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2000-2004 Grand Cherokee Questions

 
Old 01-22-2019, 08:20 AM
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Default 2000-2004 Grand Cherokee Questions

I'm looking at 2000-2004 Grand Cherokees for my son's first vehicle. I've found a couple of them that appear to be in good shape with reasonable mileage on the 4.0 engines. One has Quadradrive full time awd and another has Selectrac. One has 126k and the other 141k on it. The one with 126k has a rebuilt transmission by Edwards, so it had a warranty that just expired. The owner claims it shifts and behaves like new. The rebuild was a year ago, so the warranty just ended, but if it made it that far, it is probably gtg.

I'm really looking for the six, but wonder if the V8 is worth a look? There seem to be plenty of V8's out there making it to 240k or 250k and still running. Also, is there any other particular area of concern I should focus on? I know of some 4.0 engines that have leaky rear main seals. Is that an expensive fix?

Are there any particular areas where rust can cause a major problem? These two vehicles appear to only have one or two spots with minor surface rust (rear fender behind the door), but nothing major that I can see with just a glance.

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated! He loves the look of that generation of Grand Cherokee. I like the solid axles and the I6, as well as the looks inside and out. These two we found can be had for under three thousand bucks, so I think it will be a fun father-son fixer upper.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by dmwil View Post
I know of some 4.0 engines that have leaky rear main seals. Is that an expensive fix?.
I really think RMS gets to be an issue on about any 14+ year old vehicle with high mileage. I can't add a whole lot more value except to say I had that model of Grand Cherokee and it was a great vehicle....till it got totaled out in an accident. Definitely would be a good first car.

I have twins that are about to turn 16, so I'm kinda in the same boat of looking for good/safe vehicles that aren't breaking the bank. My market is a bit different down here in the DFW metroplex, but one thing I've realized is I much prefer to look at vehicles with a salvaged title than an older, high mileage vehicle with a clean title......the philosophy being that people get rid of older, high-mileage cars due to problems compared to people losing salvaged cars due to the insurance company totalling them out (not by choice). If you do your leg work you can find some really good deals on cars that were totaled due to very minor cosmetic damage, but that are very reliable from a mechanical standpoint. I've bought a couple in that $3k-$3500 range and have been very happy with the results. The one downside being no insurance company will total out a vehicle twice, so limited to liability insurance coverage, but at that price point, it's all worth the risk. Anhow, food for thought.

Hopefully you find and enjoy a good father/son project!
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dmwil (01-27-2019)
Old 01-27-2019, 07:33 AM
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We found and bought a 2004 that has spent its life garaged. It has only 103k mile on it and has been very well maintained and is exceptionally clean. It has a 4.7 V8 that runs great, has a new alternator and has documented oil changes every 3k. It has new tires and a new alternator, too, and all controls/switches/lights work. It was literally driven by an old lady! Lol. Anyway, the paint looks like new and only has a couple of minor scratches, which are hard to find, and the only rust is on the gas tank skid plate. The headlights and taillights have no sun fade or even blemishes. Heck, even the headlights and fog lights are perfectly aimed. The only downside to it was that the old lady was a smoker. The interior is perfect, with no stains, tears, holes, or anything, just smokey smell. I've got a local dealership that does detailing who will shampoo the whole thing and then use an ionizer after that. We've had them do this before and it worked very well. If it doesn't, then I'll change out the carpet and will put covers on the seats. It should work, though.

Even though it was well maintained, we're going to now methodically go through everything. Doing this with him will be a big part of why we went with an older vehicle, so I'm looking forward to that. We'll start with a spark plug change, then oil, t-case, diffs, transmission, and power steering fluid. Then fuel filter, air filter, and so on. It drives, rides, handles and tracks like new. We really got lucky.

Here are a couple pics: I did forget to mention...those side steps are coming off soon! The sweet little old lady needed them to climb up in there. She's in a walker now and that's why she was selling it. She can't get into it anymore.




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Old 01-27-2019, 07:40 AM
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Oh, btw, no leaks or drips from the engine, tranny, axles, or t-case. There is only some minor caked/baked oil where it spilled over the years at the spill cap. The shop that did all her oil changes, like most, didn't care to wipe up the drips. A little engine degreaser will take care of it. Hoses and coolant look good, too. It will get new coolant soon, too.

Anway, my boy will wear these tires down for awhile and then when he's financially ready, he's looking at the Old Man Emu 1.5" soft ride/light load lift with 30 or 31" KO2's or Duratracs. He wants to set it up for exploring and overlanding and mild trails, without losing ride/handling or much power. That V8 is strong, btw, and won't be bothered by that mild setup. I like the way he's thinking about this. Funny, though. He's got a jones for an overlanding style roof basket with a shovel and axe mounted to it. Should be fun to see what he does with it.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:59 AM
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Dang that thing looks to be in great condition! Your search was way too easy!
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:30 PM
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Lol, yeah, we got really lucky stumbling across this one. Looking deeper into after having it a few days, the condition is strikingly good. Even better than we thought.

We're going to do most of the maintenance, but I'm not so sure about changing the transmission fluid and filter. What kind of price range would I be looking at for someone to drop the pan, change the filters, and change the fluid? I can do it, but I don't think I can get all or even much of the old fluid out.

I've also been surprised at how cheap and available parts are. For example, I am replacing hood, tailgate, and tailgate glass gas struts and the total came to probably 60 bucks. I thought those would be quite a bit more. They all get replace this weekend, as age has left the originals impotent.
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dmwil View Post
We're going to do most of the maintenance, but I'm not so sure about changing the transmission fluid and filter. What kind of price range would I be looking at for someone to drop the pan, change the filters, and change the fluid? I can do it, but I don't think I can get all or even much of the old fluid out.
You're going to get out all that you want to. It's always been my understanding that you're usually better off NOT doing a complete flush anyhow, so simple drain, replace the filter, and refill would probably be your best bet. Pretty simple job really, unless there is something in the way of accessing the pan's bolts on that model. The biggest issue is just dropping the pan without making a complete mess. If you did want to tackle it, I'd suggest buying a mittyvac and sucking as much ATF out the dipstick tube as possible, that way there will be very little in the pan when you crack the gasket open. Also though, you can get plenty of use out of that mittyvac in the future. I've never paid for that service, but I'd not be shocked if it was a solid couple hundred bucks.

Have you ever looked at a Fumoto oil valve? Those are sure game changers when it comes to draining your oil. I use one on the JK cuz changing oil with skids on is a headache. It sure is nice to run the old oil directly from the pan to a simple jug via a hose rather than draining in to a traditional pan. The convenience would sure be worth $30 over the life he owns the jeep. Just a thought.
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:29 PM
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One thing I like about doing it myself is knowing the pan was properly and thoroughly cleaned, as well as the magnet in there (at least I think there's a magnet in there). I saw that at least at some point a pan with a drain plug was available. I'm worried less about the mess than about how much fluid I can get out of it. I'm going to look into a mitty vac and may just tackle this. Thanks for the advice. I was thinking it might get to a couple hundred bucks.
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