No Reserve XJ: 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic

From 1983 to 2001, Jeep manufactured approximately 3 million units of the XJ-chassis Cherokee at production facilities around the globe. Because of its rugged and simple nature, this SUV is a popular choice for off-roaders, but this 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic that’s available here on eBay is almost too clean to endure the rigors of those activities.

This XJ is available in White Marsh, Maryland with a clean title. The first owner leased the vehicle in West Virginia and the second owner purchased it in 2001 from an auto auction. That owner held onto the vehicle until 2018, and it seems they traded it in on a newer vehicle, as the Jeep was sold at a dealer auction during that year.

It appears there are a few tiny spots of clearcoat failure, such as on the hood and at the top of the rear hatch, but this is common for vehicles with red exterior paint. Additionally, the seller discloses a few other imperfections that are not as noticeable in pictures, including hail dings on the hood and a small rust bubble on a fender. Despite those flaws, the Flame Red paint color certainly catches the eye, and the body and undercarriage are in good shape overall.

Meanwhile, the interior is mostly clean, but there are a few noticeable burn holes on the passenger and rear seats, as well as some cracks in the steering wheel’s material. Other than that, things are pretty clean, and there are no modifications or changes to the interior.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 4.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine, which pairs to an automatic transmission and a 4-wheel-drive system. The drivetrain has a documented 86,556 miles on it, and while the ad doesn’t mention anything about maintenance or how well it runs and drives, the seller does note that the new buyer can drive it as it sits.

At the time of publication, bidding is at $4,775. If you took ownership of this Jeep, would you build it or leave it stock?

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Comments

  1. Redwagon

    That one stays stock. It is a clean 86,000 mile vehicle. I’d drive it as is without regret.

    Had a 2000 XJ Classic in silver. Crude transportation (tippy, bouncy) but fun and effective. I’d have another.

    Like 5
  2. Bob C.

    I always thought these Jeeps were very well put together. The 4.0 six was quite powerful and the underside of this looks unbelievable.

    Like 3
  3. That AMC guy

    I have one of these (a ’99) though not near as nice and with about 250K miles. Still runs strong. The AMC/Jeep 4.0 and Aisin-Warner AW4 automatic trans are both very long-lived given even minimal care.

    Looking at the interior photo it looks like this Jeep has the NP231 part-time 4WD transfer case. (I see 2WD, Neutral, 4Hi, and 4Lo positions on the selection lever.) The NP242 was optional which provided an additional full-time 4WD feature, albeit with an open center differential.

    Not too many servicing issues to be aware of. 2000 and 2001 models have a defective head design that is prone to cracking, not something to worry about on a 1998 model like this one. One PITA to watch out for is that there are two core plugs in the back of the engine, one in the head and one in the block. When these go you pretty much have to drop the transmission to provide access.

    Like 3
  4. Thomas Lyons

    I would tint the windows and do some wheels and tires , nothing oversize , I love the straight 6 motor

    Like 2
  5. Larry Wood

    Leave it stock , I see to many of these butchered up with lift kits and way to big tires. My wife and I had a 1999 red like this, we would still be driving it but flipping it ended that.

    Like 4
  6. lc

    I owned an 85 Jeep Wagoneer (xj), but it only had the 2.8L, 5spd though and 2in lift. It ran good, but was not the stronger 4.0. It was clean. Sometimes, I wonder ”should I have kept it around a little longer?”

    Like 2
  7. TJ Morgan

    This thing is a RUST BUCKET. Buyer beware. Look at the ebay pics. Under car pics show a HOLE has been patched poorly in the floor! And the driveshaft looks like something off the titanic.
    It’s been covered up with matte black underneath.

    Like 1
    • David Ulrey

      Where are the eBay pictures? I clicked the link and read everything but it only showed one picture?

  8. Roy Perry

    I’d buy it and flip it as is! These Jeeps are in high demand here in California.

    Like 1
  9. Rustytech

    David U. Go to the eBay add and page all the way down, you will see dozens of pictures. My son has one, a 99. I bought it in 2011 as a graduation present. He wants to keep it forever. It now has almost 200k and still going strong.

    Like 1
  10. Fast Eddy

    Beware of cars sold by this eBay seller! Most (all?) from this vendor (who has changed their eBay name multiple times) have been refinished and repaired by a local body shop and hide a number of problems, like excessive underbody rust in the case.

  11. Stevieg

    Yeah, these are known for severe rust issues, especially here in the upper midwest. This one might be a bondo bucket, but it still looks better than most that are around here. You can’t find one locally that isn’t holier than the Pope.
    I like them, but you can find better examples in the southwest.

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