XJ Newbie(1996 4.0L)....really stupid question??!! - JeepForum.com
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Unread 01-24-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 15
XJ Newbie(1996 4.0L)....really stupid question??!!

Hey All,

OK, so please feel free to laugh loudly, poke fun, call me an idiot(don't be too cruel) or etc with the first of many stupid questions I'm gonna be asking on this forum over the next few weeks/months/years.

I just picked up a 1996 Cherokee Sport yesterday. It's a 4dr, 4.0L, 4x4 model.

I owned a 1998 TJ a few years ago, but my wife and I have been without a vehicle for the past two years, because of financial issues(out of work for a while). A friend just sold us this 1996 XJ yesterday for pretty cheap, so we took advantage of it, since cash is really tough to come by at the moment.

The Jeep is a little rough, mostly cosmetically: passenger door lock does't work(or if locked, doesn't open!!), rear hatch door and panel have issues with locking mechanism, rear wiper does't work, sunroof leaks like Niagara Falls, and many other little things.
Mechanically, I think it's ok, but today was the first day that I had to look at anything and only for about an hour, because of work schedule.
I'm gonna get oil and fluids done this week and I'm anticipating a laundry list of issues that will need to be addressed, but keeping my fingers crossed.
I think brakes are pretty shot and need service. I'm also al little concerned about stabilizers/shocks. It does have a 3" lift, but I think this was in place years prior to our friend owning it and may need some service.

Ok, long story short....the girl we bought it from had the spare tire on top of the roof and secured it down with bungie cords, which resulted in collapsing/denting/damaging the roof a little bit, so I took the spare down from the roof and looked for where the spare should be mounted.
I assumed underneath the chassis, but didn't see a mount for it????

On my TJ, the spare mounted on the back of the tailgate, but there's no mount for this on the Cherokee.
So, go ahead and laugh, because I feel really stupid asking, but did the OEM spares come mounted on the inside of the rear cargo area of the Cherokees??

As I said, this will be the first of many stupid/silly questions until I get familiar with this family of Jeeps, but I'm really stoked to be part of the Jeep family again.
This XJ is a little rough, but I see a Diamond under that roughness and I'm looking forward to it shining again someday.


PS.....if any of you also have any advice on specific things/issues to look for with XJ's of this year, motor & etc, I'd appreciate it.

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Unread 01-24-2013, 09:58 PM   #2
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 2,056
Inside the cargo compartment standing vertically on the driver's side. You might not have the nut and bolt for mounting it depending on what the PO did with it when she put it on the roof.
You can fit a full size spare (up to 235/75r15) there and, with modification (see here http://jeep-xj.info/HowtoSpareWheel32inch.htm) even bigger.

If the maintenance history is at all unknown, get the all the fluids changed asap. Everything on the XJ is super dependable as long as you take care of it, and it would be a shame for something to die because no one had changed fluids in ages. Keep the cooling system in good shape because, due to the relatively small radiator, there isn't as much room for error/deterioration before overheating issues can arise like in other vehicles. It sounds like you have a lot of disassembly, cleaning, and lubricating in your future with all those leaks and faulty locks & motors. Other than the cooling system being persnickety once in a great while, a 96 XJ doesn't have any dirty secrets. Just fix what's broken and take good care of it.

Really fantastic resources, other than JeepForum itself, include:
  • http://jeep-xj.info/ I learned a ton just from browsing GoJeep's stuff and can safely say I wouldn't be even remotely close to what I am today without him. Even if you don't do all the things he does or don't do them the way he does them (I know I sure as heck don't), the sheer amount of information one can take away is phenomenal. It is staggering to think of just how much Marcus Ohms has taught to people over the years.
  • http://danielsternlighting.com/ Have a question about headlights or any other lighting? Email Dan. He's THE expert and has lots of great reference material on the site.
  • http://www.crutchfield.com/ Not just for shopping--has tons of great reference material regarding automotive audio.
  • http://www.jpmagazine.com/techarticl...s/viewall.html

Also, I know that forum search functions suck, so in case you don't know... If you put "site:jeepforum.com" into a Google search along with whatever you're searching for, it will show you only hits from JeepForum. This is very useful since most info and answers are already out there and have been discussed. Click here for an example of this method of searching. Keep that particular search in mind because changing that O-ring is one of the single most frustrating tasks for a lot of XJ owners.
My 96 XJ is for sale in the event you want something to restore or build into a wheeling rig. Sale ad is HERE.
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