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NodakXJ's College Budget Build

Old 07-27-2015, 08:47 PM
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Default NodakXJ's College Budget Build

Hello everyone! I have been lurking on this forum for a while. I figure it's time I start a build thread. I am currently a college student in North Dakota with a part time job so my build progress will be slow so I apologize in advance.

I got my XJ in March. It currently has 198k miles. I haven't done too much to it since I bought it besides a couple cosmetic and interior things. Interior wise I got the Quadratec floor mats, mounted a mag light to my center console and I got a Mob Armor mob mount. On the exterior I removed the stupid mud flaps, and the side trim. I also started working on a custom bumper for the front which still isn't finished yet.

Current Modifications:
- JMFabrication Front Bumper w/ Hella lights
- Iron Rock Off Road 4"Front coils
- IRO 3.5" rear leaf pack with boomerang shackles
- IRO Upper and Lower Adjustable Control Arms
- Mickey Thompson Classic Locks with 265/75/16 Duratracs
- Odyssey Extreme Battery
- JCR Battery Tray
- Uniden PC68LTW/Wilson Coax/FirestikII
- IPF H4 housing/Hella Bulbs/ARB Harness

Future Plans:
- Rear Locker (Either Powertrax or Aussie)
- Roof Rack
- Rear Bumper
- Skid Plates

Here are some pictures of my rig.

May 2015 out at my relatives ranch...
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On a trail back home in California in June.
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Bumper build
I wanted something simple yet strong. It is all made out of 3/16" wall structural tubing. We made tabs for the shackles off of the brackets. I still need to grind down the shackle tabs, cut the holes in them, and weld on some caps to the end of the open pieces. We ran out of time before I had to travel back up to North Dakota. I am waiting on my cousin to let me use his welder so I can finish it. I also have 2 Hellas I am going to mount on the bumper as well. Here are the pictures of it.

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yes. I know its crooked in the picture. I hadn't adjusted it yet.

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That is about it for now. I will keep updating as I progress.

Last edited by nodakxj; 06-16-2016 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:25 PM
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Just a small update. I got most of the pieces for my IRO 3" lift in the mail today. These parts sure are beefy! I am very impressed by their shipping only took one day to get to me. Still waiting on my leaf springs though.

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Old 08-04-2015, 09:21 PM
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Cool cool. Always enjoyable to see a stock XJ undergo a transformation. Good work on that bumper too!
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DeltaOP4 View Post
Cool cool. Always enjoyable to see a stock XJ undergo a transformation. Good work on that bumper too!

Thanks! It's a work in progress.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:23 PM
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My leaf springs arrived! So far I am very happy with the quality of all these parts. Next step installation!

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Old 08-06-2015, 08:23 PM
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Pulled my fender flares and rear bumper end caps off today. Snapped off all the finder flare bolts so I guess those are never going back on. I also found a nice patch of rust on the passenger side rear quarter panel. I was originally planning to just cut my front fenders and fold the rears but now I'm going to cut and fold the rear quarter panels also. Next step is finding an angle grinder lol. Don't mind the pics taken in the target parking lot....

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Old 08-08-2015, 05:17 PM
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The front bumper came out nice. I'm on the fence between buying one and just making my own. My build is on a college budget also. Takes forever saving up. Good luck with it
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Rere1992 View Post
The front bumper came out nice. I'm on the fence between buying one and just making my own. My build is on a college budget also. Takes forever saving up. Good luck with it
Thanks! Yea I was on the fence too. My buddy went to school for welding and I have taken one welding class so I figured might as well just make my own. However it did end up costing quite a bit more than I expected. I used structural tubing for the main part of the bumper and that was a bit pricey. The 6 feet of 2"x6" tubing in 3/16" was about $79. Then I bought like 4 feet of 2"x2" a 1/4" flat bar plus some 3/16" flat bar. It all adds up haha. I wish I would have some metal hook ups back home in California but unfortunately I didn't. I think overall it was at least $250 minimum, and im still not done with it yet.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:57 PM
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Last part for my lift came today! IRO adjustable boomerang shackles. Hopefully it will all be installed by the end of the week.

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Old 08-18-2015, 07:18 PM
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Finally got the lift installed. My Jeep was being a major pain in the *** so a shop had to end up installing all of it. Anyways I am happy that it is finally on.

Here is how it currently sits. It is a tad higher in the rear. I am hoping that the rear leafs will settle a bit. I am not a fan of the raked look.
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Also I seriously need bigger tires now. It looks like my Jeep skipped leg day. I picked up these Mickey Thompson Classic Locks for $60 they are a bit dirty and slightly pitted. I am debating on either trying to clean them up or paint them black. Eventually I plan on wrapping them in some 265/75/16 all terrains. Any opinions on whether or not I should just leave them polished or paint them black?
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:34 PM
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Nice looking XJ so far. That lift kit looks very stout. I vote painting those rims black with some nice ATs wrapped around them.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BuddhaJeeper View Post
Nice looking XJ so far. That lift kit looks very stout. I vote painting those rims black with some nice ATs wrapped around them.
Thanks! That is what I am leaning towards for the wheels as well.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:25 PM
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Started cleaning up the wheels today. They are pretty nasty. I got one of them semi finished. Took about an hour to clean all the crap off of it. I still need to polish them or remove the oxidization on them. I also need to clean off all the bolts. They appear to be zinc plated. Anyone have any ideas how to clean them off well without removing the zinc plating?

Here is another shot of the front after the lift.
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Here is the before
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After
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Before/After
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Bolts. Any ideas how to clean them?
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:28 PM
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Agreed, I'm a fan of black wheels, and those would turn out looking damn good painted black!

If you look at it on the bright side, you have plenty of time to prep them, and get them painted nice before you wrap them in bigger rubber, and bolt em on.

Edit: In that front view pic, it looks like you need to adjust your track bar.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TFitzPat87 View Post
Agreed, I'm a fan of black wheels, and those would turn out looking damn good painted black!

If you look at it on the bright side, you have plenty of time to prep them, and get them painted nice before you wrap them in bigger rubber, and bolt em on.

Edit: In that front view pic, it looks like you need to adjust your track bar.
Yea I think they will end up being black. I'm going to take my time on them since I have to save for tires anways haha.

Hmm interesting point about the track bar. It does look like my wheels are a little wack. Hard to tell if its just the picture or not.
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