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My First Build - A 2000 XJ

Old 04-07-2013, 07:09 PM
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Default My First Build - A 2000 XJ

Hi, this is my first post and also the start of my build thread! I've been on the forum for a while, but I just haven't gotten around to starting this yet. I'm starting to get ready for some actual mods on my XJ, so I figured it was about time. I'll go through my plans for the build a little later though. I'm 16, and this is my first car and I'm sure I'll be learning the whole way. I am an amateur photographer as well, so you can expect pics of just about everything I do with the Jeep!

To start off, I'll catch you up on what I'm working with and what I've done so far.
In 2011 my parents gave me the greatest Christmas present I could ask for: a black 2000 Jeep Cherokee!



I was only 15 at the time, so I had a good 8 months to wait before I could drive it. I really wish I would have spent this time getting to know the car better and to get a good base knowledge, but I didn't.



In the meantime, I drove around with my permit and what not. The car started running a little rough in February, so my dad and I started on some routine maintenance. Some new spark plugs seemed to fix the problem. I also fixed some minor things, like the hood not latching all the way.
Anyway, 8 months passed and I finally got my license. Here's me going for my first drive



It turns out relationships are time consuming and cost a lot of money, so when I lost the girl, I had more time and cash for the jeep! I also got a job, so I've started saving for a lift kit, wheels, and tires to be put on this summer. I plan on going with a 3.5 inch Rubicon Express lift kit (with full leaf packs of course) and 31 inch BFG All Terrain KO's for the tires. I'm not sure about wheels yet.
This is how my car sat after one year of owning it. Still pretty much bone stock. It's hard to get much work done in Michigan during the winter without freezing your butt off.





We did have a warm weekend in January though, so I decided to plastidip the wheels. I put her up on blocks and took all the wheels off. Then I drove over to the self car wash to clean them real good and after that I wiped them all down with acetone. I put 7-8 coats on the wheels (way overkill, but it was covering thin) and I was really happy with the results. I'm not sure how long it will last, but they're still holding up fine. This is also just temporary until I get aftermarket ones.








Then I put in a fire extinguisher (I know it's not the most convenient place, but it works for now)



My headliner had been sagging since I got it, and it wasn't in the greatest shape, so last weekend I decided to replace it. Here's how it looked before.



I labeled all the molding so reinstalling would be easier.



I got the board out, ripped off the old fabric and took a wire brush and sandpaper to the old foam.



Here's the clean board



and here's what the inside of the car looked like



3 cans of permatex headliner glue that worked great



And here's the headliner glued onto the board. I decided to go with a US Navy digital camo fabric and I love how it turned out. I figured that I might as well do a mod that makes it look different that stock, so I decided to not go with the traditional grey felt.



I also sprayed the speaker covers and upper consoles flat black to match


Here's how it looked back in the car



I also did the sun visors



Next I decided it was time to fix the grey trim on the outside. I picked up two cans of bedliner spray, taped off everything, and sprayed away. I really like the results and the bedliner's texture too.



before:


after:




This is how the Jeep sits right now. I was glad to have time over the last week to work on it a little (spring break). I should have the lift on as soon as I get out of school in June, followed by tires and wheels when I get the cash.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:47 PM
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I remember the days of being young and on a super right to non- existent budget. Keep doing little things here and there and save up for the big stuff. Keep an eye on Craigslist for good deals on wheels/ lifts/ expensive parts. You should have gone with USMC MARPAT digital pattern instead of that blue Navy stuff but that's my opinion.
GL with your and have fun with the Jeep.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:08 PM
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Thanks! I'm always looking for little projects that don't break the budget. And i do like that camo, but i didn't think the green would match the interior as well so i went with the navy
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:10 PM
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There's also the desert digital that would have been close to original just sayin...
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:55 PM
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looking good. you did a great job on that headliner. I want to do mine someday not sure what kind of fabric I will go with though.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:56 PM
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It's really coming along. Any tips on the headliner? I'm looking to do mine as well. Where did you get the adhesive spray from and fabric?
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 98REDXJ2 View Post
looking good. you did a great job on that headliner. I want to do mine someday not sure what kind of fabric I will go with though.
thanks! just make sure you go with something relatively lightweight and you should be fine. mine's kind of a ripstop material.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Letterman52 View Post
It's really coming along. Any tips on the headliner? I'm looking to do mine as well. Where did you get the adhesive spray from and fabric?
thank you! i would recommend just taking your time with the headliner and being careful. I only did half the board at a time and then smoothed out all the wrinkles and it worked great. I got the headliner glue from autozone (i think it was $12 a can) and the fabric was just from ebay. i think they have it on other fabric websites though. i got 5 yards, so i have a lot of extra fabric to find a use for!
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:36 PM
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Good thread so far, where in Michigan are u?
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by scheetz_21 View Post
Good thread so far, where in Michigan are u?
Thanks! i'm in Saginaw. what about you?
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:25 PM
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I started my newest project today!
I'm going to build a roof rack for the Jeep. I've been planning to do this for a month or so now, and I finally had some time to start it. I sketched up a plan in google sketch up (it even has accurate dimensions!), and I bought four 24 ft sticks of 1 inch square tube with an 1/8 inch sidewall. I'm using the shop at my school to build it, because I don't have any of my own metalworking equipment yet. My metal shop teacher talked to me last week and wants me to enter it in an industrial tech competition, but it has to be done by May 1st. He also is giving me his class to work on the rack everyday, instead of the regular curriculum. I'll be using mig for the welding, because it's easier and I haven't learned stick or tig yet. But for now I'm just cutting up the 24 ft pieces and checking things off my cut list. More updates will come as I make more progress!
here's the design
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:30 PM
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I really like your design especially the front but that is going to be awful heavy. What are your plans for mounting it?
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:54 PM
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thanks! weight is a bit of a concern, but from what i've calculated, it should be under 140 lbs when it's all done. I'd like it to be less, so i might take out some of the cross supports in the middle. and i have 6 jcr gutter mounts.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:24 PM
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If your rack is around 140 lbs by the time you add weight of tires, jack, shovels, coolers camping gear or whatever else you can imagine you'll be easily around 250 lbs. I'd keep your original outter design but eliminate a bit of the floor.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:05 PM
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yeah, you have a good point. i'm definitely going to look into taking some of it out and maybe getting it down to 100 lbs or so. i think i could easily get away with 2 long supports and maybe 3 shorter ones going across.
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