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A New Start

Old 09-13-2010, 10:26 PM
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Default A New Start

This is my first Jeep. Ever since I started driving I have always wanted a Jeep, but whenever I needed a new car, a Jeep was never in my cards. I shuffled through many cars and eventually ended up with a Ford Escape. It was a great little truck and my first 4wd. I drove it for a year and loved it as did my wife. It was perfect for us and our new daughter. I was happy.

I was taking a trip to the junkyard one day for a trim bezel for the Escape and on my way out, there was a little Cherokee sitting amidst the rubble. It looked perfect, until I walked around to the back. It looked like it had backed into a tree going about 45 mph. I looked it over and it was spotless minus the hatch, bumper and drivers side rear quarter panel.. It didn't have a spot of rust on it. I inquired about it at the desk and the owner told me it probably wouldn't start but I was welcome to try. Armed with a battery box I went to the Jeep. I figured I would give it a chance and BAM, it fired right up without a jump after 4 months of sitting. No ticking, no leaks. The engine was perfect. The odometer read 100,912 miles.

I went back to the desk and asked for the price. 700.00 was his reply and it included all the parts pulled from the junkyard to fix it for free.

It was done. I was sold. My wife now drives the Escape and I started with my first Jeep.

......................

-1999 Cherokee Sport
-101k miles
-Auto
-d30/8.25
-Salvaged
-Rust Free

.......................

I was nervous. I work as an RN at a hospital and nobody in my family has ever done anything to a car other than change the oil and an occasional tire. But I guess I had to start somewhere.



This is how she looked after I got the 4 months of junkyard grime off of her and fixed the rear hatch and bumper. That was a chore by itself. I also sea foamed her and changed all of the fluids aside from the transmission fluid.












After the salvaged title was rebuilt it was time to think bigger. I scoured the forums and decided on 3" RC coils and stage 2 shocks. My plan was a bastard pack in the back. Did I mention this was on a budget? And all of the work was done in a condo parking lot with no power tools other than an angle grinder I picked up from Harbor Freight.

Front done.



All finished. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done. Scored some temporary 31's on rusted D Windows off of craigslist for 300 bucks.







There is literally no place to ride where I live and these were the only things I had to play on.








Playing in a small river close to my house.







After a couple weeks and some rubbing, I decided I hated the bumper caps and the fender so I took them off. Then I trimmed my front fenders and cut and folded the rears. I was nervous. I thought the bumper looked goofy so I trimmed the front and back to match. I also folded the rear quarter panels and sprayed the rockers with bedliner. I also cleaned up the D Windows and sprayed them gunmetal to be different.

This is how she sits today.













And my wife posing with her




........................

Future plans

1" spacers to level the front
Bumpers front/rear (JCR or Nates4x4)
Swing out tire carrier.
New Tires (probably 32" MTR with Kevlar)
New trackbar
Transmission cooler
GC tie rod
Exhaust
Possible re gear to 4.56

.........................

I am an open book. I welcome criticism and feedback. I am new to this and you won't hurt my feelings.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:53 PM
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it looks good man i wanna do that bumper cut on my 90, very clean xj
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:16 AM
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Jeep looks great man! You sure picked up a nice one..

Cant wait to see more..

and dannng you got a hell of a deal!
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:39 AM
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Looks good bro. Sweet deal also.
Looks about the same as what I'm going to be doing with mine.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:37 AM
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Hey man i live in cincy to! nice looking XJ
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 90xj,99xj,92mj View Post
it looks good man i wanna do that bumper cut on my 90, very clean xj

Yeah I couldn't find many pictures where people had done it, but I didn't like the stock look. The back matches the front.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:39 AM
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Good looking XJ bro! you really turned her around! hopefully i can start modding as soon as some spare cash rolls in. Bump for you!
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:56 AM
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nice score...and they are BOTH lookers... :-) good work
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:12 PM
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ha i just noticed the little dog in the window of the pic of the driverside thats awesome
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:14 PM
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nice score...and they are BOTH lookers... :-) good work
Thank you sir

Originally Posted by 90xj,99xj,92mj View Post
ha i just noticed the little dog in the window of the pic of the driverside thats awesome
Yeah he's my buddy. He needs a little help to get in and out of the Jeep though.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:23 PM
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dam man cant decied whats better looking the jeep or your old lady lol
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:54 PM
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ya my siberian husky loves my jeep too but he's a lil big for the front haha so what is next on the list for the xj?
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:15 PM
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Man that was a good deal
Just start on my first 4x4 jeep and it's also coming
along
Stock on 33's with some beadlocks
About to put on some coils, pretty easy???
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 90xj,99xj,92mj View Post
ya my siberian husky loves my jeep too but he's a lil big for the front haha so what is next on the list for the xj?
I love huskies. When I get a bigger place that will be my next dog. I really need some recovery points because I currently have 0. Those will come in the form of some new bumpers. Not sure about built or bought yet. I have never welded before so there would be a little learning curve involved. After that I will need some tires before the winter comes around, I'm leaning towards 32" mtr's.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Xj Cherokee View Post
Man that was a good deal
Just start on my first 4x4 jeep and it's also coming
along
Stock on 33's with some beadlocks
About to put on some coils, pretty easy???
The front was suprisingly easy. Just grabbed a coil compressor from AutoZone (free rental) and it all bolted right in. The swaybar on one side snapped and I planned on making some disconnects, but I am going to just leave it disconnects the RC shocks and coils are pretty stiff and I have minimal body roll without them.
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