It was a bite, but I accepted it because...well because I had no other option. Either fix it or sell it for scrap as it isn't much good without a transfer case.
So I fixed it. And it was running fine until yesterday, when the fan belt started squealing. Back into the shop for another check. I was fearing the worst, thinking that it was the clutch on the air conditioner pump. I've replaced one on an earlier Jeep and that is NOT a cheap part. Fortunately, the shop figured out that it was "only" the harmonic balancer pulley that was bad. This was another "not cheap" fix, but it wasn't even half the cost of a new A/C pump, so I told them to fix it.
Phone rings this morning. It's the repair shop. While they were replacing the balancer pulley, they discovered a water pump leak. (OK, so now I know where my coolant has been going.) Joy, joy. Again, as my options are pretty limited at this point, I signed off on another not cheap repair. This is getting ridiculous.
An hour later, the phone rings again. Caller ID says repair shop. I know that it hasn't been long enough for them to have finished, so it's got to be more bad news. Sure enough, there's a split in the radiator endcap, too. (OK, so now I know where my coolant has been going x2) Again, nothing much that I can do other than authorize the fix, then go outside and scream in the yard. Cost for this week's fixing fiasco: About a hundred bucks less than last week's repair bill. And it's still going to need new front brakes before too much longer.
If I fix those brakes, the damned thing had better run for another six or seven years without needing so much as an oil change.
If the repair shop calls back again, I'm not even answering.