Thinking about buying 07 Liberty - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-24-2020, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking about buying 07 Liberty

My son is in need of his first car. In looking at all different types online, he brought me a handful of Liberty's for sale. Seems he likes the looks. One in particular we found is an 07 that looks to be in good shape. I've got lots of experience with WJs, YJs and XJs, and even some with JLs but none with the KJs. Is there any common issues I should be aware of or any specific things to watch out for when choosing one?

Thanks.

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post #2 of 16 Old 06-25-2020, 07:12 AM
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Check the front driveshaft CV at the TC, the boot tends to go.cheap and easy fix of the CV.
Test all windows up and down,the plastic part of the regulator wears,also a easy fix.
The 07 has fly by wire throttle and cruise control.
Other than that check the usual stuff,ball joints,tie rods and such.

Gyro
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-25-2020, 08:19 AM
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Listen to the front bearing/hub. The KJ's eat these. You'll hear a loud whomp whomp that you might think is the tires but it isn't. The front hubs may last 30k, or they may go 150k. Average would be about 60k. KJ's also don't last forever on ball joints. The majority of the KJ's that pass through have bad lowers.

The front CV shafts are a beech to change. If a boot is torn wrap it in self fusing silicone tape - I have all four boots wrapped for the past 30,000 miles with zero problems. If you change the front shafts you have to take apart most of the suspension, and order the intermediate shaft for the passenger side because I guarantee it will not separate from the shaft.

Ask about overheating. When a KJ is constantly overheating or has had a few overheats you can rest assured the head gaskets are toast. Heads aren't an easy job compared to the ol' 4.0 inline.

The rear springs sag after five to ten years. Replace them with the Moog or AC Delco (I use the AC's). I do the front struts as the complete bolt in kit with springs. Always disconnect the front sway bar when doing suspension work up front or you'll never get things bolted back together. The front sway bar is literally the size of one on a Freightliner.

The 3.7 only takes copper plugs. I have fixed a lot of rough running 3.7 and 4.7 engines by un-doing the tune-up a customer got using platinum plugs and unmatched coils, and replacing with Champion 347's or NGK V-powers with six new coils.

The 42RLE is a decent trans but will overheat quickly under stress. Get a big cooler for it. It is sensitive to fluid type. ATF+4 only. The universal or multi-car or whatever is being marketed never seems to work with the 42RLE. Unlike motor oil, trans fluid isn't all the same. The rear ends are bulletproof. The yoke is unique to the KJ though. Gear oil weight is personal preference. In my experience the rear end (8.25 corporate) will take anything. The front carrier I use 80w90 dino oil. Brakes are good, but the lines don't seem to last long, and I have seen so many KJ's with rotted and rusted lines. The transfer case is solid. The prop shaft is a good piece but might need some fresh joints.

The biggest KJ problem I see is electrical. Once you start getting random issues like a light won't work if another light is turned on, or things buzz, or something weird happens don't bother troubleshooting much because you need a new BCM. The BCM must be programmed at the dealership unfortunately. The window regulators are $40 each on Rockauto and easy to replace. They are a crapshoot on reliability.

Working on a KJ is not like a XJ or any of the older Wranglers. Your WJ experience will be helpful. The KJ is more like a 'modern' car and it has a lot of discrete functions controlled by computers. Also, if you lift a KJ you can only go about 3.5 inches up. The limiting factor is the front end due to the geometry of the IFS. Any higher and you have to drop the front subframe and put blocks under it to raise the body and do other modifications that cost more than the KJ is worth.

The 2007 were when the KJ had been sorted out. The 2002-2004 years had so many options and internal changes that parts for them can be year specific. Overall I love my KJ. I have a 2004 Sport 'B' package which is essentially a Limited without leather, body color fenders, or big wheels. I keep mine stock and replace what is broke when needed. In stock form the KJ is a pretty good off-roader and if you keep the speed up it will power through a lot of places. In stock form it is not a crawler like the Wrangler and XJ can be.

Go get a KJ. Change the fluids out, get new plugs and coils, new air filter, and go.

'04 KJ
'91 XJ, government fleet model with 0 options, 2 wheel drive, 4 cylinders, and 5 speeds
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-26-2020, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, great info. Unfortunately, we were to slow and the 07 I was looking at is gone. Seemed like a good car, 99k miles with a manual trans and a 3.7. body looked straight in the pics and interior was clean and nice. It was only online for less than a day before it was gone. Still looking now.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-26-2020, 10:07 AM
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A 3.7 with the 6spd are very rare. When one of the V6 with manuals pop up for sale they go instantly, if they ever make it to a classified ad. The big problem with the manuals are you have to drop out the transfer case and transmission to change a clutch. It used a one piece bellhousing and isn't a hard job, just a long one and almost worth it to just have a shop do it.
Most of the manuals I have seen are RWD Libby's as well. The 2007 with 6 speed and CommandTrac 4WD was the Sport 'B' option (Sport packages changed a lot from 2002-2004 and 2005-2007). If you want a Libby with a manual you have to grab them quick.

'04 KJ
'91 XJ, government fleet model with 0 options, 2 wheel drive, 4 cylinders, and 5 speeds
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-26-2020, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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It was 4x4. I wish we had been able to jump on it quicker. Clutch work doesn't scare me. Working on auto transmissions does.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-26-2020, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Lost another one this evening. I called and it was there, when I got there, it was out on a test drive. The guy bought it. I think if I'd been able to get there 10 minutes earlier, I would have gotten it. It was an '06 sport, blue with 3.7 and auto trans. Only 72k miles. DAMN. Looking at an 08 and maybe a 12 tomorrow. I know, they are the newer style.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-29-2020, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got one!! It's an 05 Liberty Renegade. 3.7L, auto, 4x4. Its got miles and some cosmetic issues, but everything works, even the sun roof, and the interior is clean and no rips or tears. Runs and drives well. Now comes the fluid replacements, brake check and maintenance items just so we know when it was all done.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-30-2020, 09:04 AM
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I've noticed that Libby's are selling more and more these days. The Renegade's are sought after, so you got a good one. I got 167,000 miles on mine and it is going strong.

I recommend the Dorman 265-818 trans pan because it holds an extra quart of fluid and has a drain plug. Use the Lube Locker brand gaskets. They are $$$ but they never leak in my experience and are truly re-usable. I use Lube Locker on my GMC and Jeeps. The 42RLE was used in a lot of Jeeps and isn't as bad as people make it to be. Use the ATF+4, and if you are hard on it get a bigger cooler. If it gets clunky disconnect the battery and wait ten minutes to reset the computer. The 42RLE is an adaptive trans that learns your driving style.

'04 KJ
'91 XJ, government fleet model with 0 options, 2 wheel drive, 4 cylinders, and 5 speeds
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-03-2020, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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This little 05 Renegade we found continues to impress me. Changed the front diff oil today. Old fluid didn't look too bad. Checked the front brakes and they look to be nearly new. The underside is very clean, I see no evidence that it has ever had any leaks. I ordered fluid for the transfer case and rear diff, so once that comes in, we'll change out those as well and check the rear brakes. I see no tags on the rear cover bolts, so I have no idea which diff it has. Still debating whether I want do the trans myself, or take it in. The fluid looks a bit dark, but does not smell burnt.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-06-2020, 10:20 AM
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The transmission is super easy on these. Drop the pan and change the filter and add fluid. I don't worry about the rest of the fluid stuck in the converter. If it is bad change out fluid, drive it a little, then change it out again. The rear end is going to be a 8.25 Corporate. I highly recommend you go to the Mopar owner connection. Sign up and add the Jeep to your garage. Most likely you will not be listed as the owner. So, open up the live chat and tell the rep you own it, and to assign you as owner. They will do it. They don't ask for proof. They never have from me. At that point you will get the service records from the dealers for your Jeep. You can input your own maintenance records like oil changes, tires, brakes, etc. The owner connect will also have your build sheet. It is under one of the menu tabs. It lists all your equipment.
You'll see any open recalls. Jeep will honor the recalls. I took my 2004 Jeep into the dealer in 2019 and they replaced my lower control arms and added the trailer hitch as per the safety recalls.
Moper Owner Connect:

https://www.mopar.com/en-us/sign-in.html

Go to the below site to run the VIN and get your build sheet. It says Ram, but it is all connected to Mopar:

https://fcacommunity.force.com/RAM/s/equipment-listing

'04 KJ
'91 XJ, government fleet model with 0 options, 2 wheel drive, 4 cylinders, and 5 speeds
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-06-2020, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, I'll give it a try. I knew it was a 8.25 corporate axle, just not sure if it's open or some sort of a limited slip. I know the trans isn't tough, just a potential huge mess since the stock pan has no drain plug. I've done it a few times on our various WJs and my old GMC pickup. Maybe I just need a larger drain pan, but I always seem to miss the pan when it first starts to flow out.

I found out it was supposed to have keyless entry. It only came with 1 key and it was a "sentry" key. I sent my son to the local dealer today had him get 2 proper keys with the keyless entry buttons on them. It appears they through in a "wallet" key as well. Also spent some time over the weekend trying to restore the paint a bit. I definitely improved it, but some of the paint on the hood has oxidized bad enough that it wouldn't come all the way back.
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-11-2020, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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We got the transfer case and rear axle fluids changed today. The transfer case was definitely in need. The fluid was very dark. The rear end was clean and looked in great shape inside, even though it is an open diff. Next up is the transmission fluid. We also did the air filter and put a new coolant bottle in. The old one was so stained and dirty, you couldn't see the level. Checked the rear brakes toady as well and they seem to be nearly new like the fronts.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-18-2020, 12:33 PM
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if you live in a snow belt then do not purchase a jeep.....They use very very poor quality steel! Do not buy a jeep from any snow belt...
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-18-2020, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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We live in Colorado. We certainly get snow. But it's also considered a high desert, so it pretty dry here. We currently have 3 Jeeps and over the years we've had 5 others. There have been some problems with some of them, but rust was never an issue.
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