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Time for a new Cherokee?

Old 01-31-2019, 10:40 PM
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Default Time for a new Cherokee?

So my 98 XJ is getting tired. Just dropped $700 into it to pass inspection/annual maintenance this past December. Has 270,000 miles on. Feels like Iíve had it forever but itís only been about 10 years or so. My mechanic whoís been the soul inspector/maintenance guru on this XJ says itís getting tired. Not the motor or the trans, but pretty much everything else. I wonít go into details.

Weíre halfway through winter here in the NE. Got a good polar vortex going but snow fall has been below average. This is a good thing because the transfer case has been banging in 4H when we have had bad roads. Every few revolutions of the tires and BANG! So it probably needs a rebuild or a new chain at the very least. Itís also not fun having little to no heat in the cab when itís -1000 degrees out.

Anyways Iím in a good spot for a new vehicle. Problem is I am not impressed with ANYTHING on the market right now. The XJ has spoiled me and I fear I will not find reliability like this in even a new model year vehicle. Jeep certainly hasnít put out anything to get my attention. Tacoma? Dime a dozen, theyíre everywhere and frankly I donít like the look of emí. Ten years from now who says the 2019 models will hold the same value as their predecessors. The new Colorado has my attention. Iím not A Chevy guru thought so reliability, I donít know. Car payments Iím not too exited for although they would probably be manageable.

So this is my dilemma. I can try like hell to find another XJ, which is not an easy feat where I live considering the salt and rust. I would also have some criteria that would need to be met. Sub 130,000k or close to it. Preferably 1999 year. Stock suspension and little to no rust. Or at least some rust that is insignificant enough for me to manage over a weekends worth of body work. What would yíall do? Try to find another XJ in semi-mint condition, buy a new vehicle from the stealership or just grab any ford ranger or taco off CL and run it into the ground? I need a push in the right direction to figure this out. Wifeís no help because she already has a nice car (WITH HEAT AND A/C) and just tells me to go to the dealership.

Last edited by KJamesJR; 01-31-2019 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:42 AM
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This would not be to bad a drive for you. Frankly despite the mileage I would not pay this much.
Looks good in the ad but upon closer inspection..........
Anyway

https://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/c...805602799.html
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph77 View Post
This would not be to bad a drive for you. Frankly despite the mileage I would not pay this much.
Looks good in the ad but upon closer inspection..........
Anyway

https://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/c...805602799.html
Looks great in the ad.

About an 8 hour drive round trip. Like you said however upon closer inspection... Not sure. The price is a little steep but a few hundred miles north and it would be priced even higher. It will probably be sold by the time I get can get down there. If itís still posted in the following week or so Iíd definitely consider it.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by KJamesJR View Post


Looks great in the ad.

About an 8 hour drive round trip. Like you said however upon closer inspection... Not sure. The price is a little steep but a few hundred miles north and it would be priced even higher. It will probably be sold by the time I get can get down there. If itís still posted in the following week or so Iíd definitely consider it.
It is a basic XJ. It is the more preferable year. Mileage is super low. Only thing that jumps out at me are the wheels. Pretty sure those are 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 wheels. Also pretty sure they came on the 60th anniversary edition of the 2001 XJ too.
Like I said I would not pay that much but you can't go by me cause I am cheap bastard. LOL.
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Old 02-01-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph77 View Post
It is a basic XJ. It is the more preferable year. Mileage is super low. Only thing that jumps out at me are the wheels. Pretty sure those are 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 wheels. Also pretty sure they came on the 60th anniversary edition of the 2001 XJ too.
Like I said I would not pay that much but you can't go by me cause I am cheap bastard. LOL.
Yeah I donít exactly like spending money either. Specially when it takes me so long to save it. Which is why Iím not too keen on financing a new truck. I did bookmark that ad. If itís still up in another week Iíll give them a call, ask for more pics and try to negotiate a better price but I doubt it will last that long.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:18 AM
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Consider a WJ or WK? A little more updated and nearly as reliable as the XJ. IMO
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:57 PM
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I think Iím going to hunt for a lower mileage XJ. My 98 just passed inspection so at least Iím good for another 11 months which means more time to look. I always wanted to upgrade and mod my current XJ but as time went on it became less and less favorable to put more money into.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:21 PM
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Is your XJ rusty ? Iíd like to hear how itís tired ? Have you flushed the heater core ? Sounds like it could just be TC linkage or adjustment but a used 231 is dirt cheap and a very easy quick swap. Iíll play devils advocate here and say itís almost always cheaper to repair than to replace .
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey17 View Post
Is your XJ rusty ? Iíd like to hear how itís tired ? Have you flushed the heater core ? Sounds like it could just be TC linkage or adjustment but a used 231 is dirt cheap and a very easy quick swap. Iíll play devils advocate here and say itís almost always cheaper to repair than to replace .
Its tired as In almost everything aside from the engine and transmission. The rust built up behind the rockers and thereís pieces of the body missing in the area between the front and back doors, on both sides. This is an area Iíve hit twice now over the years but is still reoccurring. My best guess is thereís rust higher up in the body/inside door pillars dripping down to the rockers. The rear wheel wells are gone, which I until recently I was completely oblivious to. Removed the inside plastic panel behind the spare mount to fix a tail light harness and thereís rot behind it around the window. Again something I was completely oblivious to. Had the windshield replaced last year and... rot around the windshield. Guy said it was bad enough he almost wasnít going to do the repair.

Just about every bolt Iíve tried to touch over the years are seized or the heads so corroded they instantly round off. The electrical is on the fritz. Clock spring went and had to take the fuse for the horn out because it was randomly beeping. Rear springs are flat. Roof is getting rust holes and the sheet metal up there is sagging. donít know how that happens. Its pretty much all rust behind everything I pull apart or attempt to repair.

I bought this XJ for $2k at 170,000 miles. So it wasnít exactly pristine when I got it. The POís had already been fighting the rot but were doing a horrible job at it. Most of it they just covered up. Since Iíve owned it Iíve never been able to ďget aheadĒ of the rot because I wasnít an owner when it started creeping up. Specially when I canít see it. I wouldnít say Iíve neglected it either as everything else has been well mainted and itís still running at 270k.

The XJ has definitely paid for itself though. Was probably one of the best investments Iíve ever made. At this point however I think the next best way to invest the money would be in to a cleaner XJ. I can get a jump on issues coming up, but prevent them as well. No more chasing repairs rot or rust. This current XJ I feel would better serv out the rest of its days as a woods rig or something of the like. It still has the power for it. Someone skilled with a welder could fix a lot of these issues as the frame/unibody is still solid.

Ive flushed the heater core before every winter because itís always been an issue. It doesnít seem to help all that much anymore. Before it would clear right up. So itís probably gunked up and needs replacing. As for the tcase, I havenít pulled it open yet to get a look at it. This winter has been so mild Iíve only engaged it twice. There was definitely no obvious signs of failure last year as I was running it several times a week. When I stopped using it last season it was 100%. First time use this season, feels and sounds like the chain is skipping.

Also with a cleaner XJ I wouldnít feel like Iíd be wasting money on suspension and upgrades Iíve always wanted to do because I know I will enjoy them for the next 10 or 20 years.



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Old 02-07-2019, 09:08 AM
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With all that being said I think weíre on the same page haha start shopping !
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey17 View Post
With all that being said I think we’re on the same page haha start shopping !
Yeah I've been shopping.

Got a snowstorm expected to hit tonight through Wednesday. With the t-case being screwy not sure how that 30 mile (60 miles round trip) drive is going to be for work. Maybe just keep it in two and try to find pavement wherever I can get it. It's been a rare winter with hardly any snow. I've been lucky up until now.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ralph77 View Post
This would not be to bad a drive for you. Frankly despite the mileage I would not pay this much.
Looks good in the ad but upon closer inspection..........
Anyway

https://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/c...805602799.html
Was sold.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:12 PM
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Would ya'll be put off by a lower millage, clean 00-01 due to head casting issues?

Going from a 99 to 00-01 really opens up some options in search criteria. Worst case scenario, keep an aftermarket head on the self, or just replace for the sake of sanity. I'm really looking for the 8.25 rear. 99 Seemed to have the best of both worlds. No defects in the casting of the cylinder head and the 8.25 rear.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:58 PM
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Iím looking at another XJ now. Overall body seems to be in good shape. Meets most of the criteria Iím looking for. The one caveat is thereís rust in the floor pans. Some being on the frame rail as well. Looks like driver side. Iím adding pics that the seller sent me. This a make or break? Keep in mind this is a New England XJ rust is common although Iím unsure about the frame but itís sub 130k miles.



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Old 03-01-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by KJamesJR View Post
I’m looking at another XJ now. Overall body seems to be in good shape. Meets most of the criteria I’m looking for. The one caveat is there’s rust in the floor pans. Some being on the frame rail as well. Looks like driver side. I’m adding pics that the seller sent me. This a make or break? Keep in mind this is a New England XJ rust is common although I’m unsure about the frame but it’s sub 130k miles.



What are they asking for it?

Hard to tell for sure, but the last pic looks like surface rust. The flaking appears to be paint or undercoating, both of which were quite thin from the factory. Id say easy fix. Not sure on the first pic. You wont know for sure until you look it over first hand, or the seller can provide more pics. I see the floor up front by the toeboard (where it angles up towards the firewall) is looking a bit worn. Another thing to look for are the 1/4s behind the bumper caps. When i bought mine it looked rust free top to bottom, which is quite a find here in PA. While i was pulling the trailer harness out i found the 1/4s had rotted thru. Not what i wanted to see but for $2500, i wasnt complaining.
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