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Both of these sites are filled with Jeep enthusiasts who subscribe to the philosophy "Jeeps are built, not bought" and know the mechanics inside and out.
rinfantino: Jeeps tend to accumulate numerous "non-serious" problems rather than any serious ones (serious to me mean safety, engine, or transmission problems). Since you have a 4 dr, you aren;t likely to face the broken weld problem. The rear leafs will sag over time, accelerated by alot of towing. 97 was the update year, and I think one of the changes was a more standardized electrical bus. There may have been some sort of a problem there, but I'm not sure. Anyway, congratulations on staying with Jeep!
Dane5:How much weight did you have in back? Cherokees have bumbers (in both the front and rear) to limit the amount of travel the springs are forced to endure. Most likely, particularly with some weight in the back, the jolt you were experiencing was hitting those. If you remove one of the rear tires, you should see it bolted to the frame rail above the axle.
If they complain about the rough ride, tell them they are welcome to bring their Lexus the next time. :-)
green20:In addition to what sebring has said, I want to point out that even if the front wheels have to slide, they don't actually "lose" traction, its merely reduced (the difference between static and dynamic friction coefficients). Even sliding, the front wheels are still pulling the front end around in the direction you want it to go.
I'm a little bit curious to know what kind of 4x4 setup you were previously driving (ie, limited slips where?), because I'm not exactly sure what you mean when you say "4x4s I drove in the past added traction in turns."
4wd doesn't "add traction". Friction between the tires and the ground does that. 4wd, in all its various setups, merely determines where power is delivered.
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