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(Rare??) 1996 jeep xj with the seat riser/crossmember like the 1997 model


NAXJA Forum User
I have a 1996 jeep cherokee country with a very late (10/96) production date. Despite the late 1996 date it still has the 84-96 body. My jeep does have the seat riser/ crossmember like the 1997+. Just wondering how rare this really is, and I've noticed additional problems with some electronics being shared with the 1997 but others still using the 1996 stuff.
A large number of planned upgrades were implemented throughout the 1996 model year manufacturing. Older revisions were installed until the parts ran out, and the production line implemented the new revision parts in their place. Everything got used up, nothing got thrown out. Early 1996 were more like OBD-I until the parts ran out, and later 1996 were OBD-II. Lots of 1996 parts are unicorn parts that were only used for the 1996 model year,

The new front seat mounting crossmember was implemented with the 1995 model year.
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Tim has it correct.

The companies who sell replacement carpets for XJs used to have it wrong, and for all I know still do have it wrong.

I suspect that seat crossmember is related to the move to airbags. I think engineering wanted the seat mounted in a stronger fashion to deal with the forces associated with airbag deployment.

At any rate, what you have is normal for 1996.
My ‘96 has this. It is not rare. I believe in ‘95 and afterwards the redesigned seat bracing was put in to help stiffen and strengthen the floorpan to lessen creaks and groans when going over bumps and ruts, and it adds a little more resistance in case of a side collision. 1996 is a “crossover” year and so the car
shares components and sensors with both pre, and post, 1996 models. The big ugly with this year is the fuel pump assembly as it is unique to this year only and it may be hard to find a good replacement in stock just when you most need one. I also think that the engine compartment wire harness and some of the sensors are unique to 1996, too.
Yes, that was introduced in 95, because I had to do some looking a few years back to find a new driver's seat bracket for my '92 which predated it (has all four mount points flat on the floor)