Which Grand Cherokee? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-16-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
Micallen
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Which Grand Cherokee?

So my son's drove a Camry for the first year, and I told him if I took care of it, kept his grades up, and got a job, I would let him get what he wants. He picked a 2003 Xterra 4x4.

Fast forward 2 months: the timing belt broke and the engine was damaged beyond repair.

One of the options I'm looking at is a 2006-2008 Grand Cherokee. What are the known issues? (lets assume the 3.7L motor) What should I be looking at? I need something reliable.

Would I be better with a 2004 if I can find one 120K miles or so?

Thanks,

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post #2 of 18 Old 10-16-2019, 03:04 PM
Avs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micallen View Post
So my son's drove a Camry for the first year, and I told him if I took care of it, kept his grades up, and got a job, I would let him get what he wants. He picked a 2003 Xterra 4x4.

Fast forward 2 months: the timing belt broke and the engine was damaged beyond repair.

One of the options I'm looking at is a 2006-2008 Grand Cherokee. What are the known issues? (lets assume the 3.7L motor) What should I be looking at? I need something reliable.

Would I be better with a 2004 if I can find one 120K miles or so?

Thanks,


If you’re looking for something reliable you should look for a Toyota 4Runner or something. There’s a lot of small electrical glitches with the wk such as tcm, TIPM etc.. if your son like to work on car the wk may not be a bad car to get.
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-16-2019, 03:05 PM
RCS1300
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I have owned since new Jeep Grand Cherokees for the last 26 years. If your son is in school and wants an inexpensive and reliable vehicle I would choose a Honda or Toyota. The Jeep Grand Cherokees are fantastic if you have significant funds (thousands $$) for maintenance and repairs. If that is the case I would opt for one with a single owner and detailed repair records including fluid changes - transmission, transfer case, front and rear differentials, radiator, brake, power steering. These are rare as many owners purchase these vehicles and only change the engine oil and do repairs.
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-16-2019, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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If you’re looking for something reliable you should look for a Toyota 4Runner or something. There’s a lot of small electrical glitches with the wk such as tcm, TIPM etc.. if your son like to work on car the wk may not be a bad car to get.
Yeah, the 4Runner is at the top of his list. No one lets them go, til they have 220K miles or more on them though.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-16-2019, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
I have owned since new Jeep Grand Cherokees for the last 26 years. If your son is in school and wants an inexpensive and reliable vehicle I would choose a Honda or Toyota. The Jeep Grand Cherokees are fantastic if you have significant funds (thousands $$) for maintenance and repairs. If that is the case I would opt for one with a single owner and detailed repair records including fluid changes - transmission, transfer case, front and rear differentials, radiator, brake, power steering. These are rare as many owners purchase these vehicles and only change the engine oil and do repairs.
Not exactly the answer I wanted to hear, but I appreciate the honesty. I had a 93 GC years ago and LOVED it. Almost bought a 2004 GC (for me) last year, but ended up with a Pathfinder. I think I want him to want a GC more than he wants a GC.
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-21-2019, 10:58 AM
JackB1
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I can't prove this but from reading this forum over the years I came to the conclusion that you would be better off with a 2008 up.
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-21-2019, 11:15 AM
Ross
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Is there a specific reason you want that year and those models?

When you are talking about a 10-15 year old vehicle there are no guarantees when it comes to reliability. Pick a vehicle that is easy and inexpensive to repair and maintain.

If you go a few years back you can find Grands or Cherokees with the 4.0 that may be easier to repair and to maintain.

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post #8 of 18 Old 10-22-2019, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ross View Post
Is there a specific reason you want that year and those models?

When you are talking about a 10-15 year old vehicle there are no guarantees when it comes to reliability. Pick a vehicle that is easy and inexpensive to repair and maintain.

If you go a few years back you can find Grands or Cherokees with the 4.0 that may be easier to repair and to maintain.
The 2004 because it was the last year of the great ones. The 4.0L motor. Well-built. IF I could fine one that seemed to be well taken care of, and had about 120K miles or less.

The 2006-2008, because I don't want first year of new model (2005). I'm a little weary of any GC's after 2004 really. I was hoping someone here could change my mind. Maybe.

Also, price. Looking to spend $4000-6500. He really wants a 4Runner, but the GC is his 2nd choice. And the 4Runners are stupid expensive. A 4Runner in this price range will end up being a 2002 with 200K miles on it (give or take).
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-22-2019, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Micallen View Post
The 2004 because it was the last year of the great ones. The 4.0L motor. Well-built. IF I could fine one that seemed to be well taken care of, and had about 120K miles or less.

The 2006-2008, because I don't want first year of new model (2005). I'm a little weary of any GC's after 2004 really. I was hoping someone here could change my mind. Maybe.

Also, price. Looking to spend $4000-6500. He really wants a 4Runner, but the GC is his 2nd choice. And the 4Runners are stupid expensive. A 4Runner in this price range will end up being a 2002 with 200K miles on it (give or take).


I had an 01 Grand and 04 4runner, I recently got a 99 Cherokee XJ.

The grand could be built for MUCH MUCH less than a 4 Runner and make a MUCH better off road vehicle. The 4Runner was more powerful, better gas mileage and a far better tow vehicle. My 04 4Runner had head issues at about 170K, that seems to be somewhat common with the 04 and 05s.

I wouldn't touch an 04-05 4Runner for anything other than parts or scrap. Not because I dislike them but the motor is MONEY to work on compared to a Jeep I6. A newer 4Runner seems to be out of the budget. You might be able to find a decent older 4Runner.

I would choose an older Grand as opposed to the 4 Runner. I am not anti Toyota, I have a new Camry and chances are my next new family car will probably be another Toyota. I would think about an XJ also so you can open up the search a little.

Older Toyotas just aren't as simple and cheap to maintain and modify as the older Jeeps.

Where I am you could buy 2 or 3 grands and fit in your budget, a plain Cherokees go for about twice what a Grand goes for my way.

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post #10 of 18 Old 10-23-2019, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micallen View Post
The 2004 because it was the last year of the great ones. The 4.0L motor. Well-built. IF I could fine one that seemed to be well taken care of, and had about 120K miles or less.

The 2006-2008, because I don't want first year of new model (2005). I'm a little weary of any GC's after 2004 really. I was hoping someone here could change my mind. Maybe.

Also, price. Looking to spend $4000-6500. He really wants a 4Runner, but the GC is his 2nd choice. And the 4Runners are stupid expensive. A 4Runner in this price range will end up being a 2002 with 200K miles on it (give or take).
The 4runners command a premium because they are more reliable and desirable than the GC to the general public. I have a 07 WK and worked with 4 other co-workers that had WK's. Fun to drive but constant problems. If you want your kid to be forced to learn automotive trouble shooting and spend more money than needed to keep it on the road then by all means go for one.

Iv'e drove Jeep's since 1995 and also Honda's, guess which one i'd pick to drive to the hospital in a emergency?... Food for thought.
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-24-2019, 03:25 AM
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I’ll go against the grain here. I’ve had a CJ and every wrangler up to the JL. I’ve had one XJ and just got a WK myself. The wife has a KK and her mom has a KL. My friends have had WJs and ZJs I think between four of five people I’ve got the Jeep spread covered in one way or another. Most if not all the problems have either been annoying or minor. The wife’s 2010 Lib has only ever needed a driver’s side window switch besides wear items. My JK burned oil till I changed the intake gasket and my other jeeps never left me sit. The WK this far appears as neglected as they come and besides trying to get her up to par she tramps down the road like every other jeep. Sure if you lift it and change out this and that for something to make it cooler be prepared to play with some wrenches but for as long as I’ve been working on cars and driving them Jeep has been the most kind to me. The parts are dirt cheap, they are easy as it gets to work on and the only downside I’ve had is they are thirsty buggers. I know one post isn’t enough to sway you much but look up the reviews on the KKs ugly as sin but I’ll be damned if they aren’t the most reliable under powered rolling toasters on the road.

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post #12 of 18 Old 10-24-2019, 03:45 AM
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Is there any particular reason you are wishing for those models?
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post #13 of 18 Old 10-24-2019, 02:50 PM
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My 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.7L V8 has 290k miles on the odometer. Repairs may be "big" but each big repair it had was 100% the owners fault. I bought the jeep in 2010 needing a head gasket and a rear end overhaul from a guy who put 100k miles on it in 2 years driving up and down the west coast for work. Like others have said, the common problem is that people don't do all the maintenance, just the oil changes. These were really not very costly repairs to do it yourself. I sold the jeep a few years later and bought it back last summer when the person I sold it to killed the motor. The oil change sticker was 10k overdue, oil was thick, sludgy and low, and the cooling system was almost empty. This jeep had the original engine/transmission/transfer case/differentials until about 275k miles and again, it was the owners that killed it.

The reality is, ANY car can be a lemon, especially used! Why are they selling it? Why did they think they needed a new-used car? You will hear the stories about "needing better fuel economy" "not needing all the space anymore"... The reality is people are liars. I don't trust a single person selling a used car further than I can throw them. most people do not spill the beans on the work they know a car needs because they need every penny to roll into their new car "caveat emptor" aka "sold As Is". Some of the most junker cars I have driven are toyota's listed as "runs perfect, just needed something bigger." I don't even get down the street before I know the car is a hunk of junk.

In my time working for a chrysler dealer, we never had anyone camped in front of our dealer with "THIS CAR IS A LEMON" painted down the side of it, but I test drove cars past the Honda dealer next door to see people camped out trying to inform potential buyers of their Honda woes. I say this because cars are mechanical things. Your answer for a reliable vehicle is not "toyota" or "honda", it is one that has been well cared for, with service records, and a clean bill of health from a PRE purchase inspection (not a post-pre-purchase-inspection). When you are buying used, the care the vehicle has had in its life to the point of your purchase is more important than the badge on it.
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2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Work in progress...
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post #14 of 18 Old 12-02-2019, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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So, Friday, I bought a 2003 Grand Cherokee. 147K miles. Engine, transmission, and A/C (and heat) all seem real solid. Drove it home 130 miles, and it drove great. It has a few little issues (needs new front shocks, turn signal switch) but I'm hoping this will be a good one for us.

If a white GC shows up in this post too - sorry. I was testing the upload feature, and now I can't delete. That's my old one (years ago).
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post #15 of 18 Old 12-02-2019, 05:57 PM
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Awesome! Sweet rig!

2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Work in progress...
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