2001 Cherokee Sport Advice?! - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 2 Old 12-18-2012, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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2001 Cherokee Sport Advice?!

Hey Everyone,

My wife and I found a nice 2001 Cherokee Sport with 128,000 miles and are interested in buying it. The price is right for us, and we had our mechanic look at it and it passed with flying colors (with some minor exceptions to be expected in a 10 year old car.) Because of this forum I have become aware of the infamous "0331" issue (which I'm sure everyone is tired of talking about) on 2000-2001 Cherokees. Our mechanic said he "doesn't think" the head is cracked, but I got the sense that he wasn't 100% sure because he wasn't aware of the 0331 problem in Jeeps (he's not a Jeep specialist). The oil was clean and the coolant levels were high, but I am also quite positive that the seller just changed the oil and coolant so those might not be of much help right now.

My question is, despite the clean oil, coolant level, and my mechanic not being sure, how can *I* be sure that I'm not buying a Jeep with a cracked head? Is this something a good mechanic (which I am pretty sure ours is) would see, even if he didn't know to look for it specifically?

I'm not scared off by the *possibility* (10%?) of having a defective 0331 part. I'm OK to deal with the problem if it comes up, and my wife and I typically take good care of our cars and are planning to keep an eye out for symptoms of a cracked head. My main concern is that the head is already cracked and I am buying a $1000 problem.

Thanks in advance. This is our first Jeep - I am a former Land Rover guy - so my wife and I are hoping we can start out with a good one!


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post #2 of 2 Old 12-18-2012, 05:24 PM
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: Harrisburg
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The best way to tell is to pull the valve cover and look for a crack, they usually occur between the #3 and 4 cylinders. You will either see coolant, or a white line, or it may be perfectly clean (no oil, steam cleaned by the coolant). I'm not sure the current owner would let you do this but it is the best way.

If it has never overheated the likelihood of a crack is slim, however you never know if a used vehicle has been overheated and the XJ is more susceptible than most. Since the stock cooling system is merely adequate and does not have much excess capacity any failed part or maintenance lapse can lead to an overheat.
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0331 , 2001 , cherokee , sport

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