Hello board, I'm looking to purchase a Jeep in the near future. I plan to lift it and put bigger tire on it. I used to own a stock 2000 WJ V6, and I traded it in years ago. The only thing I hated about the WJ was the brakes. I haven't had a chance to drive the WK, I was wondering if it performed better than the WJ.
In my opinion the WJ is the last real 4X4 of the Grands (straight axles). I also think that the WK is the ugliest Grand made (the ZJ, WJ, and WK2 are all better looking). 4.7 all the way and yes, the HO is worth it (forged steal crank, floating wrist pins, domed pistons with increased compression ratio, modified combustion chambers, modified intake manifold, bigger cams, higher flow rate injectors blah blah blah...). Put a larger diameter throttle body, K&N CIA, larger Borla (or similar) exhaust, and a Superchip in performance mode and they are impressive!!!
As far as the brakes go, if you get an early WJ do the Akebono swap for sure and then on any WJ add SS brake lines and EBC 7000 greens. These last two things really help out with a firm pedal. When I put bigger tires and steel wheels (lots more rotating mass), that's when I noticed my brakes sucking but these things will add new life to stopping power.
The WK rides nicer and handles better on the street and you can get a Hemi, that's about all that I can say about the WK (the Hemi screams, wish it wasn't such a pain to stuff into a WJ!).
It would be funny to see this thread in the WK forum and read the responses