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post #1 of 13 Old 07-10-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
Fotomon
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2001 Cherokee Classic renovation?

Newbie here. We are a Jeep Family for many years. I've decided to take over my oldest sons 2001 Cherokee Classic and put some money into bringing it back to something I can drive for camping and fishing. No ground up restoration but looking at a new paint job, some new interior upholstery and whatever engine work needs to be done. It's actually in pretty good shape. Does have about 180k miles on it. Mostly highway. We are the second owners. Always loved the look and that straight line 6 engine.

What I would like to know from anyone that has a similar model is what I should look out for and be sure to have looked at closely by any mechanic I take it to. Are there any recurring issues with this year and model?

I've always thought the power steering wasn't the smoothest but could be just how this model drives. A bit stiff but better than nothing I guess. Normal?

Center console is wobbly. At least the top padded part. Have to look at info on how to take apart and see why.

Any good source out there for proper ways to take apart door panels and other areas? Plan on retiring and replacing speakers, etc..

Any insights, suggestions, sources for parts will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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post #2 of 13 Old 07-11-2017, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotomon View Post
What I would like to know from anyone that has a similar model is what I should look out for and be sure to have looked at closely by any mechanic I take it to. Are there any recurring issues with this year and model?
Rubber is almost always ignored but as a whole the various bushings and mounts have a big impact on NVH. That's engine and tranny mounts, control arm bushings, leaf spring/shackle bushings, bump stops and coil spring isolators.

As to the specific year: the 01 is prone to the head cracking between cylinders 3 and 4, especially if it's overheated. As a result extra care should be taken to keep the cooling system in good shape and you should watch out for low oil pressure, coolant going gunky quickly even after a flush and a milkshake type appearance to the oil, especially up under the valve cover. These are all signs of oil and coolant mixing which point to a cracked head. The heads can be replaced, either with an 02.5+ TUPY head taken from a junkyard 4.0 WJ or TJ or with a new aftermarket piece like a clearwater, but it's not strictly necessary if yours isn't cracked.

Last ignored item: Fluids. People tend to be good about replacing the engine oil, but differentials, transfer case, transmission and coolant are often never properly drained and replaced despite their maintenance schedule. One should also inspect the condition of the brake and power steering fluids in the reservoir to make sure they're not overly burnt or dirty, which degrades the performance of those system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotomon View Post
I've always thought the power steering wasn't the smoothest but could be just how this model drives. A bit stiff but better than nothing I guess. Normal?
The XJ is stiffer than many vehicle stock, I wouldn't worry unless you've got leaks, noise coming from the PS pump or if it's not smooth through the range of motion. If it has hang-ups or jerks or anything lock to lock that's cause for concern. Good test for that is to get the front tires of the ground on jack stands and go lock to lock with it, that way tires or road conditions can't influence the impression of the steering's moving parts.

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Originally Posted by Fotomon View Post
Center console is wobbly. At least the top padded part. Have to look at info on how to take apart and see why.
There is a plastic mount that attaches the console to the trans tunnel, it often (as in almost all of them by now) breaks leaving the back end of the console pretty much completely unattached to the body and wobbly. There is an online vendor (dirtbound, i think) that makes a steel replacement for the mount that would fix the issue. It's a bit pricey, though. ~$60 IIRC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotomon View Post
Any good source out there for proper ways to take apart door panels and other areas? Plan on retiring and replacing speakers, etc..
Youtube. there are a number of videos. They're pretty easy, though. There's screws just under the pull handle (3 front, 2 rear) along with one in each latch handle pocket and one in the upper forward corners of each front door panel. After that you just pull/pry gently at the edge of the panels to draw these teardrop shaped plastic connectors back through holes in the door, and then lift the panel of the lip at the top where it hooks in along the base of the window. Those old plastic connectors are replaceable and often break when you remove them because they're so brittle. Just make sure you don't have any HUGE gaps without the connectors (multiple broken in a row) and it's not the end of the world if a panel is missing a couple. the sills along the top and bottom of the cab are just held in with a bunch of phillips screws. If you take those off, be careful when retightening them, it's easy to pull through the plastic by accident.

As to speakers: 6.5" speakers fit well in the front doors with just a couple of new mounting screw holes drilled in. 5.25's are listed on most websites as the replacement, but they don't fill the cutout completely and the lack of a seal will really hurt midbass performance. Also be aware that there isn't a lot of depth available without interfering with the windows rolling down, something like 2-3/8" of top-mount depth max. The rear sound bar is a terrible enclosure, but most 5.25 and entry level 6.5" speakers can be made to fit just fine.



Hopefully something useful can be found in all that rambling.

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post #3 of 13 Old 07-12-2017, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Curtis,

Thank you! This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Bit of a learning curve but love YouTube so doing as much "research" on anything that I can do myself.

Dealing with an engine light issue right now. Keeps popping on. Took to a mechanic that has done some work on my wife's Grand Cherokee and other cars. Code said it was an evap leak. He cleared for me and I replaced the gas cap with a new original one from dealer. Came back on. Looking through YouTube vids right now and considering just replacing the Purge Valve solenoid, leak detection pump or charcoal canister. All these look easy to do myself but don't know yet if any of these are the culprit. Plan on having them do a leak test. Any suggestion as to normal culprits with the Cherokees?
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-12-2017, 10:23 AM
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it can be a lot of things. I'd suggest you start by inspecting the evap canister and associated plumbing for damage or accompanying gas smell in the area. Then take a close look at (and sniff of) your injectors looking for the same thing.

Why start with those two? Because I don't know a way to test the solenoid or pump off hand, the inspection is free and both of those things have caused issues for others in the past.

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post #5 of 13 Old 07-12-2017, 11:45 AM
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Fotomon: BlueJunior covered a lot of good stuff to look for. I'll try to add some interior stuff.

Rain leaks - if you ever have wet carpet after a heavy rain, there's a few good places to look at. 1.) The blower motor to firewall gasket/seal.
2.) The fresh air intake duct inside the cowl.
3.) Around the windshield
4.) Around some of the factory body putty and pinch seems in the upper part of the firewall.

1.) The blower motor seal 'could' be helped out with some RTV or similar from inside the firewall. But to do it right, the heater box needs to come out. A GREAT write up on that here: http://buckeyejeeps.com/stuff/XJEvapReplacement.pdf Took me about 2 hours to get mine out and I'm not that brainy.

2.) I've seen the intake duct being sealed up better by cutting in to the cowl above it. I don't recommend this. Instead, just take out the heater box and do it then. Easy-peasy.

3.) I contacted a local body shop about resealing my windshield and the guy quoted me $125. He also said that there was a 50/50 chance that the windshield would break in which case I'd be out $199 for the new windshield. So I am going to apply some extra urethane adhesive under the black trim piece around the windshield and call it a day. I'll advise against using silicone to seal it though. Apparently it's very difficult to ever get urethane to stick to it if you ever have to replace the windshield in the future!

4.) There was a great thread about filling pinch seams and broken body putty but I can't find it right now.

Carpet/Seats:
If your carpet is nasty, I'd recommend cleaning it instead of replacing. I took mine out completely, removed the old moldy insulation backing, and took it to a car wash place where I proceeded to power wash, scrub with soap, and power wash again. It looks and smells so much better now and shouldn't get nasty now that I've hopefully fixed all of my leaks. I've also replaced the stock insulation with double wall aluminum insulation so that should keep tranny heat out as well.

If your seats are nasty, you can go ahead and clean. If you take the carpet out, you'll need to take the seats out anyway so now's the time. After taking the seats out (PB blast the bolts!!!!!), remove the seat to floor brackets. Remove the seat back from the seat bottom. Then you'll notice some plastic sleeve clips that hold the seat cover on to the cushion. Take them off and wash that seat cover real good.

And for your CEL:
I had a Civic for a few years and I used to fill the gas tank up till I could actually see the gas in the fill tube. I did this because I was testing gas mileage and wanted to be as accurate as possible. Anyway... My CEL came on and code described evap can. After I stopped filling it up all the way, it didn't come back on but took a little while. Probably not your issue but if you ARE over-filling it, something to think about at least.

And for your center console:
As mentioned, there are beefy upgrades to the plastic support bracket that can be had. JCR Offroad makes one. Part number: XJCC-97-PC It is powder coated steel and can be had for $50-$60. The factory support bracket is plastic and is $50-$100 or more. Part number for that is #55037038AC. Mine actually had a stripped screw hole as well so I had to go up to a #10 screw size. I think length was 1/2" - 3/4"

Last edited by JellybeanFTW; 07-12-2017 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Add information
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-12-2017, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again. I've checked all the hoses, especially around the canister, did a sniff test while engine running along with above the injectors) and all seem good. Double checked the hoses around the Purge Valve and the Leak Detection Pump as well. All looks good. I wish I had asked specifically if the code they pulled said if it was a small, medium or large leak but didn't. My guess its a small one and may need to be tracked down with smoke. Before I take it back to my mechanic, I plan on pulling the Leak Detection Pump and checking if it will allow ANY air blown or sucked through it. If I had a vacuum gauge, that would tell if any issue but probably tell some with the other test. If there is, it would be worth picking up a new one and replacing.

I'll post later what I find in case it should help others.

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-12-2017, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Jellybean,

Appreciate the info. Issue with carpet in back and seats are cigarette burn marks. One on back seat and several on floor. Cargo carpet looks almost new. My oldest let his "friends" "smoke" back there. I've taken the Jeep over and looking to either keep it and use for backpacking trip in NC mountains or selling it. Haven't decided which.

Wouldn't think twice about taking out the seats and that wobbly center console except for around the gear shift, etc.. wonder how major that is. Don't know if anyone sells a replacement carpet to fit this model. No moisture issues like you described so I'd be doing to just replace carpet and fix that console like you describe.

Is it fairly easy to take the console out enough to get to carpet?
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-12-2017, 01:55 PM
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Fotomon: Glad you don't have any leaks! But too bad about the 'friends' smoking in the back.

Removing the center console is relatively easy and could be done in 20 minutes or less if you've never done one.

Since it's still fresh on my mind, here's the steps:
-disconnect negative battery cable
-chock wheels
-turn key to on
-shift down to 1st
-pull shift knob straight out (the trick to it is more grunting!)
-shift transfer case to 4-low (if present)
-apply parking brake as high as super-humanely possible
-2 Phillips screws inside box under lid
-2 Phillips screws near where the lid latches (not the hinge screws)
-remove shifter bezels (flat blade screw driver or similar...just pops up)
-1 or 2 screws under each bezel
-disconnect light bulbs from bezels

Lastly, gracefully lift up on the rear of the console first to clear parking brake. Once clear, the front should be able to come out as well. Also, all of the screws should be the same size and length so don't worry about getting them mixed up.

There are a few companies making exact fit carpets for our XJ's. I don't have personal experience with any. But here's a couple I've found:
-ACC mats: around $250 for passenger area.
-Stock Interiors: around $140 for passenger area

If you replace the carpeting, you'll have to remove the seats. Some folks have an issue with the rear bolt (not the rear stud not) breaking when trying to remove it. I didn't break mine but it was very stiff. I loosened it just a touch and then would tighten it a touch. Then loosen a little more and then tighten just a little. It may also help to take a wire brush to the underside where it comes out through the bottom and clean up the threads. There is likely undercoating material completely covering the threads so that will make removal of that bolt more risky. But clean those threads and apply some penetrant and you'll likely be okay. And if the bolt looks nasty when you get it out, replacements are M8x25mm I think. I think the bolt heads require a 13mm wrench and the single rear nut is 18mm if I remember correctly. Do the front ones first then slide the seat forward for the rear ones.

Last edited by JellybeanFTW; 07-12-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-12-2017, 02:57 PM
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Rock auto has decent prices on replacement (pre-molded, but not cut) carpets for passenger, cargo or both as a package. Plenty of color options and a couple "premium" choices such as mass-backing. Just takes some patience and time with a box cutter.

The console isn't bad. Pull the shift knob off, pull up the bezels and the lid, then unscrew all the little black phillips that hold everything down. Then wiggle **** around until you can get it off. I take the bezel around the radio and HVAC controls and what not off, it lets you pull the console out with a little less wiggling and it just pops on and off so it doesn't really add any work. Frankly getting the front seats to come out without breaking any bolts/studs is much more difficult.

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post #10 of 13 Old 07-14-2017, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Guys,

Looks like my vapor leak causing the code is the canister and it needs to be replaced. Mechanic wants around $400. Is this something I can do? Looks like it might be once I find the right canister. Any youtube or Forum descriptions of step by steps for a 2000 or 2001 Cherokee?
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-14-2017, 11:54 AM
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Fotomon: I've not replaced one yet so unfortunately I can't give good directions on that. But it looks like the part number 'might' be #04854112 and can be had for about $130-$150 online. I say 'might' because I'm not sure exactly which '01 Cherokee you have and it could vary (really not sure). From the diagram that I saw (and picture of the part), it looks like it's held on by only one or two bolts. And I think it's located behind a shield under the Jeep towards the back (but in front of the gas tank).

It could be as easy as:
1) shooting the shield bolts with penetrant and waiting
2) Removing bolts and shield
3) Disconnect hoses and remove evap canister

I would recommend at least looking at it and attempting it. $400 is a lot for what could be a 30 minute job. And if you get your new (used) canister at a junk yard, not only can you practice taking it off before you get to yours, you can probably get one for $5-$10. It seems that sometimes a mechanic will automatically go up in price if there's something related to fuel systems. You know, cause they're SO dangerous and all!

One other thing I'm not sure about is how the hoses connect to the canister. Maybe special fittings needing 'special' tools? Or just yank them off. Either way, good to practice on a junk yard vehicle first. ( :

Last thing... If you decide to get under there and look for yourself, inspect the hoses real good and make sure there are no cracks. If there are, replace those first before the evap can. That could save a bit of time, money, and effort.

Last edited by JellybeanFTW; 07-14-2017 at 12:21 PM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-14-2017, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks JellyBean,

I did as much research before even taking the Jeep in for the smoke test to determine if the gap leak was something obvious. I looked closely at the canister while doing a smell check (nothing I could smell) and checked the short middle hose connecting into the canister. Its a common issue for leaking. Some feel Jeep used the incorrect size and I'll probably replace if I do this with new fuel line hose and a clamp. My initial glance looked like something I could do.

Doubt I'll be able to work on a junker. I think part of the reason they are so high may be that they are getting part from dealer. I read that this canister is sold with a lot of other vap system lines. Got to check with them if that is the case.

This 2001 has never been off road or even been in snowy/salty road conditions. Other than some engine oil leaks where some seals need to be changed, its in really good shape. No rust.

But good suggestion on shooting the bolts with penetrate.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-14-2017, 01:52 PM
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Fotomon: Gotcha. Sounds like you know what you're doing. Hope I didn't sound condescending at all! And yes, the prices I looked at for that part number are all OEM canisters.
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