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Unread Today, 02:42 AM   #1
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1997 ZJ 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Louisiana/Texas
Posts: 5,035
Looking at a 2005 WK this week..thoughts?

I'm a current ZJ owner....but at 265k miles, 'getting nervous about pulling my boat with the trusty 4.0 again this summer. Bought a larger boat and really need a V8 this year.

This week, I will go look at a 2005 WK, V8 ( 4.7?) ...not a hemi, unfortunately... 160 K miles. Might be able to get it for about $4k.....maybe less.

I know all the common issues with the ZJ, since I bought mine new, but know nothing about the WK. I'm especially concerned with parting with my select trac transfer case. Not sure if I even want another transfer case, since my 97 has been flawless.

But....in Jeep's infinite "wisdom"...I know I cant get it on a WK....dang it.

I put 7 PCMs in my ZJ before I found a good one. I do NOT want to deal with that issue again on a WK.

So,....how are the drive train electronics on the 2005 model? Do they suck, too?

Trannys? Again, I'm spoiled with mine. Does the 2005 model tranny have inherent issues I need to know about?

I dont expect it to be perfect and $1000 repair is no big deal for me...but I'd rather NOT have to spend $2500+ on anything for a year or two on the WK.

Any common issues to all of the 2005 models I need to look for?
Or should I just get 2007 or later model?

Thanks in advance.

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Unread Today, 04:38 AM   #2
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2005 WK 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Stamford, Connecticut
Posts: 648
I have a 2005 4.7L. In my opinion the engine, transmission, transfer case, differentials, (and pcm) are all excellent if they were maintained with recommended interval fluid changes. Save your money for the smaller yet extensive servicing including shocks, struts, brakes, exhaust manifold gaskets, radiator, fuel pump, hubs/bearings, TPMS sensors, heater control panel lights, passenger fan resistor, rear window and hatch struts, oxygen sensors, muffler and tailpipe, oil pan, valve cover gaskets, valve lifters(done out of caution not need), and fluid changes. My vehicle has 78,000 original miles and I have put about $5,000 of parts into refurbishing it- but I use Mopar parts only - mostly due to age in the snow belt, not mileage.
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Unread Today, 05:47 AM   #3
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2008 WK 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Greenville, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,904
I've owned a first gen 4.7 (in a Dakota) and I never had an issue with it, but they're getting a little long in the tooth and if not cared for you could run in to lash adjuster or head gasket problems. These aren't super common, but if it's been beaten or neglected at all it could pop up. IMO - If looking for a 4.7 I'd want the 08+ 2nd gen version. Not saying any of the V8's are bad.

The transmission is pretty stout. Same unit they put behind 5.7 Hemi's, even in 2500 Rams until the 8spd came out.
For sale: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f125/08-overland-wheels-tires-tpms-3581914/
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Unread Today, 07:56 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 749
I also jumped from a '97 ZJ to a WK and have been pleased with the upgrade.
Since you plan to tow a boat, finding a WK with the factory tow package would be a plus, even tho you can add a hitch and wiring yourself.

All the V8 WKs should have a high/low range T-case. Be sure to test it out before purchasing as some dealer updates had problems with the low range being disabled. Some have electronic locking differentials too.

As others have said, good maintenance is key in buying a high mileage Jeep.
06 Laredo - 4x4 V6 - Stone White - Custom LED Cargo Area Lights, Lighted Visors Added - now at 49k miles

97 Laredo - 4.0 4x4 Daily driver for 8 years then relocated to Arizona for 6 more years with the relatives
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Unread Today, 09:11 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: las vegas, nv
Posts: 259
Look at the build sheet from Jeep. It will tell you if you have the heavy-duty cooling, even if it doesn't have the tow receiver and wiring installed.

http://www.jeep.com/webselfservice/B...ervlet?vin=XXX replace XXX with the full VIN all caps

I bought my 05 WK with 139K miles on it and in the 3 years of ownership I've had to replace:

water pump
tranny solenoid pack
rear end (ring&pinion and bearings)
front propshaft
adjustable pedal motor
front diff mount rubber bushings

things that need to be replaced: driver's side front diff seal weeping, front crank seal weeping, dash buttons need new bulbs (or new panels)

Mine has been free of electrical problems; I have a fancy code scanner that reads all the chrysler manufacturer codes and I get no codes from any system when I scan. Engine seems fine and doesn't have the exhaust manifold bolt problem.

The seats are not the most comfy, and I wish it had 'bi-level' heating (hot air on feet, cold air on face).

I also wish it had ESP every time I'm driving too fast on snowy roads.

Do a search for 'key dance' to use the onboard code scanner when you go to test drive.
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