jeep advice. sell or keep? -
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Unread 08-02-2014, 12:45 AM   #1
Registered User
1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Gardner, KS
Posts: 121
jeep advice. sell or keep?

Ok so here is the deal. I bought a 1997 jeep cherokee with 87000 miles on the odometer. Needed a few small things but overall in good shape. Drove it 250 miles home and it started having a few issues. Began with a rough idle and turned into barely running. I replaced plugs, wires and cap. Ended up getting the codes ran and believed to be CPS, replaced that and was better for a few minutes. Overall ended up replacing TPS, MAP, o2 and CPS. I have replaced u joints. Inspecting it more I found out it was not the original engine like I believed. I believe it has been wrecked. There is a plate welded reinforcing the uni body by the steering box (must have cracked) also just realized the airbag had been deployed and there is currently not one.
It still needs several small things fixed and I am worried things will continue to go bad due to my experience so far. I paid $3000 for it, should I sell it and start over or fix the small things and hope that's it. I am just tired of issues coming up where I have to spend more money.

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Unread 08-02-2014, 12:51 AM   #2
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 421
Jeeps kind of go through a mid life crisis at some point whether its age or mileage and need parts replaced. Mine has 185k miles with relatively small issues that have been addressed over the last few years. They're great winter vehicles if you maintain it
2wd zj...
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Unread 08-02-2014, 09:06 AM   #3
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 2,534
A 17 year old vehicle that I have no doubt was neglected because most people are idiots and don't take care of their cars like they should is going to have issues. Both the XJ's I've purchased have had loads. I bought them knowing most of what I'd have to do and fully prepared to tackle 2 or 3 times as many problems that might pop up later.

If it ever had big tires and/or was wheeled, steering stresses may have damaged the area by the steering box rather than an impact. Steering box braces and reinforced track bar mounting plates are a very common upgrade for XJ's because that area can be a vulnerable one. Not saying that's what happened to your for sure, but it's another possibility.

How did you not notice that there was no airbag when you bought it?

I can't tell you whether to sell it or keep it. I don't know you or your XJ. All I can say is that with those unanswered questions, I might not have even bought it (I really don't like it when an owner can't even tell me why a part of the unibody is reinforced, why the engine was replaced, or why the airbag is gone). If I had bought it and was in your current situation, I'd be keeping it. Maintenance and restoration is a given with these vehicles given the way most people have [not] taken care of them up to this point. In the long run, maintenance is MUCH cheaper than car payments on overpriced, under-engineered new vehicles (which still need regular maintenance and repair mind you).
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Unread 08-02-2014, 03:31 PM   #4
Registered User
1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Gardner, KS
Posts: 121
I am fully aware that being 17 years old it's going to need some work. I sold a 1980 camaro before I bought this. It's just frustrating that a bought it and drove it 250 miles home with no issues an as soon as I get home the issues start. In the first 3 weeks of having it I drove it a total of 2 days. I figured there would be some maintenance that needed to be done but it seems like it's one thing after another. The air bag issue I did not notice when purchasing it. I could have been excited about possibly getting my first jeep buy also the steering wheel only has a small 2 inch crack that you can't hardly see until you push on it. ( I didn't think to check the horn When I bought it) after getting it home a inspecting it like crazy is when I realized the issues and the key signs it has been wrecked. Will all I have done it still is having an issue with cutting out when it's cold that I can't figure out. I have replaced both u joints but continues to have some popping in the front end. It also started leaking oil when I got home from what appears to be valve cover gasket or RMS. Some problems are provably easy fixes but I haven't been able to catch up on fixing thing bc something else always acts up. Also once inspecting the wiring on the engine it appears alot of the wires are stretched way too tight and in all the wiring looks pretty messy. Yes I understand I probably should have done a better inspection but after a long time of looking and driving that probably caused me to not do as good of a job as I should have. The air bag, engine replacement and possible wreck were something I had not known about and the owner either fid not know or didn't tell me when I asked.
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