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Project Great White - 1997 XJ

Old 12-02-2008, 02:15 PM
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Year: 1997
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Engine: 4.0
Default Project Great White - 1997 XJ

I bought a 1997 XJ with 190xxx miles on it this past summer with the intentions of building a serious trail rig. I wanted something I could pay cash for and then build as I go. I used to have a 2001 TJ that we owed a lot on and I dumped 8k into it with the lift, suspension, winch, bumpers, sliders, yada yada yada only to sell it a year later for what I owed on it. Didn't want to make that mistake again...

So here it goes.

This is the rig as I bought it stock a few months ago.

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Parts List to Date:

- (1) Rusty's 8" Hi-Clearance Long Arm Lift Kit
- Rusty's Builder Fab Coil Buckets
- Rusty's Builder Fab Lower Control Arm Mounts
- Rusty's Builder Fab Universal Shock Mounts
- (2) Dana 44 LP axles out of 89 Waggy (front and rear)
- TSM Disc Brake Conversion Kit for Dana 44 for rear axle
- New front rotors, pads and calipers
- Extended braided steel brake lines in all four corners
- (5) 36x13.50 R15 Irok tires on 15x10 6 lug Crager Soft 8 steel wheels
- (1) NP231J 21 spline transfer case
- Tom Woods drive shafts
- TeraLow 4:1 Kit
- TeraLow 2LO kit
- 21 Spline AW4 Auto transmission
- Aluminum Novak Shifter (matches Ox Locker shifters)
- (2) Ox Lockers for Dana 44 for front and rear with aluminum shifters
- (2) 100 inch Ox Locker Cables
- (2) Yukon 4.88 ring and pinion sets
- (2) Yukon master install kits for gears
- (4) Bilstein 5150 12" travel remote resevoir shocks
- New Water pump from Advanced Auto Parts
- Rockhard 4x4 rear bumper with tire carrier
- AJ's Offroad Armor super rock rails
- Custom built stinger winch front bumper
- Homemade gas tank skid by me
- Custom 1.25 DOM .360 wall, Steering by 505 Performance with 5/8th rod-ends and heim joints
- Husky Liner Molded Floor Mats, Front, Rear and Cargo Area
- Tom Woods Super Flex 1310 u-joint for front drive shaft (adds 10* of flex)

Tools that I've picked up so far to assist in the build:

- Miller 180 MIG welder
- JD2 Model 3 Tube Bender
- Harbor Frieght Tube Notcher
- Harbor Freight electric band saw
- 2 Ryobi Grinders (one with a cutoff wheel, one with a sanding pad)

Last edited by MichaelMaxim; 02-23-2009 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:17 PM
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Year: 1997
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Default Update to Project XJ

Here is how she sits now after a few little mods...

- Rusty's 8" High Clearance Long Arm Kit - Installed
- 15x10 Cragar Soft 8's - Installed
- 36x13.5 R15 Iroks (balanced with Airsoft Pellets) - Installed
- Tom Woods Rear CV Driveshaft - Installed
- Advance Adapters SYE - Installed


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Old 12-02-2008, 02:20 PM
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Next week I am doing a few more little mods...

Here's that list.

- F+R Dana 44 axles out of an 89 Waggy
- 4.88 Precision Gears
- Ox Lockers (front and rear)
- NP231J with TeraLow 4:1 crawl kit, 2LO kit and Novak Shifter on transfer case
- Nates 4x4 Slim Line XJ Bumper
- Superwinch 9000 EPI winch
- Rock sliders
- (4) 15x10 Crager Soft 8's in 6 Lug for the new axles
- Custom Roll Cage by Appalachian Offroad in Westminster MD
- Mastercraft Seats with 5 pt Harnesses tied into cage
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:31 PM
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that thing is crazy u gonna trim them fenders?
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:36 PM
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Yep. Already started to trim them actually.

I did a little bit like this for now which works. I'm also in the process of getting some tube fenders fabbed up like the Orange XJ on Colorado4x4.com has for his...



This is what the tube fenders should look like...

I spoke with Eric at Screamin Lizard and they are the ones that will be doing the tube fenders for the front. I'll probably do the THOR rear quarters (a friend will be helping with the fab work) and add tube fenders in the rear too.

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Old 12-02-2008, 02:39 PM
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nice seems like a good plan
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:19 PM
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I ordered my front and rear Ox Lockers, Install Kits, 100 inch cables from Randy's Ring & Pinion (they gave me free shipping on everything!) spring buckets and upper control arm mounts from Rusty's for my axle install.

Randy's is offering free shipping and beat everyone's prices on the Ox lockers too. They were only $730 each. Normally $850+ everywhere else!
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:12 PM
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Hey i noticed that you had Traxas M/T on your TJ i was wondering how you liked them?
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:26 PM
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They were pretty decent tires, overall. All of my friends ran Iroks but I just wanted to try something different. They were really quiet on the highway (unlike the Iroks) and when aired down to about 11 or 12 psi they were great on the trails out here on the east coast. I never had any traction problems in mud or up hills. They had a closer lug pattern than Iroks or SS TSL's so that made them more "streetable."

They are also pretty decently priced too.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:28 PM
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Yeah they would be goin on my DD so im looking for good road manners and a decent price
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:31 PM
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What size are you thinking about doing?
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:32 PM
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well i just looked into that and i want 32's but they dont make em
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:34 PM
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Yep it's either 31 or 33's for the TrXus.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:36 PM
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yep oh well
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:18 AM
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i really like your jeep. Im trying to go that big but not sure what to do with the front driveshaft.
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