Thanks to cts1975; he sold me a lovely machine :-)
Plans changed (as always), and the Landcruiser returned to the UK with me. I might sell it here. (I'm undecided; keep it for another trip, or let somebody else have fun?)
Originally Posted by Bundubasher
did you ever write up your "Jeep Cherokee from Hell" story? I ask as I bought one cheap off ebay and was thinking of taking it down to morocco...
Oh wow... have fun out there!
I have a writeup lying around here somewhere; will try to find it. But here's some of the main points:
1. Various Cherokee electrics failed in hot conditions. Especially the windows. Sometimes the immobiliser. An annoyance rather than a crisis.
2. Cherokee roof rails aren't as strong as they look. Expect it to break when your fully-laden jeep hits in a ditch in the middle of nowhere.
3. The PCD of Cherokee hubs/wheels is not a common one in Morocco, which can be infuriating after you've damaged a couple of rims on some rocky route across the Atlas.
4. The cooling system. Oh god, the cooling system...
5. The boot lock seems prone to failure if subjected to load (ie. when you have lots of expedition gear in the back). For us it failed to both "locked" and "unlocked" states at different times, and defied repair. If it fails "locked" you can strip out the rear door trim and jerry-rig a rope/wire to the front of the cabin that you can just yank to release the catch. If it fails "unlocked", you'd better hope those wire guards around the rear lights haven't rusted too much, so they can take the tension of a ratchet-strap holding the rear door closed. :-)
6. On the upside, a Cherokee is relatively economical, and the aerodynamics are good for a 4x4. It did very well as a tow vehicle when we came across other travellers who had worse problems (and heavier vehicles and more luggage).
Presuming you got a diesel Cherokee, it'll probably have a VM Motori unit which is used in a hundred other vehicles, so parts availability is fine. We did suffer a cracked head though (individual heads) before departure, and later a cracked oil pipe in Western Sahara, and apparently those symptoms aren't unusual. Various other oil and diesel leaks, nothing disastrous.