Longer time Xj'er now a WJ'er

srmitchell

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Hey guys! Many of you might recognize my Cherokee, I had it for 8 years. AKA Rattletrap.
Xj by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

New Years Adventures by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

Well my dad bought a super clean 2004 WJ as his new project about 2 years ago. And then he decided to upgrade and get a 2017 Grand Cherokee.
The 2004 started sitting, and that's when we decided to trade. The XJ has been retired, and is used as a weekend rig, sometimes for dump runs, truck use etc.
We had to drive all the way to Redmond OR to buy this thing.
Oregon Bound by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

So now I am the owner of this cherry 2004 Grand Cherokee Overland. 4.7HO, 94,000 miles.
Mods so far-
3 inch Iron Rock lift
Bilstein shocks
HD tenneco SS.
AFE performance intake
Superchip tuner- 91 octane tune and tire size correction
265/70/17 BFG AT KO2's
13+ Rubicon Wheels
Aftermarket radio, bluetooth, etc.

Loving it as my new expedition rig. I get about 300 miles/tank, and it has much better comfort, reliability and MPG than my old xj.
Next, I'll consider more armor, and probably an HK offroad hidden winch mount.
Wj Overland by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

Wj Overland by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

Wj Overland by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr
 

themauler

New member
Awesome WJ. I am jealous. I have my XJ wheeling rig and a WJ daily driver. You are lucky it has the V8 because the 4.0 in my WJ only nets about 300 miles per tank as well.

I just ticked over 175k miles all original drivetrain.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

srmitchell

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Thanks guys. I'm really happy with it.
The XJ was just getting so old. I know its a 2001, but the body just seems so worn and it just drives like a rig with 200k!
 

EricsXJ

NAXJA Member #616
NAXJA Member
Nice. It looks like that is a nice WJ.

We also have a 2004 WJ Overland that we have had for 2 years now. It has way more miles - around 160K I think. This may sound contradictory, but I am not so thrilled about these as I used to be. I hope we get a lot more life out of ours but with the mileage on the odometer I'm not sure how much more we'll get.

First thing I noticed is it burns quite a bit of oil. And when I mean a lot, to me having to add a quart every two weeks is a lot, compared to our 2 XJs and other vehicles I've owned. Secondly, one of the exhaust manifolds cracked last winter. I'm guessing the previous owner had it garaged, wereas ours is not. Outside winter temperatures are normally in the teens at dawn and I don't think it was used to those cold morning starts. So far that is about the extent of our problems, although I am still worried about all the reports of valve seats dropping.

Now not to get you paranoid or anything, but my buddy at work also had a WJ in mint condition with only about 90K miles. I found that his also burned just as much oil as mine. He started having some issues of his own, first cracked radiator, then water pump exploded, then right after having that fixed, within a week the engine was toast. Maybe I expect too much because I am used to the durability of the 4.0L engine, but I no longer have as much faith in the 4.7L V8's.

I hope we both get many more miles and years out of them. It is a nice ride.
 

RNMedic

NAXJA Member #659
keep an eye on the oil changes the valves is these can bite the dust. My brother in laws did at 145K, babied its whole life.
 

trippled

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Exhaust manifolds are pretty common. usually they break the rear bolts off and leak. Timing chain wear is common, and yea if it over heats for even a second, it's probably done. They are pretty fragile when it comes to heat.
 

srmitchell

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Nice. It looks like that is a nice WJ.

We also have a 2004 WJ Overland that we have had for 2 years now. It has way more miles - around 160K I think. This may sound contradictory, but I am not so thrilled about these as I used to be. I hope we get a lot more life out of ours but with the mileage on the odometer I'm not sure how much more we'll get.

First thing I noticed is it burns quite a bit of oil. And when I mean a lot, to me having to add a quart every two weeks is a lot, compared to our 2 XJs and other vehicles I've owned. Secondly, one of the exhaust manifolds cracked last winter. I'm guessing the previous owner had it garaged, wereas ours is not. Outside winter temperatures are normally in the teens at dawn and I don't think it was used to those cold morning starts. So far that is about the extent of our problems, although I am still worried about all the reports of valve seats dropping.

Now not to get you paranoid or anything, but my buddy at work also had a WJ in mint condition with only about 90K miles. I found that his also burned just as much oil as mine. He started having some issues of his own, first cracked radiator, then water pump exploded, then right after having that fixed, within a week the engine was toast. Maybe I expect too much because I am used to the durability of the 4.0L engine, but I no longer have as much faith in the 4.7L V8's.

I hope we both get many more miles and years out of them. It is a nice ride.
Hi Eric!!
You aren't wrong.
The 4.7 and HO are great motors, but they have plenty of flaws. I have a 2003 wj apart at my school right now (I teach auto shop) and it's amazing to see what happens when a valve seat drops. This one was overheated, dropped intake #6. Also, the chain guides seem to incredibly brittle. I'm not sure if we'll fix this one, as it has a shit ton of miles and it was poorly maintained.

As far as my jeep goes- It doesn't burn much oil, and it runs silky smooth. I clocked 30k miles on my last wj, and never had any major issues. I love this jeep though, and I'll be religious about oil changes, and coolant maintenance. If you recall from my XJ, I was pretty diligent about fixing stuff well before failure. I'm going to do the valve cover gaskets soon, while I am in there I plan to inspect the lash adjusters and cam wear. I think it has a minor exhaust leak, but we don't get extreme temps like you do.

The WJ at school has 250K miles, and the PO didn't do much other than oil changes. It was a failed radiator and a use of stop leak that killed that one.
 

XJEEPER

NAXJA Member # 13
NAXJA Member
Nice. It looks like that is a nice WJ.

We also have a 2004 WJ Overland that we have had for 2 years now. It has way more miles - around 160K I think. This may sound contradictory, but I am not so thrilled about these as I used to be. I hope we get a lot more life out of ours but with the mileage on the odometer I'm not sure how much more we'll get.

First thing I noticed is it burns quite a bit of oil. And when I mean a lot, to me having to add a quart every two weeks is a lot, compared to our 2 XJs and other vehicles I've owned. Secondly, one of the exhaust manifolds cracked last winter. I'm guessing the previous owner had it garaged, wereas ours is not. Outside winter temperatures are normally in the teens at dawn and I don't think it was used to those cold morning starts. So far that is about the extent of our problems, although I am still worried about all the reports of valve seats dropping.

Now not to get you paranoid or anything, but my buddy at work also had a WJ in mint condition with only about 90K miles. I found that his also burned just as much oil as mine. He started having some issues of his own, first cracked radiator, then water pump exploded, then right after having that fixed, within a week the engine was toast. Maybe I expect too much because I am used to the durability of the 4.0L engine, but I no longer have as much faith in the 4.7L V8's.

I hope we both get many more miles and years out of them. It is a nice ride.
My nephew bought a 2001 4.7 and it lasted about 6 months until the engine blew at 90,000. Similar pattern.....radiator, water pump, engine threw a rod.

My mom drives a 2000 with the 4.0L and it's solid.
 

blondejoncherokee

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
As for erics comment on burnig oil - Ilove my 02 overland with 99k but they all burn oil. Including this one. Almost always bad valve seals might as well freshen up the head while youre in there. With 100k if i get another 60k that will be 4-6!years of driving. Ive gone through maybe 6 wjs in the last 4 years andnthey all burn oil.

That 04 you have is sweet dude !!!
 

tow_hook

New member
congrates on the wj, my wife runs 35's and a clayton 6" on her 02", the 4.7 for us has been great ! we did the h.o. conversion @ 100k runs great we have 181k on it now just did the rear main seal. and broke the tabs off the solenoid pack when I put the trans back in :( now the trans seems have a few issues. even after the new solenoid pack got put in. if you can keep the rust away you will have it a long time. over heating the 4.7 will be the death of them, as stated above seats drop etc. the super chips flash pack has been help full to do the tire resize/ speedo correction. enjoy it
 

tow_hook

New member
Nice. It looks like that is a nice WJ.

We also have a 2004 WJ Overland that we have had for 2 years now. It has way more miles - around 160K I think. This may sound contradictory, but I am not so thrilled about these as I used to be. I hope we get a lot more life out of ours but with the mileage on the odometer I'm not sure how much more we'll get.

First thing I noticed is it burns quite a bit of oil. And when I mean a lot, to me having to add a quart every two weeks is a lot, compared to our 2 XJs and other vehicles I've owned. Secondly, one of the exhaust manifolds cracked last winter. I'm guessing the previous owner had it garaged, wereas ours is not. Outside winter temperatures are normally in the teens at dawn and I don't think it was used to those cold morning starts. So far that is about the extent of our problems, although I am still worried about all the reports of valve seats dropping.

Now not to get you paranoid or anything, but my buddy at work also had a WJ in mint condition with only about 90K miles. I found that his also burned just as much oil as mine. He started having some issues of his own, first cracked radiator, then water pump exploded, then right after having that fixed, within a week the engine was toast. Maybe I expect too much because I am used to the durability of the 4.0L engine, but I no longer have as much faith in the 4.7L V8's.

I hope we both get many more miles and years out of them. It is a nice ride.
my 4.7 burns no oil, but it did leak oil pretty bad, ( valve covers and rear main are now done ) I had the heads totally redone @ 100k, the factory seats have issues as mentioned here. when I body goes bad in 2 years, i'll pull the drive line for the next body.
 

srmitchell

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I have a pretty decent oil leak from the valve covers. That'll get fixed soon. I go about 4,000 miles between oil changes (Mobil 1 syn 10w30) and it only uses about .5 qt in that time. I have my Dart as a DD, so I never have to rely on the WJ.

I mentioned the high school autoshop project- A little bit of background.
This guy on CL had a 2003 WJ for sale, 500 bucks. Zero compression on #6. He drove it back to Eureka from the bay area on 7 cylinders. Claims it was never overheated, but that's just not true.
Anyway, I went to check it out, and funny enough, the guy lives at my old house that I rented in 2015. He was super nice, and was very excited to see the thing go to a high school autoshop. He had a new baby on the way, so he needed some $$, and we settled on $350 bucks. Deal!

I figured we'd do 1 of two options-
-Find out it was something simple like a collapsed lifter, repair the engine and sell it on CL.
-Or 2, use the damaged engine as a demonstration/learning project, and part the jeep out for funding.
We're parting it.

It was pouring rain when I went to try to get the thing back running- I wanted to limp it to the shop. Wasn't going to happen so we picked a dry day and had it towed.

From the ad-
2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

Once I got to it-
2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

Using graphiteJ to move the 03.
2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

A few hours later-
2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

And a week or so later-
2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

95% of this work was done by my students. The tensioner pulley bolt seized in the timing cover, made for a fun time.
2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr
 

srmitchell

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Our shop is ancient and run down, but we have a few awesome tools.
While not totally essential, we used our sliding overhead shop hoist to remove the head. The 4.7 heads are light, but having the thing properly supported reduced the chances of students smashing fingers or getting pinched. The hoist runs on a rail, and slides in front of all 5 bays, back to the oil room. Really neat for pulling heavy components.
2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

And...... Its what I figured.
2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

2003 Wj project by Sean Mitchell, on Flickr

Seems like there's some scoring in the block too. Now, we plan on pulling the whole engine and doing a tear down. Neat!
 

EricsXJ

NAXJA Member #616
NAXJA Member
Coming back to this thread for an update on ours.

Now has 190K miles.

It seems as soon as I fix it something else goes wrong. Here's what I've had to do to it since having the exhaust manifold done which I already posted about:

- replaced radiator, twice! which really sucks on these.
- replaced water pump and thermostat
- had starting problems = new battery, HD battery cables (works awesome!), and had to replace starter.
- had bad vibration / pulsating when braking at higher speeds (ie: exiting freeway). Thought it was rotors, nope. Turns out one of the front calipers was bad. Replaced with Powerstop brake kit. Problem fixed.

And now the heater went out. Pulled the blower resistor last night and hopefully replacing that will fix it.
 

PacificEd

YOLO!
NAXJA Member
Coming back to this thread for an update on ours.

Now has 190K miles.

It seems as soon as I fix it something else goes wrong. Here's what I've had to do to it since having the exhaust manifold done which I already posted about:

- replaced radiator, twice! which really sucks on these.
- replaced water pump and thermostat
- had starting problems = new battery, HD battery cables (works awesome!), and had to replace starter.
- had bad vibration / pulsating when braking at higher speeds (ie: exiting freeway). Thought it was rotors, nope. Turns out one of the front calipers was bad. Replaced with Powerstop brake kit. Problem fixed.

And now the heater went out. Pulled the blower resistor last night and hopefully replacing that will fix it.
Did you buy this WJ from smitchell?

I feel your pain. Our ZJ is much the same way. It seems like there is always something going wrong or needing repair.
 
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