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Old 03-29-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
Bradenton , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
To Replace or Not to Replace

I am in need of your experienced input on this question as soon as possible. I have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, which I have used to tow my '65 Land Yacht Safari 22' AS over 110,000 miles, cross-country, a couple of times. (Trailer is 4200 lbs. loaded, and we use a load leveling hitch.)
After a complete service and inspection last year, we set out towing, and, before reaching our destination, the engine overheated, the radiator exploded and had to be replaced. A month later, the water pump had to be replaced.
Yesterday, I had the rear wheel bearings, rear seals, brake rotors and break pads, as well as warped front brake rotors, all replaced , in anticipation of towing again soon.

The Jeep has 134,000 miles on it currently. It has the straight 6 engine. Would you continue to tow with this vehicle? Or would you buy a new one? If so, what would you recommend buying? The wife is nervous about towing with this current vehicle. Thanks so much!

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Old 03-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #2
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2005 19' Safari
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,453
We were at the same decision point with our old 1978 Chevy pickup, several years ago. Seems like something broke every time we took it on a road trip. Unfortunately, we waited too long, thinking the part failures had to stop since we had changed out so much stuff. When we finally gave the old Chevy to a nephew, he got a nice old pickup that was in really good shape. However, we had replaced about everything that could possibly go wrong; and we probably should have kept it another 4-5 years.

From the problems you describe (i.e., radiator, water pump, brake rotors and pads), you are already headed into a downward spiral of repairs; and only you can decide if you love this vehicle enough to continue pouring time and money into it. Your mileage and the parts you've replaced indicate that there are probably more repairs coming in the near future.

These are the things that we replaced, over and above the items you listed in your post:

* Engine and transmission (both rebuilt)
* Drive shaft (center) carrier bearing and U-joints
* Fuel pump
* Starter and solenoid
* Shock absorbers
* Battery

Our old pickup was considerably older than your 2004, so the following additional parts/repairs probably don't apply to your vehicle:

* Air conditioner compressor, filter/dryer, blower motor and miscellaneous parts
* Wheels and tires (couldn't get 16.5-inch tires any more, so had to switch to 16-inch wheels)
* Fuel tank (filler neck broke, so had a custom, 50-gallon bed tank made)
* Running board on one side had to be repaired (mounting hardware rusted through)
* Window crank mechanisms wore out and had to be replaced

We waited several years for the "new" Tundras to come out (in 2007) with 10,000 pound towing capacity (previously around 8,500?), because we also tow a large boat. If that hadn't been the case, we would have replace the old Chevy years before starting down this slippery slope of continuing repairs.

Just my opinion: I'd keep your Jeep until just BEFORE the next $1,000 repair, then trade it in on a newer TV. However, that's the trick; knowing when to trade BEFORE the next thing breaks; because your TV be harder to sell or trade when it's broken, and you'll probably have to fix it or take a bit hit in resale value.

Down, down, down...

Good luck in your decision.

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Old 03-29-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,319
When to trade vehicles is always a person decision based on lots of things. I recently traded an '08 GMC Duramax Diesel with 112,000 miles, which many will say was stupid. The thing is, the Diesel engine is good for lots more miles, but what about all the rest of the truck??? It's just like any other GMC truck.

Then you wonder, should I keep driving this thing until it's worth nothing, push it off into the ditch and leave it when it quits, or should I trade it now when it still has some trade-in value.

Each person has to make their own decision. Good luck, and welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:58 PM   #4
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
Having had 4 Grand Cherokee's, two with the same 6 you have and two with V8's (and now a 5th 2012 with the hemi V8, I would say it is time to trade it off. My experience with the other 4, each driven to about 130,000 miles, each having been towed with quite a lot, is that although anything is repairable there just gets to be a point when you are tossing good money into a tired vehicle. It is like whack a mole, hit one problem and another comes up. I love my GC's but after 130K or so, they just need stuff, and more stuff, and still more stuff.
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