Beloved 99XJ... 193K on the dial. Options? -
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Unread 10-03-2014, 11:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tinton Falls, NJ
Posts: 5
Beloved 99XJ... 193K on the dial. Options?

hey guys,

I current run a 99 XJ as my DD and put on roughly 110 miles a day on a 95% highway commute. I bought the truck when I was in college for $4500 and stolen at company totaled it and fixed it back up for $100 and I've been driving it daily since, and just hit 193K. Its always been a little rusty and time has done it no favors there, but it mostly looks as excellent as an XJ should. I love this truck more than anything and we've been through a ton together, but it's starting to have random problems that I don't often have time to fix right the second they decide to pop up (headlights just randomly go out/dim, starter works slowly, headliner falling down, suspension feels loose, brakes feel weak)...nothing game changing but annoying to constantly be dealing with.

I obviously want to keep the car and continue to put a ton of miles on it because it's a beast, but I've also recent been considering buying a nice newer car (04-08 Acura TL or the like) for a different driving experience and and reliability of a newer car when something weird starts to act up on the Jeep and I don't have time to spend fixing it outside in the rain after a 12 hour day.

Anyone else here have a similar situation? I'm curious to hear if anyone has a second car besides their jeep for other purposes, and/or when any of you have decided to throw in the towel on an old XJ.

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Unread 10-04-2014, 12:45 PM   #2
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: , Connecticut
Posts: 40
Now that I got a jeep, will never throw it away! Hell if it turns into a pile of rust, I'll put the rust dust into a jar and put in on a fireplace.

Anyhow, I have same thoughts in the back of my head. I commute 30 miles every day so its not too bad, but still I would be out of luck if it breaks down. My workaround is my girlfriends car. If the jeep goes down for a few days, Ill just use her car.
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Unread 10-04-2014, 01:07 PM   #3
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 22,693
Regular routine maintenance is cheaper than car payments and higher insurance premiums. Any older vehicle will only be as reliable as you make it. My mostly stock 98 XJ has 215,000 miles and I expect another 100,000+ out of it. I drive 65 miles everyday to work and back. My 2000 XJ sits in the garage most of the time, except for sunny days, and 4x4 outings.

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Unread 10-04-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 3rd rock from sun
Posts: 7,789
Originally Posted by Zadam View Post
Now that I got a jeep, will never throw it away! Hell if it turns into a pile of rust, I'll put the rust dust into a jar and put in on a fireplace.
I'll have to borrow this for my sig for a while, thx.

"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."
COTY 2009

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Unread 10-04-2014, 03:21 PM   #5
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 149
Picked up my XJ with 200k on the clock as a second/winter vehicle. The XJ has needed some suspension work considering her age, but totally worth it. Here's a picture of both.

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Unread 10-04-2014, 03:32 PM   #6
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 2,664
Put the headlights on a relay harness (very easy to do). Change your headlight switch if necessary. If they're already on relays, make sure the grounds are solid.

Starter? Refresh your grounds. Still a problem? Check your battery and replace if necessary. Still a problem? Replace with a rebuilt/refurbished starter from NAPA and give them your old one for some money back.

Headliner? Meh, worry about it when you have the time. Use T-pins or something to hold it up off your head for now.

Loose suspension? I'm not sure what you exactly mean.

Brakes feel weak? Are the pads, shoes, rotors, drums still good (all easily checked with little more time and effort than removing your wheels)? Replace if necessary (don't use the cheapest stuff you can find; you get what you pay for with brakes). When was the last time fluid was flushed/bled? Flush it if the fluid is old.

Just tackle these things one at a time; none of them take very much time or effort on their own.

I don't have another car. I have an old XJ precisely BECAUSE of how reliable and easily maintain it is. WAAAAY cheaper than a car payment. On the occasion that my XJ is unavailable to me for some reason or another, I usually borrow my girlfriend's 98 Outback or my work truck (bare-bones 95 F150). Sometimes crap does just go at the same time, and sometimes stuff piles-up, but those moments shouldn't define the vehicle--all vehicles have those moments from time to time. Once you put all the annoying little problems behind you, you'll feel much better and have a long time ahead of you before a bunch of things all gang-up on you again.
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