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Unread 09-20-2012, 05:44 AM   #1
jlauritsen
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How much of a project

Ok, so I have been in the market for a new car. I've been looking and shopping around. Always been a jeep fan, but only ever got hand me down cars in the past (mazda, geo, buick, nissan). I've been looking at some of the newer Wranglers, but the other day my wife said to me "Why not get a Cherokee and fix it up a bit." Now... I am not a very mechanically inclined person. I've changed the oil a few times myself and replaced an EGR valve when I had a Geo Metro... Everything else, I took it to the mechanic.

We are looking to get a lightweight travel trailer and do some traveling around in a few years. Weight wise it would be around 3000lbs gross, so both the new 4door Wrangler and the Cherokee can haul it (i would make sure it had electric brakes).

My main question is this. If I got the Cherokee, how much of a project am I really in for? I won't be doing any heavy off-roading. More hauling the trailer and traveling forest service roads and unmaintained mountain roads (without the trailer attached). I have been able to find a few in the color I want (green) nearby.

So how much of a project are they? Everything I can find is typically between 120k and 175k miles.

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Unread 09-20-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
gcy24
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really unless you have major rust, you don't have much of a project. the 4.0 I6 is practically bullet proof. as long as you don't have body damage to fix its pretty simple to keep. each year has its own quirks, such as the 00-01 being prone to a cracked head but from what I understand its not a huge problem and simple to fix. the main projects for most of us on the forum is lifting, swapping axels, new gears, etc. all stuff for off-road. if you're only going to be doing light wheeling you wouldn't even have to lift it. you could get 235/75/15 A/T tires and call it good. the off-road capabilities of a stock Cherokee will amaze you.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
Brookhart63
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Cherokees don't enjoy towing much
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Unread 09-20-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
XtrailratedJ
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I've found the XJ to be the easiet vehicle I have ever worked on. I don't hesistate to take on any project myself. And I am by no means an experienced mechanic.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 01:59 PM   #5
jlauritsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookhart63 View Post
Cherokees don't enjoy towing much
Ok, so why is that? Any way to fix that issue? They are listed to 5000 lbs towing. Would I not be okay towing 3000? I dont want to buy one only to find out the towing is a pain...

Also just read they are not comfortable for long drives. Is it the ride itself or the seats for a long haul? If its just the seats, I have no issue replacing with new seats for better comfort.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
gcy24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlauritsen

Also just read they are not comfortable for long drives. Is it the ride itself or the seats for a long haul? If its just the seats, I have no issue replacing with new seats for better comfort.
I think mine is comfy. I could see how it wouldnt be after about 20 hours.
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Unread 09-21-2012, 04:47 AM   #7
rugsucka
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Just because it has the wheelbase and motor to tow 5000lb, doesn't mean the vehicle is great at doing it.

The seats are plenty comfortable for long trips.

The issue is that a stock XJ is around 3400lb. It has legendary brake deficiencies, and the soft leaf set up is not intended for heavy towing.

I've towed heavy trailers with my XJ, but you need to upgrade to have a tranny cooler, and it sways pretty easily in the wind. The rear sway bar is not a HD component by any means and with or without it the towing feel doesn't change much.
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Unread 09-21-2012, 05:49 AM   #8
jlauritsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugsucka View Post
The issue is that a stock XJ is around 3400lb. It has legendary brake deficiencies, and the soft leaf set up is not intended for heavy towing.

I've towed heavy trailers with my XJ, but you need to upgrade to have a tranny cooler, and it sways pretty easily in the wind.
So if I do end up going the XJ route, I will need to upgrade the brakes to a better break (is that possible?). And get a tranny cooler. That part I have read about.

I'm not worried about the cost of parts. I can either buy a used XJ for around $3000-$6000 and have money for parts (a few thousand), or I spend $20,000-$25,000 (5year loan) for a new JKU or other vehicle.

Thanks so far for the input guys, I do appreciate it.
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Unread 09-21-2012, 06:40 AM   #9
BlueBadger
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Yes you can upgrade the brakes pretty easily. For the fronts, there are many company's that offer upgrades. For the rears you can do disc swaps, many different ways to go with this rout. And with trailer brakes there should be no issue.

As far as the JKU they are nice!! Most here aren't fans of the V6's. We're kinda stuck I our ways and love our Inlines. Years down the road when the JKU starts giving you problems, have to take it yo a shop, there will still be a payment on that as well. The XJ will have paid for itself long ago at that point.
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Unread 09-21-2012, 08:33 AM   #10
WBZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlauritsen


Also just read they are not comfortable for long drives. Is it the ride itself or the seats for a long haul? If its just the seats, I have no issue replacing with new seats for better comfort.
I have driven my current and former Cherokees as much as 500 miles nonstop with no problem. I have newer stuff for longer trips but would not hesitate to take my XJ on a long trip although I am not sure I would want to push it real hard for speed after all it is 16 years old. I don't find comfort to be an issue but I don't buy vehicles for comfort.
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Unread 09-21-2012, 09:01 AM   #11
WantMoreOUTDRS
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I just bought my first jeep (98 XJ green, love the color) and before that I drove a 2002 Infiniti Q45 (moms old car). My mechanic told me not get a lifted suv, said ill get tired of it. The comfort is definetly different and took some getting used to but i would say that the 98 stock seats are comfortable. Theyre kinda cozzy, that old school feel ya know? I havent been on long road trips but i have done some mudding and im happy with the comfort. Im also 23 and might have some different standards for comfort but...

The brakes are way different of course. When I bought her, less than a month ago, i had some new brakes installed. Told my mechanic to get me some and im sure he just put in some standard ones. My leg has definetly been getting a bit of a work out. I have press pretty hard and far in to get the jeep to stop completely, and keep it down to prevent it from inching up. But i guess there has to be some trade off for having the sexiest vehicles on the road.

I have a boat that i have not trailored yet before but its 3,000 lbs... I guess im gona stop talking because ive never trailored it so imma shush.

This might be pretty simple but its my first car i ever bought so make sure you check out how all the windows work for individual switches. See how the sprayers work on the front n back windshield. See is the trunk locks.

Hopefully this helps!
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