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#1 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » 89 Jeep Sport w/4.0 engine » 09-21-2015 07:49:55

Make sure you check under the rear seat for rust. It's one of the places that seems to rust out the worst. I've seen numerous older XJ's with holes in the floor pan there. Check from underneath the vehicle if you can't look under the rug, you'll be able to see clear as day from underneath if there is a hole there.
The 4.0L is a good engine, even with mileage as long as it hasn't been too abused. Do the usual checks on the motor i.e. does the oil have water in it, color etc, cleanliness of engine compartment, oil leaks etc.
A lot of people that try to clean the engine up to hide oil leaks etc will not bother changing the air filter, check it out and see how dirty or if there is any oil there.
Good luck.

#2 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » upper bellhousing bolts » 09-14-2015 11:57:09

I suspect you are correct about the torx screws. I'll hafta get a bright light on them & use my cellphone camera to examine them.

as for the bearings ..... funny thing ....

I was so proud of myself after replacing the pistons .... I saw the temp creeping up on the highway and thought to myself -- the parts guy musta gave me the wrong temp sensor.

so.... I drove it at 75 MPH right up into the RED zone and didn't back off until I started hearing the pistons slap against the head. Pulled over and the engine was SMOKIN' hot. oil failure.

I had good oil pressure, right up to the point that the oil failed.

I don't know why it was running hot.

#3 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » upper bellhousing bolts » 09-14-2015 11:02:36

I've got the bombproof motor mounts (+1 inch) and a cross-member drop (-1 inch) so, I can get at them .... but .... I'm having trouble getting the socket (12 point SAE 3/8) to engage without walking off.

I think you are right about them being something other than 12 points... I'll hafta get a closer look....

#4 Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » upper bellhousing bolts » 09-14-2015 10:28:11

Replies: 5

DOH ---

I spun the mains on my 96, so, now I'm trying to take the engine out.

I've got it down to a naked short-block .... with the exception of those 2 3/8 inch 12 point capscrews at the top of the bellhousing.

so far I've managed to mangle them a bit, but, no loosening detected. Anybody near the Minneapolis Metro have experience with this challenge ? I'd happily spring for a 5 pack !!!!

any advice ?

#5 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » What causes this engine sound » 09-14-2015 09:26:13

Yep ... that's the sound mine made when the skirt broke off a piston last year.

#6 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » 2000 xj motor swap » 09-04-2015 15:12:17

I swapped a '99 Wrangler 4.0 into my '00 XJ.  All the accessories swapped over fine, but the exhaust ports are a pain, the '00 (331 head) has raised ports and it's exhaust manifold has issues with the old style ports.  It can be made to work, but it takes a bit.  My '00 is a CT car, but has the Cali emissions package with the 3 cats, 2 at the exhaust manifold, then the regular one.  I hear that makes a difference as the "49" state cars are supposed to be easier.

#7 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » Wet carpet and floor with holes in it - 96 Cherokee » 06-04-2015 11:06:14

If you do not have a sun-roof, I am 100% sure the cabin vent drain is plugged.

let me explain.

the air intake for the cabin HVAC is in front of the windshield (where the windshield wipers appear from the hood-line).

this forms a cavity that the heater/AC/vent blower motor draws outside air from. this cavity has a small-ish hose that drains water (to keep it out of the cabin during rainstorms)

dead debris (leaves, bugs, etc.) collects in the bottom of this cavity and plugs the drain tube.

most dealers recommend using compressed air to blow the obstruction free (from below). I find it is worth while to remove wiper arms & the grill work, then manually clean the fresh air intake cavity.

#8 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » funky timing issue » 09-30-2013 09:22:45

My thoughts are that the timing chain jumped a tooth. That would cause a misfire and the sluggish running. Here is what I would try doing: Grab a timing light, clip it on #1 plug wire as normal, and check the ignition timing. This is lots of fun on a 4.0 because you have NO room to get the light in where you need to, but I've managed to do it can be done. Do this with the distributor set at the normal index position, in other words where it would have been before you modified the tabs. If the timing is off more than a couple degrees, something moved- either the distributor is off a tooth (or more), or the timing chain jumped. Since it sounds like this came on suddenly, I would say the problem isn't in the distributor- they don't just jump a tooth unless there are NO teeth left, and you would have noticed that when you had the distributor out.

Next up, pull the timing cover and check the timing. I'm willing to bet its off.

If the timing looks normal with the light, try unhooking the exhaust in front of the cat to see if it clears up.

#9 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » Rear Yoke question » 09-29-2013 15:09:48

Keep in mind that this is for replacing a seal only...I read in a later post that you are replacing the yoke. My technique won't work for that, since any slight difference in the yoke depth will throw things off.

#10 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » Rear Yoke question » 09-28-2013 09:40:13

O.K., this is my backyard-mechanic technique, and its never failed...and some of the diffs I've done this to have been in service another 100k+ miles with no issues.

Use a sharp chisel and mark the nut and the end of the pinion gear that sticks out past the nut. You want to mark the orientation of the nut. Might as well mark the yoke too, and you can be 100% sure things are back as they were. Remove said nut, yoke, replace the seal, put the yoke back on, and tighten with a good impact gun (or looong ratchet) until the marks line up. You'll know when you are getting close, because the nut will get very tight just before the marks line up. I then tighten until just a few degrees past the mark, maybe 2 or 3 degrees past. This makes sure there is preload on the bearings again. Everything should be just as it was before the seal change.

#11 Jeep Cherokee XJ Suspension and Lift Discussion » Rear spring mount question » 12-12-2012 17:28:46

Replies: 3

I'm getting ready to fab up the rear spring mounts similar to my buddy's setup, but I may go slightly different. Since I'm lowering the mounts anyway, the mounts will be lower than the frame "rails". So I got to thinking. Why not take this a step further, and actually reduce the amount of fabrication very slightly, and move the springs inboard a bit and put the mounts directly under the rails? By doing this the rear axle will have more flex (more effective up and down travel of the tires for the same movement of the spring), and also let the tires move the spring easier during flex because the tire will be further from the spring, effectively softening the spring for articulation. When not flexing, the spring rate would be the same.

The downside to this is relocation of the tailpipe, removal or modification of the trailer hitch, and more lean in turns on the street. Street manners doesn't matter to me now, and I don't mind chopping up the exhaust even further than it already is. I was thinking that I could maybe modify the hitch to do double duty as a mount for the rear bumper and rear spring shackle mounts. I'd have to move the spring pads, but thats not a problem.

What do y'all think?

#12 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » Need a TCU » 12-12-2012 15:21:47

I thought there were a few offers for a TCU? I wish I had pulled it from the last XJ I pulled apart, but thats one thing I missed.

It won't wear anything in the transmission. You are just running it like an old non-electronic trans. Your MPG will be reduced a bit because of no lockup TC, and your engine will rev higher.

#13 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » Need a TCU » 12-11-2012 17:18:46

Yup...I think under $20 from Quadratec, or somewhere around there. No reason to take a chance at that price.

#14 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » Help! 1999 engine into 2000 XJ » 12-08-2012 09:11:12

Since you've seen the manifold against the gasket, you would have a better mentioned that the gasket sealing surface would be very thin once it was ground away. Would a couple careful beads of weld thicken up the flange enough to use it?

#15 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » Transfer case chain » 12-07-2012 14:19:55

I can't remember where I got my 2-low, but it was around $180 when I did it. If you ever decide to go with a SYE, and are looking for overall economy, the cheapest I did on my XJ was a kit I got that replaced the shaft, with new yoke, for around $180. The cheap part comes from sourcing the rear shaft- for an XJ with auto and 8.25 rear, a used stock FRONT shaft worked perfectly as a rear shaft. Additional cool part? You only need to carry 1 trail spare for front OR rear. Thats what I ran in mine with the 4" lift, and it never failed me.

#16 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » Inner fender wells » 12-07-2012 14:19:27

roofing membrane should be about right, ask around where to get some scraps. Soft and pliable, but strong.

#17 Re: Jeep Cherokee XJ Mechanical Questions » Help! 1999 engine into 2000 XJ » 12-07-2012 14:15:34

I thought the same thing about the 2000 XJs, because I think my '00 has 3 cats as well. I actually thought about modifying the '00 manifold to work with on my '98, but didn't realize the port issue. No, I wouldn't have used the 2 cats- I would have just used the flange and upper section and run dual exhaust. I had true duals on my old '85 CJ-7 258 and man, that thing sounded MEAN! duals through glass packs and turned down in front of the rear axle. Quiet during normal driving with just a little rumble, but get into it, and wow!

As for the original question...I was putting a '93 engine into the '00 XJ, but hadn't gotten to the exhaust yet, so I never came up with an answer. I like the idea of just sticking the extra sensors into the pipe with bungs- no reason it shouldn't work fine.

#18 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » Inner fender wells » 12-07-2012 12:41:10

How about just rubber? Is there enough metal left to provide shape? Just rivet it on.

#19 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » Keyless remote programming? » 12-03-2012 20:58:28

Yeah I looked all over when I had mine programmed and it definitely required the DRB scan tool to program the remotes for my 2000. I think it was something like 16$ when I had it done.

#20 Re: Off Topic Discussion » Tow vehicle dreams » 12-03-2012 20:58:06

Just keep a stack of lift pumps on hand for the 24v. My buddy bought a '99 (against my advice) and 3 months after getting it the lift pump went out. Nearly $400 later for an upgraded aftermarket pump (name brand, was supposed to be more reliable than stock) he drove the truck for about 3 weeks and the injection pump went, most likely because the lift pump starved it for fuel. $1800 later for an upgraded, more reliable injection pump. Less than a year after putting the lift pump in, it went out on him last week. Not sure if it will be covered under warranty, but if it starved that injection pump for fuel, he'll be out another $1800 there.

There really isn't any good argument for going 24v. With a $100 fuel plate the 12v will make more power than a stock 24v, get better mileage, and parts are MUCH cheaper...on the rare occasion you actually need to replace something.

#21 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » My lift and drivetrain » 12-03-2012 20:57:24

There were several different axle widths available. In the 70's you had: Cherokee, Cherokee Chief (wider), and Wagoneer. All were narrower than pickups, which were true full width. Cherokee Chiefs (and some Cherokees) used the same fender flares and overall track width of the pickups, but had narrower axles with different offset wheels.

Axles were a crapshoot. I used to pull apart quite a few FSJs, and it was always a gamble what axle you would get. In the 70's there was a Dana 27 front axle available (early 70's) combined with a 44 rear. later 70's got the front 44, and a few got a rear Model 20.

In the 80's there were 2 different style front 44 axles available: Vaccum disconnect or not. There was also the option of lockout front hubs, which can be put onto any of the FSJ axles. Just remove the chrome hub cover, pull out the splined lock ring, and replace with hubs. The disconnect axles have the disco on the driver's side, about where the spring perch is. Kind of hard to see, especially if the vehicle is stock height, so check carefully.

The best axles to swap into a downsize Jeep (XJ and YJ) are 80's Dana 44s, without the disconnect. For YJs, the front axle is almost a bolt-in, unless you want to go SPOA. For an XJ, there are lots of kits out now with all of the suspension brackets to put on your axle. Hardest part is making up a jig to align it all properly.

No, Chevy stuff doesn't bolt in. Outer axle parts are the same though- FSJ and 1/2 ton GM trucks used the same brake calipers, rotors, and spindles. If you want high-steer, you can bolt GM knuckles right in. I've seen a couple (very rare I think) FSJs with the flat-top knuckles.

#22 Re: Off Topic Discussion » Tow vehicle dreams » 12-03-2012 20:43:59

At the risk of offending someone out there whos a Ford fan, the Ford diesels have MAJOR issues. Its too bad the Cummins wasn't available in an SUV. You are good at wrenching, and taking on projects- you could always look for diesel Excursion with a bad engine (lots of them out there!) and swap in a Cummins. Check out for some info. Not cheap to do, but ny picking up a fairly low-priced used 12 valve Cumins motor (the most fuel efficient and reliable version) and a cheap Excursion, you could have well under $5000 between vehicle and motor. That frees up money for a swap kit. Too bad its so far from you, there was a local guy who was looking to unload his Excursion with a blown diesel, I think it went out for scrap though. Nobody around here has money to buy a replacement diesel engine, and the Fords are particularly expensive because they are in demand for replacing bad engines.

As for towing, you shouldn't have any issue finding a trailer for pulling two XJs. Even at 4500 lbs. each (a stocker weighs around 3300 iirc, so I'm leaving a lot of room for extras), you are only talking 9k lbs. Whats the length of an XJ, around 16'? Factoring in rear overhang, you could go with a trailer as short as 30'.

I just found this 2-car trailer, 34' long: … 4837dd1b64

#23 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » Keyless remote programming? » 12-03-2012 20:27:35

I am pretty sure you need to go to a dealer and have it programmed. I have a 2000 Cherokee Sport and I know that I couldn't program mine without going to a dealer. You simply have to have the device to program the remote.

I do believe older models of jeeps could program the remote by something like locking the driver door and turning the key to ignition or something, but that won't work for a 99.

#24 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » My lift and drivetrain » 12-03-2012 14:45:25

Oops....30....long day. :-) My Hemi left today. :-( Had to pull it and load it up for the guys who came for it. Its on its way to Toledo to find its way into a TJ.

#25 Re: General Jeep XJ Cherokee Forum » My lift and drivetrain » 12-03-2012 14:34:14

Won't work. In '79 the front diff was on the passenger side, opposite of an XJ. You also have to watch the rear axle...many of those had Corp. 20's in them. Look at the diff cover, if its perfectly round, then its a 20.

If you are seriously looking to upgrade, I could make you a good deal on a pair of axles from my '98. Front is a 35, has a Powertrax locker, rear a 8.25 with Detroit Trutrac. 3.54 stock gears. Rear has relocated spring pads & shock mounts, but could be put back to stock. I'd take $600 for the pair, thats less than I have into the lockers and they are already installed.

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