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2000 Cherokee Sport Buying Questions

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Old 08-20-2015, 07:19 PM   #1  
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Default 2000 Cherokee Sport Buying Questions

I found a 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport with 205,000 miles on it.

Is it worth buying that model year because I heard that the head cracks on them.

How common is this cracking issue or is it nothing to worry about with normal maintenance?.

I don't plan to abuse it I will be using it off road from time to time but nothing crazy.
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:32 PM   #2  
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I don't plan to abuse it
No one ever does, but hey **** it happens.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:08 PM   #3  
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With those miles the motor and or head must have already been replaced so there's nothing to worry about. It's impossible the stock head could have lasted that long everyone knows that. Top her off with rotella and enjoy.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:35 AM   #4  
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With those miles the motor and or head must have already been replaced so there's nothing to worry about. It's impossible the stock head could have lasted that long everyone knows that. Top her off with rotella and enjoy.
What are some things I can look for to be sure the head already is not cracked and I am just not being told it is. I will look for the part number 0331 on it.

I will most likely be going to check it out in person today to test drive it, check for leaks and listen to how she runs and test the 4x4 also plan on checking the oil and seeing if the tranny fluid is burnt.

Also when I lookup the vin on the Jeep it says 2000 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 Police 4dr what exactly is the "police" part for.

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/vindec...FF48S9YL107669 That is the vin decoded.
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:15 AM   #5  
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Police Package could mean anything as they were special order to know for sure you need a build sheet from Jeep.


The 00/01 had several less desirable things about them extra O2 sensors and cats the LPD30 differential less clearance and weaker than 99> models, coil packs etc.
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:25 AM   #6  
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With those miles the motor and or head must have already been replaced so there's nothing to worry about. It's impossible the stock head could have lasted that long everyone knows that. Top her off with rotella and enjoy.
I hope that was a joke, because it's not true. SOME of them crack, but not all. Someone posted here recently that he had 400K miles on his original 0331.

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How common is this cracking issue or is it nothing to worry about with normal maintenance?
Normal maintenance doesn't matter. Some of them crack regardless of how well you maintain them. Some don't. It was a flaw in the casting process that causes the crack, and it's unpredictable.

There are no reliable statistics on how many are affected. If you read this board, you'll see a few people come on every month with a cracked head, and you'll think they all must be cracked. What you're not seeing are all the other people driving them with perfectly good heads who never come here because they have no reason to. It's a common problem, but how common nobody can really say.

You'll want to read a lot more about this to understand all the specifics and what they mean, but to get you started with what to look for:

First, ask smart questions. How often does the owner have to add coolant? The answer should be "rarely" or "never," since unexplained coolant loss is a symptom of a head issue. Does it overheat? Does the temperature gauge ever spike and then go back down? Does the oil pressure light ever come on?

Has the cooling system recently been flushed or overhauled? Be wary. A lot of people are unloading their 2000s and 2001s right now because they're having the first symptoms of a cracked head. They flush the cooling system to mask the problem and try to sell it. They may not even know about the head problem. They just know they have an issue and want to get out of it while it's still running.

Pull the radiator cap and look to see what the coolant looks like. Is there any reddish brown sludge? That's what you get when water boils out of coolant. It leaves that stuff behind to gum everything up and eat the water pump.

Look at the plastic overflow bottle. Does it have a brown film inside? Same crap. Look at the little "straw" on the side of the overflow bottle for evidence of garbage in it. Sometimes people will clean out those bottles to get rid of the sludge, but it's a lot harder to get it out of the tube on the side. Look for evidence of muddy looking splatter around the engine bay, where it might it might have been sprayed when a water pump let go.

Pull the oil filler cap on top of the valve cover and look down inside. Sometimes you can actually see the crack if it's there, or you'll see coolant weeping up from the crack. You may see a milky substance on the bottom of the oil filler cap, but the detergent packages in oil are so good these days that you can't rely on that. If you do see it, you know you have a serious problem.

Likewise, the color of the oil on the dipstick is not a reliable indicator of coolant in the oil, because the detergent package in modern oil bonds to the coolant better than in the old days when oil would turn milky. However, take a look at it anyway. Is the level high? That could indicate coolant getting into the oil and making the level rise between oil changes.

Drive it and get it hot. I would suggest getting up to highway speeds for a little while to put it under a normal range of loads. Then pay attention to the oil pressure. Does it drop to zero at idle? If so, be extremely wary. Contamination of the oil with coolant will eat the cam bearings and cause low oil pressure. A bad oil pressure sender can also cause a low reading, but with this particular year it's not worth the risk. Recently some kid posted here that he had test driven a 2000 with no problems, but then he drove it 90 minutes home and had the oil pressure light come on. He had not gotten it hot enough during the test drive to see the problem.

Personally, if I were buying another 2000, I would just plan on replacing the 0331 head even if it's not cracked and factor that into the price I was willing to pay. A new replacement from Clearwater Cylinder Heads runs about $450.

The 2000 and 2001 XJs had a number of other design differences from 1999 and earlier that complicate plans for lifts and exhaust mods. You might want to search and read up on all the differences to make sure they don't conflict with your plans for it.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:32 PM   #7  
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Hi, as said above i wish i new of this before i bought mine. Another thing on the 00-01 is to check for the california emissions package some people wont be bothered with that.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:01 AM   #8  
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Yes the head MIGHT crack, but you also MIGHT get taken out by a Greyhound bus when you run to the corner store for a sixer. Can't live in fear - if the head cracks, fix it and move on. Weigh the risk vs the benefits and go from there - if you live in the rust belt and found one of the few XJs without aftermarket oxidation ventilation installed, are you REALLY going to be concerned about POSSIBLY having to change a head out?

If I paid a whole lot of attention to the internet in general, I'd be wearing a tinfoil hat and living in a bunker because my 2000 XJ is just laying in wait to kill me and my entire family. The CJ5 is just itching to roll over, the flattie is going to give me tetanus, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention my '84 GMC that is currently planning to burst into flames because NBC news said so.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:40 AM   #9  
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^Not what he said^


They have issues that the 99's and back did not have but also clearly issues that have well documented in 100's of posts on this site for anyone to read, many from those who own them.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:32 AM   #10  
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Like said above don't live in fear.... I bought a 2000 with 178,900 3 months ago it has almost 180,000 .... I bought it to drive it, lift it, and just plain old to have fun with my kids ....
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:33 AM   #11  
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:40 AM   #12  
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the head didn't scare me from buying a clean 2000 2 door. it has 205,000 miles on it and has never been apart. but if it does go i can fix it myself so that may weigh into your decision..
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:09 PM   #13  
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It is nice to see another medium fern green metallic out there, beautiful color but rare in my parts, I've only seen two TJs and one other XJ in this color. I thought someone had stolen mine until I noticed the sunroof which mine doesn't have. I've got a hair under 198K on mine with the original 0331, still runs like it did when it came home. If you are looking to change the exhaust manifold you will be limited in choice as not many manufacturers make one that will just bolt into the existing exhaust system for the '00 and '01 model years, it also seems that no one makes a non-OE spec camshaft for them either.
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:19 PM   #14  
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^Not what he said^


They have issues that the 99's and back did not have but also clearly issues that have well documented in 100's of posts on this site for anyone to read, many from those who own them.
Exactly what he said^^^.

Not wanting to drag those pesky mathematics into this, but how many 4.0 engines were produced in that time period? Around 175,000 XJ's alone in 2000, how many TJ's and WJ's?

Let's go with a conservative number and say 350,000 4.0 engines. "Hundreds of posts" (let's say 500) constitute a minimal percentage, and when only "many" (let's say 75%) come from actual first hand knowledge, we're getting into "winning more than $2 on the Powerball" territory (.01% failure rate based on current data).

Without getting too much into reliability diagnostics, utilizing a little common sense and reasonable attention to maintenance will render that scary old head to be every bit as reliable as any other casting.

Again, the POTENTIAL for a problem exists, but not enough to make a rational person run for the tinfoil hat and the panic room. If you overheat it and/or flog it, the head MIGHT be the weak link that lets go. To listen to some of these posts, they might prefer the mighty 2.8 GM V6 (a legit turd) over a 4.0 (that might crack a head on the back end of its normal expected service life).
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:41 PM   #15  
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It is nice to see another medium fern green metallic out there
Here's another one:

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