Bob Cooke – contributor
I haven’t dared to tell Pete how I came to get the Cherokee stuck, because he’d call me such an idiot. Particularly since, for once, his 1949 Willys just didn’t have enough oomph to pull my Jeep out of the mud hole. When he drove off without a word I assumed he’d got the hump and had just abandoned me, but he came back with Brett Mawer in his high-rise Range Rover which hoiked the Cherokee out of the hole as easily as a bear snapping up a salmon.
It was only after the Cherokee had regained terra firma that I spotted the tell-tale green indicator lamp on the dashboard and realised why the Cherokee hadn’t been able to follow Pete’s Willys through that particular mud hole.
I’d like to point out that I do know the difference between ‘permanent’ 4WD and ‘part time’ 4WD as applied to the Jeep. I blame the fact that the Cherokee was in the wrong 4×4 mode on old age. The Jeep’s old age, not mine!
For the uninitiated the old Cherokee (the XJ) with the 4.0-litre engine and automatic transmission has the Selec-Trac 4WD system, which in 2WD drives only the rear wheels, for use on hard surfaces. It can then be shifted into ‘part time’ 4WD in high range to cope with mild slippery off-road situations that don’t require low range. Shift it back one more notch and it goes into a ‘permanent’ 4WD mode, which allows the car to be driven on tarmac, ideal in case of wet or icy weather where you might come unexpectedly on a slippery patch. One more notch gives neutral, the final position being the serious off-road ‘part time’ low range mode. Usually when I go off-road I simply yank the transfer lever all the way back and drive around in proper low range 4WD.
Make: Jeep Cherokee
Model: 4.0 Limited
Recent costs: £45 MoT
Arrived: July 2011
You can read more about this Jeep in the April 2014 issue of 4×4 Magazine – available here