Re: Jeep cherokee questions.
With my experience in an '85, the drivetrain is quite reliable with the given motor. The only problem I can remember was with the clutch (possible driver error, not my vehicle) and the x-case linkage. However, the engine was recently replaced with a similar motor out of a slightly newer Camaro and all hell broke loose with the carb, etc.
We have assumed that the vacuum lines were the culprit.
In short, if you plan on being handy with the carb, the Cherokee should be well worth your $400. Additionally, you might like driving the smaller vehicle.
'89 K1500 350/700r4