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Unread 11-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
FreeWillie
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Hopedale, MA
Posts: 9
Looking for a Cherokee

I find myself getting sick and tired of fighting my wife for the Jeep Patriot (hey I got a great deal on it!). I've resigned myself that it will soon be her's. So what I really want is a Cherokee. I don't want a Wrangler. I need something with more room in the back for hunting, camping and fishing gear.

So I'm looking for something in the late 90's early 2000. I've located a couple but I am absolutely clueless as to what to look for when inspecting the vehicle.

The ones I will be looking at will all be located in the Northeast and will have lots of snow days with sand and salt on the roads.

So what are things to look for?

I thank all of you for your input and helping out a n00b when it comes to the Cherokee.

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Unread 11-13-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
Texsun
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Copperas Cove, TX
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Most people here preach the 99s...
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Unread 11-13-2012, 12:58 PM   #3
FreeWillie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texsun View Post
Most people here preach the 99s...
That's an impressive ride you have.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 01:05 PM   #4
Texsun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeWillie View Post
That's an impressive ride you have.
Thanyou, but keep in mind something like mine would not be a good choice as a daily driver.

I recommend the 99 cherokee overall to you, High Pinon Dana 30 up front a few goodies here and there and you wont have to worry about the head
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Unread 11-13-2012, 01:33 PM   #5
JerpXJ
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texsun View Post
Thanyou, but keep in mind something like mine would not be a good choice as a daily driver.

I recommend the 99 cherokee overall to you, High Pinon Dana 30 up front a few goodies here and there and you wont have to worry about the head
Unless it's a second half of the year 99.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 01:49 PM   #6
bobthecatkiller
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: binghamton, newyork
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerpXJ

Unless it's a second half of the year 99.
Then it's not considered a 99 I forgot what month mine was but it was made in 99 and is considered according to the title a 2000 0331 head and all :/
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Unread 11-13-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
98muddyjeep
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Go 98 and you wont regret it,they will last for tons of miles watch for rotted floors and rockers they can be bad almost everything else isn't a bad fix with a trip to the junk yard.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 05:19 PM   #8
OnTheFence
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1996-2001 seems to be popular here.
Buy the one with the best maintenance history.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
mschi772
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Guys whose only advice to you is "buy a 99" aren't really helping you much. Some of them just blindly regurgitate that because they read it somewhere when researching Jeeps, and they don't even know why. There are some reasons that 99 is a particularly favored year, but it might be that NONE of them matter to YOU. I mean, what do you want to do with your Cherokee? Is it just going to be a daily driver? Will you wheel it? If so, how often? How hard? What kind (mud, sand, rocks)? Are there any particular modifications/upgrades you'd want to do to it?

I think some people's obsession with 99 is a bit disrespectful to how great all the other XJ's are. Even the 00 and 01 XJ's are worthy of respect that is often denied to them by many. You really can't lose. Many minor and some major changes were made between 84 and 01. I'm sure you can find a list of all the changes out there somewhere; I know I found that info myself once upon a time.

Aside from the normal stuff to look out for with ANY used car, be aware that 84-86 XJ's had GM engines that pale in comparison to the 4.0 of 87-01 (I'm just ignoring the 4 cyl engines that some XJ's had). The pre-91 Renix systems are a bit ... "special" and simply something to be aware of and ready to work with if you're looking at one. 00-01 4.0's have a head with a casting flaw that may or may not crack between cyl 3 and 4. Many of them never crack (or at least haven't after hundreds of thousands of miles), but many do. It's something to watch-out for but not something that should keep you away completely, and you should be aware that identical heads without the casting flaw are out there should you have a crack. The manual trannies are solid as are the autos. The two possible transfer cases are both great. There are a variety of rear ends each with their own advantages and disadvantages, and unless you're planning on doing lots of wheeling, even the weakest of the bunch (D35) will be just peachy. The floor pans are easily the most susceptible to rust on all years. Because of the limited space for a radiator, XJ's are just barely able to maintain their operating temperature, so you have very little room to slack on maintaining the cooling system; luckily the cooling system is a reliable as any other part of the 4.0, so it's not likely to require much work (and any work will be relatively cheap). The stock exhaust manifold cracks easily which can impact the performance and efficiency of your engine negatively. APN makes a replacement header that is a very affordable replacement should you ever need/want one (there are other header options out there as well).

It is my opinion that if you get an XJ with a 4.0 from 91-99, you have virtually nothing but cheap regular maintenance to worry about. If you get an 00 or 01, you just have to make sure to never overheat it (as if you'd ever be OK with overheating any engine), and to pay closer attention to the oil and coolant "health."

P.S. I don't mean to offend with this question, but your use of the phrase "early 2000" has me wanting to make sure. Do you know that Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are totally different Jeep models? Some people don't seem to know this.
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Unread 11-14-2012, 03:39 PM   #10
OnTheFence
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Wel said!
Henceforth, the above should be pasted to every "Buy a 99 only!" post
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Unread 11-15-2012, 07:12 AM   #11
FreeWillie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschi772 View Post
Guys whose only advice to you is "buy a 99" aren't really helping you much. There are some reasons that 99 is a particularly favored year, but it might be that NONE of them matter to YOU. I mean, what do you want to do with your Cherokee? Is it just going to be a daily driver? Will you wheel it? If so, how often? How hard? What kind (mud, sand, rocks)? Are there any particular modifications/upgrades you'd want to do to it?

I think some people's obsession with 99 is a bit disrespectful to how great all the other XJ's are. Even the 00 and 01 XJ's are worthy of respect that is often denied to them by many. You really can't lose. Many minor and some major changes were made between 84 and 01. I'm sure you can find a list of all the changes out there somewhere; I know I found that info myself once upon a time.

Aside from the normal stuff to look out for with ANY used car, be aware that 84-86 XJ's had GM engines that pale in comparison to the 4.0 of 87-01 (I'm just ignoring the 4 cyl engines that some XJ's had). The pre-91 Renix systems are a bit ... "special" and simply something to be aware of and ready to work with if you're looking at one. 00-01 4.0's have a head with a casting flaw that may or may not crack between cyl 3 and 4. Many of them never crack (or at least haven't after hundreds of thousands of miles), but many do. It's something to watch-out for but not something that should keep you away completely, and you should be aware that identical heads without the casting flaw are out there should you have a crack. The manual trannies are solid as are the autos. The two possible transfer cases are both great. There are a variety of rear ends each with their own advantages and disadvantages, and unless you're planning on doing lots of wheeling, even the weakest of the bunch (D35) will be just peachy. The floor pans are easily the most susceptible to rust on all years. Because of the limited space for a radiator, XJ's are just barely able to maintain their operating temperature, so you have very little room to slack on maintaining the cooling system; luckily the cooling system is a reliable as any other part of the 4.0, so it's not likely to require much work (and any work will be relatively cheap). The stock exhaust manifold cracks easily which can impact the performance and efficiency of your engine negatively. APN makes a replacement header that is a very affordable replacement should you ever need/want one (there are other header options out there as well).

It is my opinion that if you get an XJ with a 4.0 from 91-99, you have virtually nothing but cheap regular maintenance to worry about. If you get an 00 or 01, you just have to make sure to never overheat it (as if you'd ever be OK with overheating any engine), and to pay closer attention to the oil and coolant "health."

P.S. I don't mean to offend with this question, but your use of the phrase "early 2000" has me wanting to make sure. Do you know that Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are totally different Jeep models? Some people don't seem to know this.

Thank You for a most informative post.

Yes I know that the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are two different platforms. I primarily want it for a daily driver with some occasional "off roading" to get to my hunting and fishing spots, some of which have trails that would wreck the family sedan.

Looks like I'll be concentrating on finding a good 90's vehicle with the 4.0L and pay attention to the floor pans and rockers for rust (gonna be a problem up here).

Again, Thank You for the post.

Best Regards
-John
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Unread 11-15-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
Decimals
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So here are some things that I looked for when I was looking for my jeep I will start with things that you will notice right away and end with things you will need to look for



1.) how does it look does it look like someone beat the holy living **** outta it or does it look like it was someone's baby.
2.) Does it have goodies does it have a lift, oversized tires, aftermarket shocks, roof rack, rear tire swing etc... And remember these kind of things won't always be good if you looking for a dd then oversized tires doesn't mean **** to you.
3.) How does the engine sound, knocks, squeals, miss firing etc...
4.) What shape is the interior in... Different people have different opinions on interiors, some don't care about the interior and some want to interior to be spotless... Remember you have the money it's your call.
5.) Do all your gauges work properly
6.) How does it run are you feeling like there is no power or does it run smooth, any knocking, miss firing. Test your power steering, WATCH FOR DEATH WOBBLES
7.) If you are planning on getting 4wd drop it in 4 and starting doing a circle you should feel it skip if your 4wd is working properly
8.) Go ahead and side under the rig look up at your unit body do you see any significant damage can you see and cracks in your exhaust system any oil leaks, tranny leaks. Any strange smells coming from your exhaust.
9.) Engine compartment any obvious signs of oil in or around the engine compartment, check the oil see if it is low or burnt that can give you a clue to how this car was taken care of, same goes for tranny fluid, power steering fluid etc...
10.) And lasts but not least ask for anything else that is important to you.I know when I was buying mine AC didn't really matter to me but it might to you


I know all this stuff seems like obvious stuff but I know these were some of the main things I looked at when I was getting my cherokee

Happy Hunting


Deci
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