Originally Posted by FatNakedGuy
Thanks! I'll look at those models now. Anything I should watch out for on a used Jeep?
The drive train on these models are nearly bullet proof from the factory, for their intended purposes that is. But some key things to look out for are;
High mileage. Although these things are capable of 200,000 miles easily, they can still suffer from wear and tear. Check for oil leaks from around the engine, transmission and transfer case. Some can be fixed rather easily. Check for leaks on the rear main seal on the 4.0L engines.
Look for signs of hard wheeling, scrapes on the under pans (skid plates), drive shafts, front and rear control arms. If the Jeep has been wheeled hard, these items will tell the tale.
On manual tranny equipped models, check for gear slop and clutch feel.
Check for excessive gear slop on the axles.
Check for evidence of water leaks around the windshield, especially on the Cherokees. Twisting and flexing from trail use can break loose the windshield seal. While you're at it, look at the rear quarter windows, the seals have been known to leak there as well.
Take a look at all of the suspension points. Look for cracks around the mounts. Look for excessive movement around the bushings. They can easily be found by seeing the polished metal where the bushings make contact with the mounts.
Check the steering components for slop. A loose front end is the last thing that you want on a Quad Link suspension. (See the following paragraph).
On all models, take the vehicle for a test drive on the highway, preferrably with out a lot of traffic. Some of these have been known for a front end problem called "Death Wobble", a condition that when the front end hits a bump or dip, it will cause the front to shimmy and shake uncontrollably.
There are other things to look for, but they apply towards all vehicles. If you have a personal mechanic, or a friend who is one, bring him/her along to help you out with the inspection process. Don't be afraid to ask the previous owner where he/she has driven. Their story will either match or conflict with the wear and tear of the vehicle.