ZJ buying advice? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-09-2002, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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ZJ buying advice?

I've done a bit of searching on this site (and now know the difference between a ZJ and a WJ, among other things). What I haven't really been able to find are good comparisons of various early ZJ's by year, or I6 vs. V8 threads.

Basically, I'm looking to buy an early GC, probably '95 or older. Definately 4x4. Older == cheaper, so why should I care if it is a '93 or a '95? Do I6 owners wish they had a V8 (hard to find, especially in my price range with under 100k miles). Do I really care which type of 4x4 for the very limited off-roading it will see? I doubt I'll do any real towing either.

My first thought was to get the cheapest 4x4 GC I can find with around 100k miles that does't seem to have any serious problems and has a clear carfax. My second thought was to post here asking for advice so I didn't regret my decision.

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post #2 of 3 Old 09-09-2002, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply, and with good useful information as well!

Originally posted by Bob J
to start with cutting costs if you don't need full-time 4wd don't get it, part-time systems are cheaper and easier to fix if need be.

I don't need full-time. If I understand it correct, there are 3 options, always 4wd (all-wheel-drive), typical part-time 4wd for slippery roads only, and what my cherokee had, part-time 4wd that can be used on dry roads all the time. Since I occasionally have to drive through flooded roads I really liked being able to put it in 4wd and not worrry about tearing it up.

also becareful of clunks coming from the front end, alot of people who tend to own GCs don't know not to use part-time 4wd on dry pavement and wind up busting u-joints. If you can do your own repairs this can actually be a good thing as u-joints are cheap
I'm no mechanic, but I can follow directions and do most simple repairs on my cars. Thing is, if I heard clunking from the front end I wouldn't trust my judgement in determining the problem and would probably just walk away. 'Course now that you've told me something to look out for I might take it to a qualified mechanic to have it checked instead of just walking away.

The I6 is enough to make you spin the tires with an auto so I never felt like I needed more power while driving one.
This makes me feel better. An I6 seems much cheaper and easier to get, but I was really worried about it being underpowered. My Cherokee Sport had the HO 4.0 and was just fine, but the GC is heavier.

Some have problems with the brakes so check for warped rotors.

other then that just check all the normal car-buying basics. (signs for abuse, rust, an engine compartment that looks like it's never been services)

I'm sure other people will chime in with personal experiences and flaws with years I'm not familiar with
Thanks again for the good info. And of course I want to hear other opinions.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-10-2002, 02:10 PM
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well ok lets just start out saying that i acctually do own a GC limited with the I-6 and full time 4wd. as far as the full time 4wd system goes i wouldn't recommend it. this doesn't mean that i've really had any problem with it, i just don't believe it is nessasary and not worth the loss of power. the comment about being able to spin the tires, i have certainly never been able to do that. takes a lot more effort to spin 4 wheels than 2. i would recommend the V8 at least if you're going to go with full time 4wd. i would like the selec-trak system better which has a 2wd, full time 4w, part time 4w, and 4w lo. large SELECtion. i assume you know the difference between a full time and part time 4wd system. noting this difference if the car has part time 4wd i would take it to a mechanic to check the U-joints before buying. but like Bob said it is an easy fix. also really note the break rotors!!! although i have never had any problems with mine my girlfriend's has had this problem repeatedly. in a bad case the whole car will shudder when decelerating, trust me it's uncomfortable. but to help you out ZJ's really didn't change a whole lot through their production. don't take too much note of what year it is and look at what really interests you.

also i have to commend the infinity sound system and if you like listening to music when you ride i would really look for it. i have it and it's wonderful. good luck on your new jeep!


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