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What are common problems with the 2001 jeep cherokee's

Old 11-27-2016, 05:53 PM
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Default What are common problems with the 2001 jeep cherokee's

Hi im buying a jeep cherokee sport with 120,000 miles this was a very well maitained vehicle it looks brandnew and has no rust , Im going to use this vehicle the correct way unlike the previous owner i just want to know what are somethings that i should watchout for and just replace .
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Old 11-27-2016, 06:02 PM
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Welcome to CF!

Is this the 4.0 6 cylinder or the 4.7 V8? This vehicle has about the same mileage and condition that my 2000 had on it when I bought it, although mine was a well maintained "garage queen" used by a soccer-mom. What I'm trying to say is I know this vehicle well.

SO, hit me with your questions!

Last edited by dave1123; 11-27-2016 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 11-27-2016, 06:09 PM
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So when i put my princess into 4 wheel drive and turn she rattles , its only in 4 wheel drive though and only when i turn
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
Is this the 4.0 6 cylinder or the 4.7 V8?
He has an XJ, so it will be the 4.0L. He posted in the wrong forum.

Common problems with the 2001 XJ:

0331 head crack. Read up on it. Understand the warning signs and watch for them. Learn ahead of time what you need to do if it happens.

O2 sensor issues. Your Jeep has three catalytic converters and four O2 sensors. Since that is twice as many as earlier Jeeps, you have twice as many places for bad sensors or wiring issues.

Related to that, if your forward catalytic converters die, they're expensive to replace.

Heat soak. With two extra catalytic converters directly below the exhaust manifold, you have more potential for under hood heat to vaporize the fuel in the #3 cylinder when you stop and shut off the engine. Typically this happens when you shut off a hot engine and then try to restart it within 20 minutes (like stopping for a quick run into a store). The result is a hard restart and stumbling for the first few minutes it's running until the fuel flow cools the injector and clears out the vaporized fuel. You may also get a CEL for a cylinder 3 misfire. There is a TSB for the problem that involves installing a heat shield and heat insulation around the #3 cylinder. A search will give you that info.

Evaporative system CELs. Your Jeep has more evap junk on it than prior years, so there's more to fail. You also have a potential for vacuum leaks.

Those are the problems associated with the 2001. There are also some unique characteristics that aren't really problems, but can be depending on what you want to do with it:

The 2001 has a low pinion Dana 30 front axle. The low pinion axle is weaker than the high pinion D30 in the '99 and earlier XJs, has lower ground clearance and can cause some drive line issues if you lift it.

The exhaust has a very specific path between the drive shaft and the oil pan. Get it pushed too far over one way or the other, and you either get a hole rubbed in your oil pan or the front drive shaft bangs into it.

The 2001 has no distributor. Instead it uses a coil rail that mounts directly on the plugs. It's also a waste spark system, meaning that the coils fire the plugs on both the power stroke and the exhaust stroke.

The 2001 also has two exhaust manifolds for cylinders 1-3 and 4-6 rather than one long exhaust manifold in prior years. This was done to accommodate the two extra catalytic converters mounted underneath them. That means you're limited in your choices if you want to install a header, and the cheap Ebay headers won't fit. The good news is that the Torque Tubes headers that do fit it are awesome.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I'm assuming you know the common issues from earlier years since you only asked about 2001. The 2001 also suffers from most of the regular issues like cooling system problems, wiring issues, bad oil senders, etc.
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:41 PM
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Ok so what is the 0331 head crack in simple form is that the head gasket or is that a piston im confused
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr.Goodnight View Post
Ok so what is the 0331 head crack in simple form is that the head gasket or is that a piston im confused
0331 refers to the casting number of the cylinder head and signifies the design of the ports on the head. XJs with 4.0L engines had three heads over the years, 7120, 0630 and 0331. The 0331 head was only used in 2000 and 2001 model year XJs.

In its original casting, the 0331 had a casting flaw that caused some of them (but not all) to crack between the #3 and #4 cylinders. This could happen even in well-maintained Jeeps that were never overheated. The crack can allow coolant to get into the oil, exhaust to escape into the coolant, or both. Coolant in the oil eats bearings, and if it goes on long enough you lose the engine.

There are several symptoms, including unexplained coolant loss without a visible leak somewhere; brown sludge in the cooling system; intermittent running hot; boiling over into the coolant reservoir; temperature spikes, especially after a highway run; and even a visible crack in the top of the head, which you may be able to see by shining a flashlight down into the oil filler cap. Some people still get milky oil if they get coolant in it, but a lack of milky oil is not a guarantee that you don't have coolant in it, since modern oils can bond a lot more water and don't always turn milky.

A compression test can tell you if you have a crack. You can determine whether you have coolant in your oil by sending off a sample to a lab like Blackstone for analysis. You can test for the presence of exhaust gas in your coolant with a combustion leak tester, available at auto parts stores for around $50.

If you need to replace your head, the most popular choice is a new casting 0331 from Clearwater Cylinder Head. The Clearwater head is a Chinese casting with a much thicker deck than the original. It costs around $500 and comes to you (almost) ready to bolt in on a Saturday afternoon.

An alternative is to find a '99 or earlier 0630 head, which has a different port configuration. While it will work on your engine, it requires a bit of fabrication to fit the coil rail on it.

A third alternative is to use a TUPY 0331. Chrysler realized they had a problem, and in 2002 (after the XJ run was over) they quietly switched production to the Tupy foundry in Brazil. The TUPY 0331s are identified by the word "TUPY" cast into the top of the head between the #3 and #4 cylinders, right where the original casting 0331 liked to crack. These are direct bolt-on replacements, but they are not easy to find.

Most people end up waiting until they have a crack before they learn any of this and do anything about it. However, some people who know about the problem preemptively swap in a replacement head before the original cracks to avoid the issue altogether. Whether you want to do that depends on you and your situation. If it were me, and this were my only vehicle, I would go ahead and make the swap. If I had something else to drive if the head cracked at an inconvenient moment when I lacked the time and/or money to fix it, I would just wait and watch it for signs, then replace if necessary.

It's important to repeat that not all of them crack. Some people have gone hundreds of thousands of miles with no issue at all, so you may never have any issue. Even so, it's still important to know the signs and keep an eye out for them.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:06 PM
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Thank you Extrashaky for following up on this. I've told this tale too many times to keep repeating it with the same accuracy, LOL! The thing that REALLY gripes me is Chrysler NEVER admitted they had a problem with the 0331 head and told everyone it must have been poor maintenance that caused the crack, but they fixed it anyway!

The "Clearwater" head is sold by Odessa Cylinder Head in Clearwater, FL, for $455 complete with new valves, seals, and springs, including shipping BOTH ways (core return). I got mine in 3 days because they have a warehouse here in NY. If you don't return the core in 30 days, you get charged $100 more. The head is guaranteed not to crack for 5 years unless overheated. It comes with a melt tag on it.

Does the 2001 XJ have a 231 t/case and is that his problem with his turning symptom?

My WJ had a factory recall for an intake manifold heat shield and all it is is an aluminum wafer blanket that fits on top of the manifold and is held in place by fitting over some existing bolts. The reason for it is those new exhaust manifolds are cast iron and hold the heat longer causing the fuel to boil in the rail after shutdown or when creeping along in traffic. The heat also caused 2 injectors to crack their cases.

Also, the 0630 head will bolt on and work, but the cast iron manifolds don't fit so you have to use the earlier exhaust header which doesn't have cats on it, or a custom header.

Last edited by dave1123; 11-27-2016 at 11:20 PM.
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