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1998 Cherokee Classic - Queens, NY Build

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1998 Cherokee Classic - Queens, NY Build


Old 07-13-2018, 07:28 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Long Island City, NY
Posts: 2
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0
Default 1998 Cherokee Classic - Queens, NY Build

Hey all, I'm making this thread as a way to keep track of my (slow but steady) progress on my newest Cherokee, a 98 Cherokee Classic that I bought as a project to work on in my free time. Unless otherwise specified, all of the work I'm doing is being completed with the Jeep parked on the side of the road in Queens.

Background on this Jeep: Purchased on May 1, 2018 in Deer Park, NY.
1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic 4 door
Stone White
4.0I6 AW4 NP231
152k miles
Came with "no death wobble" - 1.5 hour drive home determined that was a lie. (wasn't concerned about that though for the price I paid)

Parts that came already on or with the Jeep:
Rough Country 3" lift
Iron Rock Offroad adjustable track bar
Cragar Soft 8s with 31x10.5x15 tires (2 were Cooper Discoverer ATR, 2 were offbrand, all 4 were starting to rot some)
New(ish) pads and rotors up front, new shoes in back
Spare Jeep steel wheel with 100% bald, flat, and rotten spare that didn't match the size of the factory spare OR the 31s
Aftermarket stereo head unit and Alpine Type R 12" sub with amp that reminded me of my "audiophile" high school days
Aftermarket Prestige alarm system with remote start

Beginning my project work:
My first undertaking was replacing all 4 ball joints, and upgrading the worn out XJ tie rod with a V8 ZJ one. I did the passenger side parked on one side of the street, and the driver side and tie rod parked on the other side of the street. The passenger side took about 6 hours, and the driver side took about 1.5. Having the right tools and not having to make multiple 20+ minute walks to the parts store makes a lot of difference.

New ball joints and tie rod made a huge difference for the wobble I was experiencing, but didn't fix it completely. After more inspection, I found the tie rod end of the track bar was shot, as were all of the control arm bushings. I opted to upgrade the track bar to the IRO double shear upgrade kit (GREAT kit!) and ordered a whole new set of control arm bushings while I was at it. I got the track bar installed, and found out I needed to replace (and did replace) the main brake line from the master cylinder to the T on the rear axle, but needed to stop the work at that point to make a long trip to Pittsburgh for a wedding. The Jeep made it there okay, but I ended up with a nail in a tire, so I bought some BFG AT KO2s, but the next day, one of those went flat. Got that repaired because the shop missed a leaking valve stem originally, and made the trip back with only some overheating issues. The temp gauge would go from reading just right to spiking to 2 lines below the top of redline, then go back to normal. And it would move fast. So I assumed sensor failure.

When we got home, I inspected everything and found out that the overflow tank was clogged up and not working. I knew I wanted to flush everything because it was dirty, but didn't know it was that bad. So now I've replaced the overflow tank, emptied the system and fillled with flush and distilled water, and took out the thermostat. We took a day trip to the Hamptons, which gave plenty of circulation to the flush liquid. I'll finish draining, flushing, and filling sometime soon.

I'll try to keep this thread updated as I do things, and decide on things that I want to do. If anyone has any questions or is local to the area or anything like that, say hey and ask away!

One of the pics from the craigslist ad. If anyone around can recommend a place to get the rockers repaired in a quality way, or has the means to weld in some 2x6 and wants to help a fellow Jeeper out, I primarily pay in dad jokes and booze. And will pay for any parts and anything like that. And also beer.

Doing the first side of ball joints. That orange dead blow was the cause of most frustration. A 3lb sledge helped make short work of the second side.

Last edited by aesora; 07-23-2018 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:26 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Long Island City, NY
Posts: 2
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0

Replaced my spark plugs, wires, distributor cap, and rotor this past weekend, as well as finished the flush of my cooling system, with a new Stant thermostat and radiator cap.

Living in Queens, I don't have access to a garden hose to flush all of the components of the cooling system. But I was able to use a 5 gallon bucket of water, a funnel, and the upper heater core hose to flush out everything I could get to. I filled the bucket three times, between flushing the heater core, radiator, and block. I flushed the heater core forwards and backwards until the water ran clear both ways, then blew through the hose to get the rest of the liquid out. Same with the radiator. I'm sure the block still has some leftover coolant flush and water in it, so I'll probably flush one more time, just before winter.

No more pics to add at this time, but happy to go into any detail if anyone has any questions about how I've completed anything I've done so far.
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