Jeep Enthusiast Forums banner

Road to owning a Cherokee

1831 32
Yes yes yes, I know I'm probably way too young to be on here, but I love Jeeps. Always have, always will.

My dad bought a 2001 Jeep Cherokee 4 door in 2003. He drove it until 2017, when the engine seized due to an unnoticed oil leak. My dad gave it to my grandma, saying "You can have it for free, just get it out of my driveway". She completely replaced the entire engine, replaced almost every other part on the Jeep, except for the tranny.

It's 2022 now, and it's still around, and I have been obsessing over getting my first car. I even asked my grandma if I can have the Jeep when I get my driver's license. She said she would "If it survives that long". I can get my driver's license when I'm 16.75 (yes I used a decimal point, I rounded. In Indiana you have to be 16 years 270 days old to get your license without driver's ed), so it shouldn't be too hard for it to last that long.
Although I should probably mention that my grandma has a habit of forgetting to keep promises; it's not her fault, she means well, but she has ADD.

Anyways, it's a practically rust-free Jeep, what are some suggestions to do to it and what are some red flags to look out for? I'll be getting it regardless (if she doesn't sell it first), but what should I look out for when I get it?

Thank you for your help!

P.S. If you're just here to make fun of my age, you have my full permission to go **** off.
  • Like
Reactions: DANO602
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,850 Posts
Hard to say from here what condition it is. To some a little rust is in reality a lot worse. It is a Unibody Jeep.

Rest is mechanical and electrical.

I had tickets by the time i was 16.75, many. But i had those before i had a licences as well. Things were not like they are today though at all.

Might be more how practical its is too. Mpg will not be all that great. How much you can do to keep it running will be the main issue and its cost.
 

·
Registered
1998 Wrangler TJ
Joined
·
150 Posts
I personally find it pleasing to see you would want to drive a vehicle with a combustion engine. You may not have that opportunity in 2 years with the current EV agenda.
Look towards learning all you possibly can, about everything you possibly can. Hands on mechanical work, electrical work, and diagnostics. At 13, wrenching and repairing what you see wrong with that Cherokee, with help and direction of course, will give you an advantage once it’s your to drive and maintain.
Take that drivers ed class too.
 

·
Registered
2001 Jeep Cherokee Classic (4dr, 4x4)
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hard to say from here what condition it is. To some a little rust is in reality a lot worse. It is a Unibody Jeep.

Rest is mechanical and electrical.

I had tickets by the time i was 16.75, many. But i had those before i had a licences as well. Things were not like they are today though at all.

Might be more how practical its is too. Mpg will not be all that great. How much you can do to keep it running will be the main issue and its cost.
The only rust I know of is on the front right fender where the bumper and the wheel well meet.

Honestly pretty impressive since it's 21 year old metal.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,565 Posts
Any Cherokee shoudl be checked for rust. Look at the floors and the chassis members and the rockers and work up to the roof.

A leaky Cherokee will have damp carpets. Often seen with rusty floors and maybe a rusty roof.

Every rubber part underneath is prone to old age and rot. get under and look for cracking and splitting of those bits.

Really worn suspensions are common at this age, any shaking or shimmying will be due to worn bushes and components. All fixable.

Engines are usually very reliable, unless you run out of oil. Listen for strange bangs and ticks.

Cooling is marginal so look for signs of overheating.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2001_Cherokee_4door

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,671 Posts
Kudos to you youngin' for planning ahead already.

Maybe your dad can get grandma to sign the jeep back over to him....then him to you?

Grandma does have some expense already in it, and maybe you can work it off with her as Wyo suggests, until time to take possession?

Good luck :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,601 Posts
Well, I don't think you need to worry about anything that you need to do with Grandma's Jeep. However if you want her to remember that you want it, pay a lot more attention to her. Remember how you used to love going over to see grandma, when you were younger? But now that you are a teenager there are lots more important things in your life, and grandma takes a back seat. Do you still give her birthday cards, Christmas cards etc. Go over there one day and tell her you noticed that her inside car windows are a little dirty and you want her to be safe, and you are here to clean them, and then clean all the windows, and ask if you can wash the car as well. Get her take pictures of you in the Jeep. Get her to show you how to check the oil, brake fluid, coolant level etc. even if you already know. You are basically trying to reinforce the notion that you really like the Jeep and are looking forward to getting it. Do not, Do not argue with her about whether or not you are getting the Jeep. You need to plant the seed that you really want it, and will look after it as well as she has.
 

·
Registered
2001 Jeep Cherokee Classic (4dr, 4x4)
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Everyone, thank you for all the responses! All of them will definitely be taken into account.
My grandma lives just a small bike ride away fortunately, so we (me, my dad, my siblings, and occasionally my mom) go over to visit for little gatherings and holidays, and me and my dad like to go over just to hang out and help around the house. So I don't think that us not being close will really be a problem.
I'll definitely be going over to help with routine maintenance checks for free, learning all the tips and tricks of how to change fluids, keeping it out of shops (because shops are expensive), getting it all in writing. I actually have several neighbors who can help me with learning how to change fluids, and my dad can show me how as well, probably.
Yes, she does have a lot of money soaked into it. Right now she isn't focused on the XJ but she is focused on restoring her Betty Boop themed YJ. So she doesn't really have much interest in pouring more money into her XJ, which means I won't have to work my *** off for it.
But actions speak louder than words, so I'll update once I've started helping maintain it.
Until then, keep posting tips and tricks for me.
Once again, thank you all!
 

·
Registered
2001 Jeep Cherokee Classic (4dr, 4x4)
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Ok everyone, just took some pics of my grandma's Cherokee since she's over at our house. I haven't asked if she'd want me to start working on it or stuff like that.
Here's the pictures:
Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Automotive side marker light Vehicle

Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Tread Automotive design Motor vehicle

Also, I noticed that the rust has spread and gotten worse, should I be concerned?
Oh, she also said the A/C is cutting in and out, it's not the fuse or the relay, what could it be?
I also mentioned buying it off of her when I come of age to drive, and she said that depending on her financial situation she may just gift it to me. We'll have to see what happens.
Oh, @BagusJeep and @222Doc noted that the rust could in reality be a lot worse.
Well, guess what. It is. In the bottom part of the door frames there's rust, and it's probably not just surface rust.

Once again, thank you all for so much help and please continue to provide help!
One more thing: if you have questions/requests for more pictures, I may not be able to answer/provide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,671 Posts
When it comes time for you to have the Jeep, no matter what condition the body is in by then, take the Jeep anyway.

Drivetrain would be worth it, and you could transplant it into another truck with better body, or school yourself on body work fixing this one :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2001_Cherokee_4door

·
Registered
2001 Jeep Cherokee Classic (4dr, 4x4)
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When it comes time for you to have the Jeep, no matter what condition the body is in by then, take the Jeep anyway.

Drivetrain would be worth it, and you could transplant it into another truck with better body, or school yourself on body work fixing this one :)
Oh yeah, I don't care if I have to get it running because it's been sitting for a while, or have to buy brand new tires, I'm still taking it. I still don't know why I have such an attachment to that Jeep...
Oh and yeah, the drivetrain is still in amazing condition, since it got replaced about 60k miles ago.
Also, it just rolled over 245k miles! I know it's not much, but it's still impressive it's gone that long on only two engines!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
i've got a 2000 Cherokee Classic, also in Indiana, with about 110,000. A couple things i've had to do over the last few years...
1) the CPS - crankshaft position sensor, at some point it will die, and engine will not fire. will need to replace. if you are mechanically inclined and can pretzel your arms up in between the bellhousing/tranny and firewall area, and can get a couple helpers to heckle you, should be able to do it yourself
2) rear leaf springs on your photo look to be sagging. they should be at this point; all of them do. will need to replace. Do NOT be a gorilla like a lot of guys on these forums and just put the biggest pipe on the end of the biggest wrench you can find and turn the hell out of the shackle bolts. DONT DO IT. The nuts on the INSIDE of the frame rail will pop the spot welds and spin free. then you need a hack with a torch to make an even bigger mess. The problem is the shackle bolts rustseize to the inner steel sleeve in the bushing, and will not allow the bolt to back out of the shackle mount bracket. I cut off the springs to get at bushings, cut/pried outer tin bushing piece, then inner rubber piece, then inner steel sleeve that froze to the bolt inside of it. Lot of cutting/scoring with grinder, then prying with bar, score, pry, etc... until all i had left was the shackle bolt. Then sprayed the hell out of it with liquid wrench, and over a few days, turn out a few turns, then back in a few, then let it sit. Got them all out without popping any nuts off inside of frame.
Wood Automotive tire Asphalt Vehicle Motor vehicle
Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper
Automotive tire Gas Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system Metal
 

·
Registered
2001 Jeep Cherokee Classic (4dr, 4x4)
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i've got a 2000 Cherokee Classic, also in Indiana, with about 110,000. A couple things i've had to do over the last few years...
1) the CPS - crankshaft position sensor, at some point it will die, and engine will not fire. will need to replace. if you are mechanically inclined and can pretzel your arms up in between the bellhousing/tranny and firewall area, and can get a couple helpers to heckle you, should be able to do it yourself
2) rear leaf springs on your photo look to be sagging. they should be at this point; all of them do. will need to replace. Do NOT be a gorilla like a lot of guys on these forums and just put the biggest pipe on the end of the biggest wrench you can find and turn the hell out of the shackle bolts. DONT DO IT. The nuts on the INSIDE of the frame rail will pop the spot welds and spin free. then you need a hack with a torch to make an even bigger mess. The problem is the shackle bolts rustseize to the inner steel sleeve in the bushing, and will not allow the bolt to back out of the shackle mount bracket. I cut off the springs to get at bushings, cut/pried outer tin bushing piece, then inner rubber piece, then inner steel sleeve that froze to the bolt inside of it. Lot of cutting/scoring with grinder, then prying with bar, score, pry, etc... until all i had left was the shackle bolt. Then sprayed the hell out of it with liquid wrench, and over a few days, turn out a few turns, then back in a few, then let it sit. Got them all out without popping any nuts off inside of frame. View attachment 4153765 View attachment 4153766 View attachment 4153767
Honestly, I'd probably just take it to a shop lol. Not extremely mechanically inclined, but the stuff I do know is with engines.
Also, how can you tell when the leaf springs are sagging? And if they're sagging now then they were sagging when the engine seized, is that a concern?
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top