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2000 Classic: Adirondack Edition

Old 08-08-2011, 03:00 PM
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Default 2000 Classic: Adirondack Edition

Life's a big loop and having just completed the car ownership version I find myself again bouncing around in a 2000 Cherokee Classic (pictures below). Funny how it happens, but I've only ever owned Civics or Cherokees. I ditched my first XJ (and first car I bought without parental assistance) after beginning a lovely 500 mile a week commute right out of college...loved that old box, but when the breaks, engine and suspension decided to ***** the bed and gas hit $4+ in the NE, it was time to say a sad goodbye.

But this about the new XJ! With the commute now down to a mile and half total and the girlfriend happily taking on the title of my latest bulletproof Civic, I went Jeep hunting! Folks love their Cherokees up here in the Adirondacks (no, the ADKS aren't anywhere near NYC) and don't part with them easily, but I managed to find one in mint condition at a shop near VT. Never driven off-road and stock with the exception of a matched set of vent shades and air deflectors, I snatched it up.

So, here's the plan; I want to build a functional, go anywhere daily driver for this mountainous and snowy ADK terrain that looks as sick as it rides. I'm no grease monkey but have access to the best garage/mechanic in the state and he's got a kid in-house that specializes in off-road setups for Jeeps. Hoping to learn a lot in the process and develop some better DIY chops.

The first month's to-do list looks a little something like this - comments and suggestions welcome:

  • New Tires & Rims: Scouting for BFG All-Terrain 30s and some AEV's with the yellow center.
  • Lift: Depending on cost of the tires, either RE budget or Old Man Emu with the works.
  • Front & Rear: Love the look of the Warrior & ARB bull bars, but might go with a vendor on here. Like to do a rear bumper/hitch combo, but have heard they aren't strong...thoughts?
  • Interior: Re-do the seats in black neoprene and overhaul entire audio system, speakers, wiring, etc...would love to drop in an overhead computer console but have to dig into the complexity.
Okay, for the real reason anyone reads these threads, here's some pics:





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Old 08-08-2011, 03:32 PM
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You gotta get that thing dirty. its too clean. If you are looking for a budget lift, RC 3" lift with AAl depending on how your leafs are now for about $250 or you could get the kit with full leafs. Rustys off road has great products on their site. if you do a 3" lift you can put 31s under it without any chopping. if you look on the vendor page here there are some pretty sweet bumpers on their that guys fab. but morris off road has good deals on warrior products. Good luck. gonna watch your build.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:46 PM
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Good looking stock xj welcome to the forum
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:06 PM
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Thanks for the posts, guys - love this forum, I've been lurking for a bit...

Checking out those CF vendor bumpers as we speak, but tonight I checked off the first item on the To-Do with a sweet Craigslist pick-up of these BFG's for $200...for the entire set!



Some girl pulled these off her Grand Cherokee pretty much new because she wanted "highway tires"...I was happy to take them off her hands for 1/4th retail. Great tread, sidewalls are clean and the build begins!
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:00 PM
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good find. tires are a tricky one to find
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:00 PM
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what size are they
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:51 AM
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They're 30s...nothing crazy just yet. I'm not really looking for the monster truck look but I figure finding these cheap let's me invest in something bigger down the line if needed.

So, those give me some flexibility in my spending on the lift. I see Rusty's offroad with the full leafs as a recommendation and I've seen raving reviews over Emu full sets. I think she's got a little sag in the rear (that's what she said) but always open to recommendations for must haves in a lift under 3". Here she is in the driveway (and the GF up front):

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Old 08-09-2011, 11:37 AM
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Rough Country 3" is good and cheap. so is the rustys you were looking at. and their customer service is excellent. OME is great also but a little pricey but i have heard great things about them. zone off road has some good lifts as well as Rubicon express. RE has two different 3" packages. But for the money, rough country 3" with aal is where its at.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:50 PM
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I've checked out Rough Country and that looks like a viable option...I'd also heard though that if you're going to spend the money on AAL you might as well replace the leaf set. That was one of the reasons I was pondering over the full EMU since it basically replaces the existing suspension.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:22 PM
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Ya the ome is nice but pricey. if you go to roughcountry and look at their 3" lift sets you can get them with the full leafs and it is alot cheaper than the OME set. The RC kit with AAL is $255 and the Full leaf kit is $509. Here is the link below.
http://www.roughcountry.com/jeep_xj_3.html
at the bottom you will see the add a leaf or full leaf pack
Just so you know i had FLATTT leafs and i did the AAL and it really did help. its designed for flat leafs. you could always try it and order the leafs later if you need it. it might save you a couple hundred.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:34 PM
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I got the RC 3" with full leafs. 1 leaf settled to much(went flat) i called RC and sent them a picture and they had me a new full leaf pack in 3 or 4 days. Great customer service. To me, it rides better than stock.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:22 PM
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Nice start bud.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by nor510cal View Post
at the bottom you will see the add a leaf or full leaf pack
Just so you know i had FLATTT leafs and i did the AAL and it really did help. its designed for flat leafs. you could always try it and order the leafs later if you need it. it might save you a couple hundred.
Thanks, that's good to know and might just take that route as a first step. I know it's just August, but my first priority is really to get this thing winter ready. It comes out of nowhere up here so I'll must likely be doing the mechanical work in stages.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by stroked View Post
I got the RC 3" with full leafs. 1 leaf settled to much(went flat) i called RC and sent them a picture and they had me a new full leaf pack in 3 or 4 days. Great customer service. To me, it rides better than stock.
Rough Country seems to be the consensus on here, huh? This is a great resource, appreciate the input guys.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:47 PM
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For the interior side of the build, Mr. Crutchfield quick shipped me some presents today. Entry level Pioneers for the front and rear (anything is better than stock in these boxes) but spent the bucks to get the full Bluetooth streaming audio Sony deck. Have one of these in my (ex) Civic and love the convenience of no wires, auto connection audio.



Now my only issue is that I've got a short in the front passenger wire and the driver side is completely cut. Time to start searching for wiring schematics.
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