2004 Jeep Liberty Sport - Light Khaki Metallic

Discussion in 'Members' Journals' started by angelis_digital, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    Hi Jeepers. My name is Brad. I sent the paperwork in today on a 2004 Jeep Liberty in New Jersey. I'm in Texas and searched far and wide to find a nice, one-owner, low-mile Liberty to have a little fun with.

    The owner claims it's a Rocky Mountain Edition and from the looks of it, it's the Command-Trac Automatic version with the NV231. Perfect...

    This is my sixth Jeep. My first car was an '81 4-cyl CJ-7. I've loved the 4x4 and Jeep life ever since. I've had three (3) ZJ 4WDs and one (1) WJ 2WD. This is my first Liberty and second 4WD in a row. I was living the low-life for a while but I'm back in a Jeep...

    TOMMUDD has been helping me ditch my "performance" effort in return for piecing together a nice lift from jeepinbyal. I pulled the trigger on some OME coils and Bilstein shocks all round. I bought some cheap ATs to break in and plan on putting the right gears and a TrueTrac in the back to complement my driving style. I love the heavy stuff, but this is my DD and I like to get off-road. I do want to get home and back to work on Monday, you know?

    I'll be posting some pictures from my drive from NJ to TX this weekend. I'm a photographer but right now I've only got the camera phone to work with. My last rig was at the end of it's life and I liquidated to my partner last summer and took a break from the business for a while.

    I think some under the chassis armor will be in order and some lights on the front for visibility but this is going to be my little sleeper for a while. I just want her to look good and make it home safe and sound.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  2. Dave

    Dave Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Welcome Brad.

    You found the right place/people for KJ info and help.

    Dave
     
  3. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    Thanks Dave. I sure did. This isn't my first rodeo. I learned a couple of years back the best place to find out about what works and what doesn't is from owners, not the shops...
     
  4. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    What a drive! I'm back in Spring. I don't have any pictures. The Interstate wasn't as picturesque as I had imagined and the part I imagined would be was dark as I was driving through. I'm going to skip posting a stock Liberty and wait for the lift the be installed this week. I'm pretty excited about that.
     
  5. wheeee32

    wheeee32 Full Access Member

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    Just post a good before/after.
     
  6. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    https://ibb.co/fGZJLk - let me know if this works. I can't get it to work for me and I've tried three different upload sites...:\

    That's a good before shot. Somewhere in Virginia, about halfway through, at a rest stop.

    Let's talk about the drive...I don't want to bore you with the details, but I've had a lot of cars and been in the car business, so I have driven more than I've owned.

    Overall, stock, the 2004 Jeep Liberty has ample power and is geared well for the stock tire size; 215/70 R16. Most of the highway I was travelling was Interstate, so I was travelling between 70-75 MPH. Even with the air on, the Jeep maintained well except on the steep hills. I can see how gearing to 4.10 with the lift and tires will help the Jeep. IMHO, the Jeep is geared a little low, but well for 65-70MPH travelling in country like LA or TX where it is flat.

    I got between 19 and 22 MPG on the highway, unloaded on all grades of gasoline from 87 to 93. The Jeep runs best on Chevron which I got once I was back in the South. 87 is plenty. I had some "rough" running from the motor while I was out East. I suspected the Jeep needed a tuneup since I had just bought it, but it smoothed out after two, half tanks of Supreme spread out over 500 miles and the Chevron Regular Unleaded once I hit Louisiana. The Jeep runs really well and smooth now at 55K miles.

    The transmission is smooth. I kicked off over drive a couple of times to pass big trucks on the uphills but other than that, I'm pleased with the low gearing of the transmission, running between 2000 and 2250 while on the Interstate. The low-end torque is great.

    I was empty most of the time and ran with between a full and 1/4 full tank of gas. I travelled alone.

    The road noise was minimal with the stock tires and I can really say much about the air conditioning as the weather was so nice I ran most of the day with all of the windows down. The rear windows roll all the way down which is nice for the trail and nice for the dog who loves riding almost as much as I do.

    The seating position took some getting used to. Compared to other vehicles, I found it high but after adjusting to the short wheelbase of the Jeep I found the position comfortable and gave me a great view of outside. The steering wheel is also a nice size. I'm 5'9" and have a medium build, around 190 Lbs. Overall the Jeep is exactly what I wanted and all of the surprises have been good so far. I'm very glad I bought it and I'm looking forward to driving it in comparison after the lift.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  7. Dave

    Dave Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    The KJ looks good in the pic. Glad you had a good and safe trip.

    Dave
     
  8. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    Thanks Bro. It was a nice ride. I love the Liberty. I started out a rag top Jeep guy, but you can't beat windows and a roof with AC to get away from the elements and sun beating down on you. It's a better DD and it's got plenty of power. I love it.
     
  9. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    Damn UPS...

    I had everything lined up and they go and lose my coils and tape the box back up. Now Martin has to fight with them and I'm out $200, I overpayed for "two day" shipping. You think if all they do is ship they could get their job right and get the parts where they're addressed or at least admit when they're wrong and not make you fight them tooth and nail to get them to do their job right...

    I ordered a set of coils, out of pocket, from a local distributor and I've got to figure out what to do with the pile of parts I've accumulated. I've gone over budget now due to this mishap. I might get my money back but I'm not counting on it. I guess I'm going to get some tools and sit this out in the driveway...
     
  10. Leeann

    Leeann Full Access Member

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    [​IMG]


    Click on Embed Codes and copy the one under Full Image (Linked) BBCode.
     
  11. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    Thanks Leeann.
     
  12. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    Well, I got shamed into it in another thread but it's really a matter of manhood now and not just budget. I've decided to put the lift on myself. I've read up on it and watched a few youtube videos and think I can do it. I'm a computer jockey and haven't turned a wrench in decades but my taillights went out this week and I replaced the brake switch on my own and it turned out alright. It was a hurdle to cross, not relying on a shop or a pro, but I handled like I would have when I was more self-sufficient, so next week I'm buying a jack and some jack stands and double checking my tool list and tearing her apart. The coils have me a little scared to build so I'm am using the shop to build them up and do the alignment and mount the tires. I just don't want to wait and if I can knock this out it might help build my confidence in a lot of ways nothing else will. I mean what choice do I have once I start to tear her down? Right? I'll keep you posted. I have the Liberty full of tires and parts and just need a ride to the shop next week to get the struts built. Unless you guys have some comments...
     
  13. Myke

    Myke Full Access Member

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    It's really not that bad once you get into it. Get a piece of paper and write where each bolt or nut came from. Then Google the wiki page for the torque specs of everything. You have a torque wrench right? Read a bunch of the how to threads even if it's a different lift just to get more familiar with what's what and in what order stuff comes off. If you get stuck start a thread and post pictures one of us will answer.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
     
  14. profdlp

    profdlp Grouchy Old Cuss

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    Having seen it done (thanks to Tom and Double-Bob), I would be much more confident trying it on my own. That has a lot to do with the way I learn though. (I can read ten books on a subject but that's not as helpful to me as watching an expert for ten minutes.)

    Having said that, it is fairly straightforward. If you do get stuck, there are plenty of good people here willing to offer advice. We've had a few people who had to install their lift in stages with lots of questions in between, but they DID get it done. :)
     
  15. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    There's a great video on the front struts on youtube. Three (3) bolts for the lower and the four on the top after the battery and airbox come out. I just need to familiarize myself with the rear and find out how to use a torque wrench and I'll come out alright. Thanks for the support guys.

    I thought I'd make a list of things I think I'm going to need/do... It all takes money and that's not something I find comes to me easy so we'll see how far I get or how motivated I am to get out on the trail.

    One thing you should know. About 3-4 years ago, depends on how you look at the calendar, I was losing my interest in television and movies; the entertainment industry. We had just upgraded our internet and youtube was wide open to me. No longer did I have to pre-load or wait on half-finished downloads. Ya'll remember those days? Well anyway, long story short, I fell in love with trail-riding and something called expedition driving. Being in video production I wanted to go out and video all this but after a few shoots, I realized I hadn't thought about it enough. If I'm out on the trail shooting, I'm not behind the wheel...

    I ended up buying three (3) ZJ Grand Cherokees on a limited budget. I worked at a customs and offroad shop and thought I could build a good little ride out of the three. I had a 242, a 231, and a 5.2 V8 to work with. One thing led to another and I quit that job and ran out of money so I sold the three Jeeps and put trail riding on the back burner. I still loved the idea and I love camping.

    I was driving a lowered Sonic at the time and traded it in for a Chevrolet Z71. That truck was hot but I had to get rid of it too. I love a V8. I love the smoothness and the power. I like to feel it in my seat when I can, but I had bought too much truck and couldn't afford the payments, so I let her go.

    In walks a little cash and I was looking at Trailblazers and Explorers for a while until I came across a Liberty in my nationwide search for a new ride. I started looking at prices and mileage and was thinking about the possibilities. Maybe another 4x4 and a chance to get out of the trail and back into nature?

    So, I picked up this beauty and here I am with a list of things I think I know I need.

    1. Lift - I've got the pieces purchased now and ready to install.
    2. Some light - I like the dual lights on the bumper idea in front and also the curved LED light bar looks good right there on top of the windshield.
    3. Armor - skids plates. I know these are important.
    4. Gears and a LSD - money is a factor. I think I can enjoy myself with a Rear Slip and proper gearing for oversized tires.
    5. Winch - I saw a good solution on here to mount the winch without replacing the bumper for 1200 bucks.
    6. Rear Shelf - needs no explanation.

    After all that I'll feel a little more brave off road. I spent some online looking at the videos people have posted and these Jeeps seem really capable when handled properly. So I guess I'll take it in steps. My goal is a multi-use DD that I can drive home from trips and not spend time in the shop fixing stuff I broke roughing it up.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  16. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    I bought me a jack, some stands and a torque wrench. Somewhere on the web I saw a listing of nut sizes and I need to find that before I start. I have set of sockets but my torque is 3/8 and I'm sure once I get started that my sockets are 1/2 inch so...

    This is going to be fun. I wish I had a lady to talk to while I work and bring me something cool to drink every now and then. I don't know if that's too much to ask. I'm just going to have to find the right time to be alone...

    What's going on out there?
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  17. uss2defiant

    uss2defiant Full Access Member

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  18. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    Thanks for your help.
     
  19. angelis_digital

    angelis_digital Full Access Member

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    Happy Birthday to me. I'm still waiting on the title and accumulating tools waiting for the big day to put this lift on. I need to pay taxes and get it registered to see how much I'll have left in the bank to work with. I think I have the sockets covered. I need to go out and get a 21mm, but I think I have it covered. Jeepforum had an install instructional which listed all of the sockets. Well pictures or it never happened...

    Random question here. Is there any significance to putting the white letters out? Is is just a throwback to the 70's or is there some meaning behind it? I like the look and think it adds something to it. I put them out on my WJ...
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  20. profdlp

    profdlp Grouchy Old Cuss

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    I had them put the white letters inside, but you should go with what you like. :)