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Looking to buy a Cherokee? READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!!!

Looking to buy a Cherokee? READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!!!

Old 04-20-2016, 12:50 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Apple Valley, CA
Posts: 12,974
Year: 97
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.6 stroker
Default Looking to buy a Cherokee? READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!!!

So...you just got your tax refund back. Or maybe settled a minor lawsuit. You might just be looking to fulfill a lifelong wish of owning a Jeep Cherokee....whatever the case, you have money burning a hole in your pocket, and the only way to extinguish it, is buying a Cherokee....but we get a ton of posts, all the time, asking the same old questions...

We see these posts all the time, and the purpose of this thread is to point all the newcomers in the right direction. Answer all the questions. Solve the hunger problem. Provide world peace.

Most of the posts we see on the site all have the same issues..."is this too many miles" or "what years are best"...but the hardest one to answer, has got to be "WHAT IS IT WORTH".

Value is subjective. Depends on where you live. Some areas (such as where I live, in SoCal) are priced WAY higher than what "book" is. Bottom line here is you need to do your own local research first, get an idea of what they go for, then (here's the kicker) make an informed decision on what YOU are willing to pay...set a low price, and a high price in your mind, and leave room to haggle. Don't base it on a description, a photo, or some yahoo telling you it's a good deal. Go look at it. Touch it. DRIVE it. Make sure EVERYTHING works.

At this point I'm gonna break off of the subject of value and price, however. Those other nagging questions, such as "too many miles?" or "what years are best?"

Well, these things are tanks. Year of make is not a huge concern. Plenty of early model XJ's still cranking. Don't be afraid of OBDI or Renix era jeeps. They are every bit as hardy as the rest. If you are considering a Renix era XJ, go here, http://cruiser54.com/ and get enlightened...LOL

There are also some years to be aware, but not scared, of...96 was a bastard year. You may or may not have difficulty getting parts, I've heard both sides. Some do, some don't. I wouldn't let it affect my decision on buying one, however.

It is generally considered the "best years" to purchase is from 97-99. Mainly because 96 was the "red headed step child" year, (also the first year of OBDII) and the 00-01 models of XJ have the dreaded 0331 head casting...and many will tout the cooling system maintenance as the culprit of the head cracking, but truth be told, it can happen on these years at any time, it is a well known flaw in the casting...the other consideration here is the emissions package, 3 cats to deal with, which means more sensors, and limited options on future upgrades, like headers, and that is also depending on your local laws regarding emissions.

FWIW I have a 97. I've heard nightmare stories about this year. I have not experienced this in my travels, though, but I'm also realistic. I drive a damn near 20 year old car. Things go wrong. When they do, I fix. "Nuff said.

Another consideration is mods. Many of these Jeeps have been through the ringer many times, with different owners. If considering a lifted or modded Jeep, DO YOUR RESEARCH.

There are a lot of things to look for when deciding to toss your money at one of these beauties, too. Rust is number one. Check the rockers, quarters, spring buckets, floorpans, driveline....if you don't know what to look for, then take it to someone who does. If the seller denies that, RUN. Same goes for mechanical. If you don't know, take it to someone who does. Don't just take someone's word.

That's all I have for now. Feel free to suggest anything as you see fit via PM.

Thanks.
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