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My 98 XJ Build

Old 09-01-2012, 11:52 AM
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Year: 1998
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Default My 98 XJ Build

I sold my last XJ, when I got an offer for it I couldn't refuse, and ended up buying another stock Cherokee to build and this is my story.
My buddy had a 98 Cherokee Sport 4x4 4.0 auto 132k had some typical rust on the rockers but the underside and floors were solid. The quarters were also in pretty bad shape, passenger side not too bad, but drivers side was bad from previous damage that was just covered up with the bumper end cap..
It also had a weird stumble and act like it would stall every so often, but it was my favorite color XJ in decent shape with lower miles then most so I bought it off him for pretty cheap, and got some big plans for it!

So here is how she sat when I got her. First thing was tint the marker lights, did it before I even got it with some extra niteshades:
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Next was to tackle the worst of the rust, not a lot of experience with bodywork, but I suck at welding, and only have a small flux core lincoln so I didn't bother doing this thin metal, and just used SEM body panel adhesive and sheet metal screws where they can't be seen:
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I cut out all the rust:
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Created a new backing plate (cut and bent it to fit out of 18g or 20g don't remember at this point):
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Next I created some supports for the outer panel and fabbed up the outer panel:
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It was bondoed and sat in primer for a while, then I eventually got a can of spray paint mixed up from a local paint shop, given the color code, it had a high color error, but I got it anyways, and it doesn't match well..:
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I plan to paint the quarters rockers and door bottoms matte black eventually to fix this.
Added an Alpine CD MP3 played and a 4G wiring setup for a kicker 300Z1 amp and a single cheapy shallow mount 12"
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Found a set of black leather heated power WJ seats for $150, so I had to have them, mounted them to the XJ frames up front and wired in the pwr recline and lumber:
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Fronts were an easy swap, but the rears were a pain to get to fit. While I had the seats out I pulled the carpet and found 2 small soft spots in the floor, cut them out and put in patch panels, then cleaned them up and painted with brush on rustoleum bedliner, to keep any rust from coming back and reinstalled the carpet.
With hopes of fixing the stalling issues, my buddy had a used fuel pump assembly, so I dropped the tank and put it in, also replaced the straps and J-bolts since they weren't in great shape.
Stalling issue still persisted..
Also through out this process it got a H4 headlight conversion, oil change, plugs, wires, air filter and a new battery with new terminals and ground wires.

Another friend was upgrading there lift so they had a 4.5" RC lift full coils but only AALs and shackles in the back, LCAs, and steering stabilizer all only used about 6 months but with brand new shocks so I picked that up.
Also bought a set of extended sway bar links, Adj. track bar, and SS ext brake hoses.
Install was alright, lots of stuck/rusty bolts that required cutting and torches, but it got done. While trying to get the new SS brake hoses, all the lines were seized. I bought factory prebent lines for the front two, as well as the main front to rear since the line were rusty anyways.
For anyone that needs brake lines check the dealership they are cheap!!
Front two were $11, and $7 and the main MC to rear axle was $30.
The rear axle lines were more expensive and my rear axle lines weren't too bad, but I did bend up my own lines, so I had peace of mind of all new brake lines.
Picked up a set of (was told they were Crager, but didn't see a name, only a made in the USA sticker on them) 15x8 black D-windows off craigslist for $30 that needed some paint and I had a pair of 31s, and found a set of 3 for $80 so I got them, so I could have a full size spare.
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In the pic I was in the process of wiring up my new KC lights.
I was hoping to get 32s or even 33s, but the 31s will be fine for now.
Also changed the front diff fluid, and painted the diff cover blue while it off. Will be doing the rear soon too.

Most recently I won a hi-lift jack from a local Jeep club, and also added white LED interior dome lights, footwell lighting up front, and just order shift and transfer case indicator bulbs.

Last edited by bmrrwolfe; 09-01-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:58 AM
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jeep is looking good and for someone without a lot of body work expirence you did a good job.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jeepstr52 View Post
jeep is looking good and for someone without a lot of body work expirence you did a good job.
Thanks, my dad has been the director at a body shop for 20+ years, so I know a lot from him, but in the past any time I needed something done, I could get it done there so I didn't have any real experience. But two years ago he got a new job in NC, so its a little far to get something like this done, and being a Jeep and mostly hidden by a bumper end cap I didn't car to make it perfect, just to keep it from rusting.

Stalling issue has been fixed!! New 02 sensors will probably be done just as maintenance as well.

Also ordered a new keyless entry, and need to take it to the dealership to get programmed.

Up coming:
Maintenance: Front pads and rotors, rear diff fluid, t-case fluid, tranny fluid, possibly a coolant flush, thermostat, temp sensor, but not right away.
Picked up a set of 703 Injectors at the pull-a-part this morning.
A set of front and rear bumpers, I had ordered and will be here next week!
Couldn't afford a swing out tire carrier, but I may try to fab something up on the new bumper.
A roof rack, probably homemade from conduit with 4 lights up front, and 2 in the rear.
Cut out rockers, and either put in stock style or boxed channel,
Door bottom rust repair.
Magnaflow 2.5" cat-back exhaust!
Maybe white face cluster, with Blue LEDs
Fix the A/C, next summer...
And then someday, get into the axles with atleast a locker up front maybe new gears etc.

Since I do work 30+ hours a week and am also enrolled full time at school, not much will be getting done, other then on the weekend..

Last edited by bmrrwolfe; 09-09-2012 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:07 PM
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I got the bumpers this week, and got them prepped, light tabs welded on then primed and painted and mounted up, and added the KCs on them!
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Since they came bare metal, and I had left over color matched paint, I used the paint for the bumpers to be unique, and I think it came out very nice
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