My friend is looking to buy a 1994 Jeep Cherokee S (Sport?), 2-door, 4WD, 5-speed stick (with separate transfer case control combined with front locker control -- vaccuum?), and he believes it's got the 4-cyl. motor. It's got 140k mi. on it, and he believes it may have been used for light towing. It's a private sale, and the sellers are asking $1700, but will negotiate. Most buyers, he says, have been put off by a smell, which may be from dogs.
So, my questions are:
1) What are the factory specs on this vehicle? What kind of motor, transaxle, and transfer case does it have? (Since I'm a YJ owner, I'm not knowledgeable about Cherokees. I'm guessing it's probably got the NP231 xfer, though.)
2) He's only looking for a daily beater that will hold up, not a slick off-roader or heavy duty work truck. So he's not concerned if it's underpowered. In fact, he believes he'll appreciate the better fuel economy. But how anemic is the 4-cyl. in this truck?
3) I'm concerned about the transaxle. My '90 YJ came stock with the Toyota ('Asian') AX-15, which started to break down at this mileage (which apparently most of them do). I replaced it with a used NV3550 and I'm very happy with it. But if he's got the same transaxle, then he could be looking at some costly work not so long down the road. Unless it's got a different transaxle? I haven't been able to get the detailed specs.
4) Assuming it's in fair to good condition, is this a fair asking price?
5) What else is there to know about this vehicle? I drove an older box-nose to South Carolina and back a few years ago (repair shop loaner). It was quite a beater, and burned a lot of oil, but I thought it was a pretty impressive truck all around. It was well balanced, handled great, had good sightlines, and just felt solid and reliable all around. I understand the box-nose is one of the most popular and well-loved light trucks ever. Is it's reputation deserved?