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Unread 06-16-2001, 07:11 PM   #1
Merc. Man
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Sebringville Ontario
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Help a Possible Jeep buyer out?

Gentlemen - it is with intrest that I read over your site. Ever since a tour last spring through bush and Lake Erie (yes, the Big lake ), I've had an itch for 4X4ing that needs to be scratched. I've always liked the Grand Cherokees over any other midsized (as compared to a fullsize truck) 4X4, but am worried about their long-term reliability. I don't mind working on my cars, as long as the projects aren't too complicated, or involve electrical. Is there any reason why getting a Grand is not a good idea for off-roading? I've seen some pics of serious off-roading on the Grand Cherokee Assn., and they look like they can take quite a bit of abuse... Driving a Marquis is great, but the rocks she can climb aren't too big ! Thanks for any suggestions - Merc.

My Daily Driver (lookalike):



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Unread 06-18-2001, 03:59 AM   #2
horatio102
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Are you looking at a WJ or ZJ? I had a 4.7L '99 for two years, and aside from the new-componentry-glitches it was great. A friend had a '94 (I think) with the 4.0 and the only real problem they had was the air conditioning failed to hold a charge towards the end of it's life. (4 recharges in 3 years).
If I had it to do all over again I'd probably have opted for a 97 (two years old at the time, biggest depreciation hit, etc.) 5.2L so I could dump money into modifying it. There is at least two in the area with major wheeling action and they're both capable. I think they'd be great.
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Unread 06-18-2001, 09:38 PM   #3
Merc. Man
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Thanks for the reply - this board seems kinda slow, eh? Maybe everyones out enjoying thier Jeeps ! I'm not familiar with WJ/ZJ, but they are the different trim levels of Grand Cherokee? For sure I want 4X4, and I was told that they are not all equiped with 4 wheel drive... Due to amazingly high resale value's, I'd be looking at a 96 or older, and my insurance will kill me once they find out I've bought a Jeep - they already soak me pretty bad for with my "Grampa Car" Marquis ! So what engine choices are there? Straight 6 4.0, and a 5.2? What years were the 318? I know they are brutal on gas, but have balls on end! Also, was 93 the first year for the "Newer" body styled Grand Cherokee's? And is that a year to avoid (due to 'teething' pains), or it it essentially a carry over from the Wagoneer? Thanks - Merc.
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Unread 06-19-2001, 03:29 PM   #4
horatio102
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WJ = '99+ 4.0L I6 or 4.7L V8
ZJ = '93-98 4.0L I6, 5.2L (318) V8, 5.9L V8 ('98 only)
According to Carpoint (usually somewhat accurate) the 318 didn't appear until '97, but I could have sworn that they were around in 94 when my friend's dad bought his.
Are you joking about the resale value? I just sold my '99 Laredo V8, heated leather, quadra-drive, moonroof, infinity gold tape/cd, up-country, blah blah blah for $23k. Not two years ago I paid $33k plus tax, license (at the time, $750 ) and payoff of my other vehicle. I wouldn't say that's high resale.
Personally I'd stay away from the 93/94's due to the new body style glitches (most of which SHOULD be worked out by now, but you never know)
My insurance with my '99 (me=24, single, 1 single vehicle meets solid object collision, 1 comp claim) was $1200 every 6 months. Oh, that was for a '91 Civic (high theft vehicle), '99 WJ, and '01 Impreza. Now that I've sold the Jeep and Honda it's down to $900ish every six. Bah.
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Unread 06-20-2001, 10:18 PM   #5
Merc. Man
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Youth is a *****, eh? I just turned 22 yesterday, and have to call my insurance demanding a reduction in rates - I pay just over $3000 (Cdn.)/year for full coverage on my 92 Marquis, and Fire+Theft on my Cougar XR7. Anything newer than 97 is out of the question - that's my budget line ... I guess initial depreciation is bad - especially $5000/year , but that goes for any newer vehicle - but mid 90's Grands still command a pretty penny. I guess I'm looking for a 5.2, and I too believe they were offered before 1997 - I am not familiar with carpoint, so I won't trust'em ! I will settle for a 4.0, but now my important question is wether ALL ZJ's are 4X4? Thanks Horatio - Kevin.

BTW, enjoy the Impreza - those are neat little machines!
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Unread 06-21-2001, 04:11 AM   #6
horatio102
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Oh... just like the XJ you can actually get a 2wd version... poser-value package is what it's called I believe.
"Since we know most of you won't go offroad, and since we know it's cool to have a Jeep, we'll offer the 2wd version just for you cheap-o posers who want to pretend to be cool while not paying as much for insurance and maintenance."
- Taken from imaginary literature for the 2wd Jeeps, as well as the Toyota PreRunner.

Easiest way to tell is to look for the 4x4 emblem under the rear quarter windows. If it doesn't have them it's 1) been wrecked/repainted 2) 2wd, or 3) debadged. Second easiest way is to peek under the front bumper and see if there is an axle or not. Third is to look for the transfer case snorkus lever (admit it... the ZJ has a funny shaped one).

If I only had unlimited funds.... >sigh<
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Unread 06-23-2001, 04:38 PM   #7
Merc. Man
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Excellent - thanks man, with that info I'll be a pro in no time! I do my shopping with Autotrader, and it can be hard to see the 4X4 badge sometimes, but they are there. Now, to find a Nice 4X4 that hasn't been (badly) abused.
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Unread 06-25-2001, 05:55 AM   #8
horatio102
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Oh.. another great tool is carfax. Go to www.carfax.com and pay the $20 and get the 60 day (or 90, whatever it is) unlimited deal. When you run the VIN it'll tell you what engine and if it's 2wd or 4wd. It won't tell you what tranny, or anything that detailed, but at least it'll let you know what you're looking at.
I hope Canada does the carfax stuff too. I know on a couple of Jeeps I looked at the first thing pulled up was a Canadian certificate or something.
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