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95 Cherokee Baja Build

Old 01-30-2018, 05:53 PM
  #1  
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Default 95 Cherokee Baja Build

So , being the new guy I kinda went with the rule " if you don't know whats going on ,keep your mouth shut" Now after reading through a lot of posts, it seems a lot of us enjoy the back story..
Here goes. Been going down to Baja Mexico for a few years. Renting a 4 wheel drive vehicle down there is way too expensive...So we rent a little wind up car, and hang with friends who have 4 wheelers..One such friend leaves his Jeep down there and flies home.
This guy has wanted to do the Washington State to the bottom of Baja road trip for a while. His wife wanted nothing to do with it..She said take Rick..(me) He was even thinking about driving his Jeep home this past November so we could drive down again in March!!!
Seemed crazy (it was crazy) But I wanted to go.... After a few discussions about this possibility , my friend says, why don't you buy a 4 wheeler, and drive it down to Baja and leave it there like I do....??
There was a spark, and then there was smoke, then there was a jeep sitting in my driveway My wife has been pretty understanding, I must say...But it was like, dear, I HAVE to do this.. I'm getting old,( I'm 63 soon) Do it now, or never has never been more real to me..
So I get home from Baja and start looking for a 4 wheel vehicle...$3500 is my budget point. I'm looking at all kinds of 4 wheelers...But wow in that budget range. the miles were sky high or there was something pretty major that needed attention.
Up pops this 95 Jeep Cherokee..51,600 miles , BUT she was an insurance total and had no title It was a pretty good dent in the left rear quarter panel... I was afraid of a bent frame... I let it ride for a few days, then my bud who I showed the add to
said I don't know man, you need to give this one a closer look. There's ways we can look for and check for frame damage.... Friday night I call the guy with the Jeep, and said I would like to look at it... He says, Oh sorry, I have a lady driving up from Oregon
to look at it I figured if she was that serious to go all that way, she would probably scoop it up.....
I call him back Saturday afternoon, and ask if she bought it...He said no, she just wasn't feeling it and was nervous about the lack of title. Ok can I come out Sunday and look at it ??
The next day after looking the vehicle over closely, measuring hub to hub and side to side, I feel if there is frame damage, its minor....I make an offer and he counters with another, along with a folder of all the maintenance that had been done over the past 18 months.
Pretty extensive, almost $4000, and new tires 6000 miles ago..
I buy it for $2300....Then set about getting the rebuilt title and insurance for it...
Ill tell you how that went, as well of a list of what had been done to it and what I'm doing now in my next post...
Later
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:45 PM
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Oh so your one of those who is going to keep us in suspense lol no kidding but I enjoyed your story and looking forward to hearing more of this Jeep! Please post us some photos so we can see and I hope it works out for you. I guess you never get too old to play huh? No, I'm not saying your old I'm just using it a reference because I thought to myself that I'm 36 and do I really want to jump on the bandwagon of off roading in a Jeep when I could have done that years ago? I don't regret buying mine. I know that one day when it is ready to go I will be even more satisfied to have built up this project over many others I had thoughts on. I lost interest on those and hope that I never do on this one.

Subbed to continue reading this build of yours and welcome to the club!

Last edited by XJIrish4x4; 01-30-2018 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:45 PM
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So , got her home....I was able to get liability insurance before I had any other things in order...
I called Washington State Patrol for an inspection for a new title....They said , well you cant drive it here without it being registered ...But I couldn't get it registered without an inspection...Turns out I could get
a travel permit for one to two days from the local DMV.... I set up my appointment with the WSP, and then got my travel permit for that day..
I hadn't done anything to the Jeep at this point, except attach a chain to the rear dent and pull it a bit. Got it home and pounded on the quarter panel for a bit.....
Got up the morning of my inspection , I was a little nervous..You only get 3 chances....I was getting ready to leave and my wife pointed out that my left rear lights were out....
****, I checked all that....Oh yeh, my banging on it probably broke the filament .....My appointment is in 20 mininutes...you need to cancel 24hrs ahead of time...
So I went, knowing my left rear taillight is out...
I was the first appointment, and he was 20 minutes late.. he was an older guy and he didn't look too pleased to be there. But I tried to stay positive..He comes out and I hand him my folder and he balks and says just give me your bill of sale and vin number
He opens door and looks in and says, Oh a cranker, Huh?? I said I'm sorry what?? Hand crank windows... oh yeh, hand crank and toggle switches !!
How many miles? I said 51,600 miles. He says , ok , I'll go write it up.Ill be back in a bit...
THAT WAS IT !!!! Never looked at anything.....My broken taillight , and totaled Jeep had just passed inspection !!...YMMV
Back to the DMV with my papers, give them about $300 for Tabs and license plates....
And here we go....
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by XJIrish4x4 View Post
Oh so your one of those who is going to keep us in suspense lol no kidding but I enjoyed your story and looking forward to hearing more of this Jeep! Please post us some photos so we can see and I hope it works out for you. I guess you never get too old to play huh? No, I'm not saying your old I'm just using it a reference because I thought to myself that I'm 36 and do I really want to jump on the bandwagon of off roading in a Jeep when I could have done that years ago? I don't regret buying mine. I know that one day when it is ready to go I will be even more satisfied to have built up this project over many others I had thoughts on. I lost interest on those and hope that I never do on this one.

Subbed to continue reading this build of yours and welcome to the club!
Click on my photos link for some pics
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:51 PM
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Will do and that is awesome that you got it registered. I had a problem getting mine registered well sort of. I went to the same license office I did with my wifes Excursion when we first moved up to Washington so it has California plates and title. I had no problems registering hers but a year later I go to register my XJ and went to same office the guy tells me since I'm active duty Military I have to get a license in Washington. I said no I don't but after a few arguments back and forth I left without it. Went on my phone and within 5 minutes I pulled up the instruction on if your Military you do not need to get a license but you have to fill out a certain form. I tried explaining to that guy but he would not hear me out. So I got back on my phone found another license office over in Monroe went there showed them the form that I needed to fill out and all the other paperwork and I was out of there in five minutes. Sometimes you just have to fix stupid lol.

Glad you had no problems with yours though that is crazy since it is a vehicle with no title.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:06 AM
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I think it is often luck of the draw / who you get to talk to..and I got lucky
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:16 AM
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Red face Work done before I got it.

So this is the list of what had been done within the last 18 months and 4,000 miles of me buying it.. Things I in theory shouldn't have to worry about for a bit..
New tires--6,000 miles ago--P235/75R15 Goodyear Wrangler.
New battery
Water punp
Thermostat
Antifreeze flush
Brake fluid exchange
Auto trans maintenance / service new fluid
Front and rear differential drain and refill
Power steering fluid /drain and replace
New oil pan gasket
New rear main seal....

Next post I'll list what Ive done in the past two months----A little quick math tells me I've reached that magical #--- I think I have matched what I put into it, to what I paid for it..
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:53 PM
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Model: Cherokee (XJ)
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Default Spent so far

Wires ,Cap ,Rotor and coil
Spark plugs
Upper and lower Radiator hoses
K&N Air Filter
Oil and Filter
Battery holder/ Tray
Battery hold down clamp
Tuff Country 3-1/2" lift with New leaf springs
Aires Brush bar
Replaced broken aluminum wheel
Curt roof rack
Just over $2000 so far---add in new title, registration and plates
And I'm just over $2300---what I paid for it...
I would like to put on new 31" tires , but that looks to be another $600 to $1200 and the 29s I have have a lot of miles left on em...
BUT there is more to the tire swap, than how many miles I have left on em VANITY???

Last edited by Ozalid; 01-31-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 04-28-2018, 01:42 PM
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Are you happy with your Curt roof rack/basket? My '90 is already so damn loud at speed that it's hard to imagine wind noise making a big difference but, since I plan on installing new weatherstripping and sound-deadening the engine, I don't want to get a rack that's going feel like a step back. Is the Curt overall a weighty, well built unit with the extension piece? The price is kind of hard to pass by... Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:22 PM
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Default Curt Roof Rack

Yes, but with these notes....I read some reviews about rust from the fasteners...There is a review on Amazon, where a guy spells out what to replace..Basically All the fasteners should be replaced with stainless steel.
Caulk all the joints and you should be good to go...IMHO you want to buy the extension piece...I put up the basic rack, was real unhappy with how small it looked. I then had to take it apart and add the extension...
Later..
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Old 04-29-2018, 02:23 PM
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Thanks, Oz. Much appreciated. I was planning on installing with the extension anyway but that seals it. Now I just have to find a decent front brush guard. And it looks like nobody has every made brush guards for the rear lights. At least I've never found one for sale, used or new...
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