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Gunmetal 2 Door XJ Build

Old 08-04-2014, 07:59 PM
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Default Gunmetal 2 Door XJ Build

Hello everyone. I've been a member for quite a while but this will be the first XJ I have worked on that I actually own. I built or should I say rebuilt my nephews XJ. He liked to mistreat it and run it into things. I also helped a friend that had issues come up on his already built XJ that he bought. All the while learning a great deal from all the generous helpful folks on this forum. While looking for a Cherokee to call my own, I came across a deal on a CJ7 that I couldn't turn down so that delayed me getting an XJ for a while. That became a nice little build that I was able to share with my Dad. If you are interested, you can see it here:http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/tu...oject-1136836/

Anyways I have always liked XJs and have been looking for a long time being picky. Finally I came across one I felt was a good deal and starting point. A one owner 1997 Gunmetal 2dr. Beside it being a one owner vehicle, the other things that attracted me were that it had been run on synthetic since new, had regular maintenance, factory towing package with trans cooler, great original paint, manual windows, cruise control and was completely stock. I almost forgot to mention. It runs strong, shifts great and A/C works! Picked it up for $800.

That being said, it had been demoted from main vehicle to Home Depot and yard hauler for the last few years so there are some cosmetic issues that do need attention. Without further delay...on to the pictures. Before I brought it home.
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Last edited by pittman71; 11-13-2014 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:08 PM
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And now the previously mentioned cosmetic issues. Needs a new 2 door armrest/pull. If anyone knows where I can get one let me know. No 97+ 2 doors in my local junkyard.
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A new headliner...board and all.
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Fix this rigged head unit install.
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Replace broken plastic above the license plate
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Last edited by pittman71; 09-26-2014 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:27 PM
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Years ago I had a friend that would take me wheeling at a local spot where you would see every type of 4wd from mild to wild and it amazed me that his stock XJ with slightly oversized tires would do everything and sometimes more than the high dollar rigs could. That is part of what started my admiration of the XJ.

That being said, I'm toying with the LCOG idea or maybe just a small lift and 31's. This will be a very low budget build. Will get most of the parts at the junkyard or second hand. I've got some ideas, but suggestions and constructive input are welcomed.

Last edited by pittman71; 09-26-2014 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:25 AM
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That's a great starting point and it sounds like you've got a really good plan! Best colour too
Good luck with it, may all your bolts turn first time!
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:05 AM
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ah, brings back memories of my pearl blue 2 door:

When purchased:
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When Sold:
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Morat View Post
That's a great starting point and it sounds like you've got a really good plan! Best colour too
Good luck with it, may all your bolts turn first time!
Thanks for the well wishes. Thankfully it has zero rust so hopefully I wont have a problem with the bolts and nuts. Ran into a bit of that with my CJ since it was from Tennessee where they get snow and use salt on the roads. I've been following your build. Reminds me of a show I like to watch called Wheeler Dealers. They sometimes retrofit some of the vehicles with alternative fuel systems.

I am somewhat undecided with what direction I will take with mine, but need to decide soon. Open to suggestions or input that might make it easier to decide.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Xj88 View Post
ah, brings back memories of my pearl blue 2 door:

When purchased:


When Sold:
I followed that nice although short build. as well as some of your previous ones. You have alot of experience with XJs and Jeeps in general so feel free to chime in with input or advice.

Last edited by pittman71; 08-05-2014 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:42 PM
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I picked these up off Craigslist the same say I got the Jeep. Got them for $130. The tires are not my preference as far as tread pattern goes, but they have a decent amount of tread and are 31x10.50x15's. They should do until I find some tires I like. Not sure if they will fit without a lift though and I'm not ready to trim and lose the fender flares just yet. If I could fit them without a lift, I wouldn't be taking it off road until I figure out what direction I will go for clearance. What do you guys think?
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Last edited by pittman71; 11-13-2014 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:22 PM
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Picked these up off CL today for $50. 2001 S10 Leaf springs. I thought the price was a little much but justified it since I didn't have to remove them. I thought there would be more leafs in the spring pack but spotted and older S10 and they looked the same.
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Now I need to figure out what front coils to get, as well as front LCAs. I've read that the rear LCAs from a WJ can be used in the front of an XJ, but I'm wondering if they will be too long for a smaller lift. Anyone know?

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Old 08-06-2014, 01:36 PM
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I believe they are too long. Got a friend of mine running them. I'll shoot him a text and ask what issues he's had and then report back to ya
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:39 PM
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He said hes got no problems so go for it.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:46 PM
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Usually when running a bastard pack I believe folks use the S10 main and just add XJ leafs as needed for height/spring rate.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by adamk View Post
I believe they are too long. Got a friend of mine running them. I'll shoot him a text and ask what issues he's had and then report back to ya
Originally Posted by adamk View Post
He said hes got no problems so go for it.
Thanks for looking into it. I'm enjoying your build by the way. So the WJ LCAs dont push his front axle too far forward?

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Old 08-06-2014, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Xj88 View Post
Usually when running a bastard pack I believe folks use the S10 main and just add XJ leafs as needed for height/spring rate.
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I've read a bunch of different threads and it seems that there is a variety of ways to do it. The most common I have seen is using just the XJ main above the the S10 spring pack and just cutting they eyes off of the S10 main. Somewhat confused as to which way to go. I guess I'll just have to experiment.

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Old 08-07-2014, 05:35 AM
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He said they are 2" longer than stock so it stretches it just a tad. When we built the bastard pack on my buddies, we left the XJ main, cut the eyes off the S10 main, XJ 2nd, S10 second, and then the rest of the XJ leafs if I remember right. That netted about 3.5" of lift.
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