As an owner of three WJs (1999 Laredo and two matching 2002 Overlands) I have really benefited from many of the threads, and also from the http://www.wjjeeps.com
site. Board policy required that I join, and so I am in.
Many thanks to all who have contributed, and looking forward to continuing to learn from the sage advice.
My story is that I live on a horse farm with (often washed out) gravel roads in N Georgia, and have two sons. I had maintained a 2002 Kia Sportage for first one, then the other. At about 120,000 it really started falling apart, and the older son (now somewhat of a mechanic) recommended that I get the younger son a WJ.
I bought a 1999 Laredo I6/Select trac with lots of upgrades, and ended up spending way too much fixing the problems. But I learned a lot and loved the car so much that I traded in my (totally impractical for the farm) Pontiac Solstice GXP for a 2002 Overland WJ. Having learned some hard lessons from the '99, the "new" WJ was a "Southern" former mommy car that had been babied (atlanta golf pro), and both the wife and I really enjoy it. Keeps her from burning through Diesel and tires on our 3500 dually towing vehicle.
While trolling for parts on ebay and craigslist (these things are like the old VW bug- so many were made!), I noticed another 2002 Overland that had most of the same options but a cylinder #6 issue. Bargained that frustrated owner down to $2500 figuring that if I had to replace the engine I would still be OK- Trans was replaced 65K ago, and most everything else worked fine, no leaks. The #6 issue was a shot condenser, but the truck had been run for months with the misfire, and the gap on the plugs (copper replacements) was huge. Techron etc did not resolve the rough running at speed and under load (idles pretty smooth) so now I am grappling with considerations of o2 sensors, blocked Cat converters, etc.
So, one project 1999 WJ Laredo almost finished upgrading to near Limited, one 2002 Overland that has every option and runs like a dream, and a project 2002 Overland- but no loss of enthusiasm. These WJ jeeps are the right tool for my lifestyle- rough, muddy farm roads with occasional trips into the big city (Atlanta).