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

Mil-Spec Fast Attack Vehicle

Old 03-24-2010, 06:24 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
Posts: 42
Year: 1993
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6
Default Mil-Spec Fast Attack Vehicle

So I've come a long way since I picked up my XJ a month ago. I found a '93 Country and paid cash for it, so I wouldn't mind chopping it up when the time came. It had coolant leaks (fixed), an oil leak at the oil filter adapter (fixed), and a semi-hacked electrical system where the previous owner had wired in a thumpin' system (fixed). It had lots of top-end engine noise from two stuck lifters, and was seriously down on power. I Seafoamed the crap out of it (literally), the stuck lifters popped loose, and now it rips the tires loose any time I get stupid with the loud pedal. Took it for emissions testing today, and the lady with the sniffer was floored at how clean and quiet it runs. Gotta love Seafoam. Oh yeah, it has 251k miles on it.

As is typical, it had the weeping headliner syndrome. My mother does custom upholstery, and she taught me well. It took me a day to recover it in black (instead of the original tan - couldn't find a color close enough to original to suit me), and it looks very nice. New black carpet will be going in soon to match the headliner. On first inspection I thought it had the D35 rear axle, but I discovered today I was mistaken. It has the 8.25 rear axle, and apparently it originally came with a tow package that has since been removed (WTF?). It has 3.73 gears, which has changed my original game plan a bit.

I originally planned to lift it 4.5", swap out the rear axle for a Ford 8.8 with 4.10s, drop in a lunchbox locker, add the 4.10s to the front, and run 33s. Now I've decided to capitalize on the factory equipment, stick with a 3" Rusty's leaf-pack lift, and +1 the wheels to 16x8 Cragars with 245/75R16 mud tires. I'll still add a lunchbox locker, but I won't swap the gears. This should keep the unsprung weight down, the ride smooth, the bookkeeper happy, and the tires easy to balance and maintain.

The interior will be equipped with an integrated computer system to run GPS, music and video systems, and data/communications. It will be quickly removable for parking in those bad neighborhoods. It will also have several weapons racks to accommodate a well-armed Fire Team and all our tactical gear. The goal is to keep it small, light, fast, and capable of reasonable offroad excursions, while also capable of chasing the horizon in comfort, enroute to a distant training or mission destination.

These are pics of it from the night I picked it up. I'll add updated pics as the project progresses.
Combat_Gunner is offline  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:43 AM
  #2  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: south florida
Posts: 85
Year: 93
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

looks like you have a great starting platform.
ceejkay is offline  
Old 04-11-2010, 09:05 PM
  #3  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
Posts: 42
Year: 1993
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6
Default RED DAWN

So the original plan was to repaint this XJ in OD green, which is my favorite color. The more I've worked on it, the more the red has grown on me, and so I've decided to repaint it the original Flame Red. Thus, this project name is RED DAWN.

The back bumper was smashed, and I hated all the gold trim, plus I needed to get rid of the fender flares, so I stripped all that crap off. Front and back bumpers, side molding, and fender flares. Then I used the wonderful 3M pinstripe eraser wheel to get rid of all the gold pinstriping. When I pulled the molding off the RR door, I discovered that it was not the original, it had been painted to match, and it has some heavy surface rust bubbling the paint. Easy fix, just another unplanned step to add to the project. I also trimmed the fenders. I haven't decided whether to open up the fenderwells any more. If I do, it will be minimal, since I'm only mounting 30" tires, and I don't want them to look small, with giant wheel wells.



I had looked at a lot of different bumpers, but I won't be mounting a winch, and I didn't want anything heavy. I couldn't see me paying $800 or more for bumpers that are unnecessarily stout, just because they look cool. So I chopped the original front bumper, sanded and painted it, and mounted a set of Hellas I had laying around. Also, note the clear side markers. They're a nice improvement.



Oh, and BTW, here's a pic of the headliner I recovered in black. It turned out well, and it doesn't look too weird in the tan interior.



Next up is the 2" BB I decided to go with, and the wheels and tires. Incidentally, I've really fallen in love with the low end Jeep steelies, and have decided to try to find a set of 5 for RED DAWN to mount a set of 30x9.50R15s on. I honestly think the BBS style spoke wheels that are on mine now are the ugliest wheels Jeep ever mounted. Here's a pic of mine:



And here's a pic of what I want:



If anybody wants mine, or has a set of the steelies for sale, please let me know.

Now that I have all the oil and coolant leaks sealed up, today I began the week-long degrease process. I hit everything twice today with degreaser, and every night this week after I get home from work I'll park it for 30 minutes, soak it down and let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse it off. After a week it'll be clean enough to eat off the engine, transmission, transfer case, and differentials. I enjoy working on a clean vehicle. I'm also PB Blasting the shock bolts, to replace the shocks with a set from Rusty's.
Combat_Gunner is offline  
Old 04-11-2010, 10:18 PM
  #4  
Newbie
 
JerseyXJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Jersey
Posts: 28
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L
Default

Good work. Those Hella 500's are a great bang for your buck
JerseyXJ is offline  
Old 04-12-2010, 01:55 AM
  #5  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 52
Model: Cherokee
Default

I'm going to have to disagree with you on the wheels. The pepper shakers I have are far inferior. Not my Jeep, but same wheels.
stumanarama is offline  
Old 04-12-2010, 07:06 AM
  #6  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
Posts: 42
Year: 1993
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6
Default

Yeah, if I remember correctly, I picked up the Hellas at a flea market about 8 years ago for $40. Not bad. And those pepper shaker wheels actually look pretty nice if you powdercoat them black. Not even that can make my wheels cool.
Combat_Gunner is offline  
Old 04-21-2010, 12:30 AM
  #7  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
Posts: 42
Year: 1993
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6
Default

Dawn is coming along nicely. After the week-long degrease treatment, I'm about ready to start fogging the wheel wells and undercarriage with semi-gloss black paint. I installed a mechless stereo, wired in a CB, and worked on cleaning up some of the stains in the carpet and upholstery. Lifter 1 upholstery cleaner is the best stuff ever.

I'm gathering all the parts for the 2" BB, and while I'm at it I'll replace all the suspension bushings and probably rebuild the steering. Brake upgrade parts are also on order, and I'll be upgrading the front axle shafts, rebuilding the axles front and rear, and finish prepping her for fresh paint. I did decide to go with 31" tires, and maybe regear to 4.10s later. With a 2" lift, I'll need to hack the fenders a little more than I had planned, but that's fine, it's free. The important thing is to keep my priorities straight, work my plan, and don't get ahead of myself. Everything needs to be squared away before the bigger wheels and tires go on. I'll post some new pics soon.
Combat_Gunner is offline  
Old 05-03-2010, 10:33 PM
  #8  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
Posts: 42
Year: 1993
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6
Default Baby steps

Picked up a set of the steelies, and I"m looking at another set from a member here. Got them prepped for black paint, and the body is almost ready for a fresh coat of red paint. Installed the 2" lift, but made the mistake of disconnecting the track-bar at the bottom end. Had a hard time getting it realigned, and ended up destroying the bolt's threads, so I'm off to the JY tomorrow for a replacement. While I'm there I'll look for front axle shafts with the larger u-joints and a double diaphragm brake booster. I have also upgraded the rear axle yoke with u-bolts, which takes a bit of grinding on an 8.25 yoke to clearance the back for the nuts. Replaced both rear driveshaft u-joints, apparently I need to replace the other 3 in the front driveshaft and the D30 u-joints also.

I'm collecting parts to rebuild the front and rear axles, along with installing a set of 4.10 gears. It's been a long time since I set up a ring and pinion, but the last set I installed is still running nice and quiet in a '32 Coupe. I'm also planning a hack n tap and swapping out the rear driveshaft for another double-cardan front. I discovered the front and rear swaybars were both missing bushings, so I pulled them both off. I may put the front back on, once I get some replacement bushings. Funny, the trophy trucks running the Baja races don't run swaybars, and they take corners just fine. Anywho, that eliminated a couple mystery thumps that I've been trying to track down.

Due to the floods here in Nashville, I've found myself with a couple unexpected days off. The XJ has served well wading through flooded streets and climbing curbs to get around fallen trees and debris. I'm really looking forward to mounting up some taller mud tires, but ironically the floods will be done by the time I get all that done. I think I'll finally get around to hacking the body and building a roof rack while I'm off.
Combat_Gunner is offline  
Old 05-04-2010, 10:48 AM
  #9  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: 330 Ohio
Posts: 84
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Originally Posted by Combat_Gunner View Post
I discovered the front and rear swaybars were both missing bushings, so I pulled them both off. I may put the front back on, once I get some replacement bushings. Funny, the trophy trucks running the Baja races don't run swaybars, and they take corners just fine. Anywho, that eliminated a couple mystery thumps that I've been trying to track down.
Congrats on your XJ! Looks like you are making good progress by chipping away at everything on your to-do list. About the swaybars, I removed both front and rear from mine and I really did not notice any difference in the handling at all, and this is with a 3.5" lift in the front and 4.5" lift in the rear. I have off-set rims that give it a wider stance, though.
skorpion is offline  
Old 05-05-2010, 05:44 AM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
Posts: 42
Year: 1993
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6
Default

Originally Posted by skorpion View Post
Congrats on your XJ! Looks like you are making good progress by chipping away at everything on your to-do list. About the swaybars, I removed both front and rear from mine and I really did not notice any difference in the handling at all, and this is with a 3.5" lift in the front and 4.5" lift in the rear. I have off-set rims that give it a wider stance, though.
Good info, thank you! I've read several posts on this board where people say removing the front swaybar is REALLY BAD. The truth is, my front swaybar has been ineffective since I bought my XJ, so there was essentially no difference. Between the front and rear bars, I lost about 40 lbs and eliminated a bunch of thumps, rattles and squeaks. Plus, with only a 2" lift, my articulation has easily doubled. I crawled the culvert on the side of my driveway (an impossible feat until now) and never lifted a wheel.
Combat_Gunner is offline  
Old 05-05-2010, 05:04 PM
  #11  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
Posts: 42
Year: 1993
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6
Default

Before 2" lift:



After rear 2" lift:



Front and rear 2" lift complete:



Intake from a '99 TJ I picked up:



The intake looks like it was buried in mud for a year before I got it, so I have some serious cleaning to do before I install it.

My plans to rebuild the front and rear axles may be accelerated, since my rear axle started growling on the way home this evening. The rubber fill plug on the 8.25 axle is the worst for leaking out gear oil, and I imagine my pinion bearing is probably toast. Good enough reason for me to pull it out, tear it down, and rebuild it with some gears and a locker. Stay tuned for pics and updates.
Combat_Gunner is offline  
Old 05-07-2010, 01:34 PM
  #12  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
Posts: 42
Year: 1993
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6
Default

Hacked the front fenders today. Simply amazing the amount of clearance still available, even after cutting over 3" out of the fenders.



Combat_Gunner is offline  
Old 05-08-2010, 09:07 AM
  #13  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: MI
Posts: 50
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Looks good, I am subscribed. My jeep is the same color.

How did you get the molding off? I eventually want to.
Scooter86 is offline  
Old 05-08-2010, 11:45 AM
  #14  
Junior Member
 
LittleBlueXJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Glen Burnie MD
Posts: 40
Year: 1988
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0l
Default

Yeah man! you def hacked off alot. Looks good.
LittleBlueXJ is offline  
Old 05-08-2010, 01:28 PM
  #15  
Junior Member
 
lkmyxj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: TN. Knoxville
Posts: 32
Year: 1991
Model: Cherokee
Default

Nice job so far. I agree with you both on the wheels, mine are same as yours but gold center, I hate them.
Keep up the good work.
lkmyxj is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Mil-Spec Fast Attack Vehicle


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: