Why are we still here? The legacy of the Jeep Liberty

Brendon Holt

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Correct! But then I ended up getting a WK down the road anyway. Then traded that in for a KL Cherokee. Kept the KJ though!

A KL Cherokee is what we bought before we moved. It's been a good little Jeep so far but I'd still rather have something older and simpler than any of this new computer on wheels stuff. The KJ fits that niche very nicely :)
 

tommudd

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I had gone through 3 XJs, all lifted, regeared, lockers , bought all new and ran them into the 250-300,000 mile ranges and the last one was due to be replaced ( been some kind of Jeep in the driveway everyday since 1973 )
Liked the looks of the KJs , went and sat in one on dealers lot but it was an awful green Renegade , started looking more found a black 04 ( new ) made the deal and drove away with a 5 hour trip ahead of me moving to new home .
BUT,.....found out within the first 100 miles suspension was totally junk, otherwise loved it
So before it even had 20,000 miles on it had researched new suspensions and OME was installed , now it finally drove and handled the way it should have from the get go
Next came the 05 which I found for my step father to drive one owner 78,000 mile, garage kept
Then with the 04 having been used as a test bed for different suspensions, being a DD for years and over 200,000 miles, I needed a new project.
So found the 03, one owner, all service records, garage kept 75,000 miles I think , so before I even made the deal, called Marlin ( JBA ) and ordered one of his coilover setups for it
it came home one day, next day leather 03 Limited seats installed, JBA coilover lift, 4.10 gears with DTTs front and rear, Moabs, 265-70-16s, 5 days later she was ready to take over DD duties from the 04 LOL
Now my step father passed away in December so the 05 Limited is sharing DD duties every now and again
They pull my enclosed 6X10 and my open 5X8 trailers good, have enough power, get good gas mileage, easy to work on, have spare parts out the waahoo for them
so they work for me rather well
Do I want anything else, nope, no other Jeep being made turns me on any more
 

Brendon Holt

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Do I want anything else, nope, no other Jeep being made turns me on any more

Quite the history with the KJ(s)! And yeah on that final point I have to agree. They're nice enough vehicles but I just have a hard time trusting really any new vehicle. Too many points of failure on these overly complicated new vehicles. And the bean counters have also made them all feel very cheap somehow, even for what are VERY expensive new vehicles.
 

JeepJeepster

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Got it new in 2004, not sure what made me want it. I really wanted a Jeep WJ with the 4.7l but they were a little too much $$. Looking back, I think I woulve been happier with the WJ.

The KJ has been a good vehicle, never let me down and the biggest thing Ive changed is the water pump that wasnt even bad yet (had a little play). The lack of power, cramped interior, and poor mpg has turned me away from my kj. I've not started it for almost 3 months. I enjoy driving my 4.0 ZJ more. Bigger interior, more low end torque, and its just more comfortable. My brothers GF has a 4.7 WJ that gets better mpg than my kj and has much better power.
 

LibertyTC

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I've not started it for almost 3 months.
Poor KJ. Try starting it once a week & let it warm up if at all possible. Main reason is to keep engine and seals lubricated, so they don't dry out.
If it's in storage mode, use a good fuel stabilizer like starbrite star-tron, fuel will then be good for 2 years.
 

Brendon Holt

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Got it new in 2004, not sure what made me want it. I really wanted a Jeep WJ with the 4.7l but they were a little too much $$. Looking back, I think I woulve been happier with the WJ.

The KJ has been a good vehicle, never let me down and the biggest thing Ive changed is the water pump that wasnt even bad yet (had a little play). The lack of power, cramped interior, and poor mpg has turned me away from my kj. I've not started it for almost 3 months. I enjoy driving my 4.0 ZJ more. Bigger interior, more low end torque, and its just more comfortable. My brothers GF has a 4.7 WJ that gets better mpg than my kj and has much better power.

I still miss my old WJ :( The ZJ is still a great platform though! Especially with the 4.0. I hear you on the cramped interior. I still haven't gotten to a point where jumping in the KJ feels "right" in terms of interior comfort, especially when coming from a WJ. It's more a matter of "Okay this feels more tolerable" than "Ah, this feels great." I wanna find some Limited cloth seats to see if I can up the comfy factor.
 

HoosierJeeper

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WJs were cool. I had a 99 that I bought new, only had it 3 years though. Black on tan Laredo!
 

Billwill

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I still miss my old WJ :( The ZJ is still a great platform though! Especially with the 4.0. I hear you on the cramped interior. I still haven't gotten to a point where jumping in the KJ feels "right" in terms of interior comfort, especially when coming from a WJ. It's more a matter of "Okay this feels more tolerable" than "Ah, this feels great." I wanna find some Limited cloth seats to see if I can up the comfy factor.

I would love to find some Limited Leather seats in good condition!
My cloth seats in my 2002 Sport are in reasonable condition as I have fitted covers over the front seats but there is no Lumbar adjustment for the Driver's seat!
I have to pack my seat with an array of cushions to ease my worn-out back!:(
 

Lesman

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I love my KJ. Was in a 2nd Gen Isuzu Rodeo which I loved and would have gotten another if the frames in the North East weren't rusted out. My Wife was in a WJ which she offered to me but gave to our daughter who ran it for 300,000 miles. My KJ is at 247,500 runs great on the beach and in the snow. Bought som Big Boy seat brackets for another 3" of leg room and really no complaints. Easy to work on whether it is me or the mechanic next door. Parts available good online community and support.
 

dutch

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I was having a conversation this afternoon with my fiancee about how I went from viewing the Jeep Liberty with derision just a few months ago to feeling a genuine fondness for the little KJ. Which got me thinking about a thread topic here.

This forum is old, but there are still a lot of old-timers and even new members (like me!) that still use this forum because of an enduring fondness for the Jeep Liberty. So I think it would be an interesting thread topic for those of us here to reflect on the Jeep Liberty platform and talk about the things and which keep us driving and talking about these somewhat antiquated and often unfairly maligned Jeeps.

I'll start since I brought it up:

If you'd asked me a few months ago what I thought of the Jeep Liberty I would have laughed and told you that I'd never own one. If it didn't at least have solid axles and a 4.0 I6 I wasn't interested. But then I moved to Montana and could not for the life of me find a replacement for my WJ. After deciding I couldn't own a Subaru without feeling like I settled I began to do some research on the Jeep Liberty. There were a lot of them for sale here and, hey, at least it was still a Jeep. That's actually when I found this website and slowly began sucking up as much information as I could. The more I read the more it seemed like a solid, but mostly misunderstood or prematurely dismissed platform. The praise that is often felt for the Libby on this forum must have seeped into me because before long I'd gone out and found a nice sample and bought a 2002 Sport 4x4. The loads of pictures of how cool they can look with a lift helped too, I imagine ;)

Having owned my Liberty for about three months now I've come to really appreciate what a capable platform it is. Even in stock form it seems tougher off-road than most people are willing to give it credit for and mods only make it more capable. Sure it's not a rock crawler but for a utilitarian vehicle that can do most sensible things you could ask of it on and off road, it's great. It has proven itself to be damn near dead reliable so far (knock on wood!). I enjoy that unlike the hordes of modded Wranglers, a modded Liberty is not something you see all the time. In general I think I've just been impressed all around by how the Liberty has consistently surprised me across the board in terms of being such a solid all around vehicle. It's nothing like I thought it was before I learned more about it and now having had one for a while I can easily see why so many people on here love them.

I'd be super interested to hear what some of the long-time members have to say if they're willing to pitch in. So share your stories about what keeps you attached to your Libertys!
 

dutch

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I was having a conversation this afternoon with my fiancee about how I went from viewing the Jeep Liberty with derision just a few months ago to feeling a genuine fondness for the little KJ. Which got me thinking about a thread topic here.

This forum is old, but there are still a lot of old-timers and even new members (like me!) that still use this forum because of an enduring fondness for the Jeep Liberty. So I think it would be an interesting thread topic for those of us here to reflect on the Jeep Liberty platform and talk about the things and which keep us driving and talking about these somewhat antiquated and often unfairly maligned Jeeps.

I'll start since I brought it up:

If you'd asked me a few months ago what I thought of the Jeep Liberty I would have laughed and told you that I'd never own one. If it didn't at least have solid axles and a 4.0 I6 I wasn't interested. But then I moved to Montana and could not for the life of me find a replacement for my WJ. After deciding I couldn't own a Subaru without feeling like I settled I began to do some research on the Jeep Liberty. There were a lot of them for sale here and, hey, at least it was still a Jeep. That's actually when I found this website and slowly began sucking up as much information as I could. The more I read the more it seemed like a solid, but mostly misunderstood or prematurely dismissed platform. The praise that is often felt for the Libby on this forum must have seeped into me because before long I'd gone out and found a nice sample and bought a 2002 Sport 4x4. The loads of pictures of how cool they can look with a lift helped too, I imagine ;)

Having owned my Liberty for about three months now I've come to really appreciate what a capable platform it is. Even in stock form it seems tougher off-road than most people are willing to give it credit for and mods only make it more capable. Sure it's not a rock crawler but for a utilitarian vehicle that can do most sensible things you could ask of it on and off road, it's great. It has proven itself to be damn near dead reliable so far (knock on wood!). I enjoy that unlike the hordes of modded Wranglers, a modded Liberty is not something you see all the time. In general I think I've just been impressed all around by how the Liberty has consistently surprised me across the board in terms of being such a solid all around vehicle. It's nothing like I thought it was before I learned more about it and now having had one for a while I can easily see why so many people on here love them.

I'd be super interested to hear what some of the long-time members have to say if they're willing to pitch in. So share your stories about what keeps you attached to your Libertys!
This is my second Liberty as I foolishly sold my first one. Thought I wanted a pickup, but after a few months with a super nice '01 Silverado shortenbed, missed having a Jeep. Went by a transmission shop one day and setting out front was a super clean '05 Liberty with a "for sale" sign. Stopped to check it out and story was a lady had brought it in to have ****** rebuilt and after hearing what it cost, she sold it to the manager. He rebuilt the ******, a/c, new radiator, complete tune-up and much more as he was going to give it to his wife. She drove it for awhile but decided she wanted a bigger sub.
Needless to say I bought it on the spot. That was almost six years ago and all I've done is general maintenance..tires, battery, oil/filter changes.
I know most of you guys go for the lifted Jeep, but being an old geezer (77), and an old custom car guy, onI love the chrome look, so ordered about everything I could in chrome.
Btw, now has 201k and still going strong!
 

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tommudd

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This is my second Liberty as I foolishly sold my first one. Thought I wanted a pickup, but after a few months with a super nice '01 Silverado shortenbed, missed having a Jeep. Went by a transmission shop one day and setting out front was a super clean '05 Liberty with a "for sale" sign. Stopped to check it out and story was a lady had brought it in to have ****** rebuilt and after hearing what it cost, she sold it to the manager. He rebuilt the ******, a/c, new radiator, complete tune-up and much more as he was going to give it to his wife. She drove it for awhile but decided she wanted a bigger sub.
Needless to say I bought it on the spot. That was almost six years ago and all I've done is general maintenance..tires, battery, oil/filter changes.
I know most of you guys go for the lifted Jeep, but being an old geezer (77), and an old custom car guy, onI love the chrome look, so ordered about everything I could in chrome.
Btw, now has 201k and still going strong!
You may like them at stock height but yours is below new stock height now from the looks of it
 

dutch

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You may like them at stock height but yours is below new stock height now from the looks of it
I took the 17" wheels that the Limited comes with and put 16's on because the chrome covers only come to fit 16" wheels.
Other than that, suspension is all stock.
 

tommudd

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I took the 17" wheels that the Limited comes with and put 16's on because the chrome covers only come to fit 16" wheels.
Other than that, suspension is all stock.
Yes by 65,-70,000 miles suspension starts to sag.
Ive had them in my shop at 78000 and be over 1.5 inches lower than new stock height
Can't imagine what yours would measure
wheel size has nothing to do with suspension height
 

dutch

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Tried to find thread that tells how to measure suspension height.
Can you tell me again?
If it's sagging, it's doing it evenly as I can't see by looking at it that one side is any lower than the other.
I'm going to measure today. If I remember right, it's measurered from center of wheel to bottom of fender...not sure though.
Thanks for info.
 

lfhoward

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Measure from the center of the wheel to the bottom of the fender.

On a KJ, original stock was 19 inches in front, KK was 18. Rear on KK was 19 (Don’t know on KJ what the rear was).

Most original springs would be sagged by now, maybe even more than an inch.
 

dutch

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Measure from the center of the wheel to the bottom of the fender.

On a KJ, original stock was 19 inches in front, KK was 18. Rear on KK was 19 (Don’t know on KJ what the rear was).

Most original springs would be sagged by now, maybe even more than an inch.
Thanks, still haven't measured yet, too much football to watch today!
 

tommudd

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Thanks, still haven't measured yet, too much football to watch today!
Yes after April 12, 2002 stock height was 19 in front as mentioned above
I'll take a guess and say you are about 17.75-18
maybe less, I've had them pull into my shop with worn out 235-70-16s rubbing they were so sagged ( and that was with only 80,000 some thousand on it ) LOL
 

Glenn Dickson

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There is a lot to like about the Kj's in general. Talking construction, even for a uni-body they are very well built & heavy little 4x4 tanks.
Many may not realize that the entire body is anodized dipped /aluminum !
When I first got to Jeep lot, I kicked the tires, crawled under to have a look at the running gear, and said "Yup" this thing is solid & I can make it better!
So out for a test drive I went, I liked the simplicity, manual transfer case that shifted easily, and crawled very well. The next thing I knew I bought it, I was sold.
Once OME lifted correctly, good wider tires & accessorized, so much for the soccer Mom looking Vehicle !!
Next is ease of maintenance. It's great that you can actually lift the hood & work on it at home, if you are willing to get your hands dirty and a few scrapes lol.
The KJ's are very nice looking Jeeps & why so many ladies also like them as well. :)
They are easy to park & with the independent front suspension, turning radius is very good. Air down at bit off road & leave the SFA Wranglers in the dust ! (bye bye)
Even though I could go on for another 20 minutes about why I like my Jeep, they are a bit heavy on fuel but hey..You feel safe in one & You won't ever see me in a Rav 4 :eek:
I believe you mean galvanized steel body. It isn't an aluminum body.
 

mercdudecbr600

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Originally wanted a wj but didn’t have room in my garage, kJ was a little shorter and my wife said it was cute. So begrudgingly I found a decent 02 limited with select trac tc and a rebuilt engine/trans.

And then I had to fix the po’s mistakes/short cuts, replace suspension, ac, belts, switches, etc. and along the way started to appreciate the subtle off-road design of the libby and to see its potential. Drove nice, decent (near Subaru) mpg and easy/cheap to fix.

Now it has small lift, rear locker, front lsd, and winch. Only limiting factor is clearance otherwise it’ll go almost anywhere - not that I have the guts to take it to that level but it’s more than capable.
 

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