Go Back  Jeep Cherokee Forum > Technical Discussion > Jeep Builds
Mike's Late Build Thread (2000 Stone White XJ) >

Mike's Late Build Thread (2000 Stone White XJ)

Jeep Builds Make your own jeep build thread here, discuss and view jeeps here. All Jeep models are welcome here.

Mike's Late Build Thread (2000 Stone White XJ)

Old 07-31-2018, 10:52 AM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default Mike's Late Build Thread (2000 Stone White XJ)

This is officially my first build thread for my first Jeep XJ. I am a little late to the party, as I got this jeep back in October of 2017. I've wanted to do a build thread for a long time, but never got around to it until now. I think these threads are great reads, and they're very useful for spreading ideas and providing help and advice; not only for me, but for anyone who takes the time to read through the thread. I am going to start from the beginning and try to go in order the best I can until I get to present day, then I'll update it regularly for the future. Enjoy.

Feel free to leave a reply!

As a little backstory, I decided in the summer of 2017 to sell my '94 Ford Ranger XLT regular cab because I wanted something with more room and less engine troubles. I always liked the XJ Cherokees, so I started watching videos about them and heard great things about the 4.0 inline six. I immediately wanted one. I searched for a month until I found this one; a stone white, 2000 Cherokee Sport. I knew very little about Cherokees when I bought this one, which I kind of regret because there is some stuff I would've looked out for that I missed back then.
I kind of regret paying so high (in my opinion I overpaid a little) for this Jeep. I paid $3700 for it as it sat, but I'm happy with it, so I guess that's all that matters.
Here are a couple of photos of it from the day I brought it home.

I do have some rules for this Jeep. I guess this is what you would call a mild build. I don't plan on lifting it higher than 4.5" or putting tires on it bigger than 33". It's currently my daily driver and has been since I got it. The idea for this jeep is to be a nice looking 4-wheel drive vehicle that I can use for hunting, fishing and off-roading; but it will never be an off-road only vehicle. It will keep its daily driver status until further notice. The only thing I refuse to use this Jeep for is a commuter vehicle to college. I bet you can guess why, lol. It does okay on the highway, but I'm not ruining my mud tires and putting gas in it every day to drive back and forth from home to my classes. I'm currently looking for a commuter vehicle for that purpose as I start college next month lol.


General information on the Jeep (accurate to the day I bought it)
2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4
Supreme Suspension Shocks, rated for 4" of lift
3" block/spring spacer lift
Stone White factory paint
4.0 inline six with 174k miles
Automatic transmission
Very clean interior
Tinted turn signal and brake lenses
50" curved LED bar and LED pods
32" curved LED bar mounted on bumper
31x10.5x15 Crosswind MTs
Wide Bart Wheels (not sure of the specs, I don't know much about rims lol)
Bottom half of Jeep and bumpers coated in white bedliner

Last edited by mikecorrell; 07-31-2018 at 09:27 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 10:55 AM
  #2  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

I take pride in the vehicles I own and I tend to go the extra mile taking care of them. I also like to document them (as to why I'm making this thread lol). So I have this little white binder that I've made into a basic file for all the paperwork and receipts for this Jeep. I'd recommend doing this with any project vehicle. Any time I add new parts or make any changes, I take pictures and store them on my computer and I save all the receipts and invoices for parts and labor.






Last edited by mikecorrell; 07-31-2018 at 11:06 AM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 12:01 PM
  #3  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

It took some driving and exploring to find the weak points of the Jeep and where the previous owner "shorted" me some information. The owner before me bought the Jeep stock and added the lift, wheels, and lights before he got bored of it. Everything he put on was still brand new, which was a plus.

The first problem I encountered was that the battery would go dead overnight. I would hop in and try to start it in the morning; dead. I would charge it enough to start it, leave my house and arrive at school late as a result, lol. I eventually got a draw test done at a local shop and they said they couldn't find a draw on the battery. The day after I picked it up from the shop, it mysteriously stopped going dead overnight and I haven't had any issues since then. (Knock on wood).

After that, not too many issues for about a month until I realized that my driver's side front fender flare needed some attention. It was rattling and half the plastic tabs were broken. I ignored it until one day it flew nearly completely off on the highway and started dragging underneath the Jeep. I pulled over and ripped it off.

That called for a trip to the junkyard where I bought a set of flares off a 98 Cherokee. They were faded, but in good shape. I removed all my white flares, snapped nearly every bolt on the fender flare brackets, and painted my junkyard flares with Rustoleum truck bed liner.

I did some tedious drilling on every stud on all 8 flare brackets and then welded new bolts to the brackets to serve as new studs. about 6 hours after getting home from the junkyard, I now had nice black flares. I do kind of miss my white ones, but I saved them, so I'm currently waiting till I find a nice white junkyard replacement for the broken one and then maybe I'll throw them back on some day.




This was a few months after I added the black flares, as you can tell by the fluffy white stuff in the background.




Last edited by mikecorrell; 07-31-2018 at 12:04 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 12:21 PM
  #4  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

The black flares gave me the idea to do the whole bottom half of the Jeep in black bed-liner. I'm still kind of working at it, but it will get there.

Anyways, now we get to the part where the previous owner kind of shorted me some info. For a few months, I wondered why my windows kept fogging up whenever I had the heater on. I decided to look into it and came to a conclusion. What really put the icing on the cake was when I noticed a sticky, sweet smell inside the Jeep after the 4 air-fresheners that the previous owner put in the Jeep wore off. I thought it was odd that someone would put that many air-fresheners in a vehicle, but down the road I think I realized he put them in there to cover up the leaking anti-freeze smell. What I had was a leaking heater core. I contemplated putting a new heater core in myself, but after watching videos on it, I decided I would probably mess something up. After a $500 repair bill, my heating system is in good standing.

When I got the Jeep back from the shop, I drove it home and then realized the odometer read "no bus" and none of my gauges were working. My rear windshield wiper was also stuck on. I couldn't shut it off. So, I took the Jeep back to the shop and they had it for 2 more weeks before they found out they forgot to connect a ground wire somewhere. That fixed my "no bus" light, rear wiper, and also miraculously fixed the problem with my power locks not working; something I had been chasing down for a little while.

Last edited by mikecorrell; 07-31-2018 at 12:25 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 12:55 PM
  #5  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Another major problem this Jeep developed somewhere along the lines was the dreaded death wobble. Most Jeepers already know what death wobble is, but if anyone isn't sure, it's when the front axle violently reciprocates back and forth due to worn out suspension parts up front. When it happens, it truly is scary. It's loud, violent, and shakes the steering wheel and the entire Jeep until you come to a stop. If it's not taken care of quickly, it can cause lots of damage to otherwise good suspension parts.

It happened to me 4 times before I found out what it was. I tried taking it to a tire shop and they could only tell me that my u-joints and ball joints needed replacement and offered to take on the job for nearly $400. It's a good thing that I declined the repair because I found out the main cause on my own.

I had someone hop in the jeep and turn the steering wheel both ways while I watched the axle and I saw that my track bar bracket was really loose. Upon further inspection, the bracket had actually wallowed out where the bolt went in, so no amount of tightening would've kept it tight. I removed the bolt and the flag nut holding it and got a beefier replacement bolt. I drilled and tapped the flag nut to fit the new bolt and tightened everything back up.

After a few test drives, no more death wobble. I did notice a shimmy in the steering wheel past 40 mph though, so I tested the ball joints. Sure enough, they were shot. I tackled the ball joint and u-joint job with a friend and got it done in about 6 hours time after destroying a rental ball joint press and one of my good Snap-On breaker bars




A view of the replacement bolt in the track bar bracket







Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 01:40 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 01:13 PM
  #6  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

The next thing I tackled that the previous owner also failed to tell me about was some body rust. All in all, the uni-body and frame rails are in really solid shape from a structural standpoint. It did, and still does have, some ugly body rust.

When I bought the Jeep, I knew enough to take a look at the rocker panels, because everyone knows that XJs rust out through the rockers. Sure enough, I stuck my fingers through a hole in the driver's side rocker panel when I was first looking over the Jeep. The guy selling it said " Yeah, that's like the only spot of rust on the whole Jeep". I still haven't gotten to that rocker panel and it's gotten much worse.

I was looking the Jeep over one day and discovered something much worse on the passenger quarter panel.




Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 01:34 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 01:18 PM
  #7  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

So, naturally I decided to fix this huge rust-out on the quarter panel, with no previous body-work experience.





Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 01:30 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 01:27 PM
  #8  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

I thought about doing a cut and fold on the rear quarter panels, but I decided maybe another time. Instead I did some Frankenstein surgery and sewed on a piece from a junkyard Jeep.

Just a fair warning, I know this is hideous, awful body work, but its nice and sturdy and the bumper cap covers it up anyways.



I did some horrible things to get the donor panel removed...


I’m a crappy spot welder too...





All done and primed. Told you it was hideous

Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 01:25 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 01:38 PM
  #9  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

I more recently fixed that bubbled paint and surface rust above the lower quarter panel







Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 01:17 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 01:44 PM
  #10  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default


More rust incoming...

My driver’s side fender was also rusted and looked like crap. I finally got around to fixing it at the end of my senior year about 2 months ago. I got the idea to let my classmates sign the fender before I replaced it.





The majority of the rust, just above the bumper cap.


Old fender removed


My old fender now makes a really cool wall decoration


New fender test-fit


New fender freshly painted by a local body shop


New fender installed

Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 01:14 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 01:57 PM
  #11  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

A few months back, I was on my way home and suddenly heard a horrible grinding and squealing noise coming from my engine bay. I got home and looked around under the hood. I narrowed the noise down to my water pump by using a long screwdriver as a stethoscope, and sure enough it was my water pump bearing. Took a quick trip to the parts store and picked up a new pump and thermostat. It was a quick, $50 fix that also served as some preventative maintenance.





I also replaced the inlet tube so I wouldn’t have to fight with old one that was rusted to the old water pump.

Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 01:02 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 02:05 PM
  #12  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Recently, I picked up a center grille at the junkyard that was in nice shape. Mine had busted teeth, and I was getting bored of the all-white look. I saw a few white Cherokees on here with black grilles and I liked the look, so I installed the new one after I painted the whole grille with black bed-liner.



Before


After


Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 09:48 AM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 07-31-2018, 02:12 PM
  #13  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Went on a wheeling adventure with my friends a couple weeks back. That ended right here when I shut my Jeep off for 10 minutes, started it back up and my temperature skyrocketed to 250 degrees. Some bad heat soak!




Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 09:36 AM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 08-01-2018, 09:32 AM
  #14  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

The overheating adventure made me realize I should look into my cooling system. I definitely didn’t want to overheat and have my 0331 cylinder head crack, a common problem with this model year.

I already had a new water pump and thermostat with fresh coolant, so I cancelled those out as the problem. Come to find out, the previous owner (or someone) completely removed the fan shroud and electric fan from the Jeep. It was running with just the mechanical fan and somehow I didn’t notice.

I found junkyard replacements for the fan and fan shroud. Both of which ended up breaking or not working at all. So I bought brand new ones, and replaced my fan clutch while I was on the cooling system.






Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 05:17 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  
Old 08-01-2018, 05:48 PM
  #15  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 115
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

While I was looking into the cooling system, I heard about manual override switches for the electric fan. I know there are mixed opinions about them, but I liked the idea and I decided to install an override switch. It cost me less than $50 and made me more confident in doing my own wiring.

I did mine following OutJeeping’s tutorial:

It works really well and helps with heat soak. It’s wired to work while the Jeep is off, so I turn it on while I make quick trips into the store so my temp won’t climb upon startup. It also helps when climbing long, steep hills and while crawling through trails or traffic at a slow speed.






Last edited by mikecorrell; 08-01-2018 at 05:51 PM.
mikecorrell is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Mike's Late Build Thread (2000 Stone White XJ)


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: