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'97 White DD Project

Old 09-08-2016, 10:41 PM
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Default '97 White DD Project

I'm finally mostly satisfied with my 1999 XJ for the time being:




So my girlfriend tells me that I should get another project to work on for the winter, and shows me a white TJ Wrangler for sale. It was overpriced and had the 4 cyl, which I don't want. Sure enough, the next day my buddy sends me a link to a '97 XJ. The owner said it needed engine work, as it was overheating. So I offer him $750 cash, he says when can you be here.

So the next day I go pick it up:








Its a '97 SE with 176K-ish, unfortunately with the Dana 35
3" lift, 31s on 17s, and a sureco safari rack
Previous owner had just done ball joints, TREs and alignment, as well as tinting the windows.

Two days after getting the jeep, I find an engine from a '97 TJ on the local jeep club page for $500. IT has 119k, is complete, and had just had all the gaskets and seals replaced last year. The guy was only selling it because he is doing a 5.9 swap in his TJ. I'm just needing to get an engine hoist now so I can get to work. The old engine is ready to be yanked as soon as I round one up.







So my plan for this hog:
Swap the new (to me) 4.0 in
New radiator, water pump, thermostat, etc
New Pioneer CD deck
All new fluids
Deep deep deep clean the interior
Swap out the damaged front fender for the new one that came with the jeep
New header pannel and grill
Fix sticky rear hatch
Clean coolant off the front axle and components

Eventually:
Build false floor for storage
Bushwacker Flat Flares
Sell the 17s and get some 15s and 31s
New front bumper (maybe stubby?)
LED pods on the A pillars
Front and rear diff covers
JK Rubicon take off shocks
New headlights (I'll see how my LED headlights hold up on my green XJ)
Seat covers

My girlfriend works at a graphics place and is learning how to vinyl wrap vehicles, so we may end up wrapping it either matte dark brown or matte tan.

I'll keep updating it as I make progress!

Last edited by gleason51; 11-20-2016 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:19 AM
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You have body damage on the right front. Do you know for sure the frame is okay?
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:54 AM
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Yeah, I'm aware of the body damage haha. And yeah frame is fine. I picked it up from a shop that had just gone through everything on it while it was diagnosing the overheating issue. It was the guy's son's vehicle and he wanted to make sure everything on it was still safe. Then decided to sell it when he found out he was going to need a new engine.
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:26 AM
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We are making progress! And by we, I mean me.

Just gotta swap a couple brackets over from the old turd to the wrangler 4.0 I have on the stand in the garage. Then it's time for reconstruction!
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:15 PM
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Cant believe i just now found this thread for as much as im on here. When you gonna come down to the horns again? Once i get a deer or 2 down, ive got the wheeling bug with these new gears
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by WyoCherokee View Post
Cant believe i just now found this thread for as much as im on here. When you gonna come down to the horns again? Once i get a deer or 2 down, ive got the wheeling bug with these new gears
I'm down to go whenever! The green jeep is always happy when it gets in the mountains. Just let me know when you want to go.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gleason51 View Post
I'm down to go whenever! The green jeep is always happy when it gets in the mountains. Just let me know when you want to go.

Rodger That
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:22 PM
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Engine is in and running! Of course, I broke the crankshaft position sensor in the process but didn't realize that until everything was put back together. Got that changed and its running great now!

I'm going to need to flush the heater core out, but I will probably do a full cooling system flush in a couple thousand miles to make sure everything is clean.

I also got 31" BFG all terrain KO2s on 15" steelies installed. I had to get a new fender off eBay because the other one I had was for a pre-97 XJ. I am getting that painted next week, along with the new header panel. Then it will be ready to all go back together and hit the road. I also ordered Bushwacker flat flares to install. I will get more pictures soon!
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:48 PM
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I have a heater core, if you end up needing a new one.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by WyoCherokee View Post
I have a heater core, if you end up needing a new one.
Good to know! It still has some crud in there. That's the only part of the system that isn't brand new haha.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:33 AM
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Post a pic when when you can of the wheels/tires! I'm looking to get the same setup on my 99 3" XJ
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertXJ99 View Post
Post a pic when when you can of the wheels/tires! I'm looking to get the same setup on my 99 3" XJ
I'll try and get some tomorrow! I'm going to be working on getting those fender flares mounted up.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:19 PM
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Finally got some time to work the Jeep!

Installed the Bushwacker flat flares, I am really happy with how they turned out. The only downfall is that the 31s look small now!

I used some spray on bed liner for the header panel for now. I'm going to leave the new fender black for the time being. My plan is to bed line the whole jeep using Grizzly Grip fine texture bed liner, in either tan or dark brown.






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Old 09-30-2016, 05:19 PM
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Looks good! Im running 31s right now but Im looking to get 32s with the same wheels. What's the backspacing? Look forward to seeing how the build turns out
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertXJ99 View Post
Looks good! Im running 31s right now but Im looking to get 32s with the same wheels. What's the backspacing? Look forward to seeing how the build turns out
Go 33s
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