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Cactus_jack's build

Old 11-14-2012, 01:31 PM
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Location: Morehead, KY
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Year: 98
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default Cactus_jack's build

So I've been a member of JeepForum for years but due to a lack in member participation among other things, I've decided to migrate here to Cherokee Forum. (Plus, my paid membership expired, lol)

My XJ has came a long way since I bought it so I figured I'd write a new build thread here as opposed to linking to my build on JeepForum.

98 XJ 4.0L 4WD
AW4, NP231
8.25 Rear, D30 Front

Budget-minded build

So here's the way it sat the day I bought it
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I hated everything about the way it looked. Chrome tint, gold snowflake wheels, busted up front end and just general neglect by the previous owner.

So I got to work and found some steelies at the junkyard
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Scuffed them up
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And painted them
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I also scraped off that ugly chrome tint crap that I hated so much.

So then, after much debate, I decided the fender flares had to go, but I hated the way the body looked with those holes. I knew it was getting lifted eventually with bigger tires so I opted to go ahead and trim.
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Did a cut and fold in the rear by marking my pinch welds as not to cut through them and making cuts every 2 inches (give or take). Then folded those cuts down with a rubber mallet.
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After the cuts were made and folded in, I taped it off and sprayed some bedliner.
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Just did your basic cut to the first body lip on the front fenders and bedlined around those as well. Also installed my eBay "Rage" roof rack.
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Then....after a day of mild wheeling, I had an "uh-oh"...
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To make a long story short...I should have stayed to the left a little more than I did. Ended up sliding down an underwater sand bank into the deeper stuff. But we eventually got it out.
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After about 3 oil changes and 10 trans fluid changes, I got everything back to normal. But what to do about that soured, soaked carpet? Pull it...
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This was all the rust I found, luckily. Sprayed it with some rustoleum and moved on. Plan on herculining it eventually.


Then comes the lift. 3 inch RC coils and 1 inch spacer in the front, S10 bastard pack in the rear. This netted approx. 4 inches.
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Found this set of 5 33x12.50 Super Swampers on Craigslist with the wheels for around $500.
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Problem was, the wheels were 6 lug and wouldn't fit obviously. So what do I do? Found a deal on 4wheelparts for some black D-windows so I snagged five of those and got my tires mounted.
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After much research, I decided that I needed to keep an eye on my trans temp if I planned on running stock gears for a while, so I found a cheapo trans temp gauge on ebay and installed it.
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The poor thing needed a facelift so I gave it what it wanted
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Then, I decided that the front fenders needed more trim so I took care of that with some more cutting and a roll of edge trim to finish the look.
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So this is how she sits as of about 2 weeks ago. Future plans? The things associated with a lift: SYE, regear to at least 4.56. Hope to have those two things done within the next few months. Actually, I'm about to go outside now and get this adjustable track bar installed.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:13 PM
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looks great
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:19 PM
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looks awesome! =D I need some more agressive tires. I love the duratracs on the snow and ice. but still. i'm thinking MTR's. I'd actually rather have some creepy crawlers, or krawlers, or iroks. But for the amount of wheeling i get to do. =/
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:33 PM
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Detours Knucklebone tire carrier installed today

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Super high quality. Couldn't be more happy with it. Mark is a stand up dude and really puts his heart and soul into his products. Can't beat American made Jeep stuff!

Also primered my bumper today, probably shoot it with black and install it this weekend.

Also got some H4 conversion housings from Autopal. Might find some time for those this weekend too
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:27 PM
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Got my H4 housings installed today.

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I obviously needed some new housings as these old sealed beams fell apart when I took them out.

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Scored these Autopal housings on eBay.

I opted not to use the factory harness so I made my own using some 30 amp relays and 10 gauge wire. I used the diagram below courtesy of Slithering_Joe over on the TJ forum.
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The difference is unreal. One of the smartest mods I've done so far. I highly recommend everyone to do it.


Also, got my bumper painted and installed today. Just an old cheapo from eBay to start off with. Going to make some relief cuts and bend it to conform with the curve of the grille.
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Got some mounting brackets on the way so I can tie it into the unibody a little better as it currently mounts at the factory location only. I'll make it a winter weekend project.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:17 AM
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Went and did some goofing off yesterday on some pipeline trails. Nothing special, just some mild wheeling.

Didn't really get any action shots but figured I'd post what I have

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Old 12-24-2012, 08:37 AM
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nice truck!
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:10 PM
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It's been a weekend of wheeling for me. Yesterday went to Big Rock Offroad Park in Maysville and did some mild wheeling. Nothing too crazy. Still haven't gotten any crazy action shots (sorry). I'll make sure to bring a photographer next time!

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Old 01-13-2013, 08:55 PM
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lookin good. how much was the roof rack on ebay with shipping?
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Darthreciffo View Post
lookin good. how much was the roof rack on ebay with shipping?
x2

Looks great! You're making me wish I had bought a black XJ... and the newer body style... haha
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:15 AM
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Thanks guys. It's been a while, but I think the rack was about $120 with shipping. There's a vendor on there that goes by the name of discountramps. Sells a bunch of different ones. I've had this one for a while now and still haven't had any trouble with it.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:41 AM
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Hey I have a question for you I bought windows from the junk yard for my 2 door they have the vents but they have the same tint and I was never sure how to get the tint off so if you could let me know what you did that would be much appreciated
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 4x4 for life View Post
Hey I have a question for you I bought windows from the junk yard for my 2 door they have the vents but they have the same tint and I was never sure how to get the tint off so if you could let me know what you did that would be much appreciated
As unhealthy as it sounds...straight ammonia, diluted to your liking. Put it in a spray bottle and use a high quality scraping tool with a razor. It's the only way. Make sure you get some fresh air every so often...
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:59 AM
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Alright that is unhealthy but it's not terrible I know what all be doing when I get home then I get my vented windows finally by the way great jeep
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:47 AM
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Adjustable track bar with a beefy drop bracket. Also installed some rc discos

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Ground the head off and created my own puller to get these splined sway bar link bolts out
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Also, fixed my "factory standard" oil leak today. Such a pain but glad I won't be seeing an oil puddle every morning
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