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Thread: Anyone know much about Jeeps?

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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    Anyone know much about Jeeps?

    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.
    XJ
    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/ctd/4029366797.html
    WJ
    http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/ctd/4022246410.html

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    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    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.
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    I had an 85 XJ for a while. Cheap to repair, easy to get parts, fun in the dirt
    -Tyler-

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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    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.
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    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    Quote: Originally Posted by DowNnOutDubin View Post
    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.
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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    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

    http://www.usedcarmarketwholesale.co...tone-or=467890

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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    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.

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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    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.

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  11. #11
    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
    Last edited by joel; 2013.10.23 at 21:11 PM.
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  12. #12
    and he says there's something wrong if it shifts smoothly
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  13. #13
    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.
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  14. #14
    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    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 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.


  15. #15
    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
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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    I do know that you can swap the Chrysler diffs as well which is even a better option.

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    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
    -Tyler-

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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    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.
    http://Portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/4158631978.html
    Last edited by DowNnOutDubin; 2013.10.29 at 08:45 AM.

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    sorry, moar newer than anything I know about
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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    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

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    hehe, for the record, this was mine

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    Normal Member ExplosiveToaster will become famous soon enough ExplosiveToaster's Avatar
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    Quote: Originally Posted by benny_mech View Post
    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.
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    Regular Member DowNnOutDubin is on a distinguished road DowNnOutDubin's Avatar
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    Going to look at this one after work.

    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/4173358423.html

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    looks purdy
    -Tyler-

  25. #25
    that does look nice.. makes me want one
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