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Mild '97 XJ build

Old 07-23-2016, 11:14 AM
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Default Mild '97 XJ build

Hello everyone, this is my first post on the forum! I am still in highschool and therefore am sorta limited by budget. This is my second vehicle and therefore will not be my DD. I kept a watchful eye out for a good Jeep on Craigslist for a while. I did some research beforehand so that I could start off with a good platform for my rig. I ended up with a 1997 Jeep Cherokee Country bone stock with 177k miles and Chrysler 8.25 rear axle. Now that I have made some progress with my Jeep I have decided to start a build thread. The purpose of this thread is to help/entertain whoever it may, but mainly just a way for me to keep track of my progress

How it sits as of October 11, 2016








Here is how it sat when I first brought it home


I got to work immediately power washing the underside and deep cleaning the interior. Then did a sway-bar delete kit This made a night and day difference in suspension travel.

Wheeled it like this for a while, then started preparing for some bigger tires that were coming soon. Trimmed the front fenders and bumper, then later did the cut-and fold technique on the rear, then trimmed even more off the front to fend off some rubbing.

The bumper trimming gave me more ground clearance and looks better IMO

Wheeled it like this for a while




Mall crawler




All cleaned up

Then I bought and installed a RC 3" series ll lift








Then threw on a RC adjustable track bar. I have a new steering stabilizer waiting to go on but just can't seem to get the old one off, it's stuck.

By this time My 235's had little life left in them so it was time for an upgrade. 32x11.50's on some pro-comp steelies





Then after that did the rear cut and fold and trimmed much more off the front fenders for maximum suspension travel. Also did the removable door mod sometime. They just pick right up and off like a wrangler now.


Still have some YJ brakelines waiting to be installed. Getting it aligned Monday and then it should be good to go for a while. So ready to see how it does with the new setup!

Oh and forgot to mention I fixed the problem with my Jeep not starting half the time and the reverse lights never working. Took out the NSS and cleaned it up, now it works like a charm





This brings everything up to date. Some plans for it soon are:
Change all Fluids
New brakes
Unibody stiffeners
RuffStuff Diff covers
Spartan locker in the 8.25
Flowmaster super 44
And some JCR sliders

Last edited by Dylan Campbell; 10-11-2016 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:57 PM
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Looking good man! Those tires look awesome for being 32s.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by unidentifiedbomb View Post
Looking good man! Those tires look awesome for being 32s.
Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:05 AM
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Some pics from the first ride on the new lift and tires:











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Old 07-27-2016, 12:15 PM
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Wow that's beautiful. How are you liking the new setup?
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by unidentifiedbomb View Post
Wow that's beautiful. How are you liking the new setup?
So far so good. Have had these tires on my Tacoma before and really liked them... All around a good tire for the price. The lift performs very well off-road and doesn't ride that bad on-road, no different than stock really so once again happy with that too!
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:03 PM
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Some pics from this weeks camping trip:








Helping out a broken down tracker
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:29 PM
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Looks Good. Is that at Gulches ORV park? what kinda tires are those?
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacobus View Post
Looks Good. Is that at Gulches ORV park? what kinda tires are those?
that isn't gulches from South Carolina if that's what you're asking.
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Old 08-06-2016, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacobus View Post
Looks Good. Is that at Gulches ORV park? what kinda tires are those?
Thanks! Nope it's actually Gorges state park. And the tires are 32x11.50 Mastercrafts
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:39 AM
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Ordered a Spartan Locker for the 8.25 rear. Picking up some gear oil and RTV tomorrow, can't wait for it to come in the mail! So curious to see how much more capable the Jeep will be now
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:16 PM
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Those tires look amazing on that rig!! Love the stance!
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:55 PM
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Installed the locker a while back and have been wheeling every since! Don't even notice it on the road other than the ratcheting sound when turning into parking lots and such but I don't mind the extra noise at all, especially because of how great it works when I need it.


Done





Slid off into a little ditch on the trail









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Old 09-07-2016, 07:24 PM
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Brother I'm loving the tires on her and very nice XJ keep up the good work. Welcome to the family too
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:05 PM
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cool build! how'd you do your doors? Which door hinges do you have? I have a 97 as well and heard they got two different designs.
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