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Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

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Old 12-05-2004, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

I have been on an XJ mailing list for 6 years now, and really the automatic transmission is virtually bullit proof. It is very rare that people have experienced problems with the AW4 transmission from Aisin Warner. That trans is very reliable. It is not like the Chrysler transmissions used in the Grand Cherokee's that are troublesome if they are not well maintained with proper oil changes.
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Old 12-05-2004, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

Wew had a 96 Grand Cherokee with the 4.0. The truck was nice overall, but the foot space for the driver was cramped. (i'm 6 foot) I felt like my feet couldn't get more than 6 inches apart for each other. The only other complaint (minor) is that the 4.0 is a LOUD engine. Powerful and dependable, but loud!!!! We ocassionally moved a 6,000 lbs cruiser on a trailer for short boat ramp tows but I wouldn't recommend much more than you are considering hauling.
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Old 12-05-2004, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

The a500 transmission in the v-8's seems to go around 75-125k,aisin warner behind the 6 cyl gos forever,dana 30 front axle sometimes wipes out a100k plus even without alot of 4wd use,Smitty
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Old 12-05-2004, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

Brad, Pretty positive that factory towing package is only a hitch, a wiring harness that plugs into the factory harness in the right rear quarterpanel and an aux tranny cooler. Nothing special and easily duplicated w/ aftermarket parts. I am also pretty sure Jeep no longer sells the factory hitch/wiring harness kit as an accessory. I would recommend aftermarket. Easy to install yourself but you do typically have to remove back bumper. We throw transmissions away. Near as I can tell, they are bulletproof.
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

we have a 2000 6cyl NOW IF I COULD GO BACK AND GET MY 95 GCL BACK I WOULD . the new one doesent ride as good and the 6 is underpowered with qt2. full time 4x4 our 95 hade the 5.2 and if you get qt get the v8 as for offroad the new one doesen't campair the 3 link rear end sucks offroad and the 2005 IFS , sucks worse than the 2000 modle. robbie
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

Ive got a 96 grand cherokee with the 6

it has 130k on it, and ive heard they last a lot longer. no complaints here. the only thing i tow with it is my jet ski.

17 in town, 22 hwy.
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Old 12-06-2004, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

Performance boaters know about their Jeeps. Thanks again for all the help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja Fresh
Then you are talking XJ. They only came with 4.0's. They are great cars and I've had a couple.

Don't be in a hurry to get one. There are a zillion of them for sale so take your time and find the right one. You say you want to keep it for a while so find one with the lowest mileage possible. You may have to pay more $ but it will be worth it. Find a limited with tow package, preferably with 3.73 gears. If you get one with out tow package, don't bring it to a dealer. You can have a receiver hitch installed by U-Haul ro Eckert or those kind of places. Or do it yourself, it's not hard. Have a tranny shop install a trans cooler. You don't need any rear end work other than gears depending on what it comes with. Like I said 3.73s should be fine until you go to larger tires. The larger the tire the more "gear" you loose. If you are towing you will want the gears. Remember, if you change gears you need 2 sets, front & rear. They should run you about $150 set plus install. Don't buy new shocks until you decide if you want lift or not. XJ's are coil front, leaf rear and very easy and cheap to lift. There are many companies that make 3" lifts so you can run 31"s. I wouldn't recommend more than that. Check out Rancho, Rubicon Express or maybe Teraflex.

If you are towing 4000 lbs you definately want trailer brakes! Hope there aren't any big hills around too. Keep your speed down and you should be okay. Unless you really get into off roading I would stay stock height for towing. XJs are very capable in stock form. You may be able to fit 29/30X950's with the right wheel backspace. Also limited slip or locking diffs will make a big difference.

Good luck!
I have been looking for an XJ about a month now, most I have seen have something ďnot rightĒ with them. Iíve now found one that may work, but will keep my options open.

Stock gearing is 3.53ís I believeÖis that enough of a difference to warrant the change to 3.73ís? If I do the swap, is there anything else that needs to be done? T-case, u-joints, etc., recommended gear lube?

I think I will be keeping it stock height, as the ability to tow is a higher priority than off road ability, especially after how capable they are stock. Recommended shocks? Was thinking a good set of Monroes.

Trailer will have breaks. I will only tow something very light without them. Very flat down here, most will be less then four miles. Longer trips are not out of the question, and I would like a vehicle capable of doing them occasionally.

How reliable is the Chrysler 8.25 rear? If the Dana 35 is an option, should I go for it? Iíve heard of some problems with the Grand that had the 35 rear in the late 90ís. Should I be worried about carryover problems?

Does this motor prefer dino or synthetics? I know itís a loaded question, especially after the extremely informative oil thread.
Do you have a better way of checking for limited slip or locking diffs then propping one side of the axle on a jackstand and seeing if the wheel turns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phazar454Mag
I have been on an XJ mailing list for 6 years now, and really the automatic transmission is virtually bullit proof. It is very rare that people have experienced problems with the AW4 transmission from Aisin Warner. That trans is very reliable. It is not like the Chrysler transmissions used in the Grand Cherokee's that are troublesome if they are not well maintained with proper oil changes.
Initially I wanted the 5-speedÖmore fun to drive and I thought more capable. Have heard about the problems, the scarcity of the transmission, and realized if I was to tow with it the AW4 auto would be a better choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t500hps
Wew had a 96 Grand Cherokee with the 4.0. The truck was nice overall, but the foot space for the driver was cramped. (i'm 6 foot) I felt like my feet couldn't get more than 6 inches apart for each other. The only other complaint (minor) is that the 4.0 is a LOUD engine. Powerful and dependable, but loud!!!! We ocassionally moved a 6,000 lbs cruiser on a trailer for short boat ramp tows but I wouldn't recommend much more than you are considering hauling.
Engine is still loud in the Cherokee. Not obnoxious, but very noticeable, and, for me, something Iím able to live with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BGIII
Brad, Pretty positive that factory towing package is only a hitch, a wiring harness that plugs into the factory harness in the right rear quarterpanel and an aux tranny cooler. Nothing special and easily duplicated w/ aftermarket parts. I am also pretty sure Jeep no longer sells the factory hitch/wiring harness kit as an accessory. I would recommend aftermarket. Easy to install yourself but you do typically have to remove back bumper. We throw transmissions away. Near as I can tell, they are bulletproof.
Iím not too worried about the aftermarket parts. In fact, I would almost prefer to have a vehicle that has not been towing to one has. You can never tell what has been done to it or if it has been abused. Of course, its pretty easy to remove an aftermarket hitch.

Keep it coming.
Brad.
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

3.53s should work okay. I wouldn't bother changing unless you go to bigger tires and then I would probably go to 4.10 as opposed to 3.73s. The rest of the driveline should be fine but depending on mileage, checked and fluids replaced. Unless you want to lift and go wheeling. I ran synth oil in one of my XJs with over 170K miles. Ran like new. I use regular oil in my current ZJ with no problems. I don't think the extra expense of synth is worth it. You can pull the rear cover and look for clutches vs standard spider gears in rear. Or just do a burn out and see if both tires spin!

I wouldn't run a 5 speed if you want to tow, plus it will be hard to find one with a 4.0 in the higher level packages (Limited, lerado).

Warnng: taking your XJ off road may be habit forming and result in serious cash expenditures of aftermarket products (kinda like performance boats)!

Like these guys:

http://socalxj.com/
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradH
First off, thanks for all of the information.
This is what I like to hear. Fuel mileage and quick. Iíve heard its not that difficult to spin the tires.

Brad.
FYI Power brake it and you can brake loose the rear tires any time , asphalt , concrete...whatever.
I also moved a buddies 20' Searay cuddy. Enough power but could have used a little more weight of it's own.
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: Buying a Jeep Cherokee- info needed

BF-
Wealth of information- I will continue to tap your brain.

I won't worry about the gears, and will "check" for locking diffs on my next test drive. Now set on the auto...stick just doesn't make sense any more.

The last thing I need is another bad habit. Especially one that requires a lot of money every time I want something for it. I am amazed at what I can talk myself in to buying, and still justify it a day later.
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