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Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj

Old 10-29-2015, 04:20 PM
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Well guys ive been a member of this forum for about 2 years now and have been a dedicated reader for about 4 every since i got my xj at 16. Well intro is that I had a job and wanted a vehicle to get around I hated my parents driving me back and forth to places. I was going to get a ford taurus and was so excited about it because mpg and a pretty good price lol but im so happy now that it got sold out of from under me lol instead I got this beauty with just over 100k it have very minimal rust for being in the rust belt up in north western PA. PO said that he did replace the driver side floor pan with heavy steel, brand new firestone destination ats so not a bad deal for 900. On bad thing is that it has 3 different wheels and 2 of them leaked bad...... specially in the winter. Also sorry about bad pictures at first didnt get into the taking great pictures of the jeep till i got that bug later on lol
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Had to do some brake work but thats really about all at first. even got to tow my dads boat place to place. Really a great experience towing the boat. Not much wondering in the back and not to bad even in the hills with the stock size tires.
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And then 6 months later in the middle of summer on a four wheeler path i got this picture lol
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-0316131614.jpg
The next winter I got some new wheels from summit racing, took the plastic trim off on the sides, and painted my fender flares with rubberized undercoating, also made my own roof rack.... cant find the pictures of the process but i can explain it. I took quite a bit of conduit, 8 black pipe 90 degree elbows, and 6x2 inch flat pieces of stock that I used with self tapping screws to hold it all together. The conduit you can force thread into the black pipe elbows because the conduit is a lot softer then the black pipe. connect the rack to the factory cross bars with some u- bolts and there you go lol. if you cant tell I dont have a welder... and I mainly wanted this roof rack to put extra lights on the jeep. The top rail is actually longer forward then the lights so that the lights are protected from branches.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-kimg0006.jpg
Also all the extra lights so far are just cheap walmart lights. The two fog lights on the bumper helped out dramatically with the headlights being terrible. Any way all this is done on the cheap lol High school kids budget working minimum wage only about 2 days a week until I got the last image then I went up to about 4 to 5 days a week because I turned 18 so my job could work me more. Anyways more to come not even close to being caught up but off to class!

Last edited by xj981995; 10-29-2015 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:08 PM
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Default cb time!

Every vehicle my family has had, had a cb in it so i didnt want to be left out lol... now only where to put it and the antenna... well decided on the passenger side of the center console for the cb and the antenna went on the rack with a mirror mount. Unfortunately it didnt last long because i wasnt getting any kind of ground so coverage was ehhhh.. so I remounted it using the torx bolts on the flat side of the engine bay that you can see between the fender and hood gap.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-17.44.03.jpg
Well a major event in Betty's life that ive had it was towing this small camper from franklin pa to hunting island, sc. Now I went with my parents and grandparents. My parents took their camper. I do not have a picture of the camp site unfortunately.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-17.42.14-2-.jpg
Well.... I jeep didnt make it home not on a trailer... On the way home in pittsburgh about 2 hours from home the jeep died.... didnt start again... thank God it happened close to home was able to get my bros help he and a friend brought their trucks one with a flat bed trailer and one to tow the camper home... The jeep showed all the symptoms of a fail cps.... so i took about 2 hours to change that because it was just so awkward to get to... well long story short it wasnt that and wasnt, fuel pump, fuel filter, fuses, or distributor. So i took it to the dealership thinking that in a few days i would have it back.. well it was there for a month i kept getting excuse after excuse... took the jeep to a mechanic that my family knows from church, after the dealership charging me a whole thousand dollars for... welll..... nothing......
After many days waiting (he wasnt charging me because we were family friends so i didnt get to upset when it took a while to hear back from him) he decided that a new engine was needed. So found a new to me engine for 400 including core charge at a local junk yard. They said that they think that the engine has less then 100k like around 90k but they were not positive so they quoted me 100k. The mechanic's thought is that the PO didnt change the oil and with me changing it every 3000 miles loosened up a bunch of gunk and the long drive settled all of it where the exhaust exits... sounds fine to me as long as it starts after the new engine is in lol. Sorry not to many picture of any of this.
Well she was back up and running with new life! and to celebrate got Betty a cheap 20' light bar! and new round fog lights. The square ones went to the back of the roof rack for reverse lights.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20141217_112222-2-.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20141229_152218-2-.jpg
For the reverse lights all i did was splice the ground wire into the ground wire in the tail light same with the power for the reverse lights and then some pictures of the light output of everything!
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20141115_224549-2-.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20141115_224543-2-.jpg
at this point as i do not need to explain i was extremely excited to have my girl back!

Last edited by xj981995; 10-29-2015 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:13 PM
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Well the leafs really took a beating hauling that camper so many miles plus the fact that they are 16 years old at the time. So not only did i need to replace the leafs i decided to go big so 4.5 inch zone lift was on the way! came a lot faster then i thought and my tire selection had not been made yet so running stock wheels for a while....
Here is the lift minus the leafs that were still in the back of my dads truck. I would like to mention I love working on my jeep and if it wasn't for the middle of the fridgid winter I would have done the lift but with no garage and temps getting at 0... Naaaaaa took it to a guy that is a dealer of zone (now the shop I go to for inspections) and now the warranty is still valid if anything goes wrong later down the road.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150108_162726.jpg
Jeep looks great next to the snow...... And such a weird feeling having some kind of support in the back with the new leafs... Sure is a rough ride but it evened out with time and the bigger tires.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150120_142458.jpg
Pay no attention to the sheet of ice that is our driveway...
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-18.52.16.jpg
Well then I ordered my new wheels and tires and they were on their way. I did order some 33x12.5 cooper stt tires, quadratecs extreme baja wheels 15x8 and even some napier precision flat flares.
The Cooper stts
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150325_115938.jpg
then the quadratec wheels. The wheels do come with a fake plastic hub and doesnt look to bad i put them on they are on the next pics.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150325_111325.jpg
I had the same guy that replaced my engine replace the rockers with little bit heavier steel. He knew i had some flares to put on and he actually asked me to do them so cool for free sureeeee lol. So got it all back and installed the tires as soon as i could.
Love the tires and the sidewalls look sick!!! Plus the looks of the fake hubs are not bad. Pay no attention to my grandpa, who loves to help me out. I don't mind even though I mainly do the work its nice to have someone to talk to every now and then when your under the jeep
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150427_174324.jpg
A picture specially of the head on look to see if the tires stick out, in pa they can be strict about that. Cops dont stop you but you wont pass inspection... verdict... Sticks out a bit but not enough to fail inspection specially since the guy i go to has a xj and he likes mine haha
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150427_174347-2-.jpg

Last edited by xj981995; 10-29-2015 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:06 PM
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Default Sway bar end links and other mods

Well the next thing i wanted to get the jeep was quick disconnects for the sway bar. I was dumb and didnt order them with the lift... but we all learn anyways i cheaped out and got the rough country ones instead of jks which i should have gotten but oh well. With that I also ordered Rough countrys dana 30 skid.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150403_163135.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150403_161858.jpg
I do not have any pics of the install since i really didnt have to time but if anyone wants any pics i will get some up here. But this was a pain! I didnt think it through and didnt want to go out to get a pitman arm puller which ive read makes this a lot easier. The way I did it I used a grinder cut off the head of the bolt that holds the bottom of the link to the axle and then cut the other side then drilled through.. I did the driver side within like 30 minutes not bad. I must have dulled all my bits so I picked up some bits that were supposed to cut through ANYTHING.. well it took me so much longer on the passenger side... Well lets just say the next day i was so sore. Well on to the dana 30 skid that was a breeze to put on haha.
Well i disconnected the sway bar and flexed the girl out a little bit haha it was smooth and great I was surprised
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150429_090838-1-.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-21.21.34.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-21.23.08.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-21.22.33.jpg
Here is a close up of the skid. Im not worried about smashing that diff now
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150429_090950.jpg
I didnt do much to the jeep after the sway bar quick dicsos for a while. but have some pictures of having a little fun.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-21.24.57.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150615_201730.jpg
Also towing my dads boat for the first time after the lift. The boat in the back end really walks around and sways.. From what I have read we might be able to fix that by putting more weight in front of the boat trailers axle.. any one have experience with that?
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-21.24.06.jpg
My dad was riding shotgun and has not let me tow it again till we figure it out so I have been able to try anything out yet. He said that it sways behind his f-150 but the truck weighs enough that it doesnt take the truck for a ride haha.
I had been noticing rust near the bottom of all four doors near the fold line and right under the door plastic panel. So i sanded, wire brushed, used self etching primer and rustoleum bedliner. I have had a lot of success with the rustoleum bedliner before that is what i used on the bottom third of all the doors as well. This process was pretty much just common sense so i didnt take any pictures but I did get one good one haha. Had to test out the new d ring mount.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-21.20.46.jpg
I had to replace from the catalytic converter back on my exhaust. I got a no name hight flow cat and flowmaster super 44 with stainless pipe back. With this I decided to get a cold air intake of some sort.. everything was sooooo expensive and I wanted to do something like bleepin jeep's intake with the mushroom shaped intake on the outside, but decided to hold off on that till a little later. So through many reviews I bought a rustys air tube with just a 6x6 cone filter.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150608_181012-2-.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150608_181033-2-.jpg
I know a lot of people believe that these are hot air intakes but i read multiple threads and reviews on a couple forums that convinced me with their tests that when the jeep is in motion the air that is in the engine bay goes down dramatically. I have not noticed any mpg gain which by the way is down to 10... and maybe some little more throttle response but that might just be me.

Also forgot to mention I did install my own "hood spacers" to help with heat build up. That was before the trip to s.c. Just used some washers, stack 1 more on the back bolt then the front and dont put to many on because you wont be able to close the hood. The raising of the back portion pulls the front edge towards the windshield a little.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-fb_img_1439239029462-2-.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-fb_img_1439238993410.jpg

Last edited by xj981995; 10-31-2015 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:17 PM
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Default flag pole

I wanted to be able to fly a flag for July 4th so over a month before the 4th I started drawing up plans. I didnt really like any one of my plans until I struck gold haha. My bro works at a machine shop so he was able to use a lathe to turn down a hitch ball to fit inside 1 inch black pipe. Weld the black pipe on the ball and then you have a 5 ft tall flag poll that you can move from different hitches. Good thing I built it that way because in the end I had to get a nine inch raise hitch to get the flag in the air.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150527_104137-2-.jpg
Sorry that you can really see it that well but I painted it with I believe krylon rust tough black paint.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150527_104113-2-.jpg
And a picture of it on the jeep this is still the 2 inch drop hitch wasnt able to get much air since it was centered behind the jeep.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150527_135627-2-.jpg
To be completely honest I havent used it much and for sitting out side for half a year, without the flag on it of course, the paint hasnt come of at all which is pretty nice to see.
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:19 PM
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Still trying to catch up! After work tonight I will catch up to where I am at now. Stay Tuned!!
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:54 PM
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Default Cb antenna mount

I was getting tired of the floppy cb antenna mount that I had so I bought a jcr antenna mount.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150528_163546-2-.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150528_163619-2-.jpg
And if you can tell I repainted my antenna. Got rid of the black, white and orange color scheme so I painted it all red.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150608_180908-2-.jpg
I know I probably could have made this mount myself like a lot on here have but it didn't cost much so blahhh.
Other then the antenna mount went camping right after the 4th. Got to use the roof rack to hold up my hammock.. turns out that I should have hung my hammock a little lower either way I used the cooler to be able to get in haha. FYI sleeping in the hammock is great but 3 nights of my weight on the crossbars like that defiantly was not great sooo I stopped using the rack as a anchor point for my hammock
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150628_195911.jpg
Here is a cool picture I will toss in this post. Was working on my uncles new shed and he needed to get his tractor on the driveway. A excuse to get in the woods haha, not that I need one.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150622_131036.jpg
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:55 PM
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Default New Front Bumper!!

It was about time to get a nice bumper that... well you know... I could smash through a wall if I ever needed to... or smash through some zombies you know the usual. I did a lot of research and was thinking about getting jcr for the longest time but I wanted a brush guard and to get the vanguard bumper, the uni-body tie ins, with the brush guard, it was just adding up very quickly so then I was thinking about going with B- Lee's bumpers but I did decide on Affordable Offroad's front pre runner bumper with a hitch receiver. They are also a local shop in the middle of PA so buying from a place in my same state was kind of a good feeling. PA STRONG!!!
Used Rustoleum Self Etching primer after using steel wool, sand paper, and denatured alcohol
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150716_130038-2-.jpg
You can see the uni-body tie ins here very stout. I used Rustoleum professional enamel. Had about 3 to 4 solid coats on it. Honestly very impressed with out it came out. Does scratch with branches when in the woods but its a easy touch out as spray paint.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150716_143532-2-.jpg
Finished when it was dark and raining. That includes wiring up the light bar and new led cubes. Not going to lie I'm thinking about switch the round lights from the reverse lights with the led cubes... better driving lights then the cubes. Here is a picture of the bumper from the inside.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150719_225843-2-.jpg
If anyone is wondering you can not see the prerunner from the inside but you can see the light bar. honestly I kind of like it lol. I had to work early in the morning so this was the first picture I took of the jeep with the new bumper.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150720_144633-2-.jpg
here is a side view of the prerunner. really like how far it goes out.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150720_144643-2-.jpg
Have a few pictures with the new bumper
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150721_112645-2-.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150721_113531-2-.jpg
And found a much better way to hang the hammock now that I have some prerunner bars to anchor the one side of it.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150807_093251-2-.jpg
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:44 PM
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Default Knox 2nd annual jeep invasion and more.

Well I wasn't able to get out to the Bantam jeep festival this year but I was able to make it to a more local one and was extremely happy that I was able to. It was small, overall I think around 120 jeeps there. Not bad for only the 2nd year. One jeep I thought was really cool actually is owned by one of my teachers from high school.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-2015-10-29-21.27.27.jpg
Great jeep really let's just say I am a fan. There was also two "Trail" rides but by trail they mean just some dirt roads but it was very scenic. Girl friend took a picture out the mirror to see the line of jeeps behind us.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150822_112829-2-.jpg
It's tough to see but There was around 20 jeeps behind us and 10 in front of us haha. Cool experience
Decided the 10 mpg was unacceptable so I purchased a motorcycle for a good price. It is a 2004 Suzuki Gs500f. I do wish I got a bigger one specially since the 500 is not fuel injected and air cooled. But the price was good, it is my first bike and heard of how good of a bike it is to learn. Also I have got 65 mpg out of it!!! for one tank the rest I get around 50 mpg... I like to drop a gear and disappear lol.
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Moving on, I took my roof rack off because my power line was down the door seal and leaked a lot of water into the floor boards. But here is a sentimental picture of the jeep just a few weeks ago and it on the first day of the trip that it quit on me...
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20150924_112030-2-.jpg
I put the roof rack back on because the Betty did not look right without her rack... if you know what I mean.. lol. I routed the wires differently this time. I actually routed the wires down the windshield seal. I have yet to have any problems with it yet. Got a picture of the jeeps stance.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20151011_165746-2-.jpg
Also something else happened... Rolled over 130k. Did the oil change using rotella t6 5w 40 for the winter. Just trying it, the engine does sound quieter and smoother.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20151022_191839_48740-2-.jpg
Went out shooting the other day on our property and had to get some pictures of the jeep with my newest edition, A mossberg mvp patrol in 5.56/223
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20151027_111628-2-.jpg
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20151027_115206-2-.jpg
And I have one more flexing picture that should look familiar but this time with the new bumper.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-img_20151013_103821-2-.jpg
And now you guys are pretty much up to date. I have installed a wiring harness
Amazon.com: H4 100w Ceramic Fused PnP Heavy Duty Automotive Wiring Harness Headlight Foglight Booster Relay 12v: Automotive Amazon.com: H4 100w Ceramic Fused PnP Heavy Duty Automotive Wiring Harness Headlight Foglight Booster Relay 12v: Automotive
I heard a lot of bad things about putco and I dont have much time to make my own or to bother with that with school so I bought this one that has decent relays, a fuse on the power line, and is cheaper then putco harness. ALSO ITS NOT BRIGHT YELLOW... I got hella vision plus h4 housings. still using the 60/55 hella bulbs when ever they go out im probably going to just get silvania silverstar bulbs which is what is in my bike and it is brighter then the stock one by well a lot so I dont see why they wouldnt be the same way with the jeep.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:52 PM
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Default Current Delimma

Well, my current dilemma is the fact that my mpg succksss and looking into regearing at 4.56 this coming spring. Hard to save up the money. I also want to get the smittybilt rear tire cariier bumper. I love it so thats also on the list. But i do believe regearing is my best option for my nect crazy purchase. What have you guys heard of motive gears? I guy I would take the jeep to get the work done sells motive gears. I know some guys would get on me about not doing that work myself but as a dd I want any kind of warranty that I can get and make sure its done right. If it was a trail rid hell id be switching axles and doing it by myself not worrying if it would fall apart or not. haha I guess I just dont trust my self enough yet. Well that might be all for a little bit. Stay tune, hope to bring you a good build and give some people ideas.
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:59 AM
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Jeep looks great. I drilled a hole and welded a pipe in my back bumper for my flag mount. As for mpg... You should be getting better than 10mpg. I was getting 12-13 when my jeep was running terrible and with my tire on my roof. Something is wrong. Maybe you need to stay out of the skinny peddle
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:26 AM
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Thanks! And ok.. I did replace the speedo gear when I put the bigger tires on, and from a graph I saw on here, ordered the right one. but I notice when I'm around 50 that I'm really doing 55 to 57 would that skew the odometer enough to make it seem like its 10 but it really is 12 or 13? I was thinking it may be off by like 1 didn't think if it would be off by 2 or 3 though. Also, I'm normally very cautious with the skinny pedal...
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:25 PM
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Now also just the other day I replaced my interior lights, minus the console lights, with LEDs from http://www.onewaylight.com/1997-2001...me-lamp-model/ great improvement and not to much of a expense. Plus at check out if you put "cherokeeforum" you will get a discount. Here is a picture. That includes map lights, cargo lights, the floor board lights, and even the vanity lights.
Betty the dd/overlanding 98 xj-20151101_122030-2-.jpg

98jeepster_xj has a build thread that covered this upgrade very thoroughly. Thanks to him I found out about the site

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Old 11-01-2015, 02:01 PM
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Looks great, man. Those LED interior lights are awesome. I will have to order that kit.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:20 PM
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Thanks! And yeah the LEDs are a huge improvement and it just makes you feel like your driving a Mercedes when you open the doors up haha. Till you have to step real high to get in
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