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Bright Red 97 XJ Build

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Old 11-16-2014, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default Bright Red 97 XJ Build

Sooooo. Hello all, decided to start my build threat finally. Been stalking on the forum for a few months and I'm just now starting to get active on my Jeep. So the back-story... Got my 1997 Jeep Cherokee Country off Craigslist in March of 2014. Paid 1700 buckaroos for it, the guy was asking 2000 so I say I did okay on that part. Bone stock, absolutely no mods except for a "bigger battery".

Little rust on the rockers and tiny spots by the front fenders, which is pretty lucky for being in the NW suburbs of Illinois. I am the 4th owner and plan to keep it that way for a while. This is my 2nd car and my first Jeep.

Bright Red 97 XJ Build-snapchat-20140513110100.jpg
Here's the first day I got it.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:02 AM   #2
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I got my build sheet a few weeks ago.

Vehicle Description JEEP CHEROKEE SPORT UTILITY 4-DR
Model Year 1997
Body Model XJ J L 74
Color PR4- Flame Red Clear Coat
ISD 05/07/1997

Sales Code Description
*XJ Cloth Low-back Bucket Seats
ADAP Light Group
APAS Monotone Paint
ARXP Country Decor Group
AWHP Power Equipment Group
BAUS 117 Amp Alternator
BCDS 500 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
BGAS Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
CACP Low Back Bucket Seats
CBVP Cloth Door Trim Panel w/Map Pocket
CDBS Reclining Front Seats
CFMS Rear Fold w/Removable Cushion Seat
CGGS Traveling Inboard Seat Belt Buckle
CGWS Next Generation Front Air Bags**
CKAS Carpets - Floor and Cargo Area
CKNS Cargo Compartment Carpet
CKTS Cargo Tie Down Loops
CKXS Plastic Liftgate Trim Panel
CLEP Front & Rear Floor Mats
CSAP Spare Tire Cover
CSRS Passenger Assist Handles
CSSS Lift Gate Assist Handle
CUFS Full Length Floor Console
DGB All 4-Speed Automatic Transmissions
DGSS 4-Speed Automatic AW4 Transmission
DHAP Lock-Up Torque Converter
DHNS Command-Trac Part Time 4WD System
DHSP Floor Mount Automatic Shift Lever
DJHS Dana M30/181MM Front Axle
DMDP 3.55 Rear Axle Ratio
DRAS Corporate 8.25 Rear Axle
EAAC All Engines
ERH 4.0L I6 Power Tech Engine
GAL Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass
GBBS Tinted Windshield Glass
GCBS Front Door Tinted Glass
GEEP Deep Tint Sunscreen Liftgate Glass
GFA Rear Window Defroster
GNAS Rear View Day/Night Mirror
GNCP Sun Visors w/Illum Vanity Mirrors
GTS Power Heated Mirrors, Fold-Away
GVBC All Vehicles W/Power Mirrors
GXMP Remote Keyless Entry
HAAP Air Conditioning
HGDS Deluxe Insulation Group
JAYP Instrument Cluster w/Tach
JBGP Instrument Panel Woodgrain Bezel
JCDS 100 MPH Primary Speedometer
JHAS Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
JHBP Rear Window Wiper/Washer
JJAS Cigar Lighter
JJBS Dual Note Electric Horns
JJJS 12V Auxiliary Power Outlet
JPAP Power Windows
JPBP Power Locks
LAJS Headlamps On Warning Chimes
LBBP Courtesy Lamps
LBCS Glove Box Lamp
LCDP Map/Dome Reading Lamps
LDAP Underhood Lamp
LDBP Cargo Compartment Lamp
LHDP Headlamp Off Time Delay
LMAS Halogen Headlamps
LNJ Fog Lamps
LPSS CHMSL Lamp
MBPP Body Color Front Bumper
MBQP Body Color Rear Bumper w/Step Pads
MCAS Front Bumper Guards
MDAP Front License Plate Bracket
MFKP Body Color Grille
MHAS Black Windshield Moldings
MMCS Rear Qtr Solid Window Insert
MMGS Belt Moldings
MMKS Body Color Drip Trough Molding
MNAS Black Door Handles
MWGP Roof Rack
NAA Federal Emissions
NBKS EVAP Control System
NFAS 20 Gallon Fuel Tank
NHMP Speed Control
PR4 Flame Red Clear Coat
QR4S Flame Red Clear Coat
RAAC All Radio Equipped Vehicles
RAZ AM/FM Cassette Compact Disc Radio
RCDP 4 Speakers
RDDP Fixed Long Mast Antenna
SBAS Power Steering
SCGP Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
SDAS Normal Duty Suspension
SHAS Front Stabilizer Bar
SHCS Rear Stabilizer Bar
SUAP Tilt Steering Column
TBB Full Size Spare Tire
TBLS Inside Mounted Spare Tire
TRVP P225/70R15 Eagle GA OWL AS Tires
TZAP Goodyear Brand Tires
WJ7P 15X7.0 Luxury Aluminum Wheels
WKBP Matching Spare Wheel
WLZC All Aluminum Wheels
XCYS Delete Remote Start System
XJFS Tethered Fuel Filler Cap
YAAS Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:13 AM   #3
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I haven't done too much too it since I got it. I've put a new Kenwood header in and an autotuba subwoofer in the the back. Got a Safari rook rack of CL for 100 bucks, couldn't pass that up, and slapped it up top. Finally some new tires, Kumho Road Venture A/Ts, just in time for winter. Even though they aren't winter tires they are really good in the light snow we got the past couple days, but I guess anything is better than the bald Hankooks it had on it. They're still stock size, 225/75/15. I also have a no-name Amazon 50" LED light bar I have yet to mount and 4 3x3 Amazon Cree LED pods. I plan to make it an expedition type build. It's my DD and being in Glen Ellyn there's quite literally nowhere to try and wheel w/o going 3 hours away.

I plan on getting an RE 3.5" Super Ride lift sometime next year, with 31s or 32s. Going to have someone I know fab a front and rear bumper for me as well.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:22 AM   #4
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Here she is with the brand new tires
Bright Red 97 XJ Build-1415553351957-1-.jpg

And here's how she sits today (11/16/14)
Bright Red 97 XJ Build-jeep.peg.jpg

The 3x3 Cree LED pods. I'm using 2 to replace my factory fog lights
Bright Red 97 XJ Build-1412616230751-1-.jpg

And the 50" no-name Amazon LED bar
Bright Red 97 XJ Build-1414806029371-1-.jpg
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:31 AM   #5
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The only things internally I've done are: replaced the front brakes, alternator, an new battery (an AutoZone Gold something), and 3/4 shocks (PS one just won't budge and I don't want to snap another bolt). waited too long to fix my rear drums (all the breaks were shot when I got it) and the DS one broke while getting my tires... at least it was at the dealership when it happened. I get about 12.5 mpg on a good tank, which is horrendous, and average around 11 mpg any other time.

Around me there are a few other XJs here and there, but almost all of them are stock or on the losing side of a battle with rust. Most of the modified ones I see are at school, or the 2 or 3 I'll see around town.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:24 PM   #6
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Bought a bracket for my 50" light bar from FarmerJohns Offroad to mount on the gutters, rather than welding a piece of steele onto my roof rack.

So far it's taking a while to get here, issues with the post office, supposed to be 2-3 day priority mail but it's been a week and still no show.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:50 PM   #7
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Got my Farmer Johnsons Offroad 50" light bar bracket. pretty heavy duty, but I think something happened during shipping because I got 2 brackets when I only ordered 1. Not complaining though, but I'm not one to take advantage mistakes, emailed the guy to see what was up.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:57 PM   #8
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Also wrapped some battery powered Christmas lights on my roof rack, just to get in the holiday spirit since it's raining and not snowing where I am in IL right now...
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Bright Red 97 XJ Build-img_20141220_210221-1-.jpg   Bright Red 97 XJ Build-snapchat-8386758330285896561-1-.jpg   Bright Red 97 XJ Build-snapchat-7306720489561003292-1-.jpg  
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:06 PM   #9
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Not much to update about. Really need to invest in some recovery points and gear, couple weeks ago during the last snow storm helped a kid who slid his Honda Civic into a deep ditch, I wish I could've pulled him out and saved him the $95 tow bill. But I did what I could.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:19 PM   #10
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Also kind of sorted/planned out my build plans and cost.

-Rubicon Express 3.5 " Super-Ride (full leafs): $584.99 (Amazon)
-RE Adjustable trac bar: $164.99 (Amazon)
-(4) Bilstein 5100s: ~$312 (SeriousOffroad)
-(5) 15x8 3.75BS black D-window steelies: ~$309 (SeriousOffroad)
-(5) 32"x11.5xr15 Kuhmo Road Venture A/T (not certain): ~$725

All in all will be around $2,096, W/O things like SYE and replacement bolts (for when they all break). But that's a **** ton of money for a full time college student.
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Old 01-27-2015, 05:48 AM   #11
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Hey not bad! I know how it is not being able to afford everything you want allllllll at once. Every Jeeper does. But nice work so far!
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyRiverXJ View Post
Hey not bad! I know how it is not being able to afford everything you want allllllll at once. Every Jeeper does. But nice work so far!
Thanks. I just have a little cup in my house that I throw my extra money or tips in to slowly invest.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:03 AM   #13
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Well since it's been getting colder outside I've noticed my mpg and all around performances diminish. Idles alittle higher than normal (around 750-800 rpms) and takes alittle more umph to shift gears while driving. Dumb vent only blows out of defrost so It takes forever to warm up. My mpgs are really suffering, I know an XJ isn't supposed to get 20mpg, but I'm barely scraping 10.

Any thoughts to improve? 186,XXX miles, A/T tires, and a Safari roof rack on top.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:19 PM   #14
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So now that my computer finally decided to work I can finally update with pictures. And by update I mean no progress.

Had a Super Bowl snow storm, close to 18" of snow. My Kumho Road Venture A/Ts preformed flawlessly in the snow, really glad I got these tires.

A little Before and after of the snow.

Bright Red 97 XJ Build-img_20150131_212609.jpg

Bright Red 97 XJ Build-snapchat-5575871960094214148.jpg
About 8am, not even close to the end of the storm.

Bright Red 97 XJ Build-1422801848808.jpg
The one spot I can't clear. going over 30mph and there would be a white out behind me.



Fast forward to a few days ago. Tried to flex on a pile of wood we have just sitting around.
Bright Red 97 XJ Build-img_20150223_143900.jpg
Stock flex is still flex even when there's no flex.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:41 PM   #15
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Sooooo... brakes have been acting soft and spongey and the fluid was a little low so I took the Jeep to Firestone yesterday to check for a leak. Well there was more than a leak, the whole PS rear drum's wheel cylinder is shot and leaking brake fluid all over the drum, the DS one is okay, for now, but will follow suit soon. How much do they want? Roughly $580. How much is my lift? Roughly $580. How much have I saved? Roughly six hundred ****ing dollars.....

Going to shop around to see if I can get a better quote cause this is my DD and I like to be able to stop when I hit the brake.

In other news tomorrow will be the 1 year anniversary of owning my Jeep.
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