Originally Posted by NewJeep101
I'm really hoping you guys will make me feel better here....
I'll do my best. I'm pretty sure it's not clutch you're smelling.
That's a fine looking XJ there. Unmolested, unabused and stockish to the bone. Looks like it's been owned by a school marm all its life. This should be a great vehicle for whatever your plans since you won't have to deal with much previous owner concocted mods. It's like starting from scratch with a fresh canvas.
I see no rust - the paint looks great for the age and should perk up nicely with a little wax. No one's mentioned the mileage but it looks to me like it's got a lot of life left in it and once you get caught up on the maintenance might be pretty reliable. Fortunately older XJs are relatively inexpensive to work on and not that complicated.
The XJ transfer case shifter relies on mechanical linkages from the bottom of the shifter to the lever on the case. Since they're exposed to the elements underneath, they're prone getting stiff without use. I'd crawl under and spray the linkages down with some penetrating oil then work everything around a bit to make sure everything is moving as intended. Steering is pretty simple; pump, lines and fluid. Once it gets light outside you should be able to get a handle on that problem pretty quick.
It's pretty rare to see a '90 in that condition. Don't give up on her too quickly.