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99 Jeep XJ Intro and expedition "build" attempt! Plus some restoration.

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99 Jeep XJ Intro and expedition "build" attempt! Plus some restoration.

Old 12-30-2015, 05:57 PM
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Default 99 Jeep XJ Intro and expedition "build" attempt! Plus some restoration.

Ive got a thread on exp overland already. Ill update both of them simultaneously.

Hello all!

This will be my intro/build thread.

Im relatively new to Jeeps and/or overlanding/camping them. Or taking anything off road for that matter!

Ive always wanted a Jeep Cherokee (xj body) so I snagged one for a project.

Ive had imports but never anything American made, let alone an SUV/Truck. I know right? Where have I been and what have I been missing!?

Now that Im older (hurts to say!) with a wife and pups I wanted something I could tinker with (and from what I hear owning a Jeep Ill get to more than tinker) as well as load up and take a weekend trip camping.

This may be a slower build thread as far as updates as I usually research until my eyes bleed and budget parts that are worth it to put the money into vs things I can replace easily and inexpensively.

Here it goes!

Enter my tired, old, future expedition (aka camping) vehicle:
1999 Jeep Cherokee SE (XJ obviously)
It’s a 4x4 Auto with an NP231/AW4 Combo

Its some sort of light blue slate color. I think its probably been repainted but for what I got it for and what Im going to do with it Im ok with some of the imperfections. The inside of the Jeep is more blue than the outside. The outside has a bit more green I think.

Whatever. Its light blue!

As it sits currently:



The day I purchased it off some hole in the wall dealer:





I learned on the drive home to check the lug nuts of vehicles you purchase in these types of lots. I almost had the right rear tire fall of on me!

The same day my wife and I ripped it apart to clean it. It was kind of gross- ok, really gross. Enter Dawn dish soap, shop-vac and hours later we had the carpet and all but a few interior pieces.

The goal is to rino/hercu/raptorline the interior before installaing the carpets. Ill also be running new wires for the speakers in the back as well as wires for outlets in the back cargo area for camping and such.

Ill let the pics do the talking…























I went to the local pull and pay and got some goodies!

I got a spare NP231, a tach from a 99 classic with the speedo on it, a genuine mopar tow hitch with harness and some misc odds and ends Ill put on eventually. Plan for the extra 231 is to open it up and rebuild it with an HD chain and an SYE.



RUNNING EXPENSE LIST: (All costs include parts/fluids/tools(that I didnt have))

In no particular order while I upload everything. All in $USD. JY=Junk Yard AZ = AUTOZONE AA= ADVANCE AUTO HF= HARBOR FREIGHT PB=PEPBOYS WM=WALMART



Genuine Mopar towbar w/ harness $34.99 JY
Extra NP231J to build as extra $86.99 JY
01' Sport TRAC LOC rear LSD $57.99 JY
05' Jeep Liberty rear brake backing plates $15.99 x2 JY
05' Jeep Liberty rear calipers $12.99 x2 JY
05' Jeep Liberty rear rotors $12.99 x2 JY
Universal rubber floor mats $19.99 WM
Tail pipe holder (mine broke and my tailpipe sagged) $3.99 AZ
Rustoleum spray paint (to prime for bedliner) $6.49 x3 AZ
Mineral Spirits (wipe down after sanding) $7.49 AZ
Jeep tow bar brackets (the ones that slide into the frame) $ 8.99 x2 JY
99' Instrument cluster (mine had dummy gauges, this one has them all) $29.99 JY
Front Shock absorber $6.99 x2 JY
Extra Interior parts (just incase) 5.99/7.99 JY
Extra sun visors $7.49 x2 JY
HERCULINER $89.99 AZ
Breather masks (one for me and my wife) $1.99 x2 HF
Scraping Kit $4.99 HF
Latex Gloves $1.79 HF
Angle Grinder $21.99 HF
Angle Grinder brush kit $9.99 HF
Safety Glasses $1.99 HF
Snap ring plier set $3.99 HF
Trim Removal Kit $6.99 HF
Wrench Set (needed a 7mm to remove the locking nut inside diff at JY) $14.99 HF
Large wrench set $32.99 HF
Oil Cap ( mine broke off when opening it to change the oil) $8.36 PB

Will continue to update as I find my receipts lol
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:57 PM
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99 Classic cluster. Thankfully these are plug and play. AWESOME.



More cleaning...



Little bit of surface rust hiding underneath the driver and passenger side seats. Thankfully nothing has eaten through. This will get wizwheeled off in preparation for the liner. I also found about $3 worth of change under all the seats. Not too shabby!













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Old 12-30-2015, 05:57 PM
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Im also going to be working on tackling some of the maintenance items that need addressed.

It needs all the normal 'ish that all XJ's need.

Ill be replacing all the brakes. Possibly trying to do a ZJ rear disc conversion. Maybe.

Probably try and do that this weekend.

Im also going to get new plugs, wires and a rotorcap. Ill need to research what people have been having good luck with.

It needs a valve cover gasket (what xj/4.0 doesnt!?) and a few other gaskets here and there.

I did however attempt to change the oil pan gasket and the rear main seal.

Well, it still leaks. Few drops on the driveway every time I shut it off. Guess Ill be re-doing that. I was an idiot tried to put it up without moving the steering/suspension. Fubar'd the gasket somewhere online the seam. $20 bucks down the drain. A Chiltons book is now on the way. Whos got ALLDATA!?






Heres all the panels on the ground. My wife gets all the credit for cleaning each and every piece by hand with soap and water and then wiping them down with armorall. Lucky me!

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Old 12-30-2015, 05:57 PM
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Made great progress! Now before anyone says "You should have pulled up the sound deadening material!" I left them on purpose. The lining is to protect against rust when water seeps through the floor carpets, not to be the primary boundary.

Btw I used Herculiner for anyone who wanted to know. (I had $60 worth of AutoZone points to use. Made it $28 bucks out the door. Even got 10% for military!) It was pretty easy to use. I picked up an extra roller and brush so my wife and I could put it on simultaneously.

I did all the prep work on the painted surfaces. Used a angle grinder with a wire brush to clean off the rust spots. Cleaned it and wiped it with mineral spirits. Sprayed a rust inhibitor paint over pretty much most of the floor. Then scuffed it per the directions for the Herculiner.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it. It's still drying at the moment. Once it's fully cured I'll slap the carpets on top of it and I'll be good to go!












Last edited by OmgNoWai; 03-13-2016 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:58 PM
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Went to the JY and scored this! Same color and everything. Not a tear in it. Not sure how thats possible but hey Ill take it!

My old seat is broken on the mounting bracket and has a bunch of tears.



Snagged this as well. Mine currently doesnt have a tape OR CD player so I figured Id grab it. Got all the way home and put it in and the screen is blank. Everything else works buttons wise but I have no idea what station Im on! Im thinking I may have to bite the bullet and get a single din with Bluetooth. We'll see.



I also considered picking this up but it was slightly bent...


Last edited by OmgNoWai; 12-30-2015 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:58 PM
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Theres a bunch of tire carriers (jeep, rav4 , older chevys etc) that are littered all around the local JY. I thought about getting one that mounted to the bumper and the side of the jeep rather than the one that only uses the bumper like the one pictured above.

I did however make another run to the JY and picked up a few goodies. The last time I was there I saw an XJ that had all kinds of goodies on it. I thought it might be an upcountry version. Low and behold!

I snagged the LSD out of it. Got it home and actually read what was on it...."TRAC LOC" so.... I had to do some research and figure out what that actually mean as I thought I was getting a basic LSD.





I also picked up a set of liberty rear brake backing plates and rotors/calipers. I just need to snag soem GC rubber intermediate lines to attach them all up! I also have (not pictured) a set of new GC lug nuts for the rear.

Last edited by OmgNoWai; 12-30-2015 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:01 PM
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Small updates! Been busy at work.

Found an UpCountry Jeep at the local jy. Snagged the rear leaf springs to replace mine. The old ones were tired! I also snagged the transfer case skid and tow hooks. Just need to get tow hook mounts. The Jeep I pulled it from was trashed up front. Ill have to go back to the JY and snag the front springs from the upcountry. The Jeep looks funny all jacked up in the back!

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I also snagged the steering wheel to replace mine. Mine was tearing from all the gangster leaning the PO did.

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I removed all the leftover padding from the headliner. Im going to add a second set of speakers to bump up the volume!

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I picked up a set of pioneer speakers at Walmart on clearance. 5.25" They were a little small so I had to drill new holes.

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Last edited by OmgNoWai; 12-30-2015 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:01 PM
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Remember the tow hitch I got ages ago!? LOL finally put it on.

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Next up was my rear latch assembly. Snagged one from the JY and installed it. I removed the key fob from the old one and put it into the new one. Relatively simple!

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Last edited by OmgNoWai; 12-30-2015 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:02 PM
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Teaser. Cant decide if I want white lettering out or keep it classy with black.

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Oh, and the battery died while she sat over 3 days for Thanksgiving.

Had to have my wife jump it. While doing so the o2 sensor ****(crapped) out. The jeep wouldn't idle (rpm bouncing and stank like gas running rich) when warmed up (open loop). Pulled codes and it had P0132 and a few others. Ran to AZ and had em checked out. 02 high voltage or whatever. EDIT: Didn't know EP asterisks out swear words lol.

Had the battery tested out and it tested good. Great, Im going to have to find a draw somewhere.

Anyway instead of buying a battery I walked out with a new o2 sensor and new battery terminals.

Slapped in the new o2 sensor and about a day later the CEL went away and she was running great.

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Old 12-30-2015, 06:04 PM
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Got them on! I went with black facing out.

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Old 12-30-2015, 06:05 PM
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Got some things done over the weekend.

Flushed the coolant. Added some $11 aux lights. Installed ZJ upcountry springs in the front to level out the jeep. Pics below.

I know, the front bumper needs some love. The PO hit a deer and forced everything back together.

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Old 12-30-2015, 06:07 PM
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The set of $11 lights. I mounted them to the bottom of the bumper where it attaches to the triangle mount. They definitely help out the weary headlights.

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Heres a pick of the jeep with the ZJ springs. Leveled out the front I think. Works for now until I get a real lift kit.

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Preparing for Christmas festivities! Got a cheap ($20) roof carrier from an outlet. Should work to keep stuff dry on the way to see family.

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Oh, yeah, this happened...

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I had the driveshaft re-tubed and its back in. Ill snag a pic of it later. I still get a little driveline vibes. Ill work on fixing that as well.

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Old 12-30-2015, 06:08 PM
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Adding more currently.

Some of the dialog in the previous posts may not make sense. I pulled them from another thread and will start to update this one with the other at the same time.
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:31 PM
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Nice ride man. Enjoy the attention to detail. What are your plans for a "real" lift?

The paint color is Gunmetal Pearl. Ask me how I know?

99 Jeep XJ Intro and expedition "build" attempt! Plus some restoration.-lifted-08_07_2015.jpg
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TFitzPat87 View Post
Nice ride man. Enjoy the attention to detail. What are your plans for a "real" lift?

The paint color is Gunmetal Pearl. Ask me how I know?

Attachment 281207
Thanks! Its been repainted by the PO. Its a little lighter/more green than the original color.

I love your wheels. 5 spoke cragar?

Real lift? Not sure. I don't need anything drastic. Ive been looking at the trail master 3" lift. Or I may save a bit and get a RE3.5.

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