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Mission: Impossible


Eagle
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Or at least improbable.

 

After reading more and more about Toyota's problems, talking with my friend who is a VW dealer's shop foreman, and exchanging some e-mails with an e-friend who is a retired automotive engineer (who has NOTHING good to say about drive-by-wire), I have decided that I need to stockpile a couple of "newer" old vehicles while I still have a shot at finding them. Since my wife and I each have a 2000 Cherokee, with a granddaughter about to come on line as a driver I'd like to pick up another 2000 or 2001 XJ, to replace "Old Faithful" (my trusty but aging 1988 XJ). I'm limiting the search to 2000 and 2001 because those are the two years that did not use the crappy composite rotors on the front brakes, and because a 2000 or 2001 will be pretty much parts interchangeable with our other two XJs.

 

I'm looking for an automatic with Selec-Trac (the NP242 transfer case). The Selec-Trac is a must -- I want to be able to put it into full-time when the first snow flies and leave it there for the duration for the ladies. A Classic or Limited with the overhead console would be nice, but I'd consider a nice, clean Sport if I can't find one with the console. I don't want any "projects" -- this is going to be a daily driver for my granddaughter. I want a clean, straight, rust-free Jeep. I am in Connecticut but I'm willing to buy from a radius of at least a couple or few states if the right vehicle shows up and the right price.

 

I also don't want high mileage. We're talking ten years old, so at an average of 12,000 per year I guess 120,000 is about the upper limit, and I'd prefer less if possible.

 

Also looking for a 1991 or 1992 shortbed Comanche in decent shape. Again, I'm looking for rust-free (or nearly so) and straight. This will also be for a daily (or weekly) driver, not for a "project," so no heaps need apply. (I have enough of those already.)

 

If anyone knows of anything, please let me know ASAP.

 

Thanks

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DBW is one of thoses things that will keep me out of a JK. Even the best computer systems in the world can have a hiccup. I doubt what Chrysler/Fiat/US govt uses is even close to the best.

 

Check out old fleet rigs for an XJ. When I was searching for XJ's, it seemed that most of the fleet rigs had 242s but with no power accessories.

 

Good luck with your search. Keep us updated on your findings... Mostly because I am curious how much difficulty you have finding those rigs.

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i hear ya, i'm an auto tech and shop manager, the first time i saw that system a little over a year ago, i said there will be problems with these, i had one fail in a safe mode, where it would only go a few miles an hour no matter what. i said if it can fail safe like this, it can also fail unsafe with erroneous outputs.

 

anywho, i will never own anything like that, i will continue to drive my 90's jeeps. i would like to buy a nice dodge 2500 very soon but can't. i want to buy one before they get any older, i want a 96-98 or so. and they are just getting older and in worse shape.

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...but "cash for clunkers" was such a GOOD idea!!!!

 

:wall: :wall: :wall: :rant: :rant: :rant:

 

Prior to that crap, around here 2000-2001 XJ's were in the $2-3K range. Now, all you can find is one's in the 4-6K range. On the stealer lots they list them in the 8K neighborhood. :fs1:

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I don't care for the idea of DBW either, but being a current Chysler tech, Ive yet to see any problems ... at least with the Chrysler systems, and have only seen 2, in 4 years of working with them, that have failed in safe mode. They are installing them to keep throttle opening and closing speeds at levels that the computer system can keep up with to control emissions. Thats the same reason they want to do away with manual transmissions too. There is already too much of that happening already with the ever growing laziness of the american public. Dealers just don't want to carry manuals because they sit on the lot too long before being sold. Its just sad. :(

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Glad my '07 Aspen 4.7L is still good old drive-by-cable. Hemi is not.

 

'99 XJ is known as "the best year" of the XJ. No low pinion front axle and no 0330 crack prone head, yet all of the best updates and no "decontenting" of the later years. I would try to find a good low mileage '99. May be mission impossible in your area of the country. I would search the South. Good Luck :cheers:

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AFAIK the 99 XJ still used the composite rotors. I don't feel like replacing brake rotors every three months. Been there, done that with a '99 Grand Cherokee. Not doin' it again.

 

Sinkrun -- where is Rimersburg, PA? Eastern or western part of the state?

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AFAIK the 99 XJ still used the composite rotors. I don't feel like replacing brake rotors every three months. Been there, done that with a '99 Grand Cherokee. Not doin' it again.

 

Sinkrun -- where is Rimersburg, PA? Eastern or western part of the state?

 

I thought 99 was a transition year...I seem to remember you mentioning that in a post awhile back. When I bought new rotors for the 99, O'reillys had two different rotors for it. They looked like they were one-piece cast to me. :dunno:

 

Personally, I was avoiding getting an 00 or 01 to avoid the coilpacks and LP D30, but that's me.

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Eagle is a sharp cat, so I have a feeling he already knows all of the information regarding the 0331 (not 0330 as stated in a previous post) head issues. I'm going to throw in my two cents about the 0331 head casting because, well, this is a public forum and I have every right to.

 

The 0331 head casting was introduced to the 4.0L in the 1999 production year Grand Cherokees. I'm not sure if ALL '99 Grands received it, but a majority of them did. 1999 was a transition year for the XJ, but from what I have read and seen firsthand, a majority of the 1999 XJ's received the older 0630 head casting and few got the newer, "updated" 0331. It's glaringly obvious which head casting you have when you pop open the hood and see a long, slender coil pack covering the plugs and a much smaller cam position sensor stuck in the hole where the distributor used to go. There have been people who claim, although I've never seen it myself, that their '99XJ came with the 0331 head casting AND a distributor, which would be evident by the coil pack mount embosses on the head, itself, but no coil pack.

 

I've had the pleasure (and displeasure) of dealing with three 0331 head casting vehicles in my lifetime. The first was the original engine in my '01XJ (156k miles), which I bought on the cheap because it had severe engine problems. I assumed the head was cracked and coolant was mixing with the oil and it would be a simple head swap and I'd have the thing back on the road. I was wrong - that engine wound up spinning a rod bearing and there was no evidence of coolant mixing with oil and vice versa. Inspection of the head revealed nothing and even when I ran the spun bearing engine (which made me cringe every time), it never overheated. I wound up replacing the engine with one from a '98XJ with the 0630 head casting, which is NOT a direct swap. The exhaust ports on the older style head are much larger than the newer style, which means that the original exhaust manifold in my XJ was going to have some issues and I NEEDED to keep it because it's the ridiculous 4 oxygen sensor setup and I didn't need/want any CELs. I had an adapter plate machined for me and it has been running well ever since.

 

Next up was my cousins '01XJ with the 0331 head casting (153k miles). This car exhibited all sorts of weird overheating behavior that eventually left him with a blown head gasket. There was no evidence of a crack on the head, but I could definitely see oil mixing in with the coolant and it smelled awful. I'm not sure whether the head cracked or what, but I do still have that cylinder head and can do a closer inspection on it.

 

The last vehicle was from a '00TJ (130k miles) with, you guessed it, the 0331 head casting. This vehicle definitely had the head crack and it was very obvious - it could be seen with the naked eye. Coolant was in the oil and the car was exhibiting some overheating problems.

 

So, with all of that said, it seems as though the 0331 head casting is a hit or miss thing. I personally have one that went 156k miles without a hitch - something else went bad on that engine before the cylinder head could! Although, I also have evidence of these heads failing at a relatively low mileage. My theory is that if the coolant is not properly flushed and changed like it should be, the cars eventually get to a point where they overheat and THEN the owners choose to replace the coolant. I think that the 0331 head is sensitive to higher temperatures and will crack when taken to a certain temp a repeated number of times. That's my theory.

 

However, there are remanufactured 0331 heads out there on ebay that claim they address the cracking problem and they're really not that expensive (I think $360 shipped was what I was looking at at one time). I personally wouldn't hesitate to buy another 0331 4.0L again. If I keep the thing well maintained, it'll probably keep chugging along. If not, then I'll spend about $450 or so in parts/gaskets and I'll have a 4.0L that will last me another 100K miles easy. Granted, if I didn't go all of my own work, that would be a different story.

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AFAIK the 99 XJ still used the composite rotors. I don't feel like replacing brake rotors every three months. Been there, done that with a '99 Grand Cherokee. Not doin' it again.

 

Sinkrun -- where is Rimersburg, PA? Eastern or western part of the state?

 

I thought 99 was a transition year...I seem to remember you mentioning that in a post awhile back. When I bought new rotors for the 99, O'reillys had two different rotors for it. They looked like they were one-piece cast to me. :dunno:

 

Personally, I was avoiding getting an 00 or 01 to avoid the coilpacks and LP D30, but that's me.

I think '99 was a transition year, which is why I'm avoiding it because I could expend a lot of time and energy looking at '99s I wouldn't buy because of the brakes. I'm looking for a street Jeep, daily driver, not a trail machine. The low pinion front axle doesn't bother me at all for the purpose intended. And I have no problem at all with the coilpacks -- they're more efficient than a distributor.

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Eagle, I'm no help on your current quest but I'll keep my eyes out for ya. If in your search you happen to run across a 99-01 XJ Sport, 2-door BLACK 5-speed though, and you pass on it, let me know.

 

I want one of those (specifically), but that's not something you can order up at a used car lot/dealership, ya know? :yes:

 

Jeff

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