1. Finished with the Electrac

    First off, my username descibes what vehicle I have currently, 1980 CJ-5 Renegade with 16K original Miles.

    Reason I want to know about XJ is because I am thinking about getting one. Can you guys entertain a few of these questions?

    1. What years were SFA?
    2. What diffs/axles come stock in an XJ? (with SFA)
    3. Are they Dependable trucks?
    4. How are the Motors/ Trans/ T-case.

    In other words fellas/ladies...

    How much work and swapping out am I going to have to do if I want a SFA
    XJ with 33x13.5 Swamper LTB's? (Do I need to swap axles? Do I need to swap T-case... are the parts in this truck worthy? or should I stick with the CJ?)

  2. #2

    Whats required for 33x13.5?

    All XJ's have SFA (Solid Front Axle, correct?). All the front axles were the Dana30, and rear axles were either Dana44(87-89 tow package), Chrysler 8.25"(newer tow packages), or Dana35(all others).

    You can fir those tires on the stock drivetrain with about 6" of lift, or 4.5" and serious fender cutting. XJ's look good with the fender flares removed and fenders trimmed for tire clearance.

    XJ's are dependable, but avoid the earlier 2.8L V6. Also avoid the early NP207 transfer case, the NP231 in '88 and newer are better.

    XJ's had redesigned transfer case outputs in '97, making '97 and newer harder to lift without rear driveshaft vibes. I'd pick a '95 or '96 with the Chrysler 8.25 and 4.0L HO engine if I were looking to build one.

  3. Cheap lift or real deal? Tire Size?

    Oppinion. The 87-90 have the RENIX computer and primitive sensor setup, pretty easy to master. But they do have, there sicknesses, which can be corrected for the most part. The 231 transfer, command trac, is a tried an proven item, used in some vehicles with a larger GVW than the Jeep, easy to find. The selec-trac is a little more problematic, there have been a series of improvements. The one without the viscious clutch seems to be a better choice.
    The 91- 93/94? has many improvements, but still retains most of the proven XJ drivetrain, a few more electronics (some relocated to the engine bay?), that sometimes seem prone to catastrophic failure, the computer is expensive. Hooking up the old jumper cables backwords and/or playing submarine can get real expensive.
    The 94 and later, seem to have had some improvemets? They added more electronics, messed with the transmission and did some other stuff, that has caused problems. More isn´t necessarily better.
    For my money the AW4 auto, outperforms the (AX 15?) stick, the 231 tranfer is OK, the axles are a little light for anything bigger than, say 32 tires. The 8.25" Dodge rear will probably hold up, as will the D44 in older models, with seriously heavy tires. The 4.0 liter motor, seems to go on and on, they work when seriously loose and old. They don´t seem to want to run in the higher RPM bands and last. On most models, the cooling system needs some work, the wiring has always been problematic, to much wire, poorly layed out, with too many connectors and weak points.
    The overall handling of the XJ is superior to most all other Jeeps. There are short wheelbase specific things, the others will do better, but actually not many. I do a lot of high speed dirt/mud roading, tractor trials and such, I´ll probably never go back to a YJ except as a toy.
    I´ve looked at the recall lists, for most production series of XJ´s, this will give you an idea, of whats going on. The ZJ seems to have pages and pages of recalls. Most experts recommend the 91 or newer. The HO is mostly for the higher RPM bands, really doesn´t help much off road.

  4. #4
    Some things I'd stay away from:

    - Peugeot BA10 5 spd. standard transmission (found in late '87 and most '88 year Cherokees). This has to be the worst transmission found in a Cherokee.

    - Bendix/ Renix II computer systems. These are found in most all early XJ's. They do not store ANY codes, and can be a real pain in the butt to diagnose. (If you are skilled with electrical work, then they're not so bad)

    Now, with that said, my '88 (which includes both of the things listed above), has 409,xxx miles on the odometer with 351,xxx of those being from the first engine alone.

    -Nick
    1988 Jeep Cherokee w/ 410,000+ miles. Now a 100% Electric Vehicle!
    NO Gas, NO Emissions, NO Problem! --

  5. #5
    Thanks guys. That is ALOT of information. I appreciate it.
    I think due to the fact that the old CJ is already bought and paid for, and that it
    has 16K original miles, I might just keep her.
    I like the trails and dunking her in water, and she does both really really well.
    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    i agree that the newer (97+) XJ's have a problem with vibration if they are lifted... but it is easily remedied with a t-case drop (for 3" lift or less atleast). cherokees received a complete re-design in 97... making them much more appealing on the interior and adding a few nice touches outside. there were a few other minor changes made also... and in my opinion i would choose a 97 or newer any day over a 96 or earlier. i guess i do have a 97 though and maybe i'm a little biased:)

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