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post #1 of 18 Old 06-28-2020, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
PreciousTime
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Carfax Record ?

Hello members. Newbie here. Been lurking about on this forum researching about WJís. So I have a somewhat odd question. I did do a search with no results. Iím interested in getting a WJ to make into an all around adventure rig. Iím looking at 2002-04ís with the Overland trim. Or at least something with the HO 4.7, the Quada Drive system and the tow package. As Iím surfing the net looking at WJís to see what mileage and prices they are going for. Iíve been reading the Carfax reports and what service is reported. Some get a good amount of reported service but some show very little. They may show emission test or registration. Some hardly an oil change let alone other important routine maintenance. So??? I know this is probably a unanswerable question but what do you think might be going on with the WJís that show very little service records? Are they just not getting any routine service? Is the owner doing it all like I do? Is the place providing the service is just not reporting it? New the Overland wasn't cheap so what would the typical new WJ Overland owner be like? Most WJís have had two or more owners and often you can see a change of reported service they may get with the different owners. Just curious as Iím searching. Thanks.

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post #2 of 18 Old 06-29-2020, 02:37 AM
CJREX
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Carfax depends on the service being reported by the servicing vendor, which means that dealers and national chains will be the ones that usually input that data regularly.

Most guys who wrench on Jeeps wouldn't take their Jeep to a Jiffy Lube or the dealer for routine maintenance so it goes unreported.

When I was looking for a V8 SUV off road rig, I was also looking at the Lexus GX470, almost all of which had extensive maintenance records because they were almost always serviced at the dealer (after I drove an Overland with the 4.7 HO I stopped looking at the Lexus and the Toyota V8 4Runner. Solid axles and gobs of torque FTW)

The main thing is inspect it carefully yourself or have it inspected by a trusted mechanic.

I specifically was looking for one around 100k miles so that I could do the axle/transmission/transfer case fluid changes and know they were done roughly on time.

Even so, your newest WJ is going to be 16 years old so prepare to do some tweaking.

I had to fix the driver side door wiring (very common issue) within a week after getting mine at 102k miles, and I suspect that based on the flecks of foam I am starting to find on my A/C vents that I will be pulling the dash this summer to replace the rotted foam seals in there.

That said, I don't think there's a better Adventure SUV out there for the money than a WJ.

The styling still looks good today, the 4.7 HO still has plenty of giddyap, and the Quadradrive system is terrific as long as you're not planning on rock crawling.

Good Luck in your search

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post #3 of 18 Old 06-29-2020, 08:22 AM
GmanWJ
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You will see both extremes here. Some owners will do all their own service, and some will do none at all. One of our members recently got a used WJ that had clearly never seen an oil change in 100+ thousand miles, but cleaned it out, spiffed it up, and now it's a runner again; a story to make the heart happy.

In short, there is really no way to know for sure. Check the oil, check the coolant, check the tranny. If nothing looks suspicious ... well most anything else can be fixed for not too much cost.


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ok mostly just repairs, but we are closing in on a lift
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-29-2020, 08:39 AM
DJCantonGA
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I'll add a few things to the check list:

make sure the hvac works as it should; check heat, a/c, make sure the air is flowing from the proper vents, etc. Make sure the a/c is blowing cold.

if it is a 4wd model, make sure the 4wd operates like it should.

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post #5 of 18 Old 06-29-2020, 04:49 PM
XJ4oh
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If the WJ is still on the road today with the LAST one being 16 years old, you can bet it was at least regularly maintained.

As mentioned, Carfax isn’t a good source to track vehicle maintenance. Even what’s reported can vary WIDELY from the actual service or repair completed.

Check the obvious, large oil and coolant leaks (Jeeps leak, period - rear main seal is a common “difficult” leak to repair). The cooling system on the 4.7 is VERY sensitive to air in the system because of the location of the bleed port. So check that coolant is full and not all cloudy, bad smelling, oily, etc.

Trans fluid should be pinkish red but not brown or darker and should never smell burnt.

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post #6 of 18 Old 06-29-2020, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ4oh View Post
If the WJ is still on the road today with the LAST one being 16 years old, you can bet it was at least regularly maintained.

Over the years I'v come to the conclusion that it is easier to spot a good high mileage vehicle than a low mileage one. If it's sitting there at 100K with tight sounding engine, solid shifting, no axle noises , you're probably ok.

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post #7 of 18 Old 06-29-2020, 09:05 PM
XJ4oh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay-h View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ4oh View Post
If the WJ is still on the road today with the LAST one being 16 years old, you can bet it was at least regularly maintained.

Over the years I'v come to the conclusion that it is easier to spot a good high mileage vehicle than a low mileage one. If it's sitting there at 100K with tight sounding engine, solid shifting, no axle noises , you're probably ok.
Agree 100%. Neglect on a newer model year car can be hard to spot until it shed some. Older cars are pretty telling.

'97 XJ... 4.0 4x4 AW4. 2" budget boost w/t-case drop.
31x10.5 Cooper Discoverer ST's on 15x7 Cragar Soft 8's.
Intake, Ported TB, TB spacer, Super 40 Flowmaster.
Baja Aux. Lighting.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-30-2020, 09:03 AM
mustangjoey
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Agreed with above. I've always done my own service (for my F250 Super Duty I do have the transmission fluid flushed by the dealer because they do it with a machine so that they get it all out of the torque converter), and I keep a spreadsheet with tabs of what I did, what the mileage was, when it's due next and a comments column where I note what specifically was used (oil brand and viscosity, filter, etc.).

It would never show up in Carfax, but I'd imagine that if I was to sell something like that then the person looking at it would like the details.
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-30-2020, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
PreciousTime
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CJREX- I started going for the 80 series LC/ LX450 until I discovered the WJ Overland. Felt the specs fit my needs. No intentional rock crawling anymore. I will have mods like a hidden front winch, a modest lift with larger tires and such things. Just want to be able to take off and know that within reason I could traverse most terrain. By the way. Does WJ stand for Weekend Jeeper? One could probably buy two maybe even three WJs verses the LC/LX in the same condition. The WJ would be about 10yrs newer, lots more available parts at a lower cost, etc. Trying to find the LC/LX with low mileage and the factory diff locks would have been a challenge also.
Iím not looking back and going forward in my decision to go with the WJ. Iím excited and sad at the same time. Because of my health, a left leg injury and other reasons Iím letting go our Early Bronco we have had for over 27 years. I have modded it over the years into a nice modest trails rig. It has a 4sp I converted from the three speed and I need to get away from the clutch because of my leg. So with that said, in order for me to give the Bronco up I decided that Iím going for as nice a WJ as I can find to start our build with.
One of the main reasons Iím also looking at Carfax reports is to determine where a WJ has been. I donít want anything that has been in the rustbelt. My Bronco is 48 years old with almost no rust on it so I expect a vehicle from early 2000s to have no rust also. I know if someone ran a Carfax report on any of my tagged vehicles they wouldnít find any maintenance reports because I do all mine. So I understand that possibility. Except for issues like AC work I do all my maintenance, repair and mod work.
Iím a retired welder/ machinist/ equipment mechanic with a good assortment of tools so Iím not afraid to dig into something. Itís my health that hinders me now. With that Iím also kind of isolated and itís nice to have a place like this forum with like minded people to bounce thoughtís or ideas off of. I have already spent hours upon hours on this forum and know it is filled with a lot of good and knowledgeable people that have probably already addressed most WJ issues I may come across.
Thanks for your responses. I'm encouraged. I just need to find me a nice WJ to get started on. Well that and find a someone to adopt our Bronco to give it a new home.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-01-2020, 06:43 PM
Blackwater5dad
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I think you're on the right track. I use carfax to see where the vehicle has spent most of it's life. As you said, a snow/rust belt vehicle is usually a red flag. I'm also looking for any accidents. The service stuff is less important to me. If it's there it's a bonus, but if not, it's usually not a deal breaker for me. As already mentioned, not all garages report the work. Other things I look for are: frequent trips to a dealership in a short amount of time (problem the dealer can't figure out), too many owners or too many in a short period or mileage (a problem that's being passed along). Evidence of potential cooling issues (radiator replacement or water pump) on a 4.7 might be a concern as well (increased risk of dropped valve seat).

Two years ago I searched for a Overland myself and found an 04 with 99,000 miles 3 hrs away. I have 140,000 on it now and have been very pleased. Only minor maintenance and a few upgrades. I plan to keep it a long time.

Good luck on your search!



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post #11 of 18 Old 07-02-2020, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
PreciousTime
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Blackwater5dad- Amen to every thing you said. Interesting you mentioned radiator replacement and dropped valves. Iíve read a few CF reports with cooling system repairs but none about head repair. Iíve read post about the dropped valves issue till I think my eyes crossed. Asked my only local engine machine shop about them and he said Iíd be more likely to be hit by lightning than have a valve drop. Iíve never been hit by lightning and I take precautions not to. I feel itís enough of a issue that Iím budgeting in our built to have the heads done and replace other top end things. I donít want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dropped valve when I knew there was a issue with them. As a old gear head it would be a good excuse to port match the heads to the intake and exhaust manifolds.
I can only hope to find a nice one under 100k. They are out there but I may have to travel further than Iíd like. I have other vehicles to use so I wouldnít put many miles on it per year. We have had our Bronco for over 27 years so I would hope to keep the WJ for the rest of my driving years.
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-04-2020, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
PreciousTime
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I think I'm passing up a look at a 2004 Overland in which the ad says 84,673 miles and asking $4.495. I't's dark blue. I have a Black truck and it has been a pita to take care of over the years. It's about 2 1/2 hrs away. I may call Monday to get more info on it.
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post #13 of 18 Old 07-05-2020, 06:05 AM
CJREX
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I saw that one on CarGurus.

It looks really good but is suspiciously around $1500 - $2000 less than others in similar condition on there.

I would still go look at it because it could be a terrific deal.

Check for rust.

Hopefully it's not a bait vehicle.

Good Luck with it!

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2" BDS springs 265/70/17 Milestar Patagonia MT
Kolak exhaust
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-06-2020, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
PreciousTime
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Well that was a bust. The gear head in me couldnít take possibly passing up a sub 100k mile WJ so close to me no matter what color it is. After googling it turned out to only 87 miles and all highway from me. I drove over to look at it today. Long story short it was a POS even for a $4200 cash price OTD. I wasnít even going to go for a test drive but thought I havenít drove one and I was there so why not. Turned around after a couple of blocks. So many things wrong with it I donít even want to type them out. Told the guy that Iíd buy something like that as a parts vehicle. The bold face **** people will tell you because I called before I left and asked specific questions about it.
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-06-2020, 06:55 PM
CJREX
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Sorry to hear that, but based on the unusually low asking price I'm not surprised.

If it was that close to me I would've gone too just in case (hoping) it turned out to be legit.

Thanks for the update!

2004 Grand Cherokee Overland
2" BDS springs 265/70/17 Milestar Patagonia MT
Kolak exhaust
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