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-   -   Looking to buy an XJ: Help! (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/looking-buy-xj-help-1533900/)

krawler510 06-08-2013 03:38 PM

I've had a yj, lifted a tj, and now have a lifted JKUR. It's a beast of a jeep but it's time to move on.

What should I look for as common problem areas with XJs? I'm probably going to buy one that's lifted already to save money. I'm familiar with the 4.0L but neither of the XJ transmissions or axles or body.

Thanks guys!

dmill89 06-08-2013 04:16 PM

The XJ transmissions used with the 4.0L are either the Aisin-Warner AW4 automatic (similar to the Aisin A340E used in 90s 4-Runners, Tacomas, and T100s), the AX15 manual (same as the YJ / early TJs, late-89-99), or the NV3550 manual (same as later TJs, 00-01). For XJs manual or automatic comes down to personal preference as both are very reliable. The exception being 87-89s with a manual which have the inferior Pergot BA10.

Any 91-99 XJ is reasonably reliable. 97+s have the updated body and a nicer interior. 00-01s suffer from the 0331 head issue that affects all 00-01 4.0L I6s, pre-91s have the RENIX (Renault-Bendix) fuel-injection which is less reliable than the Chrysler OBDI/OBDII systems used in 91 and newer models.

The transfer-case is either a NP231 or NP242 (basically a 231 with a center differential allowing for full-time 4WD in addition to 2-hi, 4-hi, and 4-low).

All 99 and earlier XJs have a High-Pinion Dana 30 in the front, 00-01s have a Low-Pinion Dana 30.

The rear is either a Dana 35 (all years, base), a Dana 44 (87-90, usually with the towing package), or a Chrysler 8.25" (91+, much more common than the D44, part of many packages in addition to the towing package, similar to the D44 in strength).

For 91-99 XJs the biggest thing to look for is rust (especially underneath and in the floors), aside from that the normal used car stuff (check fluid level/condition, belts, hoses, suspension parts, any weird noises, leaks, etc.).

S8NNG8 06-08-2013 06:47 PM

If you're buying a lifted one, and the fenders have been trimmed, it's likely the fender liners have been removed, thus multiplying the rot/rust.

skip11and1 06-08-2013 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dmill89 (Post 15536015)
The XJ transmissions used with the 4.0L are either the Aisin-Warner AW4 automatic (similar to the Aisin A340E used in 90s 4-Runners, Tacomas, and T100s), the AX15 manual (same as the YJ / early TJs, late-89-99), or the NV3550 manual (same as later TJs, 00-01). For XJs manual or automatic comes down to personal preference as both are very reliable. The exception being 87-89s with a manual which have the inferior Pergot BA10.

Any 91-99 XJ is reasonably reliable. 97+s have the updated body and a nicer interior. 00-01s suffer from the 0331 head issue that affects all 00-01 4.0L I6s, pre-91s have the RENIX (Renault-Bendix) fuel-injection which is less reliable than the Chrysler OBDI/OBDII systems used in 91 and newer models.

The transfer-case is either a NP231 or NP242 (basically a 231 with a center differential allowing for full-time 4WD in addition to 2-hi, 4-hi, and 4-low).

All 99 and earlier XJs have a High-Pinion Dana 30 in the front, 00-01s have a Low-Pinion Dana 30.

The rear is either a Dana 35 (all years, base), a Dana 44 (87-90, usually with the towing package), or a Chrysler 8.25" (91+, much more common than the D44, part of many packages in addition to the towing package, similar to the D44 in strength).

For 91-99 XJs the biggest thing to look for is rust (especially underneath and in the floors), aside from that the normal used car stuff (check fluid level/condition, belts, hoses, suspension parts, any weird noises, leaks, etc.).

nice sum up, pretty much contains everything you really need to know in buying an XJ :2thumbsup:

krawler510 06-09-2013 02:34 PM

Awesome responses, thanks guys. When I test drive a few I might come back with pics and questions.

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Motorcharge 06-09-2013 02:47 PM

Cracked heads on 00-01, rust at the rockers/floor pans/and cargo area are the biggest things to look out for.
If you had a YJ you know what to look for, pretty much the same issues.

And don't listen to people who tell you not to buy already lifted if you can get a good deal. Plenty of people abuse stock vehicles and stock parts can be replaced and aftermarket inspected the same as you would looking at a stock XJ. If you know what you're looking for for issues then it shouldn't matter if it's stock or not.

krawler510 06-10-2013 06:48 PM

Is the cracked head issue that big? How can I tell?

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dmill89 06-10-2013 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krawler510 (Post 15544381)
Is the cracked head issue that big? How can I tell?

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The crack mainly occurs if it was overheated, of course you never know if a used vehicle has been overheated in the past. The best way to check is to pull the valve cover and look for a crack between the #3 and #4 cylinders though few sellers will likely let you pull the valve cover. Otherwise look for milky oil either on the dipstick or under the oil cap. Of course an unscrupulous seller may do an oil change and/or dump in a ton of stop-leak in the coolant to try and hide the issues.

Motorcharge 06-10-2013 08:36 PM

It sound worse than it is. The head is extremely easy to replace if you can turn a wrench.

I had to replace mine (unrelated to the 0331 defect). Having never done it took about 7 hours, but it was extremely straight forward and the only thing I had to really look up was the torque specs for the bolts. Cost me ~$350 for the head and gasket set. Plus it can be pulled with the manifolds still attached.

It's kind of a blessing in disguise. You can find 00-01 XJ in otherwise really great shape with cracked heads for really cheap because people think the motor is ruined. I see them frequently here for under $1000 where they'd otherwise get $3-4k around here if they didn't have a cracked head.

krawler510 06-11-2013 11:42 AM

Ok, I feel better now. I have an '00 with 186,000 miles and 33s I want to look at. Probably asking too much for me though($6000). But the pics look super clean, maybe too clean.

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DNFJ 06-11-2013 11:56 AM

buy mine or give me a tj for it.

Muddy97Cherokee 06-11-2013 12:32 PM

What the hell is a JKUR?

S8NNG8 06-11-2013 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muddy97Cherokee (Post 15547504)
What the hell is a JKUR?

JK unlimited Rubicon(4dr Wrangler)

krawler510 06-11-2013 01:41 PM

Sorry, I'm use to the jk crowd now.

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Muddy97Cherokee 06-11-2013 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by S8NNG8 (Post 15547578)

JK unlimited Rubicon(4dr Wrangler)

Ah, that's what I thought. My own jeep group had this controversy over this titling a few days ago. Some of my buddies have come to the conclusion that our 4 door xj's shall be called XJU's even though there is no such thing as a 3 letter model designations since there is no JKU on the VIN.


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