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Unread 03-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
BigGreenoh9
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: CT
Posts: 96
My XJ intro

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!

photo-2-.jpg  
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Current: 1997 XJ Sport 4x4 - 4.0/AW4/231
Previous: 1987 YJ - 4.2/BA10/207; 2005 WK - 5.7/545RFE/245
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Unread 03-02-2012, 06:42 AM   #2
BigGreenoh9
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: CT
Posts: 96
Morning pictures

Excuse the snow...
photo-3-.jpg   photo-2-.jpg   photo-1-.jpg  
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Current: 1997 XJ Sport 4x4 - 4.0/AW4/231
Previous: 1987 YJ - 4.2/BA10/207; 2005 WK - 5.7/545RFE/245
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Unread 03-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
Wolfie
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Nice looking jeep. Lots of potential. Atleast its not rusting out. Thats a pain to deal with. But hey. Very reliable when it comes down to it. Gotta love Sports too!
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Unread 03-02-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
darkstar06109
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Britian, Connecticut
Posts: 80
Nice jeep man, that is pretty cheap for a truck in that good of shape around here. If you are looking for a hidden hitch I may be taking mine off in favor of a gas tank skid, the only reason I put mine on was because I got hit in the rear a few years ago and was very alarmed to see that the other driver managed to scuff my tank when he hit me. Looks like you got a bit of a dusting last night too my truck looked about the same this morning with the snow on it.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 05:21 PM   #5
BigGreenoh9
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkstar06109 View Post
Nice jeep man, that is pretty cheap for a truck in that good of shape around here. If you are looking for a hidden hitch I may be taking mine off in favor of a gas tank skid, the only reason I put mine on was because I got hit in the rear a few years ago and was very alarmed to see that the other driver managed to scuff my tank when he hit me. Looks like you got a bit of a dusting last night too my truck looked about the same this morning with the snow on it.
Yup, that's pretty much why I jumped on the deal pretty quick. Aside from the brakes (which weren't dangerous to begin with, but still pretty low when I bought it), there haven't been any surprises in the 200+ miles I've put on it so far

Is the hitch a class 3? Definitely interested since you're pretty local (I'm in Manchester)
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Current: 1997 XJ Sport 4x4 - 4.0/AW4/231
Previous: 1987 YJ - 4.2/BA10/207; 2005 WK - 5.7/545RFE/245
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Unread 03-02-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
darkstar06109
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Location: New Britian, Connecticut
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http://www.quadratec.com/products/72016_801_07.htm
Yea its a class 3 been on there for a few years, only used it once to move my fathers boat around in the driveway. I have a ball for it too. Did you already replace the windshield in it cuz I might be able to help you out on that too.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
tcolt45
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Very nice. Congrats.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
BigGreenoh9
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: CT
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkstar06109 View Post
http://www.quadratec.com/products/72016_801_07.htm
Yea its a class 3 been on there for a few years, only used it once to move my fathers boat around in the driveway. I have a ball for it too. Did you already replace the windshield in it cuz I might be able to help you out on that too.
Nice...definitely interested still...I'll PM you to work it out

Already replaced the windshield...next is gonna be tires and addressing the tranny leak (I don't like the growing spot on the driveway )

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcolt45 View Post
Very nice. Congrats.
Thanks!
__________________
Current: 1997 XJ Sport 4x4 - 4.0/AW4/231
Previous: 1987 YJ - 4.2/BA10/207; 2005 WK - 5.7/545RFE/245
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Unread 03-11-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
BigGreenoh9
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: CT
Posts: 96
OK so the front pinion seal hasn't gotten any better - actually its gotten worse - so I've bumped it up on the priority list, along with the transmission leak.

Good news is I got the truck out of the garage and moved the Cherokee in so I can work on it any time. I dropped the crossmember, still no smoking gun where the leak is coming from, but it doesn't appear to be coming from the output shaft seal, so I'm optimistic. I'm gonna go ahead and replace the pan gasket/filter, and do another drain/fill on the transmission fluid and see what that does. While I'm in there, I'm gonna fix the trans dipstick - a previous PO broke the seal permanently and some ATF comes out when filling through the dipstick. I saw a write-up about someone replacing that joint with a piece of hose, so I'm gonna do just that!

Also started on the pinion seal. It's on order and will be here during the week, so in the mean time I'm in the process of dropping the front drive shaft. Hopefully replacing the seal will take care of the drip from the diff, and also the oil pan...I suspected (and still do, to some extent) a bad rear main seal for that drip, but it's not pouring out like a bad rear main would do, and the oil drip smells vaguely of gear oil. So I'm gonna hold off on the RMS for now.

And, last but not least - the exhaust rattle is the result of the broken exhaust hanger on/by the transmission - probably the worst rust on the truck
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Current: 1997 XJ Sport 4x4 - 4.0/AW4/231
Previous: 1987 YJ - 4.2/BA10/207; 2005 WK - 5.7/545RFE/245
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