Interested in learning a little more about your XJ?
Jeep Cherokee XJ 1984-1996
Designs of the XJ Cherokee date back to 1978 when a team of American Motors (AMC) and Renault engineers drew several sketches. A few clay models were based on the existing SJ Cherokee. Early sketches of the XJ Cherokee had a European influence, and most of the styling cues were done by AMC engineers under the direction of Richard Teague. The ongoing debate suggests that Renault sketch artists were involved right after the 1979 partnership with AMC. Noticing that General Motors
was developing a new two-door S-10-based Blazer, AMC decided to design
an entirely new four-door model, but worried about rollovers, Gerald C. Meyers hired one of Ford's best engineers, Roy Lunn to design what is known as the Quadra-Link suspension. François Castaing
developed the drivetrain using a much smaller engine than normally
found in 4WD vehicles and reduced the weight of the new model.
1984-1990 Jeep Wagoneer (XJ platform)
1994–1997 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) Sport (Australia)
The XJ Cherokee introduced in 1984 was the first Jeep with a ladder-boxed chassis integrated into a single monocoque unit rather than the traditional separate body-on-frame construction.
Both two- and four-door versions of the XJ Cherokee were offered
throughout its lifetime, each having exactly the same track and
wheelbase measurements. Two-door models, however, received longer doors
and front seats that could fold forward to assist in rear passenger
entry and exit. This was in addition to extended-length rear windows
that did not open, although an optional rear vent window was available
on some models. Its appearance has led some to mistakenly believe that
the two-door models are a short-wheelbase version of the four-door.
A variation on the Cherokee from 1984 through 1990 was the Jeep Wagoneer. These were unrelated to the similarly named full-sized Grand Wagoneer
models that had carried the Wagoneer name before this point. The
compact XJ Wagoneer was available in two trim levels: the "Wagoneer" and
the "Wagoneer Limited". Both Wagoneers were distinguished from the
Cherokee models by their two vertically arranged headlights on both
sides. The Wagoneer Limited came with vinyl wood trim on the sides and
leather seats embossed with "Limited."
This version was the first to be sold in Europe; it was launched in 1992 in some markets, 1993 for the United Kingdom.
Early versions had the 4.0 L (242 CID) six-cylinder engine only; the
2.5 L (150 CID) engine did not arrive in Europe until 1995.
In mid-1985, a two-wheel-drive version of the Cherokee was added to
the lineup. This marked the first time any Jeep product was offered with
two-wheel drive since 1967, and was done in the hopes of attracting a
few more buyers who didn't need (or want to pay for) four-wheel drive.
When the XJ Cherokee-based Comanche (MJ) truck was introduced, it was
also available in two- and four-wheel drive. The new two-wheel-drive
models shared the front suspension with four-wheel-drive models. Jeep
simply used a single axle tube from hub to hub with no differential
between, resulting in a low added cost front suspension.
American Motors's compact XJ Cherokee was to be replaced by a new and larger model known as the ZJ (later named the Jeep Grand Cherokee when introduced in 1993) that was under development by AMC.
However, the smaller model's continuing popularity caused Chrysler
executives to rethink this decision, and while the ZJ models were
introduced in 1993, the XJ models were retained until 2001. The Jeep XJ
has remained a popular choice by off-roading enthusiasts due to its
potent off-roading capability in stock form. Its popularity has resulted
in strong ongoing aftermarket support in the form of a wide variety of
products and upgrade availability.
In the early to mid 1990s, the Jeep Cherokee started becoming popular
for government and police use. The Cherokee AHB police package was
introduced during the 1992 model year. In response, for 1996, Jeep
released a special version of the XJ Cherokee SE for police and fleet
use. It featured no interior rear door handles and the 4.0L "Power-Tech"
High-Output Inline Six-Cylinder Engine with 190 horsepower.
Jeep Cherokee XJ 1997-2001
1997-2001 Cherokee Sport 4-door
1997-2001 Cherokee Sport 2-door (Germany)
A 1997 Cherokee XJ on a rally in Morocco
After 13 years of production, 1997 saw the Cherokee receive updated
exterior and interior styling. Both the two- and four-door bodies
remained in production, receiving a steel lift gate (replacing the
fiberglass one used previously),a new taillight design, additional
plastic molding along the doors, as well as a new front header panel
that featured more aerodynamic styling.
The interior was similarly updated with an all-new design and instruments, and a stiffer unibody frame brought improvements to Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) measurements. Also contributing to NVH improvements were new door seals that reduced wind noise at higher speeds.
In the middle of the 1999 model year, vehicles with the 4.0 liter
(242 CID) engine received a much improved intake manifold. This was done
to help counteract smaller exhaust porting on the latest casting of
cylinder heads, which was done to meet more stringent emissions control
laws. Both the 4- and 6-cylinder engines were offered through the 2000
model year, though only the straight-six was available in 2001. For the
2000 and 2001 model years, all six-cylinder XJs received a distributor less ignition system using coil-on-plug ignition replacing
the 'traditional' system previously used; coupled with better exhaust
porting and the newer intake manifolds, this gave a minor increase in
power over the previous models. Transmission, axle, and transfer case
choices were carried over from the previous models.
However, major changes were underway with a new executive, Wolfgang Bernhard, who was known as a "cost-slasher" nicknamed "whirlwind", came from Mercedes-Benz to turn around Chrysler.
"One of the first moves Bernhard made when he came to Chrysler in 2000
was to help kill the Jeep Cherokee, an aging, somewhat bland SUV." Thus, the (XJ) Cherokee line was replaced in 2002 by the Jeep Liberty
(KJ), although it is called the "Cherokee" in most foreign markets. The
Cherokee (XJ) remains a popular vehicle among 4 wheelers who modify
such components as the suspension, drive train, and steering. When (XJ)
Cherokee production ended in mid 2001, the portion of the Toledo South
Assembly Plant devoted to its production was slowly torn down.
In 1997 the XJ Cherokee was still popular in police and government
fleets nationwide. As expected, production of the Cherokee Special
Service Package continued for the 1997 model year into the 2001 model
year. It still had the same features as the 1996 Cherokee Special
Service Package, but the engine now produced 195 horsepower, up 5
horsepower from 190. In 2001, when the XJ Cherokee ceased production and
was replaced by the Jeep Liberty, the Cherokee Special Service Package was discontinued. The Jeep Liberty
never featured a Special Service Package, however, police and
government agencies still used the Liberty in their fleets, and continue
to this day.
- Base - 1984-1993
- SE - 1994-2000
- Wagoneer - 1984-1990
- Briarwood - 1991-1993
- Pioneer - 1984-1990
- Pioneer Olympic Edition - 1988
- Chief - 1984-1990
- Sport - 1988-2001
- Country - 1993-1997
- Classic - 1996, 1998–2001
- Limited - 1987-1992, 1998–2001
- Laredo - 1985-1997
- Freedom - 2000
- 60th Anniversary - 2001
Available driveline components
- 1984-only : Borg-Warner T-4 4-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4 only, 21 spline output.
- 1984 – 1987 : Aisin-Warner AX4 4-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4 only, 21 spline output.
- 1984-only : Borg-Warner T-5 5-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4 and 2.8 L V6, 21 spline output.
- 1984 – 2000 : Aisin-Warner AX5 5-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4, 2.1 L I4 diesel, and 2.8 L V6, 21 spline output.
- 1987 – Mid-1989 : Peugeot BA-10/5 5-speed manual used with 4.0 L I6, 21 spline output.
- Late-1989 – 1999 : Aisin-Warner AX15 5-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4 diesel, 4.0 L I6, 26 spline output.
- 2000 – 2001 : New Venture Gear NV3550 5-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4 diesel, 4.0 L I6, 26 spline output.
- 1984–1986: Chrysler A904 3-speed automatic, used with 2.5 L I4 and 2.8 L V6.
- 1987–2001: Aisin-Warner AW-4 4-speed automatic, used with 4.0 L I6.
- 1994–2000: Chrysler 30RH 3-speed automatic, used with 2.5 L I4.
All the transfer cases used on the Cherokee were chain driven with aluminum housings. Command-Trac was standard on XJ models built with 4WD.
NP207 has the following settings:
NP231 has the following settings: 2HI, 4HI, N, 4LO
- 1984–1987: New Process NP207 "Command-Trac", part-time only, 2.61:1 ratio with low range
NP242 has the following settings: 2HI, 4 full-time, 4 part-time, N, 4LO
- 1987–2001: New Process NP231 "Command-Trac", part-time only, 2.72:1 ratio with low range
- 1987–2001: New Process NP242 "Selec-Trac", full-time/part-time, 2.72:1 ratio with low range
The Jeep XJ utilizes front and rear solid (live) axles as opposed to
independent front and/or rear axles. This configuration allows the XJ to
have superior off-road capability and performance at the expense of
some on-road comfort and driveability. Mid-1985 and later two-wheel
drive models used the same basic suspension with a single tube
connecting axle ends with no differential.
- 1984–1996: Dana 30,
High Pinion, Reverse Cut, 27-spline axle shafts (1989 – 1995 : with ABS
used 5-297x universal joints, non-ABS had 5-260x universal joints.
Certain XJ models were produced with constant-velocity joints instead of universal joints.)
- 1996–1999: Dana 30, High Pinion, Reverse Cut, 297x/760 universal joint, 27-spline axle shafts.
- 2000–2001: Dana 30, Low Pinion, Standard Cut, 297x/760 universal joint, 27-spline axleshafts.
- 1985–2001: Straight non-driven front axle for two-wheel drive only.
- 1984–1989: Dana 35, non c-clip, with anti-lock braking system (ABS) or non-ABS.
- 1990–1996: Dana 35, c-clip, ABS or non-ABS.
- 1997–2001: Dana 35, c-clip, ABS.
- 1991–1996: Chrysler 8.25", c-clip, non-ABS, 27-spline axleshafts.
- Late 1996–2001: Chrysler 8.25", c-clip, non-ABS, 29-spline axleshafts.
- 1987–1990: Dana 44, non-abs, 30-spline axleshafts.
Axle Gear Ratios
Jeep XJs came in several standard gearing ratios:
- 3.07:1, manual transmission, I6 engine.
- 3.54:1, automatic transmission, I6 engine with Dana 44 rear differential.
- 3.54:1, manual transmission, I4 diesel engine with Dana 35 rear differential.
- 3.55:1, automatic transmission, I6, V6 engines; manual transmission, I4 engine.
- 3.73:1, automatic transmission, I6, Tow Package, UpCountry Package.
- 4.10:1, manual transmission, V6; automatic transmission, I4 engine.
- 4.56:1, automatic transmission, I4, offroad or tow package.
The Jeep XJ utilizes a coil spring front suspension with a leaf spring rear suspension.
The Quadra-Link front suspension design locates the axle with four
leading control arms to control longitudinal movement and rotation about
the lateral axis (drive and braking reaction), two above the axle and
two below it. A panhard rod,
also referred to as a track bar, is used to locate the axle laterally.
Two coil springs are seated on top of the axle housing as well as two
gas-charged shock absorbers. The suspension used on vehicles with the
optional UpCountry Package provided one inch of lift over the standard
suspension. A sway bar is utilized to reduce body roll in turns.
The XJ uses a leaf spring rear suspension. Each leaf pack contains
four leaf springs with a fixed eye at the front of the spring and a
compression-style shackle at the rear of the spring. Two gas-charged
shock absorbers are also used, along with a mild anti-sway/anti-roll
bar. The suspension used on vehicles with the optional UpCountry Package
did not employ the rear anti-sway/anti-roll bar and provided one inch
of lift over the standard suspension.