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Briarwood as a college chariot

Old 06-04-2015, 12:06 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Niskayuna, NY & Columbus, OH
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L HO
Default Briarwood as a college chariot

This is not just my first XJ experience but my first time doing any in-depth work on a car ever. I'm glad I chose the Cherokee for this adventure.

In the past 3 weeks I have somehow ended up with 2 Briarwoods: a 1991 and a 1992, neither of which are on the road yet. Here's the short story of all this. I'll be a sophomore in college this fall in Columbus, OH which is all of 600 miles from my house in Schenectady, NY (15 min from Albany). I needed a cheap vehicle that could make that trip, haul my stuff and satisfy my taste for unusual cars. I wanted a Roadmaster wagon but it would stick out of the garage by 5.5" so that was ruled out. My parents also want me to have 4wd and they used to have 95 Cherokee Sport so they are partial to XJs. Hey, not complaining. Anyway I wanted the 4.0 HO so I was looking for 91-96 all over and I came across a 1992 Briarwood in Allentown, PA with 123k so I drove down and bought it on the spot for $1650. Drove the thing 230 miles home and it's got a few minor problems. The interior is destroyed and the body has issues
but mechanically it's solid. Then I saw a 1991 Briarwood in VT that had a mint interior but backfired through the intake and couldn't make it up hills. Offered the yahoo owners $850 and a family friend with a truck and trailer went to get it with me. That one has 115k. There are 4 or 5 Briarwoods along the entire east coast I've seen for sale and at 18 years old I own 2 of them

The plan is to make one good one and sell the other. I'm not doing an extreme build because Briarwoods are so rare. Maybe a small lift but I want it to be mostly stock. I guess the direction this build is taking is modernizing infotainment/electronics with some customization but nothing that couldn't be returned to stock with relative ease. I intend to do a full restoration sometime after I finish school.

Problems (known) with the 92:
Slow oil leak
Bent hitch and rear bumper from a minor accident
Bad dent in roof
Headliner sagging
Overhead console missing upholstery, weird
Rear wiper motor not working
Rear washer jet sprays directly outward (Doused the hood of a civic behind me on 287)
Parking brake not working
Driver's seat is shredded
Rusty rockers
Lower passenger quarter panel rotted
Suspension creaking and knocking
Missing stock wheels and had a mismatching tire (FR was 225 others were 215)
Stupid maintenance required light for the o2 sensor
Liftgate misaligned
Doors are wobbly
Small water leak above the pedals
Paint sucks
A/C needs to be recharged
Smoked in, gonna rip the whole interior out of it and deep clean/detail
Foglights ripped off at some point
Missing chrome trim on headlight bezel
Bad sound system installation
Ignition lock is different from the doors
Missing fob for keyless entry
Cargo dome light destroyed

ZERO frame rust, floor pans good
All power options work decently (including the security system, ugh)
Brand new front discs
NP242 works flawlessy

The only thing keeping this one off the road is that parking brake. I've played with the adjuster wheel in the drums and the equalizer and it still won't release. I'm just gonna buy new cables for $20.

Problems with the 91:
Backfiring through intake
Idles smooth initially, erratic after a few minutes then stalls out
Runs warm, like 220-225
Takes forever to start after stalling out
Leak in either tranny or tcase
Driver seat swapped for non power unit (same color thankfully)
Power door locks and seats don't work
Weird aftermarket brake system bypassing Bendix ABS, pedal is very spongy, booster doesn't seem right
NP242 tough to shift but 2hi and 4fulltime work so far
Liftgate won't stay up
Door hinges are almost completely disconnected from LR door, exterior door handle button stuck in handle
Both rear door latches easily stick in closed position
Maintenance required light
CEL was on, turned off before I did anything
Engine air cleaner was taken out and was clean except 2 inches of pure black slightly left of the middle
Rear washer jet sprays directly outward but the hose on the wiper is still there
Power steering goes on and off, steering is very notchy
8-10" crack in windshield
Rust on bottoms of the doors
Missing the foglights
Missing spare tire cover

ZERO frame or rocker rust somehow
A/C is ice cold
Jensen Accusound totally stock, nothing else messed with either
Stock rims in good shape with generic mud/snows that have tread (obviously upgrading soon)
Body totally straight
Hitch and wiring in good shape
Both bumpers in good shape
Not missing any chrome
Headliner somehow not sagging

I'm thinking the 91 has an exhaust issue if the backfiring happens and gets worse as the engine warms up. So far I've changed the oil and replaced the fuel filter, ignition coil and crankshaft position sensor with no noticeable effects. Plugged cat is what our mechanic friend is suggesting.

92 is one with steel wheels in pics
More pics of the issues will come tomorrow night at some point
Attached Thumbnails Briarwood as a college chariot-20150523_185351-1-.jpeg   Briarwood as a college chariot-20150518_174326.jpeg   Briarwood as a college chariot-screenshot_2015-06-04-00-51-48.jpeg  
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:49 AM
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Battle's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,055
Year: 1997
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0

I applaud you and envy you at the same time. If you get both running - you have a buyer here haha!

Are you going to try and swap some parts over to the 92? She sounds like a winner! Even though those steelies need to go. Not luxurious enough.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:54 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Niskayuna, NY & Columbus, OH
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L HO

I'm actually thinking I'll swap to the 91 if I can sort out the backfire. The body is so much better
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:09 AM
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88whitecomanche's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Miami, fl
Posts: 7,374
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0

Originally Posted by upstatebriarwood View Post
I'm actually thinking I'll swap to the 91 if I can sort out the backfire. The body is so much better
Nice catch on both....
Did they come with Dana 44?
The backfiring issue could be as simple As the O2 sensor....
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:46 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Niskayuna, NY & Columbus, OH
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L HO

Originally Posted by 88whitecomanche View Post
Nice catch on both....
Did they come with Dana 44?
The backfiring issue could be as simple As the O2 sensor....
Both have the tow package, the build sheet for the 92 says Dana 35. Haven't checked the 91 and still waiting on the build sheet. A Dana 44 would be sweet. Good call on the O2 sensor, ordering one today because it needs to be replaced backfiring or not
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:54 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Niskayuna, NY & Columbus, OH
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L HO

Here's the build sheet for the 92, the tire information at the end confuses me

Dear Matt:

Thank you for contacting the Jeep Customer Assistance Center.

We are pleased to provide vehicle build information per your request.

According to our records, your vehicle was equipped from the factory
with the following:

VIN 1J4FN78S4NL107756
Model Year 1992
Body Model XJ N X 74

Sales Code -- Description
*AL Leather Trimmed Bucket Seats
ADAS Light Group
ADHS Heavy Duty Electrical Group
AHT Trailer Tow Group
APAS Monotone Paint
AWHS Power Equipment Group
BARS 90 Amp Alternator
BCDP 500 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
BGK 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Brakes
CACP Low Back Bucket Seats
CDBP Reclining Front Seats
CFMS Rear Fold w/Removable Cushion Seat
CKBS Floor Carpet
CKNS Cargo Compartment Carpet
CKTS Cargo Tie Down Loops
CKVS MOPAR All Weather Mats
CSAS Spare Tire Cover
CSCP Cargo Compartment Cover
CUFS Full Length Floor Console
CUNP Overhead Console
DGSS 4-Speed Automatic AW4 Transmission
DHAS Lock-Up Torque Converter
DHPP Selec-Trac Full Time 4WD System
DHSS Floor Mount Automatic Shift Lever
DJHS Dana M30/181MM Front Axle
DMDS 3.55 Rear Axle Ratio
DRMP Dana 35C/194MM Rear Axle
ERH 4.0L I6 Power Tech Engine
GBBS Tinted Windshield Glass
GCBS Front Door Tinted Glass
GECA Front Left Side Sliding Window
GEDS Tinted Rr Drs/Qtr/Liftgate Glass
GFAS Rear Window Defroster
GNCS Sun Visors w/Illum Vanity Mirrors
GRJP Left Power Chrome Mirror
GSJP Right Power Chrome Mirror
GTJS Power Mirrors
GXMP Remote Keyless Entry
HAAS Air Conditioning
HGDS Deluxe Insulation Group
JAYS Instrument Cluster w/Tach
JCAS 85 MPH Primary Speedometer
JHAS Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
JHBS Rear Window Wiper/Washer
JJAS Cigar Lighter
JPAS Power Windows
JPBP Power Locks
JPTS Power Front Driver/Passenger Seats
LACS Illuminated Entry
LAJP Headlamps On Warning Chimes
LBBP Courtesy Lamps
LBCS Glove Box Lamp
LBDP Ash Tray Lamp
LBEP Cigar Lighter
LDAP Underhood Lamp
LDBP Cargo Compartment Lamp
LHDP Headlamp Off Time Delay
LMAS Halogen Headlamps
LNJS Fog Lamps
LSAP Security Alarm
MB2S Bright/Black Front Bumper
MB6S Bright/Black Rear Bumper
MCAS Front Bumper Guards
MDAP Front License Plate Bracket
MFMS Black/Bright Grille
MHBS Bright Windshield Moldings
MMCS Rear Qtr Solid Window Insert
MMGS Belt Moldings
MPAS Bronze Liftgate Applique
MWAS Roof Rack
NAAS Federal Emissions
NBKS EVAP Control System
NFAS 20 Gallon Fuel Tank
NHBP Auxiliary Transmission Oil Cooler
NHMS Speed Control
NMCP Heavy Duty Engine Cooling
PB8 Midnight Blue Metallic Clear Coat
RAFS AM/FM Cassette Radio
RCGP 6 Speakers
RDCP Power Antenna
SBAS Power Rack and Pinion Steering
SCGS Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
SFAS Standard Duty Shock Absorbers
SGAS Rear Shock Absorbers
SUAS Tilt Steering Column
TBB Full Size Spare Tire
TBLS Inside Mounted Spare Tire
TMDS 215/60R17 BSW Summer Perf Tires
TZHP Michelin Brand Tires
WJGS 15" Aluminum Wheels
YAAS Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications
ZGCP Spring - Left Front
ZRWP Spring - Right Rear
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:39 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Niskayuna, NY & Columbus, OH
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L HO
Default Back after 2 months of hard work

Sorry for neglecting this thread, I ended up doing a ton of work this summer though. I decided to stick with the 92 as the big stuff was mostly sorted. Spent a couple whole days stripping the 91, the further I dug the better the 92 looked. Floors pretty much fell through, every part with fluid or grease leaked said fluid or grease, speakers were radioshack paper cones, seatbelts weren't retracting properly and on and on.

I am unbelievably stoked to report that the 92 made a fully loaded 600 mile journey to school. I pushed it hard going around 80 for long stretches. The only scare was a stall as I was turning into the dorm parking lot. I also lost about 1.5 quarts of oil throughout the trip but whatever.

Here is the meat:
Dorman Heavy Duty leafs and shackles
Moog Heavy duty coils
Bilstein 24-xxxx shocks all around
Moog tie rod, drag link, tie rod ends, steering stabilizer
AC Delco track bar
Moog upper and lower control arms
New gas tank and straps
New fuel pump and filler neck, hoses & clamps
Magnaflow cat
Dynomax muffler & tail pipe
Walker front pipe
O2 sensor
Cap, rotor, plugs, wires, coil
Headliner, seats, center console, steering wheel, bumpers, front trim from 91
Wheels, tires, battery and misc hoses, wires, fasteners from 91
Lots of new grade 8 hardware
Front & rear diff fluid, what a mess

Had the dreaded leaf spring bolt issues but other than that the suspension & front end went well. Really liking the way it sits with 235s and ~1.5" of lift. No vibes to speak of even in 4 full time.

I was really rushed with the exhaust and i had a flange bolt strip on me and couldnt get it rethreaded. Front pipe is only attached on 1 side of the flange so pretty bad leak there as you can imagine. The rest of it is held on with coat hangers until I get a chance to install the new hanger/insulator. Still managed about 17.2 mpg on the trip despite the huge pre-O2 leak. Luckily not burning any oil

What's left:
Thermostat/coolant flush
Valve cover gasket
Oil pan gasket
Reassemble & clean interior
Ball joints
Rear u joints
Steering box
Driver's floor
Couple small rust patches
Throttle body cleaning & gasket
Maybe starter

A lot of my attention this summer was on getting a 1967 Buick Riviera barn find running but that fell flat. Ended up selling it @ a $750 profit so that funded a lot of my work on the Jeep

Still a ways to go until I'd call it civil but the girls seem to like it as is

a 24 y/o woody XJ with NY plates doesn't exactly blend in here
Attached Thumbnails Briarwood as a college chariot-img_7392_view.jpg   Briarwood as a college chariot-img_7382.jpg  
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:44 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Niskayuna, NY & Columbus, OH
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L HO

Secured the other side of the flange with a pipe clamp, worked decently until it jumped ship somewhere near Erie
Attached Thumbnails Briarwood as a college chariot-20150811_124413.jpeg   Briarwood as a college chariot-20150820_104959.jpeg  
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:11 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Niskayuna, NY & Columbus, OH
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L HO

Front before/after
Attached Thumbnails Briarwood as a college chariot-20150617_121342.jpeg   Briarwood as a college chariot-20150618_183628.jpeg  
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Youngstown Ohio
Posts: 132
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee

Wow this makes me want a Briarwood man I love the looks of your jeep man I am so jealous!!
Old 09-09-2015, 01:01 PM
Senior Member
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 766
Year: 1989 Limited
Model: Cherokee(XJ)
Engine: I-6 4.0L AMC Renix

I have the same issue with the rear window squirty thing 😂 keeping it that way to mess with friends and spray tailgaters. My '89 has separate keys for the doors and ignition so it's normal for all of them. Just blew my coolant battle yesterday somehow and I didn't notice until the engine temp gauge shot up as I pulled in my garage and it sprayed over my whole engine and now I need to replace the distributor because it's all screwed up now and won't start (fire to be specific). Hopefully it's only the distributor because if it's something else too I'm screwed because I don't have any money left 😂😅
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