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1999 Jeep Cherokee 2.5 Turbo Diesel (The Chief)

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1999 Jeep Cherokee 2.5 Turbo Diesel (The Chief)

Old 10-14-2016, 01:15 PM
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Default 1999 Jeep Cherokee 2.5 Turbo Diesel (The Chief)

I've been working on the Cherokee for over a year and a half now and thought it would be nice to do a write up on how its all going, or not going. I'm no expert when it comes to mechanics and have been learning as I go. Still plenty to do, and learn, but her she is so far.

When I bough the Jeep it was in pretty good condition. About 80k on the clock which is pretty low for a diesel of its age. Had some nasty remold 31" tires on it that were falling apart and a RC 4.5" lift + leaf pack. It drove rigid given the control arms angles and rear shackle but over all I was very happy with the condition and very good body work.

This is the Jeep as I bought it.







The first thing I did was rip up the carpets and remove almost all of the plastic trim inside and out. I stripped it down at a friends garage so we could get a good look at what it was really like. floor pans had no rust which was a bonus. rear arches and rockers needed some touching up, so I cut out all of the metal that was too far gone and replaced it. I was lucky with the Jeep as it had been Waxoyled from a young age and just used on the road so the underside was very clean. After a couple of days with a shot blaster it looked real clean underneath and most of the big 'bodywork' jobs were done......for now. I treated the whole Jeep with Dinitrol 3125 Cavity Wax and then sprayed on a few top coats of Tetrosyl. I swear by the stuff and its still on the vehicle untarnished today.

Drip fails and roof rack mounting points, taken back and refinished.



One big job was the drip rails and roof rack mounting holes. There seems to always be a bit of rust around these areas. It took about four days as coats and body filler had to dry but it came out very well, and at a later stage I decided to key up my finish and spray bed liner over it all. Been about one and a half years now, no rust coming through so hopefully its done for a few more years. After this the door trim, seals and windows all came out, took a while to get through it all, but was good to get rid of any small signs of rust for the future and repaint it all.

After body work it was brakes, pads, oil changes, filter changes, tires, axle seals, bearings, bushings, ball joints and Uj's. Probably a lot more I cant remember as its just been so much.

Time for a strip down.



New ball joints going in.



Changed the Calipers, Disks and cleaned it all up.



Filled the tubes full of grease and added outer seals.



Bushing changes on control arms, rear leafs.



Was learning about death wobble, this wasn't the answer.



Control Arm Drop Brackets and BFG 32x11.50R15 AT's



Added a bit of 2mm steel to the upper control arm mounting point.



More 2mm steel to the lower mounting points. Will thicken this up in time.



Some bar pin eliminators at the front.



Added a C-Rok kit for the steering and a drop pit-man arm. Also an adjustable track bar.



I added a full size intercooler. Diesels need this to cool down the air from the turbo charger. I had to relocate the radiator 3 inches back so there was a large gap between the cooler and radiator. This stops heat soak. It took some serious work to get the cooler in, the front grill also needed some mods, but it runs much better. The cooler is bolted to the slam panel and lower tin foil cross member.

Here is the cooler going in.



The largest job was rebuilding the heads on engine and the engine bay. The 2.5TD has four separate heads all in a row. Back in the day you had four gaskets and when a head went you would replace that one head and gasket and drop in a new one. Many think the engine is a boat engine but its not. Its been used in agriculture for small tractors, cars and boats for some time.

This is one of the Cylinder Heads.



You can probably see in the image above that there are two studs that hold on the rockers at the top. if you neglect the cooling system the heads can soften over time and these studs get pulled out along with the thread that hold them in. This is what happened to me so it was a good opportunity for a rebuild of the engine bay. I had four reconditioned heads and a single piece gasket (mush stronger) ready to go in but in the mean time I drained and flushed the cooling system. New hoses, clips and some rerouting of wires and pipes helped clean the bay up a bit. I also managed to get a new viscous fan clutch installed, temp sensor and MAF sensor to make things run better.
A friend acid dipped the intake manifold to remove the sludge and after a couple of weeks it was all back together and running really nice, also much cooler!

Here is the engine bay. Oil pot on the right catches my over fill of the rear axle, its temporary.



here she is today with winch bumper.



Cut and folded the rear, also removed the spot welds and seam on rear arch to eliminate future rust.





I intend to keep this Jeep, its a great truck and its got some work to do overseas soon. Still plenty to do on it, but that's all part of the fun I guess. next stop are some tougher Axle shafts and to replace the rear axle.



Thanks for reading, will update as soon as i work on something else on the Jeep.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:42 PM
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I love where this is going!! please keep us updated! I'm subscribed.
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:51 PM
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This is awesome! I'm so jealous (of the truck, not the RC leafs haha). Cool seeing the BleepinJeep sticker too. A little part of Tennessee is over in the UK.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:52 PM
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whats with the blurred out plates ? the first pic you can see em lol
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by tinytrax78 View Post
whats with the blurred out plates ? the first pic you can see em lol
Some images have been used for different things over the years, others haven't. Its as simple as that.
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Battle View Post
This is awesome! I'm so jealous (of the truck, not the RC leafs haha). Cool seeing the BleepinJeep sticker too. A little part of Tennessee is over in the UK.
Ah appreciate that. Yeah the rear leafs are not so healthy any more. I don't think the RC shocks are either. I would like to replace them ideally but thy do cost a lot.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:04 AM
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Very nice. Cool that there's an upgraded gasket!

That intercooler... Wow what a monster
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:51 PM
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Putting back together the front end today.
One of the Dana 30 side bearings has been on its way out for a while, possibly from previous water contamination, or just age. Thought it a good time to pull it apart and rebuild the front with my new heavy duty axle shafts.

I made a chuck with an M8 thread at the back to attach wire brushes/mops so I could feed it up the axle housing wit ha drill to clean it all out. I replaced the oil seals while I was there and added some RTV for good measure. The next step it to press the bearings on and fill the axle tubes full of grease, then put the shafts in and add the outer seals again.



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Old 10-22-2016, 04:42 AM
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Eliminating problem areas for corrosion on the Cherokee is always something I try to chip away at.

The rear arches always seem to suffer and the problem normally starts at the spot welded flange at the bottom that stitches the two metal sheets together. I had some corrosion in this area on both arches which is expected after 17 years of service. I got the welder out and cut out the rusty metal and put in some new metal.

After this I decided it was time for a job I've been planning, which was to remove the lower spot weld seams and continuous weld from the inside of the vehicle.

This is the finished job. No more seam anywhere around the lower arch. Ties in well with a cut and fold mod too.



This may make it clearer, you can see it just rolled right round into the floor pan making mud build up minimal and cleaning really easy.



The seam sealer needs grinding off with wire wheel and I welded from the inside. Primed and bed lined.




Another job I wanted to get sorted was the plastic arches and how they mount to the body panel. The face-lift model has these braces that remain bolted to the body while the plastic arch clips into it. I've always hated this, its screams 'rot' and almost all Cherokees I've taken apart have rust there.
I decided to get hold of some older arches for the Cherokee simply because they can be bolted on directly without any braces. I took off my old arches and braces ground down any corrosion back to bear metal, masked off the area and keyed the original finish, then zink primed and bed lined the area. I didn't mind some of the bed lined finish sticking out past the arch, it just had to be neat and clean.

You can see the bed liner underneath, also though that I have shimmed the arches to stick out and not touch the body. Will explain below.




One thing I have noticed on lots of Cherokees is the gradual vibration and wear of the plastic arch on the body panel resulting in the gradual development of a ring of rust under the lip of the arch. Grit, mud and dirt get in between and probably help this. I didn't have much if any rust here but I could clearly see a line and some small bubbles which is why I took it back past the arch line above.
I decided to shim the arch out away from the body using very hard rubber washers and plastic bolts. The plastic bolts stop rust transfer from the bolt.

The end result is pretty good and very very easy to clean. The bottom of the arches are cut open so mud just drops out and has nowhere to get trapped. You can also stand back wit ha pressure washer and as you hit the body panel it just flushes the arch out due to the gaps.

The mudflaps help too, although I'm not a big fan of them.



Same at the front. Couldn't have my outer C-Rok plate with this bumper so i'm going to have to weld on some extra soon.




Over all these mods have helped immensely with cleaning the truck after its been in the mud. Over here is mud and water so it gets spun up all over the place.
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Old 11-03-2016, 02:23 PM
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Default Rebuilding the Front End

If your familiar with the 2.5TD Cherokee then you know it doesn't like getting hot. The four separate heads on this particular engine can be susceptible to heat issues and cracking so keeping an eye on the cooling system should be included in the servicing.
I noticed that my water pump bearing was going due to coolant leaking from the breather and my radiator was looking pretty battered limiting a lot of air flow.


This is the front with radiator removed, I put on a new viscous fan clutch while I was there and took off the old auxiliary belt.



This is the old water pump about to come out. The impeller was actually in good condition, but bad bearing.



This is it almost all back together with new radiator, waterpump, aux belt and fan clutch. Coolant was also changed.



When filling the truck with coolant you can jack the back up to level off the engine to help air leave cylinder head number 1. I ran it until operating temp was reached and the mechanical thermostat was opened. topped up and back together.



Running nice and cool now just below 90 when driving normal roads at about 30 - 40mph. Motorway speeds puts it just above 90 and it doesn't budge when heading up long hills. It was climbing to 110 before so its helped a lot!

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Old 11-03-2016, 06:42 PM
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Man, that's strange to see! MPH speedo, Celsius coolant temp, and BAR oil pressure
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:54 AM
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Since I bought the Jeep the shorter side of the front axle has been the a real pain. Replaced the inner axle seal about five times and leaking although reduced was still dripping out very slowly. I figured 'eventually' that there must be more to it especially after still getting leaks with genuine OEM seals.

I took the diff apart and checked out the shorter axle shaft which seemed okay. The bearing on the diff however was not okay at all and had corroded with a lot of pitting in the rings. This must have been it so it was time for new bearings which were not difficult to get nor expensive. I cut off the outer bearing brace on the old ones then welded a slug around the rings to cause them to expand, after this you could just pull them off with little effort.

I mentioned in an above post that I had created a tool to wire brush the tubes out and seal area. New ones in with RTV.



The diff is back in nice and snug. The next step was to pack the axle tubes with grease before the shafts and out seals go in.



I have had outer axle seals on the Jeep before. I must admit they didn't do a great job for a number of reasons. First of all I didn't clean my old shafts well enough so they just wore out the outer seal rubber in no time letting in water, grit and mud which was then trapped in contact with the inner seal.

I bought two new outer seals because my old ones were so worn out.



Since I had tow brand new shafts, inner seals, bearings and outer seals I decided to put in a fail safe, a hole load of grease. I got the idea from a guy in the uk who has a TJ. It only took one grease cartridge for the short shaft side. It took three and a bit for the longer side.



After the grease was packed in I put in the outer seals with some RTV and made sure they were charged with grease before going in. Because I was using brand new shafts they were shiny and new so hopefully it will seat all a bit better and keep out mother nature. If they do let a little in then there is a lot of grease protecting those inner seals so this should be job done for a while.



One thing you must note is that when sliding the shafts in it forces a load of grease into the diff. I got most of it out of the diff at this stage but a clever way to do it would be to part slide the shafts into the greased tubes, resting them on the metal part of the seal. Then you can clean the grease and slide the diff back in. I'm going to change my oil again in a couple of weeks to get the remainder out once its heated up.
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Old 11-11-2016, 12:01 PM
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Upgraded the Intercooler hose to stainless with silicone joiners. Reduces pressure loss as it cant expand like rubber or silicone when the turbo charger starts compressing air. Was quite long job as the pipe required cutting and plumbing in. Runs much nicer though and sounds better.
I have a temporary cone filter in place as I'm struggling for space now.



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Old 11-11-2016, 12:17 PM
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Great build. Now send it over here to the states.
I see 2 different oversized intercoolers. The first is a bit more restrictive due to it's dual pass.

You missed blurring out the plate.
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Old 11-11-2016, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CobraMarty View Post
Great build. Now send it over here to the states.
I see 2 different oversized intercoolers. The first is a bit more restrictive due to it's dual pass.

You missed blurring out the plate.
Its getting there slowly. Engines running nice now although the injectors do need looking at. The first larger intercooler I got rid of and the second smaller black one is the same size as the original, just longer and front mounted so no mud can clog it up. Its normally mounted in the front crossmember.

As I mentioned above the plates are not blurred for this forum, the photos have been used for other things here in the UK and sometimes its worth blurring them.
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