Honestly. How reliable are the Chrysler corp Jeeps?

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Desert Drifter, May 16, 2018.

  1. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

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    I'm no stranger to Jeeps. In the last 60 years my family must have owned close to 20 Jeeps. The newest one would have been a M38A1 army jeep about a 1953 or so. I've rebuilt them and have done frame up restorations on them. (Won 1st place in 1988 MVCC on the M38A1). Back in the 50's my dad would buy a jeep just before hunting season for around $200 and then sell it right after hunting season.

    My Dodge story. Early in our marriage my wife and I bought our first brand new auto. It was a Dodge van. It was a terrible experience at a time when we really needed good transportation. I used up a years worth of sick leave and vacation sitting in a dealership waiting room for the van to be repaired which they never did. And after struggling with it for a year or better we traded it off. It had less than 19,000 miles on it. I swore I would never, ever, own a Chrysler product again.

    Now I'm retired and I would really love to have a Jeep again and experience the fun I had in the early years. I'm too old to get into a restoration project. I think the new Jeeps look fantastic and would be loads of fun. But I can't take the plunge because of my lack of trust. I have read review after review on the web and they are all over the place. I have friends who have newer Ram trucks and I'll save the stories about them. But in Dodge's defense my friends won't leave them alone and have got to fiddle and modifiddle with them to no end.

    So, honestly, how has your mopar Jeeps been for you?

    Your comments and experiences would be helpful and appreciated.

    'drif
     
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  2. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    I can't speak to the Jeeps but I will never own another Chrysler product.
     
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  3. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    Ya. Right there with ya.
     
  4. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    My 03 TJs climate control knob just broke from use yesterday. A new factory replacement is under $9 other than expected rust from rust-belt winter driving. Shocks, battery, swaybar end links, spark plugs - just normal wear and tear usage. I've yet found the need to pay someone to do any work on mine.
    Other than that we had a Chrysler Van then went to Toyotas and haven't looked back.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  5. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Bushmaster

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    Not a current jeep owner, had an old military one for 22 years as a winter driveway plow unit, 3 close relatives have new types 2 to 8 years old and consider them high maintenance. Owned a Plymouth Voyager mini van (Chrysler) for 16 years and best no problem bush buggy I've owned never a problem but unibody finally rusted out after 173K and sold engine to a lobsterman to put in his boat then I bought a new Chrysler grand caravan and kept it exactly 1 year problems galore with the new technology so sold it and replaced it with a new Subaru Outback.
     
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  6. Zunga

    Zunga Supporter Supporter

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    I have no personal experience with Chrysler. My mechanic loves them. I've heard many horror stories as well. He's got a Dakota sport manual v6. Honestly I think he's so in love. Because he got it for a song. It was having mechanical issues. He's a very good mechanic. It's got lots of miles. But also gets pro level regular maintaince. Nor does it see hard use.
    My own two cents. If you go for a much older jeep your likely better off. Carburated with a clutch is generally more fixable. Ad electronics and your opening a can of worms. The worst car I ever owned was 2003 vw golf. Electronics issue like you would not believe. I would narrow down what you want performance verus market value. Then look into how easily had and expensive parts are. If you find a solid frame and running motor. Your preinformed and can jump on a deal when it comes. I'd imagine old jeeps have a following and don't sit long. Good luck ;)
    Cheers Jim
     
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  7. Riverwalker

    Riverwalker Scout

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    My wife has 2008 Jeep Patriot one of the most reliable low maintenance cars we ever had. Oil changes, tires and a few light bulbs.
     
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  8. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

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    We've owned 8 Jeeps over the past 20 years and everyone of them has been a very good vehicle. If you are talking Wranglers specifically there are some years that are especially desirable. The Wrangler TJs, especially 2004 and 2006, are particularly well made in my opinion. Stay away from 07-11, the engines seem to be underpowered. The 13-17s are very good vehicles after the head issues were straightened out in the V-6, and offer more creature comforts than earlier models (if that matters to you). Best of all replacement parts are readily available.
     
  9. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    I've owned two Dodge Caravans. One new and one used. Both were incredible as far as reliability and economy.

    I owned a used soft top Jeep Wrangler TJ, 2001 model. I had to sell it to help pay for some of my Wife's medical bills. I got $9000 for it, which is what I paid for it three years earlier.

    It about broke my heart selling it. That Jeep was my go-to vehicle for outback exploring. It ran great and was reliable. There were a few little things that I took care of myself but nothing that made me want to pull my hair out. Like most Wranglers, it was hard on gas but more than made up for it in it's utility.

    I'd buy another in a heartbeat if I had the money. I don't know what year Chrysler bought Jeep, but I think it was back before the turn of the century.

    Steve
     
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  10. that_guy

    that_guy Tracker

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    After the apocalypse there will only be cockroaches and XJs.
     
  11. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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    I have been very happy with my JK, but I've read plenty of horror stories about their quality control. I think the bottom line I've come to realize is if you want a jeep, nothing will stop you from buying and loving one. But if you're just looking for a reliable vehicle, you probably want to look elsewhere.
     
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  12. Ullr-North

    Ullr-North Tracker

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    I have a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport. Bare bones (no power windows, no power door locks). It does all I need it to do. No problems. I have used it off road quite a bit. Used it to drag a moose 2 miles down a cut line through a foot of snow last hunting season.
     
  13. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have a 2015 JKU Sport. Bare bones and haven't had any issues. Of course I probably just jinxed myself.

    I swore off Chevy vehicles. Every one I've ever owned (S10, Silverado, Saturn) were junk and I had nothing but problems.

    I've actually had the best luck with Fords. (Explorer, F150, Fusion) I just bought the Jeep because I wanted one.

    Honestly, I sometimes think it's just the luck of the draw.
     
  14. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

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    Thanks for sharing your comments and experiences. I should have been more specific on what I want to use it for.

    I still hunt and like to get back into the mountains. Over the years the USFS and private ownership has limited access to the back country. The USFS have closed many if not most of the jeep roads we traveled on back in the day. Now the access is limited and restricted to most off road and 4x4 travel. I have a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 pickup truck. For the past 30 years I've owned Toyotas and Chevrolets and about the only thing I have had to do is have the oil changed and buy new tires. I trade off when my vehicles start reaching the 100,000 mark.

    Driving around Colorado mountains, visiting the old mining districts in an open sided Jeep is pure fun. That fun implants memories that you will never loose. That is sort of the driving I would do. I would also take some of the burden off of my Chevy truck by running errands with the Jeep. Ninety-five percent of the time the bed of my truck is empty. Running to the store, post office, hardware store or Village Inn could be done in a Jeep and save the mileage on the pickup. Jeeps bring an enjoyment to driving. I get it. I've been there done that and want to do more of that. And I have learned the hard way over and over again that a Jeep can get you stuck so bad in the most unforgiving country you can possibly imagine. I'm totally done with Jeep recovery operations believe me on that.

    I have found restored CJ-2A's, 3Bs, 5s, 6s, and 7s that were made before Chryslers involvement in 1987. But, most of the "restorations" are modified with engine swaps, lifts, monster tires, into rock crawlers etc. and cost almost as much as a new Wrangler Sport. So being that, I don't have the need for the expensive Rubicon. I'm not going to Moab, rock crawl or mud wamping around in bogs or creeks. I can not find any enjoyment laying in the snow and mud with the temperature around 10 below zero putting on tire chains. So I'm looking for a new Wrangler Sport or Safari 4 or 6 cylinder or a late model used in 40-60k mileage range. But dang-it, those memories of my first and only Chrysler product still remain. My wife has suggested I trade my Silverado off on a new Rubicon, I can not see myself doing that at all.

    I really appreciate your comments, I hope you keep sharing your experiences with me.

    'drif
     
  15. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Only 19,500 miles on my '16 JKU so I can't speak to durability. If it lasts 10 years or longer I'll be happy......We tend to drive 'em till they get too expensive to fix.....
     
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  16. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    This is my feeling as well.

    My old man retired after ~40 years as a mechanic about two years ago. Die hard GM guy. Through and through. Of American made, his opinion was - GM, then Ford, then anything other than Dodge/Chrysler. He hated them. Swore up and down they are all cheaply made junk and not worth the metal they were made with. Jeeps were guilty by association.

    But there’s probably just as many guys that feel that way about GM.

    I suspect if you look for them then you’ll find plenty of horror stories about most any American car brand.

    Every brand turns out a few lemons here and there.
     
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  17. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Perpetually Off Topic, Sorry. Supporter

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    That........and I'll bet your exhaust manifold is or will crack. Every damn TJ has those same two problems. But over all they are pretty darn good.
    Parts are reasonable, and available. And they are easy to work on.
    I could overhaul mine on the side of the road with nothing more than a Cresent wrench, a vise grips, and a medium sized rock, if I needed to.
     
  18. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    I think its about as reliable as any other vehicle these days. If you drive a 4x4 and use it, and dont do regular maintenance and upkeep, then you will surely find yourself on the side of the road no matter what make 4x4 it is.

    My dad has an 08' 3500 Ram 4x4 as a work truck (he bought new). Its a straight six diesel and pulls 19k trailer regularly, and thats with tools and gear inside and a big gas tank. It has almost 400k on the odo. Yeah sure, its had to have some things done to it, but what car hasnt. Most of it has been minor. Regular oil changes, u joints, ball joints, one injector. It still sounds and runs like a new truck.

    For the record I am seriously not a dodge fan and prefer Chevy. I had a neon that I drove until it quit, and it would still go if I bought new rims and tires. My sister had a Jeep Liberty and it was still going at 200k when she traded it off. Not a Dodge (chrystler) fan, but in my experience the modern ones are as reliable as any other brand. And GM dont make no jeep. :)
     
  19. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

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    Well after months of research, reading reviews, articles and your comments I took the plunge. I bought a 2015 Wrangler Willys Wheeler unlimited. It was a lease return leased by a little ol' grandma who just drove it to church events on nice days LOL. Had perfect Car Facts etc with 29,000 miles on the clock. Nice dealership. I really like driving it. It is so far ahead of the flat fendered Jeeps I learned to drive back in the 50's. Even my wife got excited about it after we drove it. She had sorta of a ho-hum oh-well about the idea but liked it. Being an ex-lease Jeep it is stock as the day it drove out of the plant. I plan on keeping it that way for awhile and do some research shopping. I'd like to get the tubular half doors, grab handles front and back, bikini top and look for a carrier for gas can. I've already switch the satellite radio contract from my truck to my Jeep.

    Down the road I'll take some pics and start a new thread and review with a few mods and Colorado desert and trails use.

    Thanks for all your comments, much appreciated.

    'drif
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  20. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Congrats and good luck. You think Bushcraft gear is bad, wait until you delve into the rabbit hole that is Jeep customization.
     
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  21. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

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    Willys is a good model for what you plan to do; good choice. Now if you got it in Tank Green you really hit a grand slam.
     
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  22. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

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    You don't have to be a member of this club to long before you realize that Wranglers are like Harley Davidson motorcycles. The rarest HD is an original one. The Willys offering I happened to snag is Billet Silver Metallic. Yeah I cant help thinking about a few mods. But there is just something amazing being at timberline in the Rockies, crawling along a rocky Jeep trail on a warm day in mid September. The air cool, fresh and the golden colors of the Aspens below you. I'm thinking half doors and a bikini should do it for me. But who knows? I just might free fall down that rabbit hole and not even bounce of the sides. It a bucket list thing.

    'drif
     
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  23. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    GOOD LUCK w/ your new ride

    still trying to decide if Jeeps are any good myseff

    '84 xj(100k +), '95 yj(125k +), 2000 tj(mid 70 K), '97 tj(185k+) & currently a Y2K xj w/ only 246k+ miles

    the '84 & '95 both had the 2500/4cyl

    and the rest had/have the 4litre 6cyl

    both the 2500 & 4litre engines being based on the OLD Nash Rambler straight 6(so i'm told) were kinda like anvils

    hard to hurt...

    overall it has been the peripherals that have worn out over time

    stuff like radiators, water pumps, sending units, clutches, wheel bearings, fan belts, hoses, a/c seals, soft tops & tyres...

    several of mine have been from splashing in coastal salt water all the way up n over some of the more sporty Continental Divide passes like Ophir, Stony, Cinnamon, Engineer & Black Bear knot to mention many of the old mining roads associated with them ;-)

    it'z kinda fun when a co-pilot sez "¿wonder where that road goes?" and you can find out

    i do like the comment above about cockroaches & xj's ;-)

    again i wish you as much fun/pleasure as i have had w/ mine
     
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  24. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

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    I'm certain I will Drifter. This is exactly what I was looking for. A nice late model used Wrangler Willys edition. It isn't so much about getting my ride for a little cheaper than new. I know that even with excellent QC problems can still get out the door. If there were any serious problems they would have shown up during the 3 years and 29k miles it was a lease vehicle. The money saved will allow me to buy the half doors and bikini top. Being that a good portion of my driving will be under desert like conditions I'll be looking for a combo tail gate/spare/fuel can rack also. That's about the only mods I'm thinking about. These mods are minor, temporary and for 4 or 5 months of the year it will be returned back to a bone stock Wrangler.

    Thanks for your comment.

    'drif
     
  25. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The most reliable and troublefree vehicle I have owned is a ‘98 Wrangler TJ. I bought it new, it now has 180,000 miles. It still has the original clutch, water pump, starter, alternator, etc. I have replaced brakes, hoses, spark plugs, the exhaust manifold and little else. It just goes and goes. I also have an ‘06 TJ Rubicon that has been totally troublefree, but it has only 75,000 miles. I can’t speak about the newer ones, but the older TJs are rock solid.

    JohnP
     
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  26. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

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    I can only speak to my own vehicle, a 2003 Jeep Liberty (KJ) Limited, 4x4. I bought it in 2010 with 60,640 miles on it. It is now 2018, so the vehicle is 15 years old, and now has 136,000 miles.

    The rocker panels are beginning to develop some rust, typical for a vehicle in Michigan- although I was surprised this only started about 3 years ago. Otherwise, body is perfect.

    Mechanically, it has been absolutely fantastic in reliability. Never left anyone stranded or refused to start/run. I've had to replace the blower motor resistor, as speeds 1 and 2 stopped working. Currently, the clutch bearing on the A/C compressor failed, so I have that bypassed for now, will be about a $120 repair; and the drivers front door latch squeals when activated, and so I have to manually push the door lock rod down. That's more annoying than anything.

    Only real flaw in the design of the KJ (that replaced the Cherokee XJ) is that they put far too weak of springs on the Liberty's... 4000lb Jeep and they got 310lb springs. So they sag badly after a few years, most losing about an inch of ride height. Aftermarket spring upgrades fix that, and add between 1.5-2.5" of actual lift as well (win-win).

    Otherwise, I have all options except a sunroof. Leather, overhead computer, 6-disc in dash changer, power windows, seats, etc... and none of that has been an issue. I love my Jeep, even if it is a Chrysler-Jeep .. but then again, post mid 80s (86? 88?) they all are.
     
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  27. MartyJ

    MartyJ Scout

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    C1CEEF16-3B76-4E60-87E1-7A423F97B05C.jpeg Good luck. Bought my 17 Rubicon, two door of course, last year. Wanted the Rubicon model for the gearing, it is otherwise basic with comforts. Grandkids couldn’t believe you had to actually roll up and down windows! Been great so far. I’ve done no mods and don’t really plan on it. I love heading down an old jeep road and camping out of it but like you, don’t plan on hard core wheeling like, well the Rubicon. I love turning around in about 10 feet of road. It rides good and crawls good. I bought it new, usually buy used, but wanted the warranty and couldn’t find the right used that wasn’t suspect. It was a retirement gift to myself and so far has been down some crappy roads but I don’t push it. Love being in it but wouldn’t mind a winch as I am often by myself when out. So far no problems, hope this doesn’t jinx me!
     
  28. JMHAZ

    JMHAZ Tracker

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    I put 35,000 miles on a 2009 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited for a long-term review. I was less than impressed with the engine in that era, but the vehicle had exactly zero warranty issues the entire test. I covered the JL launch in December and was immensely impressed with what the company has done with the new model. I'm eagerly awaiting the turbodiesel, which I believe will transform the Wrangler into a world-class expedition vehicle worthy of being compared with the Land Cruiser Troopy and Defender 110. I wouldn't hesitate to take one on any journey I cared to contemplate.
     
  29. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

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    MartyJ:

    I'm with you on the winch. I've been looking at them and undecided on which one to get. The Smittybilt seems like the best bang for the buck but Warn has a great reputation. I like the fact you can get a wireless remote for the Warn. Then again, I think you can find wireless remotes for just about any winch.

    Back in the 60's I had an 8,000 pound Ramsey PTO winch mounted on a M38 (CJ3a) army jeep. It worked great for getting other folks out of their misfortunes. But back in the summer of '64 I was jeep'n up on the Flat Tops area of Colorado. Being young and stupid I tried to drive through a long muddy bog. I could have just driven around the bog that was in the middle of a meadow but no I had to drive through the bog. About 10 seconds into it I was in mud half way up the grill and all the way over the winch. I sat there for about 3 hours until a convoy of jeeps came by. They all hook themselves together with tow chains and pulled me back out. I learned from my mistakes that you don't play stupid when traveling alone. Even now when I'm with a group I don't play stupid. I'd rather watch others go about seeing what their rigs can do and cant do.

    JMHAZ:

    The salesman at the dealership that I bought my 2015 JKU from confirms your finding about the engine on early JK's. He said that they were problematic and leaked. The said the new engines in 2013 and newer are pretty much bullet proof. What I've read online confirms that. I forget what the call those engines. Peennystar V6 I think.

    'drif
     
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  30. Akela

    Akela Scout

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  31. kelpie13

    kelpie13 Scout

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    I've owned a 2000 TJ (second owner) that I drove from Seattle down through Moab on to Santa Fe and El Paso and back. It was my daily driver for about 3 years and never failed me up on the trails, in the city, or in the snow. Really loved that jeep. Sad that I traded it in for something later but will probably build another. I'm partial to the TJ's as what wears out is serviceable and about as easy to service as a VW Bug (original). Not sold on the new ones yet but thats me.
     
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  32. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Scout

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    Do not buy a 2012 with the 3.6 Pentastar. Head recall
    Mine has it and Ive seen a few others
    Other than that, its a jeep
     
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  33. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

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    The early 13s had the head issue as well, but it was fixed on recall. The problem was corrected on later 13s through 17s.
     
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  34. Ade

    Ade Tracker

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    I’ve had two Jeep Patriots. One was great. One was junk. It’s luck of the draw. I’ve had similar issues with other brands.

    Like my father once told me, “If it has boobs or wheels, it’s gonna give you problems.”
     
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  35. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Idaho/South OR coast
    I have a 2006 Wrangler with 117,000 miles and it has done well by me. Mine is a rag top (which needs to be replaced) but it has only cost me gas, oil, front stabilizer shock, 2 sets of shock absorbers, a turn signal control, and various turn signal light bulbs, and two side mirrors (which were stolen in broad daylight at a Denver gun show). Mine is a 4.0 L, automatic. Runs great!

    Regards,

    ezra
     
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  36. Gylippos

    Gylippos Tracker

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    I have owned three Jeeps, all by 3 different manufacturers.
    1953 Willys CJ3A - which I rebuilt entirely
    1978 AMC CJ7 - which I had absolutely no problems with in 8 years other than the crappy carburetor which I replaced with a Webber
    1987 Chrysler CJ7 bought it used and abused and partly rebuilt it and also replaced the carburetor as above.
    I was lucky with all of them and had no real issues, but remember, those were all true CJ Jeeps that were very simple vehicles.
     
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  37. Sealbilly

    Sealbilly Guide

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    I despise Chrysler products BUT I have a 95 wrangler and it has 205k on it. I put a yoke, pinion, rear main and wheel seal in it. A radiator and starter also. I keep oil, air filter and transmission fluid changed and it runs like a brand new one. I have the 4.0 h.o. version.
     
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  38. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I had a 99 wrangler SE with the 4 cylinder. It ran to 140,000 miles without a major break down exept for my limited slip rear end. Then I gave it to my little brother. It did not burn a drop of oil
     
  39. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

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    Well here is a 2 month report on my 2015 JKU Willys edition. I've been driving it daily and love it. Me and wife did a couple couple of days up around the Cripple Creek mining district and enjoyed every minute of it. Also spent 3 days out in the high plains desert of southeastern Colorado amongst the arroyos and snakes. Mileage has been 19-22.5 MPG. The grandkids love it and like riding it in. I'm really impressed with the way it drives. It feels like the Jeeps of old except with a lot of comfort like cruise control, power steering, power windows, air condition, fantastic sound system and satellite radio etc.

    Now for the only issue. The OEM factory bumper has very generous Kydex portions of curves and corners. Kydex is molded to form holsters, knife sheaths and many other items at 140 degrees F. On a very hot Colorado mid afternoon while parked at a big box lumber and home improvement store (ambient temp at over 100). The front bumper was hit right on the projecting edge and curve by something and put a half cantaloupe dent in it. I suspect it was a heavy laden shopping cart that was hard to steer, run-a-way cart, or someone backing up with lumber drooping out of the back of a pickup, or something of the sort. At those temps it would not have taken very much to dent it.

    Anyway it gave me a good reason to buy an aftermarket bumper upgrade. I chose the Olympic JK Rock bumper along with massive Rugged Ridge clevis mounts and armored 3/4" clevises. I removed the dented OEM bumper last night and will finish the installation this morning.

    Yesterday I saw one of the new Jeep Wrangler pickups. Looks along the lines of the 60's Toyota FJ 45 pickup for you that are old enough to remember those fine trucks.

    'drif
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  40. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I've been buying or leasing Mopar vehicles since 1987. I get rid of them every 2-3 years because I like driving something new.
    I've never had a problem with Dodge or Ram or Chrysler other than minor stuff associated with any new vehicle after you've driven it a few months.

    That said, I am on my third Jeep in a row. A 2016 GC Summit. And before it another GC. And before that one a Renegade (?, CJ style).
    I knew going on I would be due for 2-3 recalls when I went to Jeep and they have not let me down. I'll keep buying them though because I love everything about the Grand Cherokees. Except the recalls. And since my dealer gives free loaners it's not so bad. They'll even send someone to pick it up and drop it off if I ask, but I like the drive out there and make it a point to visit a couple gun shops while they are working on it if it's only going to be a few hours.
     
  41. Timex

    Timex Guide

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    I looked very hard at a lightly used Rubicon-$$$$$. I went with a Tacoma since I needed a truck bed and the TRD is a good enough off-road performer for my needs.
     
  42. Ahnkochee

    Ahnkochee Bushmaster

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    Nothing current but I used to own a early Chrysler made 1989 Jeep YJ Wrangler with the 4.2 (258) straight six AMC engine. It was very reliable and capable. The only problem I had with it was the French Peugeot made 5 speed transmission which was an easy fix of the hydraulic clutch line.. It was super easy to work on doing all mods (lift kits, etc.) myself. The only thing that could make a Chrysler product less desirable happened when Fiat bought out Daimler. I personally would not buy another Jeep product newer than the last TJ Wrangler. Currently I own a 2003 Nissan Frontier 4x4 which continues to serve me well after over 14 years of ownership so no desire to replace her.

    The only other Jeep I'd ever buy...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
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