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#4566171 - 11/06/17 06:40 PM 1997 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2WD
bmwjohn Offline

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 728
Loc: indianapolis in
Relative bought hi mileage 2wd inline 6-400 grand cherokee, at/ps/pb/non working ac/decent appearance in and out, now has electrical problems, such as door locks, window stuff, etc. click on/off, etc. Is there a body module? I'm thinking ground connections? Starting through the various Jeep forums, don't know which is best yet. Any thoughts with this problem? Thanks!

#4566193 - 11/06/17 06:55 PM Re: 1997 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2WD [Re: bmwjohn]
Chris142 Offline

Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16357
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Worst jeep ever built! They are known for electrical,AC,Heat and window problems.
02 Wrangler super-s 10w30
87 F250 proline 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 Lucas 10w30
KLR250 Maxima 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40

#4566206 - 11/06/17 07:09 PM Re: 1997 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2WD [Re: Chris142]
Nick1994 Online   content

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 9643
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Worst jeep ever built! They are known for electrical,AC,Heat and window problems.
Yeah, the engine will run forever but the rest of the vehicle around it... should be good, make sure to click on Grand Cherokee
2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 74k PU 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 227k M1 AFE 0w30 & Wix
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 145k M1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

#4566268 - 11/06/17 08:20 PM Re: 1997 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2WD [Re: bmwjohn]
HoosierJeeper Offline

Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1228
Loc: WI
Jeepforum would be ok too. Not really aware of any great Grand Cherokee forums.
15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)

#4566280 - 11/06/17 08:32 PM Re: 1997 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2WD [Re: bmwjohn]
JustN89 Offline

Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 300
Loc: DFW
I owned a 2WD '97 Grand Cherokee with the 4.0 for 3 years. Only issue I had with it was a leak at the oil filter adapter, a very common and slow leak. Never had it leave me stranded, never had an issue with the AC, heat or any window. The only electrical issue that thing ever had was with the Vehicle Information Center, which is in the center console below the climate controls and is another highly common issue. The other issue that plagued me was the falling headliner, which was an issue not just with the Grand Cherokee but any Chrysler vehicle of the era. Overall, that SUV was bulletproof. Not the best vehicle in the snow, but it started up every time and that 4.0 purred like a kitten. Unfortunately, it was totaled in an accident in the snow nearly 4 years ago. Some guy lost traction in his big truck on some black ice on the highway. He hit me and bumped me into the concrete barrier. Otherwise I'd still be driving that thing today and I doubt that I would've had any issues with it still. It had 119k miles on it when I bought it and just a shade over 154k when it got totaled.

R.I.P. Orvis

#4566429 - 11/07/17 04:37 AM Re: 1997 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2WD [Re: bmwjohn]
dlundblad Offline

Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 9438
Loc: Indiana
The wires that go from the door to the body are prone to breaking on these. Probably the reason for the windows and locks both acting up actually.

I somewhat wish I found one of these over my truck, but a decent 4.0 ZJ without 250k miles is hard to find. Parents both had them when i was growing up. Somewhat nostalgic.

Edited by dlundblad (11/07/17 04:38 AM)
03 Jeep WJ 4.0 197k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 170k M1 0w40 Mann HU818X
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 142k Rotella T5 10w30 Fram TG3980

#4566685 - 11/07/17 10:08 AM Re: 1997 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2WD [Re: bmwjohn]
jeepman3071 Offline

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4048
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
The ZJ Grand Cherokees (1993-1998) are not bad at all. There are many of them still on the road today with 250-300k miles, so they can't be that terrible.

They do require maintenance such as transmission fluid changes every 30k miles, coolant changes, transfer case fluid changes, etc. If those aren't done then you can expect to replace the transmission. A secretary at one of the school districts I work at has a '98 Laredo 4.0L with almost 300k on it, and it is all original drive train. She bought it new and has serviced it every 30,000 miles at the dealership.

The electrical stuff can be hit or miss. Make sure the connections are clean. Bad grounds and dirty connectors will make for a bad time on these things, and also make sure the battery is in good shape. As previously mentioned, check wires in the door jams because from repeated use they can wear on the doors and ground out, causing the power stuff not to work.

The A/C not working is common once these get to be 20 years old or so. You can find a compressor for under $100 online.
2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0L (178k) - Pennzoil HM 5w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter

#4566713 - 11/07/17 10:47 AM Re: 1997 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2WD [Re: bmwjohn]
exranger06 Offline

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 3807
Loc: Guilford, CT
My uncle has a 1998 ZJ with the 4.0. He's never really had any electrical or heat issues that I can recall, but he's had the transmission rebuilt around 100k miles, and the engine threw a rod through the block at around 180k miles. It wasn't due to abuse or lack of maintenance either. He maintains it extremely well and drives gently. He had a junkyard engine put in and it's still going with over 200k now.
2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)