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Project Collene

Old 03-21-2017, 01:55 PM
  #1  
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Location: Georgia
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Model: Cherokee
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Default Project Collene

Yet another auction build. Had a chance to look her over before she rolled through the line and knew that there was a lot of work to be done, but figured if the price was right I would jump. Didn't get down to what I wanted so I let her pass, but she didn't sell the next two weeks. I stopped by one day and asked how much to flat out buy, no auction. Got the price I wanted and had her home that night. Named her Colleene after an Irish folk song about a woman that is nothing but trouble as soon as you meet here. Fitting.






So some of the obvious issues are a power steering leak, a whine from the engine, brakes are super sketchy and it has been struck by something on the drivers side. I actually have about a months worth of back logged pics and work I have been doing to build up something up sustenance. Have gotten some things taken care of and run into a few other hiccups as well. The idea is a slow build as funds allow. This initial sprint is just to get her back on the road and reliable enough for some weekend driving and to ease into some trails with my local trail riding group that I recently joined. Now just gotta organize my pics for the next post.
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:18 PM
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Default Initial inspection

Alright after having time to crawl around and get a look at things, this is what I have found.

1. Driver side door rocker panel is damaged due to whatever accident it was in, but the frame appears to be fine. Don't see any outward signs of rust at first inspection (spoilers there is rust) but hadn't had time at this point to get real deep into it.

2. Power steering is shot. Needs new pump and lines. Not sure about the gearbox, but considering doing the Durango upgrade. Especially if the Jeep box if the leaky culprit.

3. Found a thermostat laying in the engine bay. Is it mine? Do I have a thermostat in the thermostat housing? Guess I better find out. Turns out I do, but ordered a new one just in case.

4. Coolant is rusty. Damn. Heater core is bypassed. Double damn.

5. Doesn't have factory airbox. Some sort of cool air intake. Not sure how good it is, but I have loose air lines that would have gone to the box.

6. Has a Zone lift possibly. At least it has a faded Zone sticker on the back. The underbody is so dirty that I can't tell if any of the leafs are new or if the shocks are stock or not. Has 31x10.5x15s on wheels that I am not a huge fan of, but oh well.

6. Oil leaking from valve cover and probably oilpan/rear main seal.

7. Possibly an ATF leak but hard to tell with the oil and dirt everywhere.

8. No heat, no air, no blower motor. There are some connectors undone under the passenger seat and some loose wires for what looks like a PO amp and subwoofer. So some electrical mystery to solve, but lights work, reverse and brake lights work, and blinkers and wipers come on. The right blinker doesn't blink though, had to manually click on and off for the people behind me. Well if there were people behind me that is, because I couldn't tell without a rearview mirror and side mirrors that wont respond to the power mirror button.

9. Carpets are filthy and the passenger side is wet after a night of rain. Got a leak somewhere.

10. Has oil and ATF but can't speak for the differentials yet. Seems to shift into 4H and 4L and ran though the gears without any slippage on the few outtings i had.

Next we start to address some of these issues.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:52 AM
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Your build looks a lot like the one I'm embarking on with my Son. We have some of the same issues as well. Look forward to seeing what you do with it.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:00 PM
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Well lets hope you miss out on the rust. While waiting for parts I was able to dissasemble the seats and center console and start taking everything, including the carpet out. Well there is rust. Not near as bad as the worst I have seen, but still rust that I can't unsee.

The good news? My brother and cousin are both professional welders. My brother actually welds sheet metal. More good news? Through my co-workers I have access to a scrap pile at a steel fabrication yard and was able to get some 14 ga sheet metal to patch the hole(s). The bad news? Both cousin and brothers use equipment provided by their employers. All we have access to here is a fluxcore welder from Tractor Supply. Yeah, my brothers tells me that it probably wont do as well as the 15k welder he gets to use at work. Oh well. As long as it works, I am not concerned with how it looks. Plan is to bedline everything once its patched and put the carpet back in to dampen the noise. Shopping around for rust inhibitors as budget allows. It is less rust than I expected out of a 92, so maybe the new patches, some Rustoleum and bedliner will keep her going for another 25 years. As of today I have cut the rust out and waiting on my brother to free us to patch it up for me.

While waiting and since I can't put them back in until I am finished, I decided to try and clean the carpets and seats.

With a little OxyClean and some pressure washing, they look a whole lot better. They still look rough, but better. Some ****, as they say, don't wash out. Plus there are bare spots from use that I will have to cover with some rubber mats. I will try and snap some after shots of the seats as I reinstall them. Sadly she is benched for the time being as I have no seat, a hole in the floor and started to disassemble steering and cooling system components.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:02 PM
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P.S. I really need to learn to re-size pictures before I upload them. Too damn big.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:18 PM
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Looks like you've got your work cut out for you. I think all XJ's have rust...mine did and still does have a bit I need to fix. I really like those rims, they will work great with whatever you choose for new tires. I will keep an eye on your progress. My build is going slow as well. I have finally acquired my lift and new tires came today. Now I just need winter to go away in Vermont so I can get it together.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:07 AM
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We haven't found any rust yet but we also haven't dug as deep into ours yet. We have found several places where rats/mice have been sleeping. Hopefully your brother will be able to take care of the floor patching for you. I tried posting mine but it said a moderator will have to approve it first. Hopefully it'll show up soon.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:07 PM
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Yeah, I consider myself lucky with the amount of rust I found. The shape it was in when I got it had me thinking that it would be much worse off. I look forward to checking your build man. Having fun with mine. Hope you guys do to.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:35 PM
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Parts are arriving at this point and my wife is asking what I have gotten myself into, but also says I look like a kid on Christmas whenever something shows up or I come in from working covered in grease. Gotta love a supportive wife. I start by draining the coolant and taking apart the front to give myself more room. Coolant was pretty bad and I've got aggregate in it from somewhere (after taking the water pump out, it was in pretty bad shape so I am guessing its a combination of that and an old radiator). On a side note, does anyone know where to take old coolant? The auto shops around me will only take old oil and gear oil. No ATF, brake fluid, or coolant. In the past on my other cars I finally talked to a local tire shop that agreed to take it, but I don't want to bother them every time I chance a fluid and I don't want to dump it somewhere. So suggestions are welcome.



The more I take off, the more I put on my to-do list! After the radiator was out of the way I pulled the belt and the old power steering pump and lines. Went and got a pitman arm puller and fought with it hard enough to get the gear box off. Still can't tell if the box is leaking. Found a 98 Durango at a local scrap yard though, so pretty sure while I have it out I might just replace it. Possible rebuild the Durango box just to be safe.

With that out of the way I can see I have cracks in the exhaust manifold and I could do with a new intake/exhaust gasket. So off those come and I can see that my freeze plugs are looking rough. I can see that the 3rd one back had a small leak. Oil leaking down the engine from the valve cover, so time for a new one. Might as well clean up the throttle body and intake while I have them off. Might do a quick and dirty fluxcore weld on the exhaust manifold to seal the crack and clean it up/paint.



At this point I am actually putting things back on the Jeep! Feels good. Bright shiny new parts. Got the new plugs in, so hopefully no more leaks. Flushed the system while I had everything off, so hopefully the aggregate is gone. Cleaned up all the surfaces for the new gaskets/RTV and started putting things back on. Took the opportunity to clean up the thermostat housing and valve cover. You might notice a missing plug and you would be right. RockAuto sells a kit that only came with 4 Why? I don't know when it is supposed to fit my 92 which clearly has 5 2" diameter plugs. The one off from the local parts store was steel and went in way too easy. Turned out to be a 555-069-B and I needed a 555-069. I left it out and ordered another kit to have spares. Feeling good about my progress so far. Think I have narrowed the engine squeak down the the A/C compressor bearing and have a new one on order. Hoping to tackle that and a new radiator/hoses this coming weekend. If my brother can swing by and patch my hole, I hope to have it back on the road by Sunday night! Fingers crossed.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:15 PM
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Default Help identifying



???


So I spent some time in my local JY today pulling a gear box from a Durango. Nothing exciting about that, more frustrating than anything really. But on the way out I was looking through some of the axles they already have pulled and saw this. I don't trust myself in identifying axles just yet, but thought it might be a d44? I can see it say Dana on it but there was no tag for the diff or gear ratio. Not that in the picture it is upside down. It is a driver side drop 5 lug, but a low pinion. I believe the stamp says 05/03/94. Guy said $50. I don't know the width, but was afraid to jump without knowing what it is. Hope you guys can help!

Edit: Wish I had taken a wider picture. Now second guessing myself as to whether it was drivers side or passengers side drop. Like I said, I was walking out and they were closing up at 2pm. Won't re-open until Monday and I won't be able to check until then.

Last edited by SouthernXJ; 03-25-2017 at 05:23 PM.
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