03 Liberty worth saving?

dante2

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
3
We have a 2 owner 2003 Liberty 4x4 with justover 254k. Started out with a small evap leak/large evap leak. While figuring that issue out I got a flashing CEL on the way home from work. Got stopped and ran the code reader resulting in a P0306 code. Engine was stumbling pretty good til I got it shut down. Got it towed to the house and looked up the code. Got home a little early and did some easy checks on the plug and coil pack. Plug looked ok and the coil pack checked good. Today I did a compression check just to rule that out and the results weren't good.
1 - 163
2 - 141
3 - 80 (wet 93)
4 - 160e
5 - 143
6 - 130
So at this point with 254k miles is it worth the time and money to fix? The Liberty gets the daily duty every other week alternating with the 94 YJ. I can use the wife's JL in a pinch if I have issues with my YJ. Thoughts or suggestions please. Thank you.
 

lfhoward

Well-Known Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
1,425
Reaction score
1,238
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Like JeepJeepster I really like my Jeep, so letting it go would be hard. But part of the calculus would also be how much it is costing me monthly (on average) to repair. It’s not that I care at all how much those repairs are compared to the “value” of the Jeep. It’s whether repairing it is becoming so expensive and so inconvenient to rival a monthly car payment or make life too unpredictable.
 

dante2

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
3
We started our Jeep journey with the wife's 04 Liberty and it was replaced with the 2020 JL. Sold the 04 in late 2020. It's been only Jeeps for us since 2015. We're not attached in anyway to the 03 it was only a part time daily driver and tow vehicle for the utility trailer. I had hoped to get it to 300k but the possible expense to get another 46k might be more than it's worth. Leaning towards a slightly newer 05-06 KJ or possibly a 14-16 Grand Cherokee.
 

dante2

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
3
JeepJeepster the wife's 04 was a 2wd twin to yours. Sold it with 255k and still going. She was the second owner from 55k.
 

Ksat

Full Access Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
154
Reaction score
65
Location
ny
I think the question is, why is compression down on that cylinder and can u do the work yourself? It could just be a rocker arm that popped off or a bad lifter. Doing a leak down test and/or pulling the valve cover to have a look see would help narrow down what's up.

BTW, P0306 relates to misfire cylinder #6. I'm not sure if the "3" on your list refers to cylinder #3 or something else.
 
Last edited:

dante2

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
3
I think i'm going to let it sit and I will think on it some. I have the MJ in the shop mostly back together at this point. I will probably get it wrapped up and hopefully running better by this weekend. That way I can bring the KJ inside and run some more tests before I make a firm decision. Thanks for the help and advice everyone.
 

Jimmyjimmyjimmy

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
Location
northeast
I think i'm going to let it sit and I will think on it some. I have the MJ in the shop mostly back together at this point. I will probably get it wrapped up and hopefully running better by this weekend. That way I can bring the KJ inside and run some more tests before I make a firm decision. Thanks for the help and advice everyone.
I'd buy 6 new coil packs. I've had good luck with duralast believe it or not. And a set New plugs. Install and keep driving. Change oil every 3k miles....Who cares about compression if it runs ok.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
55
Reaction score
36
Location
Central Texas
At the moment, fuel prices would make me park it in favor of commuting by motorcycle or find some fuel efficient economy car. The Liberty is pretty thirsty for gas.
 

Glenn Dickson

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
18
Reaction score
11
We have a 2 owner 2003 Liberty 4x4 with justover 254k. Started out with a small evap leak/large evap leak. While figuring that issue out I got a flashing CEL on the way home from work. Got stopped and ran the code reader resulting in a P0306 code. Engine was stumbling pretty good til I got it shut down. Got it towed to the house and looked up the code. Got home a little early and did some easy checks on the plug and coil pack. Plug looked ok and the coil pack checked good. Today I did a compression check just to rule that out and the results weren't good.
1 - 163
2 - 141
3 - 80 (wet 93)
4 - 160e
5 - 143
6 - 130
So at this point with 254k miles is it worth the time and money to fix? The Liberty gets the daily duty every other week alternating with the 94 YJ. I can use the wife's JL in a pinch if I have issues with my YJ. Thoughts or suggestions please. Thank you.
Sounds like a broken piston ring or valve spring. Any oil in the air filter? If this is what it is you could do a cheap fix on just one cylinder
 

Glenn Dickson

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
18
Reaction score
11
We have a 2 owner 2003 Liberty 4x4 with justover 254k. Started out with a small evap leak/large evap leak. While figuring that issue out I got a flashing CEL on the way home from work. Got stopped and ran the code reader resulting in a P0306 code. Engine was stumbling pretty good til I got it shut down. Got it towed to the house and looked up the code. Got home a little early and did some easy checks on the plug and coil pack. Plug looked ok and the coil pack checked good. Today I did a compression check just to rule that out and the results weren't good.
1 - 163
2 - 141
3 - 80 (wet 93)
4 - 160e
5 - 143
6 - 130
So at this point with 254k miles is it worth the time and money to fix? The Liberty gets the daily duty every other week alternating with the 94 YJ. I can use the wife's JL in a pinch if I have issues with my YJ. Thoughts or suggestions please. Thank you.
Just to clarify my other response, I had this happen on a 1980 OLDS V-8 engine with similar mileage. The broken ring allowed the compression into the crankcase which then forced large quantities of oily vapour into the cleaner where the oil formed a puddle.
 

hvacmrm

New Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
Like JeepJeepster I really like my Jeep, so letting it go would be hard. But part of the calculus would also be how much it is costing me monthly (on average) to repair. It’s not that I care at all how much those repairs are compared to the “value” of the Jeep. It’s whether repairing it is becoming so expensive and so inconvenient to rival a monthly car payment or make life too unpredictable.
Hey guys,, I love my 02 and 03 liberty 03 has 260k I have spare 3.7 I'm half way done building then start process all over again..
I really loves these being an ex bronco guy 35 years ago, I'm digging them, so is it worth it? To me it is,, got good doors and just got rockers from raybuck,, we worth it!
 

3-LIB3RTYS-3

New Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2022
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
Location
Nevada
We plunged in with purchasing a 2002 Liberty 4x4 Limited with 186k, 2003 Liberty 4x4 Sport 238k and finally a 2004 Liberty 2wd Limited with 228k within 3 weeks of eachother. The goal of no car payments and something super reliable pushed us in this direction. But after all, our experience is what do you want in your liberty? the 2002 and 2003 both needed head gaskets and a few other things (unknown oil leaks) so we picked up a couple of used engines 2002 has an engine with 78k and 2003 has engine with 100k. both purchased and installed for around $5k. but again no payments for us.

doesn't sound like much but after many years of $1-2k worth of monthly car payments for past 10 years i'm tired of the mouse's wheel.
 

dante2

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
3
Going to do a leakdown test before I fully condemn it. Lots of good info keep it coming everyone. I had hoped to get it to at least January or February when her JL will be paid off. Did a re-ring on no.6 cylinder and a new head on the YJ a few months back. Just haven't messed with a 3.7 yet.
 

turblediesel

memberable
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
3,035
Reaction score
656
Location
Alaska
My experience with a broken ring in a Mercedes produced a lot of smoke from the exhaust, especially leaving a red light after idling awhile.
 

Ksat

Full Access Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
154
Reaction score
65
Location
ny
My experience with a broken ring in a Mercedes produced a lot of smoke from the exhaust,

I think Glenn was referring to a broken COMPRESSION ring, not an oil ring. There are several different rings on a piston. A worn/broken compression ring causes excessive pressure in the crankcase (blowby), which can cause oil leaks. Worn/broken oil rings allow engine oil to enter the combustion chamber producing the (blue) smoke out the tailpipe you are talking about.
 

flajeepdiver

New Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
We have a 2 owner 2003 Liberty 4x4 with justover 254k. Started out with a small evap leak/large evap leak. While figuring that issue out I got a flashing CEL on the way home from work. Got stopped and ran the code reader resulting in a P0306 code. Engine was stumbling pretty good til I got it shut down. Got it towed to the house and looked up the code. Got home a little early and did some easy checks on the plug and coil pack. Plug looked ok and the coil pack checked good. Today I did a compression check just to rule that out and the results weren't good.
1 - 163
2 - 141
3 - 80 (wet 93)
4 - 160e
5 - 143
6 - 130
So at this point with 254k miles is it worth the time and money to fix? The Liberty gets the daily duty every other week alternating with the 94 YJ. I can use the wife's JL in a pinch if I have issues with my YJ. Thoughts or suggestions please. Thank you.
Usually the #6 goes when the over flow bottle becomes dry and brittle so it develops leaks right into the coil. Look for white residue around the bottle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JRB

03renegade52

New Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I know this is a Jeep lover site.I have owned 8 Jeeps.From a 1947 CJ2A to a 2005 LIBERTY Renegade. We bought the 1 owner Liberty with 85,000 miles on it.Knew the previous owner. That was the last Jeep we will ever own. Never had a Jeep that did not require constant work.I never used the 05 off road.Neither did previous owner. Radiator, water pump, transmission hoses ( that can't be bought anymore ),rebuild complete brake system, tune up, rotted transmission,brake and power steering lines, fill up the oil check the gas. Also had emission leaks. Anything rubber had to be changed. Put it up for sale 2 years ago. First time in my life I tried to talk the buyer out of buying it.A single low income mom. Told her it's a Jeep and needs constant attention.She said not to worry that her church has guys that work on cars and her brother in law also. Begged her not to buy it. Well she wanted it. Her brother in law is our neighbor. Now none of them talk to us ! Took the money from the Jeep and bought an 02 GMC Sierra 1/2 ton 4wd pickup with 153,000 miles. Now up to 194,600. Had to put a set of brake pads on it and tires,that's it. Uses no oil, 18.5 mpg with a 4.8L. Jeeps we have had the 47 CJ 2A, 64 Tuxedo Park, 71 CJ5,64 & 65 J210, 79 CJ5,84 J10 & a 65 Wagoneer. They sound old now but weren't when I owned them. Wasn't so bad when I was younger but getting too old to wrench on them now.Plus parts aren't cheap.
 
Top