No brother and off-road: whether to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee
Unlike many competitors born on a common platform with pickups and inherited the frame, and even springs, Grand Cherokee from the first generation gained its concept of an SUV with a monocoque and spring suspension. Yes, the suspensions are dependent here, since both the front and the rear are installed along a continuous bridge, but, nevertheless, a more “passenger” approach has a positive effect on comfort. And from the point of view of choosing a machine, the youngest copies of which celebrate the twentieth anniversary, and the oldest have already lived to a quarter of a century, the lack of a frame is in many ways a plus, not a minus. After all, the frame, no matter how cool – the number element, and even if the body is well preserved, the “foundation” without a number or with holes reduces the expediency of buying to almost zero.
However, when choosing, you need to look not at what is not, but at the fact that Jeep has – that is, the body. Even if it is decent outside, there is plenty of rust underneath, so you will need to check not only the VIN, but also the condition of the strength elements of the body, as well as the bottom and the seams, including the engine compartment and the trunk. There is no congenital craving for decomposition of the “grand”, but it treats the American phlegmatic resistance to corrosion, so it will be necessary to pick out the most complete of several options.
A separate line already at this stage is worth noting cars that have off-road training and a “combat” past: many of those Jeeps that did not fall victim to fights in the nineties are now plowing dirt. Pay attention to them is only in the event that you buy a car for the same purpose – otherwise increased wear of mechanics and increased amounts of rust due to regular bathing and dirt in the cavities just will not please.
And here – about the nineties: it is worth remembering that the majority of these machines have a very rich past, therefore, checking the documents and their compliance with the “hardware” should be extremely close. Attention should be paid to everything: severe accidents, hijackings, security obligations, problems with registration and so on – modern integrated verification services like Autotech can help. Well, in addition, it must be borne in mind that many cars experienced the replacement of the engine – in this case, the unit, installed instead of the deceased, must be identical to it. Options with an “economical swap” for a smaller motor, as well as reverse situations (which are very possible in the case of the Grand Cherokee due to the love of the motor 5.9), will inevitably cause re-registration problems and should be abandoned.
The equipment at the Grand Cherokee was very decent, but now, after 20 years, this is only partly good. Moody heated front seats, electrical problems and the curious EVIC – an on-board computer with self-diagnosis and trouble-free problems, which often throws up surprises: these are just some of the common difficulties that can be encountered during operation. In addition, among the weak points are often noted weak door hinges and “puddle” of condensate in the legs of the front passenger. But “Grand” is difficult to find without an air conditioner, since 1996 there were two airbags (initially only driver’s equipment was included in the equipment), and the restyling of 1996 brought the OBD II diagnostic connector, thanks to which the life of the owners (including the current ones) became easier.
Interior Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Worldwide (ZJ) ‘1993–96Interior Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ) ‘1993–96
The list of engines, which was equipped with a Grand Cherokee in the back of the ZJ, is quite wide, and this is good from the point of view of choice. This choice, however, still remains controversial: each of the options has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s go in order: the base and the only diesel engine, based on the volume and bottom construction with valve actuators pushers called 425 OHV, was supplied by the Italian company VM Motori. This unit still without direct injection and with two valves per cylinder, but already with a turbine, and on the “Grande” produces 114 hp and 300 Nm of torque. In general, it is impossible to complain about its reliability, but the motor is not the most pleasant both in operation (noise, expense) and in repair (difficulty in finding parts). In addition, it is usually combined with the five-speed manual gearbox Aisin AX-15, which further upsets buyers who do not expect such a dirty trick from the old “American”. Since 1995, this pair of cars for North America was abandoned due to low demand, and these units were available only on off-road vehicles for Europe, which are distinguished by the ZG index, turn signals on the front wings and orange sections in the rear lights.