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Grand Cherokee Weak Spots

Old 12-06-2016, 02:56 PM
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Smile Grand Cherokee Weak Spots

We are looking to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ.

What are some of the most reliable engines/drivetrains on these GC models and what are those that's better to stay away from?

Also what are the weakest points, parts we should be prepared to replace after the aquisition of a GC with at at least 200K miles on the clock.

Thank you!
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:49 PM
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Welcome to CF!

The WJ was produced from 99-04 and after that it was called the WK and a lot was changed. My experience is with the WJ after owning one for almost 100K, buying it with 125K on it.

There were 2 engine options available, the 4.0 straight 6 and the 4.7 OHC V8. The 4.7 was available in an HO model. In my opinion, the 4.0 is/was the most long lived, reliable engine ever offered in a jeep. If properly maintained, have a history of going well over 250K miles without major problems. 04 was the last production year for this engine.

The 99-01 4.0 had a problem with the new (then) 0331 head that had a tendency to crack. This was fixed in 02 with a new 0331 TUPY head. If the one you're looking at is an early one, it's probably had a head change already.

The 4.7 V8 was the "new generation" of engines with iron block, aluminum heads, and overhead camshafts. They also had their problems, but I'm not going to pick them apart because I've never owned one.

There were 2 different transmissions used between the 6 and the V8. The 42re for the 6 and 46re(rh?) for the V8.

There were also 2 different transfer cases used, the 242 Selectrac and the 247 Quadratrac. The 242 was selectable with a 2wd range and 3 4wd options. The 247 was constant 4wd with a low range option.

As with ANY vehicle with 200K on it, there's going to be lots of suspension parts that are worn out, notably ball joints, wheel bearings, tie rod ends, universal joints, control arm bushings and shocks to name a few. Many may have been replaced at one time already.

They are electronics intensive for both drivetrain and interior functions. They are on a Can-Bus system where all the modules "talk" to one another. The overhead VIC (vehicle information center) gives you lots of control over different functions and is programmable in 5 languages, if you care.

I love my 2000 WJ 4.0 with the 242 Selectrac. I've put 80K on it myself, but replaced enough suspension parts to make it ride like a new car.

Last edited by dave1123; 12-07-2016 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:53 AM
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very good overview Dave! my opinion is the I6 and trany's are very reliable even if moderately taken care of. electrical components are a weak point of all these jeeps and chasing them down can be a pain. generally speaking you will be tempted to replace electrical components with aftermarket since they are usually half the price, but use mopar parts because they are more reliable. something to factor in when purchasing one of these older jeeps.
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for the backup, jon-d. I felt like I was writing a novel and not including half the info I wanted to convey.
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:25 PM
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Thumbs up Thank you!

It was a fantastic read! Thank you!

Seems like the good-old 4.0L is still the engine to look for.

If you would have to take your Jeep to the edge of the word, where no parts are to be found, what spare parts would you take with you?
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