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Old 11-29-2010, 06:16 AM
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About to take the leap- Help Please!!

Hi All,

Firstly apologies if I go over ground that has been covered in previous posts, I have searched the forums and manually looked through and learned a lot (as well as by looking at wjjeeps.com) but I still have a couple of questions if I may.

I have long been an admirer of the Gran Cherokee and I am about to leave my job and it's company car, and given the fact that I lost 2 weeks of work last year due to snow and I often need to go off road(ish) as I canoe, I decided now was the time. I have a small budget (2-3.5k) and I am looking at 9/10/11 year old lpg converts but I can't decide if I should go for the 4.0 or the 4.7, thoughts please?

I know the 4.7 is chain driven but I can't seem to find the same info for the 4.0. I very occasionally need to tow about 1.2 tonnes, will I find the 4.0 a bit lacking (this can be across muddy fields)? Most of the LPG converts use the spare wheel bay, can I mount the wheel on the boot (I realise unless it's a smart swing system this will stop the glass of the boot opening).

Are there anything I should look our for when viewing cars, I am under a bit of time pressure as I now leave my current job this week! I know that heated seats are an issue but these sorts of things don't worry me, anything mechanical of course does.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to be proper part of these forums soon.

Paddy
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:16 PM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

Hi Paddy, welcome at JG.
There are a lot of things you have to look at before buying and our fellow jeepers for sure will add a lot more then i will write down here:
1) WJs are famous for their heating/cooling system. Many times blend doors will break and leave you in the cold. So check out the heating/cooling if it seems to be working normally.
2) You can check if there are any hidden engine control problems by switching the ignition on/off 3 times and leave it in on after the third time. The odometer will show DONE when everything is ok, or it will show a fault code. The fault code can be an old one, but at least gives you an idea of existing or previous problems.
3) Both 4.0 and 4.7 use timing chains, so normally no worry about those. I have no experience with the 4.0, but regarding the 4.7 i can only tell that its a very nice machine with lots of power and no big problems (sofar)
4) When you drive the car, listen carefully if there are any abnormal noises coming from the enginebay, front or aft differentials or T-case.
If you tow a lot in muddy places, a Quadra drive probably would be the best option.
I have now 135000Km on mine with only a few small items sofar.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:39 PM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

I have a 2003 WJ with the 4.0L engine. I can say that if you're towing 1.2 tons the 4.0L will struggle to keep up. It's capable of hauling things like row boats, mowers, and 4-wheelers. But that would be pushing the towing limits (especially if there are any hills).
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:32 AM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

i have a 4.7 WJ 2001 i love it
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:32 AM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

Hi All,

Thanks for your input so far, I have driven a 4.0 now, and was impressed with how much grunt it had, I note the comments on the towing, it is only very occasionally I have to tow a classic car or 2 but I can't say where it will be to. I have read that the fuel economy of the 4.7 is only slightly lower than the 4.0 and as I am looking at LPG this won't be a massive factor. I also have to get out of a couple of difficult junctions so the extra grunt there would be useful.

Thanks again

Paddy
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:44 AM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

I've got a 4.0 XJ and a 4.7 WJ. Both are capable towing wise. The previous owner of my XJ towed a boat with it in all sorts of conditions. The 4.7 will perform better, but I wouldn't worry about it.

Both engines are fairly bullet proof, provided they've been looked after. Like all vehicles of this nature, it's not how much it costs to buy, it's how much it costs to run. Parts, fluids etc can be fairly expensive.

Make sure it has a FSH. Check the passenger footwell, if it's wet, walk away or knock at least 500 off the price and as Frank said, check the heating and air conditioning VERY well. Other than that I'd say it's just the usual 'check every button, switch and knob'.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:24 AM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

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Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
Hi All,

Thanks for your input so far, I have driven a 4.0 now, and was impressed with how much grunt it had, I note the comments on the towing, it is only very occasionally I have to tow a classic car or 2 but I can't say where it will be to. I have read that the fuel economy of the 4.7 is only slightly lower than the 4.0 and as I am looking at LPG this won't be a massive factor. I also have to get out of a couple of difficult junctions so the extra grunt there would be useful.

Thanks again

Paddy
Wow, I just realized what you meant when you said LPG (we use miles per gallon, MPG). Crazy people and their metric units.
But really, I wish we would use metric (with everything except temperature) because it makes sense. Everything is easy to work with and convert.

I have a Mastercraft Prostar ski boat and pontoon boat. Each of them gets towed twice a year (put in the lake during spring and removed during fall). They both weigh about 2,600 lbs (just a little more than your 1.2 tons). While I CAN tow them with the little 4.0L, it STRUGGLES to pull them out of the lake and up any hills so I borrow my dad's to pull them.

Having 230 lb-ft of torque @ 3k rpm just doesn't cut it. Look at the torque curves. At 2k rpm the 4.0L is pushing just shy of 215 lb-ft and the 4.7L is pushing out just shy of 280 lb-ft.

I'm not saying the 4.0L engine is a bad engine (I would easily buy another 4.0L over the 4.7L). But if you plan on towing, I don't think there's any good reason to choose the 4.0L over the 4.7L.
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:33 AM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

Hi All,

JeepMe Thanks for the info.
Sorry I should have been clear, Petrol here (in the UK) is equivalent of about $9 a gallon so running one of these on gasoline isn't really affordable for me (I do quite a lot of miles) but LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is about $4.75 so if if I get 22mpg on average out of the 4.0 and 19mpg out of the 4.7 I won't be too worried. Towing aside we have just had about 5 centimetres of snow (2 inches) and while where I live didn't quite grind to a halt it was pretty close. Last year I pulled half a dozen cars out of trouble with an old V8 Landrover my Dad had (which is what I had been using for towing but it is uneconomical to get roadworthy) so I would like to have the option to tow reasonable weights when required.


Stonecold, thanks for the tips, I will look out for a wet footwell. I have seen 3 4.0l JGCs now and 2 had heaters that didn't work. I was meant to go an look at a 4.7l today and the owner called to say the heater had just broken. It's currently -5 C (sorry can't do imperial temperatures) and I need a car that I can drive to my new job next week and I kinda want a heater ;-)

Any thoughts on mounting the spare wheel on the rear?

Thanks again

Paddy
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:32 PM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

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Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
Hi All,

JeepMe Thanks for the info.
Sorry I should have been clear, Petrol here (in the UK) is equivalent of about $9 a gallon so running one of these on gasoline isn't really affordable for me (I do quite a lot of miles) but LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is about $4.75 so if if I get 22mpg on average out of the 4.0 and 19mpg out of the 4.7 I won't be too worried. Towing aside we have just had about 5 centimetres of snow (2 inches) and while where I live didn't quite grind to a halt it was pretty close. Last year I pulled half a dozen cars out of trouble with an old V8 Landrover my Dad had (which is what I had been using for towing but it is uneconomical to get roadworthy) so I would like to have the option to tow reasonable weights when required.


Stonecold, thanks for the tips, I will look out for a wet footwell. I have seen 3 4.0l JGCs now and 2 had heaters that didn't work. I was meant to go an look at a 4.7l today and the owner called to say the heater had just broken. It's currently -5 C (sorry can't do imperial temperatures) and I need a car that I can drive to my new job next week and I kinda want a heater ;-)

Any thoughts on mounting the spare wheel on the rear?

Thanks again

Paddy
I see what you're wanting to pull now. I would say either engine would be fine for that. I've help pull people out of the mud w/ my Jeep. It's a bit different from towing.

I've never seen the spare wheel on the rear. I have seen them put on roof racks and it looks pretty good. It would also keep it out of the way of the rear glass. Plus, you could put your canoe on the roof rack when needed.
But I realize that's more money into the Jeep. It's always easier to recommend mods to other people's Jeep when you're not paying for them.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:02 PM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

As far as the hvac system goes just stay from the dual zone climate control. The regular manual hvac has no issues that I know of. As for mileage most 4.7s over here actually get better mileage than the 4.0. I don't know if that will hold true on lp though. Another thing to consider when towing is the 4.7s have a better cooling system. The 4.0 we have and others I've driven tend to get hot when pushed(Most prominent in the early years 99-01) especially with the ac on. Hope this helps.Also if you're planning an lp conversion I'd stay away from the 4.7 HO engine. It's more performance oriented and I don't think it would like lpg.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:02 AM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

Wow, thanks again guys.

The cars I am all looking at are already converted to LPG, they are at the lower end of the market and I am looking to show them some TLC but need the mechanics and important electricals (i.e. heater!) to be working as I need it to get me to work (100 mile round trip) for a few weeks before I will have time to start any jobs.

I have seen the spare on the roof and that may be the way forward, need to see if I can find a mount for it in the UK!

I have only seen one 4.7HO that's been converted so you are probably right, there are a bunch of regular 4.7s though, it is also interesting that the problem is with the dual climate control system, I hadn't spotted the pattern but now I think about it all the ones I have seen where the heater doesn't work are the dual system! Good info, thanks.

atb

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Old 12-01-2010, 07:35 AM
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Re: About to take the leap- Help Please!!

Out of curiosity Paddy, have you run an LPG before? I ran a XJ with it a few years back (installed when I bought it) and to be honest I didn't see that much of difference. Performance wise, there is no difference at all. I've seen systems fitted to Impreza's etc

I asked around and by all accounts you actually use 25% more LPG, than petrol. So although it's about half the price at the pump, the overall saving isn't huge. It can take two years to recoup on the investment of having a system installed.

However, I have noticed that you can pick up a 4.7 with LPG for around the same price as one without, so .

When they first came out, you were basically paying the market value of the Jeep, plus the 2000-2500 for the system, that had already been installed.

One other thing to note with LPG, is that you don't 'run out' like you do with petrol. It works on pressure, so the lower your tank gets, it loses power. Newer systems maybe better, I'm going back about 5-6 years.

If you want to leave the spare wheel where it is, you can have a cylinder tank fitted just behind the rear seats, although the 'donut' option is better.
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