1986 Jeep Cherokee Chief 2dr. 4wd 2.5L 4 cylinder. TBI from North America


It's a Jeep... need I say more?


Brakes have been replaced several times.

Shifter fork failed at 140000.

Valve cover gasket at 160000.

Engine will overheat on long trips; this is due to the old style cooling sytem.

Otherwise, just general upkeep.

General Comments:

This is the last year of the AMC-built Jeeps. Cherokee Chief with the off-highway package. Dana 44 rear and Dana 35 front axles. They will last forever considering the 4 Cylinder puts out about 115 horsepower. Decent amount of torque though.

If you are considering an SUV of this size, skip right past the Explorers and S-10 Blazers. This is a true Jeep. Solid axles front and rear. Not just important for off-roading. My drive-train components are mostly original with 223000 miles on them. The truck feels very stable when cornering, and stock it can take on some drastic angles with ease. The solid front axle allows for great articulation.

In this era, stay away from the Cherokees with the 2.8 V6. It has reliability issues. The 2.5 4 Cyl. isn't a powerhouse, but with the 5-speed manual it is adequate.

There is some road noise at highway speeds, but nothing overly obtrusive.

Cargo space is very good.

It is a real champ in the snow in 4wd, and is quite capable off-road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2005

1st Oct 2005, 14:50

The 2.8 V6 I Have 289,000 Miles with no real problems keep up with oil changes every 3,000 miles.

5th Sep 2006, 16:57

I own a 1986 Cherokee with the 2.8L V6 engine and agree, this engine has serious reliability problems with the cam shaft bearings. The first one failed at 132,000 miles, the used one that I installed is making the same noise now. Avoid this engine like a plague and go with the solid little 2.5L engine. Talk to any mechanic who knows the Chevy 2.8L engine and he will tell you the same thing. There is no fixing the cam bearing problem. I have been told you can upgrade to the 3.1L engine they used in the Blazer, but have not really looked into it yet.

18th Sep 2006, 23:11

I have a 1987 cherokee chief 6cyl the trans I had to replace it at 275500 other than that no problems.

9th Jan 2010, 23:59

1986 was the last year they put the 2.8 liter V6's in Cherokees. The 4.0 liter six from 1987 onward was a much better engine, and a lot more powerful.

20th Mar 2011, 09:41

I have a 86 Cherokee Chief with the 2.8. Recently I have had problems driving, it acts like it is not getting fuel. I have replaced the fuel pump and filter, but am still having the same issue. The Jeep will start and idle fine with no problems. If any body knows what is wrong, please give me a call. At the moment I have limited Internet access, 336-452-7429, my name is Brandon, thank you.

1986 Jeep Cherokee Laredo 2.8L from North America


This car needs almost no maintenance!


The only things that went wrong with car after I got it were:

The headliner began to sag, but no big deal.

I flooded the carburetor and had to get an oil change, otherwise the car wouldn't start.

When the cold winter hit, the car would not start in the morning. I had to call AAA and have them jump start me to get the battery warm. Later I found out that the gas line was freezing, and I had to buy a better grade of gas, and I had to buy a gas anti freeze.

It's an old car, and needed to get new control arms, and a gear box, but the car was like 16 years old, it was expected.

General Comments:

This is by far the best car I've ever owned, coming from a problematic 95 Ford Contour, this car a savior. I'm in college and can't afford to get my fixed too often, and I only had 1 problem I had to deal with, and that only ended up costing me $20 (oil change) and the difference of higher priced gas. I haven't gotten a chance to fix the control arms or gear box, because someone stole the truck from me!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th October, 2004