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Posted: 3/22/2009 9:00:04 AM EDT
I really like the XJ jeeps, it seems to me that they are a lot more practical and affordable than Wranglers, without a whole lot of sacrifice in performance.

Are any years more desirable than others? I am looking at one currently that needs engine work, probably a ring job will do it, any 4.0 affordable engine mods for a bit of grunt that don't give up reliability? Anyone convert back to carb on the newer FI ones? Any reason to go back to Carb?

What would be a good place to look for a 3-5" lift? I am looking for a light duty trail rig/ BOV, I want something capable off road, but able to do 80mph without much struggle on the highway.

How are the automatics? I am preferring a manual, but if I find an auto for cheap should I jump on it? My budget is about a grand, it seems like the early 90s have depreciated like crazy!
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 9:06:54 AM EDT
I would get as new of one that you can afford.

There were some issues with the cooling system on earlier models. I forget the details.

I had an '88 and loved it. Wish I still had it, but with 180,000 miles,
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 9:12:07 AM EDT
I can't justify spending a couple of thousand dollars more just to get something newer. I'm not looking for something nice, this thing is gonna get the hell torn out of it. If the paint is poor its getting flat black out of a rattle can. I'll look into those cooling system issues though.
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 9:52:01 AM EDT
Well if you find a '91-'96 with a 4.0 it will be the H.O. version which is like 190 HP and around 200ft/lbs of torque. And they are alot of fun compared to the normal 4.0 or 2.5 4 cylinder. Also, unless you're DEAD set on a 5-speed..the automatic AW4 tranny is a good tranny, very tough. but so is the 5 speed for that matter. I've had a few Cherokees and nothing is tougher than a 4.0..even one that has a hole in the block will still drive you home then catch onfire.
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 9:57:19 AM EDT
Good info there, how much less power would an 88-89 have?
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 9:59:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2009 10:04:15 AM EDT by operator1911]
I know your after something a little more affordable than these, but they rock!


ICON


Link Posted: 3/22/2009 10:02:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2009 10:08:20 AM EDT by Burntrubber87]
The 1987-1990 4.0 had about 175 HP/190ftLBS. If you find a good deal on a cherokee of that year, it wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me and i'm a power freak. They are still great motors. Just..don't get a 2.5 4 cylinder...105HP..even less torque..not enough to move a cherokee out of its own way. And Operator, those are definitely sick www.icon4x4.com but thats alot of money for a rebuilt FJ40..even though is has a LS(1?), Aisin, and Atlas II TC.
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 11:39:08 AM EDT
'94, '95, '96 are the Good years.


I think after '96 they switched the transfer case or axle to a weaker model. The "classic" is garbage if you are trying to modify it.


Keep in mind, XJs break..... a lot.
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 2:08:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 8:00:41 PM EDT
If you're going to be at all rough with it, avoid the ones with the vacuum-disconnect front axles. The housing will break, right at the edge of the housing. I think you need to be in the '94-97 range for those, but I could be off couple years one end or the other.
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 8:30:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2009 8:40:23 PM EDT by Dull-shooterM4]
I have a YJ on 34 swampers with 5" lift, and a stock ZJ.

"If you have to ask what a ZJ is buddy...you can't afford it."

Anyway, You can lift an XJ easy. Dropped pittman arm, spacers or longer coils in the front, longer shocks, and blocks in the rear. You can get 3-4 inches that way and run 33" with decent clearance and good handling. Front sway bar disconnects and you will get good articulation in the front.

I've put 300k miles on some straight six motors. Don't know about your area but I regularly come across XJ's in the $500 range in relatively good working order.

"XJ's....They're boxy...but good!"

ETA: Never go back to carb! The carter BBD is a piece of shit and the Weber is so so. You will lose HP's and carbs can stall out on inclines and can bog on bumpy trails. Putting a carb on a FI engine is like converting a metallic cartridge revolver back to black powder.
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 8:37:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2009 8:39:28 PM EDT by 7point62]
I have had 3 of them, 88, 97, 98. I'd get a 97 or newer. if you have any q's about lifts or any thing like that feel free to hit me up.
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 8:38:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tbirdstud86:
If you're going to be at all rough with it, avoid the ones with the vacuum-disconnect front axles. The housing will break, right at the edge of the housing. I think you need to be in the '94-97 range for those, but I could be off couple years one end or the other.


I thought the Dana30 in the YJ had vacum disconnect. I did not know that the XJ ever had it.

Link Posted: 3/22/2009 8:55:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dull-shooterM4:
Originally Posted By tbirdstud86:
If you're going to be at all rough with it, avoid the ones with the vacuum-disconnect front axles. The housing will break, right at the edge of the housing. I think you need to be in the '94-97 range for those, but I could be off couple years one end or the other.


I thought the Dana30 in the YJ had vacum disconnect. I did not know that the XJ ever had it.



Yes they did depending on the exact year and options. Such as models with he NP242 t/fer case with it's part time 4x4 for odvious reasons didn't have the C.A.D.

On A side note a buddy took his stock 94 XJ with us today wheelin and kicked butt with stock sized wally world Liberators. In my opinion the jeep XJ is the absolute best 4x4 bang for your buck EVER



Link Posted: 3/23/2009 2:18:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2009 2:21:58 PM EDT by Phil1712]
Originally Posted By 82nd_Sapper:
'94, '95, '96 are the Good years.


I think after '96 they switched the transfer case or axle to a weaker model. The "classic" is garbage if you are trying to modify it.


Keep in mind, XJs break..... a lot.



In Mid 1996 they crossed over to a STRONGER axle. 97+ have the Chrysler 8.25 29 spline, which is a lot strong then the 27 spline version and the D35, which is also a 27 spline axle.

I have an 89 XJ and I swapped in a 97 Chrysler 8.25 rear axle and swapped out the front vacuum disconnect and put some 01 TJ shafts in there.

The Closed coolant system in the later 80s models are a pain in the ass and you only lose roughly 20 Horsepower with the Renix Engine as opposed to the newer High Output 4.0 six cylinder.

http://s233.photobucket.com/albums/ee84/BuffaloPhil5/offroad/?action=view¤t=LinedUp2.jpg
I'll just hot link it to prevent hijacking the thread.

These are my jeeps. I've modded the XJ pretty well but I got it for $300 3 years ago.


With all that said, I would get a 96 or newer. They are nicer rides then the older ones.
Link Posted: 3/23/2009 5:39:03 PM EDT
The XJ is a great platform. I have a 90 model with a 4.5" lift. I installed a short block from a 2005 TJ with some modification to the block.
I am planning on a Ford 8.8" rear swap with a locker, and the Super 30 kit for the front. I plan on leaving the engine stock for reliability. Will be converting to the open cooling system and dual electric fans.
The auto tranny gives me zero problems, though I am going to get a bigger cooler for it.
These vehicles just keep going. I see a LOT of them in this area that have well over 200,000 miles on them.
Link Posted: 3/25/2009 5:53:48 PM EDT
If you can find one with the CRHY8.25 rear, get it. The D35 is all right, but you need to put a lot into it if you want to take it on the trails.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 11:33:58 AM EDT
In '96 they upgraded the computer's in the xj's. Then in '97 the upgraded the interior. just an FYI.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 2:38:10 PM EDT
I'm going to whore my '99



All Cherokees I've ever had have been reliable as hell.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:37:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By leadnbrass:
I'm going to whore my '99

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/leadnbrass/Jeep2009009.jpg

All Cherokees I've ever had have been reliable as hell.


beautiful. My '98 is the same color. those wheels and tires a rubicon take-off?? what kind of lift do u have and how much?????



Also i was tring to decide if i should get rid af the door bump guards after seeing yours, thats my next project.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:46:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2009 3:48:07 PM EDT by fizassist]
I have a '95 XJ (4.0L, AW4 auto tranny). I put a 3" Old Man Emu lift kit from http://www.dpgoff-road.com/site/OMEXJkits.htm on it with 31" tires and 4.1 gears. The highway ride is great, and it's fun on the trail. I really haven't had a lick of trouble with it.

I would get the 8.25 Axle vs the Dana 35 in the rear if you can.

ETA:

Link Posted: 3/27/2009 5:00:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2009 5:01:47 PM EDT by leadnbrass]
Originally Posted By AlanP:
Originally Posted By leadnbrass:
I'm going to whore my '99

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/leadnbrass/Jeep2009009.jpg

All Cherokees I've ever had have been reliable as hell.


beautiful. My '98 is the same color. those wheels and tires a rubicon take-off?? what kind of lift do u have and how much?????



Also i was tring to decide if i should get rid af the door bump guards after seeing yours, thats my next project.


Yes the rims are from a Rubicon, I picked them up last week. The tires are Cooper STT's from a buddy.

The lift is a 3" Skyjacker.

I got tired of keeping up with the side trim and figured I'd take it off. I think it does look much better.

Thanks,

Matt
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