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Is this the last goodbye? - anyone in UK want a 1993 XJ?


NAXJA Forum User
United Kingdom
I've been a member of this forum for many years. I have browsed for advice and tech tips, posted help requests, and got a lot of useful help and support.

But I have reached crunch time with my XJ. It is - sadly - getting close to end-of-life. The dreaded rust has taken a hold. I don't have the skill or the equipment to tackle welding-repairs myself, and the cost of getting the work done by a pro would - I fear - be prohibitive. So I am mulling over what to do. It seems a waste simply to hand it over to a junkyard. But perhaps I ought to explain things in more detail.

The important point is that I am in UK, so probably the rest of this post is only of interest to British XJ enthusiasts and owners on the NAXJA forum.

I've had my Jeep from new. It is a US-spec, LHD, Cherokee Sport, 4.0 petrol engine, auto box, and basically unmodified. I deliberately opted not to have the electric windows, seats etc for practical reliability reasons. I bought it tax-free in Belgium in 1993 to take out to the Middle East when I was posted out there. So it spent the first 15 years of its life in hot, dry, sunny (rust-free!) countries. I drove it out from UK to Syria and back, then did the same trip London to Kuwait. We roamed the deserts, but did no muddy off-roading. The only significant mods were to remove the cat (as unleaded fuel wasn't available in that part of the world back in the 1990s) and to fit an auxiliary battery-charging circuit to run accessories when desert-camping.

We brought the Jeep back to UK in 2006 and settled in Scotland. Over the past 15 years it has been used for routine journeys locally (we have another car for longer trips). Over the years most of the usual items that wear out have been replaced: new front shocks, replacement rear leaf springs, a new radiator, conversion of aircon system from R12 to R134a, new petrol tank, and the other usual bits - brake discs, filters, etc. I also re-did the headliner some years ago when it started to sag. It has done 181,000 miles and I have its full service history with every single receipt and invoice on file.

The good news is that the mechanical components - engine, auto box and transmission - have been carefully looked after and are in excellent condition, as is the interior. The silver-grey metallic paint has faded badly in the sun. But the bad news is that the killer rust has got a hold at the rear of the sills where they join with the rear wheel arch and the floorpan, and rust is also eating away the quarter panels behind the rear wheels.

Repair would be a pretty extensive job: a lot of time and money. And as a 1993 vehicle, and LHD, it has zero resale or trade-in value to any dealer. The only alternative to scrapping it is to offer it for spares or repair (I don't have the scope or time to dismantle it and sell off parts via eBay). The current MoT certificate is valid until January 2023. Hence this forum post. I'd like to offer forum members/Jeep enthusiasts in the UK first option on it - probably either as a project for someone able to weld, or as a donor vehicle and parts-source. Collection would be OK (but NB I live near Inverness!) or I'd be willing to deliver it elsewhere in the UK by arrangement. Any sensible offers considered. If anyone is interested, send me a private message....

PS for Moderators: I did think I ought to post this in the For Sale forum. But it seems I do not have permission to post there. I cannot find the rules about this: can only NAXJA members who pay a subscription post in that forum?
Always sad when an XJ reaches this stage but especially one with such a history.

But, need it come to this? I had extensive repairs done to both sills on my '98 [in fact one had to replaced - cheap from Latvia (I think)] including some work to the inners a couple of years ago, cost about £400, albeit at "mates' rates".

As for the rear quarters, there's a cut'n'fold fix for that.

If all else fails, there's always eBay, where even scrappers, non-runners & those with no ticket for years can fetch good money.
You can always post in the international chapter or find a UK FB Group to pass it on to the next guy.
Cool jeep story, thanks for sharing. Driving to Syria and back sounds so weird!
Only you know how bad the rust is, and how much you can deal with.. but at the end of the day, it’s just a jeep. Metal and plastic, there’s plenty more out there if you really liked it.
Kudos for wanting to keep it among enthusiasts.
.. but at the end of the day, it’s just a jeep. Metal and plastic, there’s plenty more out there if you really liked it. . .

Not so many "out there" over here. They had pretty well disappeared from the roads altogether. They're crawling out of the woodwork now prices are climbing steadily & seem to sell - but you still don't see them driving around.
Well, an update for anyone who happens to read this thread. With a heavy heart, I have sold my XJ after 28 years of ownership. The finances just didn't stack up. Welding and replacing all the rusty areas would have cost a great deal of money (it's work I don't have the skill to do). New metal has to be welded to absolutely sound metal, and even the expert welders I spoke to would give no guarantees.

With 180,000 miles on the clock the engine is still brilliant and the rest of the mechanical bits fine. But it's LHD, so few potential buyers in the UK.

Anyway, I listed it online and found a buyer who reckons it's worth repairing and who may then end up exporting it to Europe. I'm more comfortable with that than seeing it cannibalised as a donor vehicle just for spares.

It's been a long, happy and rewarding relationship, and in the process I have learned a lot - not least from the great NAXJA community. So for now it's farewell. But maybe also au revoir: the enthusiasm for Jeep XJs hasn't disappeared. To adapt the famous phrase .... I may well be back!
Sounds like the best result in the circs. but I do understand how difficult it must have been to let go.

Don't be in any great rush to get a replacement, there's some out there for silly money but there are bargains to be had, just take your time & wait for the right one to turn up.