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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-29-2005, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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\"New\" jeep in the family

I'm not a car guy. Never have been, so my personal vehicular collection consists of 1 F-250 Super Duty 4-door Lariat, 1 F-150 4-door King Ranch, 1 SOA CJ-7 on 37's, 1 Scrambler, and 1 '79 Quadratrac CJ-7.

For some reason my new wife doesn't see the attraction of the CJ's or the Scrambler, and has deemed the trucks are inconvenient considering our new dog, and baby on the way. Go figure.

But inspiration struck! "Say honey, those Jeep Cherokees seem pretty handy for a budding family. Four doors, a back area for the mutt, 4-wheel drive, and much easier on gas than the trucks. Whadaya think?" Whatever you think sweetheart. Gold!

Of course the first thing I did was fire up ebay and start snooping. Never one to pass up a "deal" I noticed a 94 I6 with auto that appeared to be in decent shape, but was listed as "for parts or rebuild" with 150K on it, that no one was bidding on. I asked the seller why it was listed as non running and was told it had a cracked head. Okay, no biggee, so I bid, won, then arranged to go take a look.

I get there and get greeted by a college girl which was a surprise since I had just "assumed" the person online was a guy. Okay hon, who told you it had a cracked head? "Well, this friend of mine. I pulled in to work one day, and noticed water leaking so my friend came out and said water in the oil (not that I could tell) so...cracked head". Okey dokey. It had been sitting about a month or so but fired right up and ran pretty smooth. After a bit of haggling I bought it for $450.00. The haggling was due to some issues that hadn't been disclosed in the ebay ad, such as two rotted floor boards. Hell, I figured worse case scenario is the head is indeed cracked, but I'd have a complete 4.0 base to work with if I wanted to put together a stroker or something.

It was a little low on water, but not drastically so. I can't see any leaks, there is no water in the exhaust, nothing in the oil that I can tell. Granted at this point it's only been run around the block a bit as I've yet to get tags on it, but so far so good. I've started to do the routine maintenace bit that you usually do with a used ride, new cap, rotor, plugs etc. One screw on the cap was major fubar and required vice grips to remove. The head was stripped so I know someone tried and failed, which meant it was probably in serious need of replacement. Turns out I was right. The terminals were a wreck, as was the rotor. Just out of curiousity I pulled a plug (too late to do it all tonight), and it looks to have a gap of about .180. Freakin HUGE! The electrode is pretty much melted away. I would imagine the rest are in similar condition.

My thoughts are that the ignition system was in such pi$$ poor shape it was causing the motor to run hot, and finally got to the point it started to boil over. Girl freaks, asks clueless but determined to not look clueless male friend to diagnose, and gets the cracked head story.

If the rest of the plugs are in similar condition it would be a testament to the ruggedness of the I-6 that it functioned at all, and actually was running pretty decent.

Anyway, to make a short story long, it appears I've bought a decent running cherokee, in decent shape (needs floor boards) for a whopping $450 and with the wifeys approval. Woo hoo! The best part is that in a couple months I bet I can convince her that this $450 beater just isn't up to par for her, the mutt, and the kid and that she needs something a bit newer and in better shape. Trail machine! Double woo hoo!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 01:44 AM
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

Nice!

Another Jeep rescued from the Cruel and Clueless!

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/applause.gif[/img]

You might even get some Jeep Karma on top of the deal!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 07:47 AM
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

You struck gold all the way around! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/applause.gif[/img]
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 08:09 AM
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

I think that beats my $750 88 YJ I got in April.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 08:20 AM
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

My last Cherokee wasn't that kind of bargain. $350 for a 1986 bank repo, $250 for a junkyard engine, $300 for a tranny rebuild, new front U-joints, one new axle, total cost when done was $2700. Drove it for 4 years and sold it for $2000 when I didn't need it any longer. I was pleased, but not the bargain you got here. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 09:56 AM
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

Congrats on the 'addition' to the family....you will enjoy it....

Beats my $300 recovered stolen.....+ $7000 to get it the way I want it....
post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 10:07 AM
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

Sweet! you gotta love those 4.0's!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

I was pretty much spot-on about the plugs. Every plug had the electrode worn down to the insulator. I'm not sure if this was due to a complete disregard for routine maintenanc, or if it's indicitive of a more serious problem. I'm hoping the former. Good news is that after the general plug, cap, rotor replacement, she runs pretty damn smooth. Bad news (but not unexpected) is that the rear brakes seem like they may be toast, to the point of the drums being shot. I haven't pulled any parts yet but I hear an awful lot of groaning coming from back there. Front rotors look worn but smooth and the pads have plenty of life. I think with some general parts maintenance and a SERIOUS scrubbing, I've got a winner.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 12:42 PM
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

Since the PO was female - expect lots of "no maintenance" problems. Usually not terrible fortunately.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: \"New\" jeep in the family

[ QUOTE ]
Since the PO was female - expect lots of "no maintenance" problems. Usually not terrible fortunately.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yep. I mentioned this to my wife and for some reason she seemed somewhat put off by it. Women, hrmpff.

I don't think there was a single tight bolt on the valve cover, which resulted in a nice fine oil coating on most underhood components. I'm pretty sure the PO's dog was living inside the thing considering the shear volume of dog fur present inside. Apparently he was "house broke" though since there are no apparent doggie nuggets scattered about. I'm about to hit it with the shop vac for a general cleaning and then pull all the carpet out along with all the seating except for drivers seat. I want to get a good look at the floor boards.

Speaking of which, I'm pretty much brain dead when it comes to cherokees and their construction. I've heard the term "unibody" bandied about but I'm not entirely sure what it means in real world terms. I believe there is a "frame" but the body is bolted directly to it and contributes a fair amount to the structural integrity of the whole mess.

Now I know on a standard frame/body setup I can pull the body frome the frame and go to town repair wise, but I'm not sure about a unibody. I guess I'm not real clear on how to go at the floor boards and could use some input.
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