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A College Kid's 96 Classic

Old 07-02-2011, 02:37 PM
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Default A College Kid's 96 Classic

Bought this XJ right after I turned 16 (August 08) with 120k on it, for $1,800, and 2WD. Here's some pictures (taken May 2011, but in the exact same condition minus 2 new tires on the front)





Nearly three years later, I'm finally deciding to put some work into it. The jeep has a strong engine and trans, so I just recently decided I'm going to keep it through college, fixing bits and pieces along the way. In 3 years, the only trouble i've had is a bad water pump. $30 and 3 hours later, brand new!

So, now that i'm keeping the XJ, time to start fixing her (yes her, still no name though) up.

First, junkyard fender. $60



Next, a big tree, big f'in chains, and about 3,500 RPM in reverse. BAM, a like-new bumper.


Two saturdays, and 15-16 hours later, 60% of the car is completely sanded and primed (well, the first stage/coat at least)



Since i'm 19, this is my daily driver. I'm having to take this project piece by piece to keep getting where I need to go.

Near-future to do list:

1. Finish sanding and priming rear quarters, roof, hatch, and install new bumper, which I paid $80 brand new.
2. Another touchup sanding process all over
3. Wetsand
4. Prime a 2nd coat with airless sprayer, no rattle cans this time.
5. Final paint.

I assume this will all be done by July. Once I get the body right, comes the lift and tires.

I'll continue updating this as I have plenty of interior work to do along the way! Thanks for stopping by.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:59 PM
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Finally got a chance to work on it some! The past few weeks have been brutal as I don't have a garage in the place where I can work on my car. The whole process has been slowed down, and it doesn't look like i'll be getting the suspension work done before heading back up to college. Got the rear quarters and hatch done today, as well as put on a new bumper. The previous owner left one of my rear bumper ends FUBAR. Not to mention the little plastic strip seal that goes on top of the rear bumper is bent, broken, and ripped.







I'm not ecstatic about the way the rear end looks right now, with the tear in the seal, and how it's not perfectly flush with the bumper, but whatever.

EDIT: Also, I didn't post pictures from when I did the roof 2 weeks ago. Had that thing stripped down to bare metal the entire way around before putting primer on it. The leftover double-sided tape from front-to-back strips didn't want to come off easy...

EDIT2: Me and my dad got to talking today about what to do about the fender flares. and the trim area. The flares got kinda scuffed up with all of the sanding, and since they're plastic, we don't know if we'll be able to get it perfectly right again. Thinking about painting the trim area and flares with rhinoliner, and the rest with glossy black. I'm just worried how the two different blacks may look tacky...never seen that combo before. If anyone has pics, post em up please!

Last edited by chadh92; 07-23-2011 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:25 PM
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Lookin great man.
What color are you painting it and how big a lift? I have a 2wd as well and would love to lift it!
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:05 PM
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I thought about matte/satin black, but I think i'm just gonna do a factory gloss black. After seeing the car in full primer and not having a reflection or a nice clean looking finish, I don't think i'd be as happy with matte/satin black. I realize it's only primer, but it just looks unfinished without a gloss finish.

I'm heading back to school on the 15th, and my apartment complex wouldn't be happy with my tearing apart my suspension in their parking lot, so i'm gonna have to hold out on the lift until I can find a 4 or 5 day weekend to come home and get it done. I've decided on a Rough Country 3" lift (springs shocks and AAL), with 31x10.50s. Tires i'm still undecided on though! I love the look of the Cherokee, but have no use for a 4x4. And stock Cherokees look a little too station wagony for me.

Funny story, I was real close to buying a classic that looked just like yours, minus the bad side!
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by chadh92 View Post
I thought about matte/satin black, but I think i'm just gonna do a factory gloss black. After seeing the car in full primer and not having a reflection or a nice clean looking finish, I don't think i'd be as happy with matte/satin black. I realize it's only primer, but it just looks unfinished without a gloss finish.

I'm heading back to school on the 15th, and my apartment complex wouldn't be happy with my tearing apart my suspension in their parking lot, so i'm gonna have to hold out on the lift until I can find a 4 or 5 day weekend to come home and get it done. I've decided on a Rough Country 3" lift (springs shocks and AAL), with 31x10.50s. Tires i'm still undecided on though! I love the look of the Cherokee, but have no use for a 4x4. And stock Cherokees look a little too station wagony for me.

Funny story, I was real close to buying a classic that looked just like yours, minus the bad side!
I think i'm repainting mine the gloss black minus the gold accents, pinstripes, etc. I'm also going to paint the wheels the color of yours. My brother has a wrangler with those wheels and refuses to sell them to me
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:43 PM
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I've had the plan to paint the wheels matte black eventually, but I can't find ANY pictures on the internet of these wheels painted any other color. I swear, it seems like i've only seen one or two other jeeps PERIOD with these wheels on em. I can't believe it haha. But eventually i'll be getting some black cragar soft 8s!
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by chadh92 View Post
I've had the plan to paint the wheels matte black eventually, but I can't find ANY pictures on the internet of these wheels painted any other color. I swear, it seems like i've only seen one or two other jeeps PERIOD with these wheels on em. I can't believe it haha. But eventually i'll be getting some black cragar soft 8s!
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:24 PM
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Ordered the lift today since I got a sweet deal on it. $266 shipped!
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:58 PM
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What school you going to? Jeep looks like its coming along good.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:59 PM
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Jeeps coming out nice
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by adamk View Post
What school you going to? Jeep looks like its coming along good.
Starting my sophomore year at Western Carolina. My home is just a mile north of UNCC though.

And thanks guys!
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:03 PM
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Gotcha. Well you'll be gone before I move back down there. If you ever come home on the weekends, I'm usually always around during the school year.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:06 PM
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Cool man i'll hit you up sometime if i'm back and looking for someone to wheel with. I've got about 2.5 weeks to make sure I finish at least the paint before I go back up to school. Still working 3-4 10 hour days per week, so it's crunch time for sure. Hoping i'll have time to throw the lift on without any big issues.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:15 PM
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keep up the work, I built my 96 classic in highschool
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by motox168 View Post
keep up the work, I built my 96 classic in highschool
For some reason I never felt inclined to work on it while in high school..when I had all the time in the world. Now my time is so limited, I struggle to find time TO work on it!
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