I feel your pain!! I bought my 04TJ Sport almost a year and a half ago. I was new to jeeps and during the test drive it drove great. Everything seemed to work...I noticed some scrapes underneath the jeep and noticed the dealer had painted the underbody and fender wells with paint but it looked good....(maybe like a polished turd) but all the same I bought it. Then the trouble started....noticed the clutch was slipping after it was good and warmed up....took it to the jeep dealership, they said I needed a new clutch kit, new rear main seal, new u-joints, new wheel bearings. Mind you this jeep had I think 49k on it when I bought it. I have done a lot to it. Some cosmetic but here's the list:
-new rear main seal
-2 new thermostats, first one was a dud and left me on the side of the road
-new u-joints everywhere
-on my 2nd clutch kit, returned the first one after a bad throw out bearing
-new plugs and wires
-replaced rear axle seal, it was leaking....been 3 months now and is leaking again
this was after I spend god knows what on the best fluids to put back in it
-new water pump
-new crankshaft position sensor
-new BFG AT 31x10.50x15 tires with matching spare
-new Dick Cepek DC-2's
-repainted my flares, headlight bezels, 3rd brakelight/spare tire mount, wiper arms,
bumpers, mirrors, door handles, gas cap cover with Rustoleum bedliner spray
-new skyjacker hydro shocks and 2.25 inch spacer lift kit
-removed side steps
-tranny has been removed twice now, because it started jumping out of 5th gear
violently and has now started slipping out of 3rd, although not violently
-new rugged ridge floor mats
Anytime time now I am going to be paying someone to probably removed the tranny for the 3rd time to try and find out why it is slipping out of gear. I have been told to buy another transmission or rebuild this one. I guess it depends on what it looks like once it is taken apart. I have been told it's the synchros.
I have always loved a jeep, and still love mine. Making a monthly payment on something that it always seems like I am fixing makes it hard to love. I can't tell you how many times I have come very close to getting rid of it and going back to a Toyota. Which I am planning on doing next year anyway, because I need a reliable vehicle. My tacoma I have now is a 98 with 285,000+ miles and still going strong. I have decided to keep my jeep though as I'm sure I will take too much of a hit on it if I traded it with still owing 10k on it with a tranny problem like it has. I figure by the time I get done with it I will have a new jeep lol. Then I am still going to sell my tacoma and get a new double cab next summer. Then I will still have my jeep to play in. I have had a lot of people tell me the same thing.....get rid of that POS....but I know if I did I would miss it, even with all the times I have cussed it. Funny how that is. Matter of fact I don't know how I could ever do without a jeep now that I have had one. Crazy!!
Sorry for the long post....you're not the only one with a nightmare TJ.