1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard C » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:58 pm

Richard Moss wrote:PS: My Cherokee's seats are filthy!
Yes they are, :mrgreen:
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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:22 pm

Time to get the steam cleaner out - after giving the S-Type a service.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:35 pm

Another job done on the Jeep - wheel spacers. After fitting the flared arches with the aim of giving more clearance for suspension travel, the bodywork is a bit wider and the wheels looked a touch lost. So, Ebay.com came to the rescue with a set of 1.25" aluminium wheel spacers at an attractive price (certainly better value than wider wheels and new tyres!)
Before and after pictures (taken in the dark because that's when the temperature drops to sensible levels - i.e. below 40C):
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In daylight:
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I also fitted the cupholder after adjusting the handbrake so that the lever doesn't foul on it:
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Now for a few more mods to the cooling system......coming soon.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:14 pm

The radiator fan shroud disintegrated a few weeks ago on an offroad trip. The problem is that with no shroud there is a lower volume of air drawn through the radiator. My local parts shop had one on stock, so that's now back to standard spec.
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The electric cooling fan is used to supplement the mechanical fan when the engine warms up and when the aircon is on. The original type of fan used up to 1997 had six, straight blades and was very noisy - mine especially so as the bearings in the motor were wearing out.
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The 1998-onwards fan has 10 curved blades and is supposed to move more air whilst being cooler. My local parts shop had them in stock at an attractive price so the old fan has been replaced by this:
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It's certainly quieter and smoother (less vibration) and does seem to move lots of air - I've no idea if it's more effective but it's worth a try. I was going to fit one to replace the mechanical fan because that is supposed to be the best setup but unfortunately my uprated radiator is thicker than the original and there is not enough space between the rad and the belt pulley on the engine. Bum (although I may be able to create more space using the drive pulleys from a Grand Cherokee).

Lastly for now, the chrome plated moldings around the headlights were cracked and broken so I bought some cheap, black ones and sprayed the grille black to match. I've never liked the chrome look so I'm much happier with this, especially now that it matches the flared arches.
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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:19 am

Next stage in the attempt to keep it cool:

On the last three or four trips out the XJ has cutout due to an overheated Powertrain Control Module (the engine management computer). Once it had cooled down it started and ran alright - but spending 15-20 minutes in the hot sun, melting icecubes on a scorching PCM is not really what it's all about.

One problem that causes this can be faulty electrical capacitors in the PCM (3 capacitors in total). One solutions is to spend about $500 buying and shipping in a new PCM but a search on the internet threw up guidance about replacing these capacitors at a total cost of under $10 including shipping. So guess which option I went for! Last night I replaced the capacitors with new, upgraded ones, a job which took about 2 hours whilst working at a "relaxed" pace. The Jeep runs OK and after I thrashed it up the local mountain, Jebel Hafeet, to get it nice and hot it still started on the first turn of the key. However, I need a proper desert run to see if I can break it again :)

It's a really easy fix to do: remove PCM from Jeep, open it up, scrape waterproof sealant away from around the capacitors, desolder the old ones, solder in the new ones (make sure they're round the right way), seal wih silicon sealant and refit PCM. These photos come from jeepforum .com http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/cras ... cu-492597/

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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:59 am

Well, I did this capacitor and all seems well so far. I have tried to overheat the ECU on a trip on thursday afternoon and it didn't shut down on me - plus when I shut the engine off it restarted perfectly, which it didn't do before. Fingers crossed. Apparently the faulty capacitors also cause a loss of power and whilst the Jeep seemes to pull better from lower revs, my guess is that I am just experiencing a placebo effect.

I have done a couple of other jobs - no pictures yet.

One was to (finally) fit the polyurethane spring bushes to the rear leaf springs. This involves drilling out the old rubber bushes as well as removing the metal sleeves in which they sit. Lots of drilling, lots of noise, lots of chiseling out the sleeves but job now done. It was just as well really because the old rubber bushes were crumbling away and this was giving the rear end a wayward feel. It feels more taut now, but also more bouncy.

I had to have the steering box rebuilt last week because it had a lot of play in it and was leaking quite badly - as was the pump, it transpired. I had the job done by a trusted local garage and asked them to investigate a back end noise which turned out to be a knackered rear wheel bearing, so I had that replaced at the same time. These are some of the few jobs that I don't feel comfortable doing so I am happy to farm them out.

Something that I DID do for myself was fix the faulty electrically powered seat base on the front passenger seat. Actually, I didn't fix it, I just replaced it with a manual one :) - I bought a pair of wrong coloured seats from a scrapyard (beige instead of my grey) and swapped the base over. Whilst at it, I took a look at the driver's seat and was glad I did because I found no fewer than 4 significant cracks in the frame, a common problem on Jeeps of this era. A few minutes with my "stick" welder and all is well.

I still have the beige front seats and because they are a kind of heavy duty cotton weave material (which looks a bit like tweed) I am considering fitting them to my Grand Cherokee in place of the nylon covered ones in there at the moment. They'll need a damned good cleanup, though!
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:53 pm

Richard Moss wrote:Well, I did this capacitor swap and all seems well so far.
I spoke too soon. I got part way through a trip today and ran into the stalling/refusing to start problem. I'm now faced with 4 options:

a) sell it
b) replace the Powertrain Control Module with a new one at $300+
c) relocate the PCM to the inside of the car to (hopefully) keep it cooler
d) a combination of b & c

Right now, I just want to set fire to it.................
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:44 pm

14 October:

I had a think about the problem and remembered that whilst it's too old to have OBDII*(and therefore can be interrogated by my code scanner) it DOES have ability to store and show fault codes (thanks for the nudge). So, using the key ON-OFF-ON 5 times get the PCM to enter diagnostic mode and flash the CHECK ENGINE light and that gives me codes 11 and 62.

11 = Crank Position Sensor
62 = Service Indicator not working (not relevant to this)

So, the CPS is the new number one suspect! Good job I decided to play safe and order one.

As for moving the PCM inboard, looking at the loom it appears that unpicking the cable duct will give me enough flex to move it inside under the dash without cutting any wires. I'll just need to put a hole through the bulkhead to run the cable through. Great word "just" :)

15 October:
Today's little moment of joy - a really nasty vibration when under power. I think it's the universal joint(s) in the rear driveshaft/propshaft. There's always something.......but at least I have replacement joints on the shelf ready to be fitted.

16 October:
I looked at the rear propshaft (driveshaft) and the forward universal joint was completely shot. Repairs had to wait until this evening but were pretty straightforward. The photos below show the extent of the wear - the bearings were dry and completely trashed. What is annoying is that when it was in the workshop of "a certain well known local garage", I asked them to check out the vibration which I said was probably coming from the propshaft. I was assured that it was fine - yet 2 weeks later, here we are!

How it should be:
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How it was:
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It's interesting to note that I have always experienced experienced what I thought was clutch judder when pulling away from a standstill and just put that down to the usual XJ lack of refinement (Chrysler/Jeep please note: you can find "refinement" in the dictionary between "rattle" and "rubbish". The judder is now gone and so it must have been caused by the prop UJ binding.

The couriers tell me that the new Crank Position Sensor is "in the system" so it should be with me in a day or two.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:32 pm

Oct 18:
I adjusted the steering box yesterday to take out most of the huge amount of free play in it. The workshop manual says that you should remove the box from the car and adjust it "on a bench" but I didn't want all the mess of draining the PAS fluid so I just removed the airbox to adjust the steering in-situ. It seems a lot better now - it's certainly easier to keep it moving in a straight line.

I also changed the crankshaft position sensor today. It's a bit of a fiddly job due to poor access (it's mounted on the transmission bellhousing) but unbolting the transmission mount lowered the whole thing down enough to give adequate access. Hopefully this will stop it cutting out when warmed up off-road. Whilst underneath I noticed that a few of the suspension control arm bushes are perished - so those will need to be replaced, too but that's an easy enough job and not too expensive.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:39 pm

I got round to replacing all the front suspension bushes last week - and it's made quite an improvement to the handling and steering (the old ones were well and truly shot). Each side of the axle has an upper arm and a lower one and with each having two bushes, that makes 8 to change. I also fitted new anti-roll bar drop links at the same time - it was not worth leaving them for another day (they were knackered, too). Removal and refitting involved undoing the bolts and beating the crap out of the old bushes with a big hammer and a chisel and then beating the crap back in :)

Here are some of the old ones:
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These are the shiny new ones in place.
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I also fitted some camber adjusting wedges to the rear axle (to straighten out the angle of the propshaft universal joints and reduce judder). I forgot to take photos but the modification has made it smoother to drive.

On Christmas Day afternoon I fitted a remote control central locking system bought from Amazon for about $18. It was dead easy to fit and uses the existing central locking system motors. It was so good, I'm going to fit one to my Grand Cherokee and Phillippa's Rover (when we're next back in the UK).

Next up - cracked exhaust manifold, blown downpipe gasket and (it seems) a front wheelbearing
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:27 pm

Manifold (partly) welded, down pipe gasket and wheel bearing replaced. However, the crankshaft rear oil seal failed out in the desert the other day - now sorted thanks to a local garage - along with the (overdue) oil and filter change plus a new sump gasket (also overdue) thanks to the long-standing leaks.

I finally pulled the pictures of my rear spring bushes off my camera - you can see why the handling was a bit suspect:

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Some "action" shots:

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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:00 pm

The Cherokee developed a very nasty vibration again a couple of days ago. Knowing that the universal joints in the driveshafts are OK, it had to be a clutch or transmission problem. So, off to the mechanic's's for another bout of surgery and back it comes with a new clutch and absolutely no vibration - it's the smoothest it's ever been, in fact. An unplanned expense but a good result.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:56 pm

I've also had a good, second hand steering box fitted to replace the massively worn original. The steering now feels as good as an XJ ever gets.

It's now officially for sale and a couple of chaps at work are interested. Hopefully it will be gone soon.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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