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Hi all, from "that" London.


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Second week with my low mileage (51k) 2005 Cherokee 2.8 CRD Sport, six speed manual (KJ), and here is the story so far...First, let me tell you why I bought it...The engine of my previous car (a 2007 106k Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6 HDI) blew up as I was on my way to work at 14:30 on Friday 18th.  Somehow I manged to blow a hole in the block and it dumped all it's oil over the M3, leaving me stranded on the hard shoulder for four hours.  As I'm self employed and work 15 miles from home all I was worried about was how I am going to get to work on Monday without a car.  As I own a boat, on a trailer, and had had problems pulling said trailer up muddy slipways in the past, I thought I should look for another car ASAP and that it should be a 4X4 if possible.  The next day, a friend of mine suggested I look in our local used car dealer, and he gave me a lift there.  Was surprised to find the Jeep priced at just £2995. In fact it was cheapest car he had in the yard, but it looked pristine.  It seemed to have everything I needed, except cruise control, which I really wanted, but I didn't have time to hang around so I put a £200 deposit down there and then.  He then took it for an MOT and I went home.  He phoned me later to tell me it had passed, with no advisories, which was surprising to me as there were a couple of niggles I had initially noticed when viewing it...It came with the standard steel wheels but I noticed the back tyres were bigger than the front tyres (255/70R16 vs 235/70R16)...When I pointed this out the dealer said he would get me a couple of part worn tyres to replace them with.  I also noticed the N/S/F tyre was starting to perish, just above where it met the rim, but he brushed this off saying that it must be legal as it passed the MOT like that.  He also told me the operation of the handbrake lever was faulty...Pull it up fast and there is no resistance...You have to pull it up slowly to get the ratchet to engage, and its a bit hit or miss at best.  The dealer brushed this off too saying it must be ok if it passed the MOT like that.  And although a tow bar with twin sockets was fitted, the tow ball part itself was missing, making it useless.  The dealer said he had an old tow bar in his yard with a removeable tow ball on it that I might be able to adapt to fit the tow bar on the Jeep, so he gave the tow ball off it.  I could not tax it online straight away as it had been a tax exempt mobility car for the previous female owner, so I had to go to the local Post Office and fill in a couple of forms.  The insurance was only £10 extra to swap over.  I picked the Jeep up on Monday 21st and drove straight to the local Tescos filling station, around the corner, to fill up with Diesel.  I was shocked to discover it cost me £95 to fill up the tank!  I thought this thing was going to cost me an arm and leg to run but that was an eye opener for sure.  At home I noticed a strong burning smell when I got out...The O/S rear wheel was very hot, meaning that brake calliper was not releasing.  I phoned the dealer and he said he would get his mechanic round to change that brake calliper, but that he could not get him round till Friday, five days away...So in the mean time I had no choice but to drive to work and back with a stuck brake calliper, which has probably cost me at least a tenner in fuel, maybe more.  I have been driving it like a granny, to save fuel, and I was surprised to find it's actually pretty good on fuel, considering the Calliper problem and that I was using air-con each time because it was hot on the way to work.  At 100 miles the fuel gauge was right in the middle between 3/4 and full.  Then Friday came and the calliper was finally changed by James, the dealers mechanic. 

He also bought round two brand new 235/70R16 106H off road tyres, which the dealer had reluctantly had to buy for me because he could not get part worns in the size I needed.  The Euro sticker revealed they had a F rating for fuel economy and an F rating for wet grip...I need tyres which can give me good fuel economy so these were useless for me.  He could not return them so I will have no choice but to put them up for sale on ebay.

Understandably, the responsiveness was improved after the Calliper was changed but because of the tyres it still didn't feel quite right. 

I sold the Citroen for £225 to the mechanic who changed my Calliper and I used to money to buy five used Jeep alloy wheels I found on ebay.  They are 7J16 "Ultrastar" five spoke alloys from the Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited edition from 1998.  Strangely, a lot of ebay sellers confuse these with the alloys from the Orvis edition, but these are completely different to those alloys.  The seller wanted £169.99 plus £39 postage for them but he wasn't far away so I knew I could save on the postage.  I offered him £150 and he accepted.

Then I went on ebay looking for road tyres (my jeep will be used on the road for 99.99% of the time so I don't have any need for chunky off road tyres) which had better Euro ratings than the two the dealer had given me. I found 4 Alfamotors 235/70R16 106H DK365 tyres with a C rating for both economy and wet grip, for £118 brand new, with free delivery...Bought them and they came the following morning by courier!  Then I took them down to the place that had the Alloy wheels.  I was worried that the 25.4mm offset of the wheels I had bought was not going to be right, and when the fitter checked on his computer the offset table seemed to confirm this...Looked like I would need to buy four 25mm wheel spacers, costing at least £72 to allow them to fit.  Just to make sure, I got him to try one on without the tyre,  and I was extremely happy to discover it fitted perfectly!  So I asked him to fit and balance all four along with the new tyres and driving home was like just like driving a "normal" car.  Before he fitted the alloy wheels I weighed one of them with the tyre.  It weighed 9.76kg.  I had already weighed one of the new tyres and it was 14.3kg, so the total weight of each alloy wheel and tyre was a tad over 24kg.  I also weighed one of the original steel wheels with one the 255/70R16 tyres on it (from the back of the car) and it weighed just over 30kg (a saving of at least 6kg per wheel at the back!)...I didn't weigh one of the original steel wheels with a 235/70R16 tyre but it won't be far off this saving for those two wheels too.  I didn't get the spare wheel changed as I only had four tyres, not five, but potentially I am looking at a total saving in both vehicle weight and unsprung weight of around 30kg!


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Thanks.  I just noticed the Alfamotors tyres I bought actually have a B rating for both economy and wet grip not C, which is even better!  But I cannot edit the main post so I had to mention it here.  Also, I may be the only Cherokee/Liberty owner using these particular alloys, as I cannot find a single picture online of anyone else using them...My Ultrastars look like this:  https://detroitwheelandtire.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/9/0/9022_2.jpg But most Cherokee's/Liberty's with alloy wheels have ugly six spoke alloys like these: https://detroitwheelandtire.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/9/0/9079_7.jpg , or these: https://detroitwheelandtire.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/9/0/9055_2.jpg

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