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98 XJ Build D.D Weekend Trail Rig

Old 10-15-2018, 10:12 PM
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Default 98 XJ Build D.D Weekend Trail Rig

Hey Guys and Gals

This is my first post on the forum and also my first XJ. I'm not new to jeeps tho. Last year I had to part ways with my 98 ZJ due to some financial problems. She was my D.D/Trail Rig for 3 years after I brought her back from the died. When I sold her she sat on 37's, 8" Rubicon Express front and rear long arm kit, fox shocks, built and locked 30/44. I have honestly missed the jeep more then I like to admit. So now that my issues have been solved and my wife gave me the thumbs up to build another jeep we are here.






What my plans are for this jeep is basically a decent D.D that I can wheel and have fun with while trying to stay budget friendly. Now this doesn't mean I have a cap but I don't want to just throw money at it.

A little background on me. I've been into cars basically all my life. My first word was actually car lol. My uncle owned a shop and I spent most of my time over there learning and turning wrenches. My uncle unfortunately passed in 06 same year I graduated high school which I had planned to work for after school and eventually take his shop over when he retired. So I ended up taking a few ASE test and passed. Within 2 weeks I was in a shop working. Eventually I started working for 4 Wheel Parts and playing with jeep on the regular.

So this is her the day I picked her up in tampa. Roughly a 2.5 hr drive from my house.





She was in pretty good shape overall. The interior is pretty clean minus the driver seat being broken. Mechanically it had a few oil leaks and needed a battery but it ran and shifted great so for 1200 bucks I had it loaded before the guy could change his mind lol.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:30 PM
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Well now that she was home. It was time to figure out what route I was going to take with the jeep. I thought about the money I had previously spent on the ZJ building my dana 30/44. I figured I'll look on craigslist or offerup for some axles next thing I knew I was 3hrs away buying a 04 f350 Superduty Dana60 and a Semi Float 14 bolt for 700 bucks. Both had 3.73's in them. The 14 bolt was out of a newer 2500 and had disc brakes. The dana 60 unfortunately didn't have brakes or locking hubs and was completely rusted/seized from sitting in the dirt getting rained on.





Now that I have a major piece of the puzzle I need to figure out how I want to install them. For the mini 14 bolt rear I decided to use ruff stuff U bolt eliminators. As these allow me to stretch it back a few inches and eliminate the u bolts completely. I will also be rebuilding the axle, welding the tubes, new brakes and throwing a lock right locker in (Ran one in my ZJ and loved it). The front Dana 60 will be getting a artec truss kit, axle tubes welded, spicer ball joints, rebuild, new hub bearings, yukon hardcore locking hubs, complete new brakes, welded diff, ruff stuff track bar/steering kit and IRO 3 Link. As far as lift goes I'll be using a rough country 4" lift I bought from a buddy for cheap (only using the coils and leafs).

Now all this is going on right when I bought my new house. So the jeep sat on the back burner as the pile of parts got big. I finally finished moving and organized my garage (also had a 1.5 ton mini split installed in the garage cause florida heat sucks lol). I also bought a new TIG/Plasma cutter, MIG Welder, hung up some cabinets, Kobalt 60 gal compressor and installed new LED lights (it only had one 60 watt bulb originally).














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Old 10-16-2018, 06:17 AM
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This sounds like it's going to be good. Following!
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TFitzPat87 View Post
This sounds like it's going to be good. Following!
Thanks I appreciate it man. It's about 80 percent done already just never posted it. So I'm basically just going from the beginning to its current state. I should have it driving in the next month.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:03 PM
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Well after my small spending spree (atleast thats what the wife thinks). I finally made some progress on the jeep. I started off at the rear because I felt it was going to be the easier side to start.

Starting to prep the rear axle. Had my little cousin give me a hand grinding off what was left after cutting off the brackets with my new Everlast tig 206pi. I definitely recommend this unit for anyone looking for a good tig/stick/plasma cutter. It cut my brackets off at 30 amps like it was butter. I was seriously impressed with it.






So it was time to start surgery. Pulling out the 8.25 was a breeze and since I didnt need anything from it I pulled it as a complete assembly. Swapped in the used rough country 4" leaf springs I got from a buddy. Measured and centered the axle. Set the pinion angle and tacked the u bolt eliminators on. Sat it on its own weight to double check everything. Then pulled it for final welding. For brake lines i just ordered a extended rear line for a xj and went down to autozone and found the right brake fittings to go from the xj line to the chevy 2500 hoses. Then simply bent and flare metal brake tubing to fit. It all went pretty smoothly. Now I will be rebuilding the rear end, installing new brake rotor's/pads and locker after both axles are installed and all the suspension is worked out. But I did receive some goodies. Pro Comp Rock Krawler wheels 17x9 8x6.5, lock right locker, rebuild kit, new brakes, new brakes lines. I also pick up a set of 37x12.5r17 super swampers for 300 bucks one tire was brand new never used 3 that had maybe 30-40% life left. So I figured I'll just buy another new tsl for the time being for my shake down runs. Then order some 40" toyo or maxxis.












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Old 10-18-2018, 06:44 PM
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Soon after this I got the SYE done. And installed the new Iron Rock Offroad Transmission crossmember with a new trans mount. I also picked up a new filter and gasket for the trans.






Now the dana 60 swap starts. Got the axle prep up. Cut all the brackets off plus the 2" of the driver side casing for the Artec truss to go on. I ended up putting new unit bearings, ball joints, seals, yukon locking hubs, new calipers, rotors and pads.i also swapped the yoke to a 1310 yoke to work with the stock driveshaft for the time being.











This is were the jeep is currently at the front stock driveshaft worked and cleared fine. I just placed my order for spacers for the rear to match the fronts width. I also ordered a panhard bar kit and 7/8 heim steering kit from ruffstuff. My new carrier for the rear is in the mail. I finally got around to popping the cover and it has a gov lok. This weekend I'll be doing the trans service, bleeding the brakes and measure the rear shaft to have it made. I have a 52" led light bar, led flush mounts and led headlights with a switch panel that need to be wired in to.



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Old 10-19-2018, 07:53 AM
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ok that escalated quickly !! nice stuff man!!
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:46 PM
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Got a little bit more done today not a whole lot. Still waiting on my steering and track bar to come. So I installed my new headlights and painted my grill. Also did a transmission service new gasket and filter. Found my A/C leak condenser has a pin hole in it went ahead and ordered one from amazon for 62 bucks with 2 day shipping gotta love prime.



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Old 10-24-2018, 07:37 PM
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So I got some parts today. My extended front bump stops, Boostwerks transfercase linkage and my new condenser. I was thinking about how this rig is going to be carrying my family (wife and 2 kids) and me around florida and maybe even other states for camping and riding trips. So I've decided I'm going to bulletproof the cooling system now since I'll have the front end apart to do the condensor. On my list I have a Mishimoto radiator(2 row its has 90% larger capacity), 180* thermostat, high flow thermostat housing, Flowkooler Hi flow water pump along with new heater/ radiator hoses and fans.

But for today I managed to install the linkage after i got home from wrenching all day at work -___- . Definitely a good investment its shifts like butter. I can actually shift it using a finger only.






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Old 10-25-2018, 07:41 AM
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Nice progress!
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:32 AM
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DO NOT USE A 180* THERMOSTAT, your jeep is designed to run at 195*+ I have seen this time and time again people trying to lower engine temps by changing the thermostat and in every single case I have personally seen it cause problems . ive seen tip in hesitations because the engine does not reach full temp , ive seen low fuel mileage due to low engine temps . I have also seen overheating issues, this happens when your engine is working hard and over the 180* range the thermostat stays open . what happens is your coolant does not get to stay in the radiator long enough to cool down so in time all your coolant is hot and it overheats , the very problem you wer trying to prevent
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tinytrax78 View Post
DO NOT USE A 180* THERMOSTAT, your jeep is designed to run at 195*+ I have seen this time and time again people trying to lower engine temps by changing the thermostat and in every single case I have personally seen it cause problems . ive seen tip in hesitations because the engine does not reach full temp , ive seen low fuel mileage due to low engine temps . I have also seen overheating issues, this happens when your engine is working hard and over the 180* range the thermostat stays open . what happens is your coolant does not get to stay in the radiator long enough to cool down so in time all your coolant is hot and it overheats , the very problem you wer trying to prevent
Well I'm not saying your wrong but a thermostat job is just to stop flow until the engine reaches a set "operating temp" (195*,180* and 160*). It doesn't and shouldn't close completely again till the engine is shut off and temps drop below that set temp. The temp is then controlled by the fan speed or a aux fan to maintain a set temp after the t-stat is opened.

So the theory that a thermostat keeps water in the radiator to cool down isn't correct. I find that hard to believe that a slightly cooler thermostat will cause a car to overheat being that it will start to let water actually flow sooner which in turn lets the engine run slightly cooler.

I've ran cooler T-stats in a few of my projects with great success.My LSX/Powerglide swapped foxbody runs a 160* and a civic half core 3 row radiator(drag car only), old turbo built sohc civic ran a 160*(was a D.D), currently my 04 F250 6.0 Tow Pig/D.D runs a 180* instead of a 192*(bulletproofed, deleted, tuned and upgraded cooling system also), my 17 WRX runs a 165* instead of the stock 190* (Makes 428 whp on E also has a big oil cooler). But then again none have been jeeps.

Now mpg yes it can be affected but by how much i don't know. I can always do a test with a stock t-stat and a 180* and find out. Would anybody be interested in seeing that? Regardless a thermostat isn't a lot of money so I guess i'll be the guinea pig lol.

Last edited by Digmaster; 10-25-2018 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 10-26-2018, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Digmaster View Post
Well I'm not saying your wrong but a thermostat job is just to stop flow until the engine reaches a set "operating temp" (195*,180* and 160*). It doesn't and shouldn't close completely again till the engine is shut off and temps drop below that set temp. The temp is then controlled by the fan speed or a aux fan to maintain a set temp after the t-stat is opened.

So the theory that a thermostat keeps water in the radiator to cool down isn't correct. I find that hard to believe that a slightly cooler thermostat will cause a car to overheat being that it will start to let water actually flow sooner which in turn lets the engine run slightly cooler.

I've ran cooler T-stats in a few of my projects with great success.My LSX/Powerglide swapped foxbody runs a 160* and a civic half core 3 row radiator(drag car only), old turbo built sohc civic ran a 160*(was a D.D), currently my 04 F250 6.0 Tow Pig/D.D runs a 180* instead of a 192*(bulletproofed, deleted, tuned and upgraded cooling system also), my 17 WRX runs a 165* instead of the stock 190* (Makes 428 whp on E also has a big oil cooler). But then again none have been jeeps.

Now mpg yes it can be affected but by how much i don't know. I can always do a test with a stock t-stat and a 180* and find out. Would anybody be interested in seeing that? Regardless a thermostat isn't a lot of money so I guess i'll be the guinea pig lol.
all of the examples you just gave are not stock engines or cooling systems and in most racing that ive done we ran restrictor washers instead of a thermostat for the very reason that without a restriction t they tend to overheat after a while because when all the water and components become overheated there is nothing left to cool it off and also where im from (ohio) we need heat in our jeeps this time of year good luck getting heat when you need it LOL
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tinytrax78 View Post
all of the examples you just gave are not stock engines or cooling systems and in most racing that ive done we ran restrictor washers instead of a thermostat for the very reason that without a restriction t they tend to overheat after a while because when all the water and components become overheated there is nothing left to cool it off and also where im from (ohio) we need heat in our jeeps this time of year good luck getting heat when you need it LOL
I live in florida if I need heat I'll just roll down the window even in dec its 70-90* lmao. But regardless the cooling system isnt going to be stock in the jeep. I'm putting a bigger radiator, high flow water pump, high flow thermostat, new fans and the 180* thermostat. Eventually I'll build another motor or swap something bigger in. I do have a 5.3 LM7 laying around or I can always do a stroker.
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