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Writing a report for school...
What makes Jeep Cherokee's Superior Suvs?


I prob shouldn't be in this forum but i figure you guys would be best to ask. :drool:
 

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Solid front and rear axle. High ground clearance for a stock SUV. Looks amazing. Comes with the amazing 4.0 engine. Pretty small vehicle with excellent interior room. Because it's small it's easy to park and easier on tight trails.
 

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Elaborate on it further, I mean the jeep name has been around since i dont know when. (im sure someone will chime in on that) From my experience a stock jeep rides better off-road than any other vehicle, provides peace of mind in adverse weather conditions on the pavement. Great cargo space for a mid-size suv. Good luck :cheers2:
 

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Simple, easy-to-maintain design.

Time-proven reliability that other SUVs do not attain. (For example, the 4.0 regularly sees upwards of 200 to 400 + thousand miles with regular maintenance.
- And the 4.0 Jeep engine design is over 50 years old. (First releases in the early 60's ramblers. A little history for your report.)

More powerful than most SUVs in its class. (Bronco II, S-10 blazer, etc)........

Easy to maintain and modify.

Almost every XJ ever made is still on the road. Count how many you see today compared to anything else.

..........Just a few, hope you get an A+

Tom
 

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I believe a Cherokee is classified as a stationwagon. They are lighter and more nimble then most SUV's. The light weight, narrow width and a simple reliable drivetrain make it one of the best in it's class.
 

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The origional "Jeep" was first named after the Army's "General Purpose" vehicles, made to go anywhere and do anything. They abbreviated the name General Purpose to "GP" which when said, sounds like "Jeep".
The Cherokee never was really "remodeled" or "revamped" The interior and exterior is basically the same from the start untill 2001.

another theory on the name...

I don't think anyone really knows where the name Jeep came from, but one of the more popular theories claims that our favorite vehicle was named after Eugene the Jeep. Who the heck is Eugene, you ask? Eugene was a character out of the comic strip Popeye, created by Elzie Crisler Segar. Eugene was a small, impish, 4 dimensional character that lived in a 3 dimensional world. As such, he was not constrained to the world we know - he could do wonderous things like walk through walls, walk on ceilings, appear out of nowhere. In short, he could go pretty much anywhere he wanted. Eugene the Jeep appeared in Popeye in 1936 - about 4 years before the US Army started testing its new 1/4 ton utility vehicle - which would eventually be called the Jeep. No one really knows WHY this new vehicle was called a Jeep, but one theory has it that Popeye was an extremely popular comic strip at the time and the soldiers were so impressed with the new vehicle's go-anywhere, do-anything capabilities, they were reminded of Eugene's character; and so dubbed the new vehicle a "Jeep".
 

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NjXj said:
Writing a report for school...
What makes Jeep Cherokee's Superior Suvs?

I prob shouldn't be in this forum but i figure you guys would be best to ask. :drool:
You may want to start by correcting the title. It should be "What makes the Jeep Cherokee a superior SUV?"

Also if you choose this as your topic, realize that it might be interpreted in different ways by different people. For instance is the Cherokee really superior to all SUVs on the market today? Some would argue that they are not. So what are you judging it against? All-round capability both on and off the road in stock form? Or off-road capability alone? Or as a platform to build an off-road rig? Will it be more of a historical look at the XJ as opposed to judging it against today's standards?

Just some thoughts to consider...
 

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EricsXJ said:
You may want to start by correcting the title. It should be "What makes the Jeep Cherokee a superior SUV?"

Also if you choose this as your topic, realize that it might be interpreted in different ways by different people. For instance is the Cherokee really superior to all SUVs on the market today? Some would argue that they are not. So what are you judging it against? All-round capability both on and off the road in stock form? Or off-road capability alone? Or as a platform to build an off-road rig? Will it be more of a historical look at the XJ as opposed to judging it against today's standards?

Just some thoughts to consider...
Eric kinda wrote the book on XJs... :2thumbsup: :2thumbsup: :2thumbsup: :2thumbsup:

..couldn't resist that one:thumbsup: :rofl:
 

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What made me interested was the large number of Cherokees for sale on eBay with very high miles. Jeep/Chrysler was smart enough to keep a good design and continue to refine it over the years. I believe someone is still building it in China.
 

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another part of the superiority, at least in Americans eyes, is that is built in this country. As others have said, they are some of the more reliable vehicles, and they are made in America! Also, they are unibody, which does give the increased durability. X2 on the solid axles. One more thing that makes them more appealing, at least to me, is that the interior has some creature comforts, yet is still really easy to work on- it is rugged, yet refined enough for business, or other formal occasions. I had a wrangler, and I could not hear anything in the cab, even with the top on. I do wish the chero had a removable top, but oh well. Plus, like every other jeep, there is a large aftermarket following, which makes modifying them that much easier. While many other brands have aftermarket following, they're not nearly as plentiful.

What other vehicle you get, stock, and spend about 5k on parts, and make it an adventure vehicle, that can go just about anywhere.

Hope that helps some:2thumbsup:

Oh, and about the history of the jeep, google Jeeps in the World Wars- that will net a bit of history, if that is necessary.
 

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cheap, reliable, capable, excellent aftermarket support, little lacking in the gas mileage area though, Solid axles, bulletproof drivetrain, anything else i forgot? Think Honda only american and its an SUV. what other vehicle can you get that is a true SPORT utility vehicle. 75 percent of 4 wheel drive SUV's are street utility vehicles. Now we just need to get chrysler to start making them again. pretty sure they would sell. BTW the jeep was originated in 1941 and built by Willy's and Ford throughout WW2.
 

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EricsXJ said:
You may want to start by correcting the title. It should be "What makes the Jeep Cherokee a superior SUV?"

Also if you choose this as your topic, realize that it might be interpreted in different ways by different people. For instance is the Cherokee really superior to all SUVs on the market today? Some would argue that they are not. So what are you judging it against? All-round capability both on and off the road in stock form? Or off-road capability alone? Or as a platform to build an off-road rig? Will it be more of a historical look at the XJ as opposed to judging it against today's standards?

Just some thoughts to consider...
Good point. I think the possibility exists that we all may be somewhat biased.:D
 

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All reasons others said are why XJ's are great. Also, I like the unibody. With some frame stiffeners added to the unibody, it's plenty strong, and it makes for a much lighter vehicle than an LJ (TJ) Rubicon Unlimited (same wheelbase).

Last February, I sold my 96 XJ and bought an 06 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, which weighs 900 lbs more than a stock XJ, and 700 lbs more than my partially modified XJ did.

If you take into account the added weight of adding frame stiffeners to an XJ and add on the same skid plates my Rubicon Unlimited has, then I'd estimate that the XJ would still be 600 pounds lighter than the Rubicon Unlimited.

With some buildup, including manual locker in front and limited slip rear with manual locker in rear, and a modest 2.5" to 3" OME lift, 1" fender trimming and Bushwacker or Wrangler flares, appropriate skid plates, aftermarket rear bumper (helps vehicle balance, add protection, and TrailReady rear bumper improves departure angle clearance), stock (light) front bumper, tow hooks, remove rear sway bar, and 31 X 10.5 or 32 X 10.5 tires you'd have an XJ that's built enough, but not to much. And regeared if you go larger than 31" tires.

An XJ built like this is still about 600 lbs lighter than my stock Rubi LJ, and probably still 900 lbs lighter than a built Rubi LJ. Such an XJ is a great daily driver. Offroad I think it'd beat most Wranglers with 33's and rival a Rubicon Wrangler with 33's, IMO. Onroad such an XJ would clearly be the better vehicle offering more utility (carrying capacity), much better gas mileage, way more acceleration, better handling, and more comfort. Don't underestimate the value of comfort, especially in a daily driver.

Now I don't believe in adding a heavy front bumper because that makes the front end sink into soft surfaces: mud, sand, etc. However, if you did add an aftermarket front bumper, in addition to the other mods I listed, the XJ weight is still 500 lbs less than my stock, unmodified 06 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ). i.e. - XJs are awesome!

I'm seriously considering selling my 06 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited and buying myself a low mileage XJ in model year late 97, 98, or early 99 (best model years for all around features). If I did, I'd also buy myself a comfy Oldsmobile 98 luxury car in a 96 to 99 model year. I could have a low mileage XJ and a low mileage Oldsmobile 98 and the combined cost would be so much less than my Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited that I'd have money left over, and I don't think I'd be losing out on my 4x4 at all. If anything I'd be gaining to have an XJ again, especially in the daily driver department.

One of the best features of the XJ is its lighter weight due to its unibody. However, adding some frame stiffeners to it is a good idea to make it stronger, and then even with the stiffeners, it's still a nice light 4x4.

I personally believe that it's not how big your tires are that matters. It's how big your tires are in relation/proportion to the vehicle weight. An XJ with 31 X 10.5 tires has better flotation than a Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited with 33 X 11.5 tires. Do the math.

A stock XJ weights 3400 lbs. If you add frame stiffeners to it with associated belly skid plate, then it probably weighs 3600 lbs. Then add a good gas tank skid. Then it probably weights about 3700 lbs, and we can now compare to my stock Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, which weighs 4300 lbs stock.

Now do the math to figure out contact patch pressure per square inch. You'll see that a 3700 lb modified XJ with 31 X 10.5 tires is better than a stock Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited with 33 X 11.5 tires with regard to flotation. Now compare a 3700 lb modified XJ with 32 X 10.5 tires and the XJ clearly wins in regard to flotation and ground clearance (smaller diameter differential), and the XJ does this with far superior gas mileage and acceleration. Even the modified XJ with 32" X 10.5" tires (regeared) has far superior gas mileage than my Rubicon LJ gets.

I think XJ's are arguably the best 4x4s ever made. The only other contender for that (IMO) is the Rubicon LJ like I now have, but I can honestly say I liked my 96 XJ much better, and I now want to now buy a 98 XJ. I personally prefer the XJ over the Rubicon. Though I'd want to have manual locker in front, and limited slip rear with manual locker in rear, as my Rubicon has. That is one one area where the Rubicon rules over XJ's, IMO. However, you can add those features to an XJ, then the XJ rules because it's always the lighter vehicle, even with frame stiffeners, and other mods.

The XJ is darn sure the best 4x4 for the money. No others come close in value per dollar.

No one can accuse me of being biased because I don't even own an XJ right now. :-( I own it's toughest competitor, the Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited LJ, and I can honestly say I'd prefer an appropriately modified XJ, especially for a daily driver, but even offroad too. That's my honest, unbiased opinion.
 

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Amen brother.

I was never a jeep dude , (Having driven and recovered many).....until I discovered the joys of XJ.

bang for the buck, dollar for dollar, mod for mod, this HANDS DOWN flat smokes everything from my F-250 to my 98 TuRD Tacoma Limited. (Except that factory locker sure was nice).......nothing is more dependable or more easy to work on, and I dont go broke buying replacement or aftermarket parts for it like I did with my Toy and my Ford............and I see more pre-90s XJs on the road than any other pre-90s ANYTHING, which means in 20-plus years, most of them have dependably navigated the test of TIME and durability. Seriously. When was the last time you saw an 84-89 ANYTHING still on the road?.....yet Ill bet you saw 5 pre-90 Js today and didnt even think twice about it. Thats not including every OTHER XJ you saw. You know why you dont get the "Jeep wave" in an XJ? .....sheer jealousyy that they didnt buy one.

But as for comfort? Give me a 1968 caddy eldorado. MILES of leather, heat, power everything....set the cruise control at 100 MPH, turn on the CD player and climate control and ROAD TRIP that sucker
 

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Well, add this to the list. My 96 XJ had 30 X 9.5 tires, heavy gas tank skid, heavy rear bumper, not regeared. Got 16 mpg around town driving normal. Got 17 mpg driving easy, like a granny.

My Rubicon LJ 06 gets 11 mpg around town driving easy, like a granny. Ouch!!!! My 700 lb heavier Rubi LJ has a very hard time onroad going uphills, especially on freeway. Go to the Wrangler section and you'll see guys with LJs complaining about crappy power, crappy acceleration, crappy gas mileage, and they've got high car payments to the bank. Same with Rubicons. Now mine is both an LJ and a Rubicon - so that's max weight, minimum acceleration, and minimum gas mileage.

The 4 liter engine is not very powerful with a 4300 lb vehicle. However, that same engine is a rocket with the lighter XJ, even if you do modify it and make it 300 lbs heavier (the limit of mod sanity IMO). Even a modified XJ is light. It's acceleration and hill climbing on freeway are still excellent, and its gas mileage too, if you regear for tires and extra weight as appropriate. Though I notice the old full size Wagoneers have a similar bump under drivers seat and extra transfer case clearance. So maybe the full size Wagoneers were the first, the XJ, the second, and the Hummer then took that farther by sticking driveline up there too.

In the Wrangler LJ threads, and especially LJ Rubi threads, guys are talking about how to get more power out of the 4 liter (because it's a dog with that much vehicle weight even if regeared). Some talk about mods to 4 liter. Some talk about replacing it with a V8. Many talk about the piss poor performance of the auto transmission they put in the Rubi LJs, the 45RLE tranny. One guy is replacing his 45RLE with an AW4 tranny (what auto XJs have). Other guys are talking about kits to improve teh 45RLE tranny in their LJs.

See, XJs really are superior. The 4L is plenty of power for an XJ with appropriate gearing for its tire size and weight. Their AW4 auto trannies are so good that some LJ owners are considering getting an AW4 for their LJs. i.e. - putting in an XJ auto tranny into their LJs to replace the 45RLE auto the LJ's came with.

So while many XJ owners secretly crave, or publicly crave, an LJ or a Rubi, or an LJ Rubi, many owners of the auto LJs, auto Rubis, and especially LJ Rubis are craving an XJ transmission to improve their doggish street performance, and they're also scratching their heads for how to get more power from the 4L engine to power their overweight fat boys.

XJs are the best 4x4s for the money ever made, or ever will be made, hands down. I think they are the best period, regardless of money. Never complain about the unibody. It's the best feature. Just add a good frame stiffener system and it's plenty strong/stiff and still light weight. The other best feature is the excellent, extra transfer case ground clearance. They got it way high up there. I read that the XJ was the first generation of serious effort to gain transfer case ground clearanc by putting it higher into the cab (bump under drivers seat), and the Hummer was the next generation effort. Wranglers lack this feature entirely, and their transfer cases aren't nearly as high as an XJ's.

My next XJ will be a 1998 with 32 X 10.5 tires. It's gas mileage and street performance will far exceed my Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited 06 LJ, and my next XJ will be equal offroad, perhaps better, especially when light weight is an advantage, which it often is offroad and always is onroad.
 

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We should also discuss it's few weaknesses and how to improve them.

It tends to overheat in summer, IME.

Get a 3 core radiator. They're not expenseive. I bought one for $150 + shipping. That was a couple years ago. Probably $200 now.

Use the stock 195 thermostat, or a 200 or a 205. Nothing hotter than 210, and nothing colder than 195. Underheating is just as bad for an engine as overheating, maybe worse.

I don't like the stock electric fan, nor am I a big fan of the stock mechanical fan either. I suggest getting a dual electric fan kit from Flexalite that is a direct bolt-on for XJs. It's nice because in winter it doesn't turn-on, unless needed. So your engine warms up faster, which improves gas mileage, and keeps plugs and oil cleaner. In summer it cools better than the stock fan setup, largely because it's adjustable. So you can make it come-on at an appropriate temperature - I prefer 210. The stock electric fan won't come on until engine reaches 230, which I think is to hot. The Flexilite bolt on dual electric fan kit fixes all these issues conveniently and for a reasonable price, IMO.

The rear suspension is lacking. However, some OME spring packs, Boomarang shackles, and removal of the rear sway bar fixes that nicely. I also like OME springs for front (maybe with addition of a rubber spacer), but to each his own.

The front suspension control arms aren't very good, but JKS and many others make good replacements. This weakness is shared by all models of stock Jeep and all other brands of 4x4 have this or other suspension weakness with their stock suspensions. With Jeeps this is an easy fix. JKS adjustable arms are my preference.

Lack of rear disk brakes. However, you can put on disk brakes from a Grand Cherokee of appropriate years for only a little money and a little modification.

The rearend is weak, however, the late 97 and later models have a reasonably strong rearend. The pre 2000 models have best frontend. So the late 97, 98, and early 99 models have best of everything.

If you have some other model years, you can replace the rearend with a Ford 8.8 for a reasonable price and get a stronger rearend and diskbrakes all at once.

The backend has a lot of overhang (can drag on departure angle), but certain aftermarket bumpers help this. My favorite is the TrailReady rear bumper. I like to leave the front bumper stock, and have tow hooks.

=====

i.e. - the XJ has a few weaknesses, but they're all easily and economically fixed. It has many strengths. I think it's the best 4X4 of all time. For sure it's the best for the money.
 

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4.0H.O.XJ said:
You know why you dont get the "Jeep wave" in an XJ? .....sheer jealousyy that they didnt buy one.
I wondered why those wrangler b*stards never wave at me :laugh:
 

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What all these guys said. I don't know if cargo space was mentioned, but I Have fit a ridiculous amount of cargo in my xjs over the years. Only downside to that is that I am often called upon to help people move or schlep stuff around.
 

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Wow. I didn't know I was getting all that when I bought my first XJ 8 years ago. I simply wanted a 4x4 that wasn't too large or too clumsy to handle. I started at 3400(?) pounds and I have added approximately 1000 pounds to her ... and yet she chugs along.
This is the best thread with the most factual information I have read yet on the pro's of an XJ.
Should be a sticky ... in the Wrangler Forums!
 
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