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So I stumbled across an ad for a 94 Grand Cherokee. Girl wants to trade for good dependable car or 2000 bucks. Just so happens I recently acquired an 02 Accord I don't really want. In good shape worth about 2k.

I've been thinking about getting an XJ. This is a ZJ. 4.0 automatic. Girl doesn't know what version of the 4wd she has. I think the select Trac is the one I want but I can live with Quadratac. I believe either will get replaced as soon as they mess up.

Do I want to mess with a ZJ? It's got all the fancy electronics on it but they don't run the engine. It is an HO motor. Anybody know what I need to look for when I go take a look. Some off-road magazines like them. Are parts and lifts, etc easy to get...cheap? I've read some questionable things about the transaxles being weak. Unlike my 2wd MJ, this one will see mud and hills.

 

89 Comanche

Eliminator

2wd

4.0L

5 speed PukeGoat

Factory Original

 

 

 

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ZJs don't have transaxles. The auto tranny is a Chrysler, and it's not the greatest. Rear axle in the V8s was an aluminum "Dana 44" that may be the only rear axle in the world that's worse than a Dana 35. I don't know if the 6-cylinder ZJs got the aluminum Dana 44 or a Dana 35.

 

94s were prone to rust-out. Check the entire undercarriage carefully.

 

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I have an '88 XJ with a D35 that has 287,000 miles on it and it has been driven off-road. My red '88 Comanche also has the D35 and has been driven off-road. I would take a D35 before that POS aluminum "Dana 44" any time.

 

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I bought a 95 Grand Cherokee new and drove it for 23 years.  357K miles. Straight 6 they called "bullet proof"    Never had to go in the engine but those mid 90's models were known for transmission failures.  When the transmission failed for the third time, I decided not to throw money at it. Having a rebuilt transmission installed would have exceeded the value of vehicle. Loved it though.  Great for driving and the ride.  Lots of room for hauling or a trip. I think those early years looked better than those that were tweaked and came later. Never any rust. The rear ends are known for "roaring" but I never knew anyone that had to do anything about it. You don't mention the mileage but trans issues can come at 100K.  Jeep did have a free retrofit for the transmission; something electrical if my recall is right.  FYI, there are a few Jeep salvage places in eastern NC.  Have a look at Watsons Jeep Salvage in Pinetown, NC

 

https://www.autoyas.com/US/Pinetown/119847385407967/Watson-and-Sons'-Jeep-Salvage

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I bought a 95 Grand Cherokee new and drove it for 23 years.  357K miles. Straight 6 they called "bullet proof"    Never had to go in the engine but those mid 90's models were known for transmission failures.  When the transmission failed for the third time, I decide not to throw money at it. Having a rebuilt transmission installed would have exceeded the value of vehicle. Loved it though.  Get for driving and the ride.  Lots of room for hauling or a trip. I think those early years looked better than those that were tweaked and came later. Never any rust. The rear ends are known for "roaring" but I never knew anyone that had to do anything about it. You don't mention the mileage but trans issues can come at 100K.  Jeep did have a free retrofit for the transmission; something electrical if my recall is right.  FYI, there are a few Jeep salvage places in eastern NC.  Have a look at Watsons Jeep Salvage in Pinetown, NC
 
https://www.autoyas.com/US/Pinetown/119847385407967/Watson-and-Sons'-Jeep-Salvage
My rims, steering wheel, and some inside trim pieces came from Watson's. Only 40 minutes from the house.

Yeah I'm not reading good things about the trannies or the OEM axles. It has 206k miles on it. Female owner doesn't seem to know a lot of detail about it. It's just a baby and people mover to her. She's looking for a smaller car. Says it runs fine and all the doohickeys work, but I haven't seen it yet. Pics look decent shape but they aren't prize winning photos either. Like any used vehicle, I'll check it out hard. I want a nice ride with some light off-road capabilities. I'm not doing the Rubicon with it. But it will see dirt and mud.

89 Comanche
Eliminator
2wd
4.0L
5 speed PukeGoat
Factory Original


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Those accords have tranny issues too. 
I’ve been having my 93 zj for a while now and i honestly am impressed. I really do like it. It’s just like an xj but more comfy and slightly bigger. Only Complaints is the trans can be a little iffy and the cheap plastics Chrysler used in the interior. But despite that it feels like a really solid platform with a lot of potential. 
If the 42re worries you the early years are easier to swap to a Ax15 if you’d like. 

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3 minutes ago, Manche757 said:

The 1994 Grand Cherokee did not offer standard transmissions, although they did in Europe.  Not sure how much trouble you want to go through to install the standard AX-15

They did in 93 through. And from what I’ve read the provisions for a master cylinder should still be there on the early years. :brows:

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Those accords have tranny issues too. 
I’ve been having my 93 zj for a while now and i honestly am impressed. I really do like it. It’s just like an xj but more comfy and slightly bigger. Only Complaints is the trans can be a little iffy and the cheap plastics Chrysler used in the interior. But despite that it feels like a really solid platform with a lot of potential. 
If the 42re worries you the early years are easier to swap to a Ax15 if you’d like. 
Yep, I put a 3000 dollar transmission in this Accord 2 years. Last summer I replaced the entire front end. Car was my son's school thru college ride. He got a new car last month and I took the Honda back to beat around in. I don't like beating around in it. Too low and too small for my 6 foot 5 inch legs.

89 Comanche
Eliminator
2wd
4.0L
5 speed PukeGoat
Factory Original


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I am not small either although not as big as you.  I think you will enjoy the Grand Cherokee.  It is a convenient height to get in and out of.  The auto transmission issue is that it will not shift from one gear to the next as it should, but hangs unengaged momentarily.   It will eventually go in gear but not right away.  

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