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1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility SE 4D 4x4 6cyl


 
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searcherrr
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Joined: 02 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility SE 4D 4x4 6cyl Reply with quote

1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility SE 4D 4x4 6cyl
I went with my Dad today to look at one of these to buy for the sole purpose of a "dog walk" vehicle. For a mere $3000 he could have a 4x4 to go in the spillway with. Anyway, I basically wanted to get some comments from people on what the weak points are and/or what something could be from my descriptions.


  1. It has 140k miles on it.
  2. Its automatic with the 4x4L and H drive.
  3. The front windows are roll up manuals and the rears are electric which is strange to me.
  4. The gas and speedo gauges seem to intermittently work. Cause?
  5. Steering it feels like steering a boat. The response is pretty late. Is this typical/normal? Just alignment? Steering wheel? Just new struts/shocks?
  6. Does it normally shift harsh in 2W or 4W drive? I have never driven one like this before so I don't know, but it seemed abnormally harsh to me from other cars/suv's I've driven.
  7. What does "PART TIME" mean when the 4W drive is engaged? Shows up on the dash.
  8. What is involved in fixing the Oil Leak if its the rear main seal? What are typical leak points for this vehicle? What other gaskets or whatevers would need to be bought and replaced during this repair if its the rear main?
  9. Whats the tire pressure supposed to be? Why'd it seem like the rear tires (on concrete) were making a lot of noise when going slow turning in parking lots?
  10. A/C seemed barely cool enough.
  11. BIG TIME.... BIG TIME.... OIL LEAK all over the bottom? Typical? Rear main seal? Oil pan? Whats do most of you see?
  12. Brakes seem to respond late, but I'd imagine seeing as the brake fluid looks like muddy water its never been flushed and probably needs new pads/rotors.
  13. Probably leave the transmission alone right? Probably never been flushed and would lose it if I flush the fluid? Does this thing have a special fluid setup in the back and front since its 4 wheel?


For the problems mentioned assuming those are "all" and knowing this will not be a vehicle driven anywhere else, but the spillway for walks with the dog would this be a reasonable investment?

Thanks so much !
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ThePhantum
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:56 am    Post subject: Re: 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility SE 4D 4x4 6cyl Reply with quote

searcherrr wrote:
1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility SE 4D 4x4 6cyl
I went with my Dad today to look at one of these to buy for the sole purpose of a "dog walk" vehicle. For a mere $3000 he could have a 4x4 to go in the spillway with. Anyway, I basically wanted to get some comments from people on what the weak points are and/or what something could be from my descriptions.


  1. It has 140k miles on it.
    The 4.0L is a rock. It will go twice that if properly maintained.
  2. Its automatic with the 4x4L and H drive.
    Which means it has the NP231 Part time transfer case (see below for Part time and full time descriptions)
  3. The front windows are roll up manuals and the rears are electric which is strange to me.
    That is odd. Are there controls for the rear windows on the driverside door?
  4. The gas and speedo gauges seem to intermittently work. Cause?
    Most likely a bad ground someplace.
  5. Steering it feels like steering a boat. The response is pretty late. Is this typical/normal? Just alignment? Steering wheel? Just new struts/shocks?
    It is a truck...but with 140K miles on it, new tie rod ends might be in order.

  6. Does it normally shift harsh in 2W or 4W drive? I have never driven one like this before so I don't know, but it seemed abnormally harsh to me from other cars/suv's I've driven.
    Again, it is a truck. Although, 4WD will shift a little harsher than 2WD.
  7. What does "PART TIME" mean when the 4W drive is engaged? Shows up on the dash.
    Part Time means that it should only be used on loose surfaces (i.e. - not on pavement). Full Time means it can be used on any surface. Not all 4WD Jeeps have a Full Time option.
  8. What is involved in fixing the Oil Leak if its the rear main seal? What are typical leak points for this vehicle? What other gaskets or whatevers would need to be bought and replaced during this repair if its the rear main?
    http://jeepin.com/features/rearmain/index.asp
  9. Whats the tire pressure supposed to be? Why'd it seem like the rear tires (on concrete) were making a lot of noise when going slow turning in parking lots?
    The sticker on the inside of the drivers door will tell you the pressures. If memory serves, stock pressures were around 35 psi or so.
  10. A/C seemed barely cool enough.
    Have it charged
  11. BIG TIME.... BIG TIME.... OIL LEAK all over the bottom? Typical? Rear main seal? Oil pan? Whats do most of you see?
    See rear main seal above
  12. Brakes seem to respond late, but I'd imagine seeing as the brake fluid looks like muddy water its never been flushed and probably needs new pads/rotors.
    You answered your own question. Wink
  13. Probably leave the transmission alone right? Probably never been flushed and would lose it if I flush the fluid? Does this thing have a special fluid setup in the back and front since its 4 wheel?
    Check the tranny fluid. If it's red and does not smell burnt, then it's been changed before and changing it again will not hurt anything. Do not do a flush. As far as "special setup", change the t-case fluid and the fluid in the front and rear diffs.


For the problems mentioned assuming those are "all" and knowing this will not be a vehicle driven anywhere else, but the spillway for walks with the dog would this be a reasonable investment?

Thanks so much !

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jppilot61
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not positive that 1998 are as susceptible to this but is very common oil leak at the Oil Filter Adapter (under where oil filter spins on) o - rings take on quite a seat and when it begins to leak it GOES EVERYWHERE!

Might be worth look into?

Take heed to what ThePhantum stated! He is the MAN! (ok, at least when it comes to XJ's!)
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RE6130 4.5" XJ Super-Flex Kit
RE1801 Slip Yoke Eliminator Kit NP231
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440_Magnum
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Joined: 18 May 2008
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility SE 4D 4x4 6cyl Reply with quote

[*]It has 140k miles on it.

Just broken in good :-)

[*]The front windows are roll up manuals and the rears are electric which is strange to me.

Hmmmm.... Front doors have been replaced with junkyard doors at some point? That one would make me give it a REAL close going over to see what all might have been replaced and why.


[*]The gas and speedo gauges seem to intermittently work. Cause?

That's an odd pairing to lose. Do they stop and start working at the same time? If so, then it might be an internal problem in the instrument cluster itself The cluster in the 97-01 XJs is computer-driven from the main powertrain computer (I just swapped mine over from the low-line "idiot light" cluster to the high-line full gauge cluster). There are two square electrical connectors that snap into the back of the cluster when you seat the cluster into the dashboard, once they lock in its hard to imagine individual pins not making contact. You can find the clusters in junkyards and on Ebay from $50 to $100+. If they stop working independently of each other, then the fuel gauge could be due to bad wiring, a bad sender, or a bad ground on the fuel tank unit. The speedometer could be due to bad wiring, a bad connection, or a failed speed sensor (which itself might explain the harsh shifting you mentioned elsewhere).

[*]Steering it feels like steering a boat. The response is pretty late. Is this typical/normal? Just alignment? Steering wheel? Just new struts/shocks?

That's sure not how I'd describe mine. Compared to a Viper it might feel boat-like, but I'd say an XJ in good shape should compare very favorably to any mid-line midsize car. Better than some, IMO. The ride can be "busy" because of the heavy suspension, shortish wheelbase, and solid axles, but handling on a smooth road is actually very very good. This, combined with the possibility of some doors having been replaced, makes me wonder if there was a wreck in this truck's past.

[*]Does it normally shift harsh in 2W or 4W drive? I have never driven one like this before so I don't know, but it seemed abnormally harsh to me from other cars/suv's I've driven.

Mine's a 5-speed, but I've driven several with the automatic and I wouldn't call them "harsh," esp. not in 2wd mode. In fact my gripe with the stock Asin-Warner automatic used in most of them is that its way too much of a "slushbox" than it needs to be and should shift MORE firmly. Of course I'm more of a muscle-car fan and I like to chirp the tires on shifts, so my tastes are a few standard deviations off the mean. But still, if you're calling an AW automatic "harsh," then its not quite normal IMO.

[*]What does "PART TIME" mean when the 4W drive is engaged? Shows up on the dash.

Part time means that the front and rear driveshafts are locked together to rotate at the same speed (iow, no center differential). Engaging this mode on pavement (unless its slick, wet, or snowy pavement) will cause pretty bad driveline bind-up and potential damage. Its really for low-traction situations (offroad or snow) ONLY.


[*]Whats the tire pressure supposed to be? Why'd it seem like the rear tires (on concrete) were making a lot of noise when going slow turning in parking lots?

Tire pressure should be on a placard on the end of the driver's side door (assuming stock tires and wheels). Noise could possibly be from a very stiff limited-slip rear differential.

[*]A/C seemed barely cool enough.

Mine doesn't seem to have a super-duper powerful AC system (at least not compared to my wife's 93 Vision sedan, which has the equivalent cooling power of a 5-ton home system and will blow you into the back seat and freeze yer nads off) but it is entirely adequate and about the same as most rental cars I get these days. If its not making you comfortable within 5-10 minutes of driving, its got a problem.


For the problems mentioned assuming those are "all" and knowing this will not be a vehicle driven anywhere else, but the spillway for walks with the dog would this be a reasonable investment?

Seems pretty rough for $3k to me, but thats JMHO.
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Toliver09
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Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Location: Central Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i bought a jeep with the similar problems for $1200 Sad
spent a little over $300 to get it going right

New-
Tranny fluid & filter
New Valve Cover Gasket
New Oil Pan gasket
new oil filter adapter seal
new PCV valve
new cap & rotor
new fuel filter
new fluids in both diffs and in tcase

It doesnt leak ANY oil now, but I have a leak in a tranny cooler line, but I can make a new trans cooler line so no biggy.
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Brad The Best
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Location: Kamloops B.C Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is there oil on the top of the engine also ? find what level it starts at or what side if its not on drivers side it might be the oil filter . main ones are valve cover , oil filter , oil pan and crank seals . valve cover one is basically free because its just RTV silicone , the filter is around 12$ . the seals and gaskets are more like 70$ to buy a good gasket and seals however . and more of a job . if your not sure do the cheap ones first . the clean spot is were its leaking from its called washing .

i run 42-44 psi in my tires , its on the side wall of the tire . never had a problem with uneven wear on them .

steering clunk at all? other wise i wouldn't worry about it , pump whine ?

give that thing back i will sell you my 89 Cherokee for 3 grand with a spare tranny diff, t-case and even a engine block with a head if you wanted . not a problem with mine at all , and new tire rod and drag link on the shelf .

i guess you pay for the year . thats probably cheap in canada , more like 4-4500 up here
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searcherrr
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Joined: 02 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all who have responded I will try to answer all the questions. I appreciate everyone's time. Dad is still interested in this same Jeep although I've been trying to get him interested in others he says the others are too nice for what he wants it for.

14. Another problem I didn't mention is it won't start in Park unless you pull the shift lever to the rear most "Park" position while turning the key. Do these things have neutral safety switches? If so I'd imagine thats what this is.

15. ABS light remained on (been a while now; it may have been the Air-Bag light) for a while and then went away during driving.


Answers:
1. There are electric switches at the driver door for rear windows and not for the front ones.

2. Thanks very much for that tutorial on replacing the rear main seal and of course the rest of your bullet addressing.

3. I didn't notice enough times when the gauges stop working, but it did seem to be same time.

4. No I guess once you are going the ride is ok while you are on the road, but the steering is DEFINITELY LATE. It is very close to a small boat's response in the water.

5. I want one of those nad freezing 93 Vision Sedan A/C's. Smile

6. Thanks Toliver09 for that run-down. Thats a good list. Just hope I can get my Dad to entertain those things. I would.

7. I did not see oil on the top side seals of the engine, but I didn't look that long/hard either. Its kinda cramped in there. I didn't check the fluid levels either cause of all the other stuff I was paying attention to, but it doesn't matter.... if the fluid was low its gotta be fixed.

8. Steering doesn't clunk..... just seems loose like a boat response..... kinda freaks me out cause it being loose of course gives the impression that you could just lose control of the vehicle one day. No pump whine.
Brad - I doubt you live near me, but thanks. My Dad wouldn't go for long distance and would wanna drive it first.
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searcherrr
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confirm for me please: There are no 4x4 Jeeps with 4 cylinders right?
4 cylinders are always 2WD?
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Confirm for me please: There are no 4x4 Jeeps with 4 cylinders right?
4 cylinders are always 2WD?"


No. There are lots of 4X4 2.5 liter 4 cyclinder Jeeps out there.

Tim
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Brad The Best
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Location: Kamloops B.C Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

with the steering , i would try and drive another cherokee and compare . they don't steer like most vehicles . i get in cars and i get freaked out because of the steering .

get some one to turn the wheel and watch the steering linkage , see if anything moves .

its probably just a jeep , otherwise i would think its the pump or box , nothing else really affects how fast it steers aside from tire pressure . check oil in the pump ? drivers side front of the engine .

try changing the brake fluid . suck out the old stuff put in new fluid and bleed it till its clear clean fluid , see how the abs works . light should come on at start up , its a self check .

they have neutral safety switches there is a how to if you search for it .
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Toliver09
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Location: Central Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

almost all solid axle vehicles feel "loose" when turning. lift the front end of the jeep up and push/pull on the steering components and look for looseness. almost try to wiggle the wheels with your hands, left right up and down. if there is play left/right the tie rod ends need replaced. if there is play up/down the balljoints are bad.
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Brad The Best
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Location: Kamloops B.C Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toliver09 wrote:
almost all solid axle vehicles feel "loose" when turning. lift the front end of the jeep up and push/pull on the steering components and look for looseness. almost try to wiggle the wheels with your hands, left right up and down. if there is play left/right the tie rod ends need replaced. if there is play up/down the balljoints are bad.


i wish that was a sticky , i won't even type out how to check ball joints anymore im to lazy .
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searcherrr
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Joined: 02 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wanted to thank everyone who responded. We decided against the 98 one we were looking at and I stumbled across a wonderful 99 somewhere else. For more on that and the 1 problem we've come across with it go here:

http://www.jeephorizons.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=80630#80630

Thanks again so much!
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