2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee "WJ" (Laredo RWD 4.0 I-6)
I bought this thing used back in 2001.

  • I've gone through five door latches. Four under warranty, fifth one on my own dime (Mopar part #55135620AC, list $71.50). Details on replacing the left rear door latch here.
  • 2003-2004 Year Model WJ front caliper upgrade. Because rotor warpage is so common on '99-'02 model Grand Cherokees, Chrysler actually offers a $150 "kit" that includes both left and right 2003/2004-style front calipers and new Mopar pads for each (the entire kit is Mopar part #5093174AA, list $150.00).
  • A friend accidentally drove the Jeep from New Braunfels to Austin with the emergency brake fully engaged the entire time. Mopar part #5011988AB, set of four emergency brake shoes = $126.00. Photos of the repair job: removing stuck / rusted rotors, replacing emergency brake shoes, etc.
  • Wagner front rotors ($50 a piece from O'Reilly Auto Parts, figured in tandem with the new calipers would slow rotor warpage). I didn't bother with the rear rotors, but Wagner does manufacture replacements.

  • 2004 Year Model front headlight assemblies to replace my extremely scratched/hazy factory units. I purchased both used from EBay (total cost was about $100 after shipping for both). These "new" headlight assemblies have an updated look over the 1999-2001 Laredo units, with a clear parking light lense and orange bulbs instead of standard bulbs and an orange cover.
  • Emergency brake cable snapped and I broke the coil spring in the handle assembly trying to fix it - so ended up buying a brand new e-brake handle assembly and front cable... requires pulling out passenger seats and lifting the carpet up to get access to the area where the front brake cable secures to the two rear cables.
  • I bought a Chrysler alarm system (after my stereo was swiped) thinking it would tie in directly with the interior lights, horn, etc. Instead, it receives its "arm" signal from the interior dome lights and the electronic door locks like any standard car alarm. The Chrysler after-market alarm also doesn't have a separate relay to sound the horn AND flash the lights on a Jeep - it requires a little rigging to get both horn and flashing lights (the 12V "siren" they give you flat out stinks - you really need the horn wired in, too). Required removal of door panels, driver's side kneeboard, instrument cluster, miscellaneous switches and wire from Radio Shack, and lots of patience :)
  • New hood support struts. After two or three years, these things seem to give up the ghost (and the hood will start smacking you in the head). Replaced yet again in January 2008.
  • Michelin Cross-Terrain SUV fake off-road tires :) (I've noticed a tremendous improvement over the stock Goodyear tires in the rain - vehicle doesn't slide as easily anymore).
  • Water pump started leaking at about 59,000 miles, badly enough that it would consume most of the coolant reservoir tank in a single trip. I also put UV dye in the coolant just to be sure that it was indeed the water pump. Replaced with a rebuilt water pump from O'Reilly ($55 after core). The replacement water pump is an earlier revision from an earlier 'release' of the 4.0L engine, but it works (the impeller assembly looks slightly different). It was actually pretty easy to change the water pump out on this thing (took three evenings, being extremely careful, glopping RTV everywhere, etc.).

  • Installed Mopar trailer hitch and new bumper cover. Had some creases on the original bumper cover, so I decided to just buy a new one instead of using the Mopar bezel-only kit. Rear fascia (bumper cover) brownstone / Laredo is Mopar part TK66VF7AB (list $319, dlr $239). Trailer wiring harness is Mopar part 82206958 (list $129, dlr $96). Receiver kit is Mopar part 82206837 (list $185, dlr $138). My particular WJ required two 7/16" holes drilled in the gas tank scuff guard to accomodate cross braces included with the hitch kit, but other than that, the installation was very straightforward. In my opinion, the factory-installed look beats the heck out of the aftermarket stuff that droops below the bumper cover.
  • Using a Reese 2" drop quick-loading ball mount with 1-7/8" ball to tow my Harbor Freight 4x8 folding trailer.
  • I had the left rear axle seal replaced by a Jeep shop here in Austin (didn't have the tools to pull the wheel hub off and do this, so I broke down and paid somebody :) Was leaking all over the dust cover, rotor and the pads, so this one was kinda important.
  • Transmission flush at around 75,000 miles - 42RE transmission would CLUNK when going into reverse, only after a cold start. Had the folks down at Champion Jeep do a transmission flush and replace with Mopar ATF+4 fluid for $165, and the problem went away!
  • Transmission Fluid: Mopar ATF+4
    Brake fluid: Castrol GT LMA DOT 4
    Oil Filter: Mobil 1 M1-204
    Oil: Castrol GTX 10W30 (6 qts. w/ filter replacement)
    Coolant: Prestone "Extended Life" (entire system is 13 quarts 50/50 mix)
    Air Filter: WIX P/N: 46213 (available at O'Reilly)
    Tires: Michelin Cross-Terrain SUV P225/70R-16

If you're working on your WJ and have questions about doing any of this stuff to your Jeep, send an e-mail.

There's also a great reference for all things WJ-related at: http://www.wjjeeps.com/.

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Misc. pictures from the IBM Austin parking lot, January 2008, along with a photo of the WJ with my 2008 E92 outside the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina: