2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Overland 4WD 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
I purchased this Grand Cherokee Overland, new, in 2004. This is the third Grand Cherokee (WJ) and my first Overland. First of all, after spending the first 12 years in the USA, I exported my Jeep to Costa Rica. I converted the instrument cluster to metric per import requirements which is why the title wording. The Jeep had 262,000 miles at export and has had it's typical share of maintenance and repair items. Mileage is now over 300,000 with the original engine and transmission.
The Jeep does have some modifications. Some for performance, some for mileage and some just for looks. I added a suspension lift to clear larger tires. Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland’s have a different axle gear ratio. This is for performance but fuel mileage suffers on the highway. By adding 31” tall tires I gained 1-2 MPH just by slowing the engine RPM’s Of course I needed to adjust the speedometer with a “tuner”, but also changed the fuel required to regular gas and better performance for highway driving. Mileage, on the interstate with moderate hills and mountains always averages 22-23 MPG. This is staying at the speed limit and easy acceleration. The addition of a cold air intake bumps the mileage up another notch too.
I have always used Mobile 1 synthetic oil and a premium oil filter. Change intervals are 10,000 miles. Every three years I flush ALL fluids…brake, transmission, cooling, transfer case and differentials.
Not all is perfect. I needed to rebuild my front differential due to excessive bearing wear. I replaced the front hubs and drive shafts at the same time since they were already out of the Jeep. Brakes are indeed a weak point on these Jeeps. The factory brakes didn’t seem to last long before warping became an issue. I replaced them with PowerStop brand and they lasted about 100k miles. I have accomplished this procedure three times now with the same predicted mileage…100k per set. The interior leather is not of the highest quality and the center arm rest needs to be recovered in synthetic leather.
All in all, the Jeep performs very well, even in the tough third world environment. Like a contributor before stated…”take care of the Jeep and it’ll take care of you” Sound words of advice.
2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Overland 4WD 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
When I purchased my 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee it had low miles, Today I have hit 275,000 miles on it. All I can say is nothing but good things. I routinely have done the required maintenance on it, and up until last year 2017 I had to replace the belt, radiator, water pump, plugs. This things went well beyond their life expectancy. If I can get another 280k miles without having to replace anything on it would be golden. I use this SUV for work I use my Jeep as a daily driver and for work. It's never left me stranded and I still can't believe how good of car it's been for me and my family. Everything on my Jeep is still original stock as from the dealer, the paint is beginning to flake off besides that I love this car. The power it still has is amazing I can perform or out perform any new car or SUV climbing steep uphills or riding in the snow.
2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Laredo 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 4A)
It should be obvious, but let's be clear upfront: this is not a good economical commuting vehicle or "basic" transportation. Even if you need the ground clearance for snow/sand, the ability to occasionally tow moderate loads, and other AWD SUV type capabilities, there are better options. Solid axles (of which there are 2 under this truck) can never match the ride and handling of independent suspension. And, finally, if you have no need for, or comprehension of, a manually-shifted transfer case—let alone one with 4LO—then just walk away now. This is the wrong vehicle for you. However, if you're looking for an eminently capable off-roader, even just mild National Forest road exploring, then this is a very good start. The bomb-proof straight 6 (AKA I6 <-- that's the letter "i") is generally an OK choice if you can't see any hills from where you're standing, otherwise you may as well get the V8 which is far better suited to the Grand Cherokees girth and makes essentially the same MPGs. I opted for the HO version of the V8 as it is matched to the beefier 545FE slushbox and (theoretically) stouter Dana 44a (AKA 44HD) rear diff which should buy me slightly more long term durability when being driven by more horses and getting beat on off road, mechanically-speaking. Or at least it should buy me some additional peace of mind. (Though the aluminum third member isn't particularly well-known for it's physical durability against impacts, that can be addressed with bolt-on solutions, i.e., armor) Coming from a (well-loved, if well-used) lifted 1993 Cherokee (XJ), the road trip worthiness and comfort is night and day between the two. It's no Lexus but the rounded corners and soft body lines go a long way towards quieting wind noise, while also helping economy creep up towards, and occasionally peeking into, the 20s. But when you're used to crawling (sometimes literally) over the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, being able to blast up the highway passes at the actual speed limit is very near a life-altering experience. And doing so for no (extra) penalty at the pump is certainly nice. (That said, I have typically opted for premium octane fuel in the HO for road-tripping the particularly mountainous sections of I-70 since it can legitimately bump engine output 10%...) Interior creature comforts are perfectly acceptable for this age and class of Jeep. My Columbia Edition WJ ups the ante in a couple places, notably the dual 6-way power seats and a tilt/slide sunroof. In fact, I feel like this particular trim has 90% of the best features of the Limited with virtually none of the cons. Especially the cursed auto climate control (which has known issues), instead offering just the basic manual heating and cooling controls. It would be nice to have the Vari-Lok LSD included with the QuadrDrive system though that would mean still compromising with the same transfer case, mine being the even less desirable QuadraTrac II. I only saw a single (non-HO) V8 with the more preferable SelecTrac TC in all my looking and, sadly, that seller never responded to inquiries. That said, performance of the Vari-Lok diffs is entirely dependent on consistently good prior maintenance by previous owners, which you can rarely count on. And you'd also be stuck with far less aftermarket support, something I already accepted with the D44a. The upside is a transfer case swap to a SelecTrac unit, while non-trivial, is a not unreasonable prospect and a something already on the medium term to-do list. So, ya, as an all-around road-trip, weekend warrior wheeler, and occasional tow rig, a V8 GC is a good option for your money.