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Beginning Jeep Build

Old 02-14-2013, 03:06 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kansas
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Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default Beginning Jeep Build

I just bought a 99 Jeep cherokee that is Bone stock and I am looking at making a Mild off road build.. Fortunately the Bumper is damaged but I am going to fabricate my own Tubular and sheet metal front and rear as well as roof rack and a tire carrier either the hitch mount mentioned in the forum or one that would be less in the way for the rear hatch possibly hinged to the side.. As this is still going to be a daily rather weekly driver and be used to haul a building materials trailer I dont want to go too wild. First on the list is going to be engine mods to increase performance increase without too much of a gas decrease... ie injectors, intake, fuel rail and such, with the addition of a turbo later. I am open to any suggestions from those of u that have done trial and error.. I live in south east kansas so trails out here arent too extreme but am near prime 4x4 territory..
Does any1 have any suggestions on the best bang for the buck mods..
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:15 PM
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Year: 2001
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Ill make a few suggestions related to the entire build. Dont cheap out, do it right do it once, if you wanna play..you gotta pay.

With that said Id say either consider a 3 inch or a 4.5" lift with somewhere around a 33" tire, beef up the steering a bit, invest in nice tires..etc. Just make sure you go with a quality lift.

As far as performance upgrades, look into cat-back exhausts, bored throttle bodies, and upgraded injectors. 784s for injectors or 703s..
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:21 PM
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subing. just bought mine as well. i'll be starting my build soon.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:41 AM
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Year: 1999
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Engine: 4.0
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I was actually reading up on the bored out throttle bodies yesterday.. Intake and exhaust is definitely first on my list without it breathing at its best other upgrades loose efficiency.. But was looking at complete exhaust upgrade to include header pipes.. possibly a port and polish of the engine but havent done research on the benefits of it as of yet.. then increase spark and fuel delivery.. I have been looking at rough country lift kits in the 4" area.. Havent even begun to look at rims and tires..

BTW.. I only paid 450 for the jeep and it is in Very nice condition.. and put 150 in parts into it to get it running then drove it home from there 75 miles away.. Now just waiting on my front turn signal lights so I can get it inspected.. Ill post some pics of the base jeep I bought later this weekend... Id like to have it at a base line 4x4 by this summer and Im gonna go on a trek around the surrounding states..

Last edited by scorpion66772; 02-15-2013 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Had more info that I wanted to add..
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:44 AM
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Please dont go with rough country.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:02 AM
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Year: 1998
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I'm pretty happy with my 3" Rusty's kit, but the previous owner installed it, not my choice. Eventually I'll be going with a 4.5" LA from IRO. Take a look at their 3" kit. My friend has had 2 kits from them and loves both. His current one is a 6.5" LA, but I don't remember what his other one was. Also, I'd recommend the "soft 8" style rims. They are cheap but look good. Like XJ88 said, don't cheap out. Do it once, do it right.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:07 AM
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Id say go with rubicon express right off the bat. Just depends really on what you want the thing to do.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:54 AM
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Well it would be more for mud and hill climbing and less for rock climbing.. what about this kit from IR.. IR-X4LK this would just be a starter kit and would look to add to it as I go.. Any1 have a good line on reasonable tires I would prefer an AT tire as over a Mud tire but want a more aggressive tire and evidently in a 32". As well as rims.. would like to keep the stock rims till I have money to upgrade but not sure if that is viable.. Road Venture MT KL71

Has any1 had any luck with these tires.. I like the balance in aggression and road ability.. Plus at less than 200 per I cant complain about price..




Last edited by scorpion66772; 02-17-2013 at 04:42 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:31 PM
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BTW.. Took the Jeep into the 40acre field behind my house to find my dad and hit a slew... sank the front 2 tires into the mud and complete enveloped the tires.. My dad was gonna get the tractor to pull me out when I just thought Id give it a try.. Slinging mud all over the place with my daughter riding shotgun (4yrs old) it dug its way out even with some pretty crappy street tires.. but noticed my brake slushed.. took it back to the house and found I broke a rusted brake line to my rear.. Have to install a union in the morning..
Also got my front turn signal lights and worked out some electrical kinks so now once I get my lines fixed I can get it registered after I get it inspected.. Then I have a few day trips scheduled.. Found some retreads on here that look well enough till I get it lifted and increase size plus I can transfer them to my Blazer upon upgrade.. and at -100 per will be good for couple k miles..

Last edited by scorpion66772; 02-17-2013 at 05:45 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:17 AM
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Year: 1999
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Front axle from '99 Cherokee. High pinion Dana 30 w/297x u-joints. It was set up for my Rock Krawler 3-link, so it has no passenger-side upper control arm mount. Passenger side steering arm tie-rod ream may be wallowed out a bit. Open diff, 3.55 gears. Wheel it or use it for parts. - $50

Two Maxxis Bighorn 35-12.5-15's that would work for trail spares.
- One has very uneven tread wear and is nearly in one area - $15
- The other has very good tread, but the bead area of the tire got messed up when they were dismounting it and chunked out some rubber. With a tube, it would make a great trail spare - $35

Two Cooper Discoverer STT 31-11.5-15's that would make good trail spares. $15 each

Cherokee rear driveshaft - 29-5/8" from u-joint to u-joint - $20

1 pair of wheel spacers / bolt pattern adapters: 5 on 4.5" to 5 on 5.5" x 2" thick. I used these to run CJ, YJ, or Ford truck bolt pattern wheels on my Cherokee. - $35 for the pair.

1 pair of YJ front brake lines, they make a good low-budget extended brake line for an XJ / Cherokee.
1 pair of Skyjacker Nitro shocks (N8055S) for the front of an XJ with a 3" lift.
Full set of stock '99 XJ fender flares. Right front flare has a tear in the back side of it, otherwise the set is very nice.

1 pair of '99 XJ rear bumper end caps -

XJ rear hatch inner door panel (gray) -

I have 3 rear air lockers for a TJ Rubicon. Would consider trading 2 rear air lockers for 1 front TJ Rubicon air locker if anybody has one.

Any1 interested in any of this stuff.. Found it all locally..
also any I should really be interested in.. would go for the front and rear axle but with the damage mentioned not sure...


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Old 03-20-2013, 05:42 PM
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Havent gotten much done on my XJ.. Workin out the bugs from the prev. owner.. Had to flush out the Heater core several times now, not sure what they put in it but 3 times now. Did pull my Mechanical fan and replaced it with 2 1550CFM electric fans, added a thermostat to control the fans and replaced the Damaged factory elect fan and replaced it with a diff elect fan but adding a second. For now it runs off the aftermarket thermo I added due to elect short in the Backup fan wiring.. Planning on working it out and wiring into it also.. Seems every1 Ive talked to has the same Leaf spring sag in the rear of the XJ. Not gonna worry about it till I get the lift kit added.. Added MSD wires and an eccel cap and gonna RnR the Coil with higher output next month..
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