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1999 XJ Sport, 1st Jeep

Old 01-21-2016, 02:13 PM
  #1  
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Default 1999 Grocery Getta

Hello all, my name is Curtis. I'm currently in the Chair Force and stationed in Germany. Got a hell of a deal on a cherokee I just purchased which is my first Jeep I've ever owned.

It's a Chili Pepper Red, 1999 XJ Sport 4.0 for $1500. It is US Spec not European spec which works in my favor as I can take it back to the states when I PCS. It had 178,XXX miles, is 5 speed and 4X4. I'm assuming it's fully loaded as it has electric everything (windows, locks, mirrors) and cruise control.

With me being stationed in Germany parts are hard to source here, most comapies stateside will ship to APO (Army Post Office) but it takes an extra week to arrive so expect this to be a slow build. Plus this isn't my daily driver so it's not a major priority if something breaks on it.



Modifications done so far:

Suspension
- IRO upper/lower adjustable control arms
- IRO double sheer track bar and bracket
- Rubicon Express 3.5 front coils
- IRO boomerang shackles
- IRO add a leaf with new Dorman leaf packs
Totals to be about a 4 inch lift give or take

Interior
-Hurculined Floor
-Pioneer head unit
-Cobra CB radio with Firefly Fire stick

Electrical
-Yellow Top Optima battery
-160 amp Durango alternator
-2 awg wire set from XJ Wonders

Engine Upgrades
-BBM throttle body

Brakes
-Crown extended front and rear brake lines

General Maintenance
-Omix-Ada timing chain and sprockets
-Rear main seal
-Oil pan Gasket
-Front main seal
-Spark Plugs
-Wires
-Distributor cap and Rotor
-Water Pump
-180* Thermostat
-Upper/Lower Radiator hoses
-Coolant Flush

Coming soon:
-SYE
-Custom rear drive shaft
-Either 33x12.5 or 33x10.5
-4.11 Dana 30 front and Chrysler 8.25 rear
-Possible lockers
-Rear Disc conversion

Last edited by 1stJEEPXJ; 09-17-2016 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:35 PM
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Welcome to the CF Curtis, and thank you for your service.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:43 PM
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Welcome to the forum!!
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:29 AM
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Thanks for the welcome guys! Well pictures as promised. For the most part as you can see the body is pretty straight. There are a few dents here and there but it's to be expected from a used vehicle.
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There was a mouse running around inside at one point. He was nesting under the rear bench seat. I'm hoping he has vacated, I haven't seen any other signs of him anywhere. Cleaned the mouse's mess up along with cleaning up the dirty bucket seat and the wiring mess from the previous owner. I kinda grew out of having a sound system after high school. I will install something as far as clean sounding speakers and a nice head unit later down the road.
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Cleaned off the old dealership decal. Apparently this dealership is in Anaconda, Montana. Some how it made its way to Germany. I'm assuming from someone else in the past who may have PCS'D here. Any way it had to go!
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One other thing, I've read a few posts where people keep asking about these wires under the rear bench seat. I would just like a confirmation but are these for the factory amp?
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Last edited by 1stJEEPXJ; 01-23-2016 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:37 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by 1stJEEPXJ View Post
left rear door doesn't unlock or lock when the driver side lock button is pressed
window lock when depressed still doesn't allow passengers to put their windows down
driver side mirror doesn't adjust when buttons are pressed
Welcome to the forums. Have you opened up the electronic controls on either door and looked at the circuit board? Sometimes the solder gets 'dry' and cracks causing a poor connection. My passenger couldn't open their window and going in and re-soldering the window lock (which was visibly cracked) fixed my issue.

Here's a video I found that solved my problem.

You'll find answers to most of your jeep problems on youtube, here, or the other jeep forums. Good luck!

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Old 01-22-2016, 11:20 AM
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No I haven't had the chance yet to get into the controls for the windows/door. I had a feeling it was something related to the PCB. Once I get the chance I'll confirm.

Had a new problem arise. Heat would not work. Worked just fine yesterday but on the way into work today had nothing but cold....I mean cold air. I can't have that in Germany. I'm from the south and I hate the cold. So now it's on my to do list.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:57 AM
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Well figured out what the problem was with the no heat situation. First off I've gotta say, these XJs seem to be pretty easy to work on and diagnose from what I've seen so far. I'm loving it already.

Anyways back to subject. The heater blend door actuator was the cause of my no heat problem. Removed it from the right side of the transmission hump under the dash (for anyone that may have this issue one day) was being held up by three screws. Removed the cover which is held on by four screws to expose the gears and motor inside. Everything looked good but they were just getting caught up somewhere. After disassembly and reassembly multiple times and the use of a little lithium grease near the pinion part of the motor the gears just kept getting jammed. So I guess it's just time to replace it. I'm ordering a replacement off Rock Auto for $22 shipped to my APO. For now I just manually turn the blend doors with the little gear pin that goes between the actuator and the blend doors.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:39 AM
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Finally had some time to work on the XJ. Ive been busy with work and they have me on the weirdest hours possible.

Figured out what was really wrong with the heat situation. Turns out it wasn't the blend door actuator. Whoever owned this Cherokee before must have hated wiring. I decided to look at the wiring going to the back of the HVAC controls. I found what looked like a wire spliced and was probably being held together by a wing nut or a crimp connector going to the temperature controller. My assumption is the wire came undone at some point and wasn't sending the proper power for the blend door actuator to work properly. Soldered and heat shrinked and now it's good.
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As for the cluster dying out. It was the common problem I've read on the forum of the bad connection issues. I'm assuming someone removed the cluster before but didn't plug it back in flush so it wasn't getting a solid connection. Cluster has been working flawlessly for a week straight now.

Figured out that the left rear door lock actuator is done for...toast. I've taken it out of the door and tried to take it apart and see if maybe it needed some love but there was nothing I could do. I have a new one on the way.

As for the passenger window controls not working. It's the common solder break in the PCB on the drivers door controls. Resoldered all the points and all the passenger window controls work now!
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After soldering the points in the drivers control I was hoping the driver side mirror was going to be working. It wasnt. So I ordered a new complete mirror. It'll be coming in with the door lock actuator and we will see what happens.

At this point in trying to clean up the interior and make everything work again. Once I finish this I'll start looking into lifts and things of that nature.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:42 PM
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Well more green is on the list than red. I've fixed almost everything that was wrong with the XJ since I purchased it. Replaced the left rear door lock actuator and it locks and unlocks on its own now. Replaced the driver side mirror and it works as well now. I have an OEM pigtail radio harness coming Monday so then I can start looking at head units and some type of decent speakers. Tired of driving with music coming from my phone! Lol. Will be looking into carpet here soon and protecting the new carpet with rugged ridge all weather floor mats. Only question is does anyone know the reliability of rockautos replacement carpet? Not looking for top of the line. But compared to OEM quality.

A picture for proof. Lol. I didn't find anything I was replacing interesting enough to take a picture of. That will come once it actually becomes more of a build than a fixer upper.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:13 PM
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Rock auto stuff is great quality. The carpet should last a few years at least. It's really dependant on how you take care of it.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:08 PM
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Nothing too fancy or cool. Finally bypassed the stock amp wires, previous owner removed amp; and installed some new speakers up front and in the rear with a new pioneer head unit. Finally some music! The cigarette lighter was missing when I purchased the Jeep, I don't smoke nor do I plan on letting anyone in the jeep so I grabbed a 12V outlet plug from a caravan.
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Not too much has changed otherwise, wife and I have kinda been exploring Germany. It's country side and a ton of castles.
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After some digging around on the interwebs.....I think I am going to go with a RE 3.5 super flex lift. Only problem is I'm stationed in Germany, and everyone that ships to APO wants to charge me $500 for a rehandling fee because the package will be too big to ship to APO.....That's what she said so I'm coming stateside in June. I'll have the lift shipped to my mother and probably just repack it my self and check it on the flight back to Germany as checked luggage. Man the struggles of being stationed over seas. So in the mean time I'll just continue with cleaning up the interior and adding maintenance TO DO'S until then. I plan on doing the timing chain soon along with sprokets, upgrade to a optima dry cell, along with a new water pump and thermostat just to be preventative and fix a few leaks here and there.

Oh I did get it to pass inspection so it now has Deutsch plates on it. I'll have to post that later.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:25 PM
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Also for the hell of it thought I'd post my old rig from the states. The one that got me into off roading. It was a 2001 montero sport.

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Old 02-20-2016, 05:59 PM
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Sweet man! Nice rigs.
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Old 02-27-2016, 05:54 PM
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So anyone who has been following a long....cricket cricket cricket......haha
Knows my situation with having a lift shipped here to my APO in Germany. So in the mean time I made a small to do list for some needed maintenance items the jeep needs since a lift and tires will be on hold until this summer. I added some things in my 1st post but I'll just leave them here as well.
-Timing chain, sprockets, seal and guide
-Waterpump and thermostat
-Replace all drive train fluids, transmission, transfer case, front and rear differentials
-Spark plugs, cap, rotor and wire set
-Upgrade battery
-Make DIY front disconnects

Now as for the DIY disconnects. I recently joined and offroad club here in Germany. They travel all over Europe to off road events. We actually have one coming up on March 20th that I'm looking forward to. So for the time being ill be wheeling on stock suspension. I'm going to remove my rear sway bar completely and utilise the stock end links and make my own disconnects for the time being.
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:51 PM
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Some small updates. Since I'm going to be wheeling around here on stock suspension until mid summer I decided to make my own swaybar disconnects. Fairly easy, just ran to one of the German hardware stores and purchased some locking pins and made them work with my stock end links.

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If your as particular about wiring as I am. You would have been annoyed by the positive terminal the previous owner installed. I ordered a marine style positive terminal and two lugs. These lugs are awesome though, they are from a company called Fusion. The lugs are prefilled with the correct amount of flux and solder. You just heat them up and press the wires in. While I was at it I upgraded to an optima battery for future purchases like a winch and lighting accessories.

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What a shame........
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