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post #1 of 4 Unread 03-10-2019, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2019
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Hey everyone. I’ve been looking at both the Liberty and WK GC recently for a new Daily Driver/ Weekend toy. With two kids still in car seats it seems like the Grand Cherokee is the smarter option.

The dilemma I find myself in is that I am returning to school for a year so the budget it quite low. Trying to keep things under 7000. I have found a few Hemi models in this price range however typically have 160k-180k miles on them. How is reliability in the WK Grand Cherokee and Hemi motors up in this range? Is it common for the Hemi to go 200k miles?

I was an Engineer for 16 years, so quite adequate with a wrench in my hand so not worried about basic maintenance stuff, but a motor replacement when I’m living on savings would suck!

Last edited by Deftoneuk; 03-10-2019 at 11:10 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Unread 03-11-2019, 02:44 PM
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2012 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Durham
Posts: 3,655
As long as they were maintained and not overheated, they are decent.

06 KJ
12 JK, 2.5" Teraflex lift, Bilstein 5100's, BFG KM3's 37x12.5/R17
17 WK2 Trailhawk
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post #3 of 4 Unread 03-12-2019, 06:34 AM
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2007 WK 
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Well in the situation you describe, I don't think its the wisest choice and having a '98 bought new (177,000 miles) and an '07 bought when 2 years old (109,000 miles) after 100,000 miles is when you start to have to replacing things that go beyond normal maintenance. The '07 was less troublesome than the '98 was in general, but every repair job on the '07, is more complex and difficult than similar jobs on the '98.
On the WK series, the Hemi V8 is a great but thirsty engine. However, up to 07 they are known for the potential to drop a valve seat which can cause catastrophic damage. The front and rear driveshafts do not use replaceable u joints and increase repair costs when they need to be replaced. The front shocks are a coil over shock design and a real headache to replace. The electronics can be troublesome, especially if the N23 recall wasn't done right. I had a check engine light on mine that required a replacement of the cat converter (crack in a pipe between the upper and lower O2 sensors) fortunately it happened before the fed emissions warrantee expired so I didn't have to pay for the repair (part was $1200 alone).
The vehicles drive great, they are very good in the snow, but low maintenance low cost at that age and mileage, I don't see as a good risk.
Personally for my use I sometimes prefer the '98 ZJ with the 4.0. It is just so much easier to deal with for repairs. Slow like a donkey but endearing. However, it is very difficult to find good ones of the original ZJ series any longer.
If you find one you like, check it out carefully, make sure everything works but be forewarned, they are not for people looking for a cheap to repair low maintenance vehicle. For the 1st 100,00 miles yes. The second 100,000 miles no.

2017 JK Unlimited Sport 6 spd
2007 WK Limited Hemi QDII
1998 ZJ Laredo 4.0 Selectrac
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post #4 of 4 Unread 03-12-2019, 01:36 PM
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2012 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Durham
Posts: 3,655
The dropped valve seat is a direct result of the motor being overheated. My son's GF had one, the radiator was cracked (common Jeep issue) but the crack was in a place where the radiator would just leak and not draw down the overflow tank. So the radiator was low and the motor overheated and dropped a valve.

Ended up replacing it with a re manned long block I got for $1800 and did a swap over the weekend.

06 KJ
12 JK, 2.5" Teraflex lift, Bilstein 5100's, BFG KM3's 37x12.5/R17
17 WK2 Trailhawk
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