Jeep Liberty/Print version
Table of Contents
The Jeep Liberty (KJ), or Jeep Cherokee (KJ) outside North America, was introduced in 2002 to replace its predecessor the Jeep Cherokee (XJ). The Liberty comes with Jeep's distinctive 7-slot grille and round headlights. On April 12, 2002, the Liberty was lowered one inch. In 2003, the rear drum brakes were replaced with disc brakes. In mid-2003, the automatic transmission was changed from the 45RFE to the 42RLE. In 2005, Jeep redesigned the front end and added a diesel model (available for export outside the US since 2002). In 2004, a passenger seat airbag sensor was added. In 2006, ESP and VLP were added and ABS became standard. The Liberty has come in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Renegade, and Limited and two special models: CRD and Rocky Mountain Edition. The Sport, Latitude, and Limited are the only versions still in production.
The Sport edition Liberty is recognized by its gray fender flares and bumpers.
The Limited edition Liberty is recognized by its color-matched fender flares/bumper and chrome grille surround/side strips. A narrow-spoke 17" wheel and tire combination became the standard in 2005, with an optional 5-spoke chrome wheel available exclusively for the Limited models.
The interior has options for an in-dash navigation system, and is appointed with leather seats and a premium sound system.
In 2005, Jeep redesigned the Renegade with the flat hood to give it the rugged look. Jeep also added bumper mounted fog lights. It still had all the features the 2002-2004 Renegade came with, such as the roof mounted lightbar, pocket-style flares, and Renegade emblems.
Rocky Mountain Edition
The Rocky Mountain Edition is a special edition Liberty based on the Renegade X package. Special features include painted exterior pieces, interior accents, a power sunroof, upgraded wheels, seats embroidered with the Jeep logo, and a Rocky Mountain Edition badge.
In 2004 Columbia Sportswear teamed up with Jeep and offered a Columbia Edition. This was offered prior to The Rocky Mountain Edition. A coupon for a free Columbia Bug A Boo parka came with the vehicle. 26,000 units were manufactured.
Pre-Lowered vs. Lowered
On April 12, 2002, DaimlerChrysler lowered the ride height of the Jeep Liberty suspension by 22mm (7/8") in the front and 19mm (3/4") in the rear. This change was made to improve road handling and perceived safety concerns. Many speculate that this is in response to the Autoweek Magazine Slalom test in which a Liberty rolled. Libertys built prior to April 2, 2002 are considered "pre-lowered", because they were made previous to the time when DaimlerChrysler lowered the Liberty. Libertys built after April 2, 2002 is considered "lowered", because they have a lower ride height than the pre-lowered. While a spacer lift will maintain the difference between lowered and pre-lowered, a spring replacement lift will render whether the Jeep was lowered or pre-lowered from the factory irrelevant.
OTT stands for "Over the Top" which means instead of placing the spacer underneath the coil/strut assembly it is placed on top of the assembly.
There are three OTT lifts on the aftermarket for the Jeep Liberty:
While no spacer lift will give you a superior ride over a full coil lift, each of the spacer lifts listed above has its own pros and cons. Rocky's budget lift has known problems, but their combo lift is of much higher quality. Rocky's combo lift is not a full OTT lift. It combines the spacer lift and the OTT lift to give you the full 2-1/8" in the front. In the rear it's a straight spacer lift. Rusty's OTT lift is similar to Rocky's budget lift, but is known to have fewer problems. The front is a full OTT lift and the rear a spacer lift. Rusty's OTT lift will give you a total of 2.5 inches of lift. None of the Daystar lifts are OTT. Daystar's lift product is superior to both Rusty and Rocky's spacer lifts. Go cougars!
Saying that daystar is far superior to ott lifts is a very opinionated statement. daystar put extra undue stress on the already weak stock coils.
Full Coil Spring Lifts
2.4L PowerTech I4
The 2.4L PowerTech I4 was available from 2002 to 2005. It was discontinued as a result of sluggish sales. It was only available on the Sport model.
3.7L PowerTech V6
The 3.7L PowerTech V6 has been available in the Liberty from 2002 to present. It was optional on Sport from 2002-2004, and then standard on all models from 2005-2007. It was standard on Renegade and Limited Edition models from 2002-2004.
Two different PCMs (Powertrain Control Modules) have been coupled with the PowerTech. The JTEC was the older controller and the NGC is the newer controller. The JTEC PCM had three connectors on it and used a separate TCM (Transmission Control Module), while the NGC has four because it integrates the TCM. 2006-2007 Libertys use a hybrid bus system in which the PCM, gas TCM, and ABM (ABS and ESP) use the CAN Bus and everything else uses the PCI Bus. The BCM (Body Control Module) then acts as a bridge between the PCI Bus and CAN Bus.
2.8L VM Motori I4
The 2.8L VM Motori Turbodiesel was available in the CRD (Common-Rail Diesel) Liberty from 2005 to 2006. The CRD was eventually discontinued in the US as a result of stricter emissions regulations. The engine is still available overseas.
The CRD (Common-Rail Diesel) engine was available on the Sport and Limited Edition models from 2005-2006.
|Style||I4||V6||I4 Turbo Diesel|
|Displacement||2.4L (148ci)||3.7L (226ci)||2.8L (171ci)|
|Horsepower||150 HP @ 5,600 RPM||210 HP @ 5,200 RPM||160 HP @ 3,800 RPM|
|Torque||165 ft. lbs. of torque @ 4,000 RPM||235 ft. lbs. of torque @ 4,000 RPM||295 ft. lbs. of torque @ 1,800 RPM|
|Cam||Double Overhead Cam (DOHC)||Single Overhead Cam (SOHC)||Double Overhead Cam (DOHC)|
|Fuel Injection||Sequential Fuel Injection (SFI)||Sequential Fuel Injection (SFI)||Direct Fuel Injection (DFI)|
|Bore||3.44 inches - 87.5mm||3.66 inches - 93mm||3.70 inches - 94mm|
|Stroke||3.98 inches - 101mm||3.57 inches - 90.8mm||3.94 inches - 100mm|
Jeep Liberty CRDs with the 2.8L diesel engine have an intercooler behind the combination transmission cooler & A/C condenser and before the engine radiator.
The Chrysler 4.7L PowerTech V8, also known as the Dodge 4.7L Magnum V8, is the most compatible candidate for a larger displacement engine swap.
- The 2.4 liter four-cylinder Chrysler-Dodge engine
- Allpar presents the Dodge/Jeep 3.7 liter V-6
- Jeep Horizons Engine Specs
The 42RLE is a 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission. The 42RLE comes in 2003.5+ Jeep Liberty. The 45RFE is a 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission, with an alternative 2nd gear ratio for downshifting. The 45RFE was replaced in mid-April 2003 by the 42RLE in the 2003.5+ Liberty. The 545RFE is a 5-speed overdrive automatic transmission. The 545RFE was the only transmission available in Liberty CRD (diesel engine) models. The Liberty's maximum tow rating with an automatic transmission is Class III 5,000#. Mechanically, the 42RLE has 13 bolts and a straight crossmember, while the 45RFE and 545RFE have 15 bolts and a backwards angled crossmember . Electronically, vehicles equipped with the 42RLE have a 4 connector NGC PCM (Powertrain Control Module) with an integrated TCM (Transmission Control Module), while those equipped with the 45RFE have a 3 connector JTEC PCM and a separate TCM.
Gear Ratio Table
The NSG370 is a 6-speed overdrive manual transmission. The NSG370 comes in 2005+ Jeep Libertys. The NV3500 is a 5-speed overdrive manual transmission. The NV3500 was replaced by the NSG370 in 2005+ Libertys. The NV1500 is 5-speed overdrive manual transmission with an unsynchronized first gear. The Liberty's maximum tow rating with a manual transmission is Class II 3,500#. The clutch design of the manuals results in a lower tow rating than that of the automatics. A driver skilled in towing with manuals may be able to safely tow more than Class II.
Gear Ratio Table
Jeep Libertys with the 42RLE transmission have an auxiliary transmission cooler in front of the engine radiator. Libertys with the 45RFE transmission have the transmission cooler coils integrated into the engine radiator. Liberty CRDs with the 545RFE have a combination transmission cooler & A/C condenser in front of the intercooler and engine radiator. Libertys with the NSG370, NV1500, and NV3500 manual transmissions don't have a cooler because manual transmissions lack a fluid pump.
Standard Coolers (3.7L Auto):
|Power Steering||Yes||No||Yes (Manual)|
An automatic transmission is more popular than a manual for off-roading. It removes the distraction, water leakage, and clutch wear associated with off-road manual shifting. These benefits come at a price, as an automatic is always heavier than an equivalent manual.
- List of Chrysler Transmissions
- Chrysler 42RLE Transmission
- Chrysler 45RFE Transmission
- Chrysler 545RFE Transmission
Transfer cases for the Jeep Liberty are built by New Venture Gear, hence the NV prefix. New Venture inherited New Process Gear from Chrysler, therefore the older transfer cases are prefixed with NP. Whether prefixed with NV or NP, parts are interchangeable between the same transfer case model.
Full-time 4WD can be used on pavement because it utilizes the differential in the transfer case. Part-time 4WD Lo and 4WD Hi can't be used on pavement because they lock the axles together in the transfer case. While the 2WD, full-time 4WD, and part-time 4WD Hi modes support the maximum vehicle speed, the part-time 4WD Lo mode does not. Part-time 4WD Hi should not be engaged over 55mph. Essentially, part-time 4WD should be used for off-road, full-time 4WD for maximum traction on-road, and 2WD for everything else.
The NV231J, utilized in the Command-Trac system, is a mechanically shifted part-time transfer case. Its chain-driven aluminum construction makes it weaker than gear-driven iron transfer cases.
|4-HI Part Time||1.00:1|
The NV241J, also known as Command-Trac HD, is sometimes incorrectly referred to as an "NV231J-HD". It was available in the 2005-2007 Jeep Liberty (KJ) with the 6-spd transmission in any package. The transfer case is tagged "241J" in these applications and uses the same gear ratios as the NV231J. This is not the limited production NV241OR found in the Wrangler Rubicon models.
The NV242, also known as Select-Trac, is a mechanically shifted full time transfer case.
|4-HI Part Time||1.00:1|
|4-HI Full Time||1.00:1|
Slip Yoke Eliminator
A slip yoke eliminator replaces the slip yoke in the rear of the transfer case with a fixed yoke. Primarily this allows for the installation of double cardon joints and reduces the driveshaft angle by increasing the driveline length. These two changes help cut down on vibration caused by lifting the Jeep. As an added benefit, it prevents the transfer case from spilling fluid everywhere if the driveshaft gets pulled out. When installing a slip yoke eliminator, a drive shaft with an integrated slip yoke and double cardon joints must also be installed.
Tires & Rims
The Jeep Liberty has an Independent Front Suspension (IFS) which prevents installing a suspension lift greater than 2.5" without major and costly modifications. Without a major overhaul a lift of over 2.5" will cause your CV axles and ball joints to possibly fail. With the currently available lifts, the Jeep Liberty can be fitted with up to 265/75R16 (32"x10.5") tires. Tires larger than 265/75R16 will require extensive modification of the vehicle and cause major rubbing which will detract from offroadability. The Liberty comes from the factory without locking lug nuts on the wheels, so many owners replace one lug on each wheel with a Mopar locking lug. 245/75R16 (30"x9.7") is the most popular size used with a 2 1/2" lift; this size requires minimal trimming. 265/75R16 is the largest possible tire size; this size requires trimming the plastic wheel well insert and flattening the pinch weld on the 1st Gen libertys.
Stock Liberty Wheel Specs
Bolt Pattern: 5x4.5"
Bolt Pattern: 5x4.5"
16" vs. 17" Wheels
With a 17" wheel there is a limited selection of all-terrain tires available. A popular upgrade for the lifted Liberty is stock 16x8" Jeep Wrangler Rubicion wheels (Moab Wheels) with 5" of backspacing and 245/75R16 Goodyear MTR Tires. The Liberty's stock 16x7" wheel can fit a 10.5" wide tire with no problems. Only a few 15" wheels can fit on the Liberty without interfering with the brake caliper. Some other choices are the Rock Crawler Xtreme Steel Wheels with a backspacing of 4.5" or 3.75" or Cragar Wheels with 4-4.5" of backspacing. A backspacing of under 4" will work, but is not recommended because rubbing on suspension components may occur.
Backspacing and Wheel Spacers
Backspacing is a measurement of the distance from the mounting point on the wheel to the back of the rim. The larger the backspacing the closer the wheel to the Jeep and the more likely the wheel will rub on suspension components. The smaller the backspacing the more the wheel sticks out from the wheel well and the more likely the tires will throw mud up the side of the Jeep. A good rule of thumb is to keep the tires within the fender flares but far enough from the suspension components that they don't rub. Putting larger tires on the Liberty will often require decreasing the backspacing in order to eliminate tire rub on the sway bar. This is where spacers come in. A smaller backspacing can be made by installing a wheel spacer to push the wheel out and away from the suspension components. Spidertrax is a reputable cast aluminum spacer manufacturer/dealer whose spacers are safe to install on the Liberty. Just remember that in some states wheel spacers are illegal.
|Tire Diameter||Tire Width||Tire Size||Rubbing with No Lift|
|28.7"||8.7"||215/75R16*||No Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29"||9.3"||235/65R17*||No Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29.3"||8.9"||225/75R16*||No Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29"||9.3"||235/70R16*||No Rubbing w/o Lift|
|30.3"||8.8"||225/75R17||Minor Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29.5"||9.7"||245/70R16||Minor Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29.9"||9.3"||235/75R16||Minor Rubbing w/o Lift|
|30.1"||10.2"||255/70R16||Minor Rubbing w/ Lift|
|30.5"||9.7"||245/75R16||Minor Rubbing w/ Lift|
|30.5"||10.5"||31x10.5x15||Minor Rubbing w/ Lift|
|30.6"||10.7"||265/70R16||Minor Rubbing w/ Lift|
|31.2"||11.0"||275/70R16||Moderate Rubbing w/ Lift|
|31.8"||9.3"||235/85R16||Moderate Rubbing w/ Lift|
|31.6"||10.5"||265/75R16||Moderate Rubbing w/ Lift|
*Note: These tire sizes come standard or optional from the factory.
Tire Load Ranges
Every letter increase indicates two additional plys.
- P - Passenger tire with little sidewall protection. The stock Goodyears that come on the Liberty from the factory fall into this load range. These tires are definitely not recommended for off road as they are street tires with no sidewall protection.
- LT (C) - 6 ply Light Truck tire with a good balance of sidewall protection and flex. These tires are recommended for off roading the Liberty because they are both moderately well armored and fit the ground better.
- LT (D) - 8 ply Light Truck tire that's in between C and E. Many tires such as the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revos don't have this load range as an option
- LT (E) - 10 ply Light Truck tire with maximum sidewall protection and minimum flex. These tires are very heavy and don't flex very much, as a result they will decrease your gas mileage and are less suited for off road use. The extra sidewall plys that cause the increase in stiffness also will increase the sidewall puncture resistance. Because of this higher resistance to puncture you may want to consider these tires if you spend a lot of time in rocky areas.
Common Tire Choices
- BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO
- Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
- Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo
- Firestone Destination M/T
- General Grabber AT2
- Kumho Road Venture MT KL71
- Fuel Off-Road Tires
- On/Off-Road All-Terrain A/T Tire Comparison chart
- Off-Road Maximum Traction M/T Tire Comparison Chart
- Jeep KJ Country - Tires / Wheels
- L.O.S.T KJ - Tires, Tyres, Meats, Donuts
- HOW TO: Display 5 bolts on your full size spare tire
- How to Measure Wheel Backspace
- Tire & Speedometer Calculator
- DML Tire and Wheel Calculator
- Speedometer Check Calculator
- Gear Ratio & Tire Size Chart
- Gearing and Gearing Math for Jeeps
- Jeepin in Indiana forum for all Jeep related discussions
The 3.7L engine was designed to use copper core spark plugs. NGK Vpower plugs are the best copper core plugs currently available for this engine. Precious metal or gimmick plugs will not do anything in this engine.
Performance Distributors carries their SOS ignition coils for the 3.7L. These coils release 10,000 more volts than the stock coils. This helps create a faster combustion.
Computer modifications are needed to realize to full potential of any performance upgrades. The Jeep Liberty computer can be reprogrammed with a different flash image, tricked with a different intake temperature sensor, or tricked with a performance chip.
The B&G Jeep Liberty Flash (JTEC-NGC) permanently changes the timing and fuel tables, raises the rev limit and speed limit, and removes torque management. A different intake temperature sensor tricks the engine into adjusting the fuel mixture.
Jet Performance's stage 2 Jetchip can help increase power by adjusting fuel and spark tables as well as shift points. It cannot raise the redline, speed limiter, or remove torque management. This should only be installed after installation of a less restrictive intake and exhaust. The use of 91 octane fuel is required to prevent detonation.
The 3.7L gas and 2.8L diesel are very different engines with very different computer modifications. SP Diesel makes a chip for the diesel engine. The ECU on the 2.8L CRD is made by Bosch, and at this time there are two companies offering a re-flash for the CRD ECU, Green Diesel Engineering and INMOTION TUNING. Both vendors offer choices between ECO (economy) and Performance tuning programs.
Mufflers and Headers
Many different companies manufacture cat-back exhaust systems for the Jeep Liberty. Borla makes a split pipe dual exhaust system. The Borla single side and Gibson Performance systems aren't preferable for off-roading because their larger mufflers hang more vulnerably below the lower control arm mounts. Rusty's Offroad offers a Flowmaster Delta Flow based system with a 2.5" clamped mandrel bent tail pipe.
A good off-road or muffler shop should be able to fabricate an off-road friendly exhaust system around a universal aftermarket muffler. Just remember, it's illegal to remove the catalytic converter. The Flowmaster 40 and 50 SUV mufflers are common choices, the latter being more quiet and durable. Flowmaster has also released a strengthened diamond plate off-road muffler. Generally, MagnaFlow mufflers offer more performance but less aggressive sound than Flowmasters. MagnaFlows are built from stainless steel while Flowmasters are built from rust susceptible aluminized steel. Aeroturbine and Gibson also manufacturer exhaust options. A 2.5" center in/side out muffler works well with the stock 2.5" mandrel bent tubing. A short restriction in the tubing, immediately upstream of the stock muffler flange, can be removed to increase flow. A new muffler can be welded in its place or, if disassembly is required, a DynoMax flange adapter. Increasing tail pipe diameter will deepen tone and most mufflers will get louder as they break-in. Exposed tail pipe tips should be avoided in off-road applications.
Contrary to popular belief, increasing backpressure will not increase low-end torque. On the other hand, decreasing pipe diameter will increase low-end torque. Decreasing pipe diameter increases velocity and thus the scavenging effect. The scavenging effect is most pronounced at lower RPMs where it affects low-end torque, but is negligible when using forced induction. The goal is to eliminate as much backpressure as possible while still maintaing sufficient velocity.
JBA manufactures stainless steel short-tube headers for the Jeep Liberty. Ceramic coated stainless steel versions, colored silver or titanium, are also available. These headers only work with 2005-2007 Libertys because other years have a different catalytic converter connection. Short-tube headers don't create as much scavenging effect because they don't pulse as well as equal length long-tube headers. On the other hand, short-tube headers pass emmisions testing, keep the catalytic converters, and are easier to install. The JBA short-tube headers include the "Firecone," which JBA claims increases scavenging. Regardless, all good aftermarket headers remove restrictions and increase efficiency.
Filters and Intakes
There are a number of different drop-in air filters and replacement intakes available for the Jeep Liberty. The most popular aftermarket filters are made by K&N, who makes both drop-ins and a FIPK replacement intake. AEM Induction Systems and aFe also make a replacement intakes and filters. The CRD's turbo charger makes performance intakes and filters less advantageous for it than its gas counterpart. There is currently no FIPK available for the CRD. Another alternative is to install a snorkel, which by raising the air intake to roof height will keep dust out and allow for river crossings at the same time . At this time there are snorkels being manufactured for the Liberty. Aftermarket hood vents can help decrease underhood temperatures and making any of the intake systems more effective, especially at slow speeds while offroading.
Kenne Bell discontinued its supercharger for the Jeep Liberty's 3.7L engine. The relatively high piston rings in the 3.7L caused piston land weakness and failure, a problem correctable with forged pistons. A 4.7L supercharger can be installed onto the 3.7L, without issue, if a new tube and upgraded pistons are installed.
The Fastman ported throttle body allows better flow than the stock PowerTech throttle body.
Airaid throttle body spacers can help increase throttle response be moving the throttle body further from the manifold. They will not add any noticible power increase on their own though.
Transmissions and Torque Converters
The TransGo Shift Kit causes the Jeep Liberty's automatic transmission to shift more quickly. The same 45RFE PSK kit works with both 45RFE and 545RFE. The kit corrects the soft 1-2 and heavy throttle long 2-3 shifts and provides a firmer 4th and lockup.
The APS High Stall Torque Converter is an efficient torque converter that allows more power to be transferred from the engine to the transmission. It features additional stall, firmer lockup, increased torque multiplication, and 6% more efficiency than stock. It's only available for the 45RFE and not the more common 42RLE.
Suncoast Converters also has a 1200 RPM stall heavy-duty torque converter for the 2.8L CRD. This converter improves fuel economy and power delivery.
- Advanced Engine Management (AEM Electronics)
- AEM Induction Systems (AEM Air Intakes)
- advanced FLOW engineering (aFe)
- APS Precision Mfg.
- B&G Chrysler Specialists
- Borla Performance Industries
- The Fastman
- Green Diesel Engineering
- INMotion Tuning USA
- JBA Headers
- K&N High Performance Filters
- MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust
- Rusty's Offroad Products
- Gibson Performance Exhaust
- Exhaust system backpressure
- The straight scoop on backpressure
- Backpressure and the Flowmaster exhaust system
The 27 spline Dana 30a, also know by Chrysler as the 186FIA, has always been the only front axle available in the Jeep Liberty. It's an IFS axle with an aluminum housing as indicated by the 'FI' and 'A'/'a' respectively. Essentially, it's an aluminum version of the Dana 30 with a longer pinion shaft. Unfortunately, the light weight aluminum construction makes it weaker than the D30 and the longer pinion shaft means pinion related D30 parts won't fit it. The D30a requires a 1-1/8" socket to remove and install the pinion nut.
CRD Libertys have a different front cradle that lowers and leftward shifts the differential to provide more clearance for the diesel engine. The lowering results in better half-shaft constant velocity joint angles but too little clearance for a differential collar. The leftward shift requires different length half-shafts than those used in the gas Liberty. Due to the shorter left side half shaft CRD models cannot be lifted as high before the CV joints begin to bind.
Traction Aiding Devices
The axle housing's aluminum construction is weak and installing a locker in the front differential could cause it to crack. It is recommended that an LSD be installed in place of a locker. It should be noted that installing any traction aiding device in the front will make steering slightly stiffer and cause the steering wheel to spring back to center more quickly than usual.
The gear lube in the Dana 30a should be changed every 12,000 miles. Off-roading and towing subject the differential to increased torque, dirt, and water. If the Liberty isn't off-roaded, isn't used for towing, and follows the Schedule A maintenance plan, it may be possible to stretch this interval. The differential housing requires 2.6 pints (1.24 liters) of lube. Since the Dana 30a doesn't have a removable differential cover that could allow to clean it, 75W-140 synthetic lube should be used for either light duty applications or heavy duty off-roading.
Mopar is the only manufacturer of the longer pinion gears required by the Dana 30a. As a result, there are only three sources of 4.10 gears for the Liberty's front differential: wrecked I4 Libertys, online stores that sell discounted Mopar parts, and Jeep dealerships.
- Chrysler Parts Direct - Dana 30a Ring & Pinion Gears
- World Parts Express - Cheap Dana 30a Ring & Pinion Gears
The Chrysler 8.25", also known as the Corporate 8.25", is the 29 spline steel rear axle found in most Jeep Liberties. In 2003, the rear drum brakes were replaced with discs. Strength wise, the Chrysler 8.25" fits between the Dana 35 and Dana 44. The axle has two more splines than the Dana 35 and one less spline than the Dana 44. It also uses the larger 6508 bearings, while the Dana 35 uses smaller 5707 bearings. Unlike the Dana 44 and like the Dana 35 it has the weaker c-clips. The Chrysler 8.25" requires a Chrysler Bearing Preload Wrench, Miller# C-4164 or OTC# 6602, to set the carrier bearing preload. It also requires either a 1-1/8", 1-1/4", or 1-5/16" socket to remove and install the pinion nut.
The Chrysler 8.25" uses c-clips to hold the axle shafts into the differential side gears. Limited clearance between the axle shaft c-clip grooves and side gears can make c-clip installation and removal difficult. When c-clip installation is difficult, selecting thinner c-clips should allow easier future removal. ARB Air Lockers actually come with multiple c-clip thicknesses from which the installer can choose.
Removal of the c-clips is greatly eased by removing the spider gear pinion shaft. Rotate the carrier until the pinion shaft pin is exposed and remove the pin, pinion shaft, and small spider gears. The axle shafts can now be pushed in further to allow the c-clips to fall out with little effort. Re-install everything in the reverse order, being sure to retain the thrust washers on all four spider gears. Loctite is used on the pinion shaft pin from factory and should also be used during re-assembly.
Yukon manufactures 30-7/8" 29-spline c-clip axle shafts, specifically designed for the Jeep Liberty's Chrysler 8.25" rear axle. Made of 1541H steel, they are 25% stronger than the OEM shafts.
Superior also manufactured 30-7/8" 29-spline c-clip axle shafts, for the Jeep Liberty's Chrysler 8.25" rear axle. They were made of 4340 chromoly steel and were advertised to be 35% stronger than OEM shafts (Superior Gear is no longer in business).
The majority of aftermarket shafts (if not all) for the Chrysler 8.25" 27 and 29 spline are 1541H shafts.
The Ruff Stuff Specialties Chrysler 8.25" .375 One Piece Diff Cover is currently the only fabricated cover constructed of 3/8" plate steel with a 1/2" plate steel ring. It features a 1" fill plug. Many companies make 1/4" covers but Ruffstuff is the only company known for a 3/8" thick cover. This cover is welded inside and out and then machined flat.
The Blue Torch Fabworks 8.25" Differential Cover is constructed of 1/4" plate steel with a 3/8" plate steel ring. It's built to resist peel up and features a protected fill plug.
Moe's Metalworks 8.25" Differential Cover
The PML 8.25" Differential Cover is constructed of aluminum, features both a threaded fill plug and a threaded drain plug, and holds 3/4 quart more oil than stock. The cover also comes with heatsinking fins, but they must be ground off if the cover's to be used in conjunction with a fuel tank skid plate.
The gear lube in the Chrysler 8.25" should be changed every 12,000 miles. Off-roading and towing subject the differential to increased torque, dirt, and water. If the Liberty isn't off-roaded, isn't used for towing, and follows the Schedule A maintenance plan, it may be possible to stretch this interval. The differential housing requires 4.4 pints (2.08 liters) of lube and, if a limited slip is present, 4 ounces (118 milliliters) of limited slip additive. Aftermarket differential covers will change the required lube volume. 75W-90 dino lube should be used for light duty applications and 75W-140 synthetic for heavy duty off-roading and towing.
Ring & Pinion Gears
The following companies sell ring and pinion gear sets for the 8.25":
- Genuine Gear - considered the worst among off-roaders
- Motive Gear
- Sierra Gear & Axle - re-branded by West Coast Differential
- Superior Axle & Gear
- US Gear - considered the best among off-roaders
- Yukon Gear & Axle - Best Warranty in the Industry
- Ruffstuff Specialties
- Blue Torch Fabworks
- Crane Hi Clearance
- Motive Gear
- Randy's Ring & Pinion - Yukon Gear & Axle
- Rusty's Offroad - Superior Axle & Gear
- Sierra Gear & Axle
- Superior Axle & Gear
- US Gear
- West Coast Differentials - Sierra Gear & Axle
- Yukon Gear & Axle
The Dana 35C is a steel rear axle found in some 2002 Jeep Libertys. Strength wise, it's weaker than the more common Chrysler 8.25" rear axle. The Dana 35C is different from the Dana 35. The "C" in the model number refers to custom, not complete. It indicates that Dana Corporation ships their Dana 35 to DiamlerChrysler who then builds it.
While larger tires give the Jeep Liberty more ground clearance they also regear it to a numerically lower gear. Therefore, it is often a good idea to eventually regear the differentials to a numerically higher gear in order to compensate for the increase in tire size. When chaning gear ratios, both the front and rear differentials need to be regeared simultaneously. Generally, as long as the front and rear ratios are within two tenths of each other there won't be any problems. To break in the new gears the Liberty should be run at low speeds for five hundred miles and then the differential lube should be changed. See each axle's specific page for more information on regearing it. To identify your rear axle and gear ratio check the ID tag on the driver's side axle tube near the brake rotor.
Stock Gear Ratio Table
|2.4L (2002–2004)||3.7L (2002–2004)||3.7L (2005–2006)||2.8L (2005–2006)|
*A manual transmission wasn't available in North American 2.8L diesel models
Limited Slip is a traction aiding differential that will supply a percentage of torque to the tire with the most traction. It works by binding the two side gears of the differential against the carrier when a set speed difference is reached between the two gears. Essentially, if one wheel starts spinning faster than the other by a substantial amount the clutches will step in and prevent any further spin. Unfortunately, the clutches in limited slips aren't especially strong and are overcome if the slip becomes too great. For this reason, many people opt for a locker instead because it provides 100% lock up.
Posi is a slang term for the limited slip differential. Named after GM' "Posi-Traction" unit, which was built by Eaton.
Front Dana 30a
Rear Chrysler 8.25"
A locker works by locking the two side gears of the differential to the carrier. In a manual selectable locker the two wheels are in 100% lock until the locker is disengaged. In an automatic locker the two wheels are always locked together until one needs to spin faster than the other, as is the case when cornering. Automatic lockers work in the reverse of limited slips in that they're normally locked and only unlock during turns, rather than being normally unlocked and only resisting wheel speed difference during slip. A locker is better than a limited slip because it will give the driver 100% lock and won't give out when a large amount of slip is encountered.
Front Dana 30a
Rear Chrysler 8.25"
- ARB 4x4 Accessories
- Eaton - Detriot Locker
- Richmond Gear - Powertrax
- Torq Masters Technology - Aussie Locker
The skids should be installed in the following order: transfer case skid, transmission skid, engine skid. This rear to front ordering prevents the skid overlap from catching obstacles when driving forward.
The Jeep Liberty's OEM engine skid plate is strong but scrapes up a lot of dirt when off roading. The Skid Row Front skid plate, constructed of 3/16" steel, is a good replacement. The Skid Row skid fits all 2002-present Libertys, including the CRD, and includes an engine oil filter drain hole.
The Jeep Liberty's OEM gas tank skid plate is strong, but sometimes bends, causing the gas tank to crack. The Skid Row Gas Tank skid plate, constructed of 3/16" steel, is a good replacement. The Skid Row skid is compatible with most hitch receivers and differential guards and includes a heat shield to protect the plastic gas tank from exhaust heat. The Skid Row skid fits all 2002-present Libertys. Rusty's Offroad also makes a gas tank skid for the Liberty.
The Jeep Liberty's transfer case has an aluminum body and needs protection. Fortunately, the OEM transfer case skid plate is plenty strong enough and probably won't need replacement. The Skid Row Front Skid Plate and Rusty's Off Road Transfer Case Skid, both constructed of 3/16" steel, are possible replacements. The Skid Row skid fits all 2002-present Liberty's, including those with the NV242 transfer case, and includes a transfer case oil drain hole.
The OEM transmission skid plate is the weakest of the Jeep Liberty's skids and should be replaced first. The All J Products Super Skid, constructed of 1/4" steel with formed sides, reinforcing ribs, and outriggers, is a very durable replacement. Currently, the Super Skid comes in two different models: the Super Skid I fits 2002-2003 gas Libertys and all CRD Libertys, while the Super Skid II fits 2004-2006 Libertys. The Skid Row Engine & Transmission Skid Plate and Rusty's Offroad Engine Tranny Skid, both constructed of 3/16" steel, are also good replacements. The Skid Row skid fits all 2002-present Libertys, including the CRD, and includes an engine oil drain hole.
JCR Offroad Inc.
No longer for Liberty
All J Products Boulder Bars
Carolina Rock Shop Rock Rails
Not in business anymore
Mopar Rock Rails
Rock Lizard Skink Sliders
Rock Lizard Fabrications produces the Standard Skink Slider and two different variations of it. The Standard Skink Slider is the base rock rail without any extra features. The Skink Step Slider extends three inches further from the body, thus allowing it to function as a step. The Skink Super Slider has an added tube to protect the doors from trees and rocks. The tube extends from the base rail to just past the plastic door trim. All the Sliders bolt to the Liberty with two dual-arm three-bolt unibody mounts and one large seven-bolt pinch weld mount. The arms extend from unibody mounts in a triangular fashion to reinforce the entire rail. The rails are shipped bare and should be painted with a rust preventer before installation. Powder coat is not recommended because it's more expensive and will only chip off when the rails come into contact with obstacles off road.
Rocky Road Outfitters Rock Rails
Rusty's Offroad - Rocker Panel Skids
ARB Bull Bar
ARB manufactures the most popular bull bar for the Jeep Liberty. It features air bag approval, ventilation, recessed lamp and Hi-Lift provisions, tow points, and a grey powdercoat. Inside, it supports a winch and factory foglights. Outside, it supports lights, antennas, and off-road flags via four pre-drilled holes. While the bull bar weighs less than 100 lbs, spacers or stiffer springs should be used in the front struts to counteract spring sag. There are two versions, one for 2002-2004 Libertys and one for 2005-2007 Libertys. The 2002-2004 model uses the factory turn signals, requires fender flare trimming, and supports the Warn HS9500, XD9000, M8000, and M6000 winches. The 2005-2007 model uses new turn signals, doesn't require fender flare trimming, and supports the Warn XD9000, M8000, M6000, and 9.5XP winches.
Rock Lizard Monitor Lizard Front Bumper
Rock Lizard Komodo Dragon Rear Bumper
- Poison Spyder - Rock Ring
- Four X Doctor - Diff Guard
- Rusty's Offroad - Diff Guard
- Rocky Road Outfitters - Diff Guard
- All J Products
- ARB 4x4 Accessories
- Rock Lizard Fabrications
- Rocky Road Outfitters
- Rusty's Off-road Products
- Skid Row Offroad
There is a factory recovery option available for the Jeep Liberty that includes three Mopar tow hooks; two front and one rear. A cheaper and more versatile option is a front or rear hitch receiver accompanied by a hitch clevis or winch. Yet another option is to replace the front tow hooks with a bumper or bullbar with integrated recovery provisions. All of these alternatives require removal of an existing hooks.
Each front tow hook sandwiches the unibody bumper between the hook base and an m-bolt/clip-nut combination. The clip-nut on both the front and rear hooks is a common automotive fastener which may be available at well stocked hardware stores. The m-bolt used with the front tow hooks is not a common fastener and will need to be purchased from a dealer.
The ARB bullbar for the Liberty KJ is designed accommodate the Warn M8000 winch.
- Auxiliary Lights
- CB Radio
- Head Units
- Firewall Penetration
- Overhead Consoles
- PCI Bus
- Satellite Radios
- L.O.S.T KJ - Electronics...Stereo...GPS...CBs
- Jeep KJ Country - Electronics
- Basic Car Audio Electronics
Towing and Cargo
Abbreviations & Terms
- 2WD = Two Wheel Drive
- 4WD = Four Wheel Drive
- ABS = Anti-Lock Braking System
- A/T = Auto Transmission
- A/T = All-Terrain
- ATF = Automatic Transmission Fluid
- AWD = All Wheel Drive
- BCM = Body Control Module
- BFG = BF Goodrich
- BHP = Brake Horsepower
- BJ = Ball Joint
- BJC = Ball Joint Contact
- BS = Backspacing
- CA = Control Arm
- CEL = Check Engine Light
- CG = Center of Gravity
- CID = Cubic Inch Displacement
- COG = Center of Gravity
- CPS = Crankshaft Positioning Censor
- CRD = Common Rail Diesel
- CV = Constant Velocity
- DC (DCX) = Daimler-Chrysler Corporation
- DFI = Direct Fuel Injection
- DOHC = Double Overhead Cam
- ECM = Engine Control Module
- EFI = Electronic Fuel Injection
- EGR = Exhaust Gas Recirculation
- ESP = Electronic Stability Program
- EJS = Easter Jeep Safari
- EVIC = Electronic Vehicle Information Center
- FWD = Front Wheel Drive
- FT. LBS. = Foot Pound
- FIPK = Fuel Injection Performance Kit (K&N's Air Intake)
- FSM = Factory Service Manual
- GVW = Gross Vehicle Weight
- GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
- HP = Horsepower
- IAC = Idle Air Control
- IAT = Intake Air Temperature
- IFS = Independent Front Suspension
- JK = Jeep Wrangler (2007+)
- JBA = Jeepin' By Al
- KJ = Jeep Liberty (2002-2007)
- KK = Jeep Liberty (2008+)
- KS = Knock Sensor
- KPL = Kilometers per Liter
- KPH = Kilometers per Hour
- LWB = Long Wheel Base (SJ, XJ, ZJ, WJ, KJ)
- LCA = Lower Control Arm
- LBJ = Lower Ball Joint
- LSD = Limited Slip Differential
- LBS-FT = Pounds Foot of Torque
- MAP = Manifold Absolute Pressure
- MAT = Manifold Air Temperature
- MFI = Multi-Port Fuel Injection
- MIL = Malfunction Indicator Light
- M/T = Manual Transmission or Mud-Terrain
- MPFI = Multi Point Fuel Injection
- MPG = Miles Per Gallon
- MPH = Miles Per Hour
- MPI = Multi Port Injection
- MPV = Multi-Purpose Vehicle
- NP = New Process
- NV = New Venture
- NVG = New Venture Gear
- O2S (OS) = Oxygen Sensor
- OC = Open Circuit
- OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer
- OME = Old Man Emu
- OBA = On Board Air
- OBD = On Board Diagnostic
- P/N (PN) = Part Number
- PCM = Powertrain Control Module
- PCV = Positive Crankcase Ventilation
- PSI = Pounds per Square Inch
- RE = Rubicon Express
- RPM = Revolution Per Minute
- RWD = Rear Wheel Drive
- RWHP = Rear Wheel Horsepower
- SFI = Sequential Fuel Injection
- SFA = Solid Front Axle
- SRA = Solid Rear Axle
- SAS = Solid Axle Swap
- SOHC = Single Overhead Cam
- SRS = Supplemental Restraint System
- SWB = Short Wheel Base (CJ, YJ, TJ, JK)
- SS = Speed Sensor
- TB = Throttle Body
- TBI = Throttle Body Injection
- TC = Tire Carrier or Transfer Case
- TD = Turbo Diesel
- TDC = Top Dead Center
- TDI = Turbo Direct Injection
- TPS = Throttle Position Sensor
- TPMS = Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- TSB = Technical Service Bulletin
- UCA = Upper Control Arm
- UBJ = Upper Ball Joint
- UBJC = Upper Ball Joint Contact
- VIN = Vehicle Identification Number
- WOT = Wide Open Throttle
This page contains a collection of links that the authors of this WikiBook have found to be useful for further information about the Jeep Liberty. Much of our own knowledge came from these sources, therefore we'd like to acknowledge them here and pass on their usefulness to the reader.
- AutoTruckToys.com - Jeep Liberty Accessories and Jeep Liberty Parts
- Drivewire.com - Jeep Liberty Parts Catalog
- Junk Yard Dog - Used Auto Parts Junkyard Search
- Just For Jeeps - Mopar Jeep Accessories and Jeep Parts
- Mopar - Original Equipment Parts and Accessories
- NewMoparParts.com - New Original Equipment Parts
- PartsTrain.com - Hard to Find Auto Parts and Truck Parts
- CarId.com - Automotive Aftermarket Accessories
- Savage Jeep Parts - Original Equipment Parts
- Troy's KJ Links and Parts
- World Parts Express - New OEM Parts
- Car Parts and Accessories - Info to buy and find the cheapest components
GNU Free Documentation License
||As of July 15, 2009 Wikibooks has moved to a dual-licensing system that supersedes the previous GFDL only licensing. In short, this means that text licensed under the GFDL only can no longer be imported to Wikibooks, retroactive to 1 November 2008. Additionally, Wikibooks text might or might not now be exportable under the GFDL depending on whether or not any content was added and not removed since July 15.|
Version 1.3, 3 November 2008 Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <http://fsf.org/>
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The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.
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