New KJ owner and weighing my options (long)

ghostrider

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New KJ owner and weighing my options (long) (pics added 6/6/18)

As I posted in my intro thread, I have purchased a 2005 Black Rocky Mountain 4x4 this past weekend from one of my best friends. He bought the vehicle brand new and daily drove it until the end of December/beginning of January; he replaced it with a much newer car. I have been riding in this thing throughout the years since it was new whenever I was visiting :).

The Jeep has just over 182k miles on it and is completely stock. He did not buy it for the 4wd and it has hardly ever been engaged. I can also probably count on one hand how many times the sunroof had been opened before I bought it. He still had the original paperwork including the window sticker; the biggest add ons are that it has the off road package and the towing package. The vehicle is dirty inside and out, but the oil has always been changed very regularly. Other things like power window regulators have been replaced over the years.

Here are things I know of that will need to be addressed:

BODY: The roof has a couple of dents from falling tree damage a couple of years ago. The paint is peeling off from them and there is surface rust. I talked to a body shop and it would require replacing the roof panel as the dents are not repairable (expensive). I don't care that the dents are there; I just need to prevent them from becoming holes. It was suggested to sand down the paint past where it is peeling and remove the surface rust, spray on some black primer, and hopefully be done with it. Thankfully, the operation of the sunroof is not impacted by the dents. There are other scrapes and scratches on the flares and bumper corners, but I'm not overly concerned with cosmetics. The rear bumper cover by the license plate is broken from a light impact with a lot pole (no metal damage), and I may replace it if I can find one cheap enough. A taillight lens is pretty cracked along with one of the front signal lenses, and I consider those as safety items so they will be replaced. The Jeep has never been in an actual accident so everything else is straight.

SUSPENSION: The boots on the front lower ball joints are torn/partially gone. The suspension in general is just plain old. I am most likely going to just go with a small lift to upgrade rather than just replace the parts. The OME options look like the best path to me. I need to make sure that I get everything I need to make it better than new. I measured center wheel to lower edge of flare at around 18.5-18.75" all around provided I did it correctly. An alignment is needed, but is pointless without fixing things first.

TIRES: It has 225/75/16 Goodyear Wrangler STs all around and pretty much always has been replaced with the same tires. The tires are getting pretty worn, and they pretty much suck anyway. I don't yet know which route I am going with tires, but that decision will be made after addressing the suspension.

MECHANICAL: The rear boot on the front driveshaft is torn (shaft to transfer case). I'm not sure if I can just replace that or if I need to do anything further. The engine runs great, and the transmission shifts fine. However, there may be a worn mount to look into. It's not due for an oil change yet, but I will probably change it anyway along with the other major fluids (diffs, transfer case, and transmission). There is some sort of oil leak toward the lower front, but it isn't major. The power steering fluid was low and most likely slowly leaking somewhere. The brakes are great and working perfectly.

MISC: The driver's window motor doesn't stop trying to go up when it reaches the top like it should. If you hold the switch, it makes a grinding noise. The other windows stop as they should. The hood struts are shot and need to be replaced along with the rear glass struts; I am looking for the best cheap options on those. At least one of the TPMS sensors is bad, but I don't yet know which one.

I also want to look into possible factory upgrades obtainable from junkyards and/or ebay. Things like an EVIC interest me. Radio upgrade options are another thing of interest but not a priority.

This is really just a fun vehicle for me and won't be a daily. I like to do things like geocaching and am looking forward to being able to access areas where my cars cannot go. For comparison, I drive a 2017 Mazda Miata RF most of the time, and I have a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier as an extra car. However, this is not my first Jeep as I had a 2006 Grand Cherokee Limited as a primary vehicle some years ago. It was fun, but I never did any "Jeep" things with it before I traded it in.

Thanks for reading and any helpful insights are appreciated.

Marty
 
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HoosierJeeper

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Welcome to the forum! Post up pics when you can. The PS leak is probably the high pressure hose. I'd replace the return lines too, they get little cracks in them with age that suck in air.
 

BillyG

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Check Amazon for new hood and rear glass shocks. Some people suggest just replacing one of the struts for the rear glass as it can be hard to shut the window with two brand new struts.

Look on Tirerack.com for tires and read the reviews. Wait until you already have a lift to decide what tire size you want so you know how large you can go. Once you found the tire size and brand you want, check local places to see if they are in stock and how much it would cost to mount and balance. One of the local dealerships will let you ship Tirerack tires straight to them so you could look into that as well.

Go to another body shop and see if the dents can be filled with bondo after removing the paint. When I worked for a car dealer we used to suggest that to people that wanted a cheaper way to fix dents rather than replacing entire body panels.

You could also look into having the entire Jeep sprayed with bedliner. I have quite a few friends with Wranglers that have done it inside and out and they love it. The only Libertys that I have seen do the same thing are bedlining the fender flares, bumpers and rocker panels. Then again they all had the gray plastic pieces and they were all faded anyway.

I have an aftermarket radio in my Jeep that has Bluetooth (installed by the previous owner) so I can listen to music on my phone. The only downside is that the audio controls on the back of the steering wheel no longer work.

You may want to look into applying a coat of high-temp paint to your exhaust to keep it from falling apart from rust. I took my muffler off and replaced it with a Thrush and painted it to keep it from rusting in the future. My stock muffler was completely coated in rust (along with the pipes themselves) and was leaking along the side seam. If you want to keep the stock muffler and it leaks, seal it with a high-temp filler and then coat it to prevent further rusting. After removing as much rust as possible first, of course.
 

profdlp

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...Go to another body shop and see if the dents can be filled with bondo after removing the paint...
I'll second that. Not sure what the first place means about dents in the roof being not repairable unless they are bad enough to have caved in a pillar or something.

...I have an aftermarket radio in my Jeep that has Bluetooth (installed by the previous owner) so I can listen to music on my phone. The only downside is that the audio controls on the back of the steering wheel no longer work...
Not to threadjack, but I believe you can get an adapter to make that happen if you want to do it.
 

Myke

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Definitely take care of those balljoints sooner than later. I've seen quite a few pop out on people.

These are the best you can get. Do not cheap out and get their RK series. The problem solver series are way better and this goes for all Moog parts. https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=1287931&cc=1430900&jsn=24

OME is a great/affordable lift. I would recommend adding in replacement JBA upper A arms. This will take care of spring contact, stronger upper ball joints, and will help keep your alignment in specs with the lift.

The lift support struts are cheap on rockauto or Amazon. I replaced all 4 lift supports.

You can replace the rear cv joint on the front shaft. You will probably need to rent a 3 ton puller if it has never been replaced before. Your local auto parts store will rent this. I suggest using an impact gun on the puller.

Removing the front shaft is very simple.

Definitely replace both power steering hoses and I would replace all the fluid too.
 
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HoosierJeeper

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Definitely take care of those balljoints sooner than later. I've seen quite a few pop out on people.

These are the best you can get. Do not cheap out and get their RK series. The problem solver series are way better and this goes for all Moog parts. https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=1287931&cc=1430900&jsn=24

OME is a great/affordable lift. I would recommend adding in replacement JBA upper A arms. This will take care of spring contact, stronger upper ball joints, and will help keep your alignment in specs with the lift.

The lift support struts are cheap on rockauto or Amazon. I replaced all 4 lift supports.

You can replace the rear cv joint on the front shaft. You will probably need to rent a 3 ton puller if it has never been replaced before. Your local auto parts store will rent this. I suggest using an impact gun on the puller.

Removing the front shaft is very simple.

Definitely replace both power steering hoses and I would replace all the fluid too.

What's the 3 ton puller for? Didn't need one when I did my driveshaft CV.
 

ghostrider

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Sorry I've been mostly away from the forum the past couple months. Being a full time working adult and trying to finish a degree has kept me busy. Below are a few pics that I took back at the beginning of March of the roof damage and the outside of the Jeep; it still looks the same :).

So far all I have done is replace the hood and rear glass struts from Amazon and replace the blower motor resistor to get the fan speeds properly working. I also added a Mopar sliding cargo cover since it didn't have one. I just ordered Moog PS ball joints, suspension bushings, and tie rod ends last night from rockauto. I am going to let FCA take care of the rear lower control arms with the new recall, and the front uppers I will be replacing with JBA as part of the lift.

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ltd02

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I could see using the puller too. My 02 was seized on the shaft too. It was toast so I just beat the sumbeech off with a BFH. Puller would have been a better idea...
 

Myke

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On what shaft ? The intermediate shaft, if so who cares, have to replace both anyways
Are we talking about the front driveshaft and transfercase side cv?
 
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