About to buy Jeep Liberty 2007 Limited 2/4wd...need advice on what to check when I see it

IMMARC

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Hello,

I'm about to buy my first Jeep. I came to this forum hoping for advice from those of you with knowledge and experience.
The vehicle I'll see tomorrow is the following : VIN 1J4GL48K97W707604 / 310,000 km / 192,000 miles / owner says hears noise when backing up. Ball joint issue that I'd get fixed day 1 as it sounds the damage has been there for a while) / I haven't seen the bills but says replaced a lot of parts over the years + had the four doors replaced a few years back for cosmetic reasons, says he got them for cheap ( I sure will ask if there were ever hard impacts to either side) / says no problems with power windows / ...described as a Limited edition rear drive /4wd. Body looks in good shape from the pictures.

Do any of you have advice to give me? I plan to get urgent repairs done before it hits the road with me in it. Prudent but in a hurry to buy, I may not get it inspected at the garage if it runs fine + once I see the pile of past bills + get it for a bargain ( +- 50% mean market value)
Here are pics:
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any advice would be much appreciated
 
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JRB

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My advice will be more general as I've only had my kj a little over a year. Some of my advice isn't major stuff, but can help talk costs down even further.

Check the smell of the fluids on dipsticks, make sure nothing smells burnt, or seems out of place.
These have I believe iron blocks and aluminum heads, so the proper hoat coolant should be in there, make sure nothing looks gummy/built up as you can always do a light flush and fill with proper when/if you get it.
Any areas worried with damage, look at where the spot welds are on the unibody, most repair shops do a butcher of a job trying to make it look factory again.
Check if a/c and heat work.
Check if all power windows work, the regulators on these seem to be the weak link in the system.
Check how the rockers look underneath, bad design from the factory can sometimes lead to them holding some water and cause rust.
Bring even a cheapie obd scanner with you, just to see if any past/present codes are still floating around.
Check how it drives/shifts and run the xfer case through the ranges.

Here's a handy website that was shared on here than you can run the vin to see all the options it came with.

If I think of anything whether basic or more specific I'll edit it in. There's some folks who know these vehicles quite well who should be able to help you look for more specific things.
 

tommudd

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The one pictured Id run from
Different wheels, bald tires
flares have been replaced for some reason
bet there is no real record kept of all the service work that has been done
Check rear boot on front driveshaft, if rubber boot is missing then CV needs replaced
Suspension is toast , at least 1.5 inches below new stock height from the pictures
I own 3 , first one bought new in 2004 and still have
Go over anyone top to bottom and ask on here if questions
If its under 500 it maybe a buy, anything over that NO
 

IMMARC

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My advice will be more general as I've only had my kj a little over a year. Some of my advice isn't major stuff, but can help talk costs down even further.

Check the smell of the fluids on dipsticks, make sure nothing smells burnt, or seems out of place.
These have I believe iron blocks and aluminum heads, so the proper hoat coolant should be in there, make sure nothing looks gummy/built up as you can always do a light flush and fill with proper when/if you get it.
Any areas worried with damage, look at where the spot welds are on the unibody, most repair shops do a butcher of a job trying to make it look factory again.
Check if a/c and heat work.
Check if all power windows work, the regulators on these seem to be the weak link in the system.
Check how the rockers look underneath, bad design from the factory can sometimes lead to them holding some water and cause rust.
Bring even a cheapie obd scanner with you, just to see if any past/present codes are still floating around.
Check how it drives/shifts and run the xfer case through the ranges.

Here's a handy website that was shared on here than you can run the vin to see all the options it came with.

If I think of anything whether basic or more specific I'll edit it in. There's some folks who know these vehicles quite well who should be able to help you look for more specific things.
Good run down. An OBD scanner is now on my shopping list. The report from running the VIN for the equipment is fantastic. Just learned a lot about the vehicle. Thank you.
 

IMMARC

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The one pictured Id run from
Different wheels, bald tires
flares have been replaced for some reason
bet there is no real record kept of all the service work that has been done
Check rear boot on front driveshaft, if rubber boot is missing then CV needs replaced
Suspension is toast , at least 1.5 inches below new stock height from the pictures
I own 3 , first one bought new in 2004 and still have
Go over anyone top to bottom and ask on here if questions
If its under 500 it maybe a buy, anything over that NO
I did notice the flairs...puzzling + there's the fact that he says changed all 4 doors.
Good eye for the suspension needing replacement
Pricing: You are right. In Canadian dollars, I'd go to 1000$. Now Ball joints, suspension, probable CV since he does hear noise when on reverse, ...not cheap repairs:(

So bottom line, getting for it for 500$ and then from what I understand so far expect about 1500-2000$ CAD to bring it up to par. Is putting the money into this one worth it? I need a replacement for my Ford Escape asap ( this one won't get more repairs) and I live in the sticks, so not that much choice to go around. My budget is actually up to 5000$ and therefore I might have learned here to find something else not needing so many repairs from day 1.
 
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Jimmyjimmyjimmy

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Backing up noises should be verified to not be coming from trans. Could also be from Emergency brake. Noises from ball joints not related to backing up.
 

IMMARC

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Well , went to see the vehicle today. Yes suspension is shut, driver side rocker falling apart, owner wouldn't answer my questions clearly. Claimed that the car was fine to drive . I disagreed. Will not buy. thank you all for the excellent pointers and general advice I got from you.
 

tommudd

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Well , went to see the vehicle today. Yes suspension is shut, driver side rocker falling apart, owner wouldn't answer my questions clearly. Claimed that the car was fine to drive . I disagreed. Will not buy. thank you all for the excellent pointers and general advice I got from you.
Good call in not buying I can tell a bad KJ from a mile away and have seen and rebuilt enough KJ suspensions to see when the springs are stacked on one
 

sojourner eo

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check out rust to see if there are any major components rusted.
If it runs, make sure there exhaust doesn't sound like there's a leak somewhere, if it sounds like exhaust is leaking check to see if sound is coming from the front (could be exhaust manifold) or the rear (likely the muffler)
 

soulpunisher

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Take the oil cap off and see if it’s milky color and dipstick. Same with transmission dipstick
Check to see if when started white smoke comes out of exhaust the whole time it runs, a little at first start is considered normal.
Look around the valve covers to see if oil has leaked out of the gasket areas and been burnt onto the sides of the block. If possible take the fan shroud off for the radiator, it’s only two bolts and see if you see any signs of antifreeze being heat dried to the radiator or the fan or any obvious leaks especially at the bottom corners (hard to see area). Also look at your water pump area and all areas that line up with your fan for radiator to see if the fan has blown antifreeze onto things and heat dried it in those places (heat dried will look like a very white powdery kind of look and you won’t see leaks on the ground because a lot of things are so hot they get heat dried very fast to not fall down on ground). If the fan is throwing it, I’ve found the alternator gets sprayed the most and is heat dried. See if the transfer case is leaking and put it in all options of 4WD 4 low and 4hi and make sure that the lights of it enguaging comes up on the dash, as well as take it for short small and slow drives with it in each 4WD backing up, turning sharp as possible and a little climb test if that’s around to possibly test. (As In a very small hill to test it on nothing extreme) if you hear grinding or see leaks on the ground after driving it these ways then it might just be leaks to fix or may be something much worse, especially if there’s grinding and or if it won’t come back out of 4WD if you have disengaged. Look at the bottom side of rocker panels to see if there’s rust and around the back window roof area and roof mounts areas for rust. When you very first start the jeep watch your rpm’s if they’re much higher then they should be (I think normally is 400-700rpms? Someone correct me if I’m wrong) then you might need idle sensor replaced. When jeep is running turn ac on to max and blow out all vent and look under the hood to make sure the ac compressor is running and not leaking. Also drive it and do obo 15-25 miles an hour and intentionally hit a pot hole and if you sounds like the frame is smashing from impact then it needs front struts and probably also back shocks.
 

soulpunisher

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Rear window regulators go bad a lot
I’ve found that it usually isn’t the regulator itself but the alignment of things, I took the latch hook off the back window and put obo 1/4 inch washers under the latch holes and it pushed the hook latch out enough to latch again correctly. If all else you could get the dealership to fix it for free because the back windows of all of them have a caution sticker that says may be harmful if exhaust fumes enter the vehicle. They cannot deny you for a safety hazard and if you’re persistent enough.
 

CTJEEP

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Weak link on the tin is bottoms of doors rotting, and rear section of rocker plugging up with silt + salt ...

Rear section of rocker + inner rocker get eaten up... Plastic shields hide the real condition.

Probe behind the plastic with an Ice Pick... if it's soft, move on.

Tom Mudd is on.point....this had cheap maintenance....

The comments are all legitimate ...

Would recommend skipping this project / parts vehicle and find a pristine low mileage vehicle. Way cheaper in the long run.
 

Willie

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Hello,

I'm about to buy my first Jeep. I came to this forum hoping for advice from those of you with knowledge and experience.
The vehicle I'll see tomorrow is the following : VIN 1J4GL48K97W707604 / 310,000 km / 192,000 miles / owner says hears noise when backing up. Ball joint issue that I'd get fixed day 1 as it sounds the damage has been there for a while) / I haven't seen the bills but says replaced a lot of parts over the years + had the four doors replaced a few years back for cosmetic reasons, says he got them for cheap ( I sure will ask if there were ever hard impacts to either side) / says no problems with power windows / ...described as a Limited edition rear drive /4wd. Body looks in good shape from the pictures.

Do any of you have advice to give me? I plan to get urgent repairs done before it hits the road with me in it. Prudent but in a hurry to buy, I may not get it inspected at the garage if it runs fine + once I see the pile of past bills + get it for a bargain ( +- 50% mean market value)
Here are pics:
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
any advice would be much appreciated
Check the front suspension ,remove the oil fill cap and look for brown foamy sludge and make sure all fluids are topped off
 

IMMARC

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Good call in not buying I can tell a bad KJ from a mile away and have seen and rebuilt enough KJ suspensions to see when the springs are stacked on one
It was obvious you knew what you were talking about. Your earlier comment tipped the scale towards a definite no go. Thank you my friend! No regret...will keep looking.
 

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