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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 11/1/2009 12:37:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 12:42:04 PM EST by Engineer5]
I've been reading a lot of favorable things on the 1997-2001 Cherokee's as far as reliability and off road capability. Is it safe to asume that the Grand Cherokee's of the same years were just as good? I'm figuring they were pretty much the same except for cosmetics.

While looking for Cherokee's I found a really nice 1999 Grand Cherokee 4.0 with 68,000 miles on it. (Never mind it just sold) I was thinking more along the lines of just the Cherokee but the wife likes the Grands better....for obvious reasons.

I don't really know much about the Jeeps so any info is appreciated.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 12:43:32 PM EST
The reliability and off-road ability is going to be virtually the same, in my mind.
Dana 30 front axle, Dana 35 rear (typically), but I believe you will find more V8s in the GCs.
Both, because almost identical setup, have a ton of aftermarket support.

What level of use are you interested in?
Is this going to be somewhat of a daily driver as well?
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 1:05:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By Revelation68:
The reliability and off-road ability is going to be virtually the same, in my mind.
Dana 30 front axle, Dana 35 rear (typically), but I believe you will find more V8s in the GCs.
Both, because almost identical setup, have a ton of aftermarket support.

What level of use are you interested in?
Is this going to be somewhat of a daily driver as well?


It's going to be a daily driver. 4x4 for winter and some field/hunting use.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 1:59:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By Engineer5:

It's going to be a daily driver. 4x4 for winter and some field/hunting use.


Oh ok, well if you aren't going for extreme off-road use, that should be a pretty good setup from the get-go.
Coil springs up front and should be coils in the rear on the GC. Very easy to lift up a little and throw on 33s or 35s.
The Dana 35 is a grenade waiting to happen when under heavy use, but you should be fine with it, just don't put a locker in it.

Link Posted: 11/1/2009 2:41:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 2:43:30 PM EST by storminnorman]
The XJ's are more reliable and cheaper to lift,and have a better trans.The only "97-ups with a D35 have ABS It's a decent rear up to 31 in. tires,after that it's a gamble.Avoid the 2000-ups as the heads are prone to cracking and a low pinion front end.The "96-down XJ's are great also,if you found a CLEAN older model deff. consider it.Check out NAXJA.ORG
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:01:48 PM EST
Having owned both and currently being a Grand Cherokee owner I can say without a doubt the GC is just as reilable, capable offroad, cheap to buy and just as cheap to modify. But unlike the mini pickup based Cherokee the Grand is much much more comfortable and just generally eaiser to live with as a daily driver.

To be quite honest I'd rather DD my wrangler than I did our limited Cherokee
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:10:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By storminnorman:
The XJ's are more reliable and cheaper to lift,and have a better trans.The only "97-ups with a D35 have ABS It's a decent rear up to 31 in. tires,after that it's a gamble.Avoid the 2000-ups as the heads are prone to cracking and a low pinion front end.The "96-down XJ's are great also,if you found a CLEAN older model deff. consider it.Check out NAXJA.ORG


What models does XJ refer too?
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:54:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By Engineer5:
Originally Posted By storminnorman:
The XJ's are more reliable and cheaper to lift,and have a better trans.The only "97-ups with a D35 have ABS It's a decent rear up to 31 in. tires,after that it's a gamble.Avoid the 2000-ups as the heads are prone to cracking and a low pinion front end.The "96-down XJ's are great also,if you found a CLEAN older model deff. consider it.Check out NAXJA.ORG


What models does XJ refer too?




XJ=Cherokee
ZJ=Grand Cherokee thru 1998
WK= Grand Cherokee 1999 to 2005?
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 4:05:02 PM EST
Cherokees are good....lighter weight....4.0L six cylender....basically the same drive terrain as a Wrangler....different suspension.

Grand Cherokees are great....little "nicer"....can get V8....the AWD is reallyu nice and works great.....I have a 2002 WJ Grand Cherokee limited....gets over 22 mpg and has plenty of power... but more difficult/expensive to lift. I am going to add some heavy duty bumpers and Old Man Emu suspension....only about 1.5" liftand probly stay with the stock tire size (around 29.5"). I already have a 1995 YJ Wrangler with 5.5" lift 33"x12.50" tires a Ford 8.8" rear end, full cage, etc.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 4:07:10 PM EST


XJ=Cherokee
ZJ=Grand Cherokee thru 1998
WK= Grand Cherokee 1999 to 2005?[/quote]

actually....
WJ= Grand Cherokee 1999-2004
WK= Grand Cherokee 2005-present
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 8:10:13 PM EST
all of the guys i talk to say the rear axle is prone to problems on Z&WJs. On our old ZJ we had a wheel bearing go at 45K miles and it took out the axle tube on its way out. It was a really messed up failure but i hear its not all that uncommon for the 35s in Z&WJs going out before the 35s in XJ and TJs...
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 8:38:54 AM EST
How do the V8's compare to the 4.0L engine as far as reliability?
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 9:31:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By Engineer5:
How do the V8's compare to the 4.0L engine as far as reliability?


I've seen some 5.2's with 200-250K.I've seen many 4.0's with nearly 400K!
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 9:50:19 AM EST
I think the 5.2 V8 is the old Chrysler 318. It was only offered with full time four wheel drive and gas mileage was poor. The 04 and newer use the new 4.7 V8.

Unless you want to pull a heavy trailer the 4.0 is a better choice IMHO.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 3:09:04 PM EST
a friend of mine has a ZJ with the 5.2L and its burning oil at about 200K, another friend of mine has an XJ with a 4.0L that just burns a bit of oil on start up and its at 350K...
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:26:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By dillonivik:
all of the guys i talk to say the rear axle is prone to problems on Z&WJs. On our old ZJ we had a wheel bearing go at 45K miles and it took out the axle tube on its way out. It was a really messed up failure but i hear its not all that uncommon for the 35s in Z&WJs going out before the 35s in XJ and TJs...


My WJ is a 4.7L V8 and has a Dana 44 rear end ....not a WIMPY Dana 35 or Dana 35c....no problems at all.......but the Dana 35c in my YJ is in the trash.....it wasn't able to deal with 33's even with just street driving.....WEAK housing (flexes too much), ring and pinion too small, axles too small (prone to breakage)
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:28:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By Engineer5:
How do the V8's compare to the 4.0L engine as far as reliability?


My WJ has 120K miles on a 4.7L V8 and my YJ has 156K on a 4.0L I6.....neither has had any major problems. The V8 definitely has more power though....the I6 is enoungh for the rig it is in.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:31:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By k12lts:
I think the 5.2 V8 is the old Chrysler 318. It was only offered with full time four wheel drive and gas mileage was poor. The 04 and newer use the new 4.7 V8.

Unless you want to pull a heavy trailer the 4.0 is a better choice IMHO.


You would probly get better mileage with a selectable transfer case...but my WJ has gotten over 22 mpg on a road trip loaded with 4 people and a lot of stuff....it is a 4.7L V8 with AWD and the trip started at 7,000 feet of evelvation.......+
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:09:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By Nick1971:
Originally Posted By dillonivik:
all of the guys i talk to say the rear axle is prone to problems on Z&WJs. On our old ZJ we had a wheel bearing go at 45K miles and it took out the axle tube on its way out. It was a really messed up failure but i hear its not all that uncommon for the 35s in Z&WJs going out before the 35s in XJ and TJs...


My WJ is a 4.7L V8 and has a Dana 44 rear end ....not a WIMPY Dana 35 or Dana 35c....no problems at all.......but the Dana 35c in my YJ is in the trash.....it wasn't able to deal with 33's even with just street driving.....WEAK housing (flexes too much), ring and pinion too small, axles too small (prone to breakage)


well there ya go. Our old ZJ had the 4.0L in it and a 30 up front and the 35 out back. My TJ has these axles too but they are working great, but then i dont tow regularly or long distances with my TJ like my dad did with the ZJ (lots of camping trips with a tent trailer). I do often times wonder why chrysler thought it was a good idea to run 35 rear ends on Jeeps, when amc always ran a 44...
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:29:45 AM EST
when amc always ran a 44...


not always! Lots of CJ's rolled off the line with AMC 20 rear axles, an axle that if anything is a bigger flaming POS than the D35

Seriously though for the causual 31" tire down wheeler the D35 is fine. This axle just isn't really up to the task of hard use and as such the more hardcore hobbyist really likes to trash talk the thing


V8 ZJ's have the D44a
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:30:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By Krochus:
when amc always ran a 44...


not always! Lots of CJ's rolled off the line with AMC 20 rear axles, an axle that if anything is a bigger flaming POS than the D35

Seriously though for the causual 31" tire down wheeler the D35 is fine. This axle just isn't really up to the task of hard use and as such the more hardcore hobbyist really likes to trash talk the thing


V8 ZJ's have the D44a


I had a CJ-7 with the AMC 20,it was a low mileage street driven Jeep and it grenaded.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:14:47 PM EST
Having owned a '96 Cherokee and a '01 Cherokee I liked the '96 better than the '01 and BOTH of them better than the '06 TJ that I'm driving now. I swear for $10K and another decent daily driver I'd sent the TJ down the road.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:19:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By Krochus:
when amc always ran a 44...


not always! Lots of CJ's rolled off the line with AMC 20 rear axles, an axle that if anything is a bigger flaming POS than the D35

Seriously though for the causual 31" tire down wheeler the D35 is fine. This axle just isn't really up to the task of hard use and as such the more hardcore hobbyist really likes to trash talk the thing


V8 ZJ's have the D44a


The AMC 20 (technically the M23, not the M20..same center section just with one piece shafts) in the fullsize Jeeps is quite good actually, around the same strength as the D44.

IIRC the early HMMWVs used AMC 20 housings for their diffs.
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