XJ vs. WJ

dan0

Adventurer
So the past couple of days I've been having some crisis thinking about my laid up WJ (awaiting replacement radiator) and the XJ at the house that belongs to my cousin (fixing up to sell.)

The thought came up should I buy the XJ and sell the WJ?

Thinking about the pros and cons of each.

XJ- smaller, lower tow rating, no console with info, sleeping inside more cramped. But with rain gutters easier to mount additional roof items, bumpers are real bumpers that can be replaced with heavier duty units much cheaper.

WJ- I'm cheap and $800+ bumpers I don't like, no rain gutters for heavier racks, either use the factory or spend $$$ for an aftermarket rail bolted to the roof. Coil suspension comfort. Bigger more comfortable seats.

Those are the general between the two. More specific to my scenario come down to condition of the vehicles.

WJ- broken leaning seat, radiator coming soon. Developed a shake at 40 so more work sooner than later. On the plus side just installed a hitch.

XJ- it's green which happens to me my favorite color so I'm a little vain in liking it more. Still pretty dirty inside although I've been working to change it. No hitch would have to buy one. Sagging leaf springs and slight manifold leak but otherwise mechanically solid. Remote start which would be nice come winter.

I may see about seeing what offers I could get on the WJ and then may swap to the XJ for a bit.
 

Ranger Steve

Adventurer
I'd keep the wj. However I am biased with my own wj. I have had xj's in the past and while they are great I found them lacking in storage space. I've had a zj that i loved and did great anywhere I took it and plenty of space. Now with my wj I have great space and creature comforts. It's turning out to be my favorite jeep.

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Mitch502

Explorer
WJ Bumper...depending on what you're capable, or really more like willing, to do, Flatland 4x4 sells plans for a nice front bumper. My front bumper I welded (a friend did anyways) and total expense for the front bumper was about $300. That includes paint and filling a tank of gas for the welder. As far as a rack goes....what are you really going to mount up there? You probably shouldn't mount anything too heavy up there. If the stock crossbars can't hold it, then it's probably not good for you CG. Seat leaning...the XJ will probably do that eventually. Find a JY one for a little nothing (They're $35 here in KY) and are easy enough to find.

Check out my thread for a example of what the bumper will look like, or visit their site. You could have a front/rear bumper w/ tire carrier for $800 easy.


I'm biased towards being comfortable, and would rather spend the money to have a "fancier" Jeep than just a Jeep.
 
I know that this might rile some of the Jeep community up, but the WJ is simply a better vehicle, unless you're calculating based solely on the few inches it gives up over on the XJ. Definitely a much nicer vehicle to live with day-to-day, and a much better choice as an overlander on capacity and parts availability alone.

It also sounds like the WJ will be easier to fix. While I haven't looked into the fix on the 4.0L on an XJ, replacing the manifold on a TJ's 4.0L is a *****. A lot more expensive and time-consuming than doing the radiator on any. A leaning seat is annoying, but junkyards are teeming with WJs. Or, if you want to get extravagant, replace all the seats with some nice aftermarket ones.

Yeah, the XJ is definitely a better-looking vehicle. And it does have its perks over the WJ. But for something you plan to live with for a while, I'd go WJ. I've been waffling between an XJ and a WJ for a while now as something to take over DD duties from my TJ, and the WJ just seems like better value all around.
 

dan0

Adventurer
I'd keep the wj.
Probably will be the way I'll go, the XJ swap would actually save a little money in a weird way though.

WJ Bumper...depending on what you're capable, or really more like willing, to do, Flatland 4x4 sells plans for a nice front bumper.

As far as a rack goes....what are you really going to mount up there? You probably shouldn't mount anything too heavy up there. If the stock crossbars can't hold it, then it's probably not good for you CG.

Seat leaning...the XJ will probably do that eventually. Find a JY one for a little nothing (They're $35 here in KY) and are easy enough to find.
I've looked at those and considered them for pans to adapt.

Long term, spare tire would be going up when it's too big to fit in the well. I don't like bumper carriers, have to swing it out even to open just the glass, no thanks. Some small solar panels. and ability to still carry two kayaks (or one kayak and one bike)

It also sounds like the WJ will be easier to fix. While I haven't looked into the fix on the 4.0L on an XJ, replacing the manifold on a TJ's 4.0L is a *****. A lot more expensive and time-consuming than doing the radiator on any. A leaning seat is annoying, but junkyards are teeming with WJs. Or, if you want to get extravagant, replace all the seats with some nice aftermarket ones.
Seat already happened to the XJ, got a replacement cheap already. Power adjust WJ seat haven't had the same luck finding cheap. I'm guessing the manifold is just as much a pain on any 4.0l with not too much difference in between them. But for now it's a minor exhaust leak, where as the WJ I can't drive anywhere but around town. Anywhere from 45-55 mph it decides to start shaking.

I wouldn't rely on the XJ gutter mounts. They are wimpy at best.
On a previous XJ I tested them with two kayaks up to 95 mph on the highway Pretty satisfied with that. And for all the heavy stuff I would run three crossbars instead of two.

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It's a tough call, new radiator arrives on Tuesday (hopefully not cracked like the previous one.
 

BCobe

Adventurer
I went a slightly different route, had to sell my WJ due to a move and ordered a new 2014 2 door JK. While I love my JK I do miss my WJ, miss that V8 to. I had to replace my radiator twice, probably from bashing it on rocks, in the 2 years I owned it and it is honestly not that hard, at least for the 4.7. Is the shake like a shimmy in the steering wheel? Checking your bushings as well as the track bar mount, bolt holes may have wallowed, may be a good place to start.
 

MudderNutter

Adventurer
I'm biased towards XJ's, but would have to say just go with whichever vehicle is in better overall condition. I would get under them and see if the bolts/bushing/etc are in significantly better condition on one or the other. That could make a large portion of the next decade much easier on you!

As for the gutter mounts... I've had an absurd amount of weight on mine with no problems (even on the highway)... Kayaks, surfboards, spare tire, fuel, people. I even had my bicycles on the roof on yakima racks, and ran into a horizontal metal cross bar :victory: The only thing that was worse for the wear was my road bike :(

My jeep is getting close to where I want it... but I do sometimes lust after a new JK or something of the sort... Then I remind myself that I would need the rubicon :sombrero:, and I wouldn't feel comfortable wheeling a 40k vehicle, haha. The XJ will stay with me for awhile, and is perfect for my needs.

For storage just build a sleeping platform with storage underneath. It doesn't need to be fancy! My XJ has plenty of room for the lady and I on long trips.

I'm also slightly superficial with my vehicles, and just think XJ's look a hell of a lot more sexy. I have nothing against grands, besides that they look like Caitlyn Jenner.

After you beat yourself up for a few weeks having mental battles over which vehicle would be best... after the internet has run out of applicable information... just take a step back, and go with your gut. After all... either way you will still have a Jeep! :smiley_drive:
 

Ranger Steve

Adventurer
You don't want to have a tire carrier because opening it to get in the back is a pain? What happens when you blow a tire off-road and have to change it? Now you need to grab your off the roof and then out a possibly muddy nasty tire all the way on the roof. That sounds way worse to me lol. To each their own however.
 

VistaCruiser

Observer
WJ all the way. I've run the XJ and ZJ also, and like those platforms, but feel the WJ offers a lot of product improvements that make them "better". Uni-body on the WJ is more rigid, thicker. Fairly flat and square "frame rails" make slider mounting easier. More comfortable interior and more cargo space since the spare sits in the well. I've regulated myself to the largest tire that fits in the well to control build/costs lolz. Rough Country winch plate will be installed just like on my ZJ, then I may use that as a base to build front bumper from. Quadra-Drive works well, cross over steering is a huge improvement over the Y link on the XJ,ZJ,TJ series. 4.7 motor pulls well, road noise levels greatly reduced which helps combat fatigue. 247 Transfer case has proven itself as reliable/durable as the 231-242 t-cases, although 247 specific fluid does make oil changes more expensive. For family exploration vehicle, it's hard to beat the WJ.

Sam
 

ZMagic97

Explorer
Another vote for a WJ. Having owned both, the WJ was a comfier vehicle for long hauls. If you can come out ahead with the XJ and think it'll be a better vehicle, go for it.
 

dan0

Adventurer
The WJ I have is a 4.0l NP242 combo, and XJ is actually one of the few equipped with the 242 as well.

I use the hatch more often than I have to change a spare so I'll make the extra effort when it's needed. Instead of swinging out a tire carrier every time I open the hatch, which is usually every time I drive the Jeep over my other vehicle.
 

paroxysym

Adventurer
if the WJ is a V8 id keep the WJ. having owned both (only wheeled the XJ), I can say the WJ is a much comfier and roomier vehicle, plus all the creature comforts that come with the WJ are a plus. I did love my XJ though, the 4.0 with a a decent lift to accommodate a set of 31s went wherever I wanted it, without lockers, etc. so its kind of a toss up. the WJ does have a tad more storage in the rear, but more room for the passengers. only real upside of the XJ is inexpensive repairs, I do like the leaf spring rear.
 

stomperxj

Explorer
Another vouch for XJ gutters. MY rack is heavy at 90lbs and I've carried a bunch of sticks of pipe, up to 6 sheets of 3/4 plywood and tons of other stuff on it with no ill effects. Spreading the load out helps...
 

mikedashg

New member
I was having a similar dilemma a couple months ago, only between XJ, ZJ, and WJ. I've had late a late 80s XJ for 17 years, and was considering something a little bigger, newer, and more comfortable. I priced out aftermarket parts, looked at what was available, I read tons of forums about what people were saying about the different platforms, engines, issues with the vehicles, price, etc. I even drove a stock ZJ, XJ, and a WJ that was for sale over one weekend.

Long story short, I went with a 98 5.2L ZJ because it really is like right in the middle on the stuff I was looking for. There's some XJ stuff that will work on a ZJ which helps. The WJ is sooo different and almost too nice for what I wanted, so I gave up on that platform.
 
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