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So what would you suggest?


mythreesons
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Here is the situation:

 

Son #3 has been looking for a different vehicle. Wouldn't mind a Comanche like Son #2, but they are a little tough to find right now in our area. So he expanded his search ideas to include XJ's. (I think that for his purposes an XJ would serve him better anyway, but that is just Dad's opinion.) On the way home from church today, we spot a XJ in a repair shop sales lot. Here is what I know from the quick look-and-see we did:

 

tail light says 83 XJ

hatch lettering says Selec-Trac

center console shows the 2WD-4WD slide lever, it had the H-N-L(?) pull lever (includes warning to engage 4WD before going to Low) and Transmission selector with 3 forward speeds

Full gauges with big fuel gauge (no tach of course)

Rear Dif. looked like a Dana 35

Transfer case was present (big aluminum thing under the drivers behind)

Fair body without any big dents

Under carriage looked like what I would expect for a Missouri truck from that time period

 

Now, before you ask, I was in my good church clothes so no I didn't just roll under to wipe/scrape/rub any labels to find out what parts were really there. I have been searching and reading posts about older model jeep stuff till my eyes are blurry. I am not as old as some people around here, but getting there. :D

 

Here are the questions:

 

1) IF the TC is a 228, IF things are ok inside the TC and rest of drive line, it would be fine for rural country gravel road with occasional out in the woods, RIGHT?

 

2) IF I have read the search results right, the tranny is known as a TF904, RIGHT?

 

3) What was a general consensus about that tranny? Good, Decent, Bad, Worth slightly more than a D35 read end but not by much?

 

4) Given that the odometer showed 079000, mileage could be just that, or who knows what. This mechanic I know and have spent a lot of money with him over the last ten years (I currently own 6 vehicles so upkeep is a constant thing) so I think I can get whatever history he knows, but what things should I be looking at when I am under there with my pocket knife and a clean rag?

 

 

So what words of wisdom can you share?

 

Scott

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If that's a 2.8 (the V6) nothing fits... I loved my 86 XJ but all the aftermarket fits 88 and up. That motor is a boat anchor too. I put a 3.4 in which was a good engine, but skid plates, lifts, etc were always a problem fitting with the cross member and stuff.

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X2.

 

I'd steer clear of early XJ's,

no real reason to go with anything pre 1987 (or pre 1991 for that matter).

The earlier you go, the more odd-ball the drivetrain is.

 

If it were me, I'd look for:

 

1) a great deal on a 97-99ish 4.0L XJ.

I've seen plenty with high mileage, and dents/dings for $1200-$2500.

Watch for rust/rot. My 98 has a true 70K miles, and no rocker panels left.

00's & 01's seem to be the top of the XJ food chain. Unless you have to have a 60th anniversary edition, or want an 00-01 only color, I'd save the $$ and get a 97-99.

 

2) 91-95 4.0L. there should be enough of these getting dumped that you can find one for next to free.

Also look out for rot, no reason to repair rot damage when there's another one to pick from on the next block.

 

2a) 1996 4.0L's.

Oddball year, OBDII in the earlier body style. Lots of parts that only fit this year/model vehicle. Still great XJ's, but I'd pick a 91-95 over a 96 (unless it was a screaming deal), just for simplicity's sake.

 

 

3) 87-90 4.0L.

I can't even think of a reason to look for one of these anymore.

They are great XJ's, but now they're all 20+ years old (model year 2010's are out, so even 1990's are 20 model years old), and (IMHO) the Renix stuff isn't worth dealing with anymore, unless you find a real gem.

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OK, so far everyone seems to imply (or outright state) to move on to a newer model which can usually be gotten fairly cheap. I'm OK with that, but we'll see what Son #3 thinks.

 

At this point, he is NOT interested in building up a rock/mud/trail vehicle, just would like to have something that he can do more with than the old 4 door cutlass that he owns right now. About the only mod that has been talked about is pulling the carpet out of the back and rolling/spraying bedliner in so that he can throw a deer in when gun season opens. (Deer hunting is VERY important)

 

Thanks for your replies.

 

Scott

 

 

P.S. Correy -- Yeah the tail light lens said 83 XJ, but I didn't check the VIN. We are just up the road from your new home in Clinton.

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The 83-XJ must refer to a mold number, just went out and peeked at mine, and it also says T-83 XJ.

 

Where is the truck itself located? In a few days when I *hopefully* get the oil leak fixed maybe I can run up and take a look at it with you.

 

why don't you just take the mj?

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Correy,

 

I had Son #2 take a look at it on his way to KC today. He says that it is an 86 cherokee by the VIN number and stickers. (Whatever happened to putting the year model in the taillight lens mold?) It's up in Garden City which is about 30 minutes north on Hwy. 7 from Clinton (North of Clinton Hwy. 7 goes to 4 lane, divided, 70 MPH :D ).

 

They are closed today I guess because of the holiday. I'll catch the owner of the shop later this week to find out what he is asking then go from there.

 

In all this mess, Son #2 might have found a XJ to use as a DD and leave the MJ down here to play with on weekends AND I might, just might, change out my wife's beast Suburban if I could find a decent XJ with a 5 speed. All kinda depends on money situation.

 

On another note, just how ARE you going to get all your Jeeps down here? :D

 

Scott

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It'll be tricky. GF isn't supposed to drive, so we couldn't just both drive down here two of the trips. Plus, the 2.5 needs a new rear axle. Even if I put fluid in it, I don't think that poor 35 would survive another 560 miles.

 

I'll just have to convince my brother to come down one of these times, then I could probably finagle something out with a tow dolly.

 

I'll catch the owner of the shop later this week to find out what he is asking then go from there.

 

Hopefully not too much. Even a good running 86 isn't worth more than a couple hundred bucks.

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what about the blue one ??

 

I'd still have to drive it here.

 

GF isn't supposed to drive

 

If I could get ahold of a car dolly, and someone to drive the XJ down for me, I could probably do it. Neight MJ is baby-friendly, so the XJ has to go.

 

You have a driver here... :D

 

Rob L.

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what about the blue one ??

 

I'd still have to drive it here.

 

GF isn't supposed to drive

 

If I could get ahold of a car dolly, and someone to drive the XJ down for me, I could probably do it. Neight MJ is baby-friendly, so the XJ has to go.

 

You have a driver here... :D

 

Rob L.

 

I will keep that in mind. Still need a car dolly and would really like a lower geared axle in the 4.0 before I do it though.

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........

I had Son #2 take a look at it on his way to KC today. He says that it is an 86 cherokee by the VIN number and stickers. .........

 

They are closed today I guess because of the holiday. I'll catch the owner of the shop later this week to find out what he is asking then go from there.

.............

 

So I finally got the owner of the shop on the phone. He says "Yes, the 76XXX on the odometer is right. It had been sitting unlicensed since 04, they had to work with it to get the the 4WD stuff to work, but it's good to go now."

 

My response......"what about every rubber bushing in the steering system, change any of those?"

 

Shop owner....."No, they are fine. $1600 and you can drive it home."

 

:huh???:

 

I looked at the steering system. Every rubber bushing that I could see was dry-rotted, cracked, parts missing, etc. In other words, original most likely.

 

 

Me ...... "Thanks Dan for the info. Click"

 

It may be a Jeep and it IS a Jeep Thing, but I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. We'll keep looking.

 

Thanks to all for your opinions and suggestions,

 

Scott

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3) 87-90 4.0L.

I can't even think of a reason to look for one of these anymore.

They are great XJ's, but now they're all 20+ years old (model year 2010's are out, so even 1990's are 20 model years old), and (IMHO) the Renix stuff isn't worth dealing with anymore, unless you find a real gem.

 

Wow Ive never seen someone so strongly opposed to a Renix. Other than the closed cooling system and the vac front axle, its got the same engine block, trans, tcase, and axles as a 91-01...

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