1998 Jeep Cherokee Limited Build Sheet

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Prologue

After we moved to West Virginia, we soon realized that winters would be a little more complicated.  Sure, it doesn't snow much more than in Maryland, but there's this little thing about West Virginia:  The only flat spaces in the area we live are shopping mall parking lots (carved out of the top of big hills) and pool tables in bars.

When it snowed the first time, we made do because we didn't need to go anyplace and of course, we had the TJ.   But my wife doesn't drive the TJ and her car (a Volvo V90) does not have 4WD.  So the driveway and the big hill to climb at the bottom of the driveway pose a real problem in the snow. 

Driveway - Click to Enlarge

Maria wanted a 4WD vehicle.   We priced the Volvo XC-90 and decided that we didn't want another car payment that much...  Also the nearest Volvo dealer is almost two hours away so the practical aspects of ownership would have been a bit protracted.

Not Gonna Happen.... (this year...)

That left us with a bit of a dilemma.  Maria has grown accustomed to her station wagon with leather and every imaginable power option.  We weren't real fond of the Grand Cherokee, and I wouldn't consider anything like an Explorer, Bronco, Blazer, etc.  And the mass of AWD SUV's just didn't seem like the way to go.  That left me thinking that the Cherokee was worth a look.

I did a little shopping and turned up something that had everything Maria would like:  All the features of her Volvo V90 AND 4WD.  The additional bonus was the fact that it was considerably less expensive than a number of other options we considered. a 1998 Cherokee Limited.

1998 Cherokee Limited

So I stopped and picked it up and took it out for a test drive.  I drove to the house and got Maria and the kids and let her drive it back to the dealer.  She was a little tentative in the snow and needed some help the first time down the driveway but I think that will come with experience.  The rest of the way out of the neighborhood, she started showing us that she was getting the hang of it, mainly relaxing and enjoying the added capability of a 4WD vehicle in the snow.

So we took the plunge...   It needs an idler pulley (sound familiar?), perhaps a battery, and the alternator is suspect.  But with a 12 month guarantee, I think we'll get that sorted.

Factory Options (Where I started) | Chronology of Changes

Category
Tires and Wheels Remote Start GPS Clean-Up Speaker Replacement Satellite Radio Fog Lamps
Tires and WheelsBFG All Terrain T/A KO Avital Remote GPS V Cherokee Eclipse SE8365 Delphi Roady XT Jeep Cherokee Aftermarket (OEM clone) Fog Lamp

 

Information

I have always carried a map case in my vehicle.  Gradually my requirements for maps evolved to a need for more detail.  With my involvement in off-road excursions, this led to topographic maps and compass.  In addition, personal safety, survival and vehicle maintenance information takes on greater importance.  I wanted to carry reference materials that covered these areas adequately so that I would be prepared with a source of information that would help me deal well with unexpected situations.

Navigation

Maps and compasses are great tools for navigation.  And generally they are adequate for most trips.  Indeed, for many years I was able to do quite well just using maps.  But once I started pushing deep into the woods, I realized that I needed to be a lot better equipped.  And since I like to return to places that I found enjoyable, I wanted to have a precise way to record the route for future reference.  Enter the GPS and related software.

Safety

It's easy to forget about being safe when we're having fun.  We almost never think anything bad is going to happen.  And most of the time we're right.  But when something goes wrong, it pays to be prepared.  I have injured myself far from home, had my vehicle break down or burn, and have several times found myself in a position of having to choose between staying in my car all night or trying to walk out.  All of these experiences have convinced me to be as prepared as I can be for a wide variety of encounters where the personal safety of me or my family is put at risk.  A good first aid kit, fire extinguisher and other items can make a big difference when the unexpected happens.

Communication

There are four levels of communication that I tried to address with the preparation of my Jeep:

It is important when striking out into unknown territory to have the ability to communicate with your group and the outside world.  It is important to be able to get broadcast information from regular and weather radio so that travel plans can take current conditions into account.  And even basic written communication with pen and paper have great usefulness for note-taking and record-keeping.

 

 

Miscellaneous Readiness Items
Navigation
GPS V
OBD II Code Reader Shop Manual Communication
cp9135b.jpg (3509 bytes) Shop Manual

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1998 Cherokee Limited

 

Air Conditioning

Aluminum/Alloy Wheels

AM/FM/Cassette Audio System

Automatic Locking Hubs (4WD)

Automatic 4-Speed Transmission

Bucket Seats

Center Console

Cruise Control

Digital Clock

Dual Front Airbag Restraints

Intermittent Wipers

Keyless Entry System

Leather Seats

Leather Steering Wheel

Lighted Entry System

Luggage Rack

Overhead Console

Power Brakes

Power Door Locks

Power Driver Seat

Power Mirrors

Power Steering

Power Windows

Privacy Glass

Rear Window Defroster

Rear Window Wiper

Sunscreen Glass

Tachometer

Tilt Steering Wheel

4.0L I6 OHV 12V FI Engine

15 Inch Wheels

Trip Computer

Digital Compass

Outdoor Temperature Reading

 

   
   
   
   
   
Intermittent Wipers  Keyless Entry System 
Leather Seats  Leather Steering Wheel 
Lighted Entry System  Luggage Rack 
Overhead Console  Power Brakes 
Power Door Locks  Power Driver Seat 
Power Mirrors  Power Steering 
Power Windows  Privacy Glass 
Rear Window Defroster  Rear Window Wiper 
Sunscreen Glass  Tachometer 
Tilt Steering Wheel  4.0L I6 OHV 12V FI Engine 
15 Inch Wheels Trip Computer
Digital Compass Outdoor Temperature Reading

 

Air Conditioning Aluminum/Alloy Wheels
AM/FM/Cassette Audio System Automatic Locking Hubs (4WD)
Automatic 4-Speed Transmission Bucket Seats 
Center Console  Cruise Control 
Digital Clock  Dual Front Airbag Restraints 
   

 

 

Specifications
Type: Compact SUV
Where Built: United States
Dimensions
Exterior
Length: 167.5 in. Width: 69.4 in.
Height: 64 in. Wheel Base: 101.4 in.
Ground Clearance: 8.1 in. Curb Weight: 3354 lbs.
Interior
Front Head Room: 37.8 in. Front Hip Room: 54.8 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 54.7 in. Rear Head Room: 38 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 55 in. Rear Hip Room: 44.3 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.4 in. Rear Leg Room: 35 in.
Luggage Capacity: 32.9 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 69 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5
Performance Data
Performance
Acceleration (0-60 mph): 9.1 sec. Braking Distance (60-0 mph): 145 ft.
Road Holding Index: .73 g Base Number of Cylinders: 6
Base Engine Size: 4 liters Base Engine Type: Inline 6
Horsepower: 190 hp Max Horsepower: 4600 rpm
Torque: 225 ft-lbs. Max Torque: 3000 rpm
Maximum Payload: 1150 lbs. Maximum Towing Capacity: 2000 lbs.
Drive Type: 4WD Turning Circle: 35.1 ft.
Fuel Data
Chili Pepper Red Pearlcoat
Fuel
Fuel Tank Capacity: 20 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway)
Manual: 17 mpg / 20 mpg Automatic: : 15 mpg / 20 mpg
Range in Miles: (City/Highway)
Automatic: 300 mi. / 400 mi. Manual: 340 mi. / 400 mi.

 

xxx

Powertrain

4.0L(244.1cu.in.) I-6 OHV SMPI 12 valve engine
Electronic ignition
I-6
Unleaded
117 amp HD alternator
500 CCA battery
4-speed electronic automatic transmission with overdrive
Transmission lock-up
Part-time four-wheel drive with manual transfer case shift, auto locking hubs
3.55 axle ratio
Stainless steel exhaust
Federal emissions

Steering and Suspension

Hydraulic power-assist rack and pinion steering
Front disc/rear drum brakes with front vented discs
Front non-independent suspension
Front anti-roll bar
Front coil springs
Rigid rear axle
Rear multi-link suspension
Rear anti-roll bar
Rear leaf springs
Front and rear 15.0" x 7.00" silver alloy wheels
P225/75SR15.0 OWL AT front and rear tires
Inside mounted compact spare tire
Steel spare wheel

Seating and Interior

Capacity of 5
Bucket front seats
Adjustable front head restraints
Center front armrest with storage
4-way adjustable driver seat with manual reclining, manual fore/aft
4-way adjustable passenger seat with manual reclining, manual fore/aft
Removeable full folding rear bench seats
Premium cloth faced front seats with vinyl side and back
Vinyl door trim insert
Full cloth headliner
Full carpet floor covering
Carpeted floor mats
Deluxe sound insulation
Simulated wood dashboard insert

Safety

Center high mounted stop light
Dual airbags

Dimensions and Capacities

 

 

Powertrain

4.0L(244.1cu.in.) I-6 OHV SMPI 12 valve engine
Electronic ignition
I-6
Unleaded
117 amp HD alternator
500 CCA battery
4-speed electronic automatic transmission with overdrive
Transmission lock-up
Part-time four-wheel drive with manual transfer case shift, auto locking hubs
3.55 axle ratio
Stainless steel exhaust
Federal emissions

Steering and Suspension

Hydraulic power-assist rack and pinion steering
Front disc/rear drum brakes with front vented discs
Front non-independent suspension
Front anti-roll bar
Front coil springs
Rigid rear axle
Rear multi-link suspension
Rear anti-roll bar
Rear leaf springs
Front and rear 15.0" x 7.00" silver alloy wheels
P225/75SR15.0 OWL AT front and rear tires
Inside mounted compact spare tire
Steel spare wheel

Seating and Interior

Capacity of 5
Bucket front seats
Adjustable front head restraints
Center front armrest with storage
4-way adjustable driver seat with manual reclining, manual fore/aft
4-way adjustable passenger seat with manual reclining, manual fore/aft
Removeable full folding rear bench seats
Premium cloth faced front seats with vinyl side and back
Vinyl door trim insert
Full cloth headliner
Full carpet floor covering
Carpeted floor mats
Deluxe sound insulation
Simulated wood dashboard insert

Safety

Center high mounted stop light
Dual airbags

Dimensions and Capacities

 

Door Count 4 doors
Maximum Cargo Volume 69.0cu.ft.
Exterior Length 167.5"
Exterior Width 69.4"
Exterior Height 66.7"
Wheelbase 101"
Front Tread 58"
Rear Tread 58"
Turning Radius 17.9'
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 4,901lbs.
Curb Weight 3,181lbs.
Front Gross Axle Weight Rating 2,500lbs.
Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating 2,700lbs.
Payload 1,151lbs.
Max Trailer Weight 5,000lbs.
Drag Coefficient .52
Front Legroom 41.4"
Rear Legroom 35.0"
Front Headroom 37.8"
Rear Headroom 38.0"
Front Hiproom 54.8"
Rear Hiproom 44.3"
Front Shoulder Room 54.7"
Rear Shoulder Room 54.7"
Passenger Volume 95cu.ft.
Interior Cargo Volume 32.9cu.ft.
Interior Cargo Volume w/Seats Folded 69.0cu.ft.



Exterior Features

Fully galvanized steel body material
Body-colored bodyside insert
Body-colored bodyside cladding
Body-colored fender flares
Black side window moldings
Black front windshield molding
Black rear window molding
Black door handles
Body-colored grille
4 doors
Liftback rear cargo door
Roof with roof rack
Dual power remote black folding outside mirrors
Regular style mirrors
Front and rear body-colored bumpers
Front body-colored bumper rub strip
Rear step bumper
Sealed beam halogen headlamps
Monotone paint with body accent stripe

Warranty (months/miles)

Bumper to Bumper 36/36,000
Major Components 36/36,000
Rust Through 60/100,000
Roadside Assistance 36/36,000

 

Highlights

Subtle styling revisions for the 1997 version of the Cherokee wagon did not disturb the popular model's well-established character. Though substantial, the design alterations enhanced but did not alter the overall slab-sided look. Up front, the grille and front fascia were new, as was the bumper. Bodyside moldings were revised, and wheel arches now flowed into the front and rear bumpers. A new stamped-steel liftgate had hidden hinges, a new outside handle, and an inside pull strap.

Inside, a revamped interior now included a passenger airbag, as well as one for the driver. Sound insulation was increased. A new central panel housed climate controls and the radio. New lighted power mirrors and power-window switches were installed. A new overhead console contained a storage compartment. Also new were a 5-function trip computer, and a center console with cupholders.

The Cherokee was available in base SE form with a 4-cylinder engine, as the midlevel Sport, or in top-of-the-line Country guise (the latter offered only as a 4 door model). Powertrains were unchanged. The 4-cylinder engine came only with manual shift. Standard in the Sport, the 4.0-liter inline six could have either the standard 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic transmission. Country wagon had the 4.0-liter engine and automatic only. Antilock braking was optional with the 6-cylinder engine.

Cherokees came with rear-wheel drive or a choice of 4-wheel-drive systems. Command-Trac was a part-time system for use only on slippery surfaces. Available only with an automatic transmission, SelecTrac 4-wheel drive was a full-time system that could also be used on dry pavements.

Year-to-Year Changes

1998 Jeep Cherokee: A new model and two new badges arrived for '98. Model choices now included the SE, Sport, and a new Classic (positioned above the Sport in price and features). The Cherokee Limited (replacing the Country) was now a Classic option group, not a separate model. Only the SE and Sport came in 2-door form. The 4-cylinder engine could team with a 3-speed automatic transmission. as an option instead of the usual manual gearbox. Engineering changes included a quieter steering gear and aluminum radiator.

1999 Jeep Cherokee: Minor appearance revisions to the Sport model were among the few changes for 1999. Sport models got body-colored exterior trim (sand-colored models got matching alloy wheels). New options included heated front seats for Classic models, and Chrysler's Sentry Key theft-deterrent system for Sport and Classic.

2000 Jeep Cherokee: Now considered a separate model rather than an option package, the Cherokee Limited got fancier this season. Special features included a chrome grille and headlight surrounds, and a chrome rear license-plate brow. The 6-cylinder engine was revised for quieter running and reduced exhaust emissions, while the automatic transmission was modified to yield smoother shifts. New standard features included brighter headlights (also said to be longer-lasting), a cassette player, and rear child-seat anchors. Newly styled 16-inch wheels went on the Classic and Limited. Now in its 17th year on the market, Cherokee would see only one more season before giving way to a new Liberty model, arriving for 2002.

2001 Jeep Cherokee: Cherokee dropped its 4-cylinder engine and base SE and uplevel Classic models for 2001. Both remaining models gained rear child-seat anchors.

Road Test Evaluation

Chrysler Corporation (now DaimlerChrysler) has done an admirable job of keeping a basically solid design fresh enough for today's tougher market. Most models that date back to 1984, as the Cherokee does, would have faded away long before.

Cherokee's 4-cylinder engine provides only adequate acceleration with the 5-speed manual transmission, and is overmatched with automatic in anything other than gentle cruising. Of course, most Cherokees on the market are 6-cylinder. That engine is strong throughout the speed range, and delivers fuel economy typical of a midsize SUV: about 15 mpg with automatic and 17 mpg with manual shift.

Cherokee suffers powertrain and road resonances that are absent in most competitive sport-utility vehicles. Wind noise at speed is prominent, too.

Good balance and tidy dimensions make the Cherokee quite maneuverable in most situations. The firm base suspension provides a solid ride that absorbs all but the worst bumps, without jarring. An "Up Country" option, if installed, makes for a rough ride. Optional antilock braking feels strong and natural.

A Cherokee really shows its age in interior accommodations. Less roomy than a Grand Cherokee or a Ford Explorer, it does carry four adults in comfort. However, the low-roof passenger compartment has no surplus of front shoulder room, a shortage of rear knee clearance, and fairly lofty step-in. Rear entry/exit is tight, too, thanks to narrow lower doorways.

On the plus side, the dashboard is modern and convenient. Outward vision is good, though larger door mirrors would help when lane changing.

Mounting the spare tire inside eats up cargo room, but there's still decent space with the rear seat in use, and a long load floor with that seat folded. An outside spare was available at Jeep dealerships, so look for one of that kind if cargo space is a major concern.

 

Value for the Money

Convenient 4-wheel-drive systems, commendable off-road capability, and civilized on road manners--for less than a Grand Cherokee or an Explorer--make the Cherokee an above average value. Despite an aging design and strong competition, Cherokees sold well in the late '90s and are not too expensive today unless you go for a fully equipped model. Still, Cherokee is behind the times in room, ride, and refinement.

 

Each vehicle report contains one rating table for a representative model. We rate in seven key areas: Performance, Fuel Economy, Ride Comfort, Interior Noise, Passenger Room, Cargo Capacity, and Insurance Costs. These ratings are given taking into account the "world" of vehicles, not a vehicle's standing in a particular class. In the ratings table, "1" is the lowest rating and "5" is the highest rating.
Consumer Guide Road Test Ratings
1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport Ratings
Performance 4
Fuel Economy 2
Ride Quality 3
Quietness 3
Interior Room 3
Cargo Capacity 5
Insurance Costs 4
Total 24

 


Specifications

Jeep Cherokee 4-door wagon
Wheelbase, in. 101.4
Overall Length, in. 167.5
Overall Width, in. 69.4
Overall Height, in. 64
Curb Weight, lbs. 3224
Cargo Volume, cu. ft. 69
Standard Payload, lbs. --
Fuel Capacity, gals. 20
Seating Capacity 5
Front Head Room, in. 37.8
Max. Front Leg Room, in. 41.4
Rear Head Room, in. 38
Min. Rear Leg Room, in. 35
Specifications Key: NA = not available; "--" = measurement does not exist.

NHTSA Crash Test Results

1999 Cherokee 4-door wagon
Crash Test Driver 3
Crash Test Passenger 3
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests a vehicle's crashworthiness in front- and side-impact collisions and rates its resistance to rollovers. Their test results suggest the chance of serious injury, while rollover resistance ratings are based on how top heavy the vehicle is and indicate the chance for rollover when the vehicle leaves the roadway. Front crash test numbers indicate: 5 = 10% or less; 4 = 10-20%; 3 = 20-35%; 2 = 35-45%; 1 = More than 45%. Side impact numbers indicate: 5 = 5% or less; 4 = 6-10%; 3 = 11-20%; 2 = 21-25%; 1 = More than 26%. Rollover resistance numbers indicate: 5 = Less than 10%; 4 = 10-20%; 3 = 20-30%; 2 = 30-40%; 1 = More than 40%.

 

Powertrain Options and Availability

Two engines have been offered: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder for the base SE, and a 4.0 liter inline 6-cylinder for other Cherokee models. Initially, the 4-cylinder model came only with a 5-speed manual gearbox, but a 3-speed automatic transmission has been available since 1998. Six-cylinder models could have a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

Engines

Size liters/
cu. in.
Horsepower Torque EPA city/hgwy Consumer Guide Observed
ohv I4 2.5 / 150 125 150 5-speed manual: 21/25

3-speed automatic: 19/22

5-speed manual: --

3-speed automatic: --

ohv I6 4.0 / 242 190 225 5-speed manual: 18/22

4-speed automatic: 16/21

5-speed manual: 17

4-speed automatic: 15

 

Notes: Engine Key: ohv = overhead valve; ohc = overhead camshaft; dohc = dual overhead camshaft; I = inline cylinders; V = cylinders in a V configuration; H = horizontally opposed cylinders; CVT = continuously variable (automatic) transmission; NA = not available; "--" = measurement does not exist.

Trouble Spots lists the many commonly occurring problems for a particular vehicle. In some cases we also give possible manufacturer-suggested solutions. In many instances these trouble spots are Technical Service Bulletins posted by the manufacturer, however we have our own expert looking at additional vehicle problems.

 

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner: The air conditioner gradually stops blowing cool air because the evaporator ices up. Replacing the low-pressure cycling switch usually fixes it. (1997-99)

Brake noise: Grinding and scraping noises under hard braking are caused by the driveshaft hitting the floor pan and is fixed by replacing the front lower control arm. (1997)

Brakes: The brake friction material transfers to the rotors (especially in warm, moist climates) causing brake-pedal pulsation when stopping. New pads should correct it. (1997-99)

Fuel gauge: The fuel gauge may show 1/8 to 1/4 full but the vehicle will run out of gas because of a defective sending unit that must be replaced. (1997)

Vehicle shake: Vibration at speeds over 60 mph may be due to a misaligned or defective driveshaft. (1997-98)

Windshield washer: Because of a bad check valve, windshield washer fluid drips from the nozzle for the rear window and can cause paint staining. (1997)

Average Replacement Cost

This table lists costs of likely repairs for comparison with other vehicles. The dollar amount includes the cost of the part(s) and labor (based on $50 per hour) for the typical repair without extras or add-ons. Like the pricing information, replacement costs can vary widely depending on region. Expect charges at a new-car dealership to be slightly higher.
A/C Compressor $470
Alternator $350
Automatic Transmission or Transaxle $1,215
Brakes $375
Clutch, Pressure Plate, Bearing $380
Exhaust System $395
Radiator $350
Shocks and/or Struts $410
Timing Chain or Belt $240
Universal Joints $270

 

NHTSA Recall History

1997: Accuracy of fuel-tank-mounted fuel-level sending unit can degrade over time, indicating significantly more fuel in reserve than is actually present.

1997-99: Front-disc brake rotors can experience severe corrosion if operated for extensive period in the "salt belt."

1997-99: Water and/or road salt in proximity of airbag-control module could lead to corrosion and possible inadvertent deployment.

1998: Due to improperly hardened front-seatbelt shoulder turning-loop anchors, front-seat occupant might not be properly restrained in a crash.

1998: Power-brake booster-vacuum reservoir diaphragm can split or tear, causing increase in engine-idle speed and loss of power assist during brake application.

2000: Debris can accumulate in the intake and exhaust manifolds, increasing the risk of fire.

2001: Some of the owner's manuals for these vehicles are missing instructions for properly attaching a child restraint system's tether strap to the tether anchorage.

 

 


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