Kevin's Offroad

Kevin's Offroad

1998 ZJ Grand Cherokee Limited 5.9 Limited pricing and facts

By: Scott Mueller 

This article is to detail the facts and figures on the 5.9 Limited,
especially in comparison to the standard 5.2 Limited. It all started
when somebody wrote online:

The 5.9 has a little more engine but it doesn’t make a $5000 worth
of difference over the 5.2L

This confirmed to me that there is a BIG misconception about the pricing
for the 5.9 Limited “Plus” Grand Cherokee. When new, the 5.9 Limited cost
only about $2K more than the 5.2 Limited! Read on and you’ll see the true
pricing and feature differences.

Let me dispel any myths about the 5.9 and what it cost. Here is the actual
invoice and sticker pricing for a 1998 5.2 Limited and a 1998 5.9 Limited
with as equal an option configuration as is possible. For example since
the 2_K and anti-spin differential options are included with the 5.9, I
also specified them for comparison on the 5.2 model. Note that you can’t
configure them exactly equal, since besides the larger engine the 5.9
package includes many more items not available at all on the standard
5.2 Limited.

1998 Jeep Cherokee, 4dr Limited 4WD:

Selected Options Invoice Retail
—————————————————————
Base Price $30,533.00 $33,890.00
Shipping 525.00 
– 5.2L (318) SMPI V8 ENGINE 748.00 880.00
– 2_K LIMITED QUICK-ORDER PKG-inc:
AM/FM CD/cassette w/8 Infinity
speakers, dual front heated seats,
pwr sunroof w/mini-overhead console 1097.00 1290.00
– 2_K QUICK-ORDER PKG SAVINGS -425.00 -500.00
– REAR ANTI-SPIN DIFFERENTIAL 242.00 285.00
—————————————————————
Comparison price Subtotal: $32,720.00 $36,370.00
—————————————————————
Additional Options Invoice Retail
—————————————————————
– ENGINE BLOCK HEATER 34.00 40.00
– SKID PLATE/TOW HOOK GROUP-inc:
transfer case/front suspension/
fuel tank skid plates, 2 front/1 rear
tow hooks (rear tow hook deleted
w/trailer tow group) 170.00 200.00
– TRAILER TOW GROUP IV-inc:
max engine cooling, synthetic rear axle
fluid, high-temp power steering system,
frame-mounted equalizer hitch,
7-wire outlet 208.00 245.00
===============================================================
Total: $33,132.00 $36,855.00

1998 Jeep Cherokee, 4dr Limited 4WD 5.9:

Selected Options Invoice Retail
—————————————————————
Base Price $34,392.00 $38,275.00
Shipping 525.00 
—————————————————————
Comparison price Subtotal: $34,917.00 $38,800.00
—————————————————————
Additional Options Invoice Retail
—————————————————————
– ENGINE BLOCK HEATER 34.00 40.00
– SKID PLATE/TOW HOOK GROUP-inc:
transfer case/front suspension/
fuel tank skid plates, 2 front/1 rear
tow hooks (rear tow hook deleted
w/trailer tow group) 170.00 200.00
– TRAILER TOW GROUP IV-inc:
max engine cooling, synthetic rear axle
fluid, high-temp power steering system,
frame-mounted equalizer hitch,
7-wire outlet 208.00 245.00
===============================================================
Total: $35,329.00 $39,285.00

5.9/5.2 comparison price differential: $2,197.00 $2,430.00

Note that when new one would normally would have paid close to if not
exactly straight invoice (and not sticker) price. Note that the 5.9
Limited includes all of the extra cost options shown above for the regular
Limited, which is why they were included for comparison. Now if you think
$2K is a lot JUST for the 5.9 engine, you should know that for the extra
$2 grand you get many more things than just that engine! Here is a summary
of all the differences between the 5.2 Limited and the 5.9 Limited:

Mechanical Differences:

-The 245 HP 345 lb-ft 5.9L (360) engine, of course!
-150amp high output alternator (others get only 138amp or 117amp)
-Electric 2-speed engine cooling fan (saves ~20HP)
-Extra Heavy Duty 46RE auto transmission
-High strength front driveshaft
-2.75″ low restriction stainless exhaust w/3″ chrome rolled oval tip

Interior Differences:

-10 speaker sound system with rear upper sound bar
-180-watt stereo amplifier (vs. 120-watt max. in Limited)
-Full 100% leather (not just leather trimmed) seats
-Leather center console cover
-Leather shifter handle
-Leather parking brake handle
-Leather transfer case handle
-Leather door panels
-Fold down rear seat center armrest (leather)
-Wood trim around the shifter handle
-All wood trim is Birdseye maple

Exterior Differences:

-Unique 5-spoke Ultrastar 16″ wheels
-Pinstripe delete
-Unique hood with functional cooling louvers
-Unique chrome exterior badging
-Unique low restriction wire mesh grille for more engine cooling
-Unique molded lower rocker panels
-Special new design low profile roof rack (doesn’t rattle!)

All of the above items are only available with and are in fact STANDARD on
the 5.9 Limited. Personally I think the 5.9 Limited is a BARGAIN at only
$2K more than the standard 5.2 Limited.

Performance:

The 5.9 Limited was advertised as the “Worlds fastest sport utility
vehicle” in advertisements that Jeep ran during 1998, and that was borne
out by testing. A 1998 press release by Chrysler stated the following:

—–

The following is a summary of changes to Chrysler’s engines for 1998:

In the 5.9L V-8 engine (Grand Cherokee, Dakota and Ram pick-up, and Ram
van), a new camshaft adds up to 15 bhp and the torque curve is widened to
provide more responsive performance in the normal driving range for all
models. In addition, specific to the Grand Cherokee, 15 degrees more spark
advance (which requires premium fuel) and a 25 percent reduction in
backpressure makes a total increase of 25 bhp over the current 5.2L
engine. The cooling fan motor is now electric, eliminating a power drain
of up to 20 bhp.

—–

The performance increases of the greater spark advance and electric fan
are some of the main reasons the 5.9 Limited performed so much better than
the other Chrysler trucks with 5.9L engines. The magazine test results
were impressive:

1998 Jeep 5.9 Limited (Motor Trend Jan/98):
0-50 – 4.90 sec.
0-60 – 6.80 sec.
0-70 – 9.20 sec.
60-0 Braking – 126.00 ft.
1/4 Mile – 15.20 sec.
Slalom – 58.40 mph
Skidpad – 0.74 g

For comparison, here is what a standard 5.2L Grand Cherokee would do:

1995 Orvis 5.2L (Motor Trend Jun/95):
0-60 – 8.30 sec.
60-0 Braking – 126.00 ft.
1/4 Mile – 16.40 sec.
Slalom – 54.90 mph
Skidpad – 0.75 g

Even newer SUVs like the BMW X5 and Mercedes AMG ML55 have had problems
bettering the performance mark set by the 5.9 Limited:

2000 AMG ML55 5.5L (Car & Driver Dec/99):
0-50 – 5.20 sec.
0-60 – 6.80 sec.
0-70 – 8.90 sec.
70-0 Braking – 181.00 ft.
1/4 Mile – 15.30 sec.
Skidpad – 0.74 g

2000 BMW X5 4.4i (Motor Trend Jan/00):
0-60 – 7.50
1/4 Mile – 15.80

As you can see, the 5.9 Limited can still hold claim to being among the
fastest SUVs in the world, if not THE fastest. It is also quite rare. I
spoke with the Chrysler customer service department, and found out some
interesting production figures straight from the factory:

5.9 Limited w/Federal Emissions: 10,051
5.9 Limited w/CA Emissions: 4,235
———————————————
1998 5.9 Limited Total: 14,286
1998 Laredo/Limited (exc. 5.9) Total: 233,086
———————————————
Total 1998 Grand Cherokee production: 247,372

Note: CA emissions is required in other states including ME/MA/NY and VT.

Even though the California emissions models are more rare, they wouldn’t
be as desirable as the Federal emission versions due to slightly more
restrictive emissions controls. Scott.