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Cherokee Buying Advice

Old 09-13-2015, 09:42 PM
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Hello all!

First time on the forum, not sure if this post belongs here so I'm sorry if it's in the wrong section.

I am considering buying into the XJ Cherokee club. Mostly I'm looking for a vehicle that can handle the harsh winters and tons of snow we get here in Buffalo, NY. You may have heard that last winter we got 7 feet of snow in some places over the course of a few days!

Anyway, I like classic cars and XJ Jeep Cherokees have an irresistible look to me. I test drove one the other day and even though the suspension was worn out and it needed an alignment, the ride was 100X more comfortable than my current vehicle. I loved it!

Though I found that Jeep was not for me. It was a 1997 with 152k, usual rocker rust and needed tires badly. Not to mention he "redid" all the front steering components. When I drove it the steering wheel was sideways when it was going straight

He wanted $2100.

After that test drive though I was hooked.

I want my winter vehicle to be comfortable, spacious, warm, and most importantly never to get stuck. So these Jeeps sound like good candidates.

I found a couple options, currently the best I can find is a 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport with 146,000 miles. Link to craigslist ad is here.

The only caveat is the guy wants $5,200 for it when the blue book is around $3200 in excellent condition.

He says it needs nothing, maybe tires within the next year.

It has a 3" lift (I prefer stock, but 3" is mild enough that I like it and gives it extra clearance for snow). It is also has Herculiner coating on the undercarriage and up to the bottom of the doors. Undercoating is very important in the rust belt. Especially in Buffalo where the bottom of your car scrapes snow all winter long. If I bought it I would still probably take it to get undercoated (necessary?). Also comes with roof basket, not really my taste but whatever. Apparently has never been off-roaded.

He said he's selling it because he needs something with better gas mileage for the commute to college.

The sills don't appear to be rusty/rusted out from the pictures. The body looks straight and I love the paint color. Interior looks clean as well.

Anyway, I want to know what you guys think a fair price is. I don't want to pay close to $5,000 for a vehicle with 146,000 miles that is 16 years old.

I've heard these Jeeps have a lot of life left if they have under 200,000 miles though, and most that I see for sale have 200,000+ miles.

If the body is in good shape and not rusty I think it might be worth a bit more than blue book.

I guess it's worth what I'll pay for it. I was thinking I'd offer $4,500, especially since it will need new tires soon and they will be more expensive than I'm used to.

I don't want to get ripped off though, so I'm turning to people who have more experience with these vehicles.

I am going to check out and test drive the Jeep tuesday.

Let me know what you think!

If you're interested, my summer car is a 1973 MGB GT. May not be your style but I love the lines!

Cheers,
Don


Jeep I'm considering




1973 MGB GT
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:26 AM
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I would offer him book value maybe up 4k if its as nice as he makes it sound,If he don't take it walk away and wait a week or two see if the ad is still up and the price went down.Did you see this one http://rochester.craigslist.org/cto/5208890570.html he says the steering is loose and it has a small rust spot on the hatch both can be used to drive the price down giving you more money to fix it and do it how you want.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:00 AM
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For anything local to you I'd say rust is the biggest factor, but it sounds like you are well aware of that. As far as mechanicals these things are cheap and easy to wrench on, if you find something that's rust free but needs minor work I'd jump on it before something that's mechanically sound but showing rust.
That one you're looking at is pulling a premium price for a reason, very clean and with the undercoating already done it looks like the guy was planning on keeping it for a while.
Blue Book is totally worthless in most cases, and especially cases like this. Desirable vehicle, well maintained, relatively low miles, whereas other similar models have rust and higher miles. Split the difference and offer $4200. Worst he can do is say "no", then if you aren't set then leave your phone #. Maybe he'll call in a month, maybe he won't.
FWIW, I recently got mine with 240k miles, has a couple minor issues and needed some minor maintenance but runs strong.

Nice MGB GT by the way!
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewmp6 View Post
I would offer him book value maybe up 4k if its as nice as he makes it sound,If he don't take it walk away and wait a week or two see if the ad is still up and the price went down.Did you see this one http://rochester.craigslist.org/cto/5208890570.html he says the steering is loose and it has a small rust spot on the hatch both can be used to drive the price down giving you more money to fix it and do it how you want.
I didn't see that one, it looks pretty decent. They're both kind of a drive for me so Im gonna see if I can go check both out tomorrow. Waiting to hear back from him.

Originally Posted by jay_sco View Post
For anything local to you I'd say rust is the biggest factor, but it sounds like you are well aware of that. As far as mechanicals these things are cheap and easy to wrench on, if you find something that's rust free but needs minor work I'd jump on it before something that's mechanically sound but showing rust.
That one you're looking at is pulling a premium price for a reason, very clean and with the undercoating already done it looks like the guy was planning on keeping it for a while.
Blue Book is totally worthless in most cases, and especially cases like this. Desirable vehicle, well maintained, relatively low miles, whereas other similar models have rust and higher miles. Split the difference and offer $4200. Worst he can do is say "no", then if you aren't set then leave your phone #. Maybe he'll call in a month, maybe he won't.
FWIW, I recently got mine with 240k miles, has a couple minor issues and needed some minor maintenance but runs strong.

Nice MGB GT by the way!
I was thinking blue book is pretty low, the reason I even considered it is because of how clean it looks. The ad was reposted and was up for 2-4 weeks before, so maybe I can be his best offer.

Like you said I'd rather get something that is rust free and can stand up to the winter and salt here for a while. If it needs a bit of mechanical work then at least I know it's got a good base to build on. My current car is rusting away so I'm weary to put anymore money into it!

Thanks, the GT is a fun little sports car!

Thanks guys, keep the opinions coming!
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:39 PM
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Update: I am going to go look at both of them tomorrow.

Let me know your thoughts still, what to look for, etc. I have read a few buying guides and common problems.

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:05 PM
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"the ride was 100X more comfortable than my current vehicle"

Wow, don't think I've ever heard anyone describe an XJ's ride as comfortable.

I would think most military tanks ride better.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:31 AM
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Have you looked at the grand cherokees also?The 93-04 have solids axles front and back but use coil springs front and back so they will ride smoother then a xj.Most of them have a awd t case which would be better in the snow.They have almost the same aftermarket of a xj but stuff cost more.
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:29 AM
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In the XJ's the most preferred year is a "99" over all the others older or newer and that mileage is very low.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:58 AM
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