Hey all -
Just picked up a '97 XJ 2 weeks ago for my foray back into the Jeep world.
Quick rundown - I started with an '87 YJ (from my cousin), had that for a year when I took possession of an Audi A4 that I drove through college. I then drove my family's WK for about a year until I landed on a Mazda3 almost 3 years ago. In the meantime, little bro gets an '09 JK so Jeeps have been in the family for quite some time now. Been driving my 3 until I figured it was time to get something a little more fun (still working on that, probably a Miata eventually) and looked for something more of a beater for work/Home Depot runs, etc. That's how I landed on the XJ...
I always wanted one, and I was specifically looking for a '97-'99. I don't want any 0331 "head"aches. Aside from the WK, I'm a stick guy, but this time around an auto was a plus, since in stock form (and with the proper maintenance) the AW4 serves my needs - No Chrysler-manufactured autoboxes for me. I struck the deal on this one even though I was only looking at the time, because the guy I bought it from needed the cash to fix his truck. So, for $1,200 I got a 99% rust free (it's undercoated, there are only 2 small blemishes on the rockers) Cherokee with 165k, smooth engine and tranny, and some minor fixes that I don't mind doing myself. Plus, it was a Sport (didn't want a base, or Country for that matter), with 30-in tires
Once I got it reg'd/insured, I did an oil change and a tranny drain/fill x2. I tightened the pan bolts to fix a slow drip (couple drops on the driveway every time I drive it) but that didn't fix it. I plan on tearing into it once I get my '80 GMC 5.3 out of the garage. Oh, and I had to replace the windshield too.
I also had to fix a stud on the RF wheel that was broken by the PO. That turned into a front brake job - I read that XJ brakes suck, and mine did, but there was no shuddering or squealing, just felt like the brakes were made of wood. Turns out the inside rotor surfaces were just gone and so were the inboard pads. Bought new rotors and pads for $80 and slapped 'em on while I had the wheels off.
Other small niggly little things (I'll be asking about them later)
-Rear defroster/wiper doesn't work - DONE: fuses were missing
-Driver door (power windows/locks) switches don't operate when the door is open - IN PROGRESS, need to check drivers door wiring, pwr mirrors work now b/c fuse was missing
-Need all 4 center caps (anyone in the New England area wanna help me out?) and new tires (will do once an exhaust is put on the GMC)
-Need rearview mirror assembly and pass. side view mirror glass - IN PROGRESS: rearview replaced, need pass-side glass (on order)
-The aforementioned tranny leak - drips primarily via the crossmember - could be a output shaft seal leak but need to confirm - IN PROGRESS
-Front pinion seal is seeping/slow drip - IN PROGRESS: drive shaft dropped, pinion seal on order
-Need front drivers side flare. I have a Light Blue-painted flare from an XJ Classic from the PO, I'd rather replace it with the '97-'98 Sport-correct black plastic flare. Anyone interested in trading?
-Rear diff gasket needs replacing
None of this stuff impedes its ability to be a daily, so I'll get to it when I get to it. I plan on keeping it stock for now (I have a feeling THAT's been said a lot lol) but who knows down the road. I tow a small trailer fairly often (another reason I want to ditch the 3) so I need to get a hitch on it ASAP. I'd also like to do a 242 swap down the road just for kicks
So that's my wordy intro to my Cherokee. Sorry, no pics for now, but I'm assuming y'all know what a stock black Cherokee looks like. I love this thing!
Edit: within 5 minutes of posting, it bothered me that I didn't have any shots of the XJ. So I snapped whatever pic I could with my measly cameraphone. Will take pics in the morning before work!
Current: 1997 XJ Sport 4x4 - 4.0/AW4/231
Previous: 1987 YJ - 4.2/BA10/207; 2005 WK - 5.7/545RFE/245