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Jeep Cherokee



  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I would look for something with the 4.0L and the AW4 (Japanese built) automatic tranny. I think anything '91 and newer will cover that. That combination is one of the strongest and most reliable built so the big stuff should be ok, well into high mile territory. Many folks have 250K+ with no engine/tranny problems. Some of the older stuff had 2.8L Chevy V6's and odd-ball trannies that were much less reliable. The most common problem on the 91-96 models was overheating due to a smaller cored radiators and some electrical glitches. '97 and newer models have much better cooling systems along with all new wiring system and they seem to be rather trouble free. I would think you could pick up something quite reliable and with reasonable miles for $4500. $3500 maybe but it would possibly have more problems. Much cheaper than that and you're really pushing your luck for a 4X4. At least around here. $2500 for a 4X4 is a project that will need constant attention.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    The only suggestion I would make is to have all 4 of you try out the back seat. Some will find it quite cramped. Other than that, I think a used Cherokee would be a great vehicle for what you describe. The mechanical bits tend to last a long time. I have a 1998 Classic 4x4. Almost all of the minor problems I have had were electrical. Fog lights shorting out (water invasion) and power window regulator (common Chrysler problem) are the only things I have had to fix more than once. Good Luck!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Thanks for the info, guys! I did some more searching last night, and read where the '97 model was improved in the cooling area over earlier models. Someone here in town had a '93 w/"high miles" in the paper for $3500 obo; at least now when I go take a look at it, I'll have a better idea of what to look for.

    Thanks again!
  • vin_weaselvin_weasel Posts: 237
    Edmunds History of the Cherokee

    Another history

    I was trying to find some more as I know there is one site out there that is really informative but I can't remeber it. Key points not found entirely in the article above: In '91 they added the 4.0 HO engine. There was also a switch over point to an open cooling system from a closed one (bad) and I think it was '92 or '93. '87 to '89's can possibly have a Dana 44 rear axle which is much preffered to the Dana 35 that came between 84 and 96 or so. After 96 the jeep got either a Dana 35 or a Chrysler 8.25 which is almost as strong as the D44. You can tell the difference by looking at the back of the rear axle. The D35 has an oval cover and the 8.25 has a flat bottom.

    I just found another site about the different engines:

  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    I was going to buy a Cherokee end of last summer, but I could not find one with enough leg room. My legs hit the steering wheel, and I never saw one with tilt wheel (does it exist?). My Civic had more legroom. Too bad, my wife loves and I like the styling of the Cherokee. The boxier the better.

    Ended up buying a 97 Wrangler. Still a little short on leg room, but at least I don't interfere with steering.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I'd read the Edmunds history, but hadn't seen the other links you provided; good info on the differential (which is something I wouldn't have paid attention to probably).

    So if you had to pick one model to target, would you look for an 87-89 with the Dana 44 rear axle (but w/2.8l Chevy engine?), a post-91 model w/the 4.0 engine, a '93 with better cooling, or a '97 with improved electricals? I'm guessing a '93 with the 4.0 engine might be the best compromise for me, based on limited 4WD usage, but needing the better cooling (Arkansas summers can get nasty!), and probably not being able to afford a '97 model.

    There were also numerous 4WD systems available at different times; anything to avoid/seek there?
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I know from 97 on Tilt Steering Wheels were available. Before that is outside my experience.
  • vin_weaselvin_weasel Posts: 237
    I'll tell you what I have, some comments, and what I'd like to do with it.

    I have a 2001 Sport with Select-trac with the tow package which is a must I figure because not only do you get the Class III hitch, but you get the tranny cooler, too. You can get better aftermarket Tranny coolers as well. I love the Selec-trac and wanted it because of the winters we have up here. The NP242 Transfer case (Selec-trac) is stronger than the NP231 Transfer case (Command-Trac) in some respects and weaker in others. I've heard that the chain assembly is stronger but the overall impression is that the 242 is a weaker case simply because it has more components. The 231 case is preferred by some because it is simpler and there are more modifications available for it. Personally, I think the difference will never be noticed by anyone not doing serious off-roading. There were also two other transfer cases offered way back in the mid to late 80's along with the 2.8L chevy V-6. I think they were the np228 and np229 (Command and Selec-trac respectively). In those years the front axle was also a vacuum disconnect which is people have different opinions on. The 2.8L engine is viewed by almost everyone as a dog, however it makes for an easy swap down the road for another Chevy engine, the most common being the 3.1L and the 3.4L Camaro engine. For the 4.0, they pretty much maxed out the performance gains in 2001. Improvements that can be made to any version of the 4.0 include a Ram-air type setup, a bored out throttle body and spacer, headers and a more free flowing exhaust and catalytic converter.

    The Dana44 rear end came only in certain models back in '87-89. They were usually the towing package or the 'metric tonne package'. They are very rare and very sought after because an aftermarket axle is big bucks. Right now (and in the conceivable future) I'm happy with my 29-spline 8.25" Chrysler axle. When they first developed it there was a 27 spline version that is slightly weaker (closer to a D35 in strength, not much of an improvement). The Dana35 axle is not weak by any means, but the consensus on the off road boards and lists I read is that if you use lots of power and/or larger tires, you'll be replacing axle shafts. Personally, I would love to find a Dana44 axle but I haven't even tried looking yet. It's only a slight increase in strength over the new 8.25 but it does have larger drum brakes. A better swap is a '95+ Ford Explorer 8.8" rear axle. You have to weld, or have someone else weld, the spring pads/shock mounts but the kit is only $160US. This axle is even if not stronger than the D44 and you get rear disk brakes. Plus different models had better gear ratios and a limited slip similar to the Trac-loc found in Jeeps. I have a Trac-lok, too. It's not bad. One problem of the 8.25" Chrysler axle is the difficulties it can cause when adding lift to the suspension of a Cherokee. It is a little longer on the snout and can cause driveshaft angle to more easily exceed vibration free operating angles.

    My plans for the Jeep are pretty much as follows:

    - I've already installed some aftermarket tow hooks from Custom 4x4 Fabrication but because I don't have anyone to wheel with I haven't needed them yet.
    - I have the transfer case skid and gas tank skid. I managed to get them from the states when Mopar was clearing them out for real cheap. If I wanted them now, I'd go to a junk yard.
    - I have a 2" lift coming eventually. It cost only $110 US plus shipping and should be relatively easy to install. I actually have very little mechanical ability or experience. I would go larger but because of the redesign in '97, all newer jeeps are more prone to damaging driveline vibrations.
    - I have a few ideas for bumpers (front and rear), side rails/steps, etc but I'm waiting to take a welding course and maybe make my own.
    - I would love to do some engine mods like those I listed above but money is always an object and most of the stuff I have to order from the states which is super expensive by the time it gets here.

    If I had to buy another Jeep right now I would probably look for a nice '95 limited or laredo. I would most likely go with the command-trac if I was going to off-road it lots and/or not drive it under slippery conditions. You wouldn't believe how many days we had here this winter where I was in Full-time but part-time would have been bad for the driveline. I would also check the back to see what differential I was going to be getting. Oh, the D35 usually came with the vehicles with ABS.

    Now that I'm done my opus, I should tell you that all the information above has been gleaned by reading on the web. Like I said, I don't have tons of mechanical knowledge and I've only owned by Jeep for 10 months. Check out sites like:

    Jeeps Unlimited
    North American XJ Association
    Cherokee America
  • beam2000beam2000 Posts: 2
    After numerous trips to the garage, the no-start problem was a bad electronic ignition module. On this Cherokee, the coil "nests" into the electronic module. The lesson I learned is if there is a change of temperature outside, and your vehicle doesn't start(no spark) until the temperature changes again, it is most likely that your electronic ignition module is faulty. The only other possible causes could be the coil or distributor pickup. This may seem like a very simple solution, but it sure is aggravating to try and find it when it only happens once in a while.
  • Hey everyone, I own a 98 Cherokee Sport and am having a problem with my remote keyless entry. About 3 months ago it stopped working so I went and got new batteries put in it. It worked for about three days and then it stopped working again. I thought that maybe I had a bad set of batteries. I put new ones in again and it worked for about three days and it stopped. After a couple of days of pushing the buttons with no result it finally started working again and worked for about three months. The other day I had the same problem: stopped working, changed the batteries and it worked for a couple of days, and now it won't work again. Has anyone had this problem? Has anyone had to buy a new key fob and if so for how much?
    Please let me know out there if you have an answer.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I have a 98 Classic, but I have not had your problem. I do not know what a new key fob costs. You could try these guys:

    They offer discounted prices on OEM parts. Just fill out their form with what you want, and they will send you a quote.

  • ironrootironroot Posts: 2

    I am considering a nice deal my dealer has on a 2002 Grand Cherokee Limited set up just like I was looking for---except it has a High Output V8 engine rather than the regular V8.

    My dealer (and Jeep brochures) says that it is "OK" to run regular gas in the HO V8, particularly around town. Anyone have experience doing this? I would rather not always have to feed my SUV the premium gas, would like to have the option to use Premium only when I want it for highway performace and the price is right...

    Your comments appreciated.

  • sandyboysandyboy Posts: 114
    Tilt Steering Wheel was an option every year from the first XJ (1984) thru the last (2001). Sometimes it was a stand-alone option, other years it was packaged with a group...but it was always an option, and always available. I checked all 18 of my brochures....
  • ed96ed96 Posts: 20
    i too love the jeeps. i own a wagoneer(anyone who owns one knows it HAS to be love to own the LAST carb engine on the planet) I also own a 99 classic with every option there is except abs . go figure.
    but , i own three manuals my 88. my 99 ,and my former 96 sport . what is wrong with you man ?
  • brown67brown67 Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Cherokee Sport and it came with no cruise control. I bought an after market one but can't get it to work. Does anyone know of an after market one other than audiovox that will work. i went to the dealer and they want 750$ to install the factory one.

  • Recently purchased above vehicle for my daughter.
    Car has 81K miles. In process of changing fluids
    since I have no idea how religious prior owner
    was/wasn't. Transmission and oil already done,
    steering fluid next. I've noticed that the
    engine runs ( if I can trust the gauge ) at about
    210 degrees. This is some 30-40 degrees hotter than the GM products I'm used to driving. I'd like some feedback from experienced owners as to whether this is normal, or should I go ahead with a thermostat change and/or flush the radiator and replace the coolant?

    The in-line six is pretty impressive from a torque standpoint and the ride is somewhat better than I expected from a 4X4 SUV.
  • vin_weaselvin_weasel Posts: 237
    If it starts getting up around 230 you have to worry. The 4.0L is a hot engine.

    You might want to change the differential fluids as well.
  • jperceljpercel Posts: 3
    I am starting to research jeep cherokees' and I was wondering if anyone knew a good place to find information about the distinction between the sport model, SE, and classic (standard version). I am also looking for opinions on these models. Are they efficent cars? What are some of the problems peope have found with them? Any advice? Thanks.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    If you just want used Jeeps (i.e., not new Grand Cherokees), then you'll have to go to the Used pages and get a list; then go through the specs one by one.

    There is a Vehicle Comparision Tool, but it's only for the new models.

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • Like vin_weasel said, the cherokee runs hot. My '98 always runs between 200-210 whether it's near freezing or the temp. is up in the nineties.
  • mhall02mhall02 Posts: 38
    Hi all, I have had my 2000 Sport for about 2.5 years now and have recently lost two of the center caps off of my std. steel wheels. Anyone else have this problem? Apparently the plastic 'nubs' that the three screws go into disentegrated, the plastic is very brittle and all that is left behind are the three screws with the metal nut and brittle plastic inside the metal nut. Poor quality plastic, just kinda annoying. Also, looks like the front diff. is leaking a little around the drive-shaft seal, is this common (thank goodness for the extended warranty)? All things considered, still love the Jeep, it has 51,000 miles and is running great!!
  • vader6vader6 Posts: 27
    I just had a similar but different problem. Standing next to the vehicle while pressing unlock/lock/panic buttons on the key fob did nothing. Had to manually unlock door and while driving to the dealers tried the buttons while vehicle was in motion. Everything worked! Anyway , the dealer took both key fobs and checked the transmission range/battery and said both are in max range, battery good. Computer glitch I guess.

    Can't wait for the 03 GMC Envoy XL so I can trade this Chrysler crap in.
  • sandyboysandyboy Posts: 114
    Wouldn't that be more properly called "Mercedes-Benz crap" ????
  • sandyboysandyboy Posts: 114
    In newer models, 1996 forward, there are basically 4 models. The entry level is the SE, one step up is the Sport, the DeLuxe model is the Classic, while the top of the line is the Limited. The differences between them are the level of "options" that are standard, and the interior/exterior trim. Prior to the Limited (in 1996/1997) the top of the line was the "Country". In 1998 the Country gave way to the Limited. These all have the 4.0Litre 6 Cyl motor, while many (but not all) SE models have the 4-Cyl motor, which is too small for the vehicle, and not really desireable. The six cylinder was an option in the SE, but less than 1/2 the SE(s) had it. 95% of all Limiteds have leather interior and dual 6-way power seats and heated seat feature. It was standard equipment in all 98, 99, 2000 Limiteds, and went to the option list for 2001, but most 2001 had it too. The Classic is basically a Limited, with manual seats & cloth interior.
    The build split is appox like this: 60% are Sports, 9% are SEs, 20% are Classics and 11% are Limiteds. Most dealer (other than Jeep) have no clue of the differences, calling them all Cherokee Sports. They think that is the name of all of them! I have gone to look at "Cherokee Sports" only to find it's a Classic, or Limited or SE !
  • tmac00tmac00 Posts: 8
    I am already in withdrawal. Sold my 97 Cherokee Sport had to buy a (pause, sniffle) minivan. First time I am without a Jeep since the 80's. 1978 CJ 5, 1980 CJ 7, 1997 TJ (Wrangler in the US) and a 97 Cherokee. Loved them all. The problem I have now is I can't drive an automatic, pull up to park turn it off and unable to get the key out! Oh yeah, you have to put it in park, thanks for letting me get some of this off my chest. As soon as the kids (1 and 3 yrs old) are older, it's back to Jeeps for me.
  • arlodogarlodog Posts: 8
    at 10,ooo miles i had to have my front brake rotors replaced, this was a warranty item, today I took it in with the same problem a shaking steering wheel when breaking, milage is now 24000. now they tell me they need to machine the rotors. this seems excessive to me two break jobs in 24000 miles? not happy about this at all. this is a 2000 classic. this vehicloe has been only ok, it is my first jeep and will be my last,
    Any input on the break issue would be helpful
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    I think you meant brake jobs and braking.

    However, under the circumstances, maybe not.

  • arlodogarlodog Posts: 8
    sorry for the spelling, have just talked to the service manager and he says tough luck, denies a problem with rotors. Many posts on ntsb site about this. he asked me if iwas usuing it to tow.have never towed a thing. chrysler has chosen to ignore this, i will not be buying from them again
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    If I held a grudge against every vehicle I'd had a problem with I'm not sure what I'd be driving.

    The unwritten DC policy on the rotors is the first ones are free during the 36K warranty. Second ones are on you. Technically, they are only covered under the 12K warranty. My first set were swapped at 24K, and I have a slight vibration again at 36K on my '01. I've found that they vibrate worse after towing or very hard braking. They make aftermarket rotors that will fix the problem, but they cost about $200. I don't think you'll find too many manufacturers willing to put $200 rotors on their vehicles, particularly rather cheap ones.
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    Is this true of Wranglers as well? I have a 1997 Sport.
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