break. I suppose I should expect this from a 10 year old vehicle, but repairs hurt. I just had the drag link TRE done, PS hose was leaking, and now the control arm bushings are starting to show signs of wear. I have three general questions for you guys:

1) At 90k, with just about everything original (shocks are new, but OEM matching Monroes, tires are also new-ish), what's next to go? I love my WJ to death, but at this stage in my life, I'm not exactly made of money. I imagine that the remaining control arm bushings are going to need replacing soon, and the steering linkage would need a good round of parts as well. Realistically, how many more miles (or years) do I have before something big (ie: more than the value of the WJ) goes?

2) One way I've been keeping maintenance costs down is doing most of it myself. Since I live in NYC (Queens), I don't have a garage; what I do have is a driveway and a dedicated parking spot. However, this is not a very fun environment to do major repairs (e.g. suspension work). I also lack some of the bigger tools (impact gun, big sockets, breaker bars). Most stuff that doesn't involve lifting the Jeep off the ground I can do - I just did the spark plugs for instance as part of the 90k tune up. Anybody close by that wouldn't mind lending a hand for bigger projects? Long Island, I'm looking at you.

3) As bigger things require replacing or work, should I just cut my losses and sell, and then turn around and start a cycle of leasing new Jeeps/other cars? (Of course, I'd list here on JF, but that's for another post on another board). Again, the thing is, I don't have the money to throw $500 at this Jeep every other month or so.

Thanks for the input guys.

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Unread 10-13-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
99WJ539918
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I am slowly going through and replacing my suspension parts. I've done all front ball joints, all tie rod ends, drag links, and hub bearings. I have to replace my shocks, springs, isolaters, controls arms, control arm bushings, rear A-arm ball joint and bushings, and steering stabilizer. So I'm basically a complete lift kit away from being done. Oh yeah, and then tires. Anyway, it's tough not having a good spot to do the work. It would be so much cheaper to be able to do it yourself. Check Craigslist, people are willing to do work really cheap because they're out of a job. As far as how long your suspension parts will last, every vehicle is different. At only 90K some well say that your WJ is in good shape, but it's still ten years old. Good luck.
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Unread 10-13-2013, 11:50 PM   #3
EisBlade
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It's cheaper to maintain a vehicle than buy another.
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Unread 10-15-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
cedxc2005
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@99WJ...Aside from the suspension, has yours had any other issues? I did the steering stabilizer too, but that was pretty easy - generally, if all four wheels stay on the ground, I can do it. Obviously, this generally is not the case for the suspension.

@EisBlade - I guess it depends on how you look at it. Leasing a new Jeep Wrangler (as an example) for $250-$300 a month is easier to plan for than "Surprise! Your transmission just fell out!"

I was lucky and found a decent mechanic near where I live. They did the rear LCAs in about an hour and charged me $475....most of that was in parts. Yay NYC and our 8.875% sales tax. Not cheap, but they do have the means to break those rusted bolts loose. Any other people want to chime in?
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Unread 10-15-2013, 05:47 PM   #5
99WJ539918
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Mine has been very reliable. I've replaced some suspension parts, rear axle bearings five years ago, front pinion seal, and a crankshaft position sensor. I've replaced other stuff, but it was because I wanted to.
How much were those control arms? Were they stock?
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Unread 10-15-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
EisBlade
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True. True. Other than the suspension mess I got myself into by going cheap and having to backtrack, regroup, and move forward with quality components, the two WJ issues I've had were:

1) Transmission slip. I took my time addressing this and then had the shop toss in a street shift during repair. $800

2) Knocking in the bottom end of the engine. I bought a motor with low miles from a junk yard 2hrs away and while there picking it up also purchased new axles with lower gearing. I towed the WJ and motor to a shop and asked that they only pull the bad and insert the new. I reconnected all hoses and things at home and have been fine since. $400+ for the motor. $250 for the motor pull / insert. Misc. $ for spark plugs and other updated parts while it was out.
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Unread 10-15-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
wj4play
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I figure $6000 is the breaking point for a new vehicle. That is 12 $500 a month payments towards a new ride

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Unread 10-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #8
cedxc2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99WJ539918 View Post
How much were those control arms? Were they stock?
Control arms are stock from Mopar...I think they were $170 each. Apparently, if I had a WK, they would have been cheaper.

Luckily, I have the famous "bulletproof" 4.0L. Aside from the ticking (which I've been told on this board is normal), it runs great. Had to do the TPS, but that wasn't too bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wj4play View Post
I figure $6000 is the breaking point for a new vehicle. That is 12 $500 a month payments towards a new ride
Is that repair cost, or vehicle value? B/c I think I could get about $6k-$7k for it - not that I'm trying to sell.

So far, nothing you guys posted here seems to be a wallet-killer...guess you just have to know people. Though I will say, $800 on a trans would sting for a month or two.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
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Let me chime in here a minute; You mentioned that your dub has just 90,xxx miles on it, why are you forecasting such catastrophic failures? I have been in Jeeps for the better part of my driving career (95zj, 98zj, 99wj, 00wj) and I find them to be reliable and solid trucks that dont usually crap major parts out on you.

I live nearby in NYC and thankfully have a garage so I can do more serious work but I havent had to. On my current Jeep I just did shocks, and will slowly by going over the entire drive-train and suspension (DS, TC Swap, Bushings and Links), but mind you I have over 190,xxx on the clock, and none of these repairs are 'urgent' as much as just prevention.

Jeeps are good trucks, treat them well and you wont have to count on them breaking down on you.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 04:21 PM   #10
wj4play
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webby88
Let me chime in here a minute; You mentioned that your dub has just 90,xxx miles on it, why are you forecasting such catastrophic failures? I have been in Jeeps for the better part of my driving career (95zj, 98zj, 99wj, 00wj) and I find them to be reliable and solid trucks that dont usually crap major parts out on you.

I live nearby in NYC and thankfully have a garage so I can do more serious work but I havent had to. On my current Jeep I just did shocks, and will slowly by going over the entire drive-train and suspension (DS, TC Swap, Bushings and Links), but mind you I have over 190,xxx on the clock, and none of these repairs are 'urgent' as much as just prevention.

Jeeps are good trucks, treat them well and you wont have to count on them breaking down on you.
X2

195k on mine and I only needed rear a-arm joint (as far as ca bushings) and I plowed for four years with mine

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Unread 10-16-2013, 05:27 PM   #11
cedxc2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webby88 View Post
Let me chime in here a minute; You mentioned that your dub has just 90,xxx miles on it, why are you forecasting such catastrophic failures? I have been in Jeeps for the better part of my driving career (95zj, 98zj, 99wj, 00wj) and I find them to be reliable and solid trucks that dont usually crap major parts out on you.

I live nearby in NYC and thankfully have a garage so I can do more serious work but I havent had to. On my current Jeep I just did shocks, and will slowly by going over the entire drive-train and suspension (DS, TC Swap, Bushings and Links), but mind you I have over 190,xxx on the clock, and none of these repairs are 'urgent' as much as just prevention.

Jeeps are good trucks, treat them well and you wont have to count on them breaking down on you.

This was the testimonial that I was looking for. This WJ is practically my first car; and it is certainly the oldest car that anybody in my family has. Am I forecasting? Not intentionally - that quip about the transmission was an extreme example. The general consensus from Dad (who has owned many cars in his time) is that after a certain point, the wear parts end up costing more than is logical to invest, given the age of the vehicle and the likelihood of more problems. Don't get me wrong, I want to hold onto this Jeep until it dies, is resurrected, and dies again. I just don't want that to happen in the next year or two. Hence, I turned to the only source of experienced Jeep owners I know of for advice.

Thanks a lot for the info. I do treat the Jeep right - I follow that maintenance schedule religiously. Rest assured, when I do need some help fixing something, I'll post again.

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