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Old 02-25-2008, 01:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
zjrog
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tooele, UT
Posts: 412

ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

Neon - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

Ranger - '90 Ford Ranger
Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

Not the Jeep - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 34.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Great write up. I really enjoy watching rally racing, including a couple times a the Rim of The World in california (not too far from where I used to live...). I was considering getting into rally cross before moving to Utah, as a means of getting the racing bug out of my system again. I used to do autocross back in the early 80s and had some minor success with a Plymouth Champ.

I have become very fond of my 95 Grand Cherokee Laredo. The 4.0 could use some more power, but is about as solid a motor as ever preoduced. In my case, I was buying used, and sought a GC with specific attributes, the Upcountry package and the NP242 transfer case. This t-case offers Fulltime (AWD), 4 Hi and 4 Lo, and 2WD Hi. The Upcountry package includes stiffer, taller springs that are 1" taller than a standard Grand Cherokee. The package also included full skid plates for the front of the motor transmission and transfer case, and a fuel tank skid. And also included tow hooks front and rear. My Jeep also has a tow package so I don't have hooks in the rear, but get the uprated cooling system and alternator, and also got a limited slip differential with 3.73 gearing. While it does sit a ittle higher than otehr Grands, it also handles better with thicker swaybars and specially tuned shocks (mine were long gone and has some sportish tuned shocks). I noticed very little difference in handling when I went up to a larger tire this past summer. I do drive a mountain pass in my commute!!! I do enjoy the way this Jeep handles winter driving. I have taken it in snow deeper than lower edge of the doors, and the few times it did get stuck, I managed to get it out without digging or needing a tug. Without traction control or stability control. Though, I do like the ABS, even if it seems to act sooner than I prefer it too.

I agree, every vehicle has its place. Even an SUV. From my point of view, I can see exactly why you chose your Grand. Even in stock trim as yours is (and mine mostly) they are very capable rigs. And should perform quite well for the task you have chosen for it. Bigger knobbier tires don't always work better in snow, as a friend of mine recently found out (his 4x4 is a lifted Cherokee, but his daily driver is a Metro...).

Jeeps and rally racing... I LOVE this forum!!!!
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