My first Jeep! a 4.0L WJ with a bajillion miles - where do I start? - JeepForum.com
 2Likes
  • 1 Post By MatteoLC
  • 1 Post By MuloChico
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
MatteoLC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 3
My first Jeep! a 4.0L WJ with a bajillion miles - where do I start?

So I bought a 2002 GC Laredo to kick around on some not-too-difficult trails in northern MI.
A lot of sand, some mud - I had a 2001 Durango that handled it ok.
The Jeep has 250k miles on it - and I have no clue about it's history. So far, It's main issues are:
1- Rear glass unlatches, but wont open beyond an inch. Hinges appear frozen, anyone know about this?
2- Drivers seat moves forward/back - but won't go up/down. I'm tall, need it down. Ideas?
3- How do I know if this engine/trans have been rebuilt? 250k+ is a lot to assume is original...
4- I hear some minor front-end clunks over bumps/potholes. Any suspension stuff to check first?

Also, what are some minor/cheap mods (shocks/lifts/etc) that might help it off-road?

MatteoLC is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 10:49 AM
Double E
Web Wheeler
 
Double E's Avatar
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 6,207
Welcome on!

The 2 inch "budget boost" is how to lift it for cheap and not also be forced to make significant mods.
The known caveat to it is that it will put additional strain on the front driveshaft depending on what style it is. If it has a CV style joint on each end, that's the weaker design. U-joints at each end are better. If you're only doing a little light wheeling, it could be good forever.

In Northern MI, rust will be your biggest enemy.
That it got to this amount of time and mileage, someone took at least minimal care of it but don't stop rinsing it out in Winter now....
The clunks could be the rear shock mounts or upper ball joint (on top of the rear diff.). New shocks are notorious for not taking up all of the space in the top bracket so tighten it down more or add some washers to keep it from knocking. To verify, remove both rear shocks and go for a short drive on a road that is known to make the noise.

The rear struts can fail but seizing up like that is odd. I would work a little penetrant in there as best you can and work it up and down some till it loosens.

'04 Freedom Edition HO & '04 Overland HO (previous '00 Laredo 4.7)
Double E is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 11:42 AM
GmanWJ
Registered User
 
GmanWJ's Avatar
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Santa Maria, California
Posts: 817
Garage
I would assume the engine/trans have NOT been rebuilt. As a first guess, you could inspect the oil pan gasket and valve cover gasket which will probably be leaking unless somebody has been in there and replaced them, but that's no real guarantee of a full rebuild.
For suspension, I would check all of your control arms. If they are original, those old bushings are probably trashed and need replacing. They will cause clunks and poor handling when they are done. Check tie rod ends and ball joints. Spring perches can get rusted out, check those. Track bar bushings, you don't want these to fail on you, make sure they are good or risk the Death Wobble.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

ok mostly just repairs, but we are closing in on a lift
GmanWJ is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 11:46 AM
Klarah523
Registered User
 
Klarah523's Avatar
2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 81
Garage
Had my high mileage a few months now.

Inspection of*all* the suspension bushings and ball joints is the biggest thing. don't want death wobble.

Mine was several kinds of leaky -- rear main seal, transmission might need some love.

Check critical rubber things -- CV boots, rubber brake lines, hoses.

250k might still be original, they actually go for a long time.

2000 WJ (Laredo w/ 4.0L) =|||||||=
Klarah523 is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 01:31 PM
coldspit47
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Durham
Posts: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatteoLC View Post
So I bought a 2002 GC Laredo to kick around on some not-too-difficult trails in northern MI.
A lot of sand, some mud - I had a 2001 Durango that handled it ok.
The Jeep has 250k miles on it - and I have no clue about it's history. So far, It's main issues are:
1- Rear glass unlatches, but wont open beyond an inch. Hinges appear frozen, anyone know about this?
2- Drivers seat moves forward/back - but won't go up/down. I'm tall, need it down. Ideas?
3- How do I know if this engine/trans have been rebuilt? 250k+ is a lot to assume is original...
4- I hear some minor front-end clunks over bumps/potholes. Any suspension stuff to check first?

Also, what are some minor/cheap mods (shocks/lifts/etc) that might help it off-road?
First off, congrats, WJs are pretty cool machines.

1 - I used my rear glass twice in the whole time I've had it...couldn't really find a use for it. That being said, it's entirely possible the shock has rusted or is warped or something similar. can you open it enough to get at the bolts?

2 - You'll have to take a look at the wiring connections to see if they've popped loose or if the wiring loom has been pinched/cut, etc. If not, may be time for new seat motor, I've never done it.

3 - 250k isn't but so much on the famous 4.0L. They were designed to be simple and rugged, with very few bells and whistles and moderate power. There's a reason the Jeep 4.0 and its predecessor, the AMC 4.0, were been used in Jeeps from 1972 to 2006. They're pretty hard to kill. There isn't really a way to know by looking at it if it's been rebuilt.

4 - My best advice is to do a full review of the suspension components similar to when lifting. First check trackbar bushings. Dry rotted, cracked, or too much play = replace. To check play, watch the track bar as someone inside turns the wheel. You want no play in the bushings. "But I'm stock" you may say - my roommate in college had DW 3x as bad as I ever had and his was bone stock. Source was rotted frame side track bar bushing. After that's sorted, move on to the control arm bushings. Same signs of wear as trackbar bushings = replace. You can either press new bushings into the arms or buy new arms. Being that you're in a rust prone area, I suggest the whole arm approach. Your suspension (coils/shocks) may need replacing also, and if so, go ahead and replace the coil spring isolators - they're cheap and worth it. If you have significant rust on any of the shocks or it fails the bounce test or if you have sloppy handling in general, just go ahead and replace all four shocks. Next check ball joints and tie rod ends/pitman arm. For ball joints, raise vehicle, put hands at top and bottom of wheel and try to rock it top to bottom. If you can feel play, one or more ball joints is toast (should be able to feel a clunk or play in one of your two hands). TREs should have zero movement toward either tire or front to back laterally. Some rolling on the joint front to back is fine, but too loose is a sign they need to be replaced (when I just changed mine I could roll the tie rod with thumb and one finger and no resistance). Since you are likely to have a lot of undercarriage rust, look for any areas surrounding those joints for oil seepage - will show as darkened metal and lack of rust - that means the grease which was supposed to be in the joint is now on your metal, keeping it from rusting. If you see any ripped boots, replace the joint. Check your sway bar end link bushings, they're likely getting pretty saggy too, can be replaced with stock or can buy new links. After all that's good, go over the rear components as suggested by Double E

As posted above, I have a feeling you'll have some leakage for sure. On mine it was the valve cover gasket (105k) and the rear main/oil pan gasket which was leaking when I purchased it with 83k and just replaced at 119k (just kept oil in it). Neither is a horrible job but both are a bit time consuming. If you have a sunroof be prepared for cargo area leakage at some point. You'll be surprised at how capable the WJ is bone stock off road. Lifting is a slippery slope that tends to start cheap and end super expensive. Try it a few times first to see what issues you have and then start looking at how to correct those issues.

04 WJ NV242, IRO 3in, bilsteins, IRO adj UCAs/LCAs/A arm, 265/75/16 Laufenn Xfit, 4.56 gears
coldspit47 is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
MatteoLC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 3
Awesome! Thanks for the ideas everyone! I remember when WJ came out, I borrowed a 4.7 for a weekend from work.
(i used to work for daimlerchrysler) and thought it was the coolest suv ever. Here I am now, 20+ years later and i probably saved one from the scrap heap. The (visible) rust isn't bad at all - but i'll have a looksee underneath and get things sorted. Changing all fluids is coming tomorrow... Cant wait!
MatteoLC is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 08:30 PM
three_jeeps
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 615
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatteoLC View Post
So I bought a 2002 GC Laredo to kick around on some not-too-difficult trails in northern MI.
A lot of sand, some mud - I had a 2001 Durango that handled it ok.
The Jeep has 250k miles on it - and I have no clue about it's history. So far, It's main issues are:
1- Rear glass unlatches, but wont open beyond an inch. Hinges appear frozen, anyone know about this?
2- Drivers seat moves forward/back - but won't go up/down. I'm tall, need it down. Ideas?
3- How do I know if this engine/trans have been rebuilt? 250k+ is a lot to assume is original...
4- I hear some minor front-end clunks over bumps/potholes. Any suspension stuff to check first?

Also, what are some minor/cheap mods (shocks/lifts/etc) that might help it off-road?
1- no clue - spray with PBlaster, wait a day, see what happens -
2- Check voltages/signals to motor - I'd bet that motor is shot
3- No clue, I had a 4.7L SO
4. - ummm yea, +1 on the entire suspension front & back - control arms & bushings, TRE, shocks, steering damper, stabilizer bar and bushings.
+1 on the rust check - notorious for completely rusting out the inner and outer rockers and spring perches.

Yep, ALL fluids all around is a good first step. Get yourself a FSM - your gonna need it. I hope you got it for free, and will be doing all the work yourself, cuz it will drain your pockets.
I don't understand the logic tho...get a high mileage old vehicle, throw lots of $ at it, take it deep in the woods on trail challenges just for fun, where chances of if dying are pretty good....pack a good pair of walking shoes, energy bar and a flashlight...lol. to each their own.
three_jeeps is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 08:42 PM
Klarah523
Registered User
 
Klarah523's Avatar
2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 81
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by three_jeeps View Post
I don't understand the logic tho...get a high mileage old vehicle, throw lots of $ at it, take it deep in the woods on trail challenges just for fun, where chances of if dying are pretty good....pack a good pair of walking shoes, energy bar and a flashlight...lol. to each their own.

Best to not wheel alone and have enough in checking to cover things that get broken.

2000 WJ (Laredo w/ 4.0L) =|||||||=
Klarah523 is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 06-01-2020, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
MatteoLC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 3
The logic is the same I applied the last 4 years with my 2001 Durango: Spend as little as possible for a vehicle that will sit outside 3 hours from home every day of it's life. Every 2-3 weeks when it's needed, i'd like it to start and stop - and be able to handle not-too-difficult off-roading, and short trips to the beach, and to the woods. I only go alone during the day, with a phone...in areas where i'm likely to see people. If I go at night, i'm not alone. 4 years with my high-mileage Durango and only one blown brake line on the trails... When it needed more work and $$$$ than I wanted to invest - I sold it for $500. I'll take a repeat of that any day. Fingers-crossed
Klarah523 likes this.
MatteoLC is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 06-02-2020, 01:50 AM
MuloChico
Registered User
2006 WK 
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: MODESTO
Posts: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatteoLC View Post
The logic is the same I applied the last 4 years with my 2001 Durango: Spend as little as possible for a vehicle that will sit outside 3 hours from home every day of it's life. Every 2-3 weeks when it's needed, i'd like it to start and stop - and be able to handle not-too-difficult off-roading, and short trips to the beach, and to the woods. I only go alone during the day, with a phone...in areas where i'm likely to see people. If I go at night, i'm not alone. 4 years with my high-mileage Durango and only one blown brake line on the trails... When it needed more work and $$$$ than I wanted to invest - I sold it for $500. I'll take a repeat of that any day. Fingers-crossed
I paid $1,100 for mine. It had 225,000 miles. No rust, California (only good thing about living here), ran good. Ya , I'm putting a few $ in it but I don't have a payment, the tags are relatively cheap, and I don't worry about scratching or damaging it. It's comfortable (my wife likes it better than her WK with half the miles on it) and a lot simpler than the newer crap when something happens.

I like his thinking and I plan on mine going a lot farther than short trips to the beach. I will also know this thing well by working on it myself so when something happens I can have a better chance of getting it off the trail where better repairs can be done. Part of the adventure. As Michael at Overland Bound says "Adventure is necessary" and I agree.

Good luck with the rig and I hope you have as much fun with yours as I am with mine.
MatteoLC likes this.
MuloChico is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome