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$200 Auction Jeep Rebuild

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Old 01-26-2017, 01:49 PM   #1
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Default $200 Auction Jeep Rebuild

Y'all, it's about time to get this train a rolling. Work has started on my 1999 Cherokee Classic. I picked it up at the local auto auction for $200, and I've been taking it out on short trips to lunch or the store just to knock the dust off.

I didn't plan on buying a Jeep that day, I was headed to the auction to check it out and see what it sold for. Maybe report back to the internet about it.

Anyways, this thing is rusty like the Titanic. The rockers are gone, the driver's floorboard is gone, the leafs are frownie faces - but it fired right up from freezing cold.

They pulled it into the auction block and nobody was interested. They start bidding at $1500 - yeah right. Good luck.
$1000 Auctioneer: "C'mon guys, working four wheel drive..."
$750
$500 Auctioneer: "What's someone wanna give me for this..."

No takers. Auctioneer: "Take it out of here..."

"$200!" - oops, did I just say that? I just bought a Jeep!

In my next posts I'll talk about the issue's I've come across in the last couple weeks of ownership, and what I'm thinking of doing about them.

For now, Pictures:





1999 XJ Cherokee, 254,000 miles. Underside.

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Old 01-26-2017, 04:03 PM   #2
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OK. There are a lot of issues with this Jeep. The rockers are melted away, the driver's floorboard is missing (and the seat wobbles,) I can't open the rear hatch (I'll have to crawl in through the back seat and do the handle trick.)

But today, we'll be talking about my check engine light, and testing the results.

The Problem: Check engine light.

More Info: This thing runs...ok...sortof. After it warms up, I have to pop it in neutral at stoplights to keep it running, or it may die while I'm coasting to a stop sign, so I have to knock it back into neutral and start it before I can leave the stop sign. But it starts right up.

Anywho, I do the key/odometer button trick and get the message "2.3" Which could mean trouble code 23 - IAT Sensor. Awesome! I have been reading for months while other people check sensors and wiring, now it's my turn!

So I head to my local Harbor Freight and purchase my first and most important Jeep Tool:



Air Intake Temperature Sensor Plug Volt Test:

Ok, the internet says to check the feed going to the Air Intake Temperature Sensor (AIT) -Key On, Engine Off it should be between 4.5 and 5 volts. I'm getting 5.14.

Coolant Temperature Sensor Plug Volt Test:

I check the Coolant Temperature Sensor plug, too, while I'm under there. (The coolant sensor plug is/was disconnected when I bought the Jeep. The gauge doesn't respond.) It also reads the appropriate 5.14volts.

So the sensors are getting the appropriate amount of power to them.

Now we know that the sensors are probably bad. I bought the circuit tester for a reason, so let's test the sensors. For the sensors, we have to switch to Ohms on my multimeter. Why do we switch to Ohms? I have no idea. Google it.

So I'm getting 17.14 Ohms at the sensor.



It's about 34 degrees or so in the warehouse, so my AIT sensor should be reading between 29,330-35,990 - but I'm down around 17,000. (I think.)


Air Intake Temperature Sensor Ohms Test.

Let's check the Coolant sensor while I'm under the hood (and it is disconnected anways.) A solid 16.43


I'll do some more digging. I guess I'll pull the AIT Sensor and see how it reacts when I stick it in boiling water - see what happens to the resistance or Ohms as the temperature rises.

I'll probably have to just buy a new sensor for like $20. But I've never used a multimeter before and I'm having fun diagnosing.

Links:
The following sites were helpful when diagnosing this problem.
http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/jee...trouble-code-1
http://www.fixjeeps.com/iat-sensor.html

Last edited by MWMahoneyJr; 02-02-2017 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Added titles and reformatted for clarity.
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Old 01-26-2017, 05:19 PM   #3
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Congrats on getting your Jeep, looks like you've got a good project ahead of you.

Do you have any plans for it that you can lay out?
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:47 AM   #4
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Do you have any plans for it that you can lay out?
Yes. Sortof. My ultimate goal is a super capable overlander with a mild lift. 3-4 in lift, long arms, lockers. Get the interior comfy for sleeping/hauling.

I work for a truck accessory place, and I'm gonna use this thing for installation articles, photos and videos. I didn't plan on using such a beater for my project, but I couldn't let this thing slide off the auction block with no bids. My readers can follow along as I fix this pile.

I'm probably going to be bolting on and removing lots of stuff from this rig. In stages - Fix Engine Codes, Steering System Rebuild, Junkyard lift, Fix Rockers (2x6?), add arms, change springs, different arms, big lift, long arms, etc.

First, fix the check engine light and get this thing running smooth(er.) Then, rebuild the steering system with replacement stuff (probably from Crown, I'll do a write-up.).

Then a junkyard lift. I'll try a few different coils in the front, I'll build a bastard pack for the rear. Maybe two or three different bastard packs, with leafs from different trucks, so I can write a good article comparing them. Maybe I'll find a good combo of support and flex.

Today, though, I think I'm going to head to the local pick and pull and get a power steering cap. Maybe a new taillight.

Plus, I'm going to pull one of the sensors from yesterday and see how it reacts when I put it in boiling water. See how the Ohms change.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:03 PM   #5
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Score! My new Crown Automotive catalog just came in - let the Jeep rebuilding begin!

First thing is a new AIT sensor.


I'll do the coolant sensor when I buy all new cooling stuff - rad, thermostat, housing, hoses, water pump, etc.

Plus, I now realize I need an upper radiator support from the Junkyard. Looking under my hood, it looks like I'm missing the upper mounting piece for the radiator and fan, the piece that spans from headlight to headlight, under the grille. (Edit: This piece is called the Radiator Crossmember, and nobody sells it aftermarket for the 1999 XJ. I found one at the local wrecking yard, and I talk about it more in a later post.)

Missing Radiator Crossmember - Driver's Side:

Missing Upper Radiator Support
I'm pointing to two empty bolt holes that should hold the upper radiator mount. You can see random bolts and wire holding the electric fan in place.

Missing Radiator Crossmember - Passenger Side:

Last edited by MWMahoneyJr; 02-09-2017 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:02 AM   #6
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Default Cherokee Auction Watch:

Another Cherokee at the local auction tomorrow.

Mileage is 138K, no photos available, so it's probably a repo, and probably a pile. I'll head there in the morning and take some photos. Maybe see what it goes for.

EDIT: I did not go to the auction this morning. We're busy at work, so I'm working.

Last edited by MWMahoneyJr; 02-09-2017 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:18 PM   #7
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Default Sensors on Order!

Sensors on order from Crown Automotive!
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:15 PM   #8
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I know you are big on crown stuff. But you should look around at other brands of items as well. Crown is really hit or miss on their stuff.
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:49 PM   #9
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I know you are big on crown stuff. But you should look around at other brands of items as well. Crown is really hit or miss on their stuff.
Agreed, as most people here would tell you sensors are worth forking over some extra money and going MOPAR.
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:50 PM   #10
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Agreed, as most people here would tell you sensors are worth forking over some extra money and going MOPAR.
I'm not going to disagree with you. BUT...

I tell you what, we'll all see together. Right now, I have access to Crown because of where I work. I'm documenting each step of this. If the Crown stuff fails, you'll hear about it.
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Old 02-04-2017, 01:45 AM   #11
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I'm not going to disagree with you. BUT...

I tell you what, we'll all see together. Right now, I have access to Crown because of where I work. I'm documenting each step of this. If the Crown stuff fails, you'll hear about it.
Ah so an experiment. Cool cool should be interesting! Didn't know you got crown discounted. Thought you were just a fan of the brand. Crown build!
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:02 PM   #12
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Ah so an experiment. Cool cool should be interesting! Didn't know you got crown discounted. Thought you were just a fan of the brand. Crown build!
I'm not really a fan of any particular vendors just yet. We carry lots, and I'm learning about all of them. This frankenJeep will have bits and pieces from everybody - Free-Love style.

I do like JCR, though. It's important to me that a company take care of it's employees, and that they like what they do. It's clear that the staff wheels, and that they are all into it. And they have fun.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:47 PM   #13
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Default Field Trip to Bedford Auto Wrecking - Bedford, OH

I took a field trip to find some XJ pieces. I don't like the big pull-a-part or whatever they're called, so I went looking for a local mom-n-pop type place:

Bedford Auto Wrecking, BedFord, OH.

I used to go to this place when I was just a teenager, wrenching on my lifted Ranger. And they are still there.

Their inventory is pretty limited on Jeeps; just a single Wrangler, and three older body style Cherokees.

Just a single Wrangler (with no drivetrain)

Drivetrain gone. Anything useable out of this for an XJ? Maybe the control arms? The seats and seat brackets? Maybe I'll snag those round lights on the bumper.

After a little more digging I find these three beauties!

Pretty ladies, all in a row.

I'm here today for a radiator crossmember, and only the center XJ has a radiator, or even an engine.

Still has the engine and cooling system. I can snag my radiator crossmember off of here, plus a power steering cap. What else is useful? Fuses? Sensors?

Radiator Crossmember, power steering cap.

My Radiator Crossmember

The rear windows of this Jeep have little air flaps that open, like a minivan.

Rear vent windows.

Take a peek inside - It's a 5 Speed. A two-door 5-speed. Nice!

2 Door, 5 Speed XJ. Golden!

It looks like this place will have some pieces that I need for my XJ. And I didn't have to go to the big guys. I'll have to get a small tool kit together and head back up there in a few days.

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Old 02-08-2017, 05:56 PM   #14
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I'm surprised there was even one wrangler there haha....I've personally never seen one in my 3 local yards.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:09 AM   #15
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I'm surprised there was even one wrangler there haha....I've personally never seen one in my 3 local yards.
I was happy to find anything there. I went to another local place that's pretty large, been there since 1932, family business - their entire yard was empty; they said they had just scrapped everything.

It was weird seeing the place empty. I used to walk through there as a teenager looking at cars stacked 5 high. Now it's just an oily gravel waste site with an engine block sitting in the back corner.
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