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WJ 135,000 mile maintinance

Old 02-03-2019, 12:56 PM
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Default WJ 135,000 mile maintinance

Hi. I just joined the site.
I've got a great 2004 wj 4.0 special edition 2wd with 136,000 miles. Was a one owner when I got it. It had full Jeep dealer maintenance records for all the years owned prior to me. Every oil change, brakes, coolant syst maint, etc.. Never any major problem or repairs. The other owner traded it in for a new Cherokee from the same dealer who overhalled and cleaned it up before I purchased it. It looked almost brand new-ish. The tires I changed to A/T3 Coopers a size larger bc the ones on it were kind of poor (was worked in the deal). O rust on it being a Raleigh NC vehicle.

- I have recently replaced the battery, as it was 5 years old.
- I have recently replaced the starter, as it quit working suddenly one day.
- I have recently replaced the thermostat and gasket because after renting the psi test tool I saw that was where my coolant leak was. (It looked like h20 pump with how it ran down around it..). So, that entailed full coolant flush and change too, just to do.
- Did another oil (t6) and filter (mopar) change.
- I have recently replaced the front rotors and brake pads. The backs are excellent shape.
- When I first got it I replaced:
Wth the recomended cheaper Champion spark plgs
Air filter
Fuel filter
and oil change of course
I think that was it?

I travel, and use the wj for traveling. I'm heading next from NC to California next month. So, I want to do some maintinance prior to that drive, and further use once there to California.

I have an oil psi sending unit that I am going to put in bc oil psi gauge has always acted funny. I will zip-tie run thru the elbow part I've read about when I remove the old one. Then run it to let oil spit out that spot before cleaning it all up to replace with the new part.

I want to drain, clean up the diff housings, and replace its gasket and filter. WIX or Felpro for gasket? And RTV slightly too? Before buying the replacement oil, is any oil okay? Or maybe a certain reccomended type brand or wght? I have the 2wd I6. (I just went to the Jeep site and requested the full build sheet for my wj last night, so not exactly sure what I got back there for the diff?)

I want to remove the transmission pan to drain whatever tranny fluid comes out along with doing that and replace the trans filter. I have a WIX gasket already to use when I put the pan back on. Then of course replace the lost trans fluid. What type do you think I need? Also, about how much might come out whenjust removing the pan? I would like to drive it for about an engine oil change interval, and then repeat that to drain the mixture of old and new to get even fresher better transmission fluid in there. I don't think I am going to drill or install a drain plug on my pan, or replace it with the pan that has one either (although that pan is only $35 or so, with drain plug, and extra deep cooling ridges on its base instead of flat smooth which would probably be worth it?).

So here it is. What else should I do? What I mentioned above, does that all sound good? Any advice regarding these things I already mentioned? I appreciate it!

I was thinking like the pcv valve or egr valve or something like the iac thing or the throttle boddy? Maybe cleaning those (can they all be cleaned, or just iac and throttle body?).

My Jeep has no leaks now that the thermostat housing seal was repaired. Just maybe a very very small amount from the rear main seal, which would not be a worry to me at all really.. right? I mean not even a drip or drop on ground below my Jeep if parked for basically ever... Days weeks.. But there is oil looking smear type splatter in that area. I looked at the valve cover and it has a green gasket in place that looks and feels excelent, and I can not see any leaks around valve cover areas front to back.. except, maybe super small seepage somewhere along backside because its slightly dirty debris grime type oily residue near backside of this area. Also, where the oil pressure sending unit goes and its electrical wire connector has definitely got grimy oil on it that seems a little more oily. But not anything much.

Is it okay to take the valve cover off to look at them? If I do, is there anything I should be looking at, or for, to adjust? Replace the gasket and tighten valve cover down good to specs. I've heard that they can loosen up sometimes and leak a little?

Any sensors to look at or maybe replace if warrented on s 15 year old vehicle. mas sensor? I've looked at belt and hoses. The belt is in real good shape. The hoses are not new looking, but not in any way bad looking either.

Not just right now, but within one to two years I do plan to replace all cooling system with new radiator, hoses, a new belt why not, the two pullys for h20 pump and I think the idler/tension one, and a new h20 pump, plus I guess heater core maint/replace if easy enough and can. When doing that, even though its further in future, does the timing chain need changed at all or anything else?

My wj has no unusual noises, clunks, creaks, rattles, or anything strange like death wobble. Only maybe could use a little bit of an alignment some. Other than that, it's been solid. Is there anything any of you could recommend to me for keeping all major reccomended maintinance general upkeep going good?

Thank you all.

Last edited by Noah911; 02-14-2019 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:02 PM
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Well. Good luck on your trip. I'm not sure I'd do that drive in a WJ with that mileage on it. Some vehicles with that pedigree would handle it without issue, but knowing what I know about these Jeeps, I wouldn't. I think the bigger issue is how to make the trip well equipped to handle any problems that may come up along the way. Keep in touch here and let us know how it goes. I don't know why you want to move here. I live in California and I'm seriously thinking about moving to N.C. So go figure.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:00 PM
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Thanks a lot! I should document the trip to there because it's a long route from where I'm beginning. I don't want to live there. Nothing against there. I'll be there for work only, but probably for a good while like maybe six months to a year?

It's cool though, how I do trust the wj that I drive to performe excellent every day! It doesn't matter where, or how far a drive takes. I've used mine from going all-over the place; here and there, and it seems everywhere.. lol, and I just think that if taking this trip by doing it over a week, then the few thousand miles to get there will be an easy task for the Jeep.

I here you on being prepared. I mostly have all the tools needed for minor-major like type repairs with me at all times. A whole general emergency survival kit always with me too. Two jugs with gallons of h2o in each, and another jug of extra gallons of fuel.

During work on a project last year I got a slow crank no start condition in a business parking lot. Well, I replaced the battery because it was already 5 years old.,.. to get a, No Crank - No Start condition. Narrowed it down to most likely being the starter pretty quickly, and then left to go purchase a new starter. 15 mins later when I got back to the parking lot where it was parked, the pizza owner guy who saw me just out there trying to fix it had it towed away!! Angry mode for a second, and then I found out from him where it had been towed (it was only in that parking lot for maybe 8 hours total on that one day...). Tow truck driver was unloading it in the back when I got there. He came up to me and we talked. He pulled it back out front. He helped me by holding a flash light and handing me tools. Thankfully, with a brand new 850/1000 cca 150hr reserve capacity battery, and a new what seems in paper a better quality new non-oem starter now in-place. It started right up with authority! It sounded great! Fixing it in a mud puddle ridden dirt tow yard lot in the darkness of night was fun since it worked out great in the end by being the correct fix. Otherwise, it would have really not! That pizza shop owner guy had baneful nerve, and I believe was an un-decent person that day in my mind. It was okay though. No tow charge and fixed and running again quickly in the end.

Any best way that you may think of to be prepared for a NC to CA drive. Something like how I kept the removed thermostat in a kit because it was working fine. It just got replaced because the thermostat housing gasket had failed, and it was leaking quite a lot of fluid. I have looked closely at the water pump area, and have felt the gasket. It is in bad shape the gasket kind of crumbles away if you press on it and move your finger around. I think its going to be next?

Makes me want to replace the radiator, its hoses, the belt, water pump, and maybe new pullys. Right now the radiator fins/grill are very malleable. It's the original radiator, but it is working fine. A small leak on the upper passenger side plastic end piece of it at the spot where the upper pass side hose connects. It has been repaired with jb plasti-weld, which was done three years ago on the day I bought it, and it has held.

Last edited by Noah911; 02-04-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:33 AM
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I would change out the whole cooling system. I wouldn't go anywhere in a 15 year old radiator that has a JB weld patch on it. All the hoses and the water pump, serpentine belt for sure. I'd also suggest replacing the alternator, or at least pulling it apart and replacing the brushes whether they need it or not. If the fuel pump is stock, I'd do that as well. You not going to need extra gas, but i'd make sure the jack works. I did this drive from N.J. in 1972. I did it in a 56 Chevy sedan delivery. I did put a low mileage 69 engine in it before I left. I didn't have insurance roadside service or a cell phone of course. Where are you going in Califonia? Its a big state.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:33 PM
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Yes. I agree to do it too. I'm leaning towards the whole deal. $275 or less is reasonable to expect to do it myself.

I definitely need the extra fuel. I use it for generators, and occasionally to put in the wj tank after a 200 mile day if I find myself out in the middle of nowhere. I put a few gallons in if the tank gets below 1/4 full becauae my GrandFather sold me on how to keep a fuel pump operating well for awhile that way.

I work emergencies responding to disasters for a living. I am involved in a couple of things, it's depending on the specific project. Debris Specialist and Hazardous Materials Removal; Clean-Up operations are what I love to be involved in the most. Homeland Security, FEMA, Emergency Management Services, Public Assistance, Response... That's what I do right now.

Last edited by Noah911; 02-05-2019 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:37 PM
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I'm looking towards Paradise CA or around there to start out at.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:40 PM
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For me..

The expectation is to be there in three to four weeks.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:41 PM
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"In Paradise"
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:17 PM
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I'm thinking driving from coast to cost there isn't much opportunity to be out in the middle of nowhere. So you are going to Paradise to assists somehow with the fire recovery?
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:32 PM
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I hope so? That is the plan. I haven't worked a fire before something like what they've just had out there.

I'll go back to Florida from NC if I do not go out to California. I'm most interested in getting to this fire clean-up though.

After the first two weeks everything gets paid, and reimbursed travel. Then it's working seven days a week. Starting each day before sunrise and going until after sunset. One hundred hour work-weeks are normal. There is no time, or any real need to spend money for a few months after getting started. I could have a rental vehicle. I pocket the weekly rental money, and instead use the wj. I've never taken it coast to coast like I am planning this time... It's adventurous work.

I found out that I have a Dana35C 194mm Diff. I called Jeep dealer, and they say to use 75/140 fluid with a limited friction modifier. Sound right? They also say about 6qts of ATF4 to replace with when dropping the transmission pan changing the filter and gasket.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:49 AM
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If you have a mobile device, keep in touch. We'd be curious how the trip goes. I'm currently driving a 2000 WJ with the 4.0 (4x4) with 249K miles on it and the engine is very tired and the trans is original. I'd be holding my breath to drive it 250 miles on the highway.

You should post your experience in the Off Topic section of the forum.

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Old 02-12-2019, 07:44 AM
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Thanks. That sounds like a plan.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:06 AM
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136,000 is considered to be low miles for a 4.0L which is known typically to last over 300,000 miles. There are XJ's with 4.0L purchased new, original owner with over 450,000 miles without any major overhauls. So if you maintain a 4.0L and drivetrain it's going to last a while especially if it doesn't go off-road very much. From what you stated it's a 2WD so it's less likely you would go off-road except on e.g. maintained gravel and dirt roads?

I can tell you what I did after purchasing a 1995 ZJ 4.0L with 227,000 miles. Since I don't take it off-road much I expect at least another 100,000 miles as I maintain my vehicles. e.g. My 98 XJ with 203,000 I replaced all the tranny fluid with Amsoil ATF and added an external transmission filter. Replaced all the oils when first purchased including Flushing out the brake fluid.

The 95 ZJ I replaced oil for the engine, transmission, transfer case and both differentials. The brake fluid was alone as it appeared to be OK. If your bake fluid is dirty which it probably isn't I would recommend a brake system flush. (On my ZJ I added speed bleeders to the front and rear disc brake cylinders/calipers)

For the transmission I purchased an OEM transmission pan gasket (which I recommend) as it's made from rubber type material and is reusable. Doesn't normally require any sealant. when changing the filter and part of the ATF comes right off no problem and easily re-installs (no messing around with gaskets with sealant, etc.

I found a new oem reusable gasket on on eBay for iirc $~20.00 should be the same gasket as used with some of the other RE transmissions. Or Lubelocker makes a resualble oil pan gasket for your RE transmission, which should be a 42RE ?

OEM Mopar 42RE transmission oil pan bolt p/n 6036330AA washer is loose but permanently attached to the bolt, I think in part so the washer isn't misplaced and also for oem torque value.


For the differentials I purchased lubelocker reusable gaskets which I also recommend. They cost a bit more but imo are worth the added expense as again you don't need to mess with sealant all that's required is you torque the differential pan bolts to ~30 foot pounds. The other thing I also made certain is that my pan bolts for the transmission and differentials are OEM or OEM style. Why? Because the OEM torque values are based on OEM bolts. eBay and Amazon has some deals on them or can be purchased from LubeLocker. https://www.lubelocker.com/product-category/parts/dana/

Dana 35 https://www.4wd.com/p/lube-locker-da...-GKPV-LLR-D035
Dana 30 https://www.4wd.com/p/lube-locker-da...-GKPV-LLR-D030


The OEM transmission oil pan bolts use concave washer that's permanently part of the bolt but is loose and stuck to the bolt. Which is important when torquing down bolts onto thin oil pan. If you use hex flange bolts where the washer isn't loose potentially will cause damage or wear to the oil pan. The concaved loose washer is import to be able to achieve the correct amount of torque without damaging the oil pan.

On my 95 ZJ with a 42RE transmission the OEM transmission oil pan bolts typically run approx. $7.50 to over $12.00 each. The other thing about these bolts is one needs to be careful starting them into the 42RE transmission oil pan bolt holes. These bolts require to be hand started and not to stick them into their holes using a socket which wrench. If not carefully inserted and started by hand you run the risk of stripping the bolt holes, which imo are precise and delicate. If a bolt hole is stripped it can be easily repaired with a heli-coil which is an added time and expense.

If your having maintenance done, a professional mechanic should know about being careful installing oil pan bolts on RE transmissions.

As for the differential cover bolts I had a few worn ones so purchased a new set of 10 for each of the axle diffs total 20 bolts. Why? Well because people often overtighten diff pan bolts for the Dana axles such as the 30 and 35 or purposely under tighten. If you take a look at the specs of the SAE grade 8 bolt the recommended torque value dry is ~24 foot pounds and Jeeps OEM torque value for the diff cover bolts is 30 foot lbs. I'm uncertain of the grade of the OEM bolts but assuming it's grade 8 how Jeep is able to torque their OEM diff cover bolts to 30 foot lbs is the hex bolt is flanged where flange is serrated. So when you torque them down requires more torque than flat and smooth washer.

OEM style hex bolt with flanged head and serrated surface helps to achieve the proper OEM torque value of 30 foot lbs.





People who have used aftermarket bolts with flat washers or non flanged hex heads often end up over torquing or purposely under torquing where some have ended up stripping out.

When installing reusable gaskets such as from Lubelocker and Mopar OEMs you want to torque to the maximum OEM torque value, which is 30 foot lbs for a Dana 30, 35 and 44.

If your using gaskets with sealant or silicon gaskets the torque values may not be as important. People often under torque the diff pan cover bolts when using sealant or silicon. But I prefer to use OEM torque values and OEM bolts.

I know that sorta a long explanation but thought it to be important enough to mention while trying to maintain your own vehicle as the oils needing to be periodically changed involve gaskets, bolts and torque values.

I'm trying to remember what else I've done so far with the ZJ. One thing I did was go over and inspect the exterior lighting the bulbs and sockets. After a while especially if a vehicle isn't garage corrioson can produce exterior lighting problems with the lamps, wiring and sockets. If not already done I would inspect the tail lights and possibly the front lamps for corrosion.

Yes it's necessary to inspect and maintain any cooling system and if your radiator is using stop leak imo it definitely should be replaced. The better radiators are Mopar OEMs with metal sides and aluminum core. OEMs also have a more economical alumin core radiators with plastic side, which should be good enough if not taking a vehicle off-road and under more extreme conditions such as towing, etc. Otherwise I would go with an OEM rad with alum. core and metal sides.

Aftermarkets rads aren't manufactured to last as long and normally are lesser cost and quality. There are some aftermarket heavy duty rads either alum. core, metal sides, copper / brass and all aluminum but I've read even the all aluminins have had leak problems.

Top of the line all aluminum rads start around $500.00 which are thicker and perform better cooling than an OEM, but you would need to pay more as the OEMs with metal sides, alum. core I expoect can be found for around ~$300.00 - 350.00 and the OEM's with plastic sides aluminum core in competition with the aftermarkets I'm uncertain of their prices. I've seen OEM crossflows with alum core and plastic side I've seen for the XJ at around ~$125.00. Grand Cherokee uses a downflow rad. I'm not up on the Grand Cherokee rad prices.

Some of the aftermarket I guess aren't too bad for the price, but AFAIK are not going to be the same build quality as a Mopar OEM which are known to last much longer and not cause some of the problems of aftermarkets. Many OEM parts are built to last at least 125,000 miles.

RockAuto once in a while will have OEM rads but don't currently see one for the WJ.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...,radiator,2172

But I think most if not all use plastic sides and alum. core, which isn't bad it's just not preferred for more extreme conditions such as off-road, towing, etc.

My ZJ didn't come with a hitch but it came with what it's build sheet refers to as

AHC Trailer Tow Prep Group
NMCP Heavy Duty Engine Cooling

I think what this means is it's has the wiring for towing but none of the connectors and for the cooling it has a transmission oil cooler (which I can see under the front grill and possibly a heavy duty OEM radiator.

You should e-mail Chrysler and provide them with a VIN and request a build sheet to determine what the factory has installed, plus it should list any optional items.

One reason for a build sheet besides determine what's factory installed is when Chrysler e-mails you back they normally will list any recalls for your Jeep.

On my 95 ZJ there were two recalls of which the local Chrysler Dealership preformed for absolutely at no cost.

One was they installed an automatic transmission shifter indent safety switch which required you step on the brake pedal to move into part or neutral before starting the engine. The other recall is Chrysler installed (free of charge) a trailer hitch (without any wiring plug-ins, etc.) as the Federal government classified the some of the Grand Cherokees as safety risk when being rear ended with potential of the fuel tank exploding or leaking fuel and catching on fire.

If you have recalls then you can take the build sheet letter into a Chrysler dealership to schedule an appointment.

You can also look up to see if you have any recalls by entering your VIN from https://www.mopar.com/en-us/my-vehic...ls/search.html

I'm uncertain which years have a recall for trailer hitches more information can be found online such as e.g. https://www.jeep.com/universal/webse...ce/pdf/N45.pdf

and for the WJ >>> https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...58882-1231.pdf

My ZJ didn't have a hitch so they just installed a new one. However if you have an existing hitch they will inspect and determine what to do with it, such as repair or install another one.

There's other things you can do to maintain your Jeep such as inspect at least some of the wiring, plug-ins and your grounds.

I would renew the grounds which basically means removing them cleaning them up with a wire brush and possibly a file. Corrosion is a problem with older vehicles, especially their sensors which many use 5 volts and data feed back by measuring low value resistance. Most people don't bother inspecting the wiring plug-ins for corrosion, bent pins, bad wiring until something goes wrong. But I would at least take a look at the wiring harnesses to see if there's any indications of corrosion and other problems. And definitely would renew grounds at primary ground connection points such as the battery to body / fender, around the coil, engine block, fire wall, etc.

It just something that needs to be done or checked on once in usually a long while or if having electrical related problems.

Another thing I do with used vehicles is look for any third party auxiliary equipment installed and connected to the OEM wiring, I then remove it from the OEM wiring and install my own aux wiring system with it's own fuse box. I don't believe in splicing into the oem harness unless absolutely necessary and if needing to do so I normally use diodes. I've seen many wiring problems related to splicing into the OEM wiring harness, plus when troubleshooting it's much less difficult if the two electrical systems are isolated from each other.

As for the battery my ZJ came with a new Flooded 12 volt starting battery which works just fine. However Flooded batteries statistically are replaced nearly twice as often as AGMs. So if you need to replace a flooded battery every five years an AGM potentially will last 10+ years.

e.g. My XJ (4.0L / 4WD) I purchased an Optima Yellow Top for it over ten years ago and it currently still working just fine. AGM batteries don't require any maintenance as flooded, which are often neglected. One thing about AGMs is if they become depleted I've always placed them on acharger for AGM or GEL batteries overnight as they behave differently than flooded when depleted.

Many flooded batteries are great but statistically nationwide are replaced nearly twice as often probably in part because their often neglected and require period maintenance. Flooded batteries actual do very well if their on a 3 stage charger 24/7 such as in an RV, boat, solar, etc. An flooded RV battery can last up to ~15 years when well maintain and constantly on a 3 / 4 stage charger. Deep Cycle flooded batteries such as Tojan, etc. potentiality last up to ~20 years if well maintained.

Battery used mostly for starting don't normally last as long has house batteries, however my AGM Yellow Top which I paid $150.00 for and going on eleven years is working great.


I guess this post became sort a long but I was trying to cover all the maintenance performed on my ZJ and XJ both with a 4.0L.

Oh one thing I forgot to mention which may have already been done by the dealership. Is when replacing your radiator besides Flushing the engine block you will also want to flush the heater core, which has a tendency to build up in rust, dirt, etc.

What I did with my XJ and my do with the ZJ is I installed a coolant filter on the heater hoses, so my coolant is filtered a percentage slowly over time removes all that hunk out of the coolant and cooling system. Which should be measured using a DMM for electrolysis. http://www.ve-labs.net/electrolysis-101/how-to-test

The 4.0L is a cast iron block and "seems" to produce more iron in the coolant than alum. block engines.

But anyway a coolant filter imo is a good idea and helps to prolong the life of coolant, cooling system and radiator.

Last edited by Muddz; 02-12-2019 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for that. I will look back at your post. I have the trans cooler tow prep package without hitch too. I did a week ago or so send vin to jeep requesting build sheet, but haven't gotten it yet? I am going to re-try it again. This wj is healthy from what I see and know of it. I have all of it's history. The prior owner put low miles on a gold se 2wd... had jeep dealer oil change records correlated with carfax every 3-4 months every year up until I got it along with every other maintenance done. I'm lucky, and want to do what I can to keep this one good. Defininitely not spending $500 on a radiator. If oem plastic sides can be had for around $200 then I would do that.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:32 AM
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I will do all the work myself on this Jeep. They are easy to work on. I am not a mechanic. So, I hope that I don't run into any problems or issues beyond my abilities.
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