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Thread: Older Cherokees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Older Cherokees

    I am considering buying an older Cherokee and was wondering if anyone here knows anything about the models pre 1991 vs 1991-1997 vs. 1997 and newer? I have been told 1991-1995 are the best for a beater 4x4 and that the 4.0L motor has good heads up to 1999 and then 1999+ have good intakes and problems with heads? I know this isn't a Jeep forum but I know there are alot of knowledgeable folks here, so wanted some opinions.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    South Louisiana
    I worked in a Jeep dealership for a few years, so I have some knowledge. In my opinion, the 4.0L straight 6 was one of the best engines they ever used. I was quite impressed with the performance of the ones built from '91-'96. They had some issues with engine noise, but if you could stand the noise, it would outrun and outperform the others by a long shot.

    I left the trade in late '96, so I can't speak for the years following that. I hope it helps.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    middle TN
    I would avoid the pre '91s and look for a '95-'96 model. We have a '96 with right at 240k on it and it still runs like a scalded ape.
    The newer ones, '97 up, the major diff is in looks, the "newer intake" didn't add much if any power despite all the hype it got.
    The biggest issue across the board is the factory exhaust manifold is prone to cracks, easy to fix with a quality header.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    flea tec
    I've got a 92, with a straight 6. It had been rolled when I got it and I've put almost 200,000 on it since then. The motor is great, the mine has the Toyota auto trans and its tough. I've got 4 kids that have all learned to drive it. The only issue I've had is the radiator was too small. AMCs being what they were/are they would put whatever was at hand on the vehicle they were building. A word of caution, jeeps are as contagious as guns and even more expensive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by blueflu View Post
    I would avoid the pre '91s and look for a '95-'96 model.
    This was the advice I got from my mechanic.

    I have a '95 'Country" Cherokee with 220K (4.0L). It still runs great and gets 18-20mpg in 2WD.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    I have 1988 Cherokee with 238xxx. Runs great must reliable car ever.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    1996 jeep 259xxx never had a lick of trouble. gets about 19MPG.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Had a 1986 Cherokee that ate two V-6 engines, 2.8L IIRC. Avoid, as this seemed common in the early years.

    Sister had 91-92 Cherokee that she drove over 220k on original 4.0 engine and then she sold it in good running condition.

    I also can testify the front seats can soak up a pint or two of blood which only slight discoloration. Solid rides.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    In a secret lair somewhere north of Seattle
    +1 What everybody has said so far... Also a good thing to look for is Waggoneer models with Dana 44 rear ends.Much stronger than the D35.I think 96 or 97 started using Chrysler 8.25 axles,also a better set up than the D35s.Good stuff to know if your going with bigger tires.Also,FWIW,you can take the backing plates off of a Grand Cherokee and get rear disc brakes.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I've got an '01 Cherokee Sport, 4.0L, 4x4 and the thing is a tank. It handles surprisingly well for it's size, has some get-up-and-go, drinks enough gas to make a eco-wuss shit themselves, and I've not had a single mechanical issue yet. I suspect I need to replace a couple of fuses though.

    My stepmother had a '96 or '97 that she drove for almost a half-million miles before she sold it. It's still driving around town, 2 owners later.

    And I read somewhere that Border Patrol used to use Cherokees, and the average life they got out of them was somewhere in the range of 300K miles. For comparisons, most PD Crown Vics were lucky to get half that.



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