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99 XJ Classic Rebirthed

Old 08-21-2012, 07:44 PM
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Default Green 99 XJ Classic

So, I am brand new at this, but it looks like everyone gets there chance to talk about their buildup so I thought it might be fun to play show and tell too. I just bought a 99 XJ Classic in June for the heck of it and immediately started taking the thing apart

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This is how she came home the first day. 150,000 miles with a leaking radiator, 2 broken sway bar links, two busted tail lights, a rust hole in one front fender, and a pretty loose front end. All in all, it was pretty clean though.

Last edited by steiner; 09-23-2012 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:52 PM
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Arrow

So the first thing I did was replace the tail lights and the rusted fender. Then I put in a new aftermarket radiator for the whopping cost of $60 plus the cost of coolant. Admittedly, the radiator was a nightmare and I was lucky enough to have a good friend with some true jalopy experience on my side. I also replaced the sway bar links with some regular OEM replacement parts (poly bushings though).
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:09 PM
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Default Then I got bored...

After about a month I realized it was no fun having a practical Cherokee. And so the lift was on order. I only wanted to go three inches because my friends (and my instincts) were telling me that three was gonna be my limit before I started getting into replacing everything. I went with a Rough Country 3-inch kit with coil springs, AALs, and shocks. I ordered my 1-inch T-case drop right after when I realized that my car sounded and felt like it was going to explode
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So here's the new coils and shocks in place. I wish I had some pictures from the labor of the install but I did it alone so there really wasn't time to take pics.
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Here's a shot of the new coils from the front. This was day 1. After day 7 I wound up replacing the steering stabilizer and every tie rod end including the drag link because I couldn't handle the intense death wobble
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And here's that awesome picture that everyone has to take of their lift half-done with one end of the car WAY higher than the other end.

And here's what it looked like when I had it looking finished (it wasn't). I sheared every bolt holding the top of the rear shocks so I had to drill and re-tap each one for new bolts...that was a nightmare of metal shavings burning my face and my eyeballs.
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Then I drove. I rode it like that for about one week before I replaced all the tie rod ends. After that I went right out and bought tires for the Cragar Soft 8s I ordered from Summit Racing, and I got an alignment to go with it.
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This is pretty much where it stands right now. The only things I've done since then is some very light trimming of the front bumper end caps (the tires definitely rub) and the t-case drop which really cured the horrible drive-line vibrations.

Interesting. That was a lot of fun sharing the build so I'll be sure to keep posting as the Jeep keeps changing...as I'm sure it will. Thanks for checking it out.

Last edited by steiner; 09-23-2012 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:21 PM
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Hey what size tires are those
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:24 PM
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Default Tires

They're 31X10.5X15 BFG A/T KOs on 15X8 Cragar Soft 8s
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:31 PM
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Maybe it's the 3" lift, I have same size tires but 4.5"lift
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:51 PM
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Default Herculiner

Next project was the Herculiner. I had almost a gallon left over from a project I helped a friend with a while ago so I figured I would make some use of it.

First I masked off the essentials and began sanding...if you don't prep really well, the stuff just doesn't stick to the paint. I also had a little body work to take care of along the way so I knocked that out at the same time.
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Then I masked off the rest, inside and outside the doors, and started Herculining away. I had to mask off the interior with the doors open so I could get the rockers, door sills, and interior door bottoms.

Then the last step was to paint over the rockers and door sills with the factory color code paint to blend the Herculiner into the rest of the body. I didn't green the roof yet but I picked up some more paint and I think I will soon.
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I think I like how it turned out. There's no question that the stuff came out real strong and rough feeling.

Last edited by steiner; 09-23-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:49 PM
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Scored at the JY the other day. Snagged a factory trans cooler off a ZJ for $20 and a vacuum harness for $2. Also picked up a ZJ tank skid for $10 and a set of leaf springs from a Commanche for $35.

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Last edited by steiner; 09-23-2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:41 PM
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Reassembled my leaf packs the other day using my original main, #2 from the MJ leaf pack, then my RC AAL, then #3 from the MJ, and my original overloads. Although I haven't gotten them on the truck yet to feel how they ride, I can clearly see this is a better setup. The AAL with the completely stock setup puts way too much stress on the old leaves and they just can't handle the load. The MJ springs followed the contour and curvature of the RC spring perfectly. I can't wait to figure out how I'm gonna remove the old bushings so I can install my new poly bushings and rehang the springs.
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Last edited by steiner; 09-23-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:48 PM
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Also got some new parts in the mail this week...all new adjustable control arms and a set of greaseable boomerang shackles to recover some of my lost rear suspension travel that came with arching the springs up. I also got a complete set of poly bushings for the rear suspension.
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Last edited by steiner; 09-23-2012 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:49 PM
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It looks pretty clean! The bedliner seems to match up very well.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:52 PM
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Thanks Ian! That's only Autozone's finest
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:57 PM
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So after careful examination of my rebuilt spring packs, I came to realize that one of my mains had a pretty severe crack in it. That said, I guess it was a relief to realize that I had an excuse to avoid having to fight the old bushings out. So, I ordered a set of Zone full 3-inch leaf packs and they arrived pretty quickly. Hopefully it doesn't make the rear end too much taller than the front...I already have some poly spring isolators on hand just in case though. Hopefully I won't have to use the isolators though. I'm hoping that once I've installed my new Tailbone that it will weigh the back end down just a little...yes, you can still buy the Tailbone brand new from Detours.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:39 PM
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No new pics this week, but definitely some nice developments. I got the new leafs and shackles installed in the rear. It added a lot more lift to the rear than I originally had so I decided to pull the front springs and add some small poly isolators to the top to help level it out. In the end it looks like I'll have about 4 inches in the rear and about 4 1/4 inches in the front before things start to sag down a little.

In light of the extra lift, I decided to change out the brake hoses front and rear with some OEM quality Dorman hoses meant for a YJ...about $12 each and a perfect fit with a nice three inches extra length. I also started in on the control arms project this week. Got everything off except one bolt from the passenger side lower that's putting up a pretty nice fight (I think the bolt is seized inside of the inner bushing sleeve).

I also removed my rear sway bar and used the old mounting brackets to fab up some bar pin eliminators for the upper rear shock mounts. I ordered a set of adjustable Rough Country quick disconnects for the front sway bar...I can't wait to see those.

And finally, in light of the big increase in lift height over what I had originally planned for this vehicle, I decided that the 31X10.50s were really not large enough. This morning I sold off the rims and tires that I originally purchased for hardly any loss at all. A new set of rims is on order to arrive early next week (the same Cragar Soft 8s), but this time I ordered five of them. I'm gonna do a very careful slit & fold fender trim and then mount a set of 33X12.50s on them and hope that my Tailbone arrives soon for the spare tire. I'm still having a hard time deciding if I want to get the same tires or if I should go with mudders.

More pics to post soon...
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:54 PM
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Looks good so far. I love the green XJ's.
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