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1999 Green XJ: Capable rig to DD, Camp, and Beyond

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1999 Green XJ: Capable rig to DD, Camp, and Beyond

Old 08-26-2012, 09:59 PM
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Engine: 4.0L I6
Default 1999 Green XJ: Capable rig to DD, Camp, and Beyond

BACKGROUND: College student with an itch to learn. And this time it’s about cars, and so I’ve chosen a Jeep Cherokee. My dad had custom ordered a 1986 cherokee from the factory and it was a great vehicle.
We joked about how he should have kept it for me when I was searching for mine.
I had zero previous auto experience before the Jeep and knew I would have some extra time this summer and decided to grab one and start the journey.
I knew I wanted a newer 5 speed, 4x4, 4 door and it took me much longer than I expected to find exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something in decent shape, due to my limited experience.
Anyways, I found a 1999 green one with ~150,000 that was in excellent shape and I jumped on it.
Here are some pictures from the day I got it. Pretty much MINT inside and with almost brand new tires. The first owner was in the military and he had taken great care of it in Viriginia.
Somehow it made its way to Missouri ~6 years ago and the 2nd owner traded it in for an Equinox to “save mpgs”.


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Absolutely no tint on any of the windows
Paid cash to a small dealer that has sold over 120 cherokees in the last three years and I had to fill her up right away as it only had tank.


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I soon grabbed the build sheet from Jeep and some of the high points are:
-Up Country Suspension Package
- 124 Amp alternator (larger option here?)
-AX15 5 speed manual transmission
-NP231 transfercase
-D35 with drums in the rear but its got the LSD
-Front, TC, and Fuel tank skid plates
-Cruise

Here are some pics of the skid plates


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Here are some “first weekend” shots at the lake


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My first project was to improve the stock headlights. I went with Hella E-codes, PIAA xtreme white plus (4000K), and the eautoworks HD wiring harness. This was definitely necessary as I felt unsafe driving with the stock system and I was extremely impressed with the output and the cutoff after properly aiming them. The light is a pure white and makes driving at night much easier.


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Here are some Interior shots:


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My next step was to replace fluids. Before this, I only had experience with changing engine oil, so it was quite fun to do all of these things for the first time on my new vehicle.
1. 10w-30 synthetic engine oil + Wix filter
2. Drained transmission fluid with MT-90
3. Drained front and rear diffs
4. Topped off Brake, power steering, washer, and clutch fluids

I used some synthetic gear oil in the diffs because I had already bought some for the AX-15, but luckily checked into GL-5 and how harsh it can be on brass synchros. I knew I needed some kind of friction modifier for the LSD, but this synthetic oil claimed to meet the requirements of a modifier. I asked here and was told to try it out and if I got a lot of chatter in the rear to go get the modifier.


Here are some pics:
FRONT


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REAR


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Well, no chatter was heard without the modifier and from what I can tell, the LSD was working the other day in the gravel lot.

Next, I wanted to get the windows tinted. Unfortunetely, one of the windows was inoperable and that needed to work before the tint could be completed. It was fixed by looking in the wiring boot of the driver door and repairing the broken wire. Also, no local window switch worked and I was able to bypass the window lock switch and fix that issue.
Finally, I was able to get the windows tinted and had some professionals do the work with some 3M tint with 35% on the front windows and 20% in the back. I really enjoy the difference from no tint and it’s not too dark at night time either. I need to get a picture of the jeep after the tint.
Next, I replaced a rear hatch strut. On one side of my hatch was the ball-and-socket-type strut and the other side was a much sturdier looking design. The ball-and-socket bracket had yielded and the strut popped off twice before I was able to replace it. P.S… those hatches close fast and HARD after one of the struts pops off, so fix it before that thin L bracket fails.
I went with a Monroe strut off rockauto and was a breeze to install and works great. I plan to use the old strut and a new bracket and mount them to the hood for a hydraulic support.


Here is my current TODO list:
Inspect these items (Don't have any previous maintainance so I am unsure of the last brake job, tire rotation, etc..)

-Drive belt
-Brake hoses
-Brakes
-Valve cover gasket
-Rust
-Ball and U joints
-Exhaust


Current Problems
1. When shifting into reverse, the gears grind ~30% of the time and I have to release and depress the clutch again. This happens cold and even after running for an hour. The transmission has new fluid and I was told it has roughly a 1 year old clutch.

2. The exhaust system looks pretty rusty to me but I've hit on everything with a screwdriver and haven't found any soft spots. So how does one decide/tell if a new exhaust system is in order?

Below are some pics of the exhaust:

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Anything to be concerned about in these areas? (I see rust on the leafs and drum cover but am unsure if that means anything)

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Projects
-LED underhood work lighting
-LED dome lighting
-Sound system
-6.5” components +amp for the front
-New Headunit
-10” sub + box + amp
-Maybe some upgraded coaxials for the soundbar
CB setup
- Any1 know if an aftermarket 1DIN headunit and a CB radio will fit in the factory radio slot?
-12V power in back/inverter

-Degrease/clean engine (or where/what leaks should I look for before doing )
-There are not any pools of any fluids ATM in the garage after driving all day.


Future Plans:
Exhaust system if needed
2-4” lift (with a major interest in ride quality, so thinking OME or RE 3.5” superride for the moment)
31” tires probably (maybe Goodyear Duratracs)
New wheels (thinking rubicon moabs)
Rear bumper with mounting locations for Tire rack, Hi-lift, and CB antenna
Front bumper (ARB bull bumper caught my eye first, so maybe if I find a used one somewhere)
Floor mats
Remove trim siding (not sure yet, mine is still in great shape and not faded)
Attached Images
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IMG_3103.jpg (152.2 KB, 34 views)

Last edited by MirageMobile; 02-23-2013 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:13 PM
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Looks good, mines the same color & drivetrain and about the same mileage. Don't sweat the grind or crunch when you throw it in reverse. It's normal, far as I know reverse doesn't have a synchro. Far as the exhaust, surface Rust is normal. I wouldn't worry about it until you fail an inspection. Or if you just want to upgrade for sound and performance my cat back was only like 130 bucks.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:54 PM
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Not bad at all. I'm jealous of the upcountry package .
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:38 PM
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Agreed, I'm jealous of the gas skid. I've managed to scrounge up the factory front and tcase skids but the gas tank ones are elusive.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:52 PM
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Nice jeep for sure. Sucks it has the D35. But if your just gonna run 31s you shouldnt have a problem with it.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:20 PM
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Very nice ride! I would replace that exhaust with something that sounds beefy.
What part of Missouri you from and are you going to be wheeling or is this for comfort? Cherokee's are great as a starter vehicle to learn to work on. Subscribed.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ASA-Z33 View Post
Looks good, mines the same color & drivetrain and about the same mileage. Don't sweat the grind or crunch when you throw it in reverse. It's normal, far as I know reverse doesn't have a synchro. Far as the exhaust, surface Rust is normal. I wouldn't worry about it until you fail an inspection. Or if you just want to upgrade for sound and performance my cat back was only like 130 bucks.
Thanks for the info about the synchro. I've noticed reverse shift normally when I'm completely stopped and I get the crunch when slightly rolling back.

I will probably plan out an exhaust upgrade but won't act on it for a while.

Originally Posted by DanCherokee View Post
You might need this site for future reference:
http://www.onsalejeepparts.com/
That looks like a great website for parts. Thanks

Originally Posted by thatXJguy View Post
Not bad at all. I'm jealous of the upcountry package .
She's gonna work out just fine. I hope the upcountry package will keep my desires for lifting at bay until I'm done with school.

Originally Posted by ASA-Z33 View Post
Agreed, I'm jealous of the gas skid. I've managed to scrounge up the factory front and tcase skids but the gas tank ones are elusive.
Interesting. Today, I'm planning to "attempt" to pull off the front and rear skids and paint them.

The front looks doable but the rear bolts are looking pretty rusty. I've found this JCR nutstrip for if I break any bolts in the process. I don't have a breaker bar but sprayed some PB blaster on them the last two nights so we will see this afternoon.

Originally Posted by Xj88 View Post
Nice jeep for sure. Sucks it has the D35. But if your just gonna run 31s you shouldnt have a problem with it.
That's what I'm thinking. 31s are probably as big as I'd want with the D35+3.07 gears with the 5-speed.

If I want bigger, I will have to do several upgrades at the same time.

Originally Posted by thebaconator View Post
Very nice ride! I would replace that exhaust with something that sounds beefy.
What part of Missouri you from and are you going to be wheeling or is this for comfort? Cherokee's are great as a starter vehicle to learn to work on. Subscribed.
Have a suggestion on something you'd call "beefy" without creating a lot of drone in the cabin?

I'm from Rolla, MO and this will be for everyday transportation and camping. I will probably focus on working on her more this fall than using her since I graduate this december.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________




As of now, I only have 1 working speaker in the rear. New speaker wire is needed in both front doors and so I'm planning to work on the audio the next couple of weeks.

Heres what I'm thinking for the system:

do the "big 3"

Headunit ---- Pioneer DEH-P9400BH ~$180
Front 6.5" --- JBL-MS-62C ~$180 or Polk MM6501 ~200 or ID CTX 6.5" ~$160
Amp --------- Was thinking Arc 370W 2ch ~$180
Sub --- Fi SSD 10" ~$200 or some other $100-200 SPL/SQ balanced sub.
Amp -- Kicker 600.1 (already own)
Xj Cubby box ~$230, or build my own in that location




Here is my planned wiring diagram


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Also, here are some before and after pictures of my window tint. I went with 20% in the rear and 35% in the front. It really helps keep the jeep cool in the sun.

BEFORE:

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Last edited by MirageMobile; 02-23-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:57 PM
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I like that tint, did you do it yourself and how fiddly was it?
Have seen rolls for sale, looks very time consuming, how did you find it?
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:09 PM
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I've never tinted before and wanted to be able to spend my limited time on other aspects of the Jeep and not the windows.

Therefore, I had them professionally done. I went with the 3M Color Stable tint for $200. They come with a lifetime warranty and the repair work can be done at any 3M dealer if I move or something.

When comparing the FX and CS tints from 3M, I felt the CS was more "smoke" and the FX was more "grey" with a bit of purple. The installer had like 3-4 types of tint with examples pieces of glass to judge tint % and the difference between metallic flake and ceramic.

It took 10 sq. ft. of film for the front windows and 24 sq. ft. for the rear (no windshield work was done). So that might help you out if you're planning on buying the film.

If you do your own, don't roll the windows down for atleast 3 days and don't clean from the inside for atleast 2 weeks.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:14 PM
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N/A

Last edited by MirageMobile; 02-23-2013 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:46 PM
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Go with the Polk speakers. I have the 2 way 6.5's and love them. The added bonus is that they are waterproof.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:22 AM
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Is there any update on this?
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:07 PM
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UPDATES:

1. Got my skids off, primed, and painted. I had to get some new JCR XJ rear nutstrips to replace the ones I destroyed while removing the bolts. My two complications were the frozen nutstrip and rear bumper bolts.
Link: http://www.jcroffroad.com/mm5/mercha...ct_Code=NTSTRP

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2. First time using my tow hooks and I bent what looks like the mounting bracket. Had a suburban pull me out “gently” but we weren’t able to pull in a straight line and I’m curious if this is common behavior of the factory hooks.

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3. Spent a good chuck of time planning my audio upgrade and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I really appreciate the Bluetooth calling when commuting with the 5-speed.
Headunit: Pioneer DEH-P9400BH
Front Comps: Image Dynamics CTX-6.5cs
Comp Amp: Arc Audio FD2200
Sub: 10” Fi SSD (H-qts for small enclosures(0.4 cuft))
Sub Amp: Kicker KX600.1


Upgraded cabling for Battery->Chassis, Alternator-> Battery, and Engine->Chassis

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Here’s where I ran my power wire from the battery to the interior. It's a gasket on the passenger side right at the firewall. It worked great because I wanted to keep all power lines on the passenger side and all signal lines on the driver side.

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Had fun removing all the trim and running everything (very satisfying after thinking about everyting for way too long).

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I attached my passive crossovers up under the dash on the drivers side. All wiring is tucked and secured. I did not put them in the door to attempt to protect them from the environment. I also thought about the glove box but I didn’t want to lose the space.

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And of course, the previous owner had removed the factory wiring harness, so that took a while to identify all wiring.

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I had some mounting depth issues but was able to resolve them by using ” MDF ring spacers and cutting holes into the door panels. It doesn’t look stock but it’s a solid mount and turned out just fine for me. Flush mounted the tweeters by the door handle. Used sound deadening material on the front doors as well

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We’ll see how hot everything gets back here in the summer time. I plan to use the thermocouple on my DMM. Temps are fine right now in the winter.

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Had a woofer enclosure made at a local audio shop using MDF and at my specified volume. I’d like to apologize to DoubleTap for my multiple PMs about quotes for his enclosure and then never purchasing one of his awesome cubby boxes. I just didn’t have the finances until recently and when I did, a local shop said they could have one to me by the end of the day. Also, I got floors mats for graduation/Christmas. They really dress up the inside and complete my current camel/black theme.

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4. I purchased a CB antenna mount from xjfirefighter. It’s been working great so far with a 3’ tunable Firestick. My CB is the Cobra 75 WX ST. I got a great deal on it and really enjoy everything being built into the mic.
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5. Replaced my front hub assemblies and LF u-joint last week. I went with Timken hub assemblies and a Spicer 5-760x u-joint. With the ’99, I had to identify if my rotors were cast or composite and this thread was of help.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/a...e-hubs-360959/
Other good tips for the repair
http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/unit...tbearing-1.htm
https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f51/ho...ana-30-a-3689/


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I had a really tough time getting the u-joint out (rented a press from Oreillys), and eventually had to take the axle shaft into sears (helped me from 6-7pm on a Saturday!). However, “somehow” the axle tone ring broke and I had to find a new one. I went with one from Omix-ADA, part number 16527.42 and I had to order online because even the dealership couldn’t get me just the ring. This stretched the repair out 2 days.

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In order to get the ring on, I snuck the ABS tone ring in the oven (375 F) during dinner for 30 minutes and put the axle shaft in the freezer. Worked great and was snug after only ~30 seconds of cooling. And I only broke one socket wrench! Too bad it wasn’t one of the craftsman.

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6. Current TODO list

-Investigate connection issue with PUTCO harness. It is either bad relays or in the male end of the harness at the relay. I’ve had my lows become unusable twice now and this is of high priority.

-Valve cover gasket and oil filter o-ring replacement

-Hydraulic hood props

- Flush power steering and coolant systems

-White interior lighting upgrades using LEDs at the underhood, dome, floor, and liftgate locations

-Exhaust
2.5"
Walker 55277 down                 pipe Walker 55277 down pipe
- $60
2.5" Magnaflow hi flow cat - $70
2.5” Borla Pro XS $90
Dynomax tail pipe (2.5") $42
Only thing I'm hesitant about is if the Borla will be too quiet or not. We will see though.


-12V power in back, an inverter setup, hand throttle, raise rear diff vent location, IAT relocation, interior lighting switch, check motor mounts

-Lift and Tires
I can see myself taking this thing up to 3-4” with 31” tires until I have my all electric car and the XJ becomes a dedicated camping rig. As for what I’ll put under it, I’m not sure but it will be nice like RE/OME. It may take a year or two for this step.

With 3.07 gearing right now, I plan to go to 3.55-4.10 when I get 31” tires. I’ll probably stick with the D35 in the rear for now. Might go with a front locker since I’ve got the LSD in the rear.





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Last edited by MirageMobile; 02-10-2013 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:19 AM
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I wish I had a kitty for my jeep...clean xj man!
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:31 AM
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That is a really clean xj, and it sounds like you will keep it that way. Nice work so far!

Locker in the front would be a great option for you to get some offroad traction instead of messing with the d35 that already has a limited slip.
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Quick Reply: 1999 Green XJ: Capable rig to DD, Camp, and Beyond


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