The Virus is spreading: Meet my friend's "new" XJ

Specifically the off-roading bug. Last week instead of driving down to Dallas to buy a sketch looking Suzuki, Kate kept it domestic and bought a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Country for the bargain sum of $1,250.

For her money, she got the classic 4.0 inline-six, with a mere 260,000 miles on it, mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. This particular Jeep came with the “Command-Trac” 4WD system.


Honestly despite the mileage this thing is in pretty good shape. The body is straight, but does have some classic rocker rust. She was wanting to learn how to weld anyway so....

The interior is overall very good, with some wear on the driver’s seat and way too much wood for my tastes. We speculate the seats we re-done at some point in the vehicle’s past.


It doesn’t need much of anything, really. It appears to be using coolant, the valve cover gasket is leaking, and it’ll need new tires in the next year or so. Also the AC doesn’t work because, according to the previous owner, they paid their nephew to replace the radiator and it came back without the condenser. Weird, but ok. Also I guess it clunks when going from reverse to a forward gear, which makes me suspect some driveline wear.

Overall, I’m pretty exited about this beast. Even if it ends up needing a new head/ head gasket or underside work, I think it’ll be a good vehicle, a good learning experience, and a great off-road rig.


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