Very cool of you to buy him a jeep! Just bought an 02 for my teenage son 3 weeks ago. We've been doing all the maintenance on it the last couple of weekends. I swear the 2 PO's never did ANY of it besides a front brake job. I would recommend doing all of the maintenance on it and is easy to do your self.
Since ours are so close in age / mileage, here is some advice I can give (my sons is a 5sp manual). The fill and drain plugs on our transmission is an 18mm hex head (allen wrench type). The transfer case is a 10mm. I had the 10mm but not an 18mm. Bought a cheap set on amazon.com for $20 on a 1/2" drive. In fact, I bought all the differential, transmission and transfer case fluids on amazon cheaper than at the local auto parts store (I get free shipping which helped). Make sure you get a pump to put the fluids back in. I got one with all the other stuff for $6. The fill plug on my sons transfer case needed me to use a 18" breaker bar and every once of what my 5'11" 200lbs body could put into it to get it loose. Others here gave me the advice to get a high quality lubricant to put on this stubborn fill / drain plugs. I don't remember the name of it. It is like liquid wrench, but supposed to be so much better.
I ended up needing 3 cans of brake cleaner to clean the front and read diff's. Took almost 2 whole cans just for the rear. I wanted it completely clean so I could get a good look at the gears for any damage / bad wear. I bought some of the cheap rags too for the cleaning. For the sole purpose of throwing straight into the trash. The burned or really old diff fluid smells BAD.
Good luck with the new jeep and enjoy!!!
Originally Posted by gpnewbie
Found an 03 Sahara. No corrosion, 125k miles, clean CarFax, extra clean machine. Now the fun begins.