Saturday, March 7, 2020

1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ Sport 4x4, 113k Miles and "NO RUST"

Many years ago I lived in a house that was basically on top of a mountain. My winter beaters of choice were always Jeep Cherokees. No matter how cold it was they always started. They went through everything. What was most amazing is how long they lasted. I had four of them. 3 went for well over 200,000 miles. One was running strong at 180,000 miles when some jerk (or jerks, I don't know) stole it.

You can credit (or blame, I guess, depending on your view of SUVs) the Cherokee for starting the SUV craze. Prior to the Cherokee if you wanted an AWD truck (they weren't called SUVs back then) you had few choices. The choices you did have were large and drove like trucks. The Cherokee was the size of an American car, rode nicely, handled safely and could be optioned to the point of near luxury.

The Cherokee was manufactured from 1984 through 2001. Available engines included AMC's 2.5 liter 4 (Under powered, but durable), a GM 2.8L V6 (1984 through 1986. It had only 10 more horsepower than the 4 and was not very durable), a Renault sourced turbo diesel (Rare in North America) and the indestructible AMC 4.0 liter 6. You could get a manual transmission, although early (1987 - 1989) Peugeot sourced 5 speeds had a lot of problems in the Cherokee. Others were better. The automatic transmissions were made by either Chrysler or Aisin-Warner. They are durable and, in my opinion, were better suited to the vehicle than the manual transmission.

The Cherokee's biggest issue was rust. The bottoms of the doors, the floors and especially the rocker panels rusted horribly. Rust is what killed a large percentage of the Cherokees here in New England, including mine, but I have also seen Southwestern Cherokees with quite a bit of rust on them, too.

That's what makes this Cherokee so remarkable. According to the seller, it has "no rust." This is a "bone stock" Cherokee in excellent condition. You don't see many like this these days. It has 113,000 miles on it. With the 4.0 engine you can easily assume that you'll double that mileage without any problems. Spend a weekend pumping Waxoyl into the door bottoms and rocker panels and you may be able to keep it rust free for a very long time.

The asking price is $6995.00. That's a lot of money for a Cherokee, but it's not unrealistic. If it is what the seller says it is, it's worth that much in my opinion. There is nothing I can think of that will give you the reliability, drivability and basic simplicity of an XJ Cherokee. I haven't seen one in this condition in a very long time.

Located in Port Jefferson, Long Island, NY, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

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