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Unread 09-17-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
Bhamshooter
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Thinking about an XJ for short term use

The story is that I had a Jeep as my first vehicle, and have always wanted another, and finally got a Jeep TJ 12 years after getting rid of my old YJ. I had driven the "family car" of our two for 8 years. A 2000 GC, then a 2005 GC. For the first time, I didn't have to worry about a family car because my 4 year old at the time was the only child, and she could get in or out of anything. I looked all over for a 4-door pickup, 2-door Wrangler, etc. Finally found my baby on C'list and bought her and of course my wife got pregnant a few months later. What can I say, it is fun making babies.

She got rid of her car, then got an SUV. Now she's getting a minivan, and is griping constantly about how I need to get something I can haul the kids in. Keeps sending me links to SUVs and pickups from CarMax and other places. The thing is, I'd hate to get rid of my TJ and just want another one in a year or two. The one I have is great. It is a 2004 with low mileage, the I-6, 5-speed, hard and soft tops, etc. And I just put new tires on it.

So my thoughts are, why get rid of a paid for, perfectly fine vehicle, and get something newer and more $$$ and pick up a car payment, when I can get something older, cheap, reliable, cheap, room for the kids, cheap, something I don't care if it gets beat up on trips to the home improvement store, cheap, an extra in case any of ours is in the shop, cheap, and did I mention, CHEAP! And keep the TJ in the process. If I want to sell the XJ in a few years, then I've got my use out of it.

I can probably pay around $4k cash. Maybe up to 6 for the right one. Looking at options in the 96-01 range. Would obviously want a 4-door, but I can't remember if they still had 2-doors in those years anyway. So what things should I look for or avoid?

And your thoughts on these I've found:

http://bham.craigslist.org/cto/4024180370.html

http://bham.craigslist.org/cto/4052085329.html

http://bham.craigslist.org/cto/4030831466.html

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...gIndex=1&Log=0

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...gIndex=3&Log=0

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...gIndex=6&Log=0

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...gIndex=8&Log=0

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Unread 09-17-2013, 05:33 PM   #2
psychoteen101
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First cherokee is over priced for the mileage and add-ons it has, IMO.

Second cherokee definitely has the typical XJ rear spring sag pretty bad. Youd want to replace the springs. If you did a lift kit, make sure to get complete spring packs, not just AAL's. Paint looks pretty rough on it as well.

Third doesnt look too bad. Priced okay for the add ons it has.

Fourth seems pricey to me, not sure what XJ's go for down south as opposed to where i am.

Fifth is 2wd, so if you plan on modifying it for, id stay away from that. If its just a driver, then thats not a bad truck.

Sixth looks pretty good for the price. Mileage is unlisted, id find out about that. Might be high.

Seventh again is 2wd if that is an issue. Paint and interior look a bit rough.

All depends what you intend on using it for. The listings on auto trader are always gonna want top dollar because they are dealerships. Might be able to talk them down, just do some research prior to looking. Be cautious buying a modified jeep. You can never be sure if they have been beaten into the ground offroading. Any used car i look at, i take to a mechanic i am familiar with and have the car inspected for mechanical issues.

Also, check for rust. Mainly on the floors or rocker panels.
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Unread 09-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
jeepkid03
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With two kids, shouldn't the TJ be enough? I thought TJ's seat 4. I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm with you on keeping a vehicle that is paid off rather than getting a car payment. Adding another vehicle is expensive between initial cost, insurance, maintenance, repairs, etc. Your TJ sounds like a very nice vehicle that is reliable as well. As long as you can fit the kids in your Jeep, and your wife has the "family hauler" I don't really see the need for another vehicle, unless you plan on having more kids.

I just don't understand when people have 1 or 2 kids and they automatically buy a minivan that seats 7. My neighbors have one kid and they went out and bought a Suburban.

An XJ would make a great family vehicle, but you know if you get one you will be tempted to mod it.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 07:48 AM   #4
Bhamshooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychoteen101 View Post
Fifth is 2wd, so if you plan on modifying it for, id stay away from that. If its just a driver, then thats not a bad truck.

Sixth looks pretty good for the price. Mileage is unlisted, id find out about that. Might be high.

Seventh again is 2wd if that is an issue. Paint and interior look a bit rough.
2WD isn't an issue. I have my TJ for a 4x4. But given the choice, I'd take a 4x4 XJ over a 2WD one. Some of those on autotrader don't have the miles listed, but in the pics, there is one of the odometer on some of them.

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Originally Posted by jeepkid03 View Post
With two kids, shouldn't the TJ be enough? I thought TJ's seat 4. I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm with you on keeping a vehicle that is paid off rather than getting a car payment. Adding another vehicle is expensive between initial cost, insurance, maintenance, repairs, etc. Your TJ sounds like a very nice vehicle that is reliable as well. As long as you can fit the kids in your Jeep, and your wife has the "family hauler" I don't really see the need for another vehicle, unless you plan on having more kids.

I just don't understand when people have 1 or 2 kids and they automatically buy a minivan that seats 7. My neighbors have one kid and they went out and bought a Suburban.

An XJ would make a great family vehicle, but you know if you get one you will be tempted to mod it.
Yeah, it is more about the ease of getting them in there, and the wife's peace of mind. I can easily get my son in there. He's 3 months old, and I just put him in over the back seat and strap him in. It is my daughter that has trouble with the seatbelt in her booster seat. Most of the time, I will only be putting one of them in there, but in the occasion I need to put both, like I did a couple days ago, it would be easier to just open a back door rather than going over the seat. Plus, ever since I got rid of my Grand Cherokee, it has been hard to fit large items in the TJ, and my wife thinks of her SUV as a car, and doesn't want bales of pine straw, lumber, etc scratching up her cargo area. It would be fine in the van, but I can see the practicality of a 3rd vehicle that gets driven occasionally and has the ability to lay the seat down and haul large items. If my Dad didn't live 3 hours away, I would just borrow his old Benz SUV when I needed it. It was one mom used to drive, and after she got a new one he just kept the old one for a "work truck" if you will.

And there may be more kids in the future. So the van is the right call for my wife. The main reason she wants it is the power sliding doors. My girl has to be dropped off in a carpool line every morning, and she has trouble shutting the door sometimes, dealing with her backpack and all that. And my wife can't really see her from the drivers seat, and wants to make sure she gets inside safely and doesn't come running back to the car to shut the door if it doesn't shut well. That has already happened a few times, and she just worries that she may have already pulled away from the curb, only to have our girl come running back to the car and the danger of the next car in line not seeing her. Yeah, this is getting a little long-winded, but it is what it is.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
jeepkid03
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Oh yeah, I forgot about the lack of cargo capacity in a TJ. When my previous XJ got hit and totaled, I had looked at TJs, but the lack of cargo room brought me back to an XJ.

I'd say finding a '91-'99 is your best bet. The 2000 and 2001 models had the head cracking problem, which can be expensive to fix. It doesn't affect all of them, but it is a potential problem especially on a used vehicle with an unknown service history. As with any used vehicle, how it was maintained makes all the difference. I'd rather pay a little more up front for a vehicle with service records. Cooling system maintenance is big with Cherokees, and rust is another big thing to look for. Other than those two things, they are solid vehicles.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
Bhamshooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepkid03 View Post
Oh yeah, I forgot about the lack of cargo capacity in a TJ. When my previous XJ got hit and totaled, I had looked at TJs, but the lack of cargo room brought me back to an XJ.

I'd say finding a '91-'99 is your best bet. The 2000 and 2001 models had the head cracking problem, which can be expensive to fix. It doesn't affect all of them, but it is a potential problem especially on a used vehicle with an unknown service history. As with any used vehicle, how it was maintained makes all the difference. I'd rather pay a little more up front for a vehicle with service records. Cooling system maintenance is big with Cherokees, and rust is another big thing to look for. Other than those two things, they are solid vehicles.
Yeah, I love my Jeep. It has many, many positives, and only a few negatives. But Cargo space is one of them.

I had read that about the '00-'01 models on here. And while I know I'm getting an older vehicle, warts and all, that is definitely something I can avoid.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 12:59 PM   #7
sAe23
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Warning: Foul, blaspheming comments ahead!

If off-roading isn't a requirement for this vehicle, why not get a higher gas mileage type of car??
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Unread 09-18-2013, 02:00 PM   #8
Bhamshooter
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Originally Posted by sAe23 View Post
Warning: Foul, blaspheming comments ahead!

If off-roading isn't a requirement for this vehicle, why not get a higher gas mileage type of car??
I need 3 things out of it. Space for car seats. Space for hauling large items. And that it is a truck/SUV. I hate cars. And besides getting a small, 4-door, 4-cyl pickup, this type fits the bill, and the prices are good. I won't be commuting long distances in it daily. I'll still drive my TJ most days, MPG's be damned!!
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Unread 09-19-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
jeepkid03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhamshooter

MPG's be damned!!
That's the spirit!
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Unread 09-19-2013, 10:51 AM   #10
Bhamshooter
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So not really related to this thread directly, but we picked up the minivan last night. My wife kept making comments about how I should go look for a truck while we were there. I did look at a few JK's on the lot, and even a black LJ. When we were done with the test drive on the van, the sales guy parked it up by the door, and there was a new Tacoma sitting there. 2013, about 6k miles, black, 4 doors, PreRunner edition. She was drooling over it, saying I should definitely look at it, and since it was right next to the van, she said "doesn't that look good, sitting right by the van." Yeah, sticker price was 24,600. I just laughed it off, and said we're clearly not on the same page here, much less reading the same book. She said I could drive it forever, being a Toyota. I said I don't want to pay on it forever!

Anyways, just the joys of driving a Jeep as a married father of two. I need to show her the XJ's and snap a pic of her reaction.
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