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Marine Corps Gold

Old 04-11-2010, 09:21 PM
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Location: Greensboro, NC
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Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L HO 242
Post Marine Corps Gold

So I decided to start a thread about my jeep build. Unfortunately as of now I don't have a camera to start posting pics yet but will have one shortly. To bring you all up to speed on my Jeep. 99 XJ sport 4.0L with NP-242 Trans painted Pimp Gold, not my choice but ill make do.

Work done so far since purchase:

  • New BFG Long trail 30x9.5 tires, stock were kumho and badly worn
  • K&N Air intake
  • New spark plugs, wires and distributor cap
  • New wipers
  • 4 KC 130w Daylights with wires run under headliner down seat belt pillar under interior trimming so no wires are visible.
  • Just changed the oil and got the trans serviced
  • Diff fluids checked and changed

What I inherited due to a very unhonorable seller and a rushed father at an auto lot while I was away at school:

  • Front shocks that are almost rusted through
  • 2 steering stabilizers (don't know why he had two on the jeep)
  • Rear shocks that are air filled and didn't bother to tell me they were on there or needed air
  • A bad budget lift with add a leaf and shackles and front coil spacers
  • Sway bar links whose buffers are completely dried out and falling off
  • Coil Spring bump stops missing
  • A leaky transfer case
  • Rusted out Catalytic converter and muffler and exhaust piping
  • Left rear brake drum needs to be rebuilt

What I want to do in the next few weeks/months. Any and all suggestions and input would be great as I am new to all this.

  • Rough Country 4.5in lift with new leafs, lower arms and xfer case drop (not too big)
  • 31 BFG All terrain maybe 32 if I can get them in without cutting fenders (im no good with that yet)
  • New adjustable track bar
  • New quick disco sway bar links
  • fix the transfer case leak
  • New muffler, cat converter, and piping
  • neoprene seats as I am always getting into the car wet.
  • New headlights as mine are "fogged" over
  • bed line the wheel wells and underbody
  • Remove door paneling and clean window switch contacts only the driver side works for all 4 windows and none of the others work.
  • Replace the front bumper with something more substantial. I have seen a lot of the work you guys have done on here and it looks awesome (anyone selling their work?)
  • New HO alternator or maybe if someone can tell me a compatible 170+ alt to pull from a JY. I can do that.
  • Maybe Chip it. IDK if it is worth it.

And my newest problem....NSS switch cleaning. Hopefully that will fix the check engine light and po705 Diagnostic. I was driving to my beach house in 4x4 corolla obx and drove through some puddles that were pretty deep and nasty just to get the house ready for rental season. Driving back dropping from OD to 3rd and back and forth for 2 hours. Not the best thing to do I know, but had to get back to base for accountability.

Please input any ideas

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Old 04-11-2010, 09:44 PM
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takes some minor mod but a 96- 99 v8 grand cherokee is 136amp. ($35 at my junkyard) if that isnt sufficent your local alt shop could respin it up to 160amp and would still be consideribley cheaper than buying a huge one.

my build page shows minor mods required to make alt fit
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:54 PM
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Thanks for the heads up. What kind of minor mod? cutting? resizing? I will try to find an Alt shop around see what they say.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:05 PM
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just grinding the mount it goes in and pressing a spacer over .25 in. real easy stuff considering you have to take the bracket off to change the alt any way. Pics of what you need to grind are in my build page ---------v
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:56 PM
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So I have been thinking about a 4.5in RC lift. I have a NP242 transfer case and auto tranny, 8.25"rear and have been told this is the worst set up. Anyone know where I can buy a SYE online for the lift so I can determine if this is a route I want to take?
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:32 PM
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Wow long time since I have updated my build. I was able to get a new exhaust in as well before I PCS'd. It is nothing special but the old one had completely rusted through. I also had a budget set back. Dang drum brake adjustment screw came loose during a highway drive and chewed up my entire right rear drum, including ABS sensor and axle teeth, before I could slow down and pull off the highway to inspect. I then limped home another 15 miles with spongy brakes.

I was able to move the ABS back into place as it was largely undamaged just knocked out of position. I then rebuilt the brake top to bottom including new hardware, new pads and new drum. I had to complete my move and now I have gotten my lift kit in from rough country.

I just got my RC 4.5 in lift in last week and have been tooling away at putting it in. I got out the shocks, coil springs and lower control arms. I am struggling with the upper control arm upper bolts. There is no F*#$%^ room to hammer them out. Now any advice? I also just installed a helix power tower throttle body spacer. Haven't gotten to test it since I did it when I was in down time and tired of wrenching. Haven't had too many problems but since this is my first time lifting an XJ I am a little unexperienced but it has proven to be fun.

Until I get back out there I will add more pics
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:23 PM
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blue wrench !!= Torch... Post up pics man I don't see any here on this thread..
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:03 AM
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Marine Corps Gold-img00011-20100720-1104.jpg

Marine Corps Gold-img00010-20100720-1103.jpg

I am having problems trying to insert pictures. I am not very good with the whole thing. Here are two of the pictures though. I had 0 problems on the rear so I was happy with that. Thanks for the advice about torching it. I have it all finished, with the exception of bleeding the brake lines and greasing the joints. I will do that today and then get a before and after picture up for everyone. I know I dont have enough pics. working on it and there are supposed to be two in this post. Hopefully they work otherwise tell me what im doing wrong with posting pics. Then it is off to get an alignment.

Here is what I was dealing with once I got to work on the lift. The front shocks would not and still have not expanded. They have been sitting in my driveway for a week now and are as compressed as they were when I compressed them to remove them. The front was literally riding on coils. The old trackbar was fine, but not up to the challenge of 4.5" lift. plus it came with the kit. The left leaf spring literally had a broken leaf. The rear shocks were air but had been punctured somehow and wouldn't hold air. I also removed the rear sway bar.

Last edited by USMCJeeper; 07-22-2010 at 06:34 PM. Reason: added last paragraph
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:53 PM
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Marine Corps Gold-img00013-20100722-1613.jpg

Finished the lift. Rear went on without problems, no broken bolts, no spring issues, exact the left leaf was literally broken when I took it off, definitely not normal. The only problem now is the front left brake bleeder valve won't open to bleed. I have no brakes. This is a huge problem. That and when I tried to start it nothing happened.

The battery was completely dead from not running. There were no lights left on but the battery post was a bad connection and wouldn't take a charge. Tried for an hour. Nothing. So I had to buy a new battery. I think the one that came out was from the jeep from the factory. I mean I have had it for 5 yrs and no new battery. So I guess it was time for an upgrade.

Then two of the throttle body bolts came loose because I added a throttle body spacer, and air was getting in and the engine wouldn't idle. Cleaned it off and re-bolted and now it works like a champ...... A champ with no brakes. So it is a mile and a half to the shop for an alignment. Hopefully it makes it there no prob. gonna do it later tonight when no traffic. Plus there is only one part downhill so hopefully with hazard lights and slow speed ill make it there in one piece.

So the next thing I need are some a-bars and a front bumper. I like the look of olympic products anyone selling designs like those? Oh yeah and to put in my new front exhaust pipe since somehow the old has a huge dent in it. And new headers and better valve cover and winch.

Last edited by USMCJeeper; 07-22-2010 at 05:49 PM. Reason: added the last paragraph
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:57 PM
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Here is a before shot.Name:  Before jeep.jpg
Views: 696
Size:  85.3 KB

The pic in the previous post is after. The owner had a 2 inch BB so now I have 24 inches from ground to center frame. NOT BAD. I netted 3 inches so my 4.5 lift was really 5"

Go me. I know RC lifts are rough but anything is better than no suspension because thats what it was.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:01 PM
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Also swapped out the crappy headlights for better projector headlights, switched to clear signal markers and need to fix the left hi beam as I got the wires backwards and now the left hi beam doesn't come on. Easy fix just have to do it.

If anyone has detailed plans on building a roof rack without welding please send them my way. I would be grateful. I don't have any welding gear but want a RR without paying 400 for one. Also the right front speaker is gone so if anyone is selling a pair of front aftermarket speakers ill be happy to buy them off your hands.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:04 PM
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New headlights. Marine Corps Gold-img00014-20100722-2053.jpg

Marine Corps Gold-img00015-20100722-2054.jpg
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:08 PM
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I have to say nice jeep my man. Hey how do you like the throttle body spacer? Is it any good?
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:45 AM
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Looking forward to more of this build bro. I walked out of class one day and saw an XJ this color, I was super jealous.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:56 AM
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Hey thanks. I actually uninstalled the throttel body spacer temporarily because I was getting bad vibes due to my t-case drop kit. I will reinstall after my sye and drive shaft. Thanks for the Q though. I did notice about 15-20 extra miles per tank and a rougher sound though. I was working on a friends liberty (not a jeep lol) and smashed my thumb pretty bad when the strut spring compressors slip and slid into each other tonight, simultaneously crushing my thoughts of wheeling tomorrow with black00xj.
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