The Jeep Made it to 150k Miles - Storytime

Nick1994

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Well, it finally made it to 150k miles. It's last odometer milestone for a long time as it doesn't get out much, maybe 2k-2.5k miles a year, so it'll be about 20 more years until I hit 200k. It's lived a hard life of off-roading on rough dirt roads and it hasn't been easy getting here. When it isn't out in the desert it spends its life garaged, hopefully that along with good maintenance will allow me to keep it forever. It lived its first 11 years and 100k miles as a State of Arizona Department of Transportation vehicle in Kingman, AZ. If you look just right, you can still see on the doors where the decals said "For Official Use Only - State of Arizona". It has 4 screws on the roof where you can see where it had a small siren. This Jeep is a complete stripper model. It's only options were the 4.0L motor, automatic, 4x4, and a locking rear-differential. No arm rests, it didn't even have rear-speakers originally (but has the holes?). I even had to finish the wiring to the hatch for rear speakers. My grandfather purchased it at a state auction in April 2007 at 100k miles. In all of his years, he says it was his favorite car of all time, and owning a collision-repair shop his entire life, he owned a lot of cars/trucks. He has a gold mine in Western-Arizona that we took it out to for years, I learned to drive in it out on those roads. It's something I will keep forever. The good: -The engine. The 4.0L really is a great engine. The power is just right, not too fast, not too slow. Plenty of torque. Has been fairly reliable, I'm sure it'll go for a long time. -Transmission. It shifts like butter (Aisin transmission). -4x4 capability. I have taken this Jeep to its absolute limits at its current form (not lifted). It can really go! Haven't been stuck yet. The problems: -Being 24 years old, a lot of parts have aged/worn out. I guess some of them I can't complain, but sometimes it's just one after another, it certainly is no Camry. -It runs warm in the summer in traffic and out on the trails. I've literally replaced everything. But it's not so hot that the engine is going to be damaged. Oh well. -I'm fairly tall, I've extended the seat frame and installed Grand a Cherokee seats to make it more comfortable. Still fairly small/cramped. What it's had done over the years: -Entire cooling system has been replaced. Some parts several times. -Timing chain was stretched and caused a CEL for a misfire, but ran fine. After replacement all was well. -Crank position sensor & neutral safety switch failed a couple times -Distributor was worn, caused the rotor to wear out the cam-position sensor. -A/C compressor clutch failed a couple years ago. Then the replacement did too last summer. So far so good on #3. -Rear-end had bad bearings for the outer shafts, ruined a shaft. I swapped in a used axle and had those bearings replaced before they could fail -Have had both driveshafts balanced and new U-Joints installed -Replaced motor mounts and transmission mounts with new OEM -Front differential bearings went bad, had replaced -Power steering pump was getting tired. Had to get an OEM reman because the 2 Cardones I tried were trash. -Catalytic converter internals broke into pieces. Might have been from hitting big rocks, not sure. -Starter was getting slow and tired. Replaced -Alternator died after it went swimming in a mud-puddle-pit -All suspension/steering has been gone through and replaced -Replaced oxygen sensors for preventative maintenance -Replaced front wheel bearings for preventative maintenance Here's to many more years to come! Cheers2 [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
 
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Congrats! Yeah, it took a long time to hit 150K miles. That's a lot of parts replaced but, it sounds, I'm assuming, that when the Jeep was driven, it was used hard? That's very cool! Did you say that you are keeping her forever?
 
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Love it. My Grand Cherokee has 205,000 miles now and still runs great. I do need to fix the driver seat frame though.
 
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I'm convinced the 4.0's will live forever. Very cool! Around here most are cut up and lifted on big tires, Nice to see a very clean looking one!
 
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My work had a fleet of (4) 1999 XJs. One overheated and blew up. Like yours, there was no temp gauge, just an idiot light to tell you when it was done. I bought the last one by sealed bid, freed up the alternator that froze from sitting, and changed the radiator. Old one was full of brown, muddy coolant. Guess we didn't maintain the cooling systems that well! I wound up selling it shortly to a guy up the hill from me shortly thereafter. Remember the AC blew ice cubes, better than any car anywhere. Still saw it ~5 years later.
 
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Great looking Jeep! I've got news, though. A 24 year old Camry will have all kinds of things needing replaced, too. I've seen 4.0's with 500k on them, so I liken it to a tractor engine. My 12.5 year old JK has 140, so it is creeping up on you! The 3.8 has nowhere near the rep of the 4.0 but mine has been good. It uses oil, but runs like new. It has had spark plugs changed every 40k or so, serpentine belt, and upper oil pan gasket. That's it. I keep waiting for the water pump to show signs of leakage, but it is still dry as a bone and the engine is smooth and quiet. I almost forgot, I changed the alternator. The new one was bad and blew the computer. I put in another new alternator and computer and all is good. Outside of that, it has been just ball joints, evap canister, and a new transmission. The original manual NSG370 transmission didn't actually fail. It was making a rattling noise and popping out of 3rd gear once every few months. It was under lifetime warranty, so my dealership chose to replace it with a factory reman. That was at 116k. I've done two brake jobs, as well, and dissassembled, cleaned, and regreased the sway bar disconnect. I also added a new Pioneer head unit with Android Auto. The old one was fine, but outdated. That's about it. It is fun keeping these things so long. One thing you don't have to worry about in Arizona is rust. I've fought hard to keep the JK rust free and it looks great. I've used lots of Rustoleum Rust Reformer more as a preventative than reactive solution. More recently, I've added Fluid Film to the mix. The rock rails are being replaced and the gas tank skid plate has a few more years, but rust is gaining the upper hand there. The frame and suspension parts still look like new. Keep us posted on that machine! It is a true classic and yours looks GREAT!
 
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Nice XJ. SelecTrac or CommandTrac? My $'s on CommandTrac. You didn't mention trannie fluid. The central drain plug in the transmission's pan has exactly one gallon of fluid behind it so changing couldn't be easier. The required fluid is good ol' DexMerc, the cheapest ATF in the store *. The transfer case takes the same stuff *. Wouldn't it be cool if one night the little Arizona work elves added real gauges to your cluster. * = Unless something really good has superseded it. I changed the differentials' fluid at 150. The front was "still good". The rear had a lot of grit in it.
 

wdn

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That is a huge amount of repairs just to get to 150,000 miles. Especially in a climate with no snow and no salt.
 
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Originally Posted by wdn
That is a huge amount of repairs just to get to 150,000 miles. Especially in a climate with no snow and no salt.
Yawn.
 
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Congrats! I love XJs! The 1999 TJ I bought in 2002 has 118k miles on it. It probably won't hit 150k for another 5 years at least. [Linked Image]
 
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I find it unusual that yours needed a timing chain. I have never seen a 4.0 that needed it replaced. I absolutly love that part of Arizona. That's why we had our wedding in Oatman. We went to parker and the desert bar last weekend. I like the fact that I can ride my ATV to the trails without getting in trouble. As well as other freedoms I just do not have here. I'm seriously thinking of moving there. Seems like the job market is lacking though. At least from what I saw.
 
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Originally Posted by wdn
That is a huge amount of repairs just to get to 150,000 miles. Especially in a climate with no snow and no salt.
I'm guessing it has something to do with the fleet "maintenance". While some fleets are well maintained, departments with lower budgets are not as good with that stuff. My previous Jeep was a fleet owned vehicle for the beginning of it's life, and the engine and cooling system at 80k miles were not very clean at all. Maintenance was definitely done "when they remembered". Some are driven easily, others are driven like rental vehicles. I agree they are on the cramped side. My dad's first Jeep was an '87 Cherokee Limited. He is 6'3, and had the seat all the way back and leaned back a little just to fit. The back seats were definitely made for kids. I still miss my XJ, yours is in awesome condition, they are becoming hard to find!
 

Nick1994

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Originally Posted by IndyFan
Btw, that rear locker....Is it a manual locking differential? If so, that's GREAT! You've got a unicorn right there!
It was more of a limited slip. But since I had to replace the rear axle, it went away. Not sure if the clutches worked much anymore. I'll probably replace the rear-end again one day with an 8.25 and some sort of locker.
Originally Posted by Kira
Nice XJ. SelecTrac or CommandTrac? My $'s on CommandTrac. You didn't mention trannie fluid. The central drain plug in the transmission's pan has exactly one gallon of fluid behind it so changing couldn't be easier. The required fluid is good ol' DexMerc, the cheapest ATF in the store *. The transfer case takes the same stuff *. Wouldn't it be cool if one night the little Arizona work elves added real gauges to your cluster. * = Unless something really good has superseded it. I changed the differentials' fluid at 150. The front was "still good". The rear had a lot of grit in it.
Yes it's CommandTrac, very manual! I've done some drain and fills with MaxLife ATF on the transmission and transfer case. However, 2 months ago I hit hard off-road and the front axle bottomed out and smashed the transmission cooler lines. New lines and 7? quarts of fluid and it's up and running again.
Originally Posted by MCompact
Congrats! I love XJs! The 1999 TJ I bought in 2002 has 118k miles on it. It probably won't hit 150k for another 5 years at least. [Linked Image]
That's a great looking Jeep. Are there good trails in Kentucky?
Originally Posted by Chris142
I find it unusual that yours needed a timing chain. I have never seen a 4.0 that needed it replaced. I absolutly love that part of Arizona. That's why we had our wedding in Oatman. We went to parker and the desert bar last weekend. I like the fact that I can ride my ATV to the trails without getting in trouble. As well as other freedoms I just do not have here. I'm seriously thinking of moving there. Seems like the job market is lacking though. At least from what I saw.
I wonder if it was idled a lot. Engine looks spotless through the filler cap. I love Arizona, there are still so many places I want to take the Jeep, it will take years and years to get to the places I want to go. Broken Arrow is next. I've done it before in other vehicles.
 
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