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Old 06-20-2016, 06:11 PM
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Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

Hi All:

I've been thinking about picking up a WJ for some time now. I have a 2011 Jetta Sportwagen TDI that is just about out of warranty and may be bought back by VW (I'll find out on 06/28 what the offer is). I've been wanting a WK2 but I just love the older WJs. I had a 2000 XJ so I am familiar with the 4.0 but did experience a cracked 0331 head and heater core issues. Needless to say I dumped a lot of money into it. I'd really like to not have a car payment which is why I'm avoiding the WK2s. I travel quite a bit - about 25k miles per year and spend a lot of time in stop and go traffic. I love V8s but don't necessarily have to have one. Any recommendations on what to look for? I've heard the special editions are best/easiest to maintain due to manual HVAC controls, leather and availability of V8. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-20-2016, 08:44 PM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

Hi, I'm no expert as I've only owned my Year 2000 WJ Limited for a few weeks and it's my first Jeep ever, but I love it! It's the 4.0 petrol straight six and I was very lucky to find a very low mileage example (64,000) that's been fairly well looked after for not a lot of money, £750! That probably equates to just over $1000? Anyway, very comfortable, very quiet engine, and a smooth ride, it's my every day user and I do about 50/50 motorway and town driving and i'm getting about 18-20 Miles per UK Gallon being fairly gentle, my friend just up the road from me has a Year 2005 WK 4.7 V8 and there's not a lot of difference in Miles per Gallon between the two, mine's maybe 1 or 2 MPG better we reckon, as I said I'm no expert and I may not be 100% right in saying this but I have read and heard that the straight 6 is the stronger engine for robustness although the V8 is a great engine and sounds lovely! No real problems so far, I had to change the left side rear ABS sensor, (A really simple job!) and all the gas struts for the bonnet (Hood), the flipper glass and the tailgate had to be changed as they were quite weak, again a really straight forward job and very reasonable cost too, at the moment I've got a slight whining noise around 60-70 MPH (See my thread in the trouble shooting section in the WJ part of the forum) but I've booked her in for an oil change in both differentials and the transfer box as a matter of course so we'll see if that makes a difference and/or what the independent Jeep guy makes of it, see what happens!
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:22 PM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

Great vehicle...and he's right, there is essentially no difference in MPG between the I6 and the V8. That being said, I'd opt for the V8. Why not? Mine was a limited, High Output V8 model and it was a dream to drive. Extremely comfortable, very responsive, and did everything I needed it to. It never left me anywhere and was very dependable. HOWEVER, with you putting 25k on a vehicle annually, I'm not sure it's the most economical choice. These are heavy vehicles. I'd still be driving mine today if it weren't for a random offer being made in a parking lot a few months ago. Sure do miss it:
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:08 PM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

Appreciate your feedback. I'm not too worried about MPGs, although I do like the performance of my TDI. Basically I'm debating between buying a used 2014 Grand Cherokee V6 or Hemi and getting the lifetime warranty or buying a 2004 WJ to drive for a few years. I really don't want to have car payments but I can afford to buy the 2014 Grand Cherokee if that makes better sense.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:05 PM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenexplr View Post
Appreciate your feedback. I'm not too worried about MPGs, although I do like the performance of my TDI. Basically I'm debating between buying a used 2014 Grand Cherokee V6 or Hemi and getting the lifetime warranty or buying a 2004 WJ to drive for a few years. I really don't want to have car payments but I can afford to buy the 2014 Grand Cherokee if that makes better sense.
If I were you and I could afford it...I'd go with the 2014. You seem to spend a lot of time in a vehicle. While payments stink, I think in the long run, you'll be happier. Good luck finding a lower mileage WJ you can put a bunch of miles on confidently. I know around here, they are VERY hard to find with miles under 100k without any rust. Ever consider a JK? Mine seems to be the perfect blend between a TJ and a WJ. It's got the comfort and space, as well as the fun and ruggedness. All that and I get about 18mpg.
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Old 06-29-2016, 12:10 AM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

I have a WJ which I converted to autogas and I love it. However, if I could I would buy the diesel version. I am currently about to rebuild my engne due to having cooked it. The coolant warning system needs upgrading if you buy one as if you get a hole in the radiator as I did or rupture a hose you will not drain fluid from the header tank and therefor not activate the warning system. With no fluid in the engine or radiator there is no temperature warning either. All fixable but very sad for me
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:56 AM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

I've got the 2003 WJ with LPG Autogas conversion and thankfully as I have done around 50k in 3 years in it not including my other cars... and running on Petrol in UK is insane at around 16mpg I get out of mine.

Great BUT all bushes start going, mine's on 141k miles... body work fine but had to replace front wings due to rust... rest of jeep is fine though. However, it's not been cheap to run by any means... and the American built quality doesn't match what Europe has to offer. However, I do love this thing... something about it that makes me smile.
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:38 PM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

Where are you? Find one with repair history and watch for rust.

I love my '04 Columbia Edition with the 4.7 HO but it will be looking for a new home in the near future.

Things that I have replaced are things to watch for if you are looking for one:
- Lower control arms
- Radiator
- Brakes/master cylinder
- shocks
- Steering stabilizer
- plugs

Also watch for:
- tie rod ends
- upper rear a-arm ball joint (makes the back feel loose)
- transfer case works as expected
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:58 PM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

I'll chime into this. Having owned a 2012 WK2 Hemi 4x4, its a great rig. The 2014+ models only took the WK2 into an even higher level of luxury with very nice aesthetics inside. Mine was bought back by Jeep a year into owning it. (Had tranny and air suspension problems.) But that Jeep was heavy and with the 4x4 and Hemi I averaged between 12-14 mpg! ...and im not the kind of person that drives like I stole it.

That being said, I also own a 2000 WJ Limited 4x4 with 250k on the clock. Factory engine and tranny, never rebuilt. Still running very strong. Absolute joy to drive, and I find the 4.7L V8 to have more pep than my 5.7 Hemi did. Not to mention I get about 14 mpg in the city with it, and about 17 on the highway. Prior to giving it the All-terrain tires and lift, those numbers were about +1.5 mpg better.

I bought this WJ because, like you I did not want another payment under my belt. I lease my 2016 VW GTI and use it as my daily driver, because it yields me 28-32mpg and costs $30 to fill. I plan to keep driving my WJ until it dies. Heck if its still around in two years when my GTI's lease is up, I have already contemplated making it my daily just because it is an absolute joy to drive around.

Apart from small things here and there, the 4.7 WJ has been great. The "small things" consist of things like CV boots tearing due to age (its a $50 part), brakes, fan clutch, and routine maintenance. My biggest expense to date on the WJ was the rebuild of the front and rear differentials. That was $1600, but the bearings and planetary gears were getting loose and noisy. I could have kept driving on it since it was strictly an audible and not damaging to the vehicle, but as a perfectionist I just had them done.
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:32 PM
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Cool Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrey View Post
I'll chime into this. Having owned a 2012 WK2 Hemi 4x4, its a great rig. The 2014+ models only took the WK2 into an even higher level of luxury with very nice aesthetics inside. Mine was bought back by Jeep a year into owning it. (Had tranny and air suspension problems.) But that Jeep was heavy and with the 4x4 and Hemi I averaged between 12-14 mpg! ...and im not the kind of person that drives like I stole it.

That being said, I also own a 2000 WJ Limited 4x4 with 250k on the clock. Factory engine and tranny, never rebuilt. Still running very strong. Absolute joy to drive, and I find the 4.7L V8 to have more pep than my 5.7 Hemi did. Not to mention I get about 14 mpg in the city with it, and about 17 on the highway. Prior to giving it the All-terrain tires and lift, those numbers were about +1.5 mpg better.

I bought this WJ because, like you I did not want another payment under my belt. I lease my 2016 VW GTI and use it as my daily driver, because it yields me 28-32mpg and costs $30 to fill. I plan to keep driving my WJ until it dies. Heck if its still around in two years when my GTI's lease is up, I have already contemplated making it my daily just because it is an absolute joy to drive around.

Apart from small things here and there, the 4.7 WJ has been great. The "small things" consist of things like CV boots tearing due to age (its a $50 part), brakes, fan clutch, and routine maintenance. My biggest expense to date on the WJ was the rebuild of the front and rear differentials. That was $1600, but the bearings and planetary gears were getting loose and noisy. I could have kept driving on it since it was strictly an audible and not damaging to the vehicle, but as a perfectionist I just had them done.
Absolutely loving that colour and condition.. looks fantastic fella. Any chance of more pictures, really is a beaut that, I'm impressed as I'm not a fan of blue cars in general, you're an exception rofl
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:16 PM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

Hi all. Thanks for the feedback I greatly appreciate it. I would love to look at a JKU but my wife doesn't want one and I spend a lot of time on the road so not sure how comfortable one would be for me.

I'm not trying to figure out how I want to move forward. VW came back with a preliminary settlement value of $17k for my TDI. We incurred a bit of debt remodeling our house last year and I'd love to start chipping away at it by throwing $10k of the settlement amount towards it. So now I'm down to a couple of options:

1) Buy a 2004 WJ with under 100k on it. I found three near me with the V8 H.O. engine for around $8k.
2) Buy a used 2014 V6 Grand Cherokee Limited for around $27k including lifetime warranty.
3) Buy a used 2014 V8 Grand Cherokee Limited for around $30k including lifetime warranty. This is my preference/wish but definitely most expensive given the higher purchase cost, maintenance cost and fuel cost.

I ran the numbers, and assuming either purchasing the WJ for $8k or putting $8k down on a 2014,and no maintenance/repair costs for the 2004, the monthly cash flow numbers (finance, fuel, etc.) come out as follows:

Option 1 WJ: $234
Option 2: WKv6: $582
Option 3: WKv8: $668

The problem this doesn't assume any repair/maintenance cost for any of the options. What would be a realistic repair "reserve" for the WJ? Would $1200 per year be reasonable to consider? The more I look at it, an extra $250 a month isn't bad for a newer vehicle and the piece of mind of having a warranty. What are your thoughts? Am I missing anything here? Any other considerations?
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:44 AM
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Re: Thinking about buying a WJ. Advice requested.

I'd say there will be a fair amount of things that need done between 80k and 100k miles. My earlier post spelled out the major things that I have done on my 2004. The radiator was the biggest pain of anything that I have done on it. If you have to pay to have that done it will be pricy.

As for the payment/warranty thing... I went that route in April for my wife's daily driver when she started to get leery of the 12 year old GC and the 16 year old Maxima. Ultimately, that's your call.

One more thing to consider: Have you checked out insurance rates? Full coverage on the Subaru Outback we just purchased was less than full coverage on the WJ due to better safety ratings.
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