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Looking to buy 4x4 Cherokee in Florida - June 23rd-ish

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Looking to buy 4x4 Cherokee in Florida - June 23rd-ish

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Old 07-06-2018, 04:04 PM
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Default Looking to buy 4x4 Cherokee in Florida - June 23rd-ish

Hi all!

I am from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and am driving my daughter to FIU in a couple of weeks. As I am giving her the Subaru Forester that we'll be traveling down in, I plan to pick up a rust-free Cherokee to drive back home which will then become my daily ride. I'll be looking for (in this order) a WJ, XJ or ZJ. I'll be looking for something well taken care of, not beaten on. Modified is fine, but it will depend on how it's been modded, what has been done, how it looks, etc. Everybody has their own sense of what looks good and what doesn't. I tend more towards understated than stand-out-in-a-crowd styling. Completely stock is good for me as well.


Must have:

Rust free - As in, light surface surface rust here and there only.
4x4 - Upper Peninsula of Michigan winters. 'nuf said.
Automatic - I drive sticks just fine, just too much hassle with my short drive to/from work and short garage.
Extremely straight and in very good to excellent condition inside and out.
4.0L or 5.2L. I won't even look at anything with a 4.7L, those motors go bad way too often for my liking.
150,000 miles or less on a 4.0L. Maybe a bit more if the Cherokee is something special. Would really prefer a 4.0 as they appear very easy to work on (I do most of my own repairs).


Would really like:

Quadra-Drive or some sort of limited slip/lockers - U.P. of Michigan winters.
Heated seats - See above.
Factory towing pkg - D44, 3.73 gears and upgraded cooling .
3" to 6" lift.
Up to maybe a 32" or 33" tire.
Prefer silver, gray, white or black paint.
Sunroof would be nice to be able to enjoy a few rays coming through during winter.


I'll probably be looking in the $2,500 to $5,000 range. That should give me quite a bit of flexibility in regards to finding something in good condition with the options that I am looking for.

I'll be searching Craigslist and Facebook in the coming weeks to find likely candidates to call on once I'm in Miami, but if anyone knows of someone in the Florida area that has something you think I might be interested in, or spot something that you think is exactly what I would be looking for, please post it in this thread. If someone here tips me off to a vehicle that I end up purchasing, I'll send them $50 via Paypal as a finders fee.

Also, if you have any thoughts about anything I've posted above or have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know. I've never owned a Jeep before but have always liked the looks. And of course everybody here raves about the durability of the 4.0L. It will be my daily driver, grocery getter and will use it to pull the occasional trailer (I have a small Kubota that I use out at camp one or twice a year).

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:12 PM
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Lockers on a Jeep in the winter are no fun... unless you like to swap ends on M95 in a blizzard.

Save some cash for a set of Winterforces to go with your new rig... safe to say it won't be coming from Florida with decent snow tires.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo Slice View Post
Lockers on a Jeep in the winter are no fun... unless you like to swap ends on M95 in a blizzard.

Save some cash for a set of Winterforces to go with your new rig... safe to say it won't be coming from Florida with decent snow tires.
If it doesn't come with some good M&S tires, I'll most likely get a set of WF for it this fall. My Subaru already has a set and they work pretty well.

A locker/limited slip in the rear and open/limited slip in the front would be OK. I actually prefer having a locker in the rear in winter as I know exactly how it is going to behave at all times. An open diff can catch/let loose at the most inconvenient moments, catching you off guard and making you wish you'd worn your brown pants that day.

Last edited by Frenchmeister; 07-06-2018 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:42 PM
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Just mind your speed. I only say this because I've been driving XJ's up here for many moons (currently have an 85, 89 and a 97 in the yard)... and while they are great vehicles and the 4WD is fantastic off the road, in my opinion it leaves a bit to be desired on the highway.

Many many many miles running through snow storms in the Dickinson, Iron, Marquette, Baraga, Ontonagon county area.

Good tires, watch your speed... they aren't magical.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:48 PM
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Oh, I hear ya. I've lived in Marquette/Baraga counties most of my 50 years of life. And always with a 4x4 or AWD of some type. Four wheel drive will get you up to speed faster than 2WD, but it won't help you stop any quicker.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:54 PM
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That budget with what your wanting, is severely going to limit you imo. I think the range is something like 3500ish if you are lucky, to about 7 or 8 k. Prices are rising, especially for low milage and rust free.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Martlor13 View Post
That budget with what your wanting, is severely going to limit you imo. I think the range is something like 3500ish if you are lucky, to about 7 or 8 k. Prices are rising, especially for low milage and rust free.
Unless it's some sort of super-modified show truck, what WJ or XJ with 150,000 miles on the odometer is going for 7K to 8K? I've been watching CL and FB for a couple of months now and $3K to $5K seems to be the sweet spot for a clean stock/slightly modded Cherokee with moderate miles on it.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenchmeister View Post
Unless it's some sort of super-modified show truck, what WJ or XJ with 150,000 miles on the odometer is going for 7K to 8K? I've been watching CL and FB for a couple of months now and $3K to $5K seems to be the sweet spot for a clean stock/slightly modded Cherokee with moderate miles on it.
zjs maybe.....as long as an xj can move on its own power, rusted to crap or not, 2500 seems to be the floor.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:40 PM
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You guys are looking in the wrong places. I got my 89 2 door with 42k on the clock for $1000
87 4 door with 200k for $300 (pretty rusty though)
85 4 door with 210k for $300 (AZ Jeep rust free)

Patience is a virtue.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:45 PM
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Lockers are fine in the winter if you know how to drive, also I would also avoid ones that have the full time only transfer case with no 2wd ( np249, np247), they have viscous couplers that are known to fail, and they don't get as good fuel mileage as ones that have 2wd like the np231 or np242 transfer case.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo Slice View Post
You guys are looking in the wrong places. I got my 89 2 door with 42k on the clock for $1000
87 4 door with 200k for $300 (pretty rusty though)
85 4 door with 210k for $300 (AZ Jeep rust free)

Patience is a virtue.
eh the 89 is the only one i would want. Not many are into the renix era. Deals no doubt, just dont think they have the market of others..theres some that love, but most guys i speak to in colorado, nm, utah areas prefer and will pay more for the later years for whatever reason.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:05 PM
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Yeah, the 89 is mine, the 97 went to Daughter and the 85 is going to be for Son... unless I decide to get him a different one. That 85 is kind of growing on me for some reason... I think it's the turbine wheels lol!
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:56 AM
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For an XJ in the winter I'd recommend a 242 transfer case and LSD in the back axle. It's a great combination for driving on-road when grip is patchy. Once there's pure snow you can just stick it in Part Time like a 231.
Then of course, tyres - but there's nothing I can tell someone from Michigan about snow tyres
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:13 PM
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Well, getting closer to our departing day and I'm still checking out CL, FB and eBay. A few days before I head down, I'll probably print off all the ads that I'm interested in and start checking them out one after another until I find the Jeep I'm happy with. I'll post pics, price paid and a description of what I ended up with in case anyone is curious. Then you guys can tell me if I did good, just OK or got completely hosed.

Last edited by Frenchmeister; 07-11-2018 at 09:18 PM.
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