1981 Jeep Cherokee Reviews

1981 Jeep Cherokee SJ Laredo WideTrack 360 AMC / 5.9L from Germany

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 360 AMC / 5.9L Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired64000 miles
Previous carJeep Wagoneer

Summary:

It's a full-size-Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand!

Faults:

TF727 transmission needed to be rebuilt due to the truck sitting and not being used; and all the seals inside the tranny had dry-rotted. The clutch bands also needed to be replaced. An $800 fix.

Old, clogged catalytic converter.

Burnt plug wires.

Original, used-up ignition coil and ignition module. Upgraded with a new Ford TFI coil, new plug wires, and ignition module. A $120 fix. The truck now runs very fast :)

General Comments:

My wife and I have owned two previous FSJs, a '77 Cherokee Chief S N/T, and an '80 Wagoneer.

...And I'll hopefully never have to buy anything other than FSJs ever (aside from something to tow them with) ;-)

This '81 Cherokee is in fantastic condition for it's age, is a very capable 4x4 even stock, and still has enough style to take out on the town.

The interior is very comfy, with bucket seats, and good visibility all around.

Wing windows rule!!!

Driving, the truck has very little body-lean when turning, and doesn't handle like a typical full-size SUV.

Acceleration is very good for a 6,000lb vehicle, but the gas mileage isn't impressive with the V-8.

However, with a few more ignition upgrades, and a better carb, this truck is capable of 14 MPG+.

For more information on FSJs, check out http://www.ifsja.org

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th September, 2003

1981 Jeep Cherokee 258 straight six from North America

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 258 straight six Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired78000 miles
Most recent distance83000 miles
Previous carFord F150

Summary:

I absolutely love it

Faults:

Torque converter was slipping. I had it replaced and had the whole transmission rebuilt while it was being done.

The exhaust was leaking around the muffler. I had the exhaust replaced from the manifold to the tailpipe.

General Comments:

This Jeep is a wonderful vehicle. I have owned a lot of cars and trucks, new and classics, but I enjoy driving and looking at my Cherokee more than any vehicle I have owned.

It has great lines with a completely original look.

The cabin space is amazing, it is so roomy and comfortable.

It handles and rides like a Lincoln.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th March, 2003

18th May 2006, 14:24

I just bought a 1981 Cherokee Chief S (or at lease that is what the badge on the side says) in Trinidad (as in the Caribbean) where it has been since 1981. It was converted to right-hand drive and has the original 360AMC (gas here is about US$1.30 or so). I got it as a birthday present for my 41st birthday and love it! It is a real beast and with no emissions issues, it is breathing through essentially a straight pipe so it sounds great. I don't know squat about it so anyone who wants to direct me to good sites, please drop a comment.

Average review marks: 8.3 / 10, based on 2 reviews