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1998 Jeep Cherokee SUV Classic 4dr SUV
Unreal. Simply unreal. Owned since June 1998 and with nearly half million trouble free miles of hard Chicago winners and hot summers it's hard to stomach buying anything else because nothing will top this reliability or prowess in harsh winter weather. I can't even stomach looking at whatever these new "jeeps" are....maybe I'll just grab another straight six Cherokee!
1998 Jeep Cherokee SUV Sport 4dr SUV 4WD
After getting in a head on collision with a suburban, where all air bags for both cars deployed. The jeeps frame may have been slightly damaged, but I was perfect without a scratch. Only going 30mph the jeep actually pushed the front end of the suburban, aiming it into the other side of the road where it should have been in the first place. Insurance gave me $500 more than my original jeep was worth, which had 130,000 miles on it. I did not hesitate and found another cherokee with a 4.0L inline 6 engine, 4 doors, and 4 wheel drive. When you step on the gas peddle you feel the power, it's nothing like the V-6 engines out today. It may only get about 13 miles per gallon, but it's well worth it.
Mainly, if you're a car guy or someday want to be, this is the car for you. Knowing simply how to use tools, I've fixed most issues myself, learning a lot about how cars work in the process. The overall build of the jeep is very simple; with any issue it simply takes a youtube search and a replacement part.
1998 Jeep Cherokee SUV Classic 4dr SUV
I owned the 1998 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L engine, 2WD, auto trans, base model no electric power options. It served it's purpose well. I could load a lot of stuff into this vehicle as the backseat would flip forward and down and made a lot of room in the back. The full size spare tire was side mounted inside the rear cargo area and it really didn't take much room so it was okay. The Jeep had nice acceleration with the 4.0L engine, and fuel economy was pretty good too. I drove mine with respect and it rarely gave me trouble. I put some moderate all terrain tires on it and the Cherokee performed great in winter while I spent time in Northern New York dealing with the lake effect snow that was pretty bad.
Now the bad......The check engine light would come on intermittently. This caused somewhat of a problem during my yearly smog test I had to have done in California. I got lucky a few times and it went off so I immediately would drive into the nearest place doing smog tests and would knock out my annual test. Soon thereafter it would come back on. When this first happened the dealer in Huntington Beach, CA told me it was a sensor in the transmission they had seen it many times and nothing was wrong with the transmission just the stupid sensor, and to just try and deal with it. They said the transmission on these Jeeps were the best they ever saw, but the sensor in my model was a stupid tiny little part that did nothing. Otherwise a repair was going to cost a lot to drop the transmission and replace the sensor located above it. So I just dealt with it. Another thing that happened, probably associated with that sensor was the electronic gauges would just fail. All the warning lights on the gauge cluster would light up, then go off, and the odometer would stop clocking miles. I have to admit the non functioning odometer was awesome because the Jeep remained a low mileage vehicle for almost the entirety of my ownership. Sometimes it would work, and most times it did not. I attached an old school GPS with velcro to my steering column to see how fast I was going. I parked the jeep for many years while I was overseas and upon returning the a/c failed, the power steering failed, all the attachments to the engine failed and would throw a belt if I drove too much. I felt guilty about trying to sell it to a private party but instead went into a Chrysler dealership one day after the check engine light went off and looked at a used vehicle (not a Chrysler product but a low mileage Japanese model) on their lot. They kept trying to bring my Jeep into the deal and wasted my time all damn day with nonsense offers for warranties, upgrades, etc and I held firm and got a great deal on the used truck they were selling. They kept asking over and over if I wanted to trade in my Jeep but I kept telling them no it was the best car I ever owned and wanted to keep it forever which was total bull but they bought it and made a great offer for a trade in on it and reduced the selling price on the other truck I was looking at. They never even once went out to look at my Cherokee or asked to drive it. Just gave me way more than it was work. In hindsight they probably drove it around back and poured sludge in the engine to destroy it under the Obama bailout to give dealers $4500 for clunkers. Kind of sad to see that Jeep go. If you can find a low mileage well cared for Cherokee XJ from that time period, buy it.
1998 Jeep Cherokee SUV Classic 4dr SUV 4WD
This is February, 2016. The car is a 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic with 84K miles. REALLY. 84K. It's my 3d Cherokee. Prior a 2000 and a 2001 Cherokee Limited. I sold the 2000 to a friend when it had 160K. He reports just this week that he's at 245K and still going! The 2001 was much the same. These cars are, by my way of thinking, absolutely bulletproof.
Now. 1998 Cherokee Classic. The only addition to the car is a set of 2000 Limited alloy 16" wheels. Other than that, just as it came from the factory.
Within a week of this last purchase, the turn signals just stopped. I bought a $15.00 flasher relay, and back to the road! Of the three I have owned, this was the first electrical problem I have encountered.
It handles like a Jeep. Not the best, but predictable as the sunrise. Never let me down. Goes where it's pointed. Never stuck, and NEVER left on the side of the road waiting for a tow. When the A/C is charged, you can almost hang meat in the front seats! The heater is capable of burning your feet. The radio is really not bad (the 2000 had the good stereo with door mounted tweeters and and amp under the back seat...that was REALLY great). I wish it had a CD, but I wish I were taller...neither of those things are going to happen, so the radio is fine.
This is a SIMPLE car. Point/coil ignition. Climate control with cables. They're adjustable. Not like the vacuum operated controls. Manual 4WD engagement. Everything in the cabin is push-pull-click. No push-pull-click? Replace switch. Repeat. Read the gauges.
DO REGULAR MAINTENANCE! Change the oil (You don't need a lift, or a jack). Don't forget the auto trans, transfer case and the two differentials (I do them every 50,000 miles, but I'm obsessive). Lube the suspension zirks. How hard is THIS?
I guess I rant. But as long as I can get these, I'll keep buying them. They're getting rare, but they're findable (I made that word up) with a little searching.
The car looks good. Anywhere. Party in the high end part of town? Fine. Running down a dirt road producing billowing clouds of dirt? Fine. Axle-deep snow? Smile. You look good and you ain't stuck! By the way, this is essentially a new car!
The long and short of it is, this car is a throwback to a simpler time when things broke but could be fixed with a pretty sparse toolbox. My dad the engineer said these cars operated with "tractor technology".
Under the hood it's all simple.
February, 2017 UPDATE
15,000 miles later the usual stuff. The A/C evaporator, dryer, and heater core were replaced. After 3 of these cars, I think I can surmise that it's certain these components fail after 15 years.
Had transmission flushed, and both differentials and transfer case drained and refilled.
Fog lamp and rear window washer/wiper switches replaced.
So one year out I've spent a little over $1,000.00 on maintenance items.
Total into this car is $10,500 and I expect at least 3-5 more years before I sell it for $7,000.00.
February, 2018 Update: Had to get a radio with CD player. 1 Factory Radio LLC in Virginia supplied a re-furbished original AM/FM/CD and gave me $ for the old radio. Transaction took a week, Bolted right in. $200.00. Leaky radiator. As long as I replaced that I replaced the water pump too. I was already in the engine bay anyway.
This car is Emerald Green and looks new. I actually get asked (more often than you might think) if I want to sell it! Gas station, traffic light, Costco parking lot, by complete strangers! I was offered $10,000.00 in the Costco lot after the guy gave the car the once-over. I kept the car.
104,000 miles now. Still pulls like a train. And looks great. And I haven't had a car payment for over 2 years.
Ok. I've replaced the a/c condenser, compressor, dryer, and the evaporator (the heater core as well) I CAN hang meat in the front seat it's so cold. The water pump and the thermostat and housing. Belt as well. Generally, if I'm in there, it's just easier to start replacing things rather than wait for a failure. The rear springs are getting tired, so I'll replace them at the end of the summer. Remember, I HAVE NO CAR PAYMENT. My son and I are going to Arizona from Michigan in mid-August (I was raised in AZ, so I can take it!) And we're taking as much of Route 66 as we can. I really can't wait to take the Hatch Cutoff (if it's still there) off 66 going south out of northern New Mexico ( I took this short cut to Tucson years ago and spent two hours at 105 mph and never saw a living soul). Hatch has become somewhat famous for their chili. Anyway, Tucson appeared pretty quickly. Holding a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo at 105 for two hours was a spiritual experience. A carton of cigarettes and a thermos of Holiday Inn coffee were my constant companions. So that's my plan. I have no fear of taking a 20 year old car on this quest. I'll fill you in on the road.
1998 Jeep Cherokee SUV SE 4dr SUV
Very simple to drive and maintaining
solid construction and great offroad ability in this class
i wish jeep would make that jeep again