we are no longer offering the CompuShft Plus.
Jeep Cherokee transmission known as the AW4
automatic transmission does not allow you to control
first and second gear manually. The Jeep
Cherokee automatic transmission shift computer,
CompuShift Plus, gives you that total control of
first and second gear in the combined "1-2"
transmission gear shift position. It is the most exciting
Jeep Cherokee transmission performance enhancing and
to come along for your Jeep Cherokee transmission.
Jeep Cherokee transmission, known as the AW4, does not allow
individual control over first and second gear in the combined
"1-2" shift position.
is especially dangerous if you downshift to slow
down on icy, wet, or muddy, road surfaces or when
attempting to reduce downhill speed on loose gravel
of the unexpected automatic downshift to first gear
from second, the wheels essentially "lock
up" from the abrupt gear ratio change.
This can cause the Cherokee to skid violently
sideways, and out of control.
Cherokee owners do not even realize how their
transmission operates in the "1-2"
shift lever position. If you wish to find out
how you and your Jeep Cherokee transmission will benefit from the
use of a CompuShift Plus you can perform the
Do Not Perform This Test Unless You Are On Dry
Pavement Or Your Jeep Cherokee May Spin Out Of
Place the transmission shift lever in the
Drive position and bring the vehicle speed up
to 35-40 MPH. Now let off on the accelerator
and downshift to the 1-2 position, (as you
would in slippery or icy conditions or when
towing, to allow engine braking to help slow
you down) and you will feel the transmission
downshift into second gear. Continue slowing
down and at about 25-28 MPH you will
feel an abrupt downshift to first gear even
though you have not touched the shift lever.
uncontrollable downshift of your Jeep Cherokee
transmission at such a high rate of speed is the factory
design deficiency that the CompuShift Plus
In a properly designed vehicle
you would have separate shift positions for
first and second gear and would be able to
manually control the downshift at a safe speed
for conditions. This is especially true of a
sport utility vehicle such as the Jeep. Now
you can have this same safe, manual control of
first gear in your Jeep Cherokee transmission, with CompuShift
CompuShift Plus allows your Cherokee's
transmission to remain
in second gear for as long as you wish, then
when your vehicle has slowed enough for a safe
downshift into first, you simply push a button
and it shifts into first gear.
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Brooks, Oregon 97305
Jeep Cherokee History
Much in the same way that American automakers had
downsized many of their cars in the previous decade,
Jeep downsized one of its nameplates, the Cherokee,
Prior to this year, the Cherokee moniker was
attached to what amounted to a sportier version of
Jeep's Wagoneer. Mostly unchanged since its debut in
the early 1960s, the Wagoneer was a large,
truck-based, four-door wagon with four-wheel drive.
The former Cherokee, introduced as a 1974, shared
most everything with the Wagoneer, including
dimensions and engine selections. The major
differences between the two were that the "Jeep Cherokee"
was initially available only as a two-door (with the
same wheelbase and length as the Wagoneer) and the
Cherokee cost less than the more luxurious Wagoneer.
A four-door Cherokee joined the lineup in 1977.
The 1984 Jeep Cherokee shared nothing with its
predecessor, save its name. A shorter wheel- base
(over 7 inches less than the "old" model,
at 101.4 inches) and overall length (at 165.3
inches, a decrease of 21 inches) combined with a
much lighter weight of around 3,100 pounds (over
1,000 pounds less than before) went a long way
toward better fuel mileage and easier
maneuverability, on-road or off. Two-door and
four-door body styles were offered.
Styling for the trim Jeep Cherokee was chiseled and taut,
with muscular wheel well flares and a tall
greenhouse that afforded good visibility for driver
and passengers alike. The interior continued this
theme with a likewise simple dash and control
layout. Seating capacity was listed as five, though
it was tight for three adults to ride in the
Trim levels were comprised of the base Jeep Cherokee,
more luxurious Pioneer and the sporty Chief. The
Pioneer featured carpeting, additional instrument
panel gauges, full center console and a rear window
wiper/washer. The Chief was the most stylin' of the
trio with blackout exterior trim, hood striping and
Motive force came in the form of either four- or
six-cylinder power. The 2.5-liter four banger
inhaled its fuel and air through a one-barrel
carburetor and made 105 horsepower. The optional,
2.8-liter, two-barrel V6 (which was actually
supplied by Chevrolet) produced but 115 horses.
Although these powerplants were adequate, serious
thrust for the Jeep Cherokee was a still a few years
away. There were three transmission choices for the
V6: a standard four-speed manual, optional
five-speed manual and optional three-speed
automatic. The four-cylinder was limited to the
four-speed manual as its gearbox.
Considered by many as the leader in the
four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle segment, Jeep offered
not one but two 4WD systems for the Jeep Cherokee.
"Command-Trac" was a part-time,
shift-on-the-fly unit and the "Selec-Trac"
system allowed the option of full-time 4WD
operation. A "Quadra-Link" front
suspension design (which featured a solid axle
suspended by coil springs and four links)
contributed to the Jeep Cherokee's quickly acquired
reputation for off-road prowess.
The new Jeep Cherokee was well received by the motoring
press and the buying public alike, with nearly
78,000 Jeep Cherokees sold in its first year.
1985 brought the Laredo trim level to the Jeep Cherokee
family. Standard on the Laredo were most of
the features of the Pioneer with upgrades such as
plusher interior materials, pinstripes, alloy wheels
and chrome grille treatment.
Changes to the Jeep Cherokee in general included the
addition of front headrests and passenger assist
handles (for easier ingress and egress as well as
something to hold on to when the driver went hog
wild off-road). Two-wheel-drive versions were now
offered for those who didn't need the capabilities
of four-wheel drive. A few new options debuted as
well, such as keyless entry and a Renault-sourced,
four-cylinder, turbodiesel engine.
Two major hardware upgrades were hot topics for the Jeep Cherokee
in 1986. A redesigned and more
powerful four-cylinder engine was now standard. The
replacement of the stone-age carburetor with fuel
injection helped the 2.5-liter mill pump out a
respectable 117 horsepower, an increase of 12 horses
over the previous motor. Smoother operation and
easier starting were other benefits of the more
modern induction setup.
Geared toward serious off-road enthusiasts was a new
"Off-Highway Vehicle" package that
included heavy-duty suspension components, bigger
(225/75/15) tires, skid plates, tow hooks, a 4:10
rear axle ratio (to help in climbing up steep grades
and slogging through mud) and higher ground
Serious power became an option in 1987 when
Jeep dumped the 2.8 V6 and put a stout, 4.0-liter,
inline six-cylinder engine of Jeep's design on the
option list. Kicking out 177 horsepower, the new
"Power-Tech Six" could catapult the Jeep Cherokee
from rest to 60 mph in around 9 seconds --
pretty quick, especially for an SUV. Another benefit
of the increased muscle was more towing capacity --
rated at 5,000 pounds. The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder
was tweaked for an additional four horsepower, for a
total of 121 ponies.
A new, electronically controlled, four-speed
automatic transmission replaced the former three-cog
unit. The new automatic also offered selectable
shift modes: Power (which provided better
performance through higher-rpm upshifts and quicker
downshifts) and Comfort (which was more relaxed and
economical in operation). And the primitive,
four-speed manual was history, leaving the
five-speed for shift-it-yourselfers.
Cosmetically, the Jeep Cherokee received the option of
two-tone paint. Inside the cabin were found new door
trim panels with stowage bins.
A new, loaded-up Limited four-door model debuted
halfway through the model year. Just about every
luxury, performance and convenience feature was
standard on the new top dog Jeep Cherokee. The Limited
came with the powerful, 4.0-liter inline six teamed
with Selec-Trac and could be identified by its
color-keyed bumpers, gold wheels and gold
pinstripes. Leather seats, power everything, keyless
entry and an eight-speaker sound system were
additional highlights of the Limited's lengthy
standard equipment list.
Other models received minor changes, such as new
plaid seats in the Laredo and revised blackout trim
on the Chief.
1988 saw the addition of a Limited two-door
and the subtraction of the unpopular turbodiesel
engine option. Sharp-eyed enthusiasts could discern
an '88 by a new eight-slot grille that replaced the
former 10-slot unit.
Laredo models received new chrome trim as well as
lower bodyside cladding. In an effort to offer a Jeep Cherokee
for everyone (and leave no part of the
potential market uncovered), a Sport two-door model
was offered. The Sport added alloy wheels and
special graphics to the plain-Jane Jeep Cherokee,
allowing those on a budget to drive a sharp rig
without breaking the bank.
The availability (on models equipped with the
4.0-liter engine, automatic transmission and
Selec-Trac) of a four-wheel, antilock braking system
(ABS) was the big news for the 1989 Jeep Cherokee.
Jeep's ABS operated regardless of whether the Jeep Cherokee
was in 2WD or 4WD (unlike some competitors
who offered either only rear-wheel ABS or four-wheel
ABS that wouldn't function when the vehicle was in
Other functional upgrades for 1989 included two
former options that were made standard. Base models
received power steering and all Jeep Cherokees swapped
their former 13.5-gallon fuel tank for a 20-gallon
Changes were few for Jeep's most popular model for 1990.
Safety was improved through the fitment of
three-point seatbelts for all outboard occupants.
And a new overhead console on the Limited featured a
compass, outside thermometer and storage
compartments for a garage door control and
Power for both the four- and the six-cylinder
engines was boosted for 1991. A new,
multi-point fuel-injection system helped the four-banger
squeeze out 130 horsepower -- an increase of nine
horses over the 1990 model. And the big six now
cranked out 190 horsepower, bringing the zero to 60
mph time of the Jeep Cherokee down to under nine seconds.
Trim levels were shuffled about; the Pioneer was
dropped, a new Briarwood debuted, (identified by its
fake woodgrain trim on the bodysides) and a
four-door Sport model joined the two-door Sport.
Making life easier for the owner of a '91 Jeep Cherokee
were new double-sided keys, highlighted underhood
service points and an optional illuminated entry
1992 saw carpeting added to the standard
features of the base Jeep Cherokee. And Laredo four-doors
could now be fitted with (optional) leather seating,
just like the fancier Limited. Other than this, not
much else changed for the Jeep Cherokee this year.
The Jeep Cherokee line was simplified for 1993, as
the previous five trim levels gave way to just
three; base, Sport and the new Country. The Country
featured champagne-colored lower body, fender flares
and bumpers as well as most of the luxury features
of the defunct Limited. And Sport models were
updated with a two-tone treatment that featured
black on the lower body sides.
A long-life, stainless steel exhaust system was
fitted to all models, helping to lower ownership
Safety refinements were added for 1994.
Side-impact beams were now found in the doors, the
roof was beefed up for more crush resistance and a
center, high-mounted stoplight sat atop the liftgate.
Air conditioning now used CFC-free refrigerant.
For those who didn't like the champagne (the color,
not the libation) of the year before, the Country
was now available with silver as the secondary
color. And in an effort to make the base model sound
more appealing, the entry-level Jeep Cherokee now had the
"SE" moniker added to its name.
In spite of looking very much like the 1984 version,
the Jeep Cherokee continued to be popular among those
looking for a manageable (both in size and cost) and
capable SUV. 1995 brought a few notable
changes, a driver's side airbag and the availability
of an automatic (albeit just a three-speed)
transmission for the four-cylinder SE. Sport and
Country models continued with the 4.0-liter,
six-cylinder engine hooked up to either a five-speed
manual or four-speed automatic gearbox. A few new
colors, such as Moss Green and Aqua Pearl, completed
the changes for this year.
Minor refinements continued for the Jeep Cherokee in 1996.
Both the four- and six-cylinder engines were tweaked
to run smoother and quieter. The inline six now
produced its power at lower rpm, making it more
responsive whether accelerating from a light or
towing a trailer up a steep grade.
Safety and reliability were both enhanced this year.
An automatic transmission/brake pedal interlock
reduced the chance of an accident by requiring the
driver to apply the brake when moving the gear
selector out of Park. The electrical system was
upgraded via a heavy-duty alternator and battery.
And the engine received a stiffer block, new
aluminum pistons and a new powertrain control
In addition to the aforementioned improvements, some
new colors, such as Bright Jade and Stone White,
helped extend the appeal of the Jeep Cherokee, now in its
13th model year.
Fourteen years after it debuted, the Jeep Cherokee finally received a facelift, well, actually quite a
bit more than a facelift. The $215 million update
occurred in 1997 when the front and rear ends
were smoothed out, the interior was updated and
noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels were
Although one had to look close to pick off a '97
versus an older Jeep Cherokee, a more cohesive appearance
was achieved via softened corners at the nose and
tail and with wheelwell flares that blended into the
bumper ends. The front vent windows were dropped for
a cleaner look and lessened wind noise, and larger
side-view mirrors, new bodyside moldings, new
wheels, optional deep-tint glass and a center
high-mounted stop lamp completed the changes
Inside, change was much more apparent, as the more
modern cabin featured several key improvements in
ergonomics, safety and style. A new dash (now with a
passenger airbag), revised gauges and a new center
stack with easier to use controls for the stereo
(now available with both cassette and CD players)
and climate control system sported a cleaner design
with fewer pieces, which decreased the likelihood of
squeaks and rattles. Other interior refinements
included new door panels, lighted power mirror and
window switches, a trip computer for the overhead
console and a new center console that boasted
In an effort to improve build quality, Jeep made
changes to the plant that made the body panels,
using new or reconditioned stamping dies and tighter
tolerances. More testing, including all electrical
functions and increased use of robotic paint
sprayers were employed, as well.
Having made extensive engine refinements in 1996,
Jeep left well enough alone, but did improve the
electrical system via upgraded connectors and a
decreased amount of wiring.
For 1998 trim levels were juggled. The
Limited returned to replace the Country as the
top-of-the-line Jeep Cherokee, and the Classic debuted,
slotted between the Sport and the Limited. The
Classic added color-keyed bumpers and moldings, a
roof rack, air conditioning, power mirrors and alloy
wheels to the Sport. Three new colors, Chili Pepper
Red, Deep Amethyst and Emerald Green, joined the
Soldiering on into 1999, the Jeep Cherokee line
continued with minor changes. The Sport model now
had color-keyed bumpers and grille, a Sentry Key
anti-theft system debuted, heated front seats became
optional on the Limited, and engine efficiency was
improved via revised electronics and a new exhaust
The 2000 Jeep Cherokee got a more refined version
of the 4.0-liter inline six. Introduced the previous
year in the Grand Jeep Cherokee, the revamped engine ran
quieter and cleaner (it now met Low Emission Vehicle
standards) than the previous iteration. A new
five-speed manual gearbox with improved shift
quality was mated to the new six in SE (if the six
was ordered) and Sport models, and a four-speed
automatic was standard on Jeep Cherokee Classic and
The Limited traded its monochromatic appearance for
a flashier appearance this year. Chrome highlights
on the grille, headlight bezels and rear license
plate brow along with silver alloy wheels served to
further distinguish the Limited from the other Jeep Cherokees.
Lastly, some new colors debuted, including Patriot
Blue and Silverstone Pearls.
The last year for the Jeep Cherokee, 2001, would
pass without much fanfare. The 2.5-liter
four-cylinder engine was finally buried, child seat
tether anchors debuted, and Steel Blue replaced
Desert Sand on the color chart.
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