KJ general reliability information

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relative4

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I'm shopping small AWD/4WD vehicles (we live in Colorado) for my teenage daughter, and the 02-07 Liberty looks like a likely candidate. I do all my own mechanical work and will perform all maintenance and repairs. Can you guys provide me with things to look out for on these vehicles? I don't mind putting time in on minor standard stuff, but if these things tend to puke the trans or blow the engine at 150K miles, I want to avoid that headache. All input appreciated. Thanks!
 
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tundraboar

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We have an 05 with a diesel engine ... currently 200,000+ miles and engine is running fine. Great power. Over 20 mpg in town, 30+ on long drives. We have had problems with the drive train recently and have replaced virtually all of it in the last 3-4 years. Not sure if that's a fluke or something about the way it was designed. I have learned that U-joints in the original drive lines don't have any way to be greased.
 

ikuo78

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The U-joint will come apart if you remove the C-clip.
You can put grease in there and put it back together or replace it with one with grease zark.
There are several bearing diameters and joint widths, so it's a good idea to measure them in advance.

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KJowner

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Rust! Check the sills especially if it had the plastic covers, also look underneath for rust damage, if it's been used on wet salty roads you will find lots of welding to do.
 

Trainmaster

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I've had several with mileage of 150K miles. Nothing but routine problems and rust. I've had rust problems in New York with transmission cooler lines and shift cable linkage. I've also replaced several power steering pumps, water pumps and radiators. Otherwise the 3.7and its trans are strong and trouble free.
 

Krf

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I have an 03 Liberty, two wheel drive, with 135,000 miles. I, too, do most of my own maintenance. The most difficult issues I’ve had to deal with was replacing valve cover and oil pan gaskets—a lot of stuff has to be removed to get the valve covers off, and getting the oil pan off is a tight fit with 2wd and impossible without disconnecting the motor mounts and jacking up the engine (or removing the front axel) with 4wd.

The oil pan leak was just a nuisance and could have been ignored except that my wife complained about oil puddles in the garage. The valve cover gaskets were more problematic in that oil leaked over the exhaust manifolds and created a lot of smoke.

Overall, the vehicle has been reliable, and the engine bay is not packed too tightly and is relatively easy to work on.

BTW, I live in the south where roads aren’t salted, so rust hasn’t been an issue.
 

nohitter64

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I purchased an '06 in 2011. Have 208k miles on it and going strong. Aside from the rust on the rockers mentioned above, check the coolant. It should NOT be green as these rigs need HOAT. Window regulators break..but it's the plastic bracket that holds the glass not the motor most times. You can get metal replacements (and thus peace of mind) from Amazon. My daughter and my son learned to drive on it and still love it. This forum has been a huge blessing in keeping it running to 208k!
 

u2slow

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The theme around here is a blown trans or a major engine problem (overheat, blown HG, cracked head, etc.

Hers got to 305k km before dropping a valve seat. Dealt with it and moved on. Otherwise it's been basic maintenance. It is a 6spd manual. Something I repaired initially (reverse kicked out; swapped trans) and have since rebuilt on my own because it started to get noisy. I think all it's been to a shop for is warranty control-arm replacement, and a wheel alignment.
 

The gov

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This old girl has 315,980 klicks on her keep the oil changes regular, definitely check the u-joints and C.V joints at least every second oil change, different and transfer case once a year.
copper plugs are a must and buy a manual or down load the one graciously offered here on this site!
Tough as whalebone and simplicity at its finest!
 

JeepJeepster

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Ive had mine since new and have had very few issues with it. It only has ~130k but Ive taken very good care of it.

The 3.7 and 42rle do not seem to take kindly to abuse or lack of maintenance. The 3.7 likes to drop valve seats and some believe overheating them can cause it while others say it happens for no reason. Ive always changed the engine oil at <5,000 mile intervals and chances the trans oil every 30k. Im not sure I would buy one unless I could see the service history.
 

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