Newbie 102

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by XWrench3, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. XWrench3

    XWrench3 Member

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    Hi, another newbie to your forum. i have not bought my Jeep as of now. i'm looking for information so i don't make a costly mistake. i am a retired, disabled motorcycle mechanic (43 years). so I know my way around most things mechanical. the only Jeep I have driven was my Dad's old J200 pickup. I learned a lot working on that old workhorse.
     
  2. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome
    lots of info here and many of us have been playing, building KJs for the last 16-18 years
    Jeeps and Harleys go good together ;)

    What kind of info are you looking for ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  3. XWrench3

    XWrench3 Member

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    Well, at this point, I am looking for info to keep me from making a costly mistake, something like "watch out for weak transmissions in ???? model year, because the 2nd gear is weak" or a certain year has a common engine problem, things of that nature. i am becoming more certain every day that i "think" I want a earlier model year, more than a newer one. i like the body style a lot better. but i have noticed that the rocker panels and door bottoms on most of them are pretty rusty (I live in Michigan). can the rocker panels be removed with bolts, or are they spot welded in place? and i have kind of a strange question. it comes from owning a GMC Jimmy with a manual transmission. is the clutch area pretty well sealed from water coming into it? i went thru a large puddle on a dirt road with my Jimmy, and the bellhousing on this is WIDE OPEN (there are 3) 1 1/2" holes), allowing water straight into the clutch/pressure plate and throw-out bearing. needless to say, when i tried to shift into reverse, when i started to get stuck, all that silt filled water got between the clutch, flywheel, and pressure plate. costing me a $350.00 towing bill. a simple stamped steel cover would have kept the vast majority of it out long enough till i was out of that puddle. instead, i sat there in a foot of water unable to move at all. it took over a week for the clutch to dry out enough to move the truck under its own power in low range, and another week so i could drive it down the road.
     
  4. jp7794

    jp7794 Full Access Member

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    Welcome. I live across the lake in WI. I have an '06 with 150K that I bought in '08. The KJ (02-07) has been a solid 4WD Jeep. The 3.7L engine is proven and the 42RLE transmission has been durable for me. That being said the Jeep does have its flaws. The good news is most of them have already been discovered. You will be replacing window regulators, and the radiators develop a pinhole in the same location as the rest of us. Not catastrophic, but annoying in that both have a root cause of a badly engineered plastic part. I don't know about the rocker panels, but mine has very little rust. In regards to your sealing question, I am not a real off road person. Only have 4WD for the weather. I have seen a picture of a snorkel on more than one so I would think things are pretty sealed. Regarding maintenance and repairs, they are pretty easy to work on for the most part. This is a great site with very helpful people to steer you through anything.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  5. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

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    Welcome to the Forum!;)

    I would rather look for a newer KJ as these Jeeps are getting old now and you need to decide if you want an automatic or a manual...automatics are more available.

    Also decide if you want a Diesel (2005/6) or the 3.7 Gasser.o_O

    I have a 2002 Export 2.5 L Diesel 5 speed Manual which was available in the Export market and I love it to bits but looking at all the Jeeps sites over the years I think the 3.7 Gassers are more robust!

    Diesel is a lot cheaper than gas here in South Africa so I would never personally buy a 3.7 L gas guzzler!;)
     
  6. XWrench3

    XWrench3 Member

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    I guess as far as the transmission goes, it will likely be a matter of the deal at hand. since i can drive either. the last 10 years has been with a 5 speed manual. diesel prices here stay more constant than gasoline does. gas fluctuates by 20 cents a gallon on a regular basis. but diesel stays pretty consistent. that being said, i doubt i would buy a diesel. i do use 4wd quite a bit, but i don't do serious 4 wheeling. i'm an old man with a seriously messed up back. i don't cherish the thought of dragging chains thru the mud, manually winching my truck out of a bog, etc.
     
  7. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    i ONLY OWN 2002-2005, TOO MANY ELECTRONICS FOR ME AFTER THAT
    I bought my 04 brand new, over 235,000 miles on it been lifted since before it had 20,000 on it
    Stock suspensions are terrible
    Front springs on gassers are only rated at 310 lb but should of been 345-350
    So all that you find will have sagged suspensions pretty much
    Other than that no issues, some complain about the window regulaters but never had any issues with mine so far
    Keep em up on maintenance, use the right plugs ( NGK coppers ) the right antifreeze (HOAT ) and a few things like that and you'll be set