Advice Please on WJs - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-23-2019, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
FishingInSC
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Advice Please on WJs

Wondering what those with more knowledge think...
I really want a WJ. I have been looking for a while at WJs. It has actually been pretty difficult to find exactly what I am looking for in my area. The usual combo that I find is >200,000 miles and/or want too much money.

I really want a 2004. I have found two that I'd like to check out.

The first is an '04 4x4 Select-trac with inline 6 cyl 4.0 from a private party. 198,000 miles. States "needs water pump and A/C recharged." Asking Price: $2,800. I'd like to get it for $1,800 to $2,000 max. I assume it needs more than just a recharge or he would have done it himself. The water pump I know I can change, no problem.

The other is an '04 4x4 (looks like a Quadra-Trac 2 from the picture) with inline 6 cyl 4.0 from a buy here/pay here lot. 136,000 miles. States everything is sound, clean in/out, well maintained, no engine problems, transmission shifts smooth, all pwr window, doors, etc work. Asking Price: $6,995. I definitely would not buy it at that price, but I'm not sure how far they would come down.

I like the first one's price point, but not sure what all I'd be getting into. I do not mind working on it, but I need it to be my daily driver SOON after buying it. I do not like the high mileage, but I understand those 4.0's can last forever, and I like the Select-Trac. The second one is appealing due to the lower miles, but, of course, the dealer could hide things and I'd still have to fix it. It is an As-Is lot. So....thoughts? First one, second one..pass on both?

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post #2 of 16 Old 08-23-2019, 08:30 PM
Mattyjm
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If the A/C needs recharged, that could mean that the A/C Evap core is leaking, and that means the steering column, center console, dashboard, and HVAC unit must be removed. I did mine in my 2000 WJ when the heater core was leaking. Took 4 hours of meticulous work to remove everything. I spent an hour cleaning the HVAC unit and retaping duct connections, then three hours to reinstall everything. That could be a strong point to present to the seller to get the price lowered even more. Most shops estimate that job around $1200. The mileage wouldn't bother me on either of these vehicles because they both have the 4.0L i6.

The Buy Here Pay Here place wants WAY too much. These things are KBBing for no more than $3800 or so, even at 136K on the clock. If it's the right color and trim level, maybe I'd go up to $4K cash, but no more than that. BHPH places ALWAYS have their sticker set a couple grand more than what they actually want for a good vehicle.
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2002 Laredo. Baloo.
2004 Rocky Mountain Edition. Froggy Bandit. Wife's Daily Driver. PRISTINE! Stock height and may stay that way.....
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-23-2019, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
FishingInSC
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Originally Posted by Mattyjm View Post
If the A/C needs recharged, that could mean that the A/C Evap core is leaking, and that means the steering column, center console, dashboard, and HVAC unit must be removed. I did mine in my 2000 WJ when the heater core was leaking. Took 4 hours of meticulous work to remove everything. I spent an hour cleaning the HVAC unit and retaping duct connections, then three hours to reinstall everything. That could be a strong point to present to the seller to get the price lowered even more. Most shops estimate that job around $1200. The mileage wouldn't bother me on either of these vehicles because they both have the 4.0L i6.

The Buy Here Pay Here place wants WAY too much. These things are KBBing for no more than $3800 or so, even at 136K on the clock. If it's the right color and trim level, maybe I'd go up to $4K cash, but no more than that. BHPH places ALWAYS have their sticker set a couple grand more than what they actually want for a good vehicle.
Yea, that's what I am afraid of. I feel confident enough to do it, but I really wouldn't have the time at the moment. I was hoping I could just recharge it and it would be good until the weather starts to cool down and I have more time.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-25-2019, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishingInSC View Post
Yea, that's what I am afraid of. I feel confident enough to do it, but I really wouldn't have the time at the moment. I was hoping I could just recharge it and it would be good until the weather starts to cool down and I have more time.
You can always throw a can of A/C Pro in it just to see what happens. I know it gets hot down in SC, and as I get older, I'm definitely less tolerant of the heat. It's late enough in our summer hear to just roll down the windows and open the sun roof and off we go.

I paid $3800 cash for our '04 RM Edition WJ over three years ago from a private seller. When we bought it, there was about 174K on the clock. It now has over 218K. It's my wife's DD. All stock, 4.0l i6, Selec-Trac, runs perfect with very little rust. I wanted it for $3300, but the guy wouldn't budge from $3800 and we really wanted it. Interior was/is spotless and the WJ was/is very well kept and is very dependable.

Last September, I gave a guy $1800 cash for Baloo. That's my '02 WJ Laredo, 4.0L i6/Selec-Trac. It had about 175K on it at the time, but it needed a new radiator(the guy included a new Spectra which I installed), shocks, and dash speakers, and a it had a rotted fuel tank skid. Since September, I've replaced all that stuff and much more from my 2000 WJ donor vehicle. I also added a Kolak 3" lift, Bilstein 5100s, new spring isolators, and literally EVERYTHING new as far as TREs, ball joints, drag link, steering sleeve, and front and rear upper and lower CAs.

So, I paid up for one and haven't had to do much to it for my wife to enjoy driving it. I paid less for one and have done more work to it in 11 months than I have on the RM Edition. Both selling points for me were trim levels, color, and power train packages. We don't go rock crawling, but we do some trail rides in my lifted '02. We also depend on the 4x4 to get us to work and every where else in the winter up here.

The decision is yours to make. I hope I've helped you consider one or the other. These things were originally MSRPed for around $40K when they were new. I believe Jeep built them to last a long time.

2002 Laredo. Baloo.
2004 Rocky Mountain Edition. Froggy Bandit. Wife's Daily Driver. PRISTINE! Stock height and may stay that way.....
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-25-2019, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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I do appreciate it a lot. The BHPH would NOT move from their $6,995 price. It was in pretty good shape except for a manifold leak, which they said they would fix. BUT...I wasn't going to pay $6,995 for it!!! So, I will go check out the other one. Hopefully, it will be the one!!!

For the admins...I know there is a " Jeep buying forum." I was looking for advice specifically from WJ owners; however, if you feel it should not be in this forum, please feel free to move it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-25-2019, 05:23 PM
2oldjeeps
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my white 04, 4.7 is sitting by the road with a $2450 sign, black leather like showroom 213000 miles,cold air. locks and windows fixed.
can i say that here??

99wj,143,000 miles
00xj,177,000 miles
10hummer3,74,000 miles
98xj,130,000 miles
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-26-2019, 12:47 AM
lozenga
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I'd ask the seller how he knows it needs a new water pump. 4.0s can usually take a few overheatings without any significant problems, but they can also ruin themselves after running hot just once. Personally, I'd be real cautious about buying a car that has cooling issues that haven't been fixed. Makes me think they've tried a few things and nothings working. It's an 04 so it should have the TUPY head, which should let you sleep a little easier at night.

I'd run a compression test among other things, and let the car idle and get up to temp to see if it'll hold temp. Also why are you only looking at 04's? I'd avoid 99-01s due to the 0331 head, and double check any 02s for the TUPY head, but 03-04s should all be kosher.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-26-2019, 02:52 PM
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4.0 is going to better engine reliability wise, but it has the flaws of the 42re tranny and just being gutless in the WJ. After driving mine with the 4.7HO I just can't go back to the 4.0 in there.

I'd keep looking you can find something but at 2k you're going to have to give up something and be hunting for a while. I'd suggest looking on facebook marketplace. Since CL has started to charge a lot of people have moved over to MP.

As suggested look for 03-04. Really even 02 plus is fine.

04 WJ, 4.7HO
3" IRO lift, fastman TB, 32s, lunchbox rear 242HD, 3" exhaust
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-26-2019, 03:17 PM
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tell me just where you need more power than the 4.0 i got my 99 last yr at 138000,now 145000 and its a great daily drive. i have never had to floor it.
i got the 04 4.7 and fixed windows and door locks thinking for my grandson. its too much power for a kid!! less rust than my 99.

runs great at 213000 and for sale at $2450

99wj,143,000 miles
00xj,177,000 miles
10hummer3,74,000 miles
98xj,130,000 miles
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-26-2019, 03:53 PM
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I personally stick with 4.7 and Quadra Drive only. I'm on my 3rd Blue WJ, and this one I think I got lucky with it. I had quadra trac II and I can't express to you how happy I am with Quadra Drive. I was looking for 2004 for about a year and everything I came across was in $6K range and had issues. I settled for a 2002 WJ Limited 4.7L HO with Quadra Drive with 147K miles for $3900. came with a set of winter tires also. Having it being 2002, the only thing I was missing from 2004 was the deck, and tow hooks. Currently its my daily drive and I love it. Of course minus the fact that I get 11-12 mpg..
that's my 2 cents. You can also get cheap car fax reports on ebay for like $5, that may show you where the car has been.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-26-2019, 09:18 PM
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If you're trying to qualify at Talladega, go get something else. We're SUV owners here.

2002 Laredo. Baloo.
2004 Rocky Mountain Edition. Froggy Bandit. Wife's Daily Driver. PRISTINE! Stock height and may stay that way.....
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-27-2019, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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My hot rod days are over. I need something to get me to work in any condition. I also need something to tow my '73 Tri Hull boat to the lake. Other than that...AC/heat..? I do not like leather seats. Paint doesn't matter; I plan on painting whatever I get. I do not even like power seats...they are too slow and, if they break, has to be fixed. But...none of those are deal breakers.

I'm really looking at all years...Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, but it seems that '03 and '04 GC's have the fewest problems. That is why I am mainly looking at those.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-27-2019, 03:17 PM
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Honestly, I don't hate my WJs but I couldn't in good conscience recommend a WJ over something like a domestic truck from that era instead when you're talking about pressing a vehicle that old into "daily driver" service. Even the newest WJs are starting to get pretty long in the tooth and there are some bells and whistles that are going to break or otherwise be a headache (AZC blend doors, etc.). Yeah, if you manage to find a good deal on one in unusually good lower mileage condition then maybe but still I think at this point in late 2019 you're asking for it as a primary vehicle or a "daily driver". A truck from that era will generally be easier to work on and probably provide more practical utility to most guys.

1999 WJ Limited 4.7/NV247
2001 WJ Laredo 4.7/NP242
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-27-2019, 08:51 PM
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18 months ago I bought a 2001 4.7 with under 65k no rust anywhere for 6500 bucks.
The ones your looking at are 3k at the most. What ever one you decide on spend the money for an inspection at a reputable shop. It may help you get the price down and you will have a better idea of what your getting.
Next is to widen your search area.
Also drive a V8 and a 6 cylinder. My sons wife came with an 01 6 cylinder and both are capable vehicles.

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The one I miss most is my mind

Its like a fart in a windstorm
It smells good but thats about it

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post #15 of 16 Old 08-28-2019, 11:41 AM
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My 02 GC cost me 1500 with 192000 miles on it. It has a bad catalytic converter that needs replacing and the AC doesn't work. It's going to cost me about the same or more than what I paid for the vehicle to fix those two problems alone. Which ever one you decide on, I would get it inspected by a trusted mechanic.
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