I've had a thing for jeeps for a while but always put it on the back burner as I used to drive 100+mi a day for work. I finally took a new job, moved, and bought a '12 GTI Autobahn and am looking to pick up a jeep to have a little fun with.
So I started looking back around Christmas as I’d rather drive the Jeep in the winter instead of my GTI but all the Cherokees in my area are either rotted, have 160k+ miles or the seller wants a crazy amount of money for them. There is a used car dealer near me that is selling three of them (99, and 2 98s) each with 170k miles and he’s asking $5900 for them. I tried looking for a private deal but I’ve run into the same issues with those.
So, last week I started taking a new (shorter) route to work and low and behold, there is a Cherokee Country in someone’s driveway with a for sale sign on it. I got the number and called them on my lunch break yesterday. I talk to the seller who is an older gentleman and he gives me the details: it’s a 1997 Cherokee Country, leather and all that good stuff (no sunroof ), 98000mi, replaced the following: muffler, brakes, shocks, plugs, wires, cap and rotor, and fresh oil, and he’s asking $2500 for it. I get off the phone and I’m thinking that there is surely something wrong with it. So I stopped to look at it on my way home from work (very cold out) and I talked with the seller for a few minutes and he just tosses me the key and says “go take it for a ride and check it out”. I open the hood and poke around, it’s a little dirty but no major issues are visible, there is a little oil at the back of the valve cover but not much else. I feel the block to see if he had warmed it up but its ice cold. So I hop in, and it fires right up and sounds just as it should. While it warms up, I got under it and looked around; there is ZERO rot, but a little oil on the TC. I’ve been around cars all my life so I don’t have an issue fixing things myself. The rear main seal (2 piece) on these seems easy to replace, so I’m not worried about that. After looking around, I hop in it again, and go for a spin. Drives great (needs an alignment though), 4x4 works great, all the electronics work, ABS light is on (I’m not worried about that, CT only does emissions). I wasn’t able to get on a highway, but I got it up to around 50 or so and didn’t notice any issues. I tried to hit a few bump/potholes to listen/feel for anything wrong but it was solid. So I went back to talk money, and he’s firm at $2500 but wants it gone ASAP. I told him that I’d get cash and would be back tomorrow (today) to pick it up.
Do you guys have any thoughts, comments, or derogatory remarks in regards to the Jeep? I was told by a buddy of mine who has a 98 XJ to buy it and not look back. But, I figured that I would ask the pros before I pulled the trigger on it.