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Old 04-08-2012, 03:05 AM   #1
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Default So, who knows about Jeeps?

The motor in my Miata is getting tired from the boost and abuse so I'm about to send her under the knife for a buncha stuff, so I'm looking to get another car. Being in college, I've been able to get away without needing a winter vehicle but now that I'm going to be in a house this year, I need a car to bring to school (and not worried about) and drive through winter.

I set my budget at ~$1,000 and I really wanted something bigger, but it's got to be 5-speed. I've found a bunch of Jeep Cherokee's, which I've heard to be very cheap and reliable. I want something I can buy with no problems and just run it. So anyways, after stalking Craigslist for a while, I stumbled upon a very clean 1993 Cherokee. It's a 2 door, 5-speed with 213,xxx miles. Perfect!

Here's where my questions are... From what I know, it's on the stock clutch. I would hate to buy one of these and have to drop money on a clutch replacement, should I be worried? It's also not 4x4, but they're including a set of fairly new all-seasons and a set of winter tires with one winter on them. She says it's gotten her through everything she's had to go through, should I wait until I find a 4x4 or would this be sufficient?

She wants $1,150, what do you think?




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Old 04-08-2012, 03:17 AM   #2
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Stock clutch at over 200k miles? I'd be worried. Have you driven it? A test drive would tell a lot.

FWIW, My GF has a 99 Cherokee with 65k miles on it (45k when she got it). Other than a leaky windshield, it has been reliable and problem-free since 2008. The AC in these cars is a very capable system, but I don't think you care about that in WI.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:18 AM   #3
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I'd drive it in a heart beat. It'll get 16-18mpg in town being 2wd and as long as you keep it on the road with decent tires, 2wd will be fine in a foot or less of snow.

Pull the oil cap and put a piece of paper over the hole. If the paper blows upward, its time for a rebuild in 50k miles. If it flutters, all is great. The HO's are nice engines and run forever.

The rocker rust is normal. Having street signs under your carpet for the floor rottng out is also normal.

Clutches are like brakes- all in how the PO rode it. They are an easy replacement though, especially with the 2wd units. If you decide you want 4wd, that swap is also fairly easy.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
Stock clutch at over 200k miles? I'd be worried. Have you driven it? A test drive would tell a lot.

FWIW, My GF has a 99 Cherokee with 65k miles on it (45k when she got it). Other than a leaky windshield, it has been reliable and problem-free since 2008. The AC in these cars is a very capable system, but I don't think you care about that in WI.
That's what I was thinking. I haven't driven it, just talked to the lady about it. Hopefully we can set something up for tomorrow, but I'm not sure what to look for with the clutch. I haven't driven a bad clutch before, and bought my Miata with the ACT heavy duty one in it. I should be able to notice slipping though.

I've heard nothing but good things about these, almost like they're bulletproof. AC will be nice when I take this two and from work.

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I'd drive it in a heart beat. It'll get 16-18mpg in town being 2wd and as long as you keep it on the road with decent tires, 2wd will be fine in a foot or less of snow.

Pull the oil cap and put a piece of paper over the hole. If the paper blows upward, its time for a rebuild in 50k miles. If it flutters, all is great. The HO's are nice engines and run forever.

The rocker rust is normal. Having street signs under your carpet for the floor rottng out is also normal.

Clutches are like brakes- all in how the PO rode it. They are an easy replacement though, especially with the 2wd units. If you decide you want 4wd, that swap is also fairly easy.
My second concern after the clutch is the 2wd. I think with snow tires I should be fine. My Miata is absolutely horrendous in the winter compared to my FWD Ford Focus, so I'm hoping the Jeep being RWD won't be too bad.

I'm not worried about the rust, I'll check the floor boards though. And I'll check that with the oil cap, what do you mean by flutter? Suck in and out?

If anyone has an estimate on cost of a clutch or 4x4 swap that'd be awesome just to get an idea in my head...
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:56 AM   #5
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Mike makes sense. 200k miles on the highway would be nothing in terms of the clutch wear you would have compared to 100k miles of driving in rush hour traffic every day.

I bought my Miata at 118k miles. I could tell the clutch was on it's way out because it didn't grab fully right as I let off the clutch pedal. I guess the best way to describe it was a soft engagement no matter how fast I let my foot off the pedal. It wouldn't slip so much that RPMs would rise, even when accelerating WOT, but it just didn't engage as hard as my ACT XT does. I even went turbo with a stock Greddy kit for a few thousand miles before I replaced the stock clutch.

To get an idea of clutch condition, get up to highway speed in 5th, then floor it. If RPMs rise then drop back down to what they should be, the clutch is on it's way out. Like this:

A rear main oil seal leak can cause clutch slipping and failure too.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:57 AM   #6
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If youre happy with 2wd, what's wrong with the focus? That or a civic. 2-3 times the gas mileage for the same price. Just as cheap maintaince.

For bad clutches, pay attention to the engaging point. If its not engaging until the very last half inch of pedal travel, it's probably very close to done. Although my dads Chevy lasted like this for 4 years with very easy driving. Like someone said, it's all about how you drive it.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
For bad clutches, pay attention to the engaging point. If its not engaging until the very last half inch of pedal travel, it's probably very close to done. Although my dads Chevy lasted like this for 4 years with very easy driving. Like someone said, it's all about how you drive it.
That's what the adjustment rod is for. Aye?
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:01 AM   #8
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If youre happy with 2wd, what's wrong with the focus? That or a civic. 2-3 times the gas mileage for the same price. Just as cheap maintaince.

For bad clutches, pay attention to the engaging point. If its not engaging until the very last half inch of pedal travel, it's probably very close to done. Although my dads Chevy lasted like this for 4 years with very easy driving. Like someone said, it's all about how you drive it.
The Focus was my first car, I sold it when I went to school. Ended up getting drawn into the Miata and bought that, it's been my only car for almost two years now.

I originally was looking at cheap Hondas, etc. but everything was not up to my standards. I don't NEED something ASAP, so I'm kind of picky. But I love the fact that I won't have to worry about this at school, and don't care if I beat up the exterior. I like having something small like my Miata and something big like this that won't get annihilated if I get in an accident. Plus, it'll be fun to go anywhere with and it's got tons of room to throw things in the back (like a new Miata motor or something )
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:56 PM   #9
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2wd 5spd is one of the worst ones, you want a 4x4 for winter driving. The auto trans is stronger than the 5spds, it's the same trans that came in the supra turbo. I would be looking for a limited. I've owned two of these and they are tough.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:18 AM   #10
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I'd get a cheep 4x4 and do it up like the one above. Mileage is going to be terrible no matter what, so don't worry about it. At least with a 4x4 you can have some fun, and there are TONS of them on CL with 4x4 and a lift.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:20 AM   #11
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I once managed 22mpg on the highway. Had a tire way out of balance so the fastest I could go was 60mph. Lol.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:40 AM   #12
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I actually get great mileage on the freeway with those 33's. I'm spinning 1900 rpm at 70mph. Last time I checked I was getting 25mpg. The Cherokee is the Miata of the offroad cOmmunity. Check out naxja.org
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:28 AM   #13
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Dayum. I think her car needs a little tuneup.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:34 AM   #14
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Tuned up on 33x10.5's with 3.55 gears, mine does 17mpg on the highway. 100psi down the row plus or minus a few.

The ex's 01 that was stock with 83k miles and a fresh tune up did 19.6mpg at 65mph strict highway getting on the highway easily.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:39 AM   #15
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The GF's trim panels (I forgot the name) are faded to gray. I did a little reading and saw mention of using Krylon flat black paint to restore them. How do y'all deal with them?

Based on Jacob's picture, do you just remove them?
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:53 AM   #16
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The door protectors are double sided taped on, while the flares are clamped on. The bolts are on the inner portion of the fenders and you'll be lucky not to break every bolt you twist. I had to weld new bolts to the brackets.

33's will also knock the stock flares off constantly with anything short of 6 inches of lift. At 4 inches, I just get used to hearing them rub and have gotten good at putting them back on. One of the guys on NAXJA has a nice set of flares if you want to stay legal.

Speaking of NAXJA, they are nice, but are cult like haha. I sign back up with every March Member drive. They've saved me about as much as this site has.

Heres my white mess. Had to pull the winch off last summer due to overheating.

Stay away from the 4wd's.... PLEASE! They are more addictive to mod then the Miata's. I've been through 3-4 lifts (4.5 inches, 6.5 inches, 8 inches, and now 4 inches... and moving back up to 5.5 inches come fall), 3 Dana 30's, and a few other random things. I will also second the AW4 comment. Mine is beat on constantly from hauling hay bales, pulling manure spreaders, to moving sheds, and playing in the woods. All without a hiccup (minus over-filling and having a small fire as the fluid poured on the hot exhaust from the dipstick).
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:18 AM   #17
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Mike, why not a TJ? I drove one of those and found it much more like my Miata compared to the XJ. No insulation, one with the car.. etc.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:52 AM   #18
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Good luck finding a decent TJ for under 5k.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob300zx View Post
2wd 5spd is one of the worst ones, you want a 4x4 for winter driving. The auto trans is stronger than the 5spds, it's the same trans that came in the supra turbo. I would be looking for a limited. I've owned two of these and they are tough.
Uh, not quite dude. It IS an Aisin Warner transmission, however which are normally fairly reliable.


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Good luck finding a decent TJ for under 5k.
Sad but true.

Consider a ZJ?



That was only $450.00 and isn't uncommon to find deals like that on CL. My wheelerdealer buddy and I have bought 5+ 95-98ZJ's including 2 1998 5.9 Limited for under $800 each, typically do some minor repairs and resell for 2-5k.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:30 AM   #20
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The ZJ's were comfy, but the couple I was around had some odd wiring issues.

The Supra had the A340 which was in the same family as the AW4 IIRC. I know a bunch of the parts go back and fourth and the guys who build the AW4's use A340 parts in them.

One day I'm going to stuff a new VB in mine. At 185k miles, its getting weak.
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