I never realized they had those kinds of problems. I'm only familiar with the 4.0L engine, the architecture of which was developed in the 60's by AMC, of which I am also a fan. We considered the Liberty when we bought our Grand, but went with the Grand because it had the NP242 t-case and 4.0L inline 6. I would gladly own another 4.0L powered Jeep, we've had two and had great service out of both the entire time we had them, except an intermittent misfire on the one in the Grand.
We have an '05 Liberty. Besides the engines problems I described, I also get an intermittent stalling issue, hammer gas a few times and goes away for maybe 6 months, I dunno. At 70K I replaced all 4 shocks, ok, I can live with that, but also all 4 coil springs cause they wore worn out and saggin, oil pressure sending unit, plugs, front lower control arm strut bushings, rear lower control arms, a window regulator in 1 door..... on the 3rd one, the rear door upper glass sometimes won't open due to safety switch working when it wants, radio locked up had to be replaced, seat get big white stains if you look at them wrong, even just water leaves stains, cannot use home carpet cleaner, they will look worse. I could go on, I put the fit/finish quality of the Libertys right there with the '85 Escort my wife owned before we got married.
I know guys who love them, lift them, off road them hard and have 200K without hardly a problem, then others just are total crap piles. Seems the '02's were one of the better ones even thoguh they were first year model, they used a different tranny and transfer case than in ours. In '05 I think Chrysler changed valve design in the heads which leads to more dropped valve seats, but I know at least a couple people who've replaced heads in their '02's due to dropped seats, but we are talking over 150K by then.
Also, the deisels are starting to show issues at around 80-100K with timing belts, broken pistons, bad turbos, etc. Unless some mods are made to reduce oil buildup, better filtering, etc, seems they are prone to problems also.
Edited by TAHOE, May 06, 2013 - 09:02 AM.