2004 TJ still going strong at 206k miles: What can I expect to replace next?

Calijeepgrl0827

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Feb 13, 2020
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Sacramento, CA
Hi all😊My 2004 TJ is at 205k miles and is still going strong. Had all gaskets replaced so no oil leaks and it runs great. Does anyone have an idea of what might go out next? I would like to be somewhat prepared. How long will the transmission last? Should I expect something to go soon?
Also going to be buying a replacement soft top. I’m looking at Bestop Supertop NX....suggestions?
Thanks in advance fellow Jeepers!!
 

bromel

TJ Enthusiast
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Oct 11, 2018
Messages
387
Location
Montauk, NY
Have you replaced your cooling system yet? i.e. radiator, water pump, thermostat. Manual transmissions can go a long way if you shift them gently, but it's a good idea to replace the gear oil every 30k or so. Your 5-speed uses Redline MTL.

Also consider new gear oil in the front and rear differential if it's been a while since you replaced them. Ditto for the transfer case (ATF+4).
 
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Chris

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Your transmission.

Transmissions tend to last around 200k miles (give or take) before they need a rebuild. That being said, if your transmission has never been rebuilt, be expecting it.

As for soft tops, the best top you can get is a Bestop, period.

If you want the cream of the crop, this would be it (there is no finer soft top than this):

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EVOVCO/?tag=wranglerorg-20
 
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Calijeepgrl0827

Calijeepgrl0827

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Feb 13, 2020
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Sacramento, CA
Have you replaced your cooling system yet? i.e. radiator, water pump, thermostat. Manual transmissions can go a long way if you shift them gently, but it's a good idea to replace the gear oil every 30k or so. Your 5-speed uses Redline MTL.

Also consider new gear oil in the front and rear differential if it's been a while since you replaced them. Ditto for the transfer case (ATF+4).
Thank you!! I have replaced the thermostat but not radiator and water pump. I have noticed it being a little difficult at times shifting into 1st. Could that be the gear oil? I don’t know too much about mechanics.
 
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Calijeepgrl0827

Calijeepgrl0827

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Feb 13, 2020
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Sacramento, CA
Your transmission.

Transmissions tend to last around 200k miles (give or take) before they need a rebuild. That being said, if your transmission has never been rebuilt, be expecting it.

As for soft tops, the best top you can get is a Bestop, period.

If you want the cream of the crop, this would be it (there is no finer soft top than this):

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EVOVCO/?tag=wranglerorg-20
Thank you!!
 

bromel

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
387
Location
Montauk, NY
Thank you!! I have replaced the thermostat but not radiator and water pump. I have noticed it being a little difficult at times shifting into 1st. Could that be the gear oil? I don’t know too much about mechanics.
I have the same transmission as you with half the mileage and mine also doesn't always shift into 1st. Draining and replacing the gear oil with Redline MTL did improve it slightly, not to mention the slight 1-2 grind. In truth, these are crunchy dump truck transmissions that rattle and rumble and crunch, but they can go a long time. If you don't hear any whining, I think you can expect a lot more miles. Have you replaced the clutch yet?
 
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Calijeepgrl0827

Calijeepgrl0827

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
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Location
Sacramento, CA
Your transmission.

Transmissions tend to last around 200k miles (give or take) before they need a rebuild. That being said, if your transmission has never been rebuilt, be expecting it.

As for soft tops, the best top you can get is a Bestop, period.

If you want the cream of the crop, this would be it (there is no finer soft top than this):

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EVOVCO/?tag=wranglerorg-20
Thank you!! That’s the one I’m considering. Definitely going to be a Bestop Supertop just trying to decide twill or diamond.
 
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Calijeepgrl0827

Calijeepgrl0827

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Sacramento, CA
I have the same transmission as you with half the mileage and mine also doesn't always shift into 1st. Draining and replacing the gear oil with Redline MTL did improve it slightly, not to mention the slight 1-2 grind. In truth, these are crunchy dump truck transmissions that rattle and rumble and crunch, but they can go a long time. If you don't hear any whining, I think you can expect a lot more miles. Have you replaced the clutch yet?
Yes I replaced the clutch at about 150k. I will definitely have the gear oil replaced with the MTL. Thanks again for the input!!
 

TJ2

TJ Addict
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Dec 9, 2017
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Texas United States
What do you mean had all gaskets replaced?
My friend, you don't want to know how many gaskets there is on a TJ.

These are important (to me) to check arranged according to magnitude of wear:
1. Transmission
2. Transfer Case
3. Piston Assemblies
4. Cam Shaft Bearings
5. Differential Assemblies
6. Clutch Synchronizer
7. Fuel Pump
8. U-Joints
9. Ball Joints
10. Budweiser Fluids

Soft top is the least I worry about.
 
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Calijeepgrl0827

Calijeepgrl0827

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Sacramento, CA
What do you mean had all gaskets replaced?
My friend, you don't want to know how many gaskets there is on a TJ.

These are important (to me) to check arranged according to magnitude of wear:
1. Transmission
2. Transfer Case
3. Piston Assemblies
4. Cam Shaft Bearings
5. Differential Assemblies
6. Clutch Synchronizer
7. Fuel Pump
8. U-Joints
9. Ball Joints
10. Budweiser Fluids

Soft top is the least I worry about.
Thanks for the info!!
 

glowell222

Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Northern VA
I have a lot of miles on my TJ as well-about 267k. I recently had to replace the power steering pump, the distributor, my steering box was leaking, and my exhaust manifold was leaking. My manual trans is still going strong, though second gear is starting to get crunchy prior to warming up, and there is quite a lot of gear whine.

Good luck!