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Project: 1988 Jeep Cherokee XJ 2 Door

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Project: 1988 Jeep Cherokee XJ 2 Door

Old 11-28-2015, 12:57 PM
  #1  
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Location: Northern Nevada
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Year: 1988
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 High Output
Cool Project: 1988 Jeep Cherokee XJ 2 Door

Hello, New guy to Cherokee forum but this is my 3rd XJ owning. Well guys I decided to start a build on my XJ. My end intentions is to build a rig I can drive anywhere I want and not be afraid to point it in any direction. I picked it up about 2 months ago for a 1000 bucks. It needed quit a bit but started and ran somewhat ok. It wasn't very pretty when I got It. It has a 5.5-6 inch lift (sorta) and at the time 35x14.50x15 super swampers on black steel wheels with absolutely no tread on them.(for sale btw cheap)
It rode terrible and had a gnarly death wobble. The lights flashed and loss of amp which I ended up tracking down somewhere by cleaning every ground I could track down. Did wonders on how it ran, started, and just felt overall.
The jeep didn't look the greatest and needed a very good cleaning.

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Well as soon as I got it home I cleaned all the mud I could off of it and gave it a good scrub on the interior which is in fairly good condition actually. Minus the headliner missing and the rear hatch panel missing. (if anyone has one that's be great) I cleaned it up and ended up tearing the front fenders off.

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I had some money I could throw at it as I just sold my 93 YJ and I have been wanting a 2 door XJ forever and couldn't pass up one for a 1000 bucks. I wanted to go with fiberglass baja fenders but could not bring myself to pay 150 bucks shipping on fenders that already cost 400 bucks so I did some searching and found to oem front fenders for 113 bucks shipped to my door in 3 days. I wasn't to concerned about the quality of them as they were already primered black and the jeep is already flat black and two I'm gonna cut em up anyways. The actually quality of the fender isn't the best but the fit nicely and looked factory.
I had some 33x12.50xR17 Mickey Thompson MTZs laying around that I was gonna put on my YJ after the Toyo MTs wore but sold it before. So I did some searching for a decent 17 inch wheel and came across some Trailmaster wheels for a 100 bucks a piece at 4 wheel parts.. There new so I couldn't do my research on them themselves. But the quality is pretty decent for the price. my only dislike is the fake bolts sit further than the wheel so I don't see them lasting to long on the rocks.

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Overall I like the look of the wheels and I defiantly love the price. $435 shipped to my door. You can see some other goodies in the pic but ill get to that soon. But the tires actually made it ride 100 times better and cured the death wobble a lot but it still got me once and scared the heck outta me. I hadn't gotten into the drivetrain or steering at this point. Was more concerned in looks and well armor all around. Well the fenders came in and I got them all mounted up. I had to wait to trim them up because I was doing research and as you XJ lovers know armor isn't as easy to come across. Well not unless you want to spend a arm and leg. So I did my share of research and came across http://affordableoffroad.com/ and gave them a call and they made me a awesome deal on a front stinger bumper rear bumper and sliders with steps all for under a grand shipped. The bumper came in about 5 days. They came bare metal wrapped in plastic and duct tape. But the quality of the bumpers and sliders is very good. The front stinger came with d rings mounts that are welded front and back. Same with the rear as well as a hitch. The sliders mounted up very good both to the frame as well as the pinch seam. The bumper mounted straight up to factory mounts and mounted very easy. I rattled canned all the bumpers and sliders with a decent paint. Came out pretty decent. In the time while I was doing the bumpers and sliders I had to get the front windshield glued in and while I was at it I got the XJ tinted which made a huge difference. I also ordered a Smittybilt 10k XRC comp series winch with synthetic rope and for lime green Iron cross D rings. Figured I'd invest in armor and a winch prior to gears or lockers due to having hook up points and a winch that can get me out of most bad situations. Lockers and gears are coming soons but as you all know they arnt cheap

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Old 11-28-2015, 12:57 PM
  #2  
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Year: 1988
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After finally getting all the sliders on and bumpers I started to trim the fenders. As well as the rears. the fronts I trimed to the end of the first bolt like and folded it to where its not sharp and sits where it still has a small factory flare. The rear was already trimmed but It was a hack job. Thankfully my father-in-law is a ex body shop owner and has most the tools needed to fix it the best I could. I'm going with the black and Lime green look. So along the body line and the single flare on the front and rear I used rhinoline in a can and got rid of the hideous blue and made it look a hundred times better. I'm going with the green because my brother and I have been using the color for years for racing and previous builds. To some they actually refer it as "Christiano Green". I wanted to have all of it powder coated but I decided that can come when it all comes back apart for a rollcage and paint body work In the next year after I get the running gear and suspension where I want.(for the time being obviously as a jeep is never ending).

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Well during this time I was waiting for the front driveline from the kid. He claimed all running gear was good blah blah blah. Well all I did was check the oil prior to purchasing it. Well I had the jee[ at home so I thru it in in my own garage real fast and the front end started making horrible nosies. So I drove the jeep back out and pulled the cover to find a diff that looks like it has never seen oil. Sludge is all that tried to keep it cool. So I gave it the shot of cleaning it all as best I cold and throwing gear oil in it and hoping for the best. But of course every seal leaked and I also found out while the diff cover was pulled it had 3.55 gears and the front had been welded. Which I didn't mind with future intentions of gears and lockers of course. So I took it for a single wheeling sessions with my brother who just picked up a ZJ.The jeep did fairly well considering its a 5.5-6.5 inch superlift that's been rigged and pieced together. it has blocks in the rear. But of course this will all change soon. But it flexed ok and the 4wd worked great thankfully.Also got my Drings mounted up and they look pretty good I think. Painted the stock diff cover green and finally got the synthetic rope reeled into the winch. The wireless remote is so nice.

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Old 11-28-2015, 12:58 PM
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Well after the wheeling and all the gear oil in my driveway I took the jeep back out pulled the diff cover with intentions of replacing the ball joints and all seals in the front diff. Well me not thinking ahead got carried away and did all the ball joint myself then started tearing the diff apart to find more problems. carrier bearings all bad seals and the ring and pinion and heat marks. So I yanked the front diff out and went on a search hoping to find another front dana 30 with or without cad with 3.54 gears that was worth it.

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So what I ended up coming across a couple days ago was a set of axles used in a Xj. It was a Dana 30 with CAD and a Chrysler 8.25 rear.Both for free. The only down fall is the 3.07 gears. But the axles roll, gears match, and the rear in a upgrade regardless. Also got a Rough Country track bar with heims installed. I currently just got the front end in with new calipers and rotors. Got to exchange the rotor for the spindles require a different rotor. So I slapped the old ones on to move the jeep to start on the rear. This is where I currently am with the XJ. Drove up to Reno to go to Summit today and picked up new U bolts for the rear and ill hopefully get that swapped tomorrow.

My future plans for the time being are gears, lockers, roof rack, Long arm kit, new shocks are coming next, skids, frame stiffners,rollcage, paint.. Does it ever end though?

Some other things I got going on with it right now is fixing the 88 coolant system and getting rid as much vacuum as I can. I also wired up a led light bar switch and wiring I had for my YJ. Its in progress and has come along ways since the start a month and a half ago.

Any positive opionions, suggestions, advice is always welcome and appreciated. Hoping to be out doing some trails with you guys again here soon..
Thanks you., Ill keep you all up to date
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:33 AM
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Little update: been super busy with my sons bday and getting back to work. But I did finish getting the dana 30 mounted in and had the wrong rotors. the axles came off a 92 XJ but the rotors I had to go with came off a 00 XJ. The 99 and older sat to deep and when the wheels got mounted they sat against the knuckles. Also got the rear Chrysler 8.25 mounted up. I need to do a transfer case drop asap until I can afford doing a SYE. But I did take it out to make sure everything worked good and it did pretty good being open front and rear and 3.07s. Also deleted a bunch of vacuum lines and all the 4wd vacuum lines due to it having a manual CAD now as well as having a 231 t case. Runs a lot better I feel and engine bay looks a lot less cluttered. Still haven't been able to figure the heater controls as the vacuum was a mess from the PO and not hooking a lot of it up during the H.O I6 swap. Got most of it figured out by using other pics but any suggestions on the heater controls?
Heres some crappy night pics the night I finished it. Been using it to drive back and forth to work. Death wobble has gone away which is nice.

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It still needs tons of little things. Currently in search of V8 ZJ sway bar for the front and some actual 5.5-6 inch lift coils for the front instead of the superlift ones with spacers.. Its goings together slowly though. Money has to go other places for a bit so itll just be little things hear and there for a while.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:34 PM
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Been to busy with work to do anything to the jeep really. But I did take it to work today and aligned it and used the forklift to see how it flexs.. Wanted to measure shock lengths but wanted to go home more. Did take a few pics tho. I also stopped by autozone and ordered a vacuum reservoir to try and fix my heater controls..

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Old 12-13-2015, 06:35 PM
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Your XJ is coming along nicely!! Looks badass with our products on it. Keep up the good work it's paying off!
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:46 PM
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Nice progress. Subbed
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:11 PM
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Looks good!
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