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90 Xj build. From 3 inch lift to hopefully Rock Crawling Beast.

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90 Xj build. From 3 inch lift to hopefully Rock Crawling Beast.

Old 08-13-2010, 12:55 PM
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Default 90 Xj build. From 3 inch lift to hopefully Rock Crawling Beast.

New to the forum, bought two 1990 xjs of craigslist for 1500/both... (sweet deal). So now i began my journey of building a Rock Crawling, sand chugging Beast. Have many ideas, just dont have the funds to do it all at once. So my thread will mostly consist of here and there minor builds to preparing for a bigger lift, beefier axles, gears lockers and meats for my project. I like budget builds, so anyone with info, opinions or just plain help with this project i greatly will take all info and put it to use.

To start of my project XJ has the 4.0 l, cold air intake, has a cut out hood intake, has a 3 inch lift not sure what brand, running on 31 x 10.50 r 15 mickey thompson baja claws. it has a custom homemade front bumber with a small stinger, 2 d rings, and hitch. a light bar which i dont like and is coming off, rear hitch reciever.

As far as my plans (keep in mind budget is key) I plan for a 6 to 8 inch lift, run 35's, want it to be geared and locked, planing for either a exo cage or inside not sure which one yet, tube half doors, and looking into small but effective engine mods to get a bit more out of it. as far as exterior looks want to either have it primered, or just do a bedliner inside and out. like the look.

As for the use of this vehicle, i plan for many uses from trailing in the desert, running up sand dunes to eventually rock crawling. Chile Challenge in las cruces would be by goal, then one day head to moab for a true adventure.

Any info and ideas are appreciated. will post pics every now and then to show progress. thanks
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:18 PM
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Good luck with the build man and post picks along the way! otherwise your sure to get boo's for no picks... hey tough crowd and ya got to please them.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:23 PM
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good luck with your build man! and i am in Las Cruces so just up the i-10 from ya if you need help!
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:36 PM
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It sounds like you already know what you want and have a nice start to your build as it looks like someone has already cut the fenders for additional clearance.

What axles are you running now? if its the turdy five out back that is probably going to be your first upgrade. Check out the JY or Craigslist and see if you can find yourself a 29spline 8.25 or a d44 as either one is a direct bolt in and a huge upgrade. If your handy with a welder try to find a ford 8.8 out of a explorer (31spline and a Limited slip) with a little fab these are a easy bolt in.

IMHO if you are going to run 35's try to stay around 6 maybe lower then trim and bumpstop accordingly, since you are planning on rocks and off camber situations the lower the center of gravity the better!

There is a wealth of knowledge here and on other sites.
Good luck with your build and make it your own

Look forward to watching the progress
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:28 AM
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Default Thanks for the comments..

This weekend ill get started with gutting out the interior, still saving some cash. i found on craigslist a ford 8.8 from an explorer for 140 bucks so im thinking its my best shot.. (jonesinxj) you advised about a little fabrication. would this be on the brackets for the leaf pack. and what other mods would i have to do to have the 8.8 rear end? as far as other progress, i had an amp and some subs laying around so i installed that. this weekend i will also get rid of the light bar thats on the roof and see about mounting some lights on the front and rear bumpers. ill post some pics as the progress continues. thanks
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:52 AM
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Ok so as far as modification your are correct. You will have to re-perch the axle to work with your leaf springs along with welding on mounting points for your shocks. If you are having a hard time finding the parts to do it, PM me and I can point you in the right direction
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jonesinxj View Post
Ok so as far as modification your are correct. You will have to re-perch the axle to work with your leaf springs along with welding on mounting points for your shocks. If you are having a hard time finding the parts to do it, PM me and I can point you in the right direction

thanks jonesinxj, hopefully i will pick up that rear end, and get started, as far as i know, the guy selling it has already prep it for the up grade, so i dont think i have to remove anything, i think its just welding the shock mounts and leaf pack bracket.. so it should be a pretty easy mod. ill keep you post it..
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:40 PM
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oh and I almost forgot, if you do get the 8.8 make sure you weld the axle tube to the pumpkin (axle tubes can turn in some cases if used in a extreme manner) better to be safe then sorry.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:20 AM
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Default 2 pics up...

well i managed to get out a bit yesterday, still trying to figure out what i have on the xj, looking for flaws, looking for anything that might cause me some trouble down the road. took 2 pics yesterday. havent had the cash to really begin my build, working on the small stuff so that when i do have the cash, im able to get into it and not worry about the other little things. I noticed that the previous owner already had quick disconnects in the front installed. getting rid of that light bar, and im hearing a noise coming from what i think is the front drive shaft. i removed it from my donor jeep and now im hearing the noise. and its only when im in drive, as the vehicle is moving. Any ideas of what it might be? The 3 inch suspension it has doesnt have alot of flex, as you can see in the pic, im not even in any type of off camber flex and its beginning to rub, going to get rid of those fender flares and do some trimming. I know its only at 3 inches, but i love to get out and do some wheeling in the meantime so i still like to have the perks of a great flex. once i have the money then ill get into the lift that i want. ill be posting more pics as the weekend nears.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:24 PM
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Looks like a good start.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:59 PM
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nice start but keep it low no need for a 8in lift you can clear 35s with cutting on a 5in or lower depending on how much you cut
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:06 PM
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hell ya trim thoose fenders and you well clear them tires with no problems and that front bumper is sick, you should leave the light bar on or give it to me lol
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:20 PM
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Yeah I agree with the people who say keep it low. Lift does not equal flex, with some long arms and long shocks you could even make that 3 inch flex better then you would ever need if you wanted to, most people who are really into rockcrawling build to have flex on downtravel not up. And if you have issues with rubbing then bumpstop it sooner, that will solve it.


Looks great though, have fun with it.

Last edited by Iant333; 08-24-2010 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:36 PM
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sounds about like what im going after except i want to put the rear of mine on coils.
to keep it low the re 5.5 lift seems good, i have pieces of one and the springs are soft maybe you can find a set used? then trim the fenders a little more for the 35s.
for power a turbo seems to be a good idea imo. im hoping to put one on mine within the next 6 months, they seem doable for under a grand maybe 500 since your on the budget band wagon like me
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:19 PM
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Is it a bad pic or is the front axle bent? The front tires look like they are leaning in a bit.
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