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96 Daily Build

Old 07-30-2016, 06:37 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Tucson AZ
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Year: 1996
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 HO
Default 96 Daily Build

Hello Forum members,
I'm new to this forum and Cherokees in general!
So, background on the XJ i'm building. It is a forest green 96 Classic. It was my stepdads and he garaged it when a freezeplug blew from overheating and he parked it. That was 7 years ago. My stepdad has gotten to the point where he is physically unable to fix it and was kind enough to give it to me.
So I bought a parts jeep, a 92 Sport. I'm going to use the motor out of it and it has BRAND new 31's on it. Like 600miles of wear. It will also give me spare glass, transmission Tcase and whatnot in case something fails on the 96.
As for the build, I'm going to lift it, upgrade the rad. and throw some Efans on it.
Lift.....this is where your guys' advice will come in handy, I'm thinking about doing a 3", for simplicity's sake. Yet, a 4.5" also appeals to me. Money is a slight issue, but if it's really worth the money I can allocate the funds. I am currently planning on a Rough Country 3" with the 2.2 shocks and replacement leafs. Sway bar disconnects, steering stabilizer and rustys trackbar. I mainly do trails and will occasionally flex it out. This will be a daily and a condition of the build is that my wife must be comfortable driving it in emergencies. I'm looking at $945 total for all of the suspension parts, would it be worth moving up to the 4.5? What goes along with that upgrade...such as dropping the tranny, Tcase work? Labor is not an issue, i'm doing it all myself. And will 31" tires look silly? I do not have the money to buy a set of 33's.

Cooling: I'm going to buy an aluminum radiator and put 3 Efans on it. the fans pull 2400cfm each at 4.9 amps max. They are 10x11 inches so 3 should fit perfectly on the radiator. Then i'm going to wire in a variable speed fan controller with AC bypass. I'll remove the fanclutch and fan, maybe even press the bearing out of the bracket.

Engine: I understand there isnt much you can do in this department, the motor i'm pulling out has 180k on it. It runs like a champ but is rather leaks. So when I heave it pulled I'm going to regasket everything and see if there is any metal in the oil pump. Only the shortblock will go over to the 96.

So overall it is nothing crazy, but I could really use some suggestions on the lift area. This is the only place I don't have any experience.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:42 PM
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Year: 1996
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 HO
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Oh, and I'm upgrading the cooling system because I plan on wheeling with the ac on in 110+ degree weather. Gotta love the Sonoran Desert!
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:10 PM
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Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
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Originally Posted by IrishKRO View Post
Oh, and I'm upgrading the cooling system because I plan on wheeling with the ac on in 110+ degree weather. Gotta love the Sonoran Desert!
As few things. Do not put a rough country lift and I wouldnt waste money on aluminum radiator or 3 efans. Just replace all the current cooling parts. The stock system is more than adequate when taken care of properly
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:30 PM
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Year: 1996
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The other company I was considering was Rusty's...have any suggestions? I planned on replacing the radiator anyways, and it's only 30 more for aluminum...i'm not buying one of those ridiculous $1k CRX of Flevalite ones. Also, why the hate on RC?

Last edited by IrishKRO; 07-30-2016 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 07-31-2016, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by IrishKRO View Post
The other company I was considering was Rusty's...have any suggestions? I planned on replacing the radiator anyways, and it's only 30 more for aluminum...i'm not buying one of those ridiculous $1k CRX of Flevalite ones. Also, why the hate on RC?
Rustys, zone, rubicon express...anything but rough country because their product isn't good. You'll need to replace it quick. Aluminum radiators also don't have a positive rating in this forum. They tend to wear faster or have more defectso. My brother put one on his xj last year. It was worse then stock.
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