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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive always wanted to buy a WJ and I figured I reach out to the folks here to get some advise.

An acquaintance of mine is lookin to get rid of their 2004 WJ with the 4.7V8 for real cheap since they got a new truck. He’s the 3rd owner. I’m waiting to hear back how big the lifts are. About 140k miles. Clean title/non salvage. I found the records of when it was sold in 2014 to the 2nd owner and looked really clean!

But I don’t know much about since this guy has had it. He told me there are no major issues or rust (would’ve to check this one because no major rust is up to individual interpretation here in the rust belt).
However, he said the following which is making me reconsider:
1. Engine burns about a quart of oil every 3k miles. He claims to be using oil saver and that it’s been stable. I don’t think this is a big deal unless the folks here think otherwise.
2. He said it leaked at the radiator but “wasn’t overheated too bad”. He claims to have put some of the radiator stop leak and it hasn’t overheated since.
3. it’ll need new tires, which is again routine and not an issue in my books

#2 above worries me because I read that the 4.7 V8 is extremely sensitive to overheating and could drop a valve seat.

I could have the WJ for about $1500. My plan was to keep it for 2-3 years/about 15k miles. I don’t really tow or off road outside of an annual trip on mid/sand/gravel trails (about 40 miles on this) and drive it on mostly level terrain.

I’m hoping the experts here can give me some advise and opinions:
1. Is this WJ worth pursuing? Assuming no major rust or oil leaks.
2. Are the 4.7 v8s known to consume oil? If they do, are they typically consistent or do they go to miles per quart like some of the Toyota engines?
3. How big of a risk of the valve seat being damaged with the “not too bad overheating”? Is this something that’s very likely going to mean I’m going to have to swap the engine
4. If the leak is at the radiator, just do a flush to get the stop leak stuff out and swap out the radiator? This won’t happen until spring through assuming I end up buying it.

Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry not sure how to edit my first post. I read through the amazing (so detailed!) ultimate WJ buyer’s guide.
The 45RFE seems to be very reliable. Is the Dana 44a also pretty robust?

In addition, this specimen is a Laredo. Does it also have the possibility of the blend door actuator getting stuck?
 

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The radiator issue is tops to resolve. It's a DIY swap for someone with average intelligence, standard tools and a few hours. The write up on it on this site is very good. Just unfderstanf your '04 will have some differences from the 99-'01 models for that cooling system and the radiator you buy needs to match your year. If just keeping it for the time period mentioned, i would not do the all aluminum unit and go back with the OEM style. It will easily give you 4-5 years. The aluminum unit requires some modifications to fit.
You are taking a risk with the prior overheat situation and a valve seat drop. Not that it's been proven that overheats are the single cause but it's reasonable to include it as a contributing factor. A head gasket failure is just as possible with an overheat and nearly as expensive to have fixed as a dropped seat concerning labor involved.

I would ask how far back in miles and time it has been since it overheated and get some reassurance with the HG by doing a compression check. (parts stores will loan you the comp check equipment)
That '04 WJ will have a 545RFE. The 45RFE was for 99 & '00 only.
The D44a is fine ...but never jack it up by placing a jack under the differential. Stop any grease monkey mechanic that starts to do it that way out of habit too. Use the designed jack points. The a in that name is for aluminum and as I understand it, jacking it up by the diff can bend the axle tubes and cause an axle seal to leak. Not a disaster but it does make a mess and requires specilaized tools like a press to fix. I have no experience with it myself yet during ownership of 3 WJs and I never had the axle seal leak.
As observed, rust is subjective. Godd for you for understanding that and doing your own evaluation.
 

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my opinion.
i dont like v8s in jeeps.. i do LOVE the 4.0, plenty of power, ez to get to. run forever with oil.

i read the post on rad change. would not want to do it,


i never add a drop of oil,153000, 180000 miles
 

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Answers in bold, but I would pass on this one.

I'm hoping the experts here can give me some advise and opinions:
1. Is this WJ worth pursuing? Assuming no major rust or oil leaks. Love the WJ but it does have issues. Like any used car previous maintenance is key
2. Are the 4.7 v8s known to consume oil? If they do, are they typically consistent or do they go to miles per quart like some of the Toyota engines? All jeeps burn oil, especially once they get up in mileage
3. How big of a risk of the valve seat being damaged with the "not too bad overheating"? Is this something that's very likely going to mean I'm going to have to swap the engine. Huge risk, and the 4.7 isn't cheap to rebuild expect at least 4-5k. If the cooling system hasn't been maintained it's a gamble on dropping a valve seat versus not.
4. If the leak is at the radiator, just do a flush to get the stop leak stuff out and swap out the radiator? This won't happen until spring through assuming I end up buying it. Yes, you'll need to flush it out and replace the cooling system

454rfe is a great tranny way better than the boat anchor in the 4.0. D44a is fine in stock to slightly modified applications. I have it in mine on 32's and no issues. When I build mine again I'll be swapping axles. Blend doors are only on dual climate control vehicles, Laredo shouldn't have that.
 

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A replacement 4.7 can be had cheap…like under $1000 cheap. Just saying
 

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I wouldn’t consider 140k miles high, but I would prepare to inherit some issues. I’ve been driving mine for 20 years and I’m at about 350k miles. Electronics and rust have been the major pains for me. My 4.7 head gaskets did start letting go so I did the job about 3 or 4 years ago. They’re great vehicles but they do require a fair bit of time and energy.
 

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Yeah point 2 worries me lots. Stop Leak could do even more damage, and an owner not repairing the leaking radiator is a red flag. Having said all this, the mileage is low, and the price in this market is low. I would probably still be interested in buying it, but do so eyes wide open, and be prepared to have $ set aside to repair the cylinder head down the road if it ever goes bang. Also replace the radiator and flush all the coolant and Stop Leak out asap. I wouldn't worry about that oil consumption, that rate is actually very acceptable, and I'd prefer to top up the oil between each service rather than continue the use of additives.
 

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Sorry not sure how to edit my first post. I read through the amazing (so detailed!) ultimate WJ buyer's guide.
The 45RFE seems to be very reliable. Is the Dana 44a also pretty robust?

In addition, this specimen is a Laredo. Does it also have the possibility of the blend door actuator getting stuck?
The Laredo is free from blend-door worries because the notoriously failure-prone "flap door" is evidently a feature of the dual-zone climate control plumbing that was thankfully not offered in the lowly Laredo WJ model.

The Dana 44 is reportedly a bullet-proof rear differential capable of withstanding the added weight of larger-than-stock tires. WJ owners seeking to upgrade their truck drive train, are most often installing a Dana 44.

Speaking of WJ Laredos, I finally debugged my recently acquired 2004 WJ Laredo V8 auction buy that also came with the optional Dana 44 rear differential. Turned out the crankshaft position sensor was on its way out, and swapping it with a cheap eBay replacement has at least for now resulted in a truck that idles and throttles up smooth as silk.

The reliability of vehicles purchased from online Auctions can be hit-and-miss, but I think this 158,000 mile WJ Laredo is indeed a diamond in the rough, knock on wood.
 

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Stop leak use would be my concern. Aluminum radiator upgrade was a huge thumbs up in my experience but I wonder about blockage in the engine with that stuff.

1qt each 3k miles is **nothing** and that speaks well of it. Electrical gremlins can really suck on WJs but not all seem to have them. Be prepared to replace ALL suspension bushings and or upgrade arms if not done- as you mentioned your not sure of the lift so it may have been done. That’d be huge!

For the right price if undercarriage is quite good it could be worth it.
 

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Ive always wanted to buy a WJ and I figured I reach out to the folks here to get some advise.

An acquaintance of mine is lookin to get rid of their 2004 WJ with the 4.7V8 for real cheap since they got a new truck. He's the 3rd owner. I'm waiting to hear back how big the lifts are. About 140k miles. Clean title/non salvage. I found the records of when it was sold in 2014 to the 2nd owner and looked really clean!

But I don't know much about since this guy has had it. He told me there are no major issues or rust (would've to check this one because no major rust is up to individual interpretation here in the rust belt).
However, he said the following which is making me reconsider:
1. Engine burns about a quart of oil every 3k miles. He claims to be using oil saver and that it's been stable. I don't think this is a big deal unless the folks here think otherwise.
2. He said it leaked at the radiator but "wasn't overheated too bad". He claims to have put some of the radiator stop leak and it hasn't overheated since.
3. it'll need new tires, which is again routine and not an issue in my books

#2 above worries me because I read that the 4.7 V8 is extremely sensitive to overheating and could drop a valve seat.

I could have the WJ for about $1500. My plan was to keep it for 2-3 years/about 15k miles. I don't really tow or off road outside of an annual trip on mid/sand/gravel trails (about 40 miles on this) and drive it on mostly level terrain.

I'm hoping the experts here can give me some advise and opinions:
1. Is this WJ worth pursuing? Assuming no major rust or oil leaks.
2. Are the 4.7 v8s known to consume oil? If they do, are they typically consistent or do they go to miles per quart like some of the Toyota engines?
3. How big of a risk of the valve seat being damaged with the "not too bad overheating"? Is this something that's very likely going to mean I'm going to have to swap the engine
4. If the leak is at the radiator, just do a flush to get the stop leak stuff out and swap out the radiator? This won't happen until spring through assuming I end up buying it.

Thanks!!
Can you look up its old roadworthiness certificates?

Can you take it for a roadworthiness test?
 

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If you don't love it, and are willing to pour a lot of money into it, then you should pass. Just the fact that there's a coolant leak that was addressed with "stop leak" would be enough for me to say no.
 

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Stop leak is no bueno. Any room for more negotiation on the price?
 

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Check my posts about heads on these. "Not too bad overheating" and "stopleak"....RUN. Unless you're willing to have the heads completely redone I would look elsewhere. If stopleak was used it tells me it has been run low on coolant, it is not so much the overheat but the air in the system. If these are not bled properly pockets of air in the passages of the heads will cause localized hot spots....right where the steel seat is fitted in the aluminum head. A dropped seat at best will only require a head change, I got lucky and it dropped on start up. If it drops while running down the freeway, new engine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you everyone for your responses! Sorry for being so late in responding - had a family thing to be taken care of this weekend.

The responses have been extremely insightful - you guys are simply awesome!! Seems like we have 2 sets of thoughts - the fact that it was run on stop leak worries me some.

I think give the risk - $1,000-1,200 is more reasonable. I’ve messaged the guy but haven’t heard back from him in 3 days now. I’ll post back to get y’all’s feedback if I hear from him.

I have a feeling I might have scared him off with my questioning about the overheating and the stop leak as well as wanting to do a long test drive to verify that it’s not consuming coolant or making any odd noises. Which is a bummer because I was really looking forward to being able to own a WJ.
I’ll continue to keep an eye on other listings in the meantime to see if something else pops up.

Thank you again guys! Now if only every forum was this helpful!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
[
Can you look up its old roadworthiness certificates?

Can you take it for a roadworthiness test?
No roadworthiness/annual inspections/emissions in the area I live in. The guy was willing to let me take it on a long test drive initially but sadly I haven't heard back from him ever since I questioned how bad the overheating was, if there were any weird engine noises and if it consumes any coolant at all now.
 

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There’s a good chance you won’t hear from him. Either is sold, or he knows you’re on to something with this coolant issue. If that’s the case, this one wasn’t meant to be yours .
 
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