Honestly. How reliable are the Chrysler corp Jeeps?

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

  1. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    679
    Location:
    Colorado
    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
     
    JasonJ, Roamer, Paul Foreman and 4 others like this.
  2. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    10,003
    Likes Received:
    29,543
    Location:
    Kansas
    I can't speak to the Jeeps but I will never own another Chrysler product.
     
  3. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    1,142
    Ya. Right there with ya.
     
    Desert Drifter and Crusher0032 like this.
  4. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    9,246
    Location:
    WI
    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. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    6,237
    Likes Received:
    13,619
    Location:
    Maine
    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.
     
    Desert Drifter likes this.
  6. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    4,596
    Likes Received:
    20,885
    Location:
    British Columbia
    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
     
    Desert Drifter and Winterhorse like this.
  7. Riverwalker

    Riverwalker Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    BC Canada
    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.
     
    WILL, Desert Drifter and Winterhorse like this.
  8. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,659
    Likes Received:
    1,703
    Location:
    Minnesota & Idaho
    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.
     
    WILL, Desert Drifter and Winterhorse like this.
  9. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    7,881
    Likes Received:
    8,117
    Location:
    Relocated to Salt Lake City from Nevada
    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
     
    Lichen, WILL, Desert Drifter and 2 others like this.
  10. that_guy

    that_guy Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    231
    After the apocalypse there will only be cockroaches and XJs.
     
    JasonJ, 66drifter, Broke and 2 others like this.
  11. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    3,396
    Location:
    Eastern Massachusetts
    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.
     
    WILL, Desert Drifter and Winterhorse like this.
  12. Ullr-North

    Ullr-North Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    848
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    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

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    4,065
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    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.
     
    Kreger, WILL and Desert Drifter like this.
  14. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    679
    Location:
    Colorado
    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
     
    WILL, Smokey Radley and J. Pierce like this.
  15. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    4,377
    Location:
    confluence of Mississippi and Rum Rivers
    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.....
     
    Desert Drifter likes this.
  16. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,956
    Likes Received:
    4,641
    Location:
    Western NY
    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.
     
    wrath0r and Desert Drifter like this.
  17. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Athletic Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,067
    Likes Received:
    6,891
    Location:
    Wisconsin, the north end
    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

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    8,000
    Likes Received:
    31,810
    Location:
    Arkansas
    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. :)
     
    Winterhorse, WILL and Desert Drifter like this.
  19. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    679
    Location:
    Colorado
    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 at 8:36 PM
    Winterhorse, Kreger, XMP and 3 others like this.
  20. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    4,065
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    Congrats and good luck. You think Bushcraft gear is bad, wait until you delve into the rabbit hole that is Jeep customization.
     
    WILL likes this.
  21. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,659
    Likes Received:
    1,703
    Location:
    Minnesota & Idaho
    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.
     
  22. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    679
    Location:
    Colorado
    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
     
    dub, XMP and Kreger like this.
  23. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    2,463
    Location:
    between Ft Worth & the RED RIVER
    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
     
    XMP and Desert Drifter like this.
  24. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    679
    Location:
    Colorado
    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

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    4,271
    Likes Received:
    12,239
    Location:
    Trinity, TX
    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
     
    Desert Drifter, XMP and JasonJ like this.
  26. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,259
    Likes Received:
    2,865
    Location:
    Bay City, MI
    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.
     
    Desert Drifter likes this.
  27. MartyJ

    MartyJ Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2014
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    2,063
    Location:
    California
    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!
     
    Desert Drifter likes this.

Share This Page