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Frankenstein's monster 1998 Xj sport

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Frankenstein's monster 1998 Xj sport

Old 01-27-2019, 07:13 PM
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Default Frankenstein's monster 1998 Xj sport

I had wanted a Jeep for a while. I just couldn't understand why the wrangler's were so expensive. I caught the offroad bug in my Ford Sport Trac. I found out tgat although I could keep up in most instances to mildly modded Jeeps. I would have a much garder road ahead of me in an IFS truck. For the cost of a SAS. I could buy a solid axle vehicle. I started looking for a cheaper woods rig. In my area, they didnt stick around long . I had several times where I would confirm a time with a seller and 10 minutes later, I would find out they sold the rig.
Meanwhile, I had volunteered to do a trail clean up for a local club. There I met a huy with a very nicely done XJ. We got to talking and through seeing what it could do and how nice they ciuld look. I was sold. I wanted an XJ. I really hit craigslist and marketplace hard. After almost 3 months of having rigs sold before I could get there. I had one pop up on my facebook marketplace while on lunch. It was located only a few miles away. Not rusted , running, and listed for $1100. The boss okay'ed me to leave a little early. The buyer said thay since I was the first to message him, that I get first dibsdibs.
I got down there and it looked good. It started up and ran and drove. The seller said that he needed to change out the ball joints, and an O2 sensor. I was on the fence. The buyer dropped the price to $950. I said sure. Here is what was posted

My photo of my initial visit

The seller had just rhinolined the exterior




Seller claimed it came with
Rough Country 3" lift
l.e.d fogs.
BF Goodrich AT's 31"

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Old 01-27-2019, 07:36 PM
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I picked it up 3 days later the day after a significant snow storm. The guy at the rental place showed up late because he didnt think I would show. I wanted the Jeep. I was determined.

I have a 40 mile commute and the closer to work I got. The less snow there was. The plan was to go and pick the Jeep up at lunch .
I drove it onto the trailer. Locked it down and took it back to work. I found when I got to work I had sime Gremlins. I turned on the blinkers and the rear wiper would go on. The head lights would not go off. (Later realized that I have the delayed headlight feature which shuts it off 2 mins after you turn off the vehicle).

The trip home was terrifying. The closer to home I got ,the worse the conditions got. My truck was sliding all over, but slowly and steady I got it home.


Old and new offroading rigs

I had to wait 2 weeks to get the rig in the garage. I was in the process of finishing up a waterpump job on a Saab 9-3. It is awful. I highly dont reccomend it.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:01 PM
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Finally started to tear into this thing. I wanted to start simple and work up to the bigger stuff. The goal was a budget build and try and repair on the cheap. First and foremost the most important thing and absolutely the first thing you should do if you own a Jeep. Clean, and upgrade your grounds. It solved so many of the electrical issues I was having. It only took an hour, but the rig was running smoother. One of the main reasons was I was missing the firewall ground.

Firewall ground strap completely rotted through


Clean those grounds
Also decided to get on the creeper and check out the undercarriage.
I found that the down stream O2 sensor had been ripped out. I also found out that the rockers had been replaced and the under side was completely rotted out and gone. The floors are still solid. So the underside of the rockers weren't very concerning. Also found that one of the shocks were dented and not allowing full travel. A few of the shocks were leaking as well.

Torned O2 sensor

Rusted evap lines

Dented shock

Rotted underside of rockers

Rusted evap line
The evap stuff was easy. Mostly rubber hose and generic steel line. I bent the line to mimic the factory lines.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:25 PM
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Finished the evap lines.



Time to tackle the fun stuff. The ball joints needed to be done. The first one took the longest. I was trying to press it out the wrong direction. Not to mention, if you are trying to do this with a generic kit. You are going to struggle. I had the 72 piece kit and it still was a challenge. Not too long ago Matt from Bleepinjeep put out a video about an OTC adaptor for the ball joint press. It seems like it might be worth the investment. Even if you dont own the kit and rent one like I do. I might go and pick one up.



With the ball joints completed. I turned some focus on some interior issues. A driver's side front window wouldnt work and the lock buttons on the door were not working as well.
Found the window regulator cable had snapped and the connecting points for the lock mechinism on the back of the panel door handle had broken off. New regulator and some plastic welding, both are functioning now.



You can melt the tabs on the back with a soldiering iron. Remove the handle. Then soldier it back in


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Old 01-28-2019, 08:19 PM
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More interior work.
Along side with my non working driver's side front window regulator. The rest of the windows would not roll down with the main switch on the drivers side. So I followed a how to and re solderied the connections. It worked great.




I decided to figure out why the L.E.D. pods were not working. I wanted to have them hooked up to the factory switch. The factory fogs were completely rusted and corroded on the inside . The L.E.D. pods were a dud. Only one worked. Sigh



Factory foglight is trashed
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:22 PM
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New longer line vs. the older shorter one.



The previous owner cut out all the factory connections for the radio. I sourced a factory harness from a junkyard and soldiered it in



All cleaned up



I also sourced a new dash trim piece. The previous owner had tried to do a double din install and butchered it horribly.


This is the crap install that the PO had in the Jeep


Needed a celebritory beer for a job well done.
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