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Hey all! For the last couple years i have been reading up on wheeling, 4 wheel drives of all shapes and sizes and i'm just about ready to buy a jeep. I just have to get my truck paid off 1st. I have liked the XJ's since I saw them, i know i can get one for a good price but my question is, what is the best year of XJ to buy? Or does it even matter? I know that it will depend on prior maintanence, mileage, motor, etc. I really like the 97-00 year/models. I'm going to use the XJ for the winter months and during the summer when i head up to the mountains (i live in Colorado). I have my game plan lined up for what i'm going to do (lifts, lockers, armor, tires) for it but just want to get your guys' input on what year to go with, if it even matter?

You guys are awesome and i trust your input:thumbsup:. Thanks for the help!!
 

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Hey all! For the last couple years i have been reading up on wheeling, 4 wheel drives of all shapes and sizes and i'm just about ready to buy a jeep. I just have to get my truck paid off 1st. I have liked the XJ's since I saw them, i know i can get one for a good price but my question is, what is the best year of XJ to buy? Or does it even matter? I know that it will depend on prior maintanence, mileage, motor, etc. I really like the 97-00 year/models. I'm going to use the XJ for the winter months and during the summer when i head up to the mountains (i live in Colorado). I have my game plan lined up for what i'm going to do (lifts, lockers, armor, tires) for it but just want to get your guys' input on what year to go with, if it even matter?

You guys are awesome and i trust your input:thumbsup:. Thanks for the help!!
I have read that the 1999 is the top year for the Jeep XJ. After that there were problems through the 2001 final year.
 

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I have read that the 1999 is the top year for the Jeep XJ. After that there were problems through the 2001 final year.
Eh, yes and no.

1999 and 1996 are known as the two "best" years to buy for an XJ. '00-'01 brought the low pinion Dana 30 and the infamous 0331 head, along with a distributorless system, among a couple other things. Now for what it's worth, the LPD30 isn't ideal for offroading, but it's not terrible either. Most people end up swapping out a Dana 30 once they start to build crazy rigs, but for the amount of lift that a typical offroader adds, they're OK.

As for the 0331 head, it seems like a much more common problem than one should believe. Like Jason said in another thread today, you always hear about the cases where something has happened and don't typically hear about how something was normal. It's really not such a terrible curse. Granted if the head goes bad, you're in for a bit amount of work for a swap - but like I said, it doesn't happen as often as we think. I have a 2000 XJ with the 0331 head, with no negative issues at 110,000 miles. I bought it when it was 5 years old with 25,000 miles from an older guy, went from 25,000 to 110k miles between June '05 and August '08.

1997+ models could be opted with the C8.25 rear axle with 29-spline axles IF ABS was not equipped. If ABS was equipped on ANY XJ, then you're guaranteed to have the Dana 35 axle - regardless of year.

Some 1996 models could be had with the 29-spline 8.25 because it was the transition year for that axle from 27 to 29 splines.

IMHO, for the description of what you want your Jeep for, find the newest, best condition, lowest mileage XJ that you can afford to buy. If the best example of an XJ that you can find is an '01 then go with the '01, if it's a '98 then go with the '98, etc. Parts are readily avilable for these rigs, so fixing something that breaks or goes bad is easy. Since it was made in the USA, you can find parts for it at any autoparts store.

Good luck in your search.
 

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A few things ive researched.
In '95 the 4.0 got an improved intake manifold.
In '96 the 4.0 block was strengthend with additional webbing.
The '96 unibody was improved a bit.
In '97 the unibody was reinforced a bit more.
In mid '99 chrysler redesigned the heads, and they tended to crack.

Based on these factors the '95 thru '98/ early '99's offer a few improvements over previous years.

But , HELL, yanno theyr ALL good! :cheers::rock::bow:
 

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A few things ive researched.
In '95 the 4.0 got an improved intake manifold.
In '96 the 4.0 block was strengthend with additional webbing.
The '96 unibody was improved a bit.
In '97 the unibody was reinforced a bit more.
In mid '99 chrysler redesigned the heads, and they tended to crack.

Based on these factors the '95 thru '98/ early '99's offer a few improvements over previous years.

But , HELL, yanno theyr ALL good! :cheers::rock::bow:
Wow I didn't know about the 99 head issue. So 1998 is the best year to buy... I knew it! :rofl:
 

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The '99 head issue is the same one as the '00-'01. It is less commonly found among '99s. Again, I want to reiterate that this isn't as common as a problem as it may come across as. I'm not trying to push the '00-'01 by any means, it's just a pet peeve of mine when people say "don't buy the '00-'01 XJ's because of the cracking heads." If it was such a common problem then most '00-'01 XJ's would experience it, however it is not. It would also become more and more "popular" around this current time because most '00-'01 XJ's are probably starting to hit their 100,000 mile mark at this point. This issue, when it does arise, seems to happen between 50k and 100k miles. Usually once your past 100k, you're "in the clear."

Again, this is just a case where you hear of people ranting about the "bad" heads, instead of everyone raving about the good heads.
 

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The '99 head issue is the same one as the '00-'01. It is less commonly found among '99s. Again, I want to reiterate that this isn't as common as a problem as it may come across as. I'm not trying to push the '00-'01 by any means, it's just a pet peeve of mine when people say "don't buy the '00-'01 XJ's because of the cracking heads." If it was such a common problem then most '00-'01 XJ's would experience it, however it is not. It would also become more and more "popular" around this current time because most '00-'01 XJ's are probably starting to hit their 100,000 mile mark at this point. This issue, when it does arise, seems to happen between 50k and 100k miles. Usually once your past 100k, you're "in the clear."

Again, this is just a case where you hear of people ranting about the "bad" heads, instead of everyone raving about the good heads.
:rofl: I'm sorry but that's just funny. :rofl:

I have an 01 and if i could do it again, i'd get the previous generation (pre-97). One big reason is the low pinion front axle. I hate it. Limits how much you can lift the front before running into caster/pinion angle issues. I don't have any of the other issues that are mentioned with the 00-01 models though.
 

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:rofl: I'm sorry but that's just funny. :rofl:

I have an 01 and if i could do it again, i'd get the previous generation (pre-97). One big reason is the low pinion front axle. I hate it. Limits how much you can lift the front before running into caster/pinion angle issues. I don't have any of the other issues that are mentioned with the 00-01 models though.
Wow, I missed that...

Hey it's just like bad pizza, no such thing. :rofl:
 

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Again, this is just a case where you hear of people ranting about the "bad" heads, instead of everyone raving about the good heads.
it seems to me more people would rant about good head oppppsssss I mean good heads.....:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
 

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Well I want to rant about my good head. I've had it on my XJ for 140k+ miles. It was milled once because I overheated the engine about 3 years into my ownship, but then again my XJ is a 98 and known for it's good head.

No I did not have to pay extra for that option. :rofl:
 

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You have asked a question which will garner a host of answers. Everyone thinks that they have the ideal year and model. So be prepared for many varied answers.
Anyone else wonder how long BlueXJ has been sitting on this image waiting for a time to use it? :rofl:
 

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You all are awesome! thanks for the input. That's why i keep coming back to that site every single day. i can never get any work done :rofl:. I may lean more toward the 97, 98, early 99 years. If a good looking 00-01 XJ comes about i wont turn that down either. I'm not going to go to extreme on the lift, probably no more that 4.5 and throw some 33's on it.
 

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heads

I know this is an older post but couldn't help but to post my 2 cents on here to lol. My family and I have had a ton of Jeeps and both of our 99 and 2001 Jeeps had cracked heads. The 99 had a crack in between the exhaust and intake valves on #2 cyl. and the 2001 Jeep cracked almost in half between #3 and #4 cyl. What I have noticed is that with a high flow water pump and high flow t-stat, it eliminates the hot spots in the head. If you can keep the engine from overheating and full of coolant, the heads are not that bad and will not crack. X2 on the Dana 30 though....I got mine cyrogenically frozen for durability and haven't had any problems running 38's or my 32's while wheeling......although I did bust a lot of u-joints in the driveshafts....I need to upgrade those still :brickwall:
 

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I know this is an older post but couldn't help but to post my 2 cents on here to lol. My family and I have had a ton of Jeeps and both of our 99 and 2001 Jeeps had cracked heads. The 99 had a crack in between the exhaust and intake valves on #2 cyl. and the 2001 Jeep cracked almost in half between #3 and #4 cyl. What I have noticed is that with a high flow water pump and high flow t-stat, it eliminates the hot spots in the head. If you can keep the engine from overheating and full of coolant, the heads are not that bad and will not crack. X2 on the Dana 30 though....I got mine cyrogenically frozen for durability and haven't had any problems running 38's or my 32's while wheeling......although I did bust a lot of u-joints in the driveshafts....I need to upgrade those still :brickwall:
Yeah the shafts aren't that strong. A guy I know in my local club snapped two napa joints and two spicers within two months. He wheels the stock shafts with 35's.

I've never snapped an axle shaft or joints cuz I always drive slow like grandpa and hardly ever mess around on rocks.
 
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