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Unread 05-14-2011, 05:27 PM   #1
TippmannA-5
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Best year for an XJ

I am looking to buy a XJ when I finally sell my YJ. (Hint Hint go look at the ad!!!) I have been kind of researching it and have come to the conclusion that the 1997-1999 years are the best buy for me. Anyone else want to add to this or inform me of something that I may not know?!

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Unread 05-14-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
dagr8tim
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Some people perfer the 99's because they have the freer flowing intake. 97's have several wiring revisions and can be a pain for electrical issues.
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97 XJ SE - DD/Light Trail Rig - The War Wagon
75 CJ5 with a badly chopped CJ7 Tub - Pandora
96 Land Rover Discovery - Black Dog; possible trail toy
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Unread 05-14-2011, 09:41 PM   #3
MagicNelson
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People generally like the years 99 and 96. I'm a fan of the looks of the later model cherokees so I got a 99. The 00-01s aren't bad either in my opinion. You just have to watch out for that 0331 head if you don't like to maintain your coolant system.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
Masaga91
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00, the most realible car i have ever had, simply amazing, never my chero has let me down, simply amazing the 00
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Unread 05-15-2011, 12:32 AM   #5
hguzmanjr
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Come on 95's had the best heads so far known to Cherokee's.
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Unread 05-15-2011, 09:01 AM   #6
nicexj
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Being an owner of an 01, you might think I would say 01 all the way. But there are ups and downs to the 00, and 01.

Those years have a bit better components. The axles have slightly more splines in the front, and the rear. You can find older models with the same spline count, but it isn't standard.

The engine is slightly higher output. They made some revisions, and the engine is a little better. But we are only talking about +5hp gain or less. Older models are just as reliable.


Some cons, If I buy another Xj, it will probably be a 99. The XJ went through some serious changes in 00. Books like chiltons don't have very reliable information on new models. The wiring schematics are all wrong. The transmission information was only on the AX series of transmissions, but the 01 has a NV3550. It's all these little things that add up to a frustrating time trying to work on your jeep. Simply put, even if the 00, 01 are slightly better, the 99 and older has tons of documentation, and that is worth a lot of consideration.
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Unread 05-15-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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Unread 05-15-2011, 09:16 AM   #8
Snoopi8321
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I have a 2000 but had i done more research before buying my 1st xj id have bought a 99. althought not a problem if you maintain your cooling system the head is prone to cracking on 00-01, the front axles are Low pinion instead of high pinion, as well as the ignition system is a coil rail as oppossed a distributor and wires. that isnt a big deal but replacing a coil rail if one misfires is considerably more expensive than wires.

I love my XJ but if i ever buy another it will be a 99 for sure.

Also IMO if you get a XJ get it with the np231 transfer case not the 242. just my opinion.
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Unread 05-15-2011, 09:17 AM   #9
dagr8tim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hguzmanjr View Post
Come on 95's had the best heads so far known to Cherokee's.
What's the story about the 95 heads? Do I need to find a 95 head to go with my 99 intake on my stroker build?
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97 XJ SE - DD/Light Trail Rig - The War Wagon
75 CJ5 with a badly chopped CJ7 Tub - Pandora
96 Land Rover Discovery - Black Dog; possible trail toy
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Unread 05-15-2011, 09:45 AM   #10
Millermagic
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I had no choice but a 00/01 ... anything older was too rusty.
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Unread 05-15-2011, 09:51 AM   #11
DoctorTim
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96 and 99

I suggest you check out both years before making a final purchase, It mostly depends on which style you prefer, and also all of the little small performance upgrades, but you can't really notice a difference in performance (were talking just a few horses).

some people like the squared off look and 96 happens to be the last year they had it, which means it is the most improved in that style.

for those who like the rounded off look, the 99 is best option because the 00 and 01 have design flaws with the 0331 head.
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Unread 05-15-2011, 10:04 AM   #12
nicexj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopi8321 View Post
"the ignition system is a coil rail as oppossed a distributor and wires."
That is largely the source for the boosted performance. I think I would give up to the performance for a standard distributor system.

I like my NP231 though. It's a reliable tcase if you treat it right. I treated my wrong, and it broke. But that was my fault. Anything has a breaking point.
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A solid jack, and a good set of wrenches are all just part of the investment in owning a Jeep.

2001 XJ 3" Rusty's aal, 31x10.5 Good Year Authorities Powertrax No slip Locker in the rear
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Unread 05-15-2011, 12:48 PM   #13
JeepRide
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Unread 05-15-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
DoctorTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepRide View Post
1998
u ever own any other year XJ?
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96 XJ, geared, 8.8, 5", 33s, dash
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Unread 05-15-2011, 02:10 PM   #15
RoyalXJ
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99. better flowing intake, 29 spline rear shafts, hp30 in the front with the larger 297/760 u joints
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