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Operation "Tacticool" '98 Sport

Old 08-09-2011, 07:00 PM
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Default Operation "Tacticool" '98 Sport

Names Darren, this is my first XJ, and my first Jeep for that matter. Couple of buddies had these things and I really kinda fell in love with them. So, I started looking for one back in April, keeping my options open to anywhere within a 5hr driving distance to find the "perfect" XJ. I was having no luck, as Jeeps kept getting sold right out from under me for about 6-8 weeks, some of which were only posted for a few hours and they were gone. The Jeep I ended up buying was only on craigslist for 30min, I called the guy and told him Id take it before I even saw it. Biggest mistake was I was at work, so I sent my wife to go get it. Now, my wife is more than capable of doing more than making pancakes and running the vacuum, but she went and got it at night, which made it easy to overlook a lot of small problems. He was asking 3800 for this chili pepper red sport with 138k miles... with the existing problems he was aware of, we made an offer of 3500 and he took it.
Edit: At that time, it needed a battery (the one he had in it was too big so the hood didnt shut right), drivers side window regulator, and rear hatch shocks

The Morning after I got it


First thing I did was detail the motor. Since it sat for so long, it needed some TLC .
Before

After



In an attempt to not babble for endless hours and make everyone cross eyed reading this, long story short there were more problems then he led to believe. It sat in his driveway for 2 years never driven in that time, so, in the Vegas heat everything was dry rotted even though he had a lot of things replaced prior to parking it. Said "F" it, I wanted new wheels/tires and a lift etc anyways, so Ill dig right in so I can get some 31's on it before one of these crunchy tires blows.

Started with a RC 3" AAL lift, since my rear springs still had plenty of support, I didnt feel the need to replace the whole pack. Unfortunately my phone likes to magically delete pictures sometimes, so a lot of my build photos are out the window... ill just post what I have. Lifting the rear btw was a mother F.... damn east coast cars, every shackle bolt was rusted to the leaf sleeves. I ended up doing more sawing than wrenching.

Heres where one of the bolts snapped off inside the frame. I was lucky I was able to get it out BARELY with some vice grips.


While I had it apart I decided to paint the fender wells, and what ever visible parts of the uni-body I could access. Started with 3M rubberized undercoating, but wasnt satisfied with it. Ended up using rustoleums undercoating on the other half.




Pic of the front lift in.


After the lift


Last edited by SirLasVegas; 08-10-2011 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:07 PM
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very niceeee me likes it
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:11 PM
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Some people may be asking: "Darren, why did you call this build "Tacticool?" Glad you asked, its a very good question. I'm really into tactical gear, love going shooting and am a fairly avid airsoft enthusiast, so I want to add some elements to the jeep to incorporate my out door activities. Most of these mods with come later on down the road: Paint color change, possible chop, molle interior with pouches, ATACS custom interior work and whatever else I can come up with.

But, for now this is some more of the parts I ended up getting.
Found a deal on craigslist for 5 practically brand new 31" Hankook Dynapro MTs for $600. Guy had them on his wrangler for less than 500 miles and the Jeep got totalled.




Since I found the tires fairly quick, I needed some wheels to go with it. So, I rushed down to 4 Wheel Parts and ordered some matte black Pro Comp D windows.

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Old 08-09-2011, 08:16 PM
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Looks real good!
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:41 PM
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Love the way the wheel wells turned out...I know what my next project is
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:45 PM
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Thanks!
Also, right about the same time I was doing the lift, I replaced the serp belt because it was super crunchy, also replaced the thermostat with a Fail Safe 180 because it liked to run warm. Also had 2 days of it not starting... tore the whole jeep apart just to figure out it was the NSS. That was damn frustrating btw,..

By the time I got the lift completely finished, a couple weeks had passed and the 30 day was almost expired so I needed to get it registered. Well it had sat so long, I needed to get a punch of miles on it so that it had some data logged for emissions.
Gave the jeep to my wife for the day while I was at work to drive around and run errands. It was fine ALL day, then on her way home from her moms one of the heater houses blew up and dumped coolant out everywhere. She said she heard it pop and pulled over on the free way right away and cut the car off.
When I got off work, I went out and replaced the house, added some fluid and tried to start it up with no luck... it just cranked but wouldnt turn over. Sooooo, I towed it home.
Crappy pic of the Jeep getting thrown on the flat bed.


This is a video snip of me trying to start the jeep in an effort to do some trouble shooting and figure out whats wrong.


To me, it sounded ignition related. Tested the fuel, there was plenty of fuel. Tested the spark and there was spark but it looked disrupted and the plugs were GROSS so I went out and bought new ignition components. (coil wires plugs distr cap)


At about the same time I did the ignition system, in the process of trouble shooting, I also replace the CPS and TPS. Just a side note: The Duralast CPS from autozone, the pig tails on the sensor are like 2" shorter then factory and adds a LOT of tension... so I took it off.

So, got all that stuff replaced and finally got the Jeep to turn over. Drove it around the block once or twice, and noticed I was smoking the entire neighborhood out. By the time I got back to my drive way, it had already started to over heat, was smoking like a chimney and stalled out before I even made it to the garage. So, got 3 friends and it got pushed the rest of the way. Turns out it was the head gasket. grrrrrrr

So here starts my project of disassembling and replacing the headgasket.
Like I said previously, my phone likes to delete ish randomly, so my step by step pictures are gone.


^ At that point I basically had everything off but the manifolds and the head.

Head off


The gasket was split really bad where I circled between the 2 and 3 cylinder


Shipped the head off to the machine shop the next day, and had a little time on my hands so I decided to clean up the TB and intake manifold. (reference dirty manifold above so Im not posting it twice.

Soaked in boiling hot water for a few hours the hit it with a wire brush


Took a bottle brush apart, hooked it to the drill to clean the runners.






Bottle brush wasnt abrasive enough, so I went back through it with a 3M pad then cleaned it out with brake cleaner to get the debris out.







Then on to the TB





AFTER


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Old 08-10-2011, 03:13 PM
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nice work. sucks the head gasket went but look on the bright side. You'll now know more about the engine and whats been done to it at least on the upper half. Good pics too. You definatly cleaned the snot out of those parts!!
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:50 PM
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The head took longer than expected so I decided with the waiting time id bore out the TB to match the intake manifold. I read a lot of DIY where people used dremel tool sanding sleeves. I wasnt a fan of that for 2 reasons: 1. The bits so small it would take forever. 2. I wanted to keep the shape of the TB as close to round as possible... the smaller the sanding surface the harder it would be to do that.
I went down to harbor freight and found a sanding sleeve kit for about $10. Came with 4 different size sleeves and 2 different grits.



Used the largest of the 4 as it was almost the exact size of the inner diameter on the TB . Used the gasket as a guide, and traced the inside with a sharpee.



After boring it out.





Sanded the top out a bit too.


I used the 80 grit sleeve that came with it, so its a bit rough. Im still going to go back through with a finer grit by hand to smooth it out.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Got the head back yesterday. Had 5 bad valves and some warping... got all new seals as well. I used Fultz Machine Shop here in Vegas. Very reputable.
Just waiting for my motor mounts to get here from Brown dog so I can get everything put back together.
http://browndogindustries.com/c2572-...rmounts-1.aspx





Last edited by SirLasVegas; 08-10-2011 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:50 AM
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Do you have a pic of what your XJ looks like from the side, showing a glimpse of the painted wheel wells?
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:59 AM
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Please tell me how you got that engine compartment that clean?
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:20 AM
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Ill try and get a shot tomorrow from the side. Might be tough, my garage is a little cluttered but Ill give it a shot.


Lots of elbow grease for the cleaning lol Various cleaning brushes, 3M soft scrub pad, hot water with dish soap, break parts cleaner, degreaser. Just make sure you cover your distr, fuse box and ecu before getting the e-bay wet. Scrub everything down the best you can and just keep hitting it with a hose or pressure washer to blast away the debris. Then I touch everything up at the end with a little WD-40. Just make sure you dont cake it on, otherwise Itll attract dirt/buildup faster. Spray it on, and lightly wipe it away. The WD is nice to help wick away some of the water off your connectors and such after uve just hosed the e-bay down, and gives it a fresh shine.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:11 PM
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Its just not bright enough, nor do I have enough room in the garage to get a good full side view of the Jeep. Once I get her running again in the next week, Ill clean her up and get a picture out in the street.
Heres another one inside the wheel well though

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Old 08-12-2011, 07:47 PM
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Just tracked your Brown Dog motor mounts. Looks like they'll arrive tomorrow. Be sure to call, 866-401-3877, if you have any questions during/after installation. Phone is forwarded after hours and weekends.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:17 PM
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Looks good man! Did you spray them before putting the coils/shocks in? If not, what'd you use to cover em up?
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Brown Dog View Post
Just tracked your Brown Dog motor mounts. Looks like they'll arrive tomorrow. Be sure to call, 866-401-3877, if you have any questions during/after installation. Phone is forwarded after hours and weekends.
Are you stalking me?! lol jk. Thanks, I got the tracking info in my email, and also talked to the lady on the phone a couple days ago. Excited to put them on!!! thanks for the follow-up.

Originally Posted by chadh92 View Post
Looks good man! Did you spray them before putting the coils/shocks in? If not, what'd you use to cover em up?
I sprayed them before installing. Figured it would be easier while everything was apart.
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