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FS:Chicago: 98 XJ Classic - must see


NAXJA Forum User

Onward and upward: Selling our 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic

I picked this nice rig up last year from Wisconsin with just a little over 100,000 miles. The previous owner had picked it up cheap locally because it was in need of a little TLC. He replaced all the brakes, the radiator and hoses, cap, rotor, spark plugs, and the complete exhaust system including the header, catalytic converter, 02 sensors, muffler and all the piping. He used the Jeep as his hunting rig, and after bringing two deer out of the Wisconsin woods on the roof of the Jeep, the springs had sagged. He decided, rather than replace everything with OEM, he would use the opportunity to upgrade. So he installed a complete Rubicon Express 3.5” kit with full leaf springs, upper and lower fixed control arms, adjustable front track bar, RE shocks, an RE slip joint eliminator kit, CV driveshaft and RE second generation disconnects. Since the Jeep was in need of tires as well, and as he was lifting the Jeep he picked up a set of 16” Cherokee Limited wheels (I think they are from a Limited) and mounted a new set of
265/70 x16Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo’s. When he was all finished, he didn’t like the ride of his Jeep and decided he’d rather have a full size truck and put the Jeep on Ebay. That’s how it landed in my driveway. Fairly well refreshed with 2000 miles on its new lift kit and new tires.

After I acquired the Jeep I set out to set it up for some family wheeling and exploring. I also found the ride a bit stiff, so I replaced the RE shocks with OME’s. One front brake kept wanting to stick, so I replaced the calipers with a new set and another set of pads as the ones installed by the PO were noisy. While installing the front brakes, I noticed one front wheel had a little bit of slop, so I replaced both front unit bearings. And since I had the front end apart, I went ahead and replaced the front U-joints with Spicer 760’s.

Then, the new muffler that was installed by the PO developed a bit of a rattle from one of the internal baffles, so I replaced it with an off the shelf Dynomax unit.

The Jeep still only had the temporary spare tire when I bought it and I was intending to install a Detroit locker in the rear, so I knew I was going to need a fifth wheel and tire. On my way to work one morning, I hit a piece of steel and ruined on of the Bridgestones’ so that sealed the deal. I ordered a set of 5 31x10.50 BFG MT’s on classic black steel wheels (proper Jeep wheels) from Discount Tire and even a set of fresh lug nuts. It didn’t take long to find that a 31” tire won’t quite fit where the factory spare goes. So I came up with an idea for a tire carrier and went out to visit a talented friend of mine and he and built a nice, stout swing away tire carrier off the rear receiver rather than replacing the whole rear bumper. The finished product came out pretty darn nice and works like a champ and is rattle free.

Shortly after that I picked up a Detroit locker for the Chrysler 8.25 and had it installed by Rudy Martinez at fields Jeep using all new hardware. While he had it, the a/c clutch assembly was also replaced and fixed a little issue with the a/c not wanting to work occasionally.

At that point it seemed like everything was ready and we took off on a family adventure. Colorado, Moab, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, 4 corners and back home. 4000 miles in ten days and the Jeep performed absolutely flawlessly. Did scenic bypasses through Colorado, then did a couple of medium trails in Moab (fins-n-things and Kane Creek Canyon) and then we headed out into Canyonlands National part on the White Rim trail. Nearly 100 miles of dirt trail, with a camp out at the half way point. Down in the canyons, my friends Grand Cherokee was showing over 100 degrees all day long on both days, and as high as 113. And most of the time we were crawling along in low range with the windows up and the a/c cranking. And the Jeep never showed any signs of overheating or fatigue of any kind. She just kept on plugging away. Same goes for all her highway running. Out west at higher altitudes, she could use just a little taller gearing (still running stock 3:55’s) but all I really needed to do was take her out of OD and she was fine.

So that pretty much brings us up to now. Nearly 125,000 miles and I can’t think of another thing this Jeep could possibly need. She is set up perfectly for moderate wheeling / family adventures without being too unruly for service as a daily driver. Or it’s ready for someone to take to the next level. Gear her down, start cutting the fenders, lock up the front end, add some armor and head for the hard stuff.

Other items of interest:

·Still have the original 4 16” Cherokee wheels with 3 Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo’s in very, very good condition. Buy 1 new tire and you’ll have a complete extra set of street wheels and tires. Set of (4) 1” wheel spacers that move the tires out to where they look a little nicer and keep the front tires from rubbing the control arms at full lock included.
·Kenwood stereo with CD, Panasonic amp under the back seat and Cerwin Vega speakers in the stock locations with external tweeters.New Cobra CB with weather stations and a Little Wil mag mount whip antenna
·Front mounted tow hooks, rear receiver shackle and a lightweight tow strap
·Couple of spare parts I have laying around can go with the Jeep (front u-joint, front wheel unit bearing)
·COMPLETE set of 5 factory service manuals.

Overall this Jeep is in outstanding shape for her age and mileage. The paint cleaned up beautifully after the long trip, as did the interior and engine compartment. Believe me, after all the Utah dust, I spent many hours getting her all prettied up again. Is it perfect? Heck no. She has her share of door dings, rock chips and I did manage to rub the drivers side rocker coming out of Kane Creek. Nothing major at all. Nothing that truly takes away from the overall look. Seats are great, glass is great. One of the previous owners must have driven exclusively with their hand at 12 o’clock, so the leather on the steering wheel has a hole in that position. So the steering wheel could stand to be recovered.

Nothing to hide with this Jeep. I’d sell it to a best friend or neighbor without a worry in the world. If I lived 12 hours west of Illinois, I’d keep this Jeep forever.

Asking price in the window for the general public will be $7200. But if I can put this rig into the hands of another Jeeper, I’ll gladly take less.

I’m on the NW side of Chicago and I can be reached at 773.580.0968
Or drop me a line at [email protected]

My weekends are getting kind of busy, but I’m home most every evening after 5 pm.

More pictures at: http://public.fotki.com/tctsain/98-xj-for-sale/

The last photo there is from when I first got the Jeep and it shows the extra wheels and tires that I still have.

Thanks for looking!

I'd take a look but the book on this in EXCELLENT condition is only $4150.

I've found it doesn't matter what mods you've done, the best you're gonna get is the high end of the book value of what it would be stock.

PM me with your lowest possible and perhapes we can talk.
Rocketman said:
I'd take a look but the book on this in EXCELLENT condition is only $4150.

I've found it doesn't matter what mods you've done, the best you're gonna get is the high end of the book value of what it would be stock.

PM me with your lowest possible and perhapes we can talk.

In the market for another XJ are we Rob??? :looney:

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist another 1 for too long!'

How's the Toy coming along?


Nice XJ by the way, is it Chili Pepper Red?
The Yota is getting there. Just bought another 88 for parts and stripped out the almost mint interior trim, seat and dash along with the glass. Detroit locked rear 3rd member too!!! I'll pull and store the motor as a spare. The rest goes to the junk man. Not bad, all that for $350 Motor runs fine too. Drove it home from McHenry.

I have to say though, I miss the familiarity of my XJ. I know the 4.0 and every bolt and nut on one. The 22R (carburated) is stll unfamiliar. SO many vacuum lines and emissions thingy things. FIRST thing I bought was the FSM. Big difference. Getting a IFS front end lifted is a pain. Gonna do the the SAS and do coil-overs me thinks.
Hey all,

Thanks for all the kind words and back channel messages.

Took a down payment for the Jeep a couple of days ago, and the buyer just sent flight info this afternoon. That seems like enough of a done deal to say it is sold. It will be headed to Amarillo, Texas!

This has been a really tough decision for me, and I'm still struggling. Every time I see a picture of this Jeep, or even open the garage door, I want to keep it. Seeing this one go is going to hurt a little.

Congrats on the sale. How much did you get for your XJ? I have a 97' that I'm selling.