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It's been awhile

Old 02-22-2019, 07:45 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arlington, Texas
Posts: 864
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default It's been awhile

Hi all,
I used to be on this site almost daily for a long time, and at one point I was even in the top 5% of posters I think. About three years ago I got a promotion, and it was decided by my boss that I needed a nicer vehicle to haul clients around in, so I picked up a 2011 Grand Cherokee 4X4 Limited, which has been my daily driver ever since. I immediately set about making it NOT look like a suburban housewife grocery-getter, and the XJ just sat in front of the house going almost nowhere for about 2 1/2 years.

At any rate, my wife and I decided about 6 months ago that if I was going to keep the XJ (and she DEFINITELY wanted me to) I needed to drive it once in awhile. So I started the process of getting everything ship shape, starting with cleaning lots of accumulated trees sap off the exterior, and leaf and acorn debris out of the roof gutters and body gaps around all the doors and windows. I also did a tune-up, got the trans rebuilt, and replaced some bushings that had dried out and cracked, among other things. Going through all this got me thinking, so I dug around in our filing cabinet for my records on the XJ and started putting together a list, with material costs if I had receipts or could remember. I did almost all the labor myself except the trans and rear axle. I think at this point I could have picked up a decent used JK for what I've poured into the XJ!

It's a bit of a "sleeper." It doesn't appear to be much different than stock, and isn't some hacksawed-uber-lifted-bubba-rig. But if you go through the list you'll see that almost all the mechanical bits except the front axle have been replaced, rebuilt, and/or upgraded. I've been trying to find a good white drivers front fender to replace the dented one, but I've focused on making sure it was mechanically sound first. I'll probably keep this in the family and pass it on to a niece or nephew down the road. My wife and I have a lot of good memories of our adventures in the XJ, including a drive from Dallas to Hot Springs for our honeymoon, and while teh Grand Cherokee is lot nicer and easier to drive on a daily basis, there's something about sliding in behind the wheel of the XJ every once in awhile and taking it for a jaunt around town. I bought it back in late 2011, and had it road worthy by early 2012, and drove it for about 5 years. It's now more than 20 years old, but like a great pair of your favorite jeans, it just feels good.

Here's "The List"
  • · ATK remanufactured engine (long block – block and head) with roughly 45K miles - $1895
  • Rebuilt AW4 transmission $2100 (10-18)
  • New Core 4x4 upper and low adjustable control arms and bushings ($350)
  • Rebuilt rear axle (C8.25) with all new bearings, seals, and G2 ring and pinion - $950 (10-18)
  • Security with Remote Start and 3 transmitters - $190
  • Cruise control· Power windows, lock, and mirrors
  • 6 month old 235/75-15 Toyo Open Country AT II tires with 90% tread - $700
  • Jeep factory “Ravine” wheels from 2006 Wrangler, including full-size spare - $175
  • 1.25 Inch Rough Country wheel spacers - $140
  • 2.5” lift. Old Man Emu 2” rear springs, HD front coils, JKS coil mounts, IRO adj. shackles - $700
  • New Bilstien 5100 series shocks - $300
  • Rough Country upper rear shock mounts installed to address factory bolt issues - $100 – (10-18)
  • New braided stainless front brake lines - $75
  • New Raybestos front brake calipers – installed 1-16 - $120
  • Power Stop drilled and slotted front rotors installed about a year ago - $130
  • New front wheel/hub assemblies installed 10-15 - $150
  • Spartan differential locker in rear - $325
  • New starter - $160 (11-18)
  • New battery $135 (11-18
  • New ignition switch - $40 – (11-18)
  • New valve cover gasket - $30 (11-18)
  • New oil filter adapter o-ring (11-18)
  • New AC compressor and dryer - $180
  • New water pump - $50
  • New alternator - $110
  • Dodge Neon 4-port injector upgrade - $100
  • New tie rod ends and drag link installed 5-11 - $80
  • New Spicer front axle shaft u-joints - $50 – (9-18)
  • New upper and lower ball joints - $75 – (10-18)
  • New sway bar links and bushings - $40 – (10-18)
  • New polyurethane lower shackle bushings - $25 – (10-18)
  • Walker Quiet flow muffler and new tailpipe installed 1-16 - $125
  • Catalytic converter replaced at engine installation - $90
  • Entire cooling system replaced at engine installation (water pump, fan clutch, radiator) - $140
  • New TYC electric fan – much quieter than stock - $50 – (11-18)
  • Spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor replaced - $45 – (10-18)
  • Castrol full synthetic used since engine replaced, changed every 5000 miles.· Mopar oil filters and Wix air filters always used
  • Royal Purple gear oil run in axles
  • Or-Fab HD hidden winch front bumper with bull bar - $550
  • New Mopar original throttle position sensor – installed 10-15 - $85
  • Crankshaft position sensor and camshaft positions sensors replaced with Mopar parts at engine install - $120
  • New full-size spare tire
  • New headliner
  • Husky Liners front seats, back seats, and rear cargo area - $300
  • Surco roof rack with optional full floor kit - $450
  • (4) Quickfist clamps on roof rack for shovel and axe mounting - $40
  • (5) LED light pods on roof rack (700 lumens each) No holes drilled in roof, so no leaks. - $125
  • Roof rack light wiring harness and all lights have Weatherpak connectors so rack can quickly and easily be removed if need be without cutting wires.
  • (3) Custom laser-etched switches to control off-road lights - $60
  • 15 inch LED light bar on front bumper - $70
  • Custom-made 35watt bi-xenon projector headlights with Morimoto projectors with active shutters, glass-faced housings, and 4300K bulbs. As good as anything on a new BMW. - $400
  • Blaupunkt Toronto 420 stereo with Bluetooth, USB, and SD card reader - $150
  • Blaupunkt 300 watt amplifier mounted under front passenger seat - $100
  • Polk db651 coaxial speakers in front doors - $80
  • Polk db521 speakers in rear sound bar - $65
  • Pioneer 8” subwoofer in custom enclosure that fits flush with rear cargo side bubby space - $90
  • Upgraded gauge cluster from 2001 Wrangler (brighter, easier to read, and more modern looking) - $120
  • Fat Mat installed above headliner to reduce road/wind noise
  • White exterior. Mist Gray interior
  • Factory full overhead console added with trip/fuel/outside air temp computer and extra map lights. All functions work.
  • Fender flares repainted satin black (not chalky looking)
  • Class III receiver hitch with 2”ball

In addition, I have the following items waiting to be installed.
  • 5-90 main battery/ground cable upgrade kit with main power distribution fuse upgrade – new in box - $95
  • Brand new heater core - $45
  • Brand new AC evaporator core - $45
  • Brand new JCR classic sliders - powder-coated black - $465
  • New gray leather cover for steering wheel. - $50
  • New Stock Interiors full carpet kit







Last edited by macgyver35; 02-26-2019 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:50 PM
  #2  
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arlington, Texas
Posts: 864
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
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I do get questions on the WK2 Grand Cherokee. Here's some info (I have this in a list with line breaks on my PC, but it refuses to stay in list form when I post it here):
  • 2011 Grand Cherokee 4x4 Limited - 3.6 Pentastar - Off-road II package
  • Rocky Road Outfitters 2.5 inch lift
  • Rocky Road Outfitter hidden winch plate
  • Smittybilt XCR-8 winch with synthetic line
  • Added Trailhawk skid package
  • Surco roof rack
  • Rotopax 2 gallon gas and water tanks in roof rack
  • Full Maxspider 3D floor liner package
    265-75-17 Toyo Open Country ATII's on Quadratec 17x9 wheels - full-sized spare under rear floor
  • 15 inch LED light bar
  • HID projector headlights
  • PowerStop drilled and slotted rotors and HP pads
  • Mopar rock rails
  • Trailhawk hood decal

Last edited by macgyver35; 02-26-2019 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:28 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA!
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Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L H.O.
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Welcome back.
Both rigs look fantastic, I like the detailed list. Plenty of work went into making sure you would be less likely to have any problems down the road. That's the way I try to take care of my vehicles. Keep up the great work.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:35 PM
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Location: Rochester, NY
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Year: 1997
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
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Very nice fleet! Both rigs look killer. The XJ could become an appreciating asset one day.

How reliable has the WK2 been for you. That's probably the newest car I could stomach buying for myself. The 2011s still had the five speed auto, right?
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:56 PM
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Location: Evart,Mich.
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Year: 2001
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
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Nice looking set of Rides you have there!
I really like the hood treatment you did on the WK2!
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:40 PM
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Year: 1998
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Engine: 4.0
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Originally Posted by Battle View Post
Very nice fleet! Both rigs look killer. The XJ could become an appreciating asset one day.

How reliable has the WK2 been for you. That's probably the newest car I could stomach buying for myself. The 2011s still had the five speed auto, right?
Sorry, been layed out with the flu the last few days.
Yes, the 2011 still has the 5-speed. Everything I read about the 8 speed told me I didn't really want to mess with it. So it was a toss up between a first year model redesign with a 3.6 Pentastar that didn't have any long term reliability info versus a trans that had numerous reported issues. So far it's been pretty good. I've had it three years and put about 45K miles on it. Last month the trans cooler / AC condenser combo unit sprung a leak, and I had to replace it. About 7 hours out in the garage, including having to vacuum down and recharge the AC system.
I had to have one of the cats replaced two years ago. $180 with labor.
The brake booster also failed under a known recall/TSB and was replaced under warranty. Outside of that, no issues, and it is sitting just under 120K miles.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RockinRonnie View Post
Nice looking set of Rides you have there!
I really like the hood treatment you did on the WK2!
That decal is actually a Mopar item that normally went on the Trailhawk models. Bought it online for $130 and installed it with my wife's help. You really need two people to lay it on and get it positioned right without wrinkling or tearing it.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:56 PM
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Year: 1998
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I also forgot to mention that I just installed axle shims to tilt things up so that I could install a brand new Tatton double cardan drive shaft with 1310 Spicer joints ($280). While I was doing that I replaced the trans mount and one of the motor mounts.
I've also got an Azzy transfer case adjustable shift linkage assembly coming this week.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by macgyver35 View Post
I also forgot to mention that I just installed axle shims to tilt things up so that I could install a brand new Tatton double cardan drive shaft with 1310 Spicer joints ($280). While I was doing that I replaced the trans mount and one of the motor mounts.
I've also got an Azzy transfer case adjustable shift linkage assembly coming this week.
Same Mac from NAXJA?
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey17 View Post
Same Mac from NAXJA?
Not that I'm aware of. I occasionally got on NAXJA in years past, but I'm not sure I ever signed up as a member. Maybe I did and just don't remember. At any rate I would not have been a common sight there.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by macgyver35 View Post
Not that I'm aware of. I occasionally got on NAXJA in years past, but I'm not sure I ever signed up as a member. Maybe I did and just don't remember. At any rate I would not have been a common sight there.
haha the president of the club has a similar username so I assumed ! Had to ask!
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