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Old Jan 24, 2022, 07:16 PM   #1
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Elysian
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Default New to me winter beater/tow rig






It's a 2005, has the 5.7l Hemi V8 and 4x4. Has 146k miles on it, runs flawlessly, drives great. Also traded our Golf 2.5 in on it as well, since we don't need to bring that to Ohio.

It's rated to pull 7200lbs, so more than enough headroom to haul my E30 or Miata to track days. It's been in central Texas its whole life so not a speck of rust on it. This specific configuration is kind of a unicorn in this area, most people are speccing these RWD or with smaller engines. Pretty excited about it. Going to go through it a bit, do some fluid changes and just check it over in general before we drive it the 1500 miles to our new home next month.
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Old Jan 24, 2022, 09:00 PM   #2
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Good job! You'll need it in Ohio. Nice looking for its age must've been well cared for.
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Old Jan 25, 2022, 06:51 AM   #3
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If anyone knows anything about rust proofing undercoating I'd appreciate any info you can give. That will be one of the first things I get done when we get to Ohio. There's no places in Texas that really do that. I've looked around Ohio and found some places, but not sure which to go with.
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Old Jan 30, 2022, 07:29 AM   #4
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Got under there to change the oil, found the previous owner installed a nice oil drain valve, made the oil change real easy.



Also found the front diff was leaking, so removed the cover and resealed it. Really happy with how easy this thing is to work on. Also going to replace the fluid on the rear diff and reseal it as a preventative before driving 1500 miles to Ohio.
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Old Jan 30, 2022, 07:58 PM   #5
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Got the diff finished up today and then installed the head unit. Nice to have wireless Android Auto in the Jeep now.
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Old Feb 2, 2022, 12:21 AM   #6
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Bless your heart for buying a Chrysler product from that era. Although I do have a soft spot for WJ and WK's.

At least you got the 5.7L so you didn't get a POS transmission.
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Old Feb 2, 2022, 06:50 AM   #7
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Bless your heart for buying a Chrysler product from that era. Although I do have a soft spot for WJ and WK's.

At least you got the 5.7L so you didn't get a POS transmission.
I looked at other options from the era, and between GM and Ford the interiors were just junk and tow rating was a lot lower than this. The interior on the WK is head and shoulders above anything from GM, Ford, or even Dodge at the time. Finding 4x4 SUVs in central Texas is also pretty difficult I've found. Most people option them RWD it seems.
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Old Feb 4, 2022, 03:00 PM   #8
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Nice buy Elysian. Hope it serves you as well as my (Much older lol) Cherokee served me
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Old Feb 4, 2022, 04:49 PM   #9
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Drove it around in the winter storm here in Austin yesterday and today, it was a beast. Very comfortable too, will be nice on the drive to Ohio in a couple of weeks.
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Old Feb 5, 2022, 04:06 PM   #10
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If anyone knows anything about rust proofing undercoating I'd appreciate any info you can give. That will be one of the first things I get done when we get to Ohio. There's no places in Texas that really do that. I've looked around Ohio and found some places, but not sure which to go with.
The US made stuff is the best. Corrosion Free (tested by canadian military who keep their stuff til they drop) and Fluid Film Ive read are about tops. I use the corrosion free myself and the 7 year old Rav is pretty much rust free. Tip good idea to keep your truck outside in the winter as the freeze and melt cycling in a heated garage will soak the underside with salty water regularly.
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Old Feb 6, 2022, 01:44 PM   #11
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I looked at other options from the era, and between GM and Ford the interiors were just junk and tow rating was a lot lower than this. The interior on the WK is head and shoulders above anything from GM, Ford, or even Dodge at the time. Finding 4x4 SUVs in central Texas is also pretty difficult I've found. Most people option them RWD it seems.
Yeah the Explorer tow rating is sad for that time period, and the transmission is worse than a 4L60.

Honestly from that time period the only SUVs still worth a damn is an 03+ Tahoe/Yukon if it was kept in decent condition and didn't spend it's entire life sitting out in the Texas sun, or a 06+ Expedition/Navigator, but it's damn near impossible to find one that hasn't been trashed by now.

The Durango of that vintage is more or less the same. Although I think the center stack, and the shape of the seats are nicer in the WK, and the WK is just more physically appealing.

You should have fun with it, though. With proper maintenance those HEMIs are good for like 300K+.
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Old Feb 6, 2022, 04:07 PM   #12
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Yeah the Explorer tow rating is sad for that time period, and the transmission is worse than a 4L60.

Honestly from that time period the only SUVs still worth a damn is an 03+ Tahoe/Yukon if it was kept in decent condition and didn't spend it's entire life sitting out in the Texas sun, or a 06+ Expedition/Navigator, but it's damn near impossible to find one that hasn't been trashed by now.

The Durango of that vintage is more or less the same. Although I think the center stack, and the shape of the seats are nicer in the WK, and the WK is just more physically appealing.

You should have fun with it, though. With proper maintenance those HEMIs are good for like 300K+.
Yeah I looked at the Durango, but in that era it's a full size, was more looking for a capable mid size, like Explorers, Trailblazers, or the Grand Cherokee. I'm really not into super large vehicles anymore.

Anyways, did some good work on the Jeep today. Replaced the old backup camera with a new one, replaced the grungy steering wheel (which had a cheap leather wrap put over the original leather) with a stock vinyl wheel, replaced one of the 12v outlets with a dual USB (one for data to the stereo and one for power only), fixed the steering wheel buttons not working on the stereo, added the OBD2 data to the stereo for the gauge screen, and cleaned the heck out of the interior.






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Old Feb 7, 2022, 01:07 PM   #13
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Love the new camera.
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Old Feb 7, 2022, 01:34 PM   #14
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Camera and that head unit
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Old Feb 7, 2022, 01:41 PM   #15
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Preview of what you might be in for. The bump on the left is my wife’s car lol.

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Old Feb 7, 2022, 07:40 PM   #16
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Changed the spark plugs today, here's one bank:



And the other:



They were pretty nasty, definitely gained back some power after the swap.

Previous owner cheaped out with these copper plugs... I put NGK Iridium IX's in. $170 spark plug change but well worth it. So weird that Hemis have 2 spark plugs per cylinder.
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Old Feb 7, 2022, 10:53 PM   #17
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Previous owner cheaped out with these copper plugs... I put NGK Iridium IX's in. $170 spark plug change but well worth it. So weird that Hemis have 2 spark plugs per cylinder.
It's for emissions.
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Old Feb 8, 2022, 03:56 PM   #18
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Preview of what you might be in for. The bump on the left is my wife’s car lol.

holy shyt
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Old Feb 8, 2022, 07:13 PM   #19
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Picked this up from a local, will be pretty helpful on our drive to Ohio in a couple weeks.



Could use some paint but I'll do that in the spring.
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Old Feb 9, 2022, 11:17 AM   #20
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Preview of what you might be in for. The bump on the left is my wife’s car lol.

Is that Canadian summer?


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Old Feb 9, 2022, 04:39 PM   #21
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Gotta say, I already really love this Jeep. I've driven other Jeeps before, TJ's, but this is just such a nice driving vehicle, love the power, and the AWD works great. Fuel economy could be better, but I'm glad I bought this to be my 2nd vehicle to the Miata. Hopefully it's reliable for me, I'm putting the work in now hoping it pays off in the future.
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Old Feb 10, 2022, 05:02 PM   #22
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Got my phone mount installed. Decided to get a 15w wireless charging phone mount for my OnePlus 9 Pro, since the head unit is wireless Android Auto.
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Old Feb 10, 2022, 06:26 PM   #23
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And one more piece of the moving puzzle, picked up a Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite.
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Old Feb 11, 2022, 12:57 PM   #24
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Got the Travall dividers installed, and the dogs fit back there great, and even love being back there.
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Old Feb 12, 2022, 10:24 AM   #25
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Refilled the rear diff oil and went for a drive again, much improved, there's still a slight whine around 60-65 but it's much quieter than it was before.
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Old Mar 20, 2022, 06:38 PM   #26
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Finally towed with the Jeep today, it wasn't bad. Could use some sort of load leveling in the rear, but otherwise it towed this like nothing was there.

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Old Apr 13, 2022, 08:13 PM   #27
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Bought a car hauler today.
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