Looked but could not find: manual or automatic... - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-07-2012, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
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Looked but could not find: manual or automatic...


Okay I REALLY want a Jeep. Considered CJ5, CJ7, and Wrangler but they were to small. We (ie wife) decided that Cherokee is a better fit. We really want substantial off-road capabilities. We have found a couple of mid 90's Cherokees. One is incredibly good condition (150K but looks like half that) all the extras and all working. However it is 4.0HO with AW4 automatic. The other is the same engine (1995) unknown miles but rebuilt recently however it has 5 speed manual. Price difference is substantial $6000+ and $2000 respectively. So, which to get. Both claim master mech. maintenance by either themselves or their employees. I have read both that the AW4 is "bullet proof" others say it is weak by nature. I have not heard anything about the manual. I guess they are so rare.

Looking for experience. Anyone want to give some feedback on which is better? Which should I get from transmission perspective - manual vs automatic. Which will last longer etc.

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post #2 of 6 Old 12-07-2012, 11:17 PM
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
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Both are good choices go with what you prefer. i prefer manual but i have the aw4. its not a bad trans but it gets... confused so to speak, it doesnt like shifting effeciently and in my experience the manuals get better mileage. also go with the one with less rust cuz once it starts its hard to stop.

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post #3 of 6 Old 12-08-2012, 12:36 PM
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$6000 is way too much for a mid 90s Anything in Any condition... well, Jeeps at least...
If these are you two best choices, and if you can't wait, get the manual. At least it's close to a reasonable price.
But auto transmissions are easier to off-road with
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-08-2012, 12:55 PM
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Can your wife drive a manual transmission? I had to get an auto due to the fact my wife can't/won't drive a manual. That and a got a screamin' deal on my auto XJ.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-08-2012, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: Saint Louis
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My Wife actually hates Automatics...

I have one of those wonderfully odd females who actually LOVES cars and macho cars at that. She drives a rechipped turbo diesel Jetta and I can not sleep with her driving because she hates to not use 5th gear and it will not go into 5th until 75 mph. You get the drift. She says Automatics are for ... ahhmm... sissies.... Love that woman. The 6K one is VERY nice with lots of addons, no rust that I can see at all, completely rebuilt from front to back with docs to prove it, high end lift, high end tires (brand new) etc. I don't think it is worth the 6K either but I live in a very expensive area to get good used vehicles. Rust kills and it uses road salt and Missouri LOOOOVVVVEEESSS road salt, we use it in the summer just for fun.

Anyway, I am having both inspected by the dealer ($100 per vehicle but worth it I think) what I really wanted to know as about off road in them - manual vs automatic. On cost, since the seller of the manual claims the engine and trans have been gone through recently it would be body work (however that is a huge assumption but let us go with it) which would cost me about 3K to get it knocked back into shape. Body work here is also expensive due to low competition. Painless dent repair (no painting) of two deep scratch and three scrapes on my Subaru cost me $525 (lowest bid of 6 - yes six bids) and took all of 90 minutes to do. The "color blending specialist" (aka airbrush guy) will be another $500. I have been informed that it is a class D felony to mix and or use automotive paints in my county without proper inspection by the county and proper licenses by the county - environmental and health concerns account for this.... fertilizer. So that is out. I can do the body work myself but not the painting.

In my area, regardless of mileage (usually about 150k) a good condition CJ (5,7) or Wrangler will cost about $4K+, $2K will get you a "needs TLC" (ie rusty POS).. Cherokee's are generally in that range as well but usually 10 years newer. $2K will get you a well used Cherokee or Grand Cherokee from the 90's with 150 and 100K miles respectively. I don't know how Grand Cherokees will fair off road, not heard anything either way but CJ/Wrangler are king of rock crawling and mud here. That is why the prices are so high, most end up going out that way.

So, the prices are not out of line for this area, now this area's prices are out of line, I have no doubt. I would take good alternative suggestions - some have said to buy out of state to avoid rust. Is that a good idea?

Last edited by OldNewJeeper; 12-08-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-08-2012, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by OldNewJeeper View Post
Anyway, I am having both inspected by the dealer ($100 per vehicle but worth it I think) what I really wanted to know as about off road in them - manual vs automatic.
As far as off roading, get whichever one has a better lift on it. I have taken my jeep with an ax15 (manual) up a few pretty steep rocky hills and it is fine and easy. put it into 4-Lo and 1st gear and it basically goes up by itself (no gas pedal). If you are gonna really get into a dedicated rock crawling rig then go auto. Otherwise you should be fine with either.

I'm not saying we should kill stupid people... Just get rid of all the warning labels...
If you find my comments to "infer" something, they don't. Go to hell.
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automatic , cherokee , manual

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