Can you install a manual transmission in a 1996 jeep Cherokee 4x4?

If you are skilled or know of a friend that knows their way around then yes it can be done. The main problem we found on a similar switch for a different vehicle is that you will need to get a wiring harness from another similar jeep that is an original 5 speed. It is time consuming job especially if you do not know what you are doing. So yes it can be done, but don't expect it to be an easy job. :)

I changed my 96 xj from auto to manual i used a 94 wiring harness and trans you have to drill the holes for your slave cylinder but other than that everything is bolt on....i do recommend switching from obd2 computer to obd1 the main harness on the driver side has a 1/4" bolt through the fire wall unbolt it and the computer unhook the brain box from pass side (through the firewall behind motor on pass side) and unhook the wiper harness the obd1 harness hooks on the firewall on driver side and wiper motor and everything else is all engine bay it took 2 of us 4 hours to convert but its well worth it good luck :-)}

I dint think would be considered a improvement on the answer, my experience was that it was real easy with two other people, and the linkage was our issue. My solution was to put a guide pin on the 4x4 linkage below and use a different screw to fasten the linkage itself. The factory screw was not very durable and I ended up changing it twice before i got smart and used a throttle screw that was slightly larger and WAY easier to access and definitely more durable . The only other thing was watching that those same cables didn't get bent at all. that made for sticky shifting and some double clutching. Obviously im not a experienced mech, and i needed some help for sure. Took three of us a relaxed 6 hrs with some follow up adjustments over rthe next week or so.