Need advice on buying a Jeep Cherokee





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  1. #1
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    Default Need advice on buying a Jeep Cherokee

    Hi All,

    I have been looking at buying a sub R80k Jeep Cherokee 3.7l V6 auto.

    So I need some advice about a 2002 Jeep Cherokee V6 (with under 150k km) I took for a test drive.

    I have seen and test driven a couple of Jeeps KJ's but this one just seemed different (in a good way )

    I'm happy with the overall condition , both inside and out. Few nicks and scratches as expected but overall have a good feeling about the vehicle.

    The under carriage looked clean (except #1 below), the engine and engine bay looked free of oil leaks or oil splatter ...

    But a few issues are slight worry :

    1] slight oil sweat on the sump.

    2] whining noise from the right front wheel at speeds from around 60km/h.
    He said he checked it out and it is the tyre with uneven wear.
    I'm thinking worst case it is wheel bearings, any idea how expensive ?

    3] I put it 4wd on gravel , then back to 2wd on tar, but when taking a U turn felt like hop or something but after that no issues on other turns.

    4] Gas struts on bonnet needs replacing.

    5] Service History is only partial but say he just did a service. Oil looked clean... At what mileage do you have to do the auto tranny oil change ?

    Any advice ?

  2. #2
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    The best advice is to have a Jeep Indy have a good look at it, even if you have to pay a few bucks. Then you'll know what your up against.

    I think American SUV is one of the Indys up there

  3. #3
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    Hay bud, i was in your possition a few months ago, search my posts and it should answer most of your q`s...i am anal about research etc and i did my home work....bang for buck the 3.7 is the best out there....best of luck and thanks to the boys on here who helped me make my mind up

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    I agree with XJ Junkie and Jay4.

    Best to have it checked out by an independent if there are questions.
    Did the last service come with a list of things done?

    1] leaking oil seal maybe?

    2] Not sure - could be a few things - tyre, bearing or maybe coming from front drive shaft? prices will differ from dealership to independent workshops.

    3] Could have been tyre rubbing? What size tyres and wheels?

    4] Common issue on all Jeeps. Heavy bonnet smallish struts.

    5] If I'm not mistaken - Schedule A is regular driving. Manual says check it every 48000k's and replace if dirty or old and then it says Replace at 196000k's Schedule B - stop go traffic replace at 96000k's

    If you like it take the Jeep to someone else to have checked out - even if it costs you some bucks. Also before settling on the first one, at least go drive one other one even if outside your budget to compare.
    Hope this helps, good luck!
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  5. #5
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    Thanks all,

    Quote Originally Posted by Nox View Post
    2] Not sure - could be a few things - tyre, bearing or maybe coming from front drive shaft? prices will differ from dealership to independent workshops.
    If it is the uneven wear on the tyre making the whine, then I should be able to move the tyre to the back and the whine should move to the back, right ?

    If it stays at the front then there must be something else, right ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nox View Post
    3] Could have been tyre rubbing? What size tyres and wheels?
    He says he got oversize 265 tyres (was getting dark at that point so couldn't confirm but they looked big) ...
    but I think would like to change them back to factory standard 235 or 245 whichever it is ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nox View Post
    5] If I'm not mistaken - Schedule A is regular driving. Manual says check it every 48000k's and replace if dirty or old and then it says Replace at 196000k's Schedule B - stop go traffic replace at 96000k's
    There's a dip stick right at the back of the engine, infront of the firewall, is that the transmission dipstick ?

    Will also take a few more on test drive to get a feel for what a good KJ should drive and feel like ....plus it's a helva lotta fun

    Thanks once again ....

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    Driving a KJ self, Actually Swambo...

    1. Maybe no issue, gasket replacement easy, just check the breather pipe for excessive oil.

    2. Sugest to put the spare on then all whine should be gone

    3. Agree with tyre rub, those wheel wells are "very small", could also have been disengage of TC

    4. Have them regassed, as the right size are scarce outside the STEALERS, this is an issue with these.

    5. 132k KM service is what they call a "tap en sap" loosely translated is all oils incl tranny and TC drained and replaced.

    Dipstick at the rear is for tranny oil, just check for metal filings, and levels when hot after test drive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by riaanh View Post
    Driving a KJ self, Actually Swambo...

    1. Maybe no issue, gasket replacement easy, just check the breather pipe for excessive oil.

    2. Sugest to put the spare on then all whine should be gone

    3. Agree with tyre rub, those wheel wells are "very small", could also have been disengage of TC

    4. Have them regassed, as the right size are scarce outside the STEALERS, this is an issue with these.

    5. 132k KM service is what they call a "tap en sap" loosely translated is all oils incl tranny and TC drained and replaced.

    Dipstick at the rear is for tranny oil, just check for metal filings, and levels when hot after test drive.
    Great points all round.

    z_offroad

    265's are very wide for the KJ stock Max without rubbing or little rubbing would be 245/75/16 and even then it's touch and go. 245/70/16 will be biggest safe bet without lift. So unless Jeep is lifted and or pinch welds are hammered down you will def get rubbing withe the 265's-no doubt about it.

    riaanh is right that it could have been TC disengaging though.

    I would try the spare on that wheel as riaanh sugested and see if noise goes away.
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    Cool, thanks guys.

    So I'm sure then that the rubbing issue be the reason for the wear on the inside of the front tyres.

    And if the whine is due to the front tyre, could I just replace the front ones with 245/70/16 and leave the back on 265's or would the difference in grip mess up any traction control (don't think it has any ?) or 4wd system , ABS etc...

    I also noticed the radiator water bottle looked browish, would that be an indication of anything or is it just the colour of the anti-freeze ...

  9. #9
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    Could be that you are actually hearing the front tyre rubbing as you are driving and that is causing the whine.

    Maybe it can work to replace only the front 2.
    I would replace all 5 tyres if I where you with either 245/70/16 or 235/70/16. Remember you also have that spare. At least you will know it's proper and not retreads and you will have +- 65 000 or so out of them. no need to worry for a long time.
    Maybe talk to the seller / dealer. To replace all the tyres.
    Think someone more knowledgable than me with tyres can answer that better.

    Brownish radiator bottle should be fine -not too brown! Think all of them I have seen on most vehicles - except new - has that brownish tint
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  10. #10
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    radiator fluid should be more orange than brown, brown normally means time to change. I would do it anyway, only use MOPAR fluids with the Jeep. Silverton can drain and change for you, just bring your own fluid from the dealer with you. About R450 all in.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks guys,

    so to confirm, no matter where you service your Jeep (HOME , uncle BOB , dealership) you always use MOPAR fluids for engine , tranny , TC , diff , coolant etc....

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    Hi, There is a tread on here under GeeTee's name about the fluids. But yes, mopar for all the fluids except the engine. You can use any oil of 10w40 or 20w50. For the gearbox only use atf+4. Castrol does have a atf+4 but its more $$$ than mopar.
    The noise in front can be front diff, wheel bearings or tyres.
    A wheelbearing costs R3500 at the dealer, and about R2200 from Summit Racing.

    When you buy a 3.7l, have about R10 000 in your budget for a proper fluid service, engine service, tyres. And then enjoy the jeep for the next few years without worries.
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    Thanks Bulli,

    Any idea what's involved if it is the front diff and rough costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by z_offroad
    Thanks Bulli,

    Any idea what's involved if it is the front diff and rough costs.
    Another question for you guys. If the front diff is whining what happens when you switch from 2WD to 4WD would it get louder or stay the same.

    Thanks, and sorry for all the questions. It's an education on DRIVETRAIN for me 😄.

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    The front diff recon worked me out for the parts and oil just over R2000.
    The labour i did myself in the workshop.

    The crown wheel and pinion you will never get wasted in the front, so it is basically all the bearings. The noise will increase slightly when under load(selecting 4H). The reason for this is that the front hubs doesnt disengage when in 2H so the complete assembly runs with the front wheels and is only disengaged at the transfer case.
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    Z just to add to the tyre rubbing issue. this is Swambos on 235/70/16's:

    I cannot get a finger in between the well and tyre, yes I dont have the smallest hands, but still......

    We have a "test track" about a km from where I stay in Centurion, so take it for a test drive to Centurion
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    Quote Originally Posted by riaanh View Post
    Z just to add to the tyre rubbing issue. this is Swambos on 235/70/16's:

    I cannot get a finger in between the well and tyre, yes I dont have the smallest hands, but still......
    Wow riaanh, that not a lot of space hey?
    I have 235/70/16's and I have a lot more space than that. I can basically get 2 hands stacked in there.
    What tyres are those?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by z_offroad View Post
    Cool, thanks guys.

    So I'm sure then that the rubbing issue be the reason for the wear on the inside of the front tyres.

    And if the whine is due to the front tyre, could I just replace the front ones with 245/70/16 and leave the back on 265's or would the difference in grip mess up any traction control (don't think it has any ?) or 4wd system , ABS etc...

    I also noticed the radiator water bottle looked browish, would that be an indication of anything or is it just the colour of the anti-freeze ...

    As for the tyre width be aware that the 265 wil not only be wider but will also have a larger profile. the 70 part in 245/70/16 indicates the profile and is a percentage of the width of the tyre. So a 265/70/16 will be just over 1" larger in diameter than the 245/70/16.


    For the fluids use only MOPAR ATF+4 for the gearbox but don't be too worried about the engine and differential oil. MOPAR wanted around R400/l for 80W90 diff oil and I need just over 3L. You'd be crazy to pay that. Buy the additive from MOPAR if you have a LSD and use a same-spec diff oil from WM Penn, Castrol, Valvoline, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nox View Post
    Wow riaanh, that not a lot of space hey?
    I have 235/70/16's and I have a lot more space than that. I can basically get 2 hands stacked in there.
    What tyres are those?
    Just to clarify: Two hands meaning thickness, not width?
    Agreed, but this image was with the wheels turned to the left about 80% of full circle, as was the the scenario scetched by the O.P.
    With both wheels facing straight forward, yes agreed there is "some" space, unfortunately not enough to fit my bakkie 31X10.5 or the other Jeep 33X12.5's, now that would have been fun having the 33 Muddies on there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by riaanh View Post
    Just to clarify: Two hands meaning thickness, not width?
    Agreed, but this image was with the wheels turned to the left about 80% of full circle, as was the the scenario scetched by the O.P.
    With both wheels facing straight forward, yes agreed there is "some" space, unfortunately not enough to fit my bakkie 31X10.5 or the other Jeep 33X12.5's, now that would have been fun having the 33 Muddies on there.
    Yes thickness. I.e not much space but more than the pic you posted, but it was fairly straight. Will check at full circle. I did have a look at the pinch welds. Also the whole mudguard is basically plastic underneath so lots of mods one can do to fit tyres in the front at least. Did not check the back.
    But yeah all in all not much space without lifting it unfortunately.
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