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Possum AKA "P.O.S" 2001 XJ

Old 11-03-2017, 06:55 AM
Thread Starter
NavyJeep's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Everett, Wa
Posts: 13
Year: 2001
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L
Talking Possum AKA "P.O.S" 2001 XJ

Pretty as she can be! Remove the decals on the glass immediately.

Big ol'hole in that case!


Letme start by thanking everyone who has contributed to this forum, it has been anawesome and invaluable resource. And I am sorry for the wall of text below, Iam currently deployed and don’t have much access to my photos.

A little about myself:

Iam a graduate of Nashville Auto Diesel College, I worked as a Heavy DutyFleet Mechanic for 5 years, joined the US Navy as a Electronics Technician, andnow I am floating around somewhere in the Pacific on my way home from my firstdeployment. Deployment has allowed me to save the cash I need to get the"P.O.S." back in daily driver shape.

Possums Story:

Wellhere she is my 2001 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 254000miles, 4.0I6, Aw4, Np242,Lp Dana 30, Dana 35, all power options, and leather seats.

Idiscovered “P.O.S” at a local Subaru dealerships used car lot with no priceposted. It didn’t take long before a salesman was offering to let me take itfor a test drive. The salesman had tojump start her to get her running. During the test drive I discovered a bunchwrong with her. The interior lights would come on when I tried rolling thewindows down, the radio did not work, power seats are inoperable, and doorlocks only worked some of the time. Oh, and let’s not forget it had to be jumpstarted again at a stop light. But the engine ran strong, it shiftedsmooth, and 4wd worked. The motor wascovered in oil residue and dirt, and something in the belt drive was making ahigh pitched whine. On another note she was practically rust free. The paint onthe hood and roof was oxidized and faded, with a small amount of surface ruston the roof. The underbody had been professionally undercoated and wasvirtually rust free.

Oncewe made it back to the dealership the salesman asked me what I would give forit, I thought for a second and offered $1500 including tax, tag, andregistration. The salesman went and talked to his manager, and the next thing Iknew was signing paperwork to bring her home.

I drove the “P.O.S” straight to a O’reillys from the dealershipand swapped out the battery, this fixed the start issue. The drive home waspretty uneventful afterwards.

It didn’t take long for more problems to start showing there uglyhead. I found that the valve cover gasket and the oil filter adapter wereleaking. I replaced the valve covergasket with a nice Fel-pro gasket, and replaced the o-rings for the oil filteradapter. Removing the oil filter adapter proved to be a major pain in the butt,but I got it done. At this time I also changed the oil and replaced the sparkplugs.

I decided to tackle the electrical gremlins a couple of weekslater. It took me quite a while to figure out exactly what was going. I knew that I had a bad ground, but where? Ichecked all the interior grounds according for the Technical Manual and theyall seemed to be in good shape appearance wise. I was racking my brainwondering what could be going on. While sitting in the passenger, I went to getout and I noticed that the dash was loose; I was able to physically move thedash in and out. So after investigating I found that when the previous ownerreplaced the heater core they did not reinstall the bolt that ties the dashesmetal frame to the body. After a quick trip to the hardware store I got thebolt installed, and what do you know! All my interior electrical system workedexcept for the back hatch. That same day I pulled the harness for the backhatch and soldered about 20 wires back together. This resolved all of my interior electricalissues except my seats.

A few days later I decided to tackle the whine coming from thebelt drive, I determined the AC clutch pulley bearing was bad. This was apretty easy swap; I rented a puller from Advance and pulled the clutch from thecompressor. The bearing was pressed into the pulley and secured with a snapring. The parts guy at Advance let me use their machine shop press to get thebearing out. Reinstallation was just the reversal of everything.

Afterwards I helped a buddy finish reinstalling injectors in his7.3. We took our vehicles out for a test drive. I decided to break my backendloose in mud, bad idea! When I pulled back on to the asphalt it sounded like Iwas dragging something underneath the jeep. We got out and took a look, we couldn’t find anything visually wrongwith the Jeep. We decided to head to Buffalo Wings for some Beers. When we wentto leave the Jeep wouldn’t crank, turn the key and nothing. My buddy exclaimsshe’s just playing “Possum”, you just need to give “P.O.S” some love and she’llfire right up, and that’s how my jeep got its nickname. The problem ended upbeing a loose battery cable. On the drive home I noticed that the draggingsound was turning more into a growl coming from under my feet.

Next morning I went outside to jack the Jeep up. My thought wasthat my dragging sound had to be coming from somewhere in my drive train. Idisconnected the drive shaft from the yokes and found that the yoke for thetransfercase was very hard to turn. So I dropped the transfercase anddiscovered a giant hole in the housing and zero fluid in the case. This amazedme and is a testament to the ability of the Np242 transfercase, I drove thejeep 70 miles the night before and the case never failed internally! I ordereda replacement Np242 from a junkyard in California and reinstalled it in thejeep. I should have replaced the transmission mount at this time but I didn’t.

So all went well for a couple of weeks, then one day while brakingmy pedal went to the floor and I barely got stopped. I limped home and foundthat the passenger wheel cylinder was leaking. I replaced wheel cylinders, hardware, and pads on both sides, along with flushing the system. I did discover Ihave a broken wheel stud on the drives side rear, I have not determined if Ican replace this without removing the axle shaft.

I have not gotten a chance to do too much to the in the last 6months. I got married in May and my wife and I drove the “P.O.S” around 1000miles during our week long honeymoon to the Mt. Baker Wilderness. The only issue that developed during this timewas that it seemed like the Jeep was losing prime if I parked for more than acouple of hours. I pressure test at the fuel rail later determined this to betrue.

So now on my way back from deployment I have started developingplans for everything I want to do to “P.O.S” over the next year or two. Most ofwhat I want to do just involves replacing the worn out components, it seemsthat most of the steering and suspension is OEM with over 250000miles on it.


  • Replacefuel pump
  • ReplaceRMS
  • ReplaceOil Pan Gasket
  • ReplaceBall Joints(Moog)
  • ReplaceAxle U-Joints(Both sides with Spicer serviceable Joints)
  • ReplaceWheel Hubs (Moog)
  • ReplaceWheel stud
  • ReplaceMotor Mounts(BrownDog)
  • ReplaceTransmission Mount(Mean Lemons)


My wants consist of things that need replaced but aren’t criticalto drivability. The sole purpose of megetting a Cherokee was to be able to handle long drives across Washington tovarious trailhead in comfort, and having the ability to handle snow and forestservice road washouts.

  • OME 3.5”Lift(DPG)
  • Soft 8sor D windows
  • 31x10.5Duratracks
  • ZJ tierod conversion
  • ReupholsterSeats
  • winch
  • winchbumper
  • PaintRoof with monsterliner
  • Repainthood.

Once again I apologize for the wall of text. There will be plentyof pictures and videos to come over the following months.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:41 AM
CF Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,382
Model: Cherokee

Hey so we are in the same boat well not really I don't think but turns out we are both on deployment and in the Pacific which means your probably part of my battlegroup right now!!! LOL How funny that is and your located in Everett which means I'm in Lake Stevens. We can talk PM if you like but I would be interested to know who you are and what Ship your on. Pretty cool and well I just picked up at 1989 while on deployment and when I get back I got my work cut out for me. Nice to meet you and welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:52 AM
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NavyJeep's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Everett, Wa
Posts: 13
Year: 2001
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L
Default Update!!

Update to the POS:

Installed the Following:
1. Leafs - CS033RB(OME)
2. Coils - 2934(OME)
3. .75" Spring Isolators - 10473(IRO)
4. Core4x4 LCA w/rubber bushings
5. Leaf Bushings - SB372, SB371(MOOG)
6. Sway bar Bushings - K3171(MOOG)
7. Shocks 5100's - 24-188197, 33-066868(Bilstein)
8. Steering Dampener - SC2928(Monroe)
9. Rear Brake Line - 89703(RC)
10. Shackles - 52000507(Crown)
11. Sway bar links - RE1130(RE)
12. Dana 35 U Bolt - 10513(IRO)
13. Double Sheer Track Bar 10215(IRO)

Left to do:
1. Tierod Ends
2. Ball Joints
3. Front Hubs
4. Axle Shaft U-Joints
5. Install Tires
6. Alignment and Tire Balance
7. Fix Power Seats

So I ordered everything back in January, due to some unforeseen issues I wasn't able to install everything until March. I got everything installed over a couple Duty Free weekends, and man was it a pain in the butt. From the start almost everything I could go wrong did. I tackled the rear first, every bolt was seized tight and PB Blaster didn't make a difference. I ended up breaking everything loose by using a 3 foot breaker bar with a massive cheater. I had to cut the front eye of the factory leafs to get the bolts to turn.

I had to create a tool to install the bushings in the springs, I used two Pipe floor plates and a section of threaded rod to fashion a press, and the bushing went in easily.
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:11 PM
Thread Starter
NavyJeep's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Everett, Wa
Posts: 13
Year: 2001
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L
Default Update!!

The Front went together with out any real problems, however I do think i am going to add another .75 puck, I only got around 2.5 inches from the OME Coils and the isolator and I have around 4 inches in the rear.

So after the test drive I am getting a loud clunk in the rear when going over bumps, I think it may be the exhaust but I have not had time to isolate it.
I scored some Rubicon take off wheels and tires with about 3/4 tread left for $300, i imagine I am going to have to cut the fenders a little bit to fit the tires they are measuring right at 32 inches. Thats all i have had time to do as of lately. I have had to go to San Diego for a few weeks, putting a damper on anything i wanted to get done to the Jeep.
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