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Necromancer Jeep

Old 08-27-2018, 09:20 PM
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Default Necromancer Jeep (slow build)

Necromancer Jeep-20180827_224138.jpg

1990 Jeep XJ
2-Door
4.0L/AW4/NP231
220K miles

I few months ago I picked up this Jeep on a whim. The pictures on the add looked rough and it looked even rougher in person. This thing has a LOT of rust and has been sitting since around 2010...




Looking at it, I knew this would be a huge undertaking. I was able to talk the PO down to $300 so I figured what the hell!

This Jeep came with both the OEM transfer case skid plate and gas tank skid plate. It also came with vinyl flooring instead of carpet, and a mini-console instead of a full center console.









The floors are completed rotted out in the and so are the rockers. However, the unibody itself is in good shape. I've been wanting to learn how to weld for a while, so I figure this will be a good project to learn on.



I finally got it in the garage recently, and the first order of business was pulling the axles out from under it. It came with a two-piece D30 and a D35 rear, 3.55 gears. I'm not going to use them, and they are currently for sale in the Knoxville, TN area if anybody wants them...





Then I began pulling back the vinyl flooring to see the carnage...








Yikes! But it is what I expected. I picked up a set of floor pans from a guy here locally who sold his Jeep before he got around to installing them. They should fit perfect.




Then I drew an outline and got to cutting...





And that's it for now. I read that it is best to cut out and weld one side at a time so I haven't cut out the driver's side yet. I bought some POR-15 and my plan is to clean up and paint the insides of the uniframe channels before I weld the new floor panels in. I have never welded before and I recently acquired a Century 140 welder that I am excited to use. I have some flux-core wire but am debating picking up a tank of Argon/CO2 for MIG welding.

Last edited by 4BangerDanger; 02-11-2019 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:34 PM
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This Jeep has been "dead" for some time now. As the title of the thread implies, I intend to bring it back to life!

Here are my plans as of the time of this post:
  • Replace floors
  • Replace rockers (2x6 tube?)
  • Pull and replace engine
  • Paint everything
  • Build new axles
  • Install new axles
  • Install new suspension - I'm thinking Iron Rock's 3 link long arm kit
  • 35s
For the front axle, I picked up a Dana 44 out of a 2005 TJ Rubicon.



It came with 4.10 gears, factory locker, and an aftermarket differential cover. Notice how it did not come with knuckles. I purchased WJ knuckles for it.

For the rear axle I am going to try to find a Ford 8.8 with 4.10 gears, disc brakes, and factory limited slip. However, if I come across a 4.10 geared Chrysler 8.25 out of a 2.5L XJ for the right price I'd definitely consider it.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:27 PM
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Here is the factory build sheet:

Equipment Listing

Vehicle Description 1990 JEEP CHEROKEE
Monotone Paint
Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
Rear Fold w/Removable Cushion Seat
Passenger Assist Handles
Mini Floor Console
4-Speed Automatic AW4 Transmission
Command-Trac Part Time 4WD System
Floor Mount Automatic Shift Lever
Dana M30/181MM Front Axle
3.55 Rear Axle Ratio
Tinted Windshield Glass
Front Door Tinted Glass
Tinted Rr Drs/Qtr/Liftgate Glass
Fixed Door Vent Glass
Rear View Day/Night Mirror
85 MPH Primary Speedometer
Cigar Lighter
Glove Box Lamp
Halogen Headlamps
Black Front Bumper
Black Rear Bumper
Black Grille

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

Bright Windshield Moldings
Rear Qtr Solid Window Insert
Belt Moldings
Rear Fascia Skid Plate Applique
Federal Emissions
EVAP Control System
20 Gallon Fuel Tank
Bright White Clear Coat
AM/FM Radio
Power Rack and Pinion Steering
Perforated Steering Whl w/Red Stitch
Inside Mounted Spare Tire
15X6.0 Styled Steel Wheels
Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications
GVW/Payload Rating
Federal Govt Bid - U.S.
Zone 11-Chrysler Corporation-Consign
Fleet Option Editor
Skid Plate Group
Heavy Duty Suspension Group
SE Decor Group
105 Amp Alternator
Low Back Bucket Seats

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
H.D. Vinyl Floor Covering
Reversible Carpet/Vinyl Cargo Mat
Spare Tire Cover
All 4-Speed Automatic Transmissions
Dana 35C/194MM Rear Axle
Trac-Lok Differential Rear Axle
Left Remote Mirror
Right Remote Control Mirror
Power Mirrors, Fold-Away
Air Conditioning
Digital Clock
Front License Plate Bracket
Auxiliary Transmission Oil Cooler
Heavy Duty Engine Cooling
Bright White Clear Coat
All Radio Equipped Vehicles
4 Speakers
Front Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers
Rear Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers
All Tires
Full Size Spare Tire
P205/75R15 BSW All Season Tires
All Steel Wheels
Warranty Registration Card-Govt Bid
Tag Instructions
Manuf Statement of Origin
9 Additional Gallons of Gas
Rear Spring Group I
Left Front Spring Group Ix
Right Front Spring Group VIII
Price Protection - Code B
Road Ready Service/Courtesy Delivery
Prepaid Holdback
Sold Vehicle
Special Bid-Ineligible For Incentive
Domestic Government Bid Units
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:34 PM
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I cleaned up the exposed unibody on the passenger side with a wire brush and flap disc. Then I gave it a quick coat of POR-15.

Necromancer Jeep-20180829_204108.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180829_204112.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180829_210459.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180829_210505.jpg

I couldn't find any weld through primer locally so I ordered some off Amazon. I'm going to coat the lip of the unibody with that which is why I left it bare.

I should probably have mentioned that this is going to be a slow build lol...
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:36 PM
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In the future you could pick up a can of Cold Galvanizing Compound from Home Depot. I used it all over when bad_idea off the forums welded in square tube in place of my rockers.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CantDrive55 View Post
In the future you could pick up a can of Cold Galvanizing Compound from Home Depot. I used it all over when bad_idea off the forums welded in square tube in place of my rockers.
X2 that's what we use in our garage/shop when welding. Great stuff and cheap. For the future, C2C fab makes full length floor boards and most panels. Less pieces the better
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by CantDrive55 View Post
In the future you could pick up a can of Cold Galvanizing Compound from Home Depot. I used it all over when bad_idea off the forums welded in square tube in place of my rockers.
Originally Posted by unidentifiedbomb View Post
X2 that's what we use in our garage/shop when welding. Great stuff and cheap. For the future, C2C fab makes full length floor boards and most panels. Less pieces the better
Hey thanks for the info guys, I will remember that for next time.

I looked at C2C's stuff and almost ordered it but I was able to get the 4 floor pans (front and back on both sides) along with the outer rocker panels locally for $125.

I haven't decided what to do with my rockers yet. If I restore them to stock then I will need to order the inner rocker panels from C2C. I'm also considering going the 2x6 tube route. Which do you think would be easier for a beginner welder?
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:35 AM
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Stock panels will be easier to weld to, but 2x6s are cheap and much stronger. Depends on what you plan on doing with it too. 1/8" 2x6 would be much stronger than stock sheet metal rockers and easier to weld to the body. I went with 2x6 3/16" with DOM side tubing and tied them to my stiffeners.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by unidentifiedbomb View Post
Stock panels will be easier to weld to, but 2x6s are cheap and much stronger. Depends on what you plan on doing with it too. 1/8" 2x6 would be much stronger than stock sheet metal rockers and easier to weld to the body. I went with 2x6 3/16" with DOM side tubing and tied them to my stiffeners.
That's kinda what I figured, that stock panels would be easier but 2x6s would be more practical.

My plan for this Jeep is to have it be capable off-road but also drivable on the street. I will be getting stiffeners eventually. I would prefer the 2x6 tubes but I'll just have to practice my welding a lot before I get to that point.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:18 PM
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The day's work...

First I put another coat of POR-15 in the unibody channel, then I grinded the surfaces to be welded.

Necromancer Jeep-20180902_152242.jpg

Then I sprayed some weld thru primer.

Necromancer Jeep-20180902_130931.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_155817.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_155835.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_162032.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_162040.jpg

I also drilled some holes for spot welds into the floor pan and made some relief cuts

Necromancer Jeep-20180902_130817.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_130820.jpg

Then I sprayed the bottom of the floor pan with weld thru primer.

Necromancer Jeep-20180902_131348.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_171132.jpg

Once that was dry it was time to start welding!

Necromancer Jeep-20180902_172140.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_183859.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_205510.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180902_205516.jpg
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:30 PM
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Today I continued the process with the rear passenger panel.

Necromancer Jeep-20180903_181935.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180903_190407.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180903_193201.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180903_193220.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180903_193231.jpg

I know my welds aren't the best but I'm learning as I go. I'll have to cut a piece to fill that gap in the middle.
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:29 PM
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I cut a piece for the gap between the floor pans.

Necromancer Jeep-20180905_171406.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180905_171605.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180905_171541.jpg
Necromancer Jeep-20180905_184359.jpg
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:53 AM
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Quite the project.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:12 PM
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Progress on this has stalled due to a combination of factors... Me being busy, being lazy on the days I'm not busy, and I had an accident with a cut off wheel that required six stitches in my right leg. I'm okay - there was no major damage done - but it has killed my motivation nonetheless. If those all sound like excuses... If I'm being perfectly honest... They are excuses!

BUT I did pick this up today for the Necromancer Jeep:

Necromancer Jeep-20181104_173642.jpg

A factory XJ Dana 44 axle out of an '88!

Now with the front axle from the TJ, I will have bolt-in Dana 44s front and rear, which I am excited about.

Here it is compared to the D35 that came out of the Jeep:

Necromancer Jeep-20181104_220147.jpg

Now I have to decide how to build it. I think I will be taking inspiration from NickInTimeFilms' build on YouTube.

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Old 11-06-2018, 11:17 AM
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Nick did a great job with his build, one thing I will suggest though is get some high clearance shock mounts, no reason to do all that work and have 8" long brackets hanging down on each end. Looking forward to the build
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