Jeep Commander Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here to see whats up, and get information on what Commanders to purchase and which ones to avoid.
Look forward to interacting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
If at all possible, avoid 2006-2008 Hemis. They perform well, but poor head design means they can fail catastrophically with little warning. 2009-2010 Hemis are the best overall XKs. 4.7s got a large power boost in 2008, so if you don't want a Hemi look at 2008+ 4.7s. The 3.7 is largely viewed to be underpowered and gets similar gas mileage to the V8s, so if you can afford a better engine, get a better engine.

2008+ models got a revised interior with the better uConnect system, though this may not matter if you're looking at installing an aftermarket stereo anyway.

The XK comes with three different 4wd systems: QTI, QTII, and QDII. They're all active full time 4wd systems.

QDII is the best, and is typically equipped on Hemis and some 4.7s. It has a 2 speed transfer case and eLSDs front and rear that act similar to locking differentials. You can identify QDII by checking that there is a T-handle in the center console to shift the transfer case, and verifying that the rear differential cover is held on by 12 bolts. The center console is also usually equipped with a Quadra-Drive II badge, but I've seen QDII models with the badge removed, and other models with the badge added, so it's not a guaranteed way of differentiating it from others.

QTII is one step below QDII, and has a 2 speed transfer case but no eLSDs. It will still perform well off road but may suffer traction loss in heavy off roading scenarios. It can be identified by a T-handle in the center console and 10 bolts holding the rear differential cover on. Some prefer QTII because it opens up the possibility of adding lockers, which will outperform QDII.

QTI is the lowest 4wd system equipped on XKs, and acts similarly to an AWD system. It has a single speed transfer case, and is acceptable for very light off road use and normal on road scenarios, dirt roads, and snow.

Some XKs also came with 2wd. I wouldn't recommend buying one of those unless you're planning a street/srt8 build.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
136 Posts
Pretty harsh on the earlier Hemi's. Not biased even though I have a 2008. Will have to better educate myself on the failures since I've had several Hemi's in this date range and never had an issue.

I assume you are talking about the valve seat issue? If not please expand your comments. Thx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
i think this forum has a high sample rate of problematic issues by design. its a forum where people look for solutions to problems. all vehicle specific forums have this issue.
my 2007 runs strong and hopefully will for a while longer. ill fix it if it breaks though :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Pretty harsh on the earlier Hemi's. Not biased even though I have a 2008. Will have to better educate myself on the failures since I've had several Hemi's in this date range and never had an issue.

I assume you are talking about the valve seat issue? If not please expand your comments. Thx

Having just suffered and recovered from the valve seat issue...I've done a TON of research on this. I'd argue the 2006-2008 4.7s and 3.7 are safe. It's JUST the 5.7 you want to avoid. Not only are the 2008+ safe from the valve seat, you also get the newer VVT (variable valve timing) engine that has better fuel economy and more power...plus all the extras that the newer trim line will include.

It's actually not a Jeep or XK year range problem specifically for the 5.7. It's actually a Gen3 Hemi range issue from 2003 to 2008. ALL Hemi vehicles are at risk for the valve seats and actually up to 2015 (or around that year) for failed lifters that take out the cam. The issues start arriving as early as 75,000miles but usually average around lower 100k. Mine was 113k. And of course some haven't happened yet...Most of the failed lifters I hear about are on Durangos and the cars around 2010 or 2011, and the lifter design wasn't changed from 2003 until around 2015. Lifter failure is much less common than the valve seats, but both are worthy of the "catastrophic" tag. With that said, a hot engine is what drops the seats. That's why they always die when you stop for gas on a road trip or something, engine is already well heated up and you pulled right off the freeway and quickly stopped, so it cooled rapidly and the aluminum heads vs the steel (?) seats and the seat just falls out. SOOOO, if you've always been real easy on the motor, always in a cooler climate, let it idle before shutting it off, or even just had a cooler thermostat...might never have an issue! Yes, sometimes the seat drops BECAUSE of a radiator that blew, fan that failed, thermostat fail, etc etc....but ultimately riding the line on the hot engine crammed in a tiny space.

Any quick google search about the hemi seats (not vehicle specific) and you have pages of those LX cars, but not many (if any) XKs, maybe a few WKs. Because there is SO many of those cars out on the roads. So yaaa, our sample rate is a little biased here because this is all we are and have, haha.

I think the major point here is that our XKs aren't getting any younger, so prices/values are dropping, etc. Do you want to take the risk or just buy into a safer year, or the 4.7? :wink3:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Wombler thx for the reply. How did you recover from the issue. New engine, rebuild existing? thx
I chose to rebuild, which lead to lots of upgrades because "well, if I have this part off I might as well put a new one back on...and if I'm going to get a new one, I might as well get an upgraded version..." and I end up with the mess in my signature, lol. I was really paranoid about the failing lifters as well, had some hoses leaking and overall the Jeep is 12 years old...so I just started replacing EVERYTHING.

The thing with the dropped valve seats is finding a machine shop that doesn't just replace the dropped seat, but fixes all of them with higher tolerances so you know it won't happen again. I REALLY lucked out with my situation where the valve seat didn't break and destroy the piston by bouncing around in the cylinder. It only dropped crooked and prevented the valve from closing so it was almost impossible to get started and obviously won't run well when it would start. Most situations aren't so lucky. I've got a thread somewhere here of the process I went through just to discover the valve seat was the issue...I was totally ignorant to it being a common problem.

I saw a how-to video and situation on an LX car where they spent right around or under $1000 and had it fixed in a weekend in their driveway. And he needed a radiator and TWO pistons. Both valve seats dropped in the same head, and i don't remember if he replaced both heads or not. But he found a machine shop via ebay that claimed they were "upgrade fixes", not performance upgrades, but the seats shouldn't be at risk of dropping again.

With alla that said...i think I've seen quotes of shops charging $4-7000 to fix it for you (not guaranteed to be the upgrade fix or not). However, you can get a new crate motor for about $3000, again unknown on upgraded seats since it will still be an 03-08 block....so it all really depends on your mechanical capabilities or how deep your wallet is for what option to chose and how far to let it take you!

Some people are actually just sitting on a "rainy day fund" for when this happens to them. Some chose to rip the heads off and get them redone BEFORE it happens.....and then most aren't doing anything at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Don't get 2006

i have a 2006 commander 4.7 w/ QDII (trail rated). This vehicle has had the most issues out of any vehicle i have ever owned, its unreal. From interior leaks, exhaust manifold sheered bolts, differential bushing shot early in life, replaced every freaking bushing in the suspension system (literally), Nav radio screen stopped working, unknown oil leak i've yet to find, and on and on..... It really is unbelievable. I should have gotten rid of the thing already... I would stay away in my opinion, even if 2007+ were better... I've been through the ringer with this thing. Just my 2 cents.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,763 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
i have a 2006 commander 4.7 w/ QDII (trail rated). This vehicle has had the most issues out of any vehicle i have ever owned, its unreal. From interior leaks, exhaust manifold sheered bolts, differential bushing shot early in life, replaced every freaking bushing in the suspension system (literally), Nav radio screen stopped working, unknown oil leak i've yet to find, and on and on..... It really is unbelievable. I should have gotten rid of the thing already... I would stay away in my opinion, even if 2007+ were better... I've been through the ringer with this thing. Just my 2 cents.
You're not alone in that thought. My 06 has been full of problems. Most of the problems you mention aren't unique to 06 models; the nav screen issue is common on 06-07 models, differential bushings are a problem across the years, interior leaks are a known problem, etc.

I'd definitely steer away from these unless you're very comfortable working on your own car; I've probably saved thousands of dollars doing my own work, so it's not bad for me.

I will say that the drivetrain is pretty reliable, and I don't think you can get a more capable overlander for the money than these. Mine has never left me stranded, and while it's a fight to keep everything working, I still enjoy driving it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
i have a 2006 commander 4.7 w/ QDII (trail rated). This vehicle has had the most issues out of any vehicle i have ever owned, its unreal. From interior leaks, exhaust manifold sheered bolts, differential bushing shot early in life, replaced every freaking bushing in the suspension system (literally), Nav radio screen stopped working, unknown oil leak i've yet to find, and on and on..... It really is unbelievable. I should have gotten rid of the thing already... I would stay away in my opinion, even if 2007+ were better... I've been through the ringer with this thing. Just my 2 cents.
You're not alone in that thought. My 06 has been full of problems. Most of the problems you mention aren't unique to 06 models; the nav screen issue is common on 06-07 models, differential bushings are a problem across the years, interior leaks are a known problem, etc.

I'd definitely steer away from these unless you're very comfortable working on your own car; I've probably saved thousands of dollars doing my own work, so it's not bad for me.

I will say that the drivetrain is pretty reliable, and I don't think you can get a more capable overlander for the money than these. Mine has never left me stranded, and while it's a fight to keep everything working, I still enjoy driving it.

Yuppp....gonna have to agree with both you guys. Adding on top all the pre '08 Hemi headaches. As it's aging I'm starting to get electrical gremlins showing up causing DTCs and CELs for problems that aren't actually there. Chasing those down is damn near impossible. Since I know all the hardware (drivetrain, engine components, etc) is actually good, I'm not worried. It's my forever-Jeep now, though....so, as all my previous Jeep relationships, it's a love/hate and every day is an adventure! :wink3:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,763 Posts
See signature for Model

Not listed: leaky sunroof (permanently taped closed), drivers seat electric seat panel falling off, center console lights are all but dead, A/C recirculate flap/door broke, 1 cigarette lighter doesnt work, once every 15 key fob locks, the car doesn't recognize the fob code and sets off alarm so i disconnected the battery. Complete stall randomly at high way speed with cruise control on. Cant wait for this thing to die.

Maintenance Log:
So other than the obvious fact that you seemed to pick this particular thread to vent your frustrations in @CMH-XK;

Just to be clear, the point/intention of your post is what exactly??

That you are unhappy with your XK?

If you are, that's fine and totally understandable....you are entitled to your opinion and to share your experiences here - good or bad. You just weren't very clear about what point you were trying to get across in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Just a thought, but if you have a pre 2008 hemi, would replacing the cylinders heads with new ones not cure the problem, or are the new cylinder heads available from suppliers not the revised version that fixed the valve seat issue? Replacing the heads before an issue would be cheaper than fixing/rebuilding the engine after the issue, as such.

Ian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Just a thought, but if you have a pre 2008 hemi, would replacing the cylinders heads with new ones not cure the problem, or are the new cylinder heads available from suppliers not the revised version that fixed the valve seat issue? Replacing the heads before an issue would be cheaper than fixing/rebuilding the engine after the issue, as such.

Ian
If you can replace them with the revised heads, that's a solid option. The main concern is that replacing heads isn't inexpensive, and there's no guarantee that you'll ever drop a valve seat. Some owners have valve seats drop before the engine even hits 100k miles, and some make it well over 300k with no problems, so many of us take the gamble that it won't happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Just a thought, but if you have a pre 2008 hemi, would replacing the cylinders heads with new ones not cure the problem, or are the new cylinder heads available from suppliers not the revised version that fixed the valve seat issue? Replacing the heads before an issue would be cheaper than fixing/rebuilding the engine after the issue, as such.

Ian
If you can replace them with the revised heads, that's a solid option. The main concern is that replacing heads isn't inexpensive, and there's no guarantee that you'll ever drop a valve seat. Some owners have valve seats drop before the engine even hits 100k miles, and some make it well over 300k with no problems, so many of us take the gamble that it won't happen.

Yes and Yes.....the heads changed before the problem if done by someone who guarantees they have been upgraded...you should be good! The 2009+ "Eagle" heads are different, so you can't just take them off a wrecked one or something. And I seriously doubt just buying new heads from Mopar would be any different, if you can even get them? They are so tight-lipped about changes like this because they don't want to admit to it. Just like with the lifters.
But, like Consumed said, it's a gamble...you might never have the issue. And if you do, or decide to fix early, it ain't cheap. It can be if you do all the work yourself, less than $1000.
Check This Page out about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Thank you guys 👍 I work in the motor trade here in the UK, so all I'd need to do is buy the necessary parts, no labour costs involved. The rock auto website lists cylinder heads, but i don't know what version they are.

Thanks again 😊

Ian
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top