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Savvy/Currie Aluminum Control ArmsROCK BOTTOM prices on LIFT KITS at Rockridge4wd!! WANT TO December Specials at Jeephut.com

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Unread 11-12-2013, 12:34 AM   #1
indeepwithajeep
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 215
Help me find my first Jeep/SUV?

I've been needing something to get me up to the mountain and I'm tired of being limited by a car. I've narrowed my search down to XJ, ZJ, and possibly a WJ. I'm aiming towards the 4.0L with a selec-trac or command-trac transfer case (prefer no quadratragic), however with a WJ I'd maybe do the 4.7. I'm looking to spend $3200-8000 (would need a loan for anything higher than 5k so that limits some private party buys). I've looked at 3 XJ's so far and just haven't found anything too promising (I'm probably too picky). Also I just can't seem to leave any vehicle I own alone. So I'm planing on doing a lift among other things for some light-med wheeling.
I'm starting to look to ZJ's now as it seems like they have better price:mileage. From what I'm reading they're a little bit more comfortable car which probably will be great for the mountain drives and I'm assuming extra leg room for me!
I'm thinking of going to check this vehicle out for $3750 @ 160k. Tire look nice, I hope everything else checks out.


I'd also like to point out I have a mechanical background, I'm fairly decent about checking cars over. However I have no knowledge about automatics. Thanks for reading!

TLDR: I'm buying a Jeep (grand) Cherokee. Preferably a 4.0L for better mpg's. I'll keep this post updated for potential buys and advice along the way. Thanks!


Last edited by indeepwithajeep; 11-12-2013 at 01:32 AM..
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Unread 11-12-2013, 02:07 AM   #2
indeepwithajeep
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 215
Also I forgot to ask.. Is a OBDI car easier or more difficult to pass emissions? What are the pros & cons?
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Unread 11-12-2013, 02:31 AM   #3
indeepwithajeep
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Portland, Or
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These are the two current XJ's I've had my eye on.

1990 XJ w/ 129k on the clock for $4k.




This 1998 one is going for $5.5k, w/ 4.5'' lift, "Never been taken offroad" (ha), rok ready bumper, 170k, motor rebuild 25k miles ago / P&P and boar of 15 over / also claims titanium rods. I'm curious to see what the underbody looks like and how the rack looks at the uni body. Also if he has receipts for this engine work.



However I'm not sure which route I want to go now (grand or not).

Last edited by indeepwithajeep; 11-12-2013 at 02:51 AM..
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Unread 11-12-2013, 10:03 AM   #4
robtco99
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Posts: 198
I would look for something you can pay cash for. All said those ones at dealers seem very high to me. I prefer to buy from a private seller
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2001 amber fire cherokee sport 4x4, 2 in lift, 30x9.50 generals, 174 ion wheels, pretty much stock.
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Unread 11-12-2013, 10:35 AM   #5
fastfreddie
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Definitely want to see receipts for claimed items/work. Titanium rods? Yeah, let's seem 'em. Crack that oil pan.

A WJ is within your budget, a nice XJ holds its value and could cost as much or more than a WJ.
My concern would be reliability vs age. How many things go wrong over time? Is this thing getting ready to nickel-n-dime the current owner to death?
With the potential for various issues concerning the more sophisticated trim levels to rise with age, I'd get as basic as possible while still getting the upgrades you desire.

WJ, Laredo with a 4.7, if you can find it. QuadraDrive is virtually bullet-proof and would serve you well in the PNW but I'm not sure if QD was available in a Laredo. Don't get power windows or auto-AC that are prone to fail.

Can't speak to the ZJ, but really long in the tooth...(I never liked 'em).

With the XJ, I'd say the newer - the better(I had a '94 and a '98, basically the same tho' the body was remodeled in '97), barring the ones that blew their heads in the '00-'01 time frame. They didn't seem to have problems with their power windows(like WJs), mine always blew cold/hot air when I wanted(unlike the auto-AC options in WJs), starters never failed(like in my WJ) and doing my own servicing was a breeze which I enjoyed.
"Sport" trim levels are well equipped.
Do not get the 2.5 engine.

If I could find a good, '97+, 2dr XJ, I'd snap it up without a question.
(I didn't like the 4dr version).
My WJ is ready to be replaced. Bought it new. Currently, relatively worthless.
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Unread 11-12-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
indeepwithajeep
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The only one from a dealer is the top one (which isn't a bad deal considering how new those tires look IMO). The other two in my third post is private party sales which is about average in price considering. There isn't a whole lot of deals out there right now that winter is around the corner. I thought about buying something cheaper (like that ZJ) and running it for just a winter. Then try to score a deal in the summer time for a car I'd rather put money into. I don't particularly want to go about it this way, but I've been searching for two months now.

I'd prefer under 140k and banzai blue, however I know that isn't going to happen. I wish I bought this one awhile back. however it had quite a few things wrong and low coolant res, bad tie rod ends, could smell coolant when warm, 190k, worn tires, cheap adjustable suspension spacers, cheapest fog lights ever, legit rear leaf springs however, ect... However it was wayy over priced even when they lowered the price to $5750 (from $7500 lol) I just didn't want it to be the start of a leaking head gasket.

http://www.usedcarmarketwholesale.co...tone-or=467890
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Unread 11-12-2013, 11:18 AM   #7
fastfreddie
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With what I'm hearing, you know your way around a vehicle.
Wouldn't that preclude buying something that's already been molested?
I mean, wouldn't you rather do those things yourself?
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Unread 11-12-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
indeepwithajeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastfreddie View Post
Definitely want to see receipts for claimed items/work. Titanium rods? Yeah, let's seem 'em. Crack that oil pan.

A WJ is within your budget, a nice XJ holds its value and could cost as much or more than a WJ.
My concern would be reliability vs age. How many things go wrong over time? Is this thing getting ready to nickel-n-dime the current owner to death?

Don't get power windows or auto-AC that are prone to fail.

Can't speak to the ZJ, but really long in the tooth...(I never liked 'em).

With the XJ, I'd say the newer - the better(I had a '94 and a '98, basically the same tho' the body was remodeled in '97), barring the ones that blew their heads in the '00-'01 time frame. They didn't seem to have problems with their power windows(like WJs),m ine always blew cold/hot air when I wanted(unlike the auto-AC options in WJs), starters never failed(like in my WJ) and doing my own servicing was a breeze which I enjoyed.
"Sport" trim levels are well equipped.
Do not get the 2.5 engine.

If I could find a good, '97+, 2dr XJ, I'd snap it up without a question.
(I didn't like the 4dr version).
My WJ is ready to be replaced. Bought it new. Currently, relatively worthless.
Thanks for the info It seems just from searching online that people seem to have the most problems with the quadradrive.

I've owned a lot of Volkswagen's so I know a thing or two about being nickel and dimed to death and bad window regulators However I haven't heard about the regulators aren't as bad in that time frame of XJ's. Personally I like the older style dash 90-95' (I think) and steering wheels on the XJ's If I was to buy a XJ I would like to make sure it's in good enough condition stay running for about 2-3 years with regular maintenance. Then find a new engine to rebuild for some more reliable fun.
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Unread 11-12-2013, 11:40 AM   #9
indeepwithajeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastfreddie View Post
With what I'm hearing, you know your way around a vehicle.
Wouldn't that preclude buying something that's already been molested?
I mean, wouldn't you rather do those things yourself?
I would rather do things myself. More so if I can find a great maintained car at a reasonable price (which hasn't been happening). Seems like everything I've been looking at the tie rods ends are bad, lots of gasket leaks, blown stabilizer strut, rusted door hinges, ect. You can kind of tell how hard someone has ran their jeep offroad just by inspecting the car and driving it. If I can get more value for my dollar and it checks out. I wouldn't be adverse to buying something that has had a little extras put on if there isn't a added premium for said items.
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Unread 11-12-2013, 12:22 PM   #10
Adam013085
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The one at the dealership is not horribly priced since it is retail pricing. The other 2 you have posted are pretty overpriced.
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Unread 11-12-2013, 02:12 PM   #11
fastfreddie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indeepwithajeep View Post
Thanks for the info It seems just from searching online that people seem to have the most problems with the quadradrive.
You're welcome! Im glad it was appreciated.

The QuadraDrive is one thing I haven't worried about at all. I love mine. If I can replace my WJ with a JK, the best I can reasonably do to emulate the QD is TrueTracs, F/R. That would, technically, be my fourth Jeep and the one for which I'll empty my pockets, gladly.
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Unread 11-13-2013, 11:00 PM   #12
indeepwithajeep
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 215
I went to look at the grand.. The body and interior were nice. Seems like it was leaking at the oil filter elbow thing. I wasn't able to drive it as I got to the car place late, but it ran for about 10 mins. Felt like there was quite a bit of mosture coming from the oil cap and even the dip stick tube. I guess the transmission is self contained (couldn't find the dip stick)? It also seemed like two injectors might of been leaking.


Then I looked at a 98' Cherokee. It only had a 118k on it. Had a blinker malfunction, but it might be a bad contact on the relay (hazards weren't worker as well at first). Sounded like it had a warped rotor and the brake was squeaky (maybe caliper float). Also needs a oil change. I noticed lots of surface rust underneath on all the front front end stuff. He was asking 4.1k

I like the grand better actually, but kind of weary with all the vapor coming out.. could have just been sitting for awhile I might go back and test drive it. What do you guys think?

Last edited by indeepwithajeep; 11-14-2013 at 01:56 PM..
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Unread 11-14-2013, 02:06 AM   #13
fastfreddie
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In Oregon? Yeah, I'd say there was a condensation problem.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 10:14 AM   #14
indeepwithajeep
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 215
Didn't buy it.. I felt like it just needed too much work and maintenance.. Back on the hunt!
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Unread 11-17-2013, 04:32 AM   #15
fastfreddie
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I'd be willing to sell ya mine, dirt cheap. Gotta talk the wife into it and also let you know, it needs maintenance...$2500-$3500. There's a list.
But, I have taken good care of it up 'til now when everything has conspired to nickel-n-dime me. It's just not worth it for me to keep.
Low trade in? $2K
Dealer cost to bring back to 100%? $2K
What would it be worth? Maybe $6500. I'd lose money fixing it and selling it so I'm just as happy to dump it on a dealer or someone willing to throw some money at it...or, anyone willing to live with some less-than-pristine conditions. The interior is near flawless. The issues are all mechanical.
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