Grand Cherokee 4.0 LTD

Here are some pictures of our 2000 WJ Grand Cherokee 4.0 Ltd. Although ours is now 11 years old, these are generally a reliable, comfortable & reasonably priced towing vehicle with the bullet-proof 4.0 straight six. I have heard of the WJ referred to as the ‘Wobbly Jeep’. This is due no doubt, to the odd handling characteristics when they have covered higher mileages & particularly when towing. The cause is usually softened/degrading suspension arm bushes causing rear steer and/or the rear ‘A’ frame to diff casing ball joint/bushes. The rear anti-roll bar is of very small diameter compared to the front being the possible cause of under-steer. We will be replacing the suspension bushes with Poly bushes to stiffen ours up although these replacements are hard to source compared with other Jeep models.There is also a company producing larger diameter rear anti-roll bars. We are considering a double anti-roll bar set-up using clamps.  

We have now carried out the poly bush job to the rear end of the Grand Cherokee. The original rubber bushes were not split or appear degraded in any way. The vehicle had recently passed an MOT test with no problems or advisories. We sourced a set of Superpro rear trailing arm & anti-roll bar poly bushes manufactured by Fulcrum Suspension systems of Australia. We stock American manufactured poly bushes by Energy Suspension & Daystar but they do not manufacture replacements for the Grand Cherokee WJ. I opted for the bush only replacements using the original shells. They are also available with new shells. Once the original rubber has been removed the shells were cleaned using wire decoke type bushes & a compressed air dye grinder. They were then rust treated & painted prior to the new SuperPro poly bushes being inserted & trailing arms refitted. Now the norm with poly bushes & their downside is they usually increase road noise significantly especially if graded for track use (as are the SuperPro). We have fitted poly bushes in many vehicles & this is often the feedback we get from our Customer’s. My Brother replaced all front end bushes with poly bushes in his early ZJ which he has owned from nearly new. He says although the feel of the vehicle was significantly tighter & directional stability improved the road noise was greatly increased. Fulcrum Suspension claim this is not the case with their bushes. Well I can honestly say their claim is justified. Our Grand Cherokee has been transformed. It is just as quiet as with the original bushes but now it goes round corners without the drama & has lost all its wallowy rear steer charactoristics when towing. My Brother plans on changing all his bushes on his ZJ to SuperPro. The front end will be done as soon as time allows as I now have them in stock. I was so impressed I invested some money & we are now Official Stockists of SuperPro bushes.

We are now an authorised stockist for SuperPro Bushes.  These bushes are made of a high quality polyurethane by Fulcrum Suspension Systems of Australia.  Below are the ones fitted to our Grand Cherokee.

We seemed to have found the answer to the handling problems using the SuperPro bushes to such an acceptable level for a SUV that we have now postponed the double rear anti-sway bar project for the forseeable future as we do not believe there is a market for it. It should be noted that we also learned that upgrading the rear anti-sway bar using the original soft bushes made the problem worse. This was also said by several of our Customers.

Brake Problems

The Grand Cherokee WJ suffered brake binding problems on the front end. There was a Technical Service Bullitin (TSB) issued to Dealers but no vehicle re-cal was issued. This effected vehicles manufactured years 99-2002. These vehicles were fitted with ATE front brake callipers, identifable by their open-sided design & black in colour. They were equipped with hydraulic pistons made with a composite material (not the hard-ground chrome on steel as we would normally find in most vehicles). This problem can often arise following the fitment of new brake pads requiring the composite pistons to be pushed back to their fully home position. This is a problem we have experienced here at 4Play Jeep. The composite material eventually absorbs brake fluid causing swelling of the composite (this information was received from a brake manufacturer although the TSB just referred to ‘poor calliper centreing’). The TSB referred to brake judder & vibration caused by warping of the brake discs due to to over-heating. A modified kit was available using callipers manufactured by Akebono identifiable by their closed design & silver colour. The kit included new brake pads. The pads are not interchangable between the two types of calliper. New brake discs should be fitted at the same time. These modified components were factory fitted to vehicles post 2002.

EBC Brake pads (ATE & Akebono types, both OEM & Greenstuff series 6000), OEM brake discs & upgraded grooved/dimpled discs are available from stock for the Grand Cherokee WJ.

Heater system problem

The Grand Cherokee WJ suffered a well-documented design flaw of the heater system causing the heater to blow cold regardless of the desired setting. Originally the remedial work was a daunting task but now there are components manufactured to correct the fault & rid the vehicle of the design flaw without the need to remove the dashboard. We have the quality component kits in stock (there are a few Companies manufacturing these parts, some better than others). For further information click on ‘heater/air conditioning’ in the components catagories & click ‘heater blend doors’ . Telephone us if more info or an explanation of what is involved to carry out the work is required.

The first picture above shows the original broken composite heater blend doors, the second, a dual-zone modification kit maufactured with aluminium doors & shaft with steel pins & thirdly a single-zone kit also with aluminium doors & shaft with steel pins.