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Project: Black Bear.

Old 08-01-2010, 12:58 AM
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Default Project: Black Bear.

Now that I have decided to keep my XJ, I should probably start a thread. I will try to keep this updated the best that I can, but I spend more time on another forum than I do here (been there three years, it's hard to switch) so not a lot of my time will be spent working on posts.

It started out as me looking for tires to throw on my current daily driver, a '93 Ford Ranger 2wd. The truck has a bad oil leak, occasional water pump leak, gas leak, bad tranny, and possibly a bent frame so I wasn't looking for much just something to get my by if I get pulled over. While I was in my search my brother told me about an older Cherokee he saw just out of town a ways for 250, with practically brand new tires on it. I drove out to see it and when I got there it was exactly what he said. An older cherokee with newish tires for 250, but one was flat and weather checked so I was going to walk. Right when I went to get back in the truck an old man in a Wrangler drives up and starts talking to me. He tells me that I can have it for 100 without the title if I get it off his lawn that day, but it has a bad transmission so it will need to be towed. So we hook it up (see pics, lol.. I have ***** of steel!) and tow it home. I threw the battery out of my truck into it to see if it starts and after a bit of confusion (push button start under the column) I get it started and.. it moves forward and reverse! I give the guy a call and he tells me that it just doesn't have anything past first gear. Later, I shoot an email off to the dmv asking about the title situation (it was his sons jeep, he lives in NJ but I live in NY. Apparently the title is at his sons old house which is now in the possession of his ex wife.) and they send me a letter with details on how to get it titled, 50 dollars and some letters to the owner, DMV, etc and I'll have the title in my name. Since the Jeep has far less problems than my truck looks like next summer I'll be driving the jeep around.

[Backstory, I commute to Delhi, NY on a daily basis for college and have a different vehicle for that due to rust/snow/gas mileage issues I will keep using that one. Speaking of Delhi, last year I saw a SWEET Cherokee there, it was usually either parked in the commuter lot or in one of the upper lots.]

After looking it over it's a 1989 Cherokee Larado, 4x4/auto with cruise, pwr windows/locks, 152k miles, and almost NO rust, something you almost never see in this state.

Anyway, enough senseless typing on with the pictures!



Hooked up to my Dad's 76/79 F250 Highboy Dually. It would look better if it was in one color, trust me.


The pesky push button start, and some weird security thing that doesn't work.


I have to sort through this sometime. I bet somewhere in there the radio wire is cut. Radio/clock don't work, everything else does though.


The main reason I'm keeping it, it has the I6. I've heard alot of good things about these from the Ranger guys. Hopefully it lives to it's expectations.


Needs paint. And a few lens's/emblems.




The wipers work, but they're a tad worn out. I'm going to see if I can get them to move normal, same with the windows. Also, the blinkers stay on instead of blinking, but that might be a problem with the front bulbs not being in.

Hopefully I'll be able to make this one a daily driver/weekend rig by next spring. All the minor stuff I'll take care of now, and the trans will be done in spring. That should give me enough time to save the money to fix it up right. I already have a good idea of how I want it painted. I'm going to redo it in gloss black, along with the plastics. Then I would slowly move on to modding it. I've been considering Rusty's 3" lift but I'm going to look around a bit first. I'm also debating on a prerunner or stinger style bumper, since I like the protection a prerunner bumper provides but I also like the aggressiveness of a stinger. I might try to incorperate both themes into one bumper. Honestly I might just leave it stock. I'm not sure yet.

Here's a little list of stuff that it needs that I know of so far-
-Passengers parking lens/bulb. ($7)
-Drivers corner lens/bulb. ($7)
-Passengers mirror. ($10)
-Rear view mirror. ($6)
-Transmission. ($100)
-Battery clamps. ($3)
-Hatch shocks. ($10)
-Emblems. ($6)
-Paint. ($25-30)
-Headliner. ($10)
-A good cleaning, and some raid. (wasp infestations)
-Msc heater hoses.

There's probably tons more that still is yet to be discovered, but so far this is only around 300 dollars to fix it and that's a pretty good sum for me, compared to my Ranger.

Right now I photoshopped it to how I plan on having it look by the time I get it on the road. Mostly I want to work on fixing the paint (just going to spraypaint it) and re-blacking the flares and bumper plastic. I'm going to leave all of the chrome, it grew on me. And I'm going to be tinting the windows, haven't decided on a % for the back yet but the front and windshield will be done to the NYS max. It's also going to get a basic tune up.


Oh, and this is the truck it's replacing.


And the car it's going to buddy up with.


Yeah, I'm a Ford guy, but I've always had a thing for Cherokees.

So what do you guy's think.. good base for a project or no?
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:19 AM
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Rust free and runs? Good start

Before you give up on the tranny, though, verify it's got fluid in it.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:27 AM
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I'll check that, but it's not behaving like any of the dry ones I've experienced. My Ranger was ran dry for about 6 months before I realized it. Kept thinking it was on it's way out but it was just thirsty, I've put 10k miles on it since then and it is just starting to get real bad again. I can't seem to remember if I checked the tranny fluid on the XJ or not.. I know I checked the coolant and oil but I think that might be it. It's always good to double check anyway.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:34 PM
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Checked the fluid, it doesn't look burnt or anything and it seems to be at a decent level. I have to get it level and warmed up before I can check for real though. Usually when I a transmission (from my experience) it is either out of fluid or the fluid is burnt brown looking.

I've been debating on ditching the chrome or not for a while, I think I've decided to keep it. Mostly because I don't want to go through all the work to paint it. I did a couple photoshops and I liked the chrome version better anyway. This is basically how I want the Jeep to look by May 2011, which is when I'm set to put it on the road.

With chrome.


Chrome painted black.


All that I did was cleaned up the paint a bit and made the plastics black. Then I tinted the windows, the front I plan on doing to the state maximum and the rears I am undecided on. I added the corner light and marker light on that I am missing, and I painted the rims. I'm going to do them in black with the "Jeep" inlay in red. All blacks will be gloss, I don't like the look of flat black. It's probably not going to look that clean either, since I'm going to use rattlecans. I'm pretty good with those though, I touched up alot of my Zx2 with them and it all came out pretty good.

This morning I got inside it and checked out that duct tape, it wasn't anything special. It was just a ball of it stuck there, I thought it had wires in it. It was covering up this thing..



There's also a bunch of cut wires going from that, and some around it too. Is it something aftermarket or no? If it is, I believe it might have something to do with this..


Also, what are all of these? I'm refering to the yellow box, clear box, and metal box.


And these.. they're both cut although one goes into the cab. I'm yet to trace it to where it goes, but since it's a single wire going through a grommet I think it might be something someone put in there. I have no idea.



I also snagged a couple pictures of the underside, not very good photos but they show how little rust is on this thing.



Because of the low rust condition I am going to only drive this in warm weather. I'll leave winter to my rusted out car.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:07 PM
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The box you found is the main brain box for a Stealstopper alarm system, and the keypad is a pad you had to put a code into to be able to start the vehicle... Most of those relays under the hood are probably or were probably at one time for the alarm system... I would take by a shop that installs car alarms and have them remove it... or if you feel froggy you could do it yourself... otherwise it might cause more issues later down the road...
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:36 PM
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How much do you think it would cost to have it it removed?
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:21 PM
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Been checking out alot of lift options today, I went through a budget lift from another thread and it ended up costing more than a better (but shorter) RC lift. The difference would be made up in adding more componets, but I would have another inch after that for a total of 5" of planned lift.

So what I plan on doing is the RC 3" add a leaf kit, along with a 2" poly spacer for the front and a 2" shackle in the back. I should net 5" with that lift.

Looks like I better start saving. I'll have to buy new tires too.

I'm hoping the 5inches of lift will allow me to fit 33" tires, but I dunno. I have more research to do, and a year to do it.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:59 AM
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good looking xj for 100 dollars man. you will deffinitely be able to fit some 33s on it with some minor fender trimming. also in my opinion the grill looks better black
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:39 AM
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hey man nice xj score
and im a ford guy too haha i got a 93 ranger ($100) and a 95 escort ($300) haha
along with my 00 xj (free score!)
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:14 PM
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I don't want to trim if I don't have too, I'll stick with 31's and if I don't like them I'll go to 33's with some cutouts later on.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:53 PM
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Moved the Jeep up onto my hill next to one of the sheds. It ran fine on the way up, and the 4x4 works great even though the lever is stiff, I had to use two hands to move it. Could that be from not being driven for a long time?

Pictures of the jeep and it's new spot.

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Old 08-04-2010, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Koda6966 View Post
Moved the Jeep up onto my hill next to one of the sheds. It ran fine on the way up, and the 4x4 works great even though the lever is stiff, I had to use two hands to move it. Could that be from not being driven for a long time?

Pictures of the jeep and it's new spot.


Most likely, I had to have my friend fixed mine (more like forced it) to make it work again. I now lube and move my t-case lever once in awhile because these things gets stuck in rust whether you use it or not.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:50 AM
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Sold it for 400.

I probably won't be back until I get another cherokee. lol
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