View Full Version : Anyone know much about Jeeps?

2013.08.27, 12:13 PM
I've been looking for a SUV that would suit me well for a little while now. I settled on a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Parts are cheap, part cars are every where, and aftermarket items are cheaper and more produced (than say a xterra). I've reduced it down to two gens, a WJ and a XJ. I've heard the 4x4 system is better in the XJ, it's lighter, and you're going to get better MPG's. I would like the comfort of the WJ though (leather seats and sunroof).

I'm looking to spend $3,000-$8,000. I'd prefer the 4.0L as I don't know a whole lot about the V8 (Seems the mpg's aren't much worse) but it doesn't seem like you can get the better options with a 4.0L model.

Two I found I like. I'm open to suggestions however.

2013.08.27, 14:28 PM
My parents had a '99 (I think), and replaced almost all of the running gear. Axles, transmission, suspension, you name it. It was driven by my mom, never left the pavement, and mostly highway miles. At the time, Consumer Reports listed it under "Cars to avoid," which means it's the worst of the worst. It had the 5.2 V8 IIRC. Thankfully they bought an aftermarket warranty when they bought it (used), otherwise they'd have paid more than it was worth in repairs. CR only goes back 10 years, but I'm looking at the reports now, and they're not good for anything prior to '08.

I'm also looking for a 4x4 rig to take the kiddos out into the woods. I wouldn't pick a Jeep of that vintage, because I need to make it back home! I'd really like a manual, which pretty much means XTerra, or XJ, but I might just end up with a Land Cruiser.

2013.08.27, 15:24 PM
I had an 85 XJ for a while. Cheap to repair, easy to get parts, fun in the dirt

2013.08.27, 17:12 PM
From my understanding the worst things to go wrong with the 4.0L is a leaky valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket. I was planing on doing a lift on it so refreshing some of the suspension parts aren't such an issue either. Volkswagen's are also labeled as terrible cars, I figure it can't be too much worse.

2013.08.27, 20:23 PM
I used to think I wanted a Grand Cherokee.. years ago. IIRC the engines had their own packages, so you had to buy a V8 to get certain things with the car.

2013.08.28, 11:16 AM
Volkswagen's are also labeled as terrible cars, I figure it can't be too much worse.

Depends on which VW. The B5 I had was a pile, and also on the "Cars to Avoid" list on CR. My Mk3 is still running well, albeit with a rebuilt motor.

2013.10.21, 08:46 AM
I'll just keep this updated with my search. I've done quite a bit of research and talked to a buddy that has owned and wheeled his jeep on what to keep an eye out for.

Anyways I've looked at two XJ's so far. Haven't been too promising.

First one was at this wholesale dealership.. Looks nice at the surface judging by the pictures. When I got there I noticed the lift was just a ebay adjustable suspension spacer. They at least they put a better leaf spring instead of blocks on the back. Under body looked spotless, and everything else checked out underneath checked out. I took a look and needed a whole front end refresh. Then noticed it was low on coolant, they then proceeded to fill it up after I mentioned it with the wrong coolant.The tires were at about 50%. Ran nice and shifted smoothly, but there was quite a few clunking on the front end. Then I smelled some coolant after the drive. I'm assuming it probably had a leaky headgasket. Made a offer what I thought it was worth and wouldn't budge despite everything :(


2013.10.21, 08:48 AM
I took a look at a 92' two door sport edition had all the common XJ problems. Rusted door hinge, leaky valve cover, and oil pan gasket. When I pulled it front park it made a bad clunk going into reverse moving it to drive. The price was alright, but seemed like too much of a risk and upkeep needed.

2013.10.21, 15:16 PM
I've been tempted to pick up the one from the wholesale auto place: It ran and shifted very smoothly, was the earlier year I was after, also I think I know what was clunking around, plus a head gasket can't be too bad to replace. I also plan on doing some sort of lift and bigger tires, it'll hold me over before I fork out the money for a proper lift. I know I should probably just wait it out and it's overpriced (I wouldn't pay full price, I'd just see if the dealer is willing to work a deal now (been up for sale for a little while now)).

I don't mind any opinions you guys have if I shouldn't go for a particular vehicle.

2013.10.21, 15:36 PM
If it's been leaking coolant it could have overheated and warped or cracked the head. I don't know about those engines in particular, but I'd never replace a head gasket without at least budgeting for having the head skimmed flat. It it's warped, the gasket won't clamp properly and will just blow out again.

I'd take a compression tester to it. If they won't let you, I'd just walk away.


2013.10.23, 21:08 PM
talked to a coworker who is an XJ nut.. showed him this thread and the ad for the blue Cherokee.

he noted it looked like the passenger front was hit.. bumper is cock-eye?

bushwacker flares are worth a couple hundred
cheap lift kit is worth a couple hundred.. with stock control arms. $800 - $1200 with new control arms.
tires are probably thousand dollars for a set (new).. but the wheels look cheap

does it have a Dana 44 rear? If yes.. worth a lot more.
don't want a Dana 35 with those large wheels.. too weak.

coolant on the ground is probably not head gasket. Check dip stick.. if lots of water/coolant, it's probably HG. If only a little, "it's just a jeep".

the transfer case is 'crappy'.. no real AWD. Has 4x4 with locked center diff (so, slippery surfaces only), or just 2wd. NP242 transfer case is better, he says (this one has NP (or NV) 231)

"clunky front end" could be steering linkage (ball joints), driver's front motor mount (goes out easily).. engine could be banging on exhaust or something else with low clearance. He also says under 800 rpm, all of these engines knock. Exhaust manifold welds are also bad, typically, so ticking can come from that. The manifold bolts also get loose.. torquing those can help.

and he said transmission clunk you described for the other one is probably just transmission bushings

he says.. the blue XJ is worth more if axles are beefier, has long arm lift (means it was done more correctly for wheeling), tires are in good shape, etc. Also worried if the tie rods are stock.. too weak for the larger wheels

and obviously.. it's not worth $6.5k :D

2013.10.23, 21:09 PM
and he says there's something wrong if it shifts smoothly :P

2013.10.23, 21:15 PM
he also suggests a WJ for lighter duty wheeling, off road, and general SUV'ness.. as long as you avoid 2000 - 2001. The straight six is good, the prices are good, and they don't tend to have the same sort of weaknesses described above. It also has more brake options, wheel options, etc.. and, they're easier to find stock, since people don't mess with them as much.

2013.10.25, 11:39 AM
Thanks Joel for looking into things!
I think I know why the front end was clunking on that 4 door XJ I looked at. The lower control arms were at its limits of the suspension spacer lift, and the guy had washers on one side and not the other. The lift was not done properly, unless you never took it off road. As for the diff I knew there was a better one, however I decided I'd look into it a little bit more. I'm going to do a lot of snowboarding, plus I wouldn't mind going on some off road adventures, so I'll want something more capable. I think the XJ with the dana 44 would be my best option :thumbup: Plus I wouldn't want to waste all that extra money for full time AWD when most of the year I won't be needing to power those extra wheels.


2013.10.25, 19:46 PM
From what he said, the Dana 44 is rare and pretty sought after.. might not be easy to find. So, it's worth a lot, if you find one installed already

2013.10.25, 20:19 PM
I do know that you can swap the Chrysler diffs as well which is even a better option.

2013.10.27, 17:01 PM
44's are unobtanium anymore, and if you do find one, I'll be the rest of the jeep is trashed. Ford Explorers are a decent source for those though ;)

2013.10.29, 08:04 AM
I'm thinking about checking out this 96, however it has selec-trac. I did some research on wiki and it said it's a vicious LCD design, which allows you to run 4high on dry pavement. However I also read that it's electronically controlled. Any known issues with this system? I was thinking that it would be handy to have driving up to the mountain and not having to worry about the diffs. Would going with selec-trac be worthless to upgrade my diffs later on in the future?

The price is right, and it appears to be maintained.

2013.10.29, 08:15 AM
sorry, moar newer than anything I know about

2013.10.29, 11:02 AM
Okay I did some research.. It seems like the selec-tac 4-hi you can choose between part time and full time 4wd. So it's just an added bonus and better for winter driving! I'm checking it out after work probably :D

2013.10.29, 11:13 AM
hehe, for the record, this was mine


2013.11.03, 02:48 AM
My parents had a '99 (I think), and replaced almost all of the running gear. Axles, transmission, suspension, you name it. It was driven by my mom, never left the pavement, and mostly highway miles. At the time, Consumer Reports listed it under "Cars to avoid," which means it's the worst of the worst. It had the 5.2 V8 IIRC. Thankfully they bought an aftermarket warranty when they bought it (used), otherwise they'd have paid more than it was worth in repairs. CR only goes back 10 years, but I'm looking at the reports now, and they're not good for anything prior to '08.

Hah, funny enough my family also had one of these, I forget if it was a 98 or a 99. That one had a lot of things replaced as well (shocks, axles, had a grumpy transfer case), and the chemical de-icers used on Maine's interstates pretty much destroyed the front crossmember. First time I ever experienced heated seats in a car, and I usually got to drive it to school whenever the Jetta was being worked on :) Our WJ racked up 120k miles, and it seems like every Chrysler we owned most of the replacements started around 60-80k.

2013.11.06, 12:58 PM
Going to look at this one after work.


2013.11.06, 13:12 PM
looks purdy

2013.11.06, 16:20 PM
that does look nice.. makes me want one

2013.11.06, 19:22 PM
Well it was leaking at either where the oil filter elbow (where it screws onto the block), or at the oil pan. It also has way too much oil in the crankcase, but I didn't see any spots where it was leaking under the car(you'd really see it with the ground wet). Apparently it was owned by the state and he bought it from them. He said he had one or two others from there that he is selling.. Then goes to tell me it was for his wife... Then says he said he likes the car, but not the color. Lots of things aren't adding up. To top it off he only wants to sell it at work, which only allows for short drives (he wants to be present during) during rush hour. It's stupid clean however, just wish I could be sure it's not the trans leaking or the the front diff looked to maybe have something leaking. Oh it ran smooth and shifted smooth
Can't decide if I should pull the trigger.

2013.11.06, 21:24 PM
eh, for $4500 that would be enough to make me walk away

2013.11.06, 22:04 PM
It seems like they're easy and cheap fixes. Plus with new tires it'll get me through the winter I'd suspect. Really blows me away it's a 15 year old car, inside, outside, and in the bay

2013.11.10, 16:36 PM
I'm looking at this Jeep Grand Cherokee at the same dealership as the first Cherokee I was looking at. The price is right, mileage isn't too bad. Looks to be cared for at glance. I was kind of weary of getting a Grand Cherokee, but I'm sticking with the 4.0L (V8's are just sluggish MPG pigs). From what I'm reading that it is a more comfortable car than the standard classic Cherokee, but a little more expensive to lift as there are no rear leaf springs. I think the CPS likes taking a crap often and the occasional window regulator (Not horrible IMO). I might go check it out tomorrow if they're open.



2013.11.10, 18:39 PM
beefier rear diff.. right?

2013.11.11, 00:34 AM
beefier rear diff.. right?
I think that is with only the V8's that received the D44.

2013.11.14, 07:42 AM
I went to go look at that Grand last night.. The body and interior were very nice. My g/f caught them just as they were about the close while I was rushing to get there stuck in traffic. It idled for about 10 mins before I got there. The guy told my g/f that it hasn't been ran in awhile. When I checked the oil cap there was lots of vapor coming out from it! Checked the dipstick right after and vapor was even coming from the dipstick tube (no milkiness on the dipstick however). I plan on going back today and looking at it again and drive it. I wasn't sure how I liked a grand, but kind of like it actually. Hopefully all that moisture diminishes after everything heats up. Also I noticed the heat was cranked, so I'll be doing this test with the heat turned off ;)


2013.11.14, 14:16 PM
that place comes across as a bit sketchy to me :(

2013.11.14, 21:23 PM
Yeah I'm done with that place.. Any further ad's I'm going to try to ignore. My g/f thinks I'm probably not allowed back anyways :laugh:

2013.11.15, 10:33 AM

2013.11.19, 21:36 PM
Okay well I found this one for more than I was wanting to spend.. However with the cash I'd use for a downpayment I'm looking at $50 a month, which could easily be paid off early.

It's a 1999 w/ 89k
They're asking $8977, I don't think I could find a less molested Jeep.. Hmmm





2013.11.19, 22:42 PM
Such a nice color

2013.11.20, 09:11 AM
clean! wow!

2013.11.21, 10:38 AM
Mechanically that thing was a wreck. :(

2013.11.21, 14:04 PM

2013.11.25, 12:48 PM
I'm thinking I'll go look at this thing after work. Tempted to buy carfax to verify the mileage is correct. However I feel like the driver side fender or door gap is quite off. Everything else seems like an easy fix given the miles and price.


2013.11.25, 13:16 PM
this thread has taught me that I should probably look for a toyota when I decide to get a car like this :D

2013.11.26, 07:47 AM
:lol::banghead: As someone told in regards to my Jeep search, "You're chasing a unicorn."

2013.11.26, 09:10 AM
There has been this ad.. it's over priced, but I like the truck.. I decided I'll email him on my other account :laugh:

"I'm curious why you have your vehicle priced over $1400-2000 from Edmonds and KBB value. I'm assuming you have every available option and brand new tires and not a single flaw on the body, interior, or no leaks when I assessed the value. I'm interested, but feel that it is priced way to high for what it is. I'm just asking because I wouldn't want to look at it and waste your or my time with a "low ball" offer. Or assuming you priced for low ball offers or some haggling room. It does look like a strait clean Jeep."


2013.11.26, 09:17 AM
wow that's steep

2013.11.26, 17:50 PM
I think I found it!!! I looked at it almost a month ago, then the guy fell off the face of the earth. It has 130k, best one I looked at so far. It's like a 9/10. Anyways he emailed me back today randomly saying he still has it. The only thing that turned me off is the cluster and oil filter adapter leak. I could swap the cluster and that o-ring is cheap!


2013.11.27, 21:58 PM
It's mine! :D

2013.11.27, 22:07 PM
Wow.. cool

2013.11.28, 10:18 AM

2013.11.28, 10:59 AM
It's crazy how much different the paint can look in a different light.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7325/11105199403_6d1fefccc6_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/49940522@N08/11105199403)

2013.11.29, 16:58 PM
Looks clean!

2015.08.15, 20:16 PM
I've been building the Jeep for a little while now...

http://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.cherokeeforum.com-vbulletin/1000x667/80-ybdaf2p_1cab5f2ea96fc18119ef4c068c7c6cefc841180f.j pg

2015.08.15, 20:22 PM
I've been wondering how that thing is doing. Things going well?

2015.08.16, 14:18 PM
Yep! I've actually really enjoyed a lot of the building aspects of 4x4's. I mean the suspension can be quite technical. I still have the mk4 20th AE, although it's just been put to daily duty, still not sure what the plan is with it. How have you been Joel?

2015.08.16, 14:22 PM
Bought an e60, sold the wagon, changed jobs twice in the last two years, celebrated my second wedding anniversary recently, and getting ready for a baby boy in a couple of months :D

2015.08.21, 07:43 AM
Oh wow, congrats Joel!! Sounds like things are going great!

2015.08.21, 12:12 PM

post up more pics, etc. when you get a chance :thumbup:

2015.09.10, 13:25 PM
The Jeep looks good! I missed your original posts, but I've had a 1990 XJ for a little over ten years now. I bought it from my dad, who was the original owner, and only used it for commuting and some road trips. It's had very few mechanical problems, but the exhaust manifold is cracked and the paint is pretty bad. Now that I have an E60 for a DD, I can start taking it apart and get it fixed up.