New Here, New to Jeeps, New to the 04 KJ I bought last weekend.

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SilverbearX

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Afternoon Everyone. Last weekend I bought my first Jeep ever. It is a 2004 KJ Limited. I have been looking around for a 4wd suv or truck for about a year on and off, and with my teenagers commandeering my F150 to drive to school, and hunting season rapidly approaching, I needed something soon.
I found this jeep in my town for $1,300.
Going to look at it, I expected something in pretty poor condition, as most $1,300 vehicles I have looked at are trash buckets.
To my surprise, it seemed pretty clean.
Took it for the test drive and for the most part, it drove well, ran well, started easily and had no strange sounds or knocking.
I was quite surprised.
Tested the 4WD and it went in and out just fine and was working.
Tires are 29 inch and pretty new. Little to no suspension sag.
Looked under the hood and it was very clean. No rust under the frame. There is some moisture down there, but it is not a major leak. Not sure what it is yet.

Here is where it gets strange. The guy I bought it from said it was his sister's car and the engine went out in it last spring. She had a shop swap the motor and according to this guy, the shop put a used V8 in it. This did not really jump out as unusual to me because I was ignorant and unaware of the many failed attempts to get a V8 into the KJs over the years. Now after reading this forum for a couple of days, I am.
She then gave the vehicle to him, as he was hard up at the time. He has since gotten an F150 and that is why he was selling the Jeep.
Anyway, being as the vehicle was pretty cheap for a fairly clean and rust free 4WD, I bought it without even inspecting the engine really.

I get it home and the next morning start looking and it looks like this is a stock V6, but is does look like a recent install as it is very clean. I should have looked closer.
Is there anyway to tell what motor exactly is in this? Anyway, I have driven it quite a bit since and it runs very well and has good power, so I feel like I got a decent deal.
Oh and the AC Works great! Haha.
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SilverbearX

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Looks like the stock 3.7 to me … it’s been a while though ;) The gurus will be along shortly. Congrats!
Thanks. I hope so, when he told me V8 he acted like it was a good thing, I was kind of Meh, because that would mean alot of stuff is not where it should be and it would be harder to figure things out when they went wrong.
 

SilverbearX

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That is a stock 3.7 V6. I circled the 3 left hand side spark plug coils.

Somebody was telling very tall tales about the repair.

I think you got a steal for the money.


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Yea, I was kind of relieved to see it when I looked.
I am pretty excited about it. Probably won't do much to it, other than maybe a transmission flush, until hunting season is over. I work from home so this is really the only time of year I drive much. After the season I plan to start on some upgrades. Probably start with an OME/hockey puck lift, then try and get a better bumper.
I had a 2000 Xterra that I really liked years ago and beat the crap out of it on trails. Had a 92 Pathfinder before that and an 88 Bronco II before that. All of those were pretty capable off road stock. I sold the xterra about 6 years ago with 310,000 miles on it for the same price I got this jeep for.
I was surprised to find there were so few bumper options for this. I figured people would be bolting all kinds of oddball bumpers on these things.
 

SilverbearX

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More inspecting done. Looks like all the skip plates are present and in good condition.
Boots look good.
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SilverbearX

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V-6 engine 3.7- 3 coil packs per side (spark plugs are below the coil packs)
Type in your VIN NUMBER here:
This will give you your KJ's Free Build Sheet- you will discover & learn much!
https://fcagroup.my.site.com/RAM/s/equipment-listing
Appreciate the tip. That's really cool. Sold new in Tennessee. The guy I bought it from said it never left the state. Looks like he was correct on that.
 

KJowner

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Looks nice and solid underneath, if you're anywhere near salted roads give it a soaking and injection of anti corrosion wax.
 

SilverbearX

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No salted roads here. I am itching to put a lift on it however. I think before that I am going to change the recovery points up front to receivers as that one looks pretty simple.
 

SilverbearX

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Haha,
Pulled the Carfax. This thing has been in about 6 accidents. But it has all maintenance records including every oil change and part replaced up until Feb 2022 when it was sold to its second owner.
IF this is the original motor, then it has had and oil change every 4,000 miles since 2004.
Had all new brakes at Midas in 2018
Vehicle serviced
Brakes checked
Brakes replaced
Brake pads replaced
Brake drum(s) resurfaced
Brake rotor(s) resurfaced
Oil and filter changed
Brake rotor(s) replaced
New Headlights in 2019
New tires and Oil Pressure sender in 2020 (18,000 miles ago)
New exhaust and Muffler in 2022
Transferred ownership Feb 2022
Went into Wal Mart Auto Shop 1 year later, then nothing after that. According to the guy I bought it from, it had the engine replaced spring of 2023.
 

profdlp

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Any detail on the "accidents"? The report on my Jeep listed some sort of body work required before I bought it. When I looked up the details it was to replace the lift gate latch, which wouldn't exactly make a dramatic scene if they remake the Blues Brothers. Apparently the work was done at a collision place so it automatically was body damage. Now that I think about it, when my Jeep got broken into nine years ago it was done at the collision center at my local dealership. I bet that is now listed as an "accident" as well.

It might be that some of your wrecks were nothing more than a wayward shopping cart in a grocery store parking lot. It looks to be in great shape in any account. I'm with those that think you got a steal! :D
 

SilverbearX

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Any detail on the "accidents"? The report on my Jeep listed some sort of body work required before I bought it. When I looked up the details it was to replace the lift gate latch, which wouldn't exactly make a dramatic scene if they remake the Blues Brothers. Apparently the work was done at a collision place so it automatically was body damage. Now that I think about it, when my Jeep got broken into nine years ago it was done at the collision center at my local dealership. I bet that is now listed as an "accident" as well.

It might be that some of your wrecks were nothing more than a wayward shopping cart in a grocery store parking lot. It looks to be in great shape in any account. I'm with those that think you got a steal! :D
Yea, that is likely. 3 of them were within the first 4 years of the vehicles life. That is the time when the original owner was taking it to the dealer every few months for service, so they would have claimed anything and everything.
 

SilverbearX

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One thing I have seen is that there are a couple of recalls on this jeep. One being the trailer receiver/gas tank issue, and the other being the rear lower control arms. According to carfax,, this jeep has had neither addressed. I am assuming that the trailer receiver does not apply to me as it appears that it came on this one Originally, or someone added it. The rear LCA though seems it should.
Has anyone had this taken care of recently on their KJ?
Any tips?
Any tips on tying it in to a future lift plan? Done according to TomMudds specifications of course.
 

SilverbearX

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LibertyTC

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Ya good stuff, When the lca's bushings go bad it's scary.
Step on gas at hwy speed, and it can jump left or right.
New control arms are a good thing.
 

profdlp

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I know of a few people who took their hitch off and then went in and got the "free" one. The downside is that for some people they got a hitch minus the ball mount, which isn't really a hitch at that point. I did not have one and they gave me the full deal, which I have put to good use ever since. (I had to add my own wiring.)
 

SilverbearX

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Mine is wired. Got a little plug and cover mounted on the bumper. Looks factory. Not sure if mine is a tow package or not.
 
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