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The LBP XJ

Old 06-27-2018, 01:37 AM
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Model: Cherokee(XJ)
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Default The LBP XJ

I figured I'd post this up here because there has been one (1) person who has asked about it. It's just a copypasta so if I missed something that's why... Plus I lost some of the original images in the great Photosuckit incident.

It's a 1990ish XJ.

The day I bought it:



For $100 I couldn't say no. It didn't run, but as it turned out it was just the ground cable off the battery. I should have sold it right there, pocketed the couple hundred in profit I could have made, and moved on. But nooooooooo.

It honestly was terrible. Rust, disgusting interior, hack repairs...





The piece of aluminum instead of a back window was a nice touch.

Disgusting.



Steering column was all torn up because of a NSS issue and really bad troubleshooting. Yeah.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:39 AM
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Some basic trimming was going to be required to fit the tires I wanted, so off I went.


Before:




Roughly how big and where the opening needs to be:




Rear before:




Cutting the rear initially:




The lines were traced out using stock fenders and some measuring to make both sides the same, I wanted to preserve the boxy nature of the wheelwell as it is what gives the XJ a lot of its character.


I also got these black doors from a parts Jeep that the PO had:




I made quick hinges for them more because I like to be able to take them on and off quickly to access areas for working on the sheetmetal and checking clearances.




The cut edges were rolled back, and the inner fender was sectioned and the process of stretching it to the new shape started:





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Old 06-27-2018, 01:40 AM
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Here is the before cutting picture, with just the flare off, I missed it earlier:



Other side getting cut and sectioned:



The fill neck complicates it a bit, but it was all massaged to fit.



Edges welded up:





More work was going to be needed on the front of the wheelwells, and a shock tower was going in the middle. But the rough opening was made.

I then measured approximately for the shocks and the bumpstops at this point. I added 1.5" of bumpstop to the rear in the end, I believe, as that wound up being a good compromise which still allowed for reasonable uptravel.

There was also a sweet access panel pop riveted (with 3 rivets) over where the fill hoses meet the tank. The hole was cut right into the uniframe rail.



I patched it and made a nice rounded access hole with a rolled edge, and later put a cover over it.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:42 AM
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The other front outer fender was cut too, again this was the rough shape. Obviously I'm going forwards with the front axle, and I am also going back with the rear.




There was some horrible stuff going on with the floor. This was the typical area above the exhaust were moisture gets trapped:







A GM14 bolt or two was sourced, and some hacking was done:




That left the casting paper thin, and I decided to do the shave in a somewhat unconventional way:



Cover ring getting modified, basically I welded in the filler piece to be as close to the ring gear as possible:



I did it this way so the two remaining lower bolt holes (the lowest is gone completely) wouldn't have to be reproduced in the joint of the original casting of the center section where it met the filler plate. I would NOT do it like this again in the future and would straight up shave the ring gear and go farther with the entire shave and just accept that the holes might have to be moved to allow them to be drilled in an ideal position.

Shave and cover welded up:



Disk brakes were put on the axle, typical K20 front junk. Perches were welded on at 42" and paint was applied with a hose.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:44 AM
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I am sorry that so many of these images are out of focus, hazy, poorly lit, etc, I didn't realize how bad it was. I also don't know if I uploaded the ones I used originally or not, it's very confusing. There may have been better ones taken with my real camera, but they're likely gone since I wipe the card for it regularly.

The gas tank didn't clear the diff cover with the axle shoved back, and it had to come out anyways (for repairing the floor).




Some basic suggestions of how to modify the locating points for the tank were penned in place:




They were cut open:




And squished and welded:




The forward mounts were then cleaned and modded with new ones being bent up out of 16ga sheetmetal:






The tank then cleared:



The seams did have to be modded to get it back far enough:



With the tank moved back like that it is very vulnerable and a skid/bumper/etc is an absolute must to protect it. It's basically touching the rear valence panel (or whatever you want to call it) so in an accident the crumple zone would be the gas tank!
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Old 06-27-2018, 01:45 AM
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At this point I'd built a really ugly rat rod looking Cherokee thing:



A Chinesium stainless header was bought:



It really didn't fit how I wanted.



Nor did it clear the intake manifold for that matter.

So I cut the flange off and put a V-band flange on it at a different angle.





Then made a 2.5" downpipe with a flex coupling in it.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:46 AM
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Some sweet mods were done to the hatch so it could be opened from the inside. And a gate handle was added to aid closing it from the inside.



Some shock towers were added to the missing section in the wheel tubs.







Metal was bent up to close them in.



Everything was painted, shocks installed.





Including the interior.

And I started to paint around the exterior as repairs were completed.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:48 AM
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Some more big holes in the floor had to be patched, along with a big cover for the NP205.



Rockers were cut out, and 6x2 HSS welded in.





Parts of the unibody were plated, and the position of the track bar mount was worked out to clear the diff.





Inner fenders in the front were cut out.





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Old 06-27-2018, 01:49 AM
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The inner fender pinch seam was trimmed slightly, and then a lot of hammer work was done to move the metal back without having to put relief cuts in it.





And the inner fenders were closed back in.





The battery was relocated and the wiring harness redone to run around the back of the engine, as there was no space for either with the stretched inner fenders.



An upper link mount was cut through the passenger floor and braced on the top and bottom.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:51 AM
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The engine was refit with a HO intake, and a V8 WJ power steering pump, the overflow bottle, washer reservoir, brake boost and master, etc were all manged to be packed in there.





I hate that cone filter and will get rid of it once the summer (dust) comes around.



A Ford HP D60 was built up:





I went with a Spartan because they had good reviews:





Installed with the hydro assist tucked in behind its own skid:









A Wagoneer pitman arm was used, due to needing more up travel for the steering (and to get the frame side of the panhard as high as possible), and the box was drilled/tapped.





It could then actually sit properly on it's own tires and axles.





The knuckles on the D60 had to be modified to allow the tie rod to be run on the top side of the steering arms, and yet still clear the 17" Dodge wheels. A DOM sleeve was welded in with a tapered insert.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:53 AM
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A ring gear was broken out of a NP241:



There is a tool to remove them, I don't have it, it was a little violent doing it that way but it worked well enough.

It was pressed into the Northwest Fab Ecobox.





A Ford NP205 was cleaned up to use with the Ecobox.



Painted it, turned out to be a waste of time.



Because I could not make it clear the seat with the big mount on it. These are hollow, you can just grind it down, you have to cut them off and cap the area.





Capped and mated to the Ecobox.



Shifters took a long time. I did not want cables.



Much time was spent figuring out how to make a pivot bracket for the NP205 shifter.



The end result put the triple sticks in a nice position where they did not interfere with the gearshift, and the seats and center console still fit.



A rear mount was put on the NP205, as hanging the weight of the Ecobox and NP205 (combined is 220lbs or so) off the tailhousing of the AW4 is not recommended.


Last edited by 2drx4; 06-27-2018 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 06-27-2018, 01:59 AM
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Since I got a couple of the big bits bolted in the Gladiator, and the Comanche has been behaving (touch wood, rub the boar's nose, and toss some salt), I figured I'd pull this thing back in and actually finish the last couple things.



That's it, since everyone has probably forgotten what it looks like, and I deleted my PB account and possibly have lost most of the images from the build. **** you very much PB.

Anyways, the trans crossmember and skidplate was one of the big things left. So, smashing away on it.





I have a lot of time into it, fairly happy so far, kinda. I guess. Am I ever happy?

And I made nut strips for the tcase crossmember... But didn't take a picture of what I did with them for some reason.


Slow process, getting the tcase mount and skid built up.





Test fitting it with the trans crossmember and skid in:



Black paint helps everything:



But I forgot to paint the frame side last night... So waiting on it to dry up enough to do another coat, then I can actually somewhat permanently put the tcase mount in, and then pull the trans one out and paint it.

Part of what I wanted with this is to be able to pull either mount and have the other one keep the driveline in place. Thus far it looks like it works as planned. This way the entire trans and tcase skid can be pulled off for fluid changes or getting at stuff without needing the support the driveline with a jack/stand/etc.
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Old 06-27-2018, 02:00 AM
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Painting the other pieces...



I hate when there's this much **** in my shop. Makes it hard to work.

Junk all painted and bolted on.

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Old 06-27-2018, 02:02 AM
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So, needed a rear bumper... Because there isn't one, and you couldn't attach a stock one even.



Weld 'er up.





I think the D-ring tabs were from TMR or Ruffstuff, the hitch is a PA special (comes painted even though it's a weld on, f-ing PA rofl), the bolts were just threaded into some nuts welded inside which are for later use (integration with the gas tank skid).

Done for now.

\

Youtube if you want to waste time:

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Old 06-27-2018, 02:03 AM
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I reused the brackets from the hitch, made a new crossmember between them, and made a bracket to tie that to the bumper.


In retrospect I should have saved the hitch for if I ever needed one, or sold it, and just made the brackets from scratch since they didn't save me any time or effort.


Sleeves in that crossmember:




Fitting up the side pieces. I put a cutout in it for the exhaust, not sold that was the best solution and may wiggle the exhaust over and plate that area in too....



Finished up



Clearance isn't bad for being a stock tank that's moved back.

Video here if you want to watch:
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