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My first Jeep 1998 XJ sport

Old 08-25-2010, 03:24 PM
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Default My first Jeep 1998 XJ sport

I recently transfered to Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, MI and saw the need for a more capable vehicle for the harsh winters and some off road fun. After a short search I located a Red 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport with 130,000 miles that was previously owned by a Professor at the University of West Virginia. Upon inspection I was surprised to see that it was in excellent condition with zero rust anywhere and only a small dent on the passanger side fender which was barely noticable. After a test drive in which the xj drove flawlessly and smooth I decided to buy it on the spot. Anyways here is the only pic I have of it since my camera is out of commission for the time being. I have owned the jeep for almost a year now and am just starting to make it my own.



One of the first things I did was to use herculiner on the wheel wells and underbody.

Then a few days ago I purchased a roof rack from a local company in Kalamazoo MI called JCR offroad.



I have been looking into doing a small lift. I do some light offroading and would like to do a small lift along with some larger tires for a little extra ground clearance and to help get me through the huge snows we seem to get several times a year in MI's U.P.. I have been thinking of doing a 2" budget lift but would like to have some input on what else would need to be done to accompany the spacers and shackles and what negatives I would have to deal with if I were to do this lift. I'm not looking to throw a fortune into a lift kit for the time being (don't have the money for a SYE and don't want to do anything that would negatively effect the longevity of it).

Thanks for looking and I appreciate any input, suggestions, or feedback

Some other things coming in the near future in addition to the lift are either crager soft 8's or Moab 16x8's and I would like to get JCR's Front Pre runner bumper.

Last edited by jsowards; 08-25-2010 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:41 PM
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Installed the roof rack last night and adjusted the drivers door to fix the sealing problem I was having the latch was adjusted so that the top of the door was not sealing fully.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:13 PM
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Since I originally posted I have come up with some new plans after doing a little research. My intentions are to build a mild offroad capable jeep with a little extra ground clearance to navigate some offroad trails.

My current plans are:
-Rubicon Express 3.5" super ride with full leaf packs
-31x10.5 or 32x? A/T tires
-JCR offroad Pre runner front bumper
-Cragar Soft 8's

I am new to the lift scene and have several questions:

1. Will I need a drop pitman arm to accomidate the lift? From my reading I find that most people experience 4-4.25" of lift with the 3.5" RE lift kit.

2. Do I need a SYE or simply a transfer case drop? Seems to be mixed opinions. If I do need a SYE what driveshaft do I need to accompany it?

3. What offset soft 8's are right for my application I want to maintain stock flares?
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:47 PM
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Cool, looks like you're headed along the sane Jeep build path. Keep us informed along the way.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:03 PM
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Well I just got my camera working again so I will post some more recent pictures and will post them as I go.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:59 PM
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tcase drops are supposively a "temp fix" but i hear of people being able to drive around with one all the time. i would do an sye. i would do rubicon express hack n tap with a cv driveshaft.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:28 PM
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Thanks for the input I have heard mixed things as well. It seems some people don't need anything, others go with a transfer case drop and drive on it for years, and some call it a band aid fix.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:35 PM
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on the JCR rack did they add extra bracing for the spare mount. if not i would get the spare off the rack ASAP (i have one of their first production ones and the mount they had for the spare wasn't strong enough and bent then broke around the welds)
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:44 PM
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Irongrave, thanks for the heads up. I will go take a look at it tomorrow but I don't believe that it does. If not i can weld some extra bracing to strengthen it up. Luckily I only have the tiny donut on the roof since my car did not come with a full size spare. Its good to know since I was going to be putting a 31 or 32 on it shortly when I order my lift and new tires.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:07 PM
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Another update Just picked up:

-15x8 4" BS D window wheels with 32x11.50 cooper discoverer STT tires
-Rough Country 4.5" lift kit #633H
-Adjustable track bar #7571
-Steering Stabilizer #87317
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