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Bigthoven370's 93' Cherokee Sport Build

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Bigthoven370's 93' Cherokee Sport Build

Old 05-14-2016, 01:19 PM
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Default Bigthoven370's 93' Cherokee Sport Build

Alright, I've owned my jeep for barely over a week, (bought it last Thursday the 5th) and I already want to do a good amount to it. Lots of future plans, but have to deal with a handful of small issues. (mostly cosmetic)

The headliner is sagging and ripped (going to replace headliner and sun visors with woodland camo, very similar to M81) the front driver and passenger hand cranks are broken, (easiest fix) drivers door release handle needs to be fixed, (door locks fine, but is a pain to unlock) lower trim needs to be painted, (previous owner painted it bright green ) speakers need to be replaced, and the back hatch needs to be fixed (rattles while driving and doesn't seem to close all the way.)

My future plans for the jeep are to get front and rear bumpers, a roof rack, lights for front bumper and roof rack, new wheels, bigger tires probably up to 32s, (currently sitting on 31s and a 3.5 inch lift) and new paint.

First I'm gonna fix the headliner as I am waiting for the fabric to arrive from amazon. (Pictures will come of the whole process) I ordered 3 yards of it and it measures 60" wide, should be enough to fix the headliner and recover the visors. After watching Bleepinjeep's video on how to recover headliner and visors, he recommended using 3M Super 77, and not the Super 90. So my question to you guys, is which do I used? I am going to be using a cotton/polyester blend rather than fleece fabric. So will the Super 77 work fine?
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:10 PM
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Default Update (Pic Heavy)

Been pretty busy with work and drill, but I have made some progress with the jeep. The headliner got much worse over the course of just a few days, ended up ripping the fabric off and just having the bear foam.




It went from this...




... To this




So I ripped the fabric off so it wasn't on my head while driving and so I could see through my rear view mirror.

I then removed the headliner and prepped it for the new fabric.




Headliner taken out




Headliner out of the jeep




The foam and glue come off quite easily with a stiff bristled brush and vacuuming the loose foam




The clean headliner, ready for headliner glue and the new fabric

After the headliner was clean I laid a tarp underneath the board for over spray so the glue wouldn't get on my garage floor.


The fabric I bought off of amazon, less than $5 per yard, ordered 3 yards

I bought 2 cans of Permatex headliner glue and went through the first can after I finished just one layer on the fabric and the headliner. I'd recommend buying 3 cans just to be safe, as on the can it says to do 2-3 layers alternating direction and on both surfaces for a better adhesion.

I sprayed one half of the headliner and the fabric at a time so it would go on smoother.


One half of the fabric and headliner glued. Doing halves or thirds at a time makes it much easier

However, when I went to put the glued sides together the fabric wrinkled and got glued to itself. THIS GLUE GETS STUCK FAST. I attempted to stretch out the fabric and put it back on the headliner, but it was too late and the fabric was glued together. I was able to salvage about half of the fabric (little over 4 feet or so, I ordered 3 yards) and I'll be using this to cover the speaker bar and the sun visors.

So I had to reorder 3 yards of the fabric and I am waiting for it to arrive. That's where my jeep is sitting now, not a whole lot of progress but at least it's something. I did get the rear speaker wiring that the PO put in ready for the speaker bar that I pulled from the JY, so once my headliner and speaker bar are re-fabriced I can put that in and have some speakers that actually work.
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:50 PM
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Default Bad news for the Jeep

Well on my way home earlier today from drill I was driving up a hill on the highway and I went to up-shift as I was nearing the top of the hill, and when I did the clutch pedal went soft and I could not shift at all. Pulled over to the side of the road and tried shifting: nothing. Turned the jeep off and tried shifting, I could shift into gear but it was quite tough, once I cranked the engine it would just crank and the jeep wouldn't start, and slowly, very slowly crept forward.

Thank god I just had lunch with one of the guys I drill with and he had to head back my way anyways. He pulled up to me and we started looking over the jeep before the tow truck came, checked the transmission from down below and it was leaking, then checked the master cylinder and it was pretty dry.

Had it towed for a place for overnight and tomorrow morning its gonna be taken to a repair shop and looked at. Sucks cause I live in a different town and have to coordinate all this sh*t on the phone. Hoping that fixing the pressure in the clutch system and replacing the master cylinder should fix the issue and that it wont cost too much. But I guess I'll just see.

Man it sucks to be without my jeep.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:36 PM
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Got a leak somewhere in there, probably be fine once buttoned up.

Pics! Gotta see the weird green paint scheme!
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TwistedWrench View Post
Got a leak somewhere in there, probably be fine once buttoned up.

Pics! Gotta see the weird green paint scheme!
Yeah gotta be leaking somewhere in the system, and hoping it'll be just fine once fixed. You can kinda see the green trim in the headliner pics, but I do have more.


Green trim up front




Green trim below instrument panel and glove box. Ew
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:48 PM
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Oh my... I see what you mean, that really is awful.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TwistedWrench View Post
Oh my... I see what you mean, that really is awful.
It is pretty bad. I have no clue what the PO was thinking. Yeah sure the jeep is green, but why neon green?
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:43 PM
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Default Finally an Update!!

So after my jeep sat in the ****ty town of Butte (sorry for anyone who lives in Butte, but your town is a **** hole) for over 4 weeks I was finally able to pick it up on the 24th of June. It took so damn long because of the "limited lifetime warranty" that was on the clutch kit that the dumb *** previous owner put in. (I'll explain why the PO is a complete dumb ***) Over the course of those 4 weeks, I was either waiting to hear from anyone, or calling everyone to see what was up. The mechanic shop said they'd fix the jeep, and quoted me on some prices for the repair, the cheapest and smartest option being to get another clutch kit, since the last one was under warranty. This created a problem though, since it was a "limited life time warranty" the warranty went away once the vehicle changed ownership, which it did. Thankfully Carquest (where the PO bought the clutch kit) was nice enough to just act as if I was the original owner all along to not cause any issues, oh but it did cause some issues. I was calling back and forth between the mechanic shop and my local carquest and the one in Butte where my jeep was. Clearly no one knew what the hell was going on because I had to communicate between everyone and clarify anything that didn't make sense. After I was finally able to make everything crystal clear to carquest and the shop, the clutch kit was sent to the shop and they fixed my jeep.

So here's how the good ole PO is a complete moron and now I am learning that I'll more than likely have to replace anything that he got his grubby little fingers on. When I picked up my jeep I paid the shop for the expenses and asked what caused the problem. Slave cylinder went out. Why? When the PO did his half *** backyarded clutch kit install, he forgot to put the pin in the slave cylinder which caused it to fail, not only that but when he put everything back together he left a bolt out from the bell housing. So clearly he didn't know what he was doing, and yet he told me he did a good job. So I no longer communicate with the good ole PO because he flat out lied to me when I purchased the jeep saying that it runs well and he replaced things just fine and now I have to correct all of his halfassed fixes. Woohoo. Oh and not only was his clutch kit a **** poor job, but the repair shop put in a new speed sensor cause his dumb *** cut the wires instead of pulling it out.

I am pissed off that I was lied to by the PO and that I'll be fixing a bunch on the jeep, but hey it's a jeep.

Last edited by Bigthoven370; 07-05-2016 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:17 PM
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But on to the good news. Now that my jeep is back in my hands I was able to make some progress on the headliner replacement and painting that awful neon green trim.

While I waited for my jeep to be fixed, I reordered the fabric I wanted, but I received the wrong fabric. I returned the incorrect fabric and reordered again. I did get the right fabric and I was able to do the headliner.


Headliner recovered with the new fabric
I didn't take any pictures during my second time around, but it did differ from what I did the first time. Instead of doing the whole headliner in halves, I did it in fourths. Spray the the board twice switching directions, and the headliner only once as it is thin and I didn't want glue to seep through. When it came time to glue the fabric to the board I had two people hold the ends and I went in the middle and smoothed everything out to avoid wrinkles with a small wood block, there were some wrinkles though. I did this the whole way through and the headliner came out pretty good and I like it.






Here's the headliner back in the Jeep, it looks so much better, and as you can see I painted over the green trim with a light gray.

The neon green trim had to go. I took out all the pieces that were green and painted them gray.



All the green trim pulled out and the bench came out to get the trim pieces that go around it




All the pieces after being painted, so much better! Also painted some of the upper trim pieces as they are metal and were slightly rusting




No more nasty green trim!




She kept me company for the day, but didn't offer too much help

I also recovered the visors so they would match the headliner.



I simply pulled the old fabric from the visors to use as a template. (Yes I did label my visors so I knew which were which)




Shape for the visor on the new fabric





Fabric ready to go on the visor

I did have to cut off the "flappy" part of the visors. When I opened one of the visors the flap fell off and I cut the other flap off so both visors looked the same.

Next I am going to recover the speaker bar and install it so I can listen to some music, of course the only speaker that worked went out so gotta fix that too.

One day I'll be happy with my Jeep, but that day isn't today
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Old 08-21-2016, 01:39 PM
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Default Differentials re-sealed and new stereo

It's been awhile since I've posted anything about the jeep, as I've been busy with work as usual and I was out of the country for 3 weeks for National Guard AT.

After I had owned my jeep for awhile, I had noticed that both the differentials were leaking, it was a very slow leak but it still worried me. When I got back from training I finally had the time to reseal the differentials and fill them back up.

So I went down to O'Reilly's bought 2 gallons of GL-5, (yes I really did need 2 gallons) hand pump with a hose to fill the pumpkins, brake cleaner, gaskets for both diffs, some RTV black, shop towels and some floor dry.






All the materials I bought
I resealed the front diff first and it went very smoothly



Front diff cover before removing



Cover off, gears looked fine



Cover before scraping off old gasket and cleaning it



Scraped off the gasket and polished up the cover with a wire brush



New gasket on the cover



Cover back on the pumpkin and ready to fill it back up



Diff filled back up and no leaks!
As easy as it was to fill the front diff, after I covered it back up and look for leaks I discovered that it wasn't leaking from the cover, but it was leaking from the pinion seal and dripping down to the bottom the pumpkin. So now at some point I need to put a new pinion seal in. Hopefully my boss will let me use his car lift and his air tools so it's an easier job.

Next on to the rear diff which ended up being a major pain.



Rear diff all dirty before the cover comes off



Cover off with the gasket, as the front pumpkin was, the rear gears looked good too



Cover before being cleaned up



Gotta love running out of brake cleaner and making a Walmart run



Cover cleaned up with a wire brush



Clean cover back on and ready to be filled.



When it came time to seal the rear cover and fill it back up, I realized that I had gotten the wrong gasket. I assumed I had a Dana 35, but I actually have a Chrylser 8.25! Learned something new about the jeep!

After filling the rear diff and parking the jeep for the night, the next morning I came out to a nasty surprise. The cover didn't properly seal and the diff leaked all over the drive way.



After cleaning up the mess that was made, went to O'Reilly's again and got the correct gasket, and because the rear didn't properly seal (probably didn't give the RTV enough time to set) I was paranoid about another leak. So I not only used the gasket, but RTV on both sides of it to make sure the damn cover sealed.

Rear cover cleaned again with RTV, then the gasket



RTV, gasket, then RTV again to be super sealed

It's been a week since I resealed the diffs, and thank god the rear isn't leaking anymore! The front is very slowly leaking from the pinion though and that's my next planned fix.

Not too long ago my stereo decided to quit on me, and I had no music to listen to. I finally couldn't drive around w/o music anymore, so I purchased a new stereo and a Sirius box yesterday and installed them.






The mess of wires the PO used for the old stereo. He spliced into the existing wires and put new Chrysler connectors in and attached the connector for the stereo.



I cut off the mess of wires down to the existing wires for the jeep

Unfortunately once I plugged in the stereo, and started up my jeep, the stereo displayed; "miswiring, check wiring then power on." Checked all my wiring and all the speakers and it looks fine to me. Reset the stereo a few times and no fix. Honestly I have no clue what is going on, I connected the correct wires from the stereo to the jeep harness and it's not working. This really frustrates me because I am unsure of what the problem is and all I want to do is make the stereo work.

I leave for vacation tomorrow and before I leave I'm gonna take my jeep to where I bought the stereo from and have them fix it, as that really is the only option I have. And that way when I come back from vacation my stereo will be fixed.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:04 PM
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Default Update while on Vacation

Vacation is going pretty well. There are hardly any built XJs in Hawaii. Seen some stock XJs but only seen one built XJ so far. But man do they love their Tacomas.

Anyways some news on my green machine, audio store called me on Monday while I was still traveling and let me know what was causing the issue. Rear speaker harness was grounded out from rubbing, as well as the front speaker wires being ****. This put the stereo in protecting mode=caused the stereo to displayed the error it did. All the speakers are pretty shot too. Audio store is gonna to repair the rear harness, replace front wires, and replace all speakers. I'll have to spend a good amount of money, but at least when I return from vacation I can finally listen to music in the Jeep!!
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:29 PM
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Default Update (10/24/16)

Been a looonnngg time since I've updated my build. Unfortunately there hasn't been too much going on with the jeep. However since my last update, once I was back from vacation my speakers were fixed and everything works great. Since then I haven't done too much to the jeep, as the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter its harder to have time to work on it. And I'm saving my money so when I return to school I can rebuild my motor.

So while I'm saving up for a rebuild, I've done some cheap and simple upgrades.

Upgraded the battery connectors



Old connectors




And the new ones

I also changed out my shifter ****, and added some cup holders



Old shifter



And the new shifter



Cup holders mounted the the shift bezel, planning to screw these in as they are very unstable and come off if it's bumped or I go over a bump

These are the only updates I have as of now. I know, exciting stuff. Probably won't be any picture updates for awhile as I have a lot of electrical issues to fix. Such as my reverse lights don't work, the dreaded blower motor speed switch, possibly a new MAP sensor, O2 sensor, or a leaking injector as my jeep has been running rich, and as the jeep likes to idle up and down a new IAC valve or clean the throttle body. Also need to get my clutch fixed as there is way too much play and it doesn't have much engagement and shifting starts to get difficult pretty quick.

After I get all the issues fixed hopefully I can start making my jeep look cool but we'll see.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:23 PM
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Default Finally another Update

Not a whole lot going on with the Big Green Heep. Seeing as how winter is here in Montana, it gets quite cold and gets dark early. So I don't get a whole lot of time to work on the XJ after work, really just on the weekends.

Anyways since my last update my jeep still has been idling rough. I got the time one weekend to clean the throttle body and the IAC valve, hoping it would fix the rough idling.



Throttle body removed before cleaning



Underside of throttle body before cleaning



IAC valve before cleaning, tip and shaft was covered



IAC valve and throttle body ready to be cleaned



Throttle body all cleaned



IAC valve cleaned

While I was cleaning the IAC valve the plunger came unscrewed. I screwed it back in to where I believed it needed to be. Reinstalled the throttle body and IAC valve, put the air filter hose back on, and plugged the connector back in for the IAC. Started the jeep up and it idled high. Turned the jeep off, and removed the IAC valve, adjusted the screw, reinstalled, and started the jeep up, still idled high. Continued to adjust the screw until the jeep idled somewhat normal. (Still doesn't idle quit right, idles low.) I think I need to have the ECU relearn the valve since it was unplugged, and hopefully it will idle normal then.

Since I cleaned the throttle body and IAC my jeep has still been idling rough, and running rich. Still trying to figure out what is causing this issue.

These last few weeks the temperature has gotten quite low, and the Jeep decided it didn't like that. One morning I went to start the XJ up and let it warm up before work. It hardly started, and when I went to move it to the other side of the driveway it wouldn't start at all. So I had to get the help of a neighbor along with my family members to push it up the driveway. It sat there till I got off work, came home and tried to start it and it still wouldn't start. Waited till I got home the next day after work to try again, still would not start. I told my boss about the issue I was having (He's a retired mechanic) and he told me that he could tell by the way it was idling and when it started that it wasn't running on all cylinders. He told me to check the spark plugs and the cap to see how dirty they were. The cap ended up not being too bad, but man the spark plugs were fouled.



Spark plug I attempted to clean, still really dirty

After seeing how fouled the spark plugs were, I went out and bought a tune up kit. New everything, spark plug wires, spark plugs, cap, rotor, and a new fuel filter as well. But since its been so damn cold after I get off work, I haven't had time to install the kit. I finally had time today to put the kit in, but it was snowing pretty hard. Got the bright idea to drape a tarp over the hood and engine bay to give myself a space to work in out of the snow, also found a paint tray that worked perfectly for the old spark plugs.


Work space I had for the day



Paint tray I used to hold the old spark plugs and it worked perfectly!

It took me awhile to get all the spark plugs out, new ones in, new cap, rotor, and wires put on but I got it done.

There was a staggering difference between not only the spark plugs, but all the new parts. I'm really glad I did a new kit instead of cleaning the spark plugs and the contacts of the cap.



Brand new spark plug..



compared to the old fouled spark plug



The contact from the spark plug wire on the 6th spark plug stayed on the plug when I pulled the wire off, oops. Good thing I replaced all the wires. This last plug way in the back of the engine bay was such a pain to pull out and put the new one in

Once all the new parts were installed, with my fingers crossed I went to start the jeep. And it started!! Gave it some throttle and a nasty looking cloud came out of the exhaust. I'm so relieved that my Jeep started after sitting for over a week. I still need to put the new fuel filter in, and get my jeep to not idle so rough and run rich. Thinking of putting some sea foam in it this weekend to clean it out.

I'll be going back to school come the new year, and I'm still planning to rebuild my engine. That is unless for some reason I don't need to rebuild it. But seeing as how it's got a good amount of mileage on it (Over 250,000) it probably do the jeep good to have a rebuilt engine.

Last edited by Bigthoven370; 12-10-2016 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:32 PM
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Default Happy New Year!

After I did the tune up kit and my jeep finally started, as I stated it still wasn't running right. So I installed the new fuel filter, didn't make a noticeable difference. Then ran some seafoam through the TB and the rest in the gas tank. Not as much black smoke was coming out of the tailpipe but the jeep still wasn't running right. Got to talking with my coworker again, and explained what was going on. He thought it could possibly be a vacuum issue, but he wasn't sure. So the Friday before Christmas after work, he and I poked around the engine bay looking for vacuum leaks. I started it up so he could hear how it wasn't running right, and so we could hear vacuum leaks. Sure enough we found some. First we found that the vacuum line to the MAP sensor was unplugged, plugged it in and instantly the jeep ran better. We did find some splits in the hard vacuum line running from the intake manifold to the evap can. We weren't able to patch them cause we didn't have any spare vacuum line. Hopped into the jeep to head home for the Christmas weekend, and sure enough the CEL had turned off!

Glad it was an easy fix to get rid of the CEL and to get my jeep running back to normal. Christmas was a success for the XJ, got some Quadratec floor liners for the front, and got a Oreilly's gift card from the GF which I've spent for vacuum repair.

Since my coworker and I found the first vacuum leak, we've continued to patch any leaks we find. But man that hard vacuum line is real brittle in this cold weather, if it's even pulled too hard it'll snap. My coworker did have some spare vacuum line that was small enough to patch the hard lines, so we've been using that.

Next on the fix list is to bleed the clutch AGAIN. I did have it bled by the mechanic shop next to my work, and it's been fine until recently where now it's getting spongy. So one of these days after work my coworker and I (who is becoming more help than my ex mechanic boss ever was lol) are gonna bled the clutch and get the pedal to where it needs to be.

I'm honestly wondering if somehow air is getting in to the system seeing as how the clutch has needed to be bled 3 times since I've owned it. Or maybe the colder weather is taking an affect on the clutch. Guess I'll find out when I bleed the clutch this week.

Really quite glad that getting my jeep back to normal was as easy as putting the vacuum line back onto the MAP sensor. Maybe I wont need to rebuild my motor just yet. That is unless it starts knocking or I find metal shavings in the oil or etc.

Here's to 2017 being the year where the XJ really starts taking shape, and hopefully the same to you guys!

Happy New Year!
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Old 01-25-2017, 03:46 PM
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Default Back to School

I've moved back into my Grandparent's apartment for school, and now have a full shop to utilize at school if need be. Seeing as how I'm taking an engine rebuild class this semester, I'll be able to do compression test, leak down test, and other engine tests on the jeep to see how the engine is doing.

As far as progress with the jeep, there hasn't been too much going on. Went to the junk yard a few times and got a dome light with map lights, courtesy lights, some dash lights since the sockets always break, and the center console duct, planning to put in some new seats in the front as mine don't match the interior (interior is gray, seats are tan) and the seats are all ripped.

Also bought an interior LED set from One Way Light. Only installed the dome lights and glove box bulb so far, but man their so much brighter than the stock bulbs! Will have to do some comparison pics.

Now that I have a heated shop to work in maybe I can finally trace down why my reverse lights and speedo + odometer don't work!
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