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Unread 02-08-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
MileHiTJ
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1993 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Posts: 86
New XJ Owner

I bought a 1996 XJ yesterday with 156k miles for $800. The body is good. The inside is clean. No wrecks. Tires are bald. Pretty much a stock Cherokee Sport. The only problem was the flexplate. The previous owner had gone through two flexplates and the third one was installed and knocking. I started and drove the Jeep. Engine was strong and quiet. Steering was straight. Brakes were a little weak. I took it to a local 4x4 shop I use, and they think the flexplate problem could be due to misaligning the starter, but they really can't get to the bottom of the problem until tomorrow. Does that sound right to you all? When I first started and drove the Jeep, I could hear a little ticking. But after a few hours I restarted it and the whole thing sounded like a rod knocking. I also need a new battery. What is the real group size? 34? 58? Any help is appreciated.

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Unread 02-08-2011, 03:54 PM   #2
4ll4boutda4play
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Clayton, NM
Posts: 299
Welcome to the XJ! Cant offer anything to ya for either one of your questions. Sorry. but the search button should net you the battery size without much filtering.
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1997 Cherokee Sport, Rustys Intake with velocity stack and larger cone filter, Flowmaster 40 series, Junkyard Lift 3.5", Zone Nitro Shocks, Trimed fenders, 35x14.5x15 TSL Thornbirds (Looks HUGE) ... trail damage :) Future holds Aftermarket bumpers front and rear, exo cage, lockers/gears
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Unread 02-09-2011, 03:25 PM   #3
MileHiTJ
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1993 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Posts: 86
Well, the saga continues. The shop I took it to is going to have to drop the transmission to find the problem. The flexplate was cracked, like it sounded. But the crank shaft end play was fine, within specs. So no thrust bearings to replace. They think it may be the wrong bolts were used on the torque converter or that the pump has gone out in the transmission. But the transmission was shifting fine when I bought it, so they don't think there is any internal damage to the tranny.
This is all going to run me about $750 to get the repairs done, including the flexplate. Most of the labor cost is just dropping the transmission.
So I'm not feeling so smart right now. I was hoping this would be cheaper to repair. So if I get this finally fixed, the Jeep will have cost me about $1500.
Is that a bad investment for a pretty clean '96 with 156,000 miles?
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Unread 02-09-2011, 03:42 PM   #4
chiefbill1959
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Monticello, Ky
Posts: 361
You still did OK! Remember, it could always be worse.
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Unread 02-09-2011, 04:36 PM   #5
vabeachtennis
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: va beach
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by MileHiTJ View Post
Well, the saga continues. The shop I took it to is going to have to drop the transmission to find the problem. The flexplate was cracked, like it sounded. But the crank shaft end play was fine, within specs. So no thrust bearings to replace. They think it may be the wrong bolts were used on the torque converter or that the pump has gone out in the transmission. But the transmission was shifting fine when I bought it, so they don't think there is any internal damage to the tranny.
This is all going to run me about $750 to get the repairs done, including the flexplate. Most of the labor cost is just dropping the transmission.
So I'm not feeling so smart right now. I was hoping this would be cheaper to repair. So if I get this finally fixed, the Jeep will have cost me about $1500.
Is that a bad investment for a pretty clean '96 with 156,000 miles?
In my opinion, no, especially if everything else is running fine. I bought my 96 Sport for $900 with 123k miles. I had to install a new water pump ($32), coolant($20), clutch fan ($43), serp belt ($32), new/used tires ($150), oil change ($30), diff fluid change ($30), I need new differential gears ($150+), new upstream o2 sensor ($65), rear output shaft seal replaced ($75), etc.
Add those additional numbers up: $627
$627 + 900= $1,527 this wasn't all at one time though, I also forgot to add that I got an alignment, tune up, and IAC and throttle body clean up and a new battery.That should put me in the $1,700+ range and I am VERY HAPPY that I got the Jeep.
Good luck and welcome to the Club and the 1996 XJ club! The 96 seems to be a mix of 1995 and 1997 Jeep in some ways.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 03:44 PM   #6
MileHiTJ
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1993 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Posts: 86
Ok, now I have a real problem and need some advice quick. After looking at the flexplate problem, the shop found that the engine block has cracked and was welded back up. Probably happened when the previous owner had the flexplate put on the first time. So now the shop has offered to install an engine the have in stock with 36000 miles on it (original) for $2700. No charge for all the work done to date. Or if I don't want to fix the Jeep, they will buy it from me for the $800 I originally spent. What should I do?
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Unread 02-11-2011, 03:49 PM   #7
Topgun514
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1988 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 1,798
LET THEM BUY IT BACK.

If you can get out of this even, then you make a good deal and learned something about Jeeps. Sorry if thats not what you wanted to hear but this sounds like a lemon BAD. You can find tons of great jeeps in CO/UT if you want for 800 that run fine but are less on estetics. Do youself a favor and get out of it and call up the previous owner- yell at him, then get on with another jeep.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #8
davsfsj3xjs
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1987 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by MileHiTJ View Post
Ok, now I have a real problem and need some advice quick. After looking at the flexplate problem, the shop found that the engine block has cracked and was welded back up. Probably happened when the previous owner had the flexplate put on the first time. So now the shop has offered to install an engine the have in stock with 36000 miles on it (original) for $2700. No charge for all the work done to date. Or if I don't want to fix the Jeep, they will buy it from me for the $800 I originally spent. What should I do?
Sell it to them for $1,000. and make $200. for your trouble. It will not cost them as much as they would charge you to fix it. Get on Craigslist, there are so many other Jeeps in the Denver area.
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Unread 02-15-2011, 10:23 AM   #9
MileHiTJ
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1993 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Posts: 86
The owner of the shop has been slow to buy the Cherokee, and I'm getting the feeling that I will be stuck with the Jeep and a bad motor. Like I said, the Jeep is in really good shape except for a cracked block.
Should I try to find a donor motor at the salvage yard or craigslist? I have tools, but no experience in swapping out a motor. I don't even know how I would get a motor to my house to swap it out.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
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