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Old 11-01-2019, 06:37 PM
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Looking at going to an XJ...Any thoughts?

I have had my YJ for less than a year, picked it up as a "fixer upper" and have it all just about sorted (much thanks to all of you here!!!). This is not my first Jeep, but it is my first Jeep Wrangler. I enjoyed riding around with no doors in the summer but here in Colorado, the Summers are a bit short. I get into the mountains as often as I can for mountain biking etc and now with the snow on all our roads, the YJ is quite sketchy. My first 4.0 and I am sold. Great motor. I have a 5 speed which I also enjoy and this one has a factory LSD rear. Cool!

Recently been kicking around the idea of trying a similar vintage Cherokee. Little longer wheelbase for hwy driving, more room in back for bike/gear and they seem to be close to the same weight, around 3100lbs. I came across a '99 with 115k on it. Manual 5 speed so same transmission as my YJ. Has the 8.25 rear end which I hear is desirable. But no LSD. From the pics, looks extremely clean and is totally stock, no power windows, no power locks, etc. Has AC and heat. All supposedly working. Going to look at it tomorrow and I am already looking at tires/lifts. HA! I could sell the YJ and pretty much pay for the XJ.

Anyone want to try to talk me off the ledge or should I move forward? The other thing that plays in the back of my mind is resale. The way these Cherokees are escalating in value is astounding. Yj's are moving up in value, but nowhere near what a clean XJ brings. Crazy!

Thoughts?

Thank you all again and I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!!!

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Old 11-01-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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What are they asking for it

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Old 11-01-2019, 07:09 PM
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$5k but still needs a few hundred to get it to "my spec" of stockness. From there, the mods begin. I am thinking I can get him down a little more....and if not, I pass.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:30 PM   #4
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5k seems a little high but if it's rust/rot free I'd take it especially being a 5speed
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:32 PM   #5
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I had a 2 door sport 5 speed wish I still had it
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:44 PM
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5k seems a little high but if it's rust/rot free I'd take it especially being a 5speed
Yup, supposedly rust/rot free, no dings and shiny paint. I had him send me a pic of the roof since here with our sun the roofs get fried. All looked good in pic other than the rain gutters. I will sand and repaint those. Of course, I will get underneath to check out frame, floorboards, etc.

The 5 speeds came with 3.07 gears though so that will be a bit tough when going to lift/tires. I will keep tires to 30"-31" range most likely.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:48 PM   #7
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The only XJ's worth owning in my opinion are 1991-1996. I owned a 1997 and it was nothing but problems and the worst jeep i have ever had the displeasure of owning. It was such a horrid piece of garbage i swore the brand off and haven't bought another since. I love the 1991-1996 XJ's though and i would have another if i didn't already have a 4runner.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:58 PM
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The only XJ's worth owning in my opinion are 1991-1996. I owned a 1997 and it was nothing but problems and the worst jeep i have ever had the displeasure of owning. It was such a horrid piece of garbage i swore the brand off and haven't bought another since. I love the 1991-1996 XJ's though and i would have another if i didn't already have a 4runner.
Thanks man! I did hear the 2000-01 had the 0331 issues. Some heads cracked, some did not. I have stayed away from those. '98-'99 (from the XJ crowd) was supposed to be the pinnacle of the XJ run. Who knows.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:14 PM   #9
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I dont like the piston skirt cracking problems that 96-97+ 4.0's seem to have a known reputation for. I remember reading in around 1997 that jeep lightened the rotating assembly trying to increase gas mileage. Then a several years later i started seeing piston skirt cracking problems on jeep forums. I didn't think much of it at first but i would see people making threads on it somewhat often.

Then i bought a clean red 97 in great shape and it cracked a piston skirt around 120K. When it started knocking really bad i didn't think much of it. I had a 1992 XJ that started knocking really bad and it ended up being loose torque converter bolts so i loctite'd them and never had another problem. So i pulled the 97 up on ramps figuring i was just going to need to loctite the torque converter bolts on this XJ too big deal... But the bolts were already tight.

Ended up pulling the oil pan off and found #1 piston skirt in chunks in the bottom of the oil pan. I had a good running 89 Renix 4.0 so i just swapped the 97 head over to it. The Renix had 250K on it and ran like the day it rolled out of Toledo. Drove it for a little longer and started hearing a unusual ticking and i started thinking something was wrong with the Renix. I tried flushing the block with seafoam to see if it was lifter noise, did not work. Then i put 20W50 oil in it wondering if it was a rod bearing and there was no change in the noise. Then i got the bright idea to check the ATF and it was sparkling and there was obvious metal contamination. I think something was coming apart inside the torque converter and making the ticking noise.

I never liked the jeep as much as i had liked the earlier 91-96 XJ's and i was sick of dealing with poor quality issues so i sold the entire piece of $#*! to a friend because he wanted the 4.0 out of it to swap into his J10. The earlier XJ's were built well Chrysler dropped the ball and lost me as a customer for life and i never will buy another one of their products.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:26 PM   #10
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I have owned a couple, a ‘94, and a ‘99. Both of them were excellent, no issues. I have also built a number for friends. The ‘99 had 44k when I bought it, 170k without a single engine or transmission issue when sold.

My girlfriend is kicking around an XJ or an LJ, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another XJ (even a ‘99), provided it was a clean example.

I built this 2000 for a friend, went 140k on the original engine (0331 lightweight casting head and all) and trans. (and a bunch of them were hard miles) prior to installation of a stroker and a built trans.

May just be luck....
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:09 AM   #11
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I've built up a couple XJs and a couple YJs. My thoughts:

$5K is way too much for a stock XJ, unless it's in spectacular condition and includes a few extras. You're right, XJs are going up in value quickly, but that's because they've been so undervalued for so many years. XJs have significantly lower resale value than wranglers, and I doubt they'll ever catch up.

Rust is a much bigger issue on XJs than Wranglers. Not because they're more prone to rust, but because they're unibody. A wrangler with rotted floorpans is still structurally rigid due to the frame. An XJ with rotted floorpans (or any other body rust) is bad news.

As far as running gear goes, the XJ is sort of half YJ and half TJ; springs up front leafs in the back. Nothing wrong with that, just as easy to lift and modify/ruggedize. XJs may be a little more susceptible to death wobble though.

A properly built XJ is every bit the off-road monster that a Wrangler is. Like you said, about the same weight and longer wheelbase, with all the same running gear.

I actually have an old parts XJ that I'm continually pulling bits and parts off to build my YJ. It was my daughter's, but we decided the rust was bad enough that we used all the good stuff off it to built her a new one, starting with a rust free XJ base that we paid $1000 for. Her current XJ is the ultimate adventure vehicle. We built out the entire back with bed, cabinets, slide-out galley, awning etc. XJs are fantastic for that sort of build.

Good luck in your XJ search!
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:14 AM   #12
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I have a both, built them both and the are both offroad monsters, the xj is my overlander and the tj is my rock crawler. They're both beasts offroad. The tj fits between the trees, has a frame and shorter wheelbase plus i built it to roll with minimal damage. The xj will go anywhere the tj will but its harder to fit between the trees and a rollover would be game over. The xj has plenty of cargo room for my overlanding gear and is much more comfortable for long trips, the tj has room for a cooler and a toolbox. I love them both
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:59 AM   #13
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I've built up a couple XJs and a couple YJs. My thoughts:

$5K is way too much for a stock XJ, unless it's in spectacular condition and includes a few extras. You're right, XJs are going up in value quickly, but that's because they've been so undervalued for so many years. XJs have significantly lower resale value than wranglers, and I doubt they'll ever catch up.

Rust is a much bigger issue on XJs than Wranglers. Not because they're more prone to rust, but because they're unibody. A wrangler with rotted floorpans is still structurally rigid due to the frame. An XJ with rotted floorpans (or any other body rust) is bad news.

As far as running gear goes, the XJ is sort of half YJ and half TJ; springs up front leafs in the back. Nothing wrong with that, just as easy to lift and modify/ruggedize. XJs may be a little more susceptible to death wobble though.

A properly built XJ is every bit the off-road monster that a Wrangler is. Like you said, about the same weight and longer wheelbase, with all the same running gear.

I actually have an old parts XJ that I'm continually pulling bits and parts off to build my YJ. It was my daughter's, but we decided the rust was bad enough that we used all the good stuff off it to built her a new one, starting with a rust free XJ base that we paid $1000 for. Her current XJ is the ultimate adventure vehicle. We built out the entire back with bed, cabinets, slide-out galley, awning etc. XJs are fantastic for that sort of build.

Good luck in your XJ search!
From what I've been seeing there going up in price
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:29 AM
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Thank you guys! Great,sound advice as always. I was prepared for some hardcore flaming. Ha! It is a hard decision as I have been all over this YJ and feel it is properly sorted. I know it's strengths and where something may need watching. There is a level of comfort there. I don't mind starting over on a new adventure though with a little more cargo capabilities. I am checking it over this AM, good points about the unibody and rust. I will go over it the best I can and go from there.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:15 AM   #15
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I had a '91 XJ 4.0 5M that might have been my favorite vehicle of all time. I sold it with around 185K and it had been mostly trouble free. I did have to replace the slave cylinder twice (only vehicle I've ever had to do that on), and I had to replace the gear shift knob every couple of years. The threaded insert was in molded PVC and the PVC would break down and the knob would twist - again the only vehicle I've ever had that issue on.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:51 AM   #16
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This guy seems to get by with his 2001 4.0 yellow banana.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:03 PM   #17
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This is my 99 XJ on the Rubicon a couple years ago. XJ is totally unreliable compared to my 94 YJ and 06 TJ. Constantly broken down.

Takes quite a bit of extra effort to build a quality trail rig with the XJ platform. Had to weld on frame stiffeners to the unibody to keep from warping the body. 8.25 needs to be replaced with something stronger. We went with an 8.8. Gearing also needs to be addressed. We did 5.23s with the AW4 and 35” tires.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:13 PM   #18
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Around here you can pick up a stock XJ in decent shape with everything working as it should for less than $3000. A modified one for around $3500 - $4000 depending on whats been done to it.

A decent stock YJ will sell for around $6000 easily, a modified one could run up to $8000+ depending on whats been done to it. The basic so called upgrades that are commonly found a 4" lift, 8.8 swap, bumpers and winch sell for around $5500. Guess folks around here don't care for the 8.8 knowing it's a c-clip axle.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:14 PM   #19
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I had a '94 XJ and it was a good ride. The PO had done a 4" lift with a SYE on 31s and a few cosmetic mods. It was a very capable off roader. I traded it in on my F-150 and bought my YJ.

I guess it all depends on your want and needs. I needed a pickup and the F-150 is the family work horse. The YJ is my DD but when I go anywhere with Mrs. Lucky, we take her car. She doesn't like the Jeep because it doesn't have air bags or AC and it's a bit of a climb for her to get into with a skirt.

Why don't you keep the YJ and buy a pickup?

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:38 PM
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I had a '94 XJ and it was a good ride. The PO had done a 4" lift with a SYE on 31s and a few cosmetic mods. It was a very capable off roader. I traded it in on my F-150 and bought my YJ.

I guess it all depends on your want and needs. I needed a pickup and the F-150 is the family work horse. The YJ is my DD but when I go anywhere with Mrs. Lucky, we take her car. She doesn't like the Jeep because it doesn't have air bags or AC and it's a bit of a climb for her to get into with a skirt.

Why don't you keep the YJ and buy a pickup?

Good Luck, L.M.
I do have a Pickup! HA! Extremely nice truck which is my ride when I need to get in and out, reliable, clean, ladies in skirts, etc. The YJ is my daily driver but kinda sucks on I-25 more than a couple exits.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:04 PM
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Thank you all for your input!!!!!!!!!!! This is the best forum I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.

Just to finish this thing off, I passed on the XJ. It was a clean example, no rust, ran great.

I just was NOT feeling it. Was a dog to me compared to my YJ. Suspension completely shot, the 5 speed was longer throw and that 3.09 ratio was horrible with the little tires that were on it. For what I wanted to do with it, just would be too much work (for an old man) and cost prohibitive. The Owner bought it from the original owner but no history, no receipts, etc. He was an extremely good guy but I just did not want to pull the trigger. I told him that I was not going to take it and he opened up a bit, I could get it for around $3500. Still, I passed. Pic of the XJ attached.

I know I will not keep my YJ forever but I put in a few more hours of work on it this afternoon and will continue to enjoy it and work on it a bit more.

Again, thank you all for your helpful insight!
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:43 PM   #22
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What was the mileage on that XJ, and what location in CO?
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:02 PM   #23
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What was the mileage on that XJ, and what location in CO?
What, you don't have enough current projects going on. LMAO. Thanks again for the help this afternoon
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:17 PM   #24
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This is my 99 XJ on the Rubicon a couple years ago. XJ is totally unreliable compared to my 94 YJ and 06 TJ. Constantly broken down.

Takes quite a bit of extra effort to build a quality trail rig with the XJ platform. Had to weld on frame stiffeners to the unibody to keep from warping the body. 8.25 needs to be replaced with something stronger. We went with an 8.8. Gearing also needs to be addressed. We did 5.23s with the AW4 and 35” tires.

A friend of mine built and wheeled XJ's back when they were cheap. They did not take much money to build and would go a lot of places but he found out pretty quick how quickly the uniframe would get destroyed from twisting. I like the AMC gen XJ's but they were about as ridged as a wet noodle even on road. He started welding frame stiffeners on them after his second one.

I have never built a XJ for offroad but i dont think i ever would just because of the unibody. After owning several XJ's and now a third gen 4runner the 4runner is better in every conceivable way. It has a frame and feels solid and not twisty like an XJ. It fit's 31's stock and the axles are stronger even if the front is IFS. The only downside to them is they are bigger.

If i were to build another 4x4 i think i would consider building a third gen 4runner and solid axle swapping the front. Don't have to deal with extreme driveshaft angles and more room to haul stuff and i could sleep in it.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:29 PM   #25
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What, you don't have enough current projects going on. LMAO. Thanks again for the help this afternoon
One can never have too many projects! But that one wouldn’t be one of them. Have a friend on the Western Slope who is interested in a local low miler. I don’t think I ever saw mileage mentioned.

And no thanks necessary my friend! Any time!
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:52 AM
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What was the mileage on that XJ, and what location in CO?
116k on it, no rust and pretty clean. The guy had a couple others lined up after me, he also was thinking about just putting a little more $$ into it and riding out the winter.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:59 AM   #27
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My 98 now has 248k on it. If I found a clean low mileage stocker for the right price I'd buy it.
I don't offroad this hard but it's my daily driver. I've had it 9 years and love it. I really like leafs in the back and coils up front.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sonny S View Post
My 98 now has 248k on it. If I found a clean low mileage stocker for the right price I'd buy it.
I don't offroad this hard but it's my daily driver. I've had it 9 years and love it. I really like leafs in the back and coils up front.
2" budget boost and 30 x 9.50 15

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Looks great man, especially for having 248k on it! I do have my eye on a 2 door, 1998, 86k miles, already a little lift with tasteful wheels/tires. They are way to high on price still so just seeing if it sits awhile.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:14 PM   #29
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If i remember right 4 door XJ's have more rigidity and suffer less from frame and body cracking. So if you plan to lift it and run bigger tires you are better off with the 4 door. There is no wheel base difference between the 2 and 4 door. The 2 door just has ridiculously long front doors that just seem odd and out of place if you are used to Comanches and 4 door XJ's since they both use "normal" doors.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agalloch07 View Post
If i remember right 4 door XJ's have more rigidity and suffer less from frame and body cracking. So if you plan to lift it and run bigger tires you are better off with the 4 door. There is no wheel base difference between the 2 and 4 door. The 2 door just has ridiculously long front doors that just seem odd and out of place if you are used to Comanches and 4 door XJ's since they both use "normal" doors.
Good to know, thanks!

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