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Black Bertram - 98 Cherokee Build

Old 09-22-2017, 03:57 PM
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Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0 H.O.
Default Black Bertram - 98 Cherokee Build

XJ #2 is a '98 and going to be done "right" this time around.

Going to do a proper UpCountry/Police version, with donor parts from a '96

Poll: paint accents. I know the "Cherokee" badging is old-school, but I like its look more than the streamlined new-chrysler look.

#1 "Fat Mac"


#2 "Sophisticant"



Bought the base of my build as a (mostly) stock '98 XJ in September '17 with 146k miles—not too shabby.

Pros:
Interior is great, especially given that this was a "hunting" rig at some point
Transmission is good (new solenoids <1 year ago)
Full-size spare
Extra bits included (injectors, thermostat, alt, hoses)
Relatively clean underbelly
No weeping anything

Cons:
Bad engine - donor found
block lift* and faked up-country

Cosmetics
Paint is splintery as all get out (no rust yet)
1/2 wheels are grungy, but totally salvageable


Sat for ~18 months and some wasps made a few homes, but they're very dead now.

I originally thought this was the UpCountry package, due to its sitting higher in the rear and front + back skid plates.

Build order came back and it's a standard Cherokee Sport. The body panels say Classic, and the title literally says "CHEROKEE SPT/CL" so maybe it’s all cobbled together (certainly doesn’t look it)- no trans cooler, no LSD, and no front lift (the rear blocks are 2" and really exaggerates the look) so those hopes were dashed. Just need to find an OE xfer case plate and I’ll be happy. It does have an upcountry/OE style hitch, but I haven’t spotted wiring yet.

RAAC All Radio Equipped Vehicles
RAZ AM/FM Cassette Compact Disc Radio
RCRP 4 Speakers
Don't know if any of those correspond to the Infinity Sound, but the deck matches. I'll have to check under the back seats.
Immediate plans are to diagnose the no compression, get it running and see how it all feels. This will be XJ #2 for me. #1 was a ’96 needing an engine swap (thrown rod), and was the first major foray into home wrenching. Learned a lot and now I can get on quicker with #2 and start doing other restoration items.
Beyond that my vision for now is to simply restore it to stock as closely as I can. Part of me wants to make it a true UpCountry, since I’m most of the way there anyhow, but that will be more of a long-term gig.
As far as mods, I'm still torn on the lift. I know the UpCountry was just a 1" all round, but I'm curious what leaving that 2" block on the leaf springs will do, or if I'm in danger if screwing up the driveshaft… oh well, things to look forward to.


Photos of it getting home:

note the sunken passenger window


you’re dead now, muthaf*ckas



covered because fall is unpredictable here


I like these wheels, but they’re not from this gen. Gonna try and find some of the "Snowflake" wheels to replace them…eventually.

needs blasted

Last edited by jessenator; 10-11-2017 at 03:09 PM. Reason: adding poll, re-writing intro
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:55 AM
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Default goodies

Some extras that came in a tupperware bin when I picked it up.

Sadly, I didn't get the firewood they had.


Don't know if this XJ needs these or if they were just-in-case bits that got picked up along the way.


When I tried these on my '96 they gave me (according to my butt dyno) significantly more pickup, but slightly worse (<16) mpg in town. I kinda liked that (power) aspect.

And yet the battle rages on between bone stock and what I want. Naw, fuggit, I want what I want.


There were TWO of these in the bin, surprisingly.


And more proof of what 5-Speed said in my intro thread. At least the original hardware is there if I want to ditch the block.



Also picked up a compression tester (didn't look like all of them were checked--only half the plug wires were out) but I trickle charged the battery well over 12 hours and nothing. No charge held at all, so picking up an Exide later today.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:44 AM
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Default Compression test? We don't need no stinkin' compression test!

In an effort to double-check the lack of compression the prev owner said was on cyl #1, I found it had some (30psi) while #2 had zero and a:

At least I think the plugs got put back correctly... But anyway, I decided to skip the rest of the test, mostly because the loaner tester I had was a piece of sh*t.

Decided to see if the valvetrain was free from catastrophic damage, and the rockers were all moving.

And then I saw what I didn't see (or chose not to) when I bought it:



So I'm gonna just pull the head and weigh machining vs donor engine.

With that kind of geyser, the head gasket it surely blown and I'm guessing the head is likely cracked. Is it worth it to have someone magnaflux it?

It's not able to go into the garage yet, so my workday was cut short by the rain... I hate waiting when I'm hyped.


Onward...

Here's a shot of the interior (much better than the cracking clearcoat)
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:41 PM
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Default funny joke

KNOCK KNOCK


Who's there?


CYLINDER #2, B*TCH!


Mmmm, that's hot


My Jeep buddy/guru says it's most likely from a clogged cat, it being CA emissions.


Don't even know if that head is worth getting magnaflux'ed. Gotta wait for a donor to show up in the classifieds...

Last edited by jessenator; 10-13-2017 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:33 AM
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This weekend I'm headed up with a buddy to get what I thought was just a donor engine and a transfer case.

We may be getting much more…
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:13 PM
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Default Build Order

Black Bertram's Build Order:

STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Monotone Paint
117 Amp Alternator
500 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
Reclining Front Seats
Rear Fold w/Removable Cushion Seat
Traveling Inboard Seat Belt Buckle
Next Generation Front Air Bags**
Carpets - Floor and Cargo Area
Cargo Compartment Carpet
Cargo Tie Down Loops
Plastic Liftgate Trim Panel
Passenger Assist Handles
Lift Gate Assist Handle
Full Length Floor Console
4-Speed Automatic AW4 Transmission
Command-Trac Part Time 4WD System
Dana M30/181MM Front Axle
Corporate 8.25 Rear Axle
Tinted Windshield Glass
Front Door Tinted Glass
Rear View Day/Night Mirror
Deluxe Insulation Group
100 MPH Primary Speedometer
Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Cigar Lighter
Dual Note Electric Horns
12V Auxiliary Power Outlet
RADIANT SILVER MET. C/C - BADGE - JE
RADIANT SILVER MET. C/C - BADGE - 4
RADIANT SILVER MET. C/C - JEEP
BLACK - FENDER FLARES
Headlamps On Warning Chimes
Glove Box Lamp
Halogen Headlamps
CHMSL Lamp
Front Bumper Guards
Black Windshield Moldings
Rear Qtr Solid Window Insert
Belt Moldings
Body Color Drip Trough Molding
Black Door Handles
EVAP Control System
20 Gallon Fuel Tank
Black Clear Coat
Power Steering
Normal Duty Suspension
Front Stabilizer Bar
Rear Stabilizer Bar
Compact Spare Tire
Inside Mounted Spare Tire
Upgraded OBD-II Connectors
Tethered Fuel Filler Cap
Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications
GVW Rating - 4900#
U.S. Dealer Retail
Zone 71-Los Angeles
California Ship to State Code
California Sold to State Code


OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
Cloth Low-back Bucket Seats
Saddle
Light Group
Classic Decor Group (97-08-18)
Power Equipment Group
4.0L Engine(ERH)/4Sp Auto Trans(DGS
Low Back Bucket Seats
Highline Door Trim Panel
Front & Rear Floor Mats
Spare Tire Cover
Cargo Compartment Cover
Overhead Console
All 4-Speed Automatic Transmissions
Lock-Up Torque Converter
Floor Mount Automatic Shift Lever
3.55 Rear Axle Ratio
All Engines
4.0L I6 Power Tech Engine
Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass
Deep Tint Sunscreen Liftgate Glass
Rear Window Defroster
Sun Visors w/Illum Vanity Mirrors
Power Heated Mirrors, Fold-Away
All Vehicles W/Power Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Air Conditioning
DO NOT USE - See JP, KA classes
Instrument Panel Black Bezel
Rear Window Wiper/Washer
Power Windows
Power Locks
RADIANT SILVER MET. C/C - BADGE - CH
RADIANT SILVER MET. C/C - 4.0L
BLACK CLEAR COAT - MOLDING
Courtesy Lamps
Underhood Lamp
Cargo Compartment Lamp
Headlamp Off Time Delay
Fog Lamps
Body Color Front Bumper
Body Color Rear Bumper w/Step Pads
Front License Plate Bracket
Body Color Grille
Roof Rack
California Emissions
Transitory Low Emission Veh (TLEV)
Speed Control
Black Clear Coat
All Radio Equipped Vehicles
AM/FM Cassette Compact Disc Radio
4 Speakers
Fixed Long Mast Antenna
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
Tilt Steering Column
P225/75R15 Wrangler RT/S AT Tires
Goodyear Brand Tires
15X7 Aluminum "Ecco" Wheels
All Aluminum Wheels
8 Additional Gallons of Gas
Spring - Left Front
Spring - Left Rear
Spring - Right Front
Spring - Right Rear
Customer Preferred Package 2TS
Customer Preferred Package 26S
Customer Preferred Discount

Last edited by jessenator; 10-15-2017 at 04:47 PM. Reason: matching the build order format
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:42 AM
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Default

It'sbeen a very long, long, long day of driving, but the end result will be a new heart for my XJ


Also, uhaul is a pile of crap. The wiring failed and I was forced to buy some magnetic lights.

Last edited by jessenator; 10-08-2017 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:23 PM
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Default the white night xj

Pending an official build order, I'm prepared to bet an anti roll bar that this XJ is actually a police package.

1" block-less lift all around
ALL the kick plates installed
D35 rear (I'll bet it's trac lok limited slip)
Extra switch (idle boost?) next to wiper switch
OEM oil cooler

It was a county Jeep used for parks and rec. I think i know what I'm pulling off it (besides the engine)
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:31 AM
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Prepping the vital organs for transplant

Also, there's a poll now— images on the first post.




The bumper (mount bracket) was so smashed I couldn't unbolt it …so sawzall!





draining the rad (stupidly). little helper was there to "shine the light into the car" for me.

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Old 10-15-2017, 10:50 AM
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Neat. let us know when you get the build sheet in for the white one.

the thoughts of finding a police package cherokee to me is such a unicorn, but maybe the good old boys around here ust strip out every cherokee, wrangler and 90s toyota pickup so they never turn up.
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by RegularGuy View Post
Neat. let us know when you get the build sheet in for the white one.

the thoughts of finding a police package cherokee to me is such a unicorn, but maybe the good old boys around here ust strip out every cherokee, wrangler and 90s toyota pickup so they never turn up.
...I should probably get on that... I was debating whether or not to, simply because its current condition relegates it to "parts car" status.

Maybe I'm wrong, but i read that the police pkg to be more a pick and choose than the standardized UpCountry, but that's all forum-based research, anyway.

Wasn't a beat/patrol car from what I could tell: seats equally worn, There aren't any light holes or extraneous wiring, but then again there are two plugs on the roof that I was told were from some experiment the owner's son tried. But all the other bits are in place: skids, mysterious lighted switch, 10" drums, trac lok d35 and (oem?) lift.

Hopefully tomorrow sometime I'll have a part-out post in the classifieds.
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Old 10-15-2017, 03:05 PM
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Default

Curses! Foiled again!

While everything on the white Jeep conforms to the build order, it's not a "police" at least as far as the codes could be decoded. A few are Idaho state and UNKNOWN designations.

I used the quick-form VIN build page, so it only has the names/description, not the codes, of the build components. Oh well. Some nice stuff included anyway

STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Monotone Paint
117 Amp Alternator
500 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
Highline Door Trim Panel
Rear Fold w/Removable Cushion Seat
Driver Air Bag Only
Carpets - Floor and Cargo Area
Cargo Compartment Carpet
Cargo Tie Down Loops
Plastic Liftgate Trim Panel
Passenger Assist Handles
4-Speed Automatic AW4 Transmission
Lock-Up Torque Converter
Command-Trac Part Time 4WD System
Floor Mount Automatic Shift Lever
Dana M30/181MM Front Axle
3.55 Rear Axle Ratio
Tinted Windshield Glass
Front Door Tinted Glass
Tinted Rr Drs/Qtr/Liftgate Glass
Fixed Door Vent Glass
Open
Instrument Panel Black Bezel
85 MPH Primary Speedometer
Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Cigar Lighter
Dual Note Electric Horns
DESCRIPTION NOT AVAILABLE
DESCRIPTION NOT AVAILABLE
Headlamps On Warning Chimes
Glove Box Lamp
Halogen Headlamps
CHMSL Lamp
Black Front Bumper
Black Rear Bumper
Black Grille
Black Windshield Moldings
Rear Qtr Solid Window Insert
Belt Moldings
Body Color Drip Trough Molding
Black Door Handles
Silver/Chrome Badging
EVAP Control System
20 Gallon Fuel Tank
Stone White C/C
AM/FM Radio
2 Speakers
Fixed Long Mast Antenna
Power Rack and Pinion Steering
Luxury Steering Wheel
Normal Duty Suspension
Front Stabilizer Bar
Front and Rear Stabilizer Bars
Inside Mounted Spare Tire
15X7.0 Styled Steel Wheels
Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications
Payload Rating - 1800#
U.S. State/Local Bid
Zone 74-Denver
Idaho State Code
Idaho State Code

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
Cloth/Vinyl High-Back Bucket Seats
DESCRIPTION NOT AVAILABLE
Skid Plate Group
SE Decor Group (97-02-26)
High Back Bucket Seats
Reclining Front Seats
Front & Rear Floor Mats
Full Length Floor Console
All 4-Speed Automatic Transmissions
Dana 35C/194MM Rear Axle
Trac-Lok Differential Rear Axle
All Engines
4.0L I6 Power Tech Engine
Rear Window Defroster
Left Remote Mirror
Right Remote Manual Mirror
All Vehicles W/O Power Mirrors
Air Conditioning
DO NOT USE - See JP, KA classes
Analog Instrument Cluster
Rear Window Wiper/Washer
DESCRIPTION NOT AVAILABLE
Bodyside Molding
Front License Plate Bracket
Federal Emissions
Auxiliary Transmission Oil Cooler
Speed Control
Heavy Duty Engine Cooling
Stone White Clear Coat
All Radio Equipped Vehicles
Tilt Steering Column
Full Size Spare Tire
P225/75R15 OWL Wrangler AT Tires
Goodyear Brand Tires
17" Aluminum Spare Wheel
All Steel Wheels
Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield
Transfer Case Skid Plate Shield
Front Suspension Skid Plate
Manuf Statement of Origin
Without Billable Fuel
Spring - Left Front
Spring - Left Rear
Spring - Right Front
Spring - Right Rear
Customer Preferred Package 2TB
Customer Preferred Package 26B
Price Protection - Code A
No Charge Air Conditioning
Customer Preferred Discount
Prepaid Holdback
Sold Vehicle
Special Bid-Ineligible For Incentive
Fleet Option Editor
Fleet Sales Order
Assembly Plant Tracking
Special Order
Special Bid Handling

Last edited by jessenator; 10-15-2017 at 08:49 PM. Reason: couldn't copy/paste from a PDF on mobile
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:38 PM
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Engine: 4.0 Litre I6
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Looking forward to seeing where she goes.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by CurrySoSpicy View Post
Looking forward to seeing where she goes.
You and me both!

This weekend I'll have everything to re-gasket the engine (don't need to do the head...), and clean it up a lil bit. I'm hoping to have it drivable and passed smog by November (could do it quicker if I didn't have a 9-5).

I've thankfully got a not-full-cali emissions setup, with just 2x O2 sensors, and no funky header. (I suspect that was done by the previous owner), so the '96's exhaust line will swap over.

Still haven't pulled the 98 cat to see if it's clogged.


Probably won't paint till the spring, since I don't live in southern Utah.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:03 PM
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Engine: 4.0 Litre I6
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I have full emmsions. Blah.
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