Who wants my '88 4x4 XJ? Am I really going to let her go??


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Am I really going to let my 1988 4x4 Cherokee go? Really?
Can I find someone that will appreciate it, have the money and/or skills to care for it properly, and still give me some amount of money for it that might soften the blow of the $15K of nickels and dimes I've put into repairs over the years?

When it runs well, I love my XJ.
I'm not a rock-crawler or off-roader, per se, but when I have to kick in the 4x4 to get to the camping spot, worksite, surf spot, rec area - or to get through the snow, mud, sand or loose dirt on my way to work or play - I LOVE the 4x4. If I had the money to get a little rougher off road with it, I'm sure I'd enjoy that, too. If I ever felt like it was totally reliable, I woulda had her on way more adventurous excursions (mountains, Baja, deserts, etc)
PLUS, I love the older classic boxy look of the 1988 XJ :)

When I'm on the side of the highway waiting for it to cool down so I can install yet another extra $70 coolant bottle (or bottle cap) that I carry with me at all times for just in case, I'm not loving the XJ :-/

My problem is that I know just enough to try to tackle many XJ problems myself over the years, but I'm not skilled or focused enough to get repairs done fast - and I don't exactly enjoy doing repairs/mods/improvements. This is a recipe for a very frustrating way to live with an aging vehicle that was made with inherent problems (Bad wiring, bad coolant/radiator system - Renix, you know).
Sure, I do enjoy when I fix something myself, figure it out, and it's done - but since I'm often doing it under the stress of life that I don't manage very well, and it takes me like 10 times as long to do it as someone that's enthused and/or skilled with it - with constant visits with questions to YouTube or an auto parts store - then it's not optimal.

Then there's all the repairs I've paid to have done, either because they were above my head or tool set, or I just didn't have the time or patience then to do it myself. We're talking like $15K over the 16 years I've had the XJ. And it still has issues (Dying power locks/windows, interior, exterior, dead a.c., oil leak, Renix issues)

If someone savvy and enthused about XJ repairs/restores were near me (San Diego, CA), I might ask to get her fixed up to RELIABLY functional, and then, in time, money allowing, I'd handle cosmetics and modernizations. If I suddenly had a lot of money, I'd chop the top and get a pop-up on it for camping - maybe chop and extend the back so my 6'3" body could finally lay out flat in the back to sleep!
But, alas, I don't have much money right now to put into even just the necessities - so, I wonder if anyone would be interested in helping, in exchange for some video work done in trade for their labor time (I'm a photographer/videographer) - perhaps of the work being done.

The reason I tell all this is to let you know where I'm coming from before I do the dreaded CraigsList posting (and get, what, $500 max for it?), or else just call some charity or scrapyard (and get, what, $100 for it?).

Anybody want this that will actually do something good with it? Or fix it up to use it for some noble or charitable cause? Or know a charity that could use it (not for scrap metal or parts, but for the potential that it has)?
I'm in San Diego, CA. I have ALL maintenance records and receipts since I bought it in 2002. It performs fine in recent years, passed smog test every time (although due for new smog and registration right about now).

OR - anyone around here that knows the idiosyncrasies of 1988 XJs, and want to hold my hand through a restoration of its basic necessities, and let me assist and/or film the process (I'd actually love to learn through assisting or filming)?

By the way, sorry if this is the wrong section for me to post this. Please let me know if I should put it somewhere else on Jeepz.com.

Well, I hope I've gotten my point across okay.
I'll hate to lose this vehicle that has provided me so much access to fun and worksites, but I just can't handle any more repair time on my own and/or a lot more $$$.
If I can't find someone that could step up and say, "I know how to get an '88 XJ running reliably and I won't charge you an arm and a leg, let's do it!!", then I hope I can find a buyer who will be able to use it for it's intended potential.

BY THE WAY - I'm also open to partnering with someone that wants to fix it up, then we sell it and split up that money (just another idea, in case that interests anyone out there).

Thanks for reading; I look forward to whoever replies!

Sorry you're having a hard time with it Ted. Is it just that it's overheating, or are there more issues?

Tell us what's wrong and we may be able to help.
There are many good knowledgable jeep enthusiasts on the west cost. Hook up with a few clubs. I'm not sure if Jerry is still out that way.


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How about some pics and list of mods?

Unfortunately you'll never get much out of it, considering the year and how well they (don't) hold up.