Moving From a ZJ to a WK - What Can I Expect - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-24-2021, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
mclovin_3569
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1997 ZJ 
 
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Location: Seattle
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Moving From a ZJ to a WK - What Can I Expect

Hi All,
I've been driving a '97 ZJ around for the past 15 years and have been overall very satisfied. I've used my Jeep as a daily driver for the family. It's been a great car for the occasional "moving stuff" around and hauling a trailer from time to time. I haven't done much off-road driving in it but sure appreciate the 4WD in the snow and rain. I'm currently at 254K miles and feeling it. I think it's time to get another.

I'm looking into buying a '05 WK Limited that has a 5.7L with MDS. The odometer is at 41K miles, has 1 owner, and plenty of service records. What can I expect as good/bad with a WK? They don't have the best reputations from what I've read but I don't really know. Is there anything in particular with WKs that I should be checking for or expecting to happen?

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-25-2021, 08:09 AM
road_tripper
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If your ZJ is unmodified and mostly use 2WD, you will be shocked by the fuel consumption. I have a 2005 4.7L and thought it was a bit thirsty. Just bought a low miles 2008 with the 5.7 Hemi, looked at the EPA numbers, only about 1mpg worse fuel consumption. Lordy that engine uses fuel! Fuelly is not kidding with the 14mpg long-term mpg. EPA numbers are likely achievable with max 55mph highway driving.

Do a web search for Hemi Tick...
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-25-2021, 09:12 AM
90grandoneer
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Probably the biggest unknown for your 05 will be the dropped valve seat issue (mostly intakes) that some have faced. If you're not familiar with it, search this forum and/or do an internet search on, "early Hemi dropped valve seats" or something similar. I've preemptively replaced all the valve seats on both of my early (05 and 06) Hemi's. In many cases, heat and/or overheating appears to be one of the main factors. The real problem was Chrysler's poor engineering though.....not a tight enough clearance between the valve seat and the head. For years, I've run cooler thermostats (190*) and have the cooling fan start temperatures set lower. Also, as a side note, when the machinist was cutting out the old valve seats of my lowest mileage Hemi (about 75K at the time) one valve seat started spinning in its bore before it was half cut out. He said that one could have been a candidate for a drop under the right conditions. Bottom line is that cooling system maintenance and integrity is very critical with the early ones.

Other than that, the power trains....engine, transmission, transfer case and differentials are pretty reliable when proactively maintained. Front differential bushing, shocks/struts and other front suspension components sometimes tend to fail earlier than many consider normal, especially the front differential bushings. Fuel economy is not all that great, but the vehicle weighs around 4800 lbs. In stock form, a fairly "normal" fuel economy range is about 12-14 mpg in town and 16-18 mpg on the highway at around 65 mph. Overall, my 06 Overland has been a very reliable vehicle but, in the almost 12 years I've owned it, IT'S NEVER BEEN TO A DEALER except for recalls, and they couldn't even do them correctly. My Son and I do all of the work except for tires and front end alignments.

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, AFE Air Filter, 6spd 545RFE, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, DS and HP tuners, Transgo Shift Kit, ARH Long Tube Hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads w/new valve seats, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's. Also 05 Hemi LX modded exactly like WK and Comp Cammed 06 300CSRT8 soon to be replaced by 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid with 1020 hp and 1050 lb. ft. of torque.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-25-2021, 09:18 PM
Vertisce21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90grandoneer View Post
Probably the biggest unknown for your 05 will be the dropped valve seat issue (mostly intakes) that some have faced. If you're not familiar with it, search this forum and/or do an internet search on, "early Hemi dropped valve seats" or something similar.
This also affects the 4.7L V8 engines. Just for the record.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-26-2021, 07:47 AM
LouC
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2007 WK 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NY
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I’ve also had both for a long period of time owned the 98 ZJ since new and the 07 WK since 09. In comparison the WK was actually more reliable with fewer problems; I had all the typical ZJ problems but didn’t have all but the most common WK problems (front diff bushings, rear CV on front driveshaft, starter, alternator, cat converter and TIPM).
The WK is much nicer to drive at high speeds very comfortable and fast.
The ZJ is better off road with more travel and clearance off road.
Repairs on the ZJ are much simpler and less expensive. I think the cast iron 4 liter six is one of their most long lived engines and very easy to work on. It’s nice to have one of each!

2017 JK Unlimited Sport 6 spd
2007 WK Limited Hemi QDII
1998 ZJ Laredo 4.0 Selectrac
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-26-2021, 10:54 AM
LouC
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Also if you tow anything over 3,000 lbs the WK Hemi is far superior. I will tow light trailers with the ZJ but anything heavy like our boat or my brother's (both about 4500 lbs) I use the WK Hemi, tows like a freight train.

2017 JK Unlimited Sport 6 spd
2007 WK Limited Hemi QDII
1998 ZJ Laredo 4.0 Selectrac
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-01-2021, 06:05 PM
jbsj33p
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2010 WK 
 
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The difference in ride quality is night and day. Nothing with the jeep badge on the front is going to be fuel efficient just the nature of a 3500-4500 pound SUV with the aerodynamics of a brick. Like some others have said the repairs are going to be a bit more involved no matter what they are. I think that goes for any modern car compared to something made in the 90s. Well the WK being relatively modern.

Something to look for is matching tire sizes, the WK has fulltime 4x4 so mismatched tire sizes will burn out the transfer case.

Never trust a Jeep that doesn't leak oil.
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