Hello from Poland!

Osorkonius

New Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
Poland
Hey there! My dad has recently passed away due to covid complications; I'm his only son so I feel obliged to take care of his 2003 Jeep Liberty 3.7, which he loved. However, he didn't have much of technical know-how, and the previous owner was some Italian guy who didn't do any maintenance of the car whatsoever. This KJ has driven over 200k kilometers and its trans is about to give up the ghost (or at least that's that the mechanic has told me). I don't know much about car mechanics, but I want to learn - so far I've just replaced the rear window regulator, which has been dead for years.

To cut it short - I want to do some small step-by-step fixes to this car, and the most serious thing is the trans. Should I have it rebuilt, buy a different used one or maybe try getting a remanufactured one? Also, this car's got the Infinity sound system and so far I know that the speaker amps make it a bit more complicated to replace the speakers, but I hope to get it done somehow. Any tips regarding these two repairs would be very welcome!
 

LibertyTC

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
8,233
Reaction score
945
Location
B.C. Canada
Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your Dad.

Is this an automatic transmission? If so it will be the 42RLE. Check to make sure the pan has 13 bolts.
Initial step: The transmission will need to be serviced dropping the pan, new filter & using approximately 4 quarts of ATF + 4 trans fluid.
Note: Once pan is off, look for any particulate matter in the trans pan etc, post a photo of color of fluid & any matter found.

This will help you greatly, Factory service manual for your 2003 kj is here Link: https://colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/KJ/2003JeepKJServiceManual.pdf
Hopefully the new fluid will restore performance? The trans fluid should be serviced with new filter & ATF+4 every 70K miles.

I'm not overly familiar with the infinity sound system, but the door panels & liner will have to be removed carefully for speaker replacement.
Let the factory service manual link be your best friend in these processes.
 

Osorkonius

New Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
Poland
Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your Dad.

Is this an automatic transmission? If so it will be the 42RLE. Check to make sure the pan has 13 bolts.
Initial step: The transmission will need to be serviced dropping the pan, new filter & using approximately 4 quarts of ATF + 4 trans fluid.
Note: Once pan is off, look for any particulate matter in the trans pan etc, post a photo of color of fluid & any matter found.

This will help you greatly, Factory service manual for your 2003 kj is here Link: https://colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/KJ/2003JeepKJServiceManual.pdf
Hopefully the new fluid will restore performance? The trans fluid should be serviced with new filter & ATF+4 every 70K miles.

I'm not overly familiar with the infinity sound system, but the door panels & liner will have to be removed carefully for speaker replacement.
Let the factory service manual link be your best friend in these processes.
Thank you a lot, that will definitely be of great help to me. Yes, it's AT - its main problem was that it sometimes wouldn't switch past the 2nd gear even at 4k RPM and more, and there would be the smell of something burning. Also, there was some fluid dripping from under the car, I guess it was the trans fluid. The mechanic went with some temporary solution, but then they said that the Jeep shouldn't be used on a daily basis or the trans will die out completely.

So is there still hope for this transmission? I really want to bring this car to full efficiency, but I must say that my budget is limited, and I know that a trans replacement would be costly.
 

LibertyTC

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
8,233
Reaction score
945
Location
B.C. Canada
Leaking ATF? does it have enough ATF+4 fluid in there? IS it leaking from the pan seal ? Hopefully the right fluid has been added over time there.
One thing you can do right now is to check the fluid on level ground, after driving it for a 20 min and check fluid level while still running/ in park.
Is it at the full line on dipstick?
When you pull dipstick does it appear a clear to reddish in color & smell clean or smells a bit burnt ??

Yes there still is potential hope for the trans and the best & least expensive thing to do is the trans service.
Over time the friction modifiers of the ATF+4 fluid do break down, get dirty, & I have to assume without any or recent new fluid, it's way overdue.
It's even possible that the trans filter may be plugged up a bit. Providing a photo of inside the pan is very helpful.

It is a bit of a messy drain job as it has no drain plug, but you or any shop can service the Jeep.
if you don't want to do it at home, make a few calls for quotes of the trans service work. If shop is doing it, supply the correct ATF+4.
Or- Consider having the 4 or 5 quarts of the correct ATF+4 fluid, & with a large drain pan under Jeep, do the work yourself, while at home.
Never over fill the transmission, so it's add 3.5 quarts, drive it check it in park running, possibly add some, running & repeat to get up correctly to the full line.
 

LibertyTC

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
8,233
Reaction score
945
Location
B.C. Canada
You may have to refresh the screen, as I added a bunch of additional information in post above. Did not realize you were online.
 

Latest posts

Members online

Top