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Old July 20th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #1
Badmunky
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Default Thinking about traiding the ZJ in for a WJ.

Ok so bout a 98 ZJ a few months back.
It runs and drive good. Dosnt look bad. I fixed almost every that was wrong with it. And is paid for.

But I wanted a V8 and could not find one at the time. So we bout a 4.0.
Its not a bad motor. But I want to be able to tow with it and every one keeps telling me no to.

Even U haul will not rent me a full car trailer unless I tell them its a 99.

Its got 152k on it, and its black (the only color I didn't want). But it was a good deal, and runs great.


What I want to know is are there any problems with the WJ I should be aware of? I know the seat rails brake. But that's about all I know.


Is there any reason I should stay with a ZJ over the WJ?


I would like to get a rig with a V8 and fewer miles. I would also like to be able to tow something if I wanted to. Did they make the WJ in a manual?
Or can a conversion be done?


Thanks.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #2
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I know that the zj manual trans units are very rare and I have never heard of manual wj
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Old July 20th, 2013, 08:38 PM   #3
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No manual option for the wj. But anything can be done. We have a trail only zj and a dd wj. Both with 4.0 and always wishing for more power.

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Old July 22nd, 2013, 07:20 AM   #4
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I have a 2002 WJ Overland with the HO 4.7L V8, 545RFE Transmission, full time T-case.
check out www.wjjeeps.com for a lot of good information.
I love my WJ. 4" lift and stock JK wheels and tires. I have been getting about 17mpg on the highway with it driving to work, 115k on it now.
On the WJ I have had to fix the HVAC with bad wiring and bad actuators. Overhead console wiring went bad, window regulator went bad, power steering line went bad, replaced the front wheel bearings, axle seals, pinion seal and bearings. Seat track is a bit wobbly.
If I were to do it again, I would look for the same vehicle, I like the Overland with the traction aids in the diffs from the factory. Wish it had a part time t-case though for how much highway driving I do.
Never owned a ZJ. Co-worker has one that he put a 4" lift on and has had to do some work on it, but it has 250+ on it with no work done to the trans / engine.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 08:06 AM   #5
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I've had 2 WJs; loved them both. Unfortunately they were only 4.0s but I still towed with them. I've towed a WJ and a ford ranger, both on fullsize car trailers. Probably not the smartest but I drove with some common sense and they towed great. I didn't really have any problems with them other than the transfer case in one, and the same one had the 4.0L tick which I believe was the lifters or the thrust bearing

If I was going to get another WJ I would definitly go with the 4.7L. Without a doubt.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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my wife has an 03 wj. it has been a fine vehicle. its a limited with an ho v8, quadra drive, tow package. i tow with it often, and it tows well.

if you buy one. u want a v8, ho v8 if possible.
u want the factory tow package.
u want the quadra drive option.

they are known to eat power window motors and regulators.
replacement parts are about 75 for a cheap aftermarket one.

good luck!
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Yup, my dad has replaced the passenger size PW regulator like 3 or 4 times in the last 2 years on my mom's 01. The WJs that have climate control also have blend door issues, about a $1k fix to have someone do it, it is very labor intensive. The 4.0 ZJ is rated to tow 5,000 lb but IMO that's a retarded amount of weight behind something with 15 year old brakes, a marginal powerplant and a relatively short wheelbase. The WJ solves 2 of those 3 problems (more power & much better brakes) but it'll still get pushed around if you're pulling a car-hauler behind it.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #8
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Thanks guys!
I'm looking at selling the ZJ to my brother and buying a newer WJ with the V8.

I did not know they had an HO4.7. How do I know if it has the HO motor?
Is the 4.7 a good motor? (I'm used to being able to get 250-350k out a motor.)

I like the transfer case in my ZJ a lot. I have the NP242. Can I convert the WJ to this?

I don't mind spending money on the thing. But do have to keep it in reason.
I want to run 33x12.5" tires and really don't want to cut it up. Can this be done with 4" of lift?

Other then the factory tow option what would you guys recommend I get for options?
What should I stay away from?
And what year would you recommend?


Thanks guys!
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Old July 25th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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The HO4.7 is usually badged as such on the intake and on the hatch. There's not enough of a difference to hold out specifically for the HO IMO. They are reliable if they've been maintained. It is possible to find a 242HD behind the v8 WJ but it's rare. Personally I'd keep the 247, it's a good case - locking low range and fricken awesome in the winter. 4" of lift you can clear 265s no problem, 285s with minor trimming probably.

I would hold out for a quadra-drive equipped WJ, but if you're not keeping it stock then it's a little less important. I'd look for an 03 or 04 Limited/4.7/QD with reasonable mileage. Don't waste your time with the I6, it's a turd in the GC and even worse if you lift it/add bigger tires.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 06:36 PM   #10
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the ho v8 is 30 extra horsepower, and 30 extra lb ft of tq. not a huge deal, but its nice.
the tow package includes a nice trans cooler, and a power steering cooler, and 3.73 gears.
quadra drive gives you limited slip axles in front and back, its great in the snow.
quadra drives will come with an np247 full time case with a low range.
you can swap an np242hd from a v8 non quadra drive.
it will bolt up, u will need the drive shafts too. get the shifter bezel to make it look factory.

i drove mine with the front drive shaft removed for a couple days.
it will melt the rear tires off in 2wd! way fun to drive that way.

with the tow package its rated to tow 6500 lbs. i have pulled close to that, and it tows pretty good.
the brakes work very well, even with a loaded trailer without brakes.
the turning radius is great, and backing a trailer with it is a breeze!

i have not found the top speed limiter on it, but it will cruise "near the century mark" very smoothly with ease.

the wheel well openings are pretty small, fitting 33's without cutting metal will be trickey.

i held out to get the exact one i wanted, and paid a little too much for it, but im pickey.
i wanted the ho v8, quadra drive, tow package, leather, moon roof, and premium sound, with under 70k miles.

the v8 will run a long time, as long as the oil has been changed regularly.
the upper end of the engine has oil return issues, if not kept clean.
this is common to a few chrysler engines. some worse than others.

avoid the i6 engine!
get a 2001 to 2004 limited or overland, they are all pretty loaded and v8.

good luck

Last edited by joe_jeep; July 25th, 2013 at 06:46 PM.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 02:04 AM   #11
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Thanks guys.
Ill be looking for a WJ as soon as I sell the ZJ.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #12
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I've had timing chain with the early 4.7, not sure if that got better with time.


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Old December 8th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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I decided (Or rather the wife decided, LOL) to go with a WK with 5.7L Hemi.

Just need to sell the ZJ and come up with some more cash to put down on the WK to keep the payments down.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #14
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Timing chain and other top end issues are fairly common with the 4.7, though usually not until after the 200k mark. Most of them seem to need new timing chains and tensioners after 200k, or have issues with getting oil to lifters (pump issue explained by joe jeep). Remember it is an overhead cam motor, so the only real lifter issue I have seen is that they can callapse, though I haven't seen that happen.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 10:07 PM   #15
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Sry, you posted while I was reading previous comments. The 5.7 is an excellent choice, they sound awesome.
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Old December 13th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #16
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I have a 97 ZJ and an 04 WJ, I like my ZJ better. They both have the 4.0. We have a pop up trailer that we tow. No issues at all.
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Old December 15th, 2013, 03:23 AM   #17
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If all I was planing to pull was a pop up we would be fine.
But I plan to pull a 2,000 lb car trailer with our XJ on it. So it's going to be around 6,000 lb after gear. That's just way more then a ZJ or a WJ can pull.

And the wife likes the way the WK drives better then the ZJ or the WJ. And we all know the old adage, happy wife,happy life. LoL.
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Old December 15th, 2013, 09:05 AM   #18
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What year wk? We have had an 06 hemi and currently have a 13 hemi. Did not tow much with the 06, but have pulled my jk with the 13 and had no trouble. The newer wk is a very nice set up, but as a dd my favorite is a 4.7 wj.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #19
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Looking at an 05 to 08 right now. Maybe on 09 if the price is right.
Looking to spend 15 or less.
But still have not sold the ZJ yet so we are not looking right now.
As soon as the ZJ sells we will start looking for a WK.
Right now all my time and cash is going in to the XJ we have. LoL.
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