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1996 XJ Build (beware if you use 56K)

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1996 XJ Build (beware if you use 56K)

Old 11-14-2010, 08:44 PM
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Default My 1996 XJ Build thread ("Jack")

Okay, i think this thread has been long over due, espicially since I have already done so much to this vehicle. However, I shall start from the begining anyways....

I purchased a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic, the Country Edition. When I bought it is had 147,000 Miles, or something close to that. It was bone stock, and what i felt was good condition.... Looked something like this....LOl





Shortly after I bought it, I started making a list of what I wanted to do to it. I mean after all, it is a JEEP, and jeep's scream they need to be customized. However, while I was contemplating my list of mods, I needed tunes in the worst way, so at the very top of the list, and the first thing I did, was my radio setup. Originally, the vehicle had a stock AM/FM Cassette player, that did not work very well, So I swapped it our for the Kenwood Excelon 790C CD/MP3/WMA player....





The very moment I turned this unit on, it sounded like crap. Now I have been fortunate in the past, in other vehicles I have instaleld this in, to have at least usable speakers, but these needed to go.... They were dry rotted and blown to bits so bad, i barely got vocals out of them.... Could not even salvage them as tweeters...LOL...






So I tracked down a set of Kenwood ExCelon 5-1/4" 2-ways for a steal and swapped those in.... And believe me, they sound a TOOONNNN better! LMAO






Although I have also since purchased matching subwoofers and an amp, they have yet to be installed, (discussed later) and will therefore be featured later on in this thread.

Now, I have music, my next focus was the suspension.... of course, I mean again... JEEP....! LOL Originally, I was just going to do a small lift, like 1-1 1/2 " or so. I got talked into a 3" kit for only pennies more. But when I went to purchase it at the dealer, he had an unused 4.5" lift kit, with extras from Rough Country Suspension. He did not want this kit laying around, so he sold it to me for the same price as the RC 3" kit! What a deal right? Here is what the Kit included,





So I had to have this installed due to my own work schedule not allowing me to do it myself..... But this brought up a few issues.... like... what do I do about rims and tires? At the time, I only had three factory wheels and a spare tire on my jeep. This lift required larger tires, and I required a complete set of rims. SOOOOO, I hit up craigslist. I found me a set of VIA F-007 wheels already mounted to 31X10.5 Cooper tires. It was not my first choice, but for 200 bucks, I was not going to be picky.... lol





Once the lift was in and the tires on, I was on my way!




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After this was done, I ran into some minor setbacks.....

Last edited by junior3382; 02-23-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:44 PM
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Okay, so here I came accross some issues. The lift put stress on some parts. I blew out my power steering system while trying to flex it out, ( did not get pictures, sorry). I also cracked my rear brake lines, (which were not long enough anyways)

So, now it has a new power steering system, now Box, new res., new lines, new pump etc... and a brace to hold it there very tightly. Also, I got new (extended) brake lines and so on.... here are some pictures from today on these subjects....

Power steering Res. and Pump....

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New power steering box and the brace to the frame....

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6" Extended rear brake line.....

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Now, this week I am getting new rubber and a leveling lift in the rear, so I did some prep work for that too..... I removed the lower valance on my bumper and trimmed my fender flares to clear the new tires.... It needed done for sure, look how awful it was! LMAO


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What size are the new tires? What kind are they? Well you are just going to have to check back this weekend to find out aren't you? LOL

Now, back to the interior, appearently in 1996, people did not drink in their vehicles..... or at least not in mine...... So my SUV was seriously lacking cup holders. I picked this up out of one that was traded in this week where I work, and installed it. I am not sure if I am going to keep it yet since it restricts the full use of my E-Brake, and covers my power mirror switch, but I wanted to give it a shot anyways...


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Also, I have since welded the lower control arm drop brackets to prevent wabble, but I did not get a picture of that today, sorry I forgot. So I will get pics and get them uploaded this weekend. In addition, it is getting a 1" block in the rear this weekend to fix the rear end sag, (for now). I will put up the before and afters on that later too. Once the new tires go on, I will get a bunch more pictures, and try to get some articulation pictures as well.... trying not to brake anything this time....LMAO

This will be a slow moving project, but by spring, It will be ready for the Jeep show here in York county! At least that is the goal.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? I am open to all ideas, and I will share my ideas and advances as they come.

Last edited by junior3382; 11-14-2010 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:02 PM
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looks good man, i need to get my buddy to get on here more and post his steering box braces he is makin, they are crazy tough he is selling them for less the most manufacturers they are way thicker too and i know most people would think they are overkill but this is our steering we are talkin about. But like i said your jeep looks good keep the pics coming that what we all love around here.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:04 PM
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did you do anything with your track bar?
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by x91j View Post
did you do anything with your track bar?

Replacing my trac bar is on my list of "to-dos", but the factory one is still working for now. We had to drill a new hole to move it over, but it is tight and the allignment is perfect.

Eventually, I will replace the trac bar with an adjustable one, replace the steering linkage with a cross-over setup, and I will replace the rear spring packa all together instead of just using shackles and add-a-leafs, but the presented issues had to be addressed first.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by junior3382 View Post
Replacing my trac bar is on my list of "to-dos", but the factory one is still working for now. We had to drill a new hole to move it over, but it is tight and the allignment is perfect.

Eventually, I will replace the trac bar with an adjustable one, replace the steering linkage with a cross-over setup, and I will replace the rear spring packa all together instead of just using shackles and add-a-leafs, but the presented issues had to be addressed first.
was just wondering because im looking at that rc kit but with full leafs
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:11 PM
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Looks good man, i'd grab some lockers and maybe a winch if your prone to getting stuck alot..lol Anyways nice jeep man!
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by x91j View Post
was just wondering because im looking at that rc kit but with full leafs

It is a good kit. I would recommend getting a trac bar 100% if you are looking over 4.5", but right at 4.5", I am not having and issues as of yet. So if you are looking to save on some cost, you can do that at a later date, but don't wait too long.

Also, RC will tell you you are fine as far as brake lines go, they are WRONG! your facotry brake lines will work, IF you never go off road, but any flex on the axles and it stretches them too far. Extended lines are cheap, so do not make the mistake I did, replace those too.


Originally Posted by countryboynance View Post
Looks good man, i'd grab some lockers and maybe a winch if your prone to getting stuck alot..lol Anyways nice jeep man!

Also on my list, but probably more come spring.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by junior3382 View Post
It is a good kit. I would recommend getting a trac bar 100% if you are looking over 4.5", but right at 4.5", I am not having and issues as of yet. So if you are looking to save on some cost, you can do that at a later date, but don't wait too long.

Also, RC will tell you you are fine as far as brake lines go, they are WRONG! your facotry brake lines will work, IF you never go off road, but any flex on the axles and it stretches them too far. Extended lines are cheap, so do not make the mistake I did, replace those too.





Also on my list, but probably more come spring.
good lookin man! awsome jeep. im hoping to buy a 94 red country tomorrow
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:38 PM
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Okay, its UPDATE time!!!!! (can ya tell I am excited?)


Anyways, got it up in the ari tonight and installed a 1" leveling kit in the rear to help with the rear end sag.



Kit:

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Before:

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During:

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After:


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Got some pics of the welding done on the drop braketry. They need to be cleaned, but this worked for now.

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Had the old, (JUNK) 31" cooper tires dismounted and found this! Boy was I lucky this never grew to be a full blown issue!

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Thank goodness I bought these! 33"x10.5"x15" BFGoodrich, Mud-Terrain KM2's!

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I have NO clearence issues at all! With room to spare, these tires fit perfectly. They do not rub while turning, spinning or everything esle I tested tonight.

Now once I was done, it was after dark, so Sunday I will get her all cleaned up and take a bunch more pictures, so keep an eye out!
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:19 PM
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wow man that is a B A jeep love all the pics
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:30 PM
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Careful with those blocks. axle wrap sucks
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:30 PM
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I think the 33 x 10.5's look great. I don't understand why 33 x 12.5 is such a popular size, it just looks too wide.

More pics!! Keep up the good work!
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:36 PM
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those 33's look AWESOME!! Nice build so far. cant wait to get that far with my 96.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:02 PM
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wow what a clean xj!!!!!!! nice work man!
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