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89 XJ-Project Puddle Pirate

Old 01-12-2013, 07:46 PM
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Default 89 XJ-Project Puddle Pirate

well i figured id start a build post. i figure you Navy guys out there would get a kick out of the project name since im in the Coast Guard. and strangely it sounds pretty cool. any how here is some back ground and some pics. its a white 1989 xj 4 door with the 4.0l inline six with 130,xxx miles on it. mechanically in great shape! cosmetically it needs alil work but thats why its a project. previous owner replaced the rear windows with aluminium....not sure why...and not sure if i like it, but i might keep em on if i cant find glass. also the interior has been gutted( plan on bedline it anyhow). when i bought it i was sure it was completely stock..then i got it home and started to go through it. found out some interesting things, it has a 1" hockey puck lift already, a D30 front axle and a FORD !8.8! in the rear. along with no sway bars at all! O.o it was a little frightening getting it to the house. Rust is not too bad, paint is shot and there are a few really thin spots in the back. but here are some pics...









sittin next to the KING RANCH..



PS sorry for the INSANELY LARGE PICS!! not sure how to resize them.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:55 PM
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So my plans right now are to get a RC 4.5 or a ZONE 4.5 inch lift. hopefully ill get the RC. BTW all my parts are going to be ordered from AMAZON OR EBAY...reason being the shipping from the manufactures to KODIAK AK is just plane outrageous!!!! also with the lift i plan on getting 15x8 RR D windows and a set of 33x12.5 Goodyear wranglers or hankook Dynapros (which is an EXCELLENT tire, dont know why people dont use them) cut the fenders and lots of bedliner IN AND OUT! but first i got to get a new windshield, as you can see mine is toast!


i do have a question bout the sway bars, who makes a full replacement front sway or what jeep vehicles can i pull one off of and how do i mount one on the 8.8? also with the 8.8, is that an almost direct replacement for the D35? shock locations sway bar locations etc? it does have disc breaks so thats a plus. any tips on doin the lift with that 8.8??

comments, suggestions, advice is greatly appreciated! and the progess of the lift will be highly documented!
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:56 PM
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Welcome fellow Jeeper. Looks like you got a good start to a great project. When did you get out of Cape May (if thats were you went)
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:09 PM
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I went through there in Oct 2009, then went to Houston, e-city NC, now Kodiak Alaska, workin/flyin on the c130s. But ya she's alil rough round the edges but it should be a fun build! Lookin forward to it
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by N8USCG View Post
So my plans right now are to get a RC 4.5 or a ZONE 4.5 inch lift. hopefully ill get the RC. BTW all my parts are going to be ordered from AMAZON OR EBAY...reason being the shipping from the manufactures to KODIAK AK is just plane outrageous!!!! also with the lift i plan on getting 15x8 RR D windows and a set of 33x12.5 Goodyear wranglers or hankook Dynapros (which is an EXCELLENT tire, dont know why people dont use them) cut the fenders and lots of bedliner IN AND OUT! but first i got to get a new windshield, as you can see mine is toast!

i do have a question bout the sway bars, who makes a full replacement front sway or what jeep vehicles can i pull one off of and how do i mount one on the 8.8? also with the 8.8, is that an almost direct replacement for the D35? shock locations sway bar locations etc? it does have disc breaks so thats a plus. any tips on doin the lift with that 8.8??

comments, suggestions, advice is greatly appreciated! and the progess of the lift will be highly documented!
You can pull a front swaybar from any year xj, or currie make a universal model of their anti rock offroad swaybar. you want need a rear swaybar. The stock one is the size of a pencil. And nobody runs them, you can't even get extended links for them. The only thing you will have to worry about with an 8.8 when lifting is the shocks they might not mount in the stock location, post up some pics of the shock mounts.

Also rough country is about the bottom of the barrel when it comes to xj lifts. Go with zone or rubicon express.

Last edited by bhennessee1; 01-13-2013 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bhennessee1 View Post
You can pull a front swaybar from any year xj, or currie make a universal model of their anti rock offroad swaybar. you want need a rear swaybar. The stock one is the size of a pencil. And nobody runs them, you can't even get extended links for them. The only thing you will have to worry about with an 8.8 when lifting is the shocks they might not mount in the stock location, post up some pics of the shock mounts.

Also rough country is about the bottom of the barrel when it comes to xj lifts. Go with zone or rubicon express.
Great info! Its greatly appreciated.. Ya ill see if the weather clears enough to head out there and take some pics, the shocks that are on there look pretty darn close to the same mounting locations. But I'm not sure yet.
As far as RC goes it seems like every build thread Iv seen uses some sort of RC lift. And only seen a few with the zone lifts. Thanks man!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by N8USCG View Post

Great info! Its greatly appreciated.. Ya ill see if the weather clears enough to head out there and take some pics, the shocks that are on there look pretty darn close to the same mounting locations. But I'm not sure yet.
As far as RC goes it seems like every build thread Iv seen uses some sort of RC lift. And only seen a few with the zone lifts. Thanks man!
Lots of people use rc, because its the cheapest. Its accepted as a low quality lift. Do some research and figure out what fits your budget and your expectations, you may decide rc is good enough for you, or you may want to go high end, everyone's setup has different needs. Just choose what's right for you.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bhennessee1 View Post
Lots of people use rc, because its the cheapest. Its accepted as a low quality lift. Do some research and figure out what fits your budget and your expectations, you may decide rc is good enough for you, or you may want to go high end, everyone's setup has different needs. Just choose what's right for you.
Great point, I honestly haven't seen many bad things bout RCand originally I was leaning towards the zone kit. I am pretty limited due to my location. If I was in the lower 48 I would probably do a rustys or a RE. Lucky I can still get a lot of parts off amazon and eBay and the shipping won't kill me. Btw do you know what size shackles the 8.8 will need?
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by N8USCG View Post

Great point, I honestly haven't seen many bad things bout RCand originally I was leaning towards the zone kit. I am pretty limited due to my location. If I was in the lower 48 I would probably do a rustys or a RE. Lucky I can still get a lot of parts off amazon and eBay and the shipping won't kill me. Btw do you know what size shackles the 8.8 will need?
Do you mean u bolts? I think 3.25, I'll dig around and come up with the right answer.

Yep 3.25 inches on the u bolts, iron rock offroad has lots of xj 8.8 swap stuff, but I'm sure you could find some on amazon.

Last edited by bhennessee1; 01-13-2013 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bhennessee1 View Post
Do you mean u bolts? I think 3.25, I'll dig around and come up with the right answer.

Yep 3.25 inches on the u bolts, iron rock offroad has lots of xj 8.8 swap stuff, but I'm sure you could find some on amazon.
That's awsome man, thank you!
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:29 AM
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*update* well just when i was about to order all my stuff the rims went on backorder -_- damn...oh well guess i can do some small stuff in the mean time. gonna run by the junkyard and see if they have any XJs laying around to bum some parts. Mainly a front sway bar assembly, maybe a few interior trim peices, and see if there is any rear quarter glass thats in good shape. has anyone put a new quarter glass in by themselves? TIPS AND TRICKS? hopefully those rims dont take too long!
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:00 AM
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Man small world... I'm a 65 guy up here in Kodiak. Let me know if you ever need some help. Also as for shipping up here. a lot of times on big items try to find free shipping in the lower 48 get them shipped to Seattle for free then put them on a barge. I did it with Sampson tug and barge last year for my front bumper worked out good.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:10 AM
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Right on man I went to A school with one of the mech thirds over there. That's a pretty good idea bout the bardge. How much does it normally run? The way I have everything priced out, shipping won't be too bad, had to search up and down eBay. Tryin to stick to amazon cuz of the prime free shipping. Just gotta wait to get the right rims back in stock. But once I get the lift and tires ill be workin at the auto hobby shop. So ill have the right tools.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:48 PM
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* another update* well hit the junkyard today with low hopes of finding anything. lots of yotas, 80s chevys and lots of rice burners. i did find a red 94 XJ that was smashed and was becoming one with the earth. but the rear quarter glass was still intact so awsome for that. thought that was the only jeep they had till i started walking back to the truck. this sad CJ caught my eye.


what a cool project that would have been!
looked at that for alil bit then this gem caught my eye hiding behind a big ole ford!


the perfect donor vehicle! 89 COMMACHE! it is actually really clean with min rust. i plan on taking the seats, sway bar with the odds and ends, tow hooks, Skid plate and maybe the center console and fenders....we will see. figured i do this while im waiting on my lift parts to get off backorder. gonna see if i can scrounge up the tools and start aquiring this long weekend.
oh btw plan on stuffing 35 inch Goodyear MTRs on a 4.5 inch lift. should be a lot of trimming! see how it goes. should looking pretty stout when its all put together! thoughts, opinions, suggestions?
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:56 PM
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if you get rc call jason, he can get you a great discount for being a member! look in the vendor section
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