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  1. #1


    Had to post this here! Very useful to any XJ owner or someone looking to buy one!


    This page will detail the stock specs of the Jeep Cherokee (XJ) which was produced between 1984 - 2001 in the United States. That is a remarkable 18 year lifespan in which 2,884,172 Jeep Cherokees rolled off the assembly line! Originally designed and built by AMC, Chrysler continued the same design when they bought AMC in 1987. Anyways, the Cherokee was the icon of compact SUVs which led to a market full of those who tried to imitate it. Now the term "SUV" doesn't really mean a rugged vehicle that actually performs off the pavement, but the Cherokee remains one of the best "utility" 4x4s ever made.

    On to the specs. The information here should be of some help in identifying what parts came with what year Cherokee. I have made every effort to make sure this information is correct by comparing data from a variety of sources. If you notice any errors or have additional information to contribute, please contact me by PM or e-mail.

    The information on this page will be listed in the following order:

    Common Design
    Transfer Cases
    Cooling System
    Production Numbers
    Trim Levels

    Common Design

    All XJs were built as a "Unibody" design with the body and frame rails tied together as one piece as opposed to a body on frame design. All XJs have solid axles front and rear. The suspension consists of coils for the front and leaf springs for the rear. All XJs came with disc brakes in the front and drums in the rear.


    (small differences may occur depending on optional equipment or trim level)

    wheelbase = 101.4"
    overall length = 165.3" - 168.8"
    overall width = 67.9" - 70.5"
    track = 58"
    height = 64"
    height with roof rack = 66.8"
    ground clearance (from differentials) = 7.3" - 8.3"
    approach angle = 37.6* - 38*
    departure angle = 31* - 32.1*
    breakover angle = 21* - 21.9*
    curb weight 2wd = 2,891 lbs - 2,993 lbs
    curb weight 4wd = 3,057 lbs - 3,386 lbs
    cargo capacity = 71.0 cu ft.


    The body comes in both 2-door and 4-door styles with a rear hatch (liftgate).

    In 94 side-impact beams were added in the doors and roof was strengthened. The 3rd brakelight was added to the top of the liftgate.

    In 96 the body structure was strengthened some although it was not noticeable in appearance.

    In 97 the body (and interior) was redesigned to freshen it up a bit. Most noticeably it gave the body smoother lines by changing the bumpers, flares, and moldings. The front fender was trimmed just below the headlights and replaced with plastic bumper endcaps that wrap around to the wheel well. The liftgate was also changed from fiberglass to sheet metal in this year. The windshield washer bottle was also moved to the inside of the drivers side front fender.


    2.5L I4 carburated - 105 hp @ 5000 rpm, 132 ft lb torque @ 2800 rpm - used in 84-85 models
    2.5L I4 TBI (fuel injected) - 117 hp @ 5000 rpm, 135 ftlb @ 3500 rpm - used in 86 and updated in 87-90 to 121hp
    2.5L I4 MPI (multi-port injection) - 130 hp @ 5250 rpm, 139 ft lb @ 3250 rpm - used in 91-00

    GM 2.8L V6 - 115 hp @ 4800 rpm, 145 ft lb @ 2400 rpm - used in 84-86

    Renault 2.1L 4cyl. Turbo Diesel - 85 hp @ 3750 rpm, 132 ft lb @ 2750 rpm - used in 85-87

    Italian VM 2.5L Turbo Diesel - 140 hp, 236 ft lb torque - used in overseas XJs

    4.0L I6 "Power Tech" - 177 hp @ 4750 rpm, 220 ft lb @ 4000 rpm - used 87-90
    4.0L I6 MPI "Power Tech HO" (High Output) - 190 hp @ 4750 rpm, 220 ft lb @ 4,000 rpm - used in 91-95 and updated in 96-01 to 225 ft lb torque @ 3000 rpm (00-01 models use a distributorless ignition system)


    Manual Transmissions
    T4 or a T5 may have been used instead of an AX4 or an AX5 due to supply shortages.
    AX4 - 4 speed manual - manufactured by Aisin - used 84-86 with 2.5L I4 and 2.8L V6 engines
    AX5 - 5 speed manual - manufactured by Aisin - used with 2.8L V6 and 87+ with 2.5L I4
    BA10/5 - 5 speed manual - manufactured by Peugot - used only up to 89
    AX15 - 5 speed manual - manufactured by Aisin - used with 4.0L I6 engines
    NV3550 - 5 speed manual - manufactured by New Venture - used in 00-01 in SE models with 4.0L I6 engines

    Automatic Transmissions
    Torqueflight 904 - 3 speed automatic - used 84-86 with 2.8L V6 engine and ?
    30RH - 3 speed automatic - used with 2.5L I4 engine 94?-00
    AW4 - 4 speed automatic, electronically controlled - manufactured by Aisin - used from 87-01 (87-91 models include a Power/Comfort button that adjusts the shift points)

    Transfer Cases

    The transfer cases used are all chain driven with aluminum housings. NP stands for "New Process" which is the brand, if you will. The newer ones are NV instead which stands for "New Venture". It is the same transfer case just a different name.

    NP207 - "Command-Trac" part-time only - 2.61:1 ratio low range - used 84-87
    NP231 - "Command-Trac" part-time only - 2.72:1 ratio low range - shift pattern 2H - 4H - N - 4L - used 87-01

    NP228/NP229 - "Selec-Trac" - 2Hi - 4Hi(full-time) - N - 4Lo (part-time) - used 84-87
    NP242 - "Selec-Trac" part-time OR full-time - 2.72:1 ratio low range - shift pattern 2wd - 4part-time - 4full-time - N - 4LO - used 87-01


    Front Driveshaft - From 84 thru 86 the front driveshaft was a true CV style ("beer can on a popsicle stick"), 87 + The front is a "double cardan" two-piece driveshaft with a CV joint at the transfer case end.

    Rear Driveshaft - The 228 and 229 transfer cases used a fixed output yoke, with a 2-piece driveshaft incorporating the slip spline. Otherwise, The rear is a one-piece shaft with standard u-joints at both ends. The slip yoke is located on the output shaft of the transfer case. On 84-95 models, the yoke slides in and out of the transfer case and is lubricated by the ATF fluid internally. On 96-01 due to a design change, the slip yoke is external (does not slide in and out of the transfer case). This slip yoke is covered with a rubber boot.


    Front Axles
    Dana 30 high pinion - reverse cut - 27 spline, 1.16" diameter shafts, 7.13" ring gear - used 84-99 (some axles through 91 are vacuum disconnect, 92+ are non-disconnect, 89-95 with ABS have 5-297x u-joints, all 95+ have 5-297x u-joints, all others have 5-260x u-joints except 84 thru 86 they were CV type rather than open u-joints)

    Dana 30 low pinion - standard cut - 27 spline, 1.16" diameter shafts, 7.13" ring gear, 5-297x u-joints - used 00-01

    Rear Axles
    (Note on Dana 35 axles sometimes referred to as Dana 35C - The "C" does not stand for c-clip. It stands for "custom" meaning it came from Dana unfinished.)
    (Note on 8.25 axles - none of these axles were used on XJs with ABS brakes. If you have ABS, you have the Dana 35. Without ABS you could have either axle. 8.25 axles are c-clip)

    Dana 35 non c-clip - 27 spline, 1.18" diameter shafts, 7.58" ring gear, 2.62" axle tube - used 84-89
    Dana 35 c-clip - 27 spline, 1.18" diameter shafts, 7.58" ring gear, 2.62" axle tube - used 90-01
    Chrysler 8.25 - 27 spline, 1.17" diameter shafts, 8.25" ring gear, 3" axle tube - used 91-96
    Chrysler 8.25 - 29 spline, 1.21" diameter shafts, 8.25" ring gear, 3" axle tube - used 97-01
    Dana 44 non c-clip - 30 spline, 1.31" diameter shafts, 8.5" ring gear, 2.75" axle tube - used 87-89 on XJs equipped with towing package.


    3.07 - used with 4.0L engine / manual transmission
    3.31 - only available on older (pre87?) 2 door XJs with "Fuel Economy" package
    3.55 - used with 4.0L engine with automatic transmission; also used with 2WD 4-cyl engines (possibly 4WD as well) equipped with the 4-speed manual transmission
    3.73 - found in some XJs with the towing package
    4.10 - used with 2.5L engine usually, and older XJs with the "Off-Highway Vehicle" package.

    Cooling Systems

    Open style - any normal cooling system used today. Opposite of closed style described below.

    Closed style - has no radiator cap and utilizes a pressure bottle. This style cooling system was used in 87-90 XJs.


    Drivers side airbag (mechanical) was added in 95.
    Passenger side airbag was added in 97. Airbags changed from mechanical to electronic in this year also.

    Production Numbers

    # of XJs built in given year:

    84 - 93,326
    85 - 120,328
    86 - 107,225
    87 - 139,295
    88 - 187,136
    89 - 207,216
    90 - 151,230
    91 - 151,578
    92 - 137,826
    93 - 144,961
    94 - 123,391
    95 - 120,234
    96 - 286,463
    97 - 258,958
    98 - 182,845
    99 - 186,116
    00 - 165,590
    01 - 120,454

    Total = 2,884,172

    Trim Levels

    84 - Base, Wagoneer, Pioneer, Chief
    85 - Base, Wagoneer, Pioneer, Chief, Laredo
    86 - Base, Wagoneer, Pioneer, Chief, Laredo
    87 - Base, Wagoneer, Pioneer, Chief, Laredo, Limited
    88 - Base, Wagoneer, Pioneer, Chief, Laredo, Limited, Sport
    89 - Base, Wagoneer, Pioneer, Chief, Laredo, Limited, Sport
    90 - Base, Wagoneer, Pioneer, Chief, Laredo, Limited, Sport
    91 - Base, Briarwood, Chief, Laredo, Limited, Sport
    92 - Base, Briarwood, Chief, Laredo, Limited, Sport
    93 - Base, Sport, Country
    94 - SE, Sport, Country
    95 - SE, Sport, Country
    96 - SE, Sport, Classic, Country
    97 - SE, Sport, Classic, Country
    98 - SE, Sport, Classic, Limited
    99 - SE, Sport, Classic, Limited
    00 - SE, Sport, Classic, Limited, Freedom
    01 - Sport, Limited, 60th Anniversary Edition

    Here is a chart to help you figure what length your arms need to be at certain heights. Control arms lengths are important for castor and location of axle in the wheel wells. At 3", you will be ok with stock arms, just expect the axle to move back toward the cab a little and some minor bumpsteer.

    Control Arm Length Application Chart
    For Jeep Cherokee (XJ)

    Lift...........Lower Control Arms/Upper Control Arms
    Stock........15.75.......15 ........15.00.......15
    2.............15.92.......16............14.88.. .....15
    3.............16.09.......16............14.92.. .....15
    4.............16.33.......16 3/8......15.03.......15
    4.5..........16.47.......16 ?........15.11.......15
    5.............16.62.......16 5/8......15.21.......15
    6.............16.97.......17............15.44.. .....15 ?
    7.............17.36.......17 3/8......15.74.......15
    8.............17.81.......17 ........16.09.......16
    9.............18.30.......18 ........16.50.......16 ?
    10...........18.82.......18 ........16.96.......17

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  2. #2
    Thank you from BT ULTRA TECH MASTER!!! pyagid's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Just a few typos and add-ons to fix things up here! <G>
    Common Design : These rigs are UNIFRAME, not unibody althought that is very similar. Jeep started the whole process. By being a fully boxed unit, but also part of the body was a break away from common unibody designs that cars use and adds stiffness that cars don't have. (My uncle worked in the AMC Eagle plant in Ontario, Canada. I got to see the proto-type but at the time I wasn't much into 4x4s as I was into AMXs and Javelins. Pity!)

    Later XJs had rear disc brakes as an option.

    BODY: The MJ Commanche is based on the same design in front, but Jeep extended the Uniframe all the way back into a real frame to make it able to carry a load. Because they moved the springs to under the frame to carry the load better, Commanches have a Spring Under Axle (SUA) in the rear instead of SOA like the Cherokees. The pickup box is removable.

    Engines: The AMC 2.54L with carb (not to be confused with the GM Iron Duke used in earlier CJs) was used '84 till mid '86 as was the 2.8L GM V6 and Renault 4 cylinder turbo diesel. 06/'86 was the build date on my '86 Commanche and it was #45 with Renix TBI fuel injection.

    The '87 to 08/'90 4.0L ran Renix Multi-Port Fuel Injection (MPFI) and never had TBI contrary to any rumours floating around. The later ones with HO (High Output) ran the Chrysler EFI system of which most components will NOT work with the earlier system (even the flywheel is different) The quick way to spot which is which is if it has an EGR valve (little mushroom shaped object sticking out of the side of the intake below the throttle body) then it ISN'T an HO system (unless transplanted)

    Manual Transmissions :
    AX-5 was used with the 4 cyl and V6 right from the start in '84 mixed in with the others (I've had 2) The 4 cyl never got the "weaker than an AX-5" Peugeot BA 10/5 that the 4.0L got. (someone goofed when they bought them!)

    BA 10/5 and AX-15 up till 08/90 used 21 spline outputs and went to 23 spline for HOs.

    Automatic Transmissions:
    904 was used with all motors from '84 till '86 and were 23 spline output. The 4 cyl continued till '89 (with a special case for the EFI sensor and flywheel. I have one in my for sale stuff) Then they got the 4 speed auto like the AW4 but not as strong. All the AW trannies were 21 spline till 08/90 then went to 23 spline with the HOs.

    Transfer Cases:
    The NP207 came in 23 spline (behind 904 automatics) and 21 spline with standard trans. New Process was sold by Dodge to it's own corp in @'91 and it became New Venture. (You can find the info on )

    Basically all the 4 cyls continued 21 spline till @'97 then they got AX-15s with 23 spline cases too.

    There are a lot more cases, even from other makers that will fit, but they aren't stock. (for example, my current 4.0L Commanche is getting a 23 spline trans and NP208J which doesn't need a slip yoke eliminator! My '84 J10 is getting a '95 AW4 and NV241 rock lock with 4:1 low range)

    Rear Axles:
    Some Metric Tonne early rigs came with a Model 20 axle. (had 1 so far)

    Cooling Systems:
    You can upgrade an XJ with closed system to open system with a '91 or newer rad (just did mine) and removing the bottle/heater control for a newer one as well.

    Trim Levels for Commanche:
    '86 & '87 Base, Custom, X and XLS
    ('86 was the only year 2.8L V6)
    '88 to '91 was Base, Eliminator and Pioneer
    ('91 was the last year and got HO motors)

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