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  #1  
Old 10-09-2004, 06:22 AM
m350 m350 is offline
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Ford Explorer vs Jeep Cherokee

Hi all, just want some opinions on the Ford Explorer vs the Jeep Cherokee and or Grand Cherokee. My mom is thinking of buying one of the 2 when we find a decent used one, around a 01' 02' something like that,

I recall that one of the posts on FTE said that there was like no frame on a Jeep Cherokee,,,is this true ??

I have not looked at any Jeeps yet, I am pretty sure the Explorer's have a full frame.

I like the way the Grand Cherokee's look, But,,,,I have recently heard that the Grand Cherokee's have a v6 and junk tranny's compared to the Cherokee sport, that have the straight 6,,,does anyone have knowledge of this???

My Bro-in-law drives a 97' Explorer, has like 180k miles on it and is quite happy with it, Please just opinions or experiences with either of both vehicles .

Thanks ,,,,,,,,,,Later,,,,,,,,,,,Mark
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:31 AM
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Some of what you heard is true and some is false. The Cherokee and Grand Cherokee both use the I-6 - neither uses a V6. It is true that the Cherokee (and Grand) have no frame, they are unibody. This isn't a bid deal as they are still plenty strong. The Cherokee will be cruder than an Explorer. It will not ride as smooth or as quiet, but it will be better off-road than the Explorer. The Grand Cherokee is more comparable to the Explorer in ride quality.

Jon
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:33 AM
wnorman1192 wnorman1192 is offline
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I would choose an Explorer with a V8 over a regular Cherokee, but I would really go for a Grand Cherokee with a 4.7L V8. The 4.7 is mated to the new 5-45RFE transmission, which is definately not junk. The Grand Cherokee with this engine is a real runner, and very good offroad even in stock trim. I can't help you with your question about the frame.
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:43 AM
ContinentalBreakfast ContinentalBreakfast is offline
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I prefer the Explorer. I think it looks better and drives nicer.
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Old 10-09-2004, 11:41 AM
Steina Steina is offline
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Starting in '02, the Explorer has Independent Rear Suspension which makes for a much smoother ride. Also, the Explorer has more interior room and the spare is outside. The Jeep is better off-road, if that matters to you.
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Old 10-09-2004, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalBreakfast
I prefer the Explorer. I think it looks better and drives nicer.
I'll have to agree with the looks, partally, the jeep looks nice, but it's had the somewhat same shape since the 80's, but ride quality would have to be the Jeep, I've got both vehicles in my driveway and the jeep is so much more stable while driving, haven't had the X off-road really as it's my mothers, (she'd kill me!) I've wheeld the Jp many times and never really gotten into trouble. But the two have performance pretty equal but the Jeep does seem more responsive under acceleration. The on and off road manners are much better than the X, and alot better in the winter time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steina
Starting in '02, the Explorer has Independent Rear Suspension which makes for a much smoother ride. Also, the Explorer has more interior room and the spare is outside. The Jeep is better off-road, if that matters to you.
Yes, the X has indipendant suspension, but doesn't the new G.C. also have indipendant suspension? Also, the XJ was discontinued in 01' and replaced by the Liberty.
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:08 PM
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1970Custom -

The new G.C. may have IRS, but I think Mark was looking at '01-'02 models.

Steve
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:24 PM
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Didn't the G.C have an off-road specific model in those years w/ indipendant suspension??? I thought I read about one in 4 Weel & Off-Road's SUV challenge. or was that later like 03????
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Old 10-09-2004, 01:51 PM
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No IRS or IFS on the Grand, Its live axle Front and rear. I know, I'm Jeep guy. Live Axles are what make the G.C. so great, but the ride does suffer some comp-ared to the Liberty, which does have Indipendant front suspension. (yuck)


The X is a radicly diffrent truck from a Jeep, either the cherokee or the Grand. Both the Cherokee's are smaller, roughly the same size. they are unibody construuction, but have extreamly stiff chassis ment to handle yeahs of hard off road twisting and stress. This makes them feel exceptionaly responsive to any steering or throttle imputs compared to a body on frame truck like the X.

The Jeep's motors are either the 4.0 inline 6, which is one of the best non deasle torque motors ever produced, or the 4.7 V8, which is a decent, light weight and powerfull, if basicly unremarkable motor. The Automatics are built to handle the extreams of off road use, and are heavier duty than those found in other SUVs of this size and weight, while the Manula Xmissions are varried. The AX-15 is stout, but the syncro's will wear fast, the newer NP3550 has a higher first gear, and lower torque capacity, but is still a 1 ton truck transmission, and isn't going to break unless you tow 22foot trailers up mountians with 44 inch tires and a lead foot as you take it over a fallen tree.

Axles are a diffrent story. the front Axles is almost always a Dana 30, with Dana44 knuckles. its stout, and hard to break even when your trying to. It can handle the full sustained torque load of the engine, but as a front axle, it never has to.

The rear axles are either the corprate 8.25, the dana 35c, or the dana 44. The Dana 35c is junk for the most part, but it does ok in 2wd's that won't see off road use. the 8.25 has axles as thick as the Ford 8.8, and is a good axle. The Dana 44 is nearly builet proof under a jeep.

The Ford Explorer is a medium weight SUV, 1000 heavier than a Cherokee, its larger, with more interior space, and a floorboard not compromised by the need to tuck the transfercase and fuel tank up high. The flatter floorboard also means it has less ground clearance.

The X had several diffrent rear suspensions over the years, ranging from leaf springs and live axles, to coil sprung independant suspensions. All of these rear suspensions ride comfortably, none of them were ever very stable, as they were desined for comfort only, and there is some truth to the tales of Explorers rolling over. Try getting a trailor at a U-haul, and you may find they have a policy of not attaching trailers to Explorers.

The Live Axle version used the Ford 8.8 Axle. A very stout Axle able to handle more power and torque than the Explorer would ever see. Infact, the Axle is so good, many hot rodders and Jeepers use the Axle in there project cars as an alternitive to the only slightly stronger and much heavier Ford 9 inch.

As for powertrain on the explorers, I am not the expert on the diffrent motors and transmissions used, but hey, they're ford, right?



Alright, thats alot of information, and it basicly boils down to this. Which will she prefer? WHat will she be using them for?
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:32 PM
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For '05, the GC will have IFS, similar to that of the Liberty. I wouldn't touch the older GC's with the 318. The tranny on those are not good. I used to have a 94 Cherokee. It had a class III hitch on it that was obviously overloaded at one point, and the frame was actually "peeling away" with the hitch. Explorers are much stronger. The GC's are quite nice, but I don't know if they have a better frame or not than the Cherokee. The only problem with I have with Explorers is that the older pushrod 4.0 is just barely adequate.
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:39 PM
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I know this is a bit off topic, and i'm not trying to say you're wrong, but what was the newly redesigned suspension that I read about for the G.C. in 4Wheel & Off-Road???? I'm trying to remember what it was called, Rubicon type name, cuz' i thought it was some type of indipendant setup, maybe it was the live axle, with a bit of redesign????
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Old 10-09-2004, 06:40 PM
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Thanks guys,,great info on both,, . I did look under an 02' G.C. today and it is a uni-body setup,,but still looked pretty rugged, I like the solid front axel in them,,I am also glad to here that they do have the 4.0L straight 6.

The guy I talked to was a dealer, and he said the G.C.I had called about had a v6( which was sold) and that the tranny was junk in them,,I think it was a 99' Did they ever put V6's in Jeep Grand Cherokee's ??

Now I know this vehicle wont get much or any off road use, just for winter driving for mom,,,I guess we will just have to drive both and go from what she feels about each one.

Thanks people,,,,,,,,later,,,,,,,,,,Mark

PS,,More comments please !
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Old 10-09-2004, 06:46 PM
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I have owned both, however they were older models...fit and finish was poor on the Jeep. I liked the Explore much better than the Jeep, the jeep road like a lumber wagon and constantly had rattles. The only thing I did not like about the Explore it was a two door...ug...never again.
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Old 10-09-2004, 06:51 PM
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I would definately go for the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee over the Explorer. If you get the chance, go for the Grand Cherokee with either the 5.2 (318) or new 4.7. A 1998 model with the 5.9 was also available. The Jeeps will go almost anywhere in stock form that you could imagine, I know from experience. I also believe durability wise, they are better than the Explorer. The 6 cylinder engine in the Explorer is a 4.0 V6 versus the Jeep 4.0 I-6 which has been around for around 40 some years. It may not make as much power as the Explorer's V6, but it will definately run longer with proper maintenance. The same thing goes for the V8 options as well, IMO. The Grand Cherokee from 93-98 used the 5.2 (the 98 model had an awesome 5.9 option). From what I've seen, both of these motors are faster than the 5.0 in the Explorer. The Chrysler 318 and 360 will run forever if given proper treatment and are capable of great abuse. They have been around longer than the 5.0 and are definately proven motors (the 318 dates back to 1957 or so). The Ford 302 (5.0) is also a good motor, but will not necessarily run as long as the 318 or 360 IMO. I have 156K miles on my Grand and now run a 3" suspension lift. The 318 runs strong, doesn't smoke or anything, and the transmission is also fine. Overall, it depends on what you're looking for. To me, the Grand is capable and luxurious, perfect for going anywhere but also going out to the mall or to dinner. The new suspension you may be hearing of is on the next generation 2005 Grand Cherokee (code named WK). It is a SLA independent front that provides more suspension travel than the current model's live axle. The rear suspension remains a 5 link live axle. The current Explorer has IFS/IRS. Good luck in making your decision.
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:53 PM
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The 4.0 has only been around since the mid 80s.

I have an 02 GC. Mine is slightly modded, I have a Banks Torque Tube Header and Stinger Exhaust system and Chip, we upgraded the stock shocks to multi staging Bilsteins.

Its got excellent passing power at highway speeds, and quickly runs right to the governor.

It also has amazing off road capabilities, like all Jeeps.
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