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  #1  
Old 10-19-2015, 01:53 AM
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WK v.s WJ

Posting this here since this forum seems to be the most active and I'd bet a lot of WK owners are former WJ owners.

Here's my situation. 100% new to Jeep. I know virtually nothing about them other than I like the way the WK and WJ look and I'm in the market for a reliable weekend fun toy. Something I can take out to the Mojave desert on photo shoots to access areas unreachable by my sedan. I'm an amateur photographer. Recent desert pics here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskmHXRFE

My plan is to allocate somewhere around 10 grand to purchase a WJ or WK with under 100k on the odometer. Add another couple grand for maybe a 2-4" lift and some better rims/tires for the desert. Other than that I'd probably add a good CB radio and antenna for use in areas where I won't have cell signal as well as a tasteful and functional lightbar on the roof.

I already have a daily driver but as you can imagine reliability is kind of important if you're in the middle of the desert out of cell phone signal range roaming around looking for the perfect spot to setup a photo shoot.

Can someone tell me what years, engines, transmissions, 4wd systems tend to be the most reliable? I don't really care about gas mileage or if it has the latest greatest gadgets. Heated leather seats, a sunroof and nav would be nice but it's not a necessity. Here's some examples of what I'm looking for.

Cars for Sale: 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD Limited in Santa Ana, CA 92705: Sport Utility Details - 408008325 - Autotrader

Cars for Sale: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited in Los Angeles, CA 90077: Sport Utility Details - 401238575 - Autotrader

Cars for Sale: 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD Limited in San Diego, CA 92120: Sport Utility Details - 404154864 - Autotrader

Am I totally off my rocker to expect a sub 10k dollar Jeep to be a reliable off road tool I can use in a desolate area? Isn't that kind of what they're known for?

For full disclosure. I used to live in Michigan and had a 2004 4x4 trailblazer, almost fully loaded. I LOVED it. Unfortunately I totaled it but it did prove itself on some backwoods trails. The drivetrain and frame is more than capable on those vehicles but the way the front bumper hangs too low limits their off road prowess. Most people who use them for off road use replace the front bumper first and I just don't want to get into heavily modifying a vehicle.

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  #2  
Old 10-20-2015, 12:04 AM
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Re: WK v.s WJ

Since no WK owner replied yet, i will tell you what i would do. I would go for a WK, 4.7 or 5.7 hemi with quadra drive II. Im not familiar with off roading myself, but the WK seems to be very capable. The WJ still has rigid axles, which will give a bit more possibilty for flexing, but also the ride quality is affected by it. The WK is more modern ofcourse, but its style is something you have to like. Eventhough the WJ already has quite some electronics in it, the WK has more. For example, the T-case on a WJ is still mechanically selected with a lever and its quadra drive system is completely hydro-mechanically, while on a WK the T-case has an electro motor to select 4Hi-Lo and quadra drive II uses ELSD (electronically limited slip differential).
I think you can find a reliable ride in both the WJ and the WK, but it all depends on how the previous owner has done the preventive maintenance.
By the way, the WJ in the example you gave, is a 2 wheel drive. The T-case for the quadra drive WJ uses a progressive coupler, which will wear out quickly when tire rotation is not done in time. If you would decide to go for a WJ, than try to find out if the 4-all time position works well. The progressive coupler is very expensive .
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:31 PM
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Re: WK v.s WJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
Since no WK owner replied yet, i will tell you what i would do. I would go for a WK, 4.7 or 5.7 hemi with quadra drive II. Im not familiar with off roading myself, but the WK seems to be very capable. The WJ still has rigid axles, which will give a bit more possibilty for flexing, but also the ride quality is affected by it. The WK is more modern ofcourse, but its style is something you have to like. Eventhough the WJ already has quite some electronics in it, the WK has more. For example, the T-case on a WJ is still mechanically selected with a lever and its quadra drive system is completely hydro-mechanically, while on a WK the T-case has an electro motor to select 4Hi-Lo and quadra drive II uses ELSD (electronically limited slip differential).
I think you can find a reliable ride in both the WJ and the WK, but it all depends on how the previous owner has done the preventive maintenance.
By the way, the WJ in the example you gave, is a 2 wheel drive. The T-case for the quadra drive WJ uses a progressive coupler, which will wear out quickly when tire rotation is not done in time. If you would decide to go for a WJ, than try to find out if the 4-all time position works well. The progressive coupler is very expensive .

Thanks for the response. So based on your response I think the best thing would be a WK Limited Package with the Hemi. ELSD is a little scary but I bet Jeep figured out a way to do it the right way.
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:11 AM
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Re: WK v.s WJ

I have had a 99 WJ with QD and my


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Old 10-21-2015, 06:19 AM
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Re: WK v.s WJ

Oops hit reply to soon. I have had a 99 WJ with QD and my current 09 Wk with QD2 and the WK is a far better jeep IMO. Both were modded the same pretty much. But the main thing is to find one well maintained. I would look for a 09-10 WK with 4.7 or Hemi if you can.


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Old 10-22-2015, 06:44 PM
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Re: WK v.s WJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kman09JGC View Post
Oops hit reply to soon. I have had a 99 WJ with QD and my current 09 Wk with QD2 and the WK is a far better jeep IMO. Both were modded the same pretty much. But the main thing is to find one well maintained. I would look for a 09-10 WK with 4.7 or Hemi if you can.


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Old 11-03-2015, 11:34 PM
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Re: WK v.s WJ

I had a 04 WJ, 4.7 HO. it fell apart after some months.
I got a WK HEMI and is the best offroader I ever had.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:58 PM
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Re: WK v.s WJ

The WJ is going to be more capable offroad in technical situations. The WK will be more comfortable to drive and will likely meet all of your needs. I would go for the Hemi or 3.0 Diesel. I currently have a 2004 Overland and am picking up a 2010 S Limited shortly.
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