XJ cherokee vs WJ cherokee

XJ13

New member
Hello i am a long time Jeep fan and weekend wheeler but my interests are turning to overland travel and camping i have owned and wheeled xj's tj's cj's and a wk (commander) i had decided to buy another xj but am now considering a wj grand for the quadra drive and comfort and am looking for some input on what others think about the XJ vs the WJ grand for a overland expedition camping rig with either rig i would be doing a small lift and would like 33's plus all the overland goodies (no rooftop tent) thanks in advance i am really looking forward to reading all the replies and advice
 

G.Nenzel

New member
I have had several XJ's over the last 15 years, currently have a 98 with 5" & 35's and a stock 2002 Overland.

XJ's are the way to go if you want to build for trails over road. They are lighter, easier to package 33" + tires, less complicated and have lots of aftermarket support.

WJ V8 Quadra Drive is my choice for long miles. I love driving this thing. The fuel economy is the same or better than any XJ I've had as long as I don't drive like a teenager. It's much more comfortable and with the addition of an Addco rear sway bar it handles like a sports car compared the an XJ.

For anything longer than a few days, I'm taking the WJ. I plan a small 2" lift (springs) and 31" tires and that's it. With the QD, clearance will be the limiting factor off road. Anything too extreme for this vehicle I probably should avoid anyways as I travel alone.
 

jswift716

Adventurer
No rtt? Camping inside or tent camping? Tent camping id say xj its lighter (around 3500lbs stock) even with stiffeners bumpers tires etc than a stock tj (4500 ish). Narrower than the wj allowing you to fit more places easier and alot simpler. The leafs can handle more load with less upgrades and theres less electronics to diagnose and leave your stranded. Comfort wise you can swap in zj grand and wj grand seats and get the same or similar comfort.

All that said, if your sleeping inside you can do quite well depending in how you pack the xj but the wj would give you more room, though i cant find much other pros to it. The aftermarket is more expensive for the wj over the xj (bumpers lifts etc) and there is alot more electronics to have to worry about

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
 

Happykamper

Explorer
XJ is just the better vehicle PERIOD! Easy maintenance great 4wd even stock!!! Mods are produced by the thousands ! Over the last few years prices have skyrocketed on these .... And will keep going up. The 4.0 is just about bullet proof ! Did I say easy maintenance. I love my 99 XJ . It's fun to drive great for off-road Hell I get a kick out of just driving to store with it. It's fully ready for weeks long trips. And with proper maintenance no issues.
 

chasespeed

Explorer
I have a 99 WJ, Limited, 4.slow, 242 conversion, long arms(Clayton) JK D44(rear, looking for a Rubi front to truss etc) 4.10s, locked rear, truetrac up front, blah blah.

This I a great rig.

The only real weak link(now that I got rid of the weak D35 rear), is the 42re.

If you're on a budget, get the XJ. More aftermarket support, etc.

If you've got the funds to spend... and want the comfort and a space of a WJ, get one. The limited support means building your own stuff, or paying for top shelf stuff.

This one has been time, labor and money getting it where it is now, and hopefully be "done" within the year.

Also, remember, leave some room for "catch-up" maintenance. Mine is spoiled with only 105k(company vehicles), hell, my wife's 3 year old Charger has 50k...

But, a lot of these XJs, WJs, ZJs, etc, are getting long in the tooth.

Either way, I would fine a southern truck, with low miles....

Chase
 

XJ13

New member
Thanks for the input i like the idea of upping the comfort level in the xj with new seats. i agree that the xj is probably better to build for the trail and it is smaller and has a great engine the hardest decision for me is the 4 wheel drive system do i start with the the xj and have to put a locker (or lockers) in myself (which still leaves me with the 8.25 rear axle) or start with the quadra drive and not have to modify the drive train as much opinions??? and yes i do have a budget of around 4 to 5 grand to get a good base vehicle ( and the no rooftop tent thing just meant i would be using a ground tent until i can build a trailer) Thanks
 

VistaCruiser

Observer
XJ's are more nimble on the trail, but only a real concern in areas with trees TIGHT on the trail, or deep V-notches. Not as soft in the rear when fully loaded as a WJ. As a "wheeler", a nod to the XJ. WJ's have a ton more room inside. Much less road noise, more driver comfort, crossover steering, higher tow rating, V8 & QuadraDrive work very well if using the right fluids. IRO has great suspension options and reputation, but Rough Country and a few others offer a decent enough selection of parts depending on budget. A V8 Laredo with HD tow package would be a sweet find too. I don't specifically rock crawl anymore, and the WJ has never left me lacking. HTH

Sam
2004 WJ limited 4.7HO QuadraDrive 2.5" 245/75 R17 ST Maxx
 

Jeepinaaron

Adventurer
I for one am a fan of the WJ over the XJ. I have had both, and here are my reasons.

- Reliability should be on par with each other, both have the 4.0 as an option. The tranny and t-case on the WJ are both solid. For what its worth in the reliability column, my XJ was plagued with problems. Sensors were always an issue and the 4.0 ended up cracking a head. After replacing the engine I still had problems. My WJ with the 4.8L has been rock solid, the only issue I have ever had was a power steering pump.
- The WJ is a more solid vehicle, my XJ just seemed cheap flimsy.
- WJ rides better.
- WJ has more room.
- If you opt for the 4.8 then you have more power and can haul more crap.
- Not everyone and their brother has a modified WJ.

Now it is true, aftermarket support for the XJ is much greater. However the WJ still has support. You can buy lifts, bumpers, internal roll cages, lockers, etc etc etc. Your options will just be more limited. There are companies such as HK Offroad who see the light when it comes to WJ's and are making products specific to the model.

I am a Jeep guy, I've never owned a vehicle that wasn't a Jeep. I've had a TJ, XJ, KJ, LJ, and now a WJ & WK2. I love the WJ for what it is, and now that I have a kid I appreciate these vehicles for what they are. It is the perfect family hauler and adventure vehicle. Recently I *almost* traded from Jeep to Landrover because I wanted a Discovery. I don't know why, I just did, and I still do. However after driving a Disco II I realized there was no way I could sell the WJ for a Disco II, the WJ was better in almost every way.
 

crawlnclimb

New member
I for one am a fan of the WJ over the XJ. I have had both, and here are my reasons.

- Reliability should be on par with each other, both have the 4.0 as an option. The tranny and t-case on the WJ are both solid. For what its worth in the reliability column, my XJ was plagued with problems. Sensors were always an issue and the 4.0 ended up cracking a head. After replacing the engine I still had problems. My WJ with the 4.8L has been rock solid, the only issue I have ever had was a power steering pump.
- The WJ is a more solid vehicle, my XJ just seemed cheap flimsy.
- WJ rides better.
- WJ has more room.
- If you opt for the 4.8 then you have more power and can haul more crap.
- Not everyone and their brother has a modified WJ.

Now it is true, aftermarket support for the XJ is much greater. However the WJ still has support. You can buy lifts, bumpers, internal roll cages, lockers, etc etc etc. Your options will just be more limited. There are companies such as HK Offroad who see the light when it comes to WJ's and are making products specific to the model.

I am a Jeep guy, I've never owned a vehicle that wasn't a Jeep. I've had a TJ, XJ, KJ, LJ, and now a WJ & WK2. I love the WJ for what it is, and now that I have a kid I appreciate these vehicles for what they are. It is the perfect family hauler and adventure vehicle. Recently I *almost* traded from Jeep to Landrover because I wanted a Discovery. I don't know why, I just did, and I still do. However after driving a Disco II I realized there was no way I could sell the WJ for a Disco II, the WJ was better in almost every way.
I agree with this!^^^^^

Here is the list of Jeep vehicles I have owned;
YJ 4 banger
98 TJ lifted
96,98, 2000, 2001 XJ in various trims
2006 TJ Rubicon outfitted for Rocks
2005 TJ Unlimited Rubicon outfitted for rocks
2004 WJ Grand Cherokee Overland with 6" Clayton lift and 285 GY MT/R's on JK Rubicon Wheels.

The 2 TJ Rubicons can't be touched as far as hardcore offroad in the rocks and extreme terrain, they just do that kind of thing well. The tradeoff is harsh DD suspension,poor poor gas milage with 35" tires and bigger in some cases, road and cabin noise when on highway. Additionally they are a chore to drive any long distance.

The WJ I have has it's own quirks as a lifted vehicle but is like night and day in the comfort arena. I am getting too old at this point to constanly have my kidneys rattled by a TJ and unforgiving suspension. The WJ is just more practical and performs good enough off road for where I'm at with off road vehicles. If ever get another TJ rubicon type vehicle, it would be a strict trailer queen and NOT a DD. my 2 cents.

Oh, and the WJ has the 4.7HO engine which has great power in comparison to the wonderful but outdated. 4.0L.
 

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
I agree with much of the above; Xjs are generally light relatively noisy and are a fine entry level vehicle (though unless heavily modded relatively fragile (freebie lasted a year and a half, without frame stiffeners) in heavy off road use (as apposed to near 40 years of the same abuse with CJs and a YJ (10 to 25 years each).
Haven't had a WJ yet (and due to the lack of frame, may never) but they feel more "civilized" and solid; from several rides, highway and difficult trails.

Just an opinion; a harsh ride when set up for off road use can probably be improved, without sacrificing off road performance, by a better suspension...Fought this with nearly every used 4wd vehicle that I have had.

Enjoy!
 

chasespeed

Explorer
Haven't had a WJ yet (and due to the lack of frame, may never) but they feel more "civilized" and solid; from several rides, highway and difficult trails.

Enjoy!
FWIW, this becomes almost a non-issue with the Clayton. It has a solid "frame" that welds to the unibody. The suspension mounts to that. No more torn mounts, etc.

Mine is a 99, has been wheeled, and may have accidentally had a little air time.. I can open and close every door with a finger.

YMMV....

Chase
 

crawlnclimb

New member
FWIW, this becomes almost a non-issue with the Clayton. It has a solid "frame" that welds to the unibody. The suspension mounts to that. No more torn mounts, etc.

Mine is a 99, has been wheeled, and may have accidentally had a little air time.. I can open and close every door with a finger.

YMMV....

Chase
Agree...The Clayton Long Arm is a great system for the WJ. Isn't the XJ unibody as well? I have owned a few, pretty sure they are. Don't get me wrong, I would prefer body on frame...but it is what it is for the WJ or any modern SUV really, minus the Toyota.
 

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
However, frame stiffeners are beyond the mod level comfort range of many (though not me). In terms of lightly modified vehicles I suspect the ZJ and WJ are a bit better (stiffer, perhaps a bit tougher) than the XJ; as well as becoming more available (decent builder XJs seem to be getting harder to find and more expensive in the last few years).
...Eventually I fully expect frames to disappear other than in trucks; at which point stiffener tech or dropping a body onto a frame will become the only option for harder core wheeling.

Enjoy!
 

synonymous

New member
Having had both, and both heavily modified, I'll go with the XJ. You can service it just about anywhere. It's rockers are higher than a WJs for any amount of lift due to the much shorter height body. Size-wise, if you can get the spare out of the interior, the XJ should have more than enough space inside. The WJ's unibody is MUCH stiffer than an XJ, but the 4.slow, AW4, 242/231, HPD30 with 297x shafts and an 8.25 rear is about as good as you will get in stock form. Sure the quadradrive is a nice street/light duty system, but mty 247 was jumping teeth with only 40k miles and 33s, so I much prefer the 231/242 in the XJs. Ease of real lockers make it a no-brainer.
 
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