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Project: Habanero Pepper

Old 08-19-2014, 09:46 PM
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Location: Anchorage, AK
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Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L
Default Project: Habanero Pepper

I just picked up my next XJ after 2 months of searching. I've always read these forums but never really got into it myself. With this Jeep I plan on getting much more involved.

This is my forth XJ and I bought it from a guy I work with. He owned it for almost 10 years and he wanted to sell it to someone who was gonna use it for what it is.

I've got a lot of plans for this one. Its a 99 with the 4.0, auto with a 242. It has a 3" Rusty's AAL lift that needs new springs in the back and new shocks. I'm going to run 31 km2 which I'm ordering tomorrow. I can't wait to get started on this one and share the build with you all. Thanks to everyone on this forum who have provided so much help over the years, I've learned more here then I could anywhere else!

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Last edited by msb0103; 10-07-2014 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:48 PM
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Yesterday I did an oil change, changed the fluid out in both diffs, and drained and filled the t-case and tranny. Separating the tranny pan from the dipstick tube proved to be the most challenging part of the day. I used some WD-40 to loosen the joint up and it wiggled enough that I could get it out. While taking it down I noticed that the black backings to the solenoid connections had split in half and were sitting in the pan. It didn't look like the were keeping anything secure so I opted to just take them out and leave it as is. All of the fluids were very dirty but the tranny didn't have much crud in it and the diffs looked really clean. Everything has been sitting for awhile, the PO had the fluids changed four years ago but it has only been driven about 15k in that time. I sprayed the diff covers with a few coats of bed liner as well.
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I'm getting ready to order some OME leaf springs, hopefully on the next payday!

I also saw that a wheel hub bearing needs to be replaced as soon as the Timkin unit comes in

Last edited by msb0103; 10-06-2014 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:26 PM
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My new BF Goodrich KM2s came in from Sam's! I got them for $750, they're 31x10.50R15.

I mounted and balanced these and also swapped out a bad hub bearing on the passenger side. I ordered a Timkin replacement on Amazon (Prime pays for itself very quickly in Alaska).
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I also installed a new Alpine headunit and ran wiring to the driver's door speaker, which had be disconnected at some point.
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Up next is replacing the springs and shocks all the way around with some other odd jobs in between. I'll most likely start with leaf springs and shocks, then see what kind of height I need to level it out in the front. I've been doing alot of research and I'm stuck between just sucking up the extra height of the RE 3.5" leaf springs (which will really hit 4-5") or getting the OME 3" heavy duty springs. I've had RE in the past and I liked them but I want to stay away from SYE's and the like with this build. I do tow pop-ups from time to time so I also need them to be fairly sturdy springs. What do you guys think? RE or OME? I was also thinking of doing new HD leaf springs with a small add a leaf and shackles. Shipping is huge to Alaska so I need to keep that in mind too, anything shipping Prime on Amazon is perfect!

Last edited by msb0103; 10-06-2014 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:52 PM
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We took a trip to Hatcher's Pass this weekend and towed an Aliner up there with the Jeep. Everything went great and the views were amazing!
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Last edited by msb0103; 10-07-2014 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:30 PM
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pics arent working sign up for photobucket and use that for pic hosting and sharing
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:30 PM
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And not a single picture was seen that day.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:24 PM
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I'm finally back from a busy couple weeks. I've neglected the Jeep pretty badly so I don't have many updates but I did get Photobucket all set up so hopefully all the pics are GTG. It's starting to get pretty cold up here so I need to replace my blower motor resistor and I've also noticed that my flasher relay has started to go out. I'll be doing those two this week.

My one tiny little project last week involved so experimenting with bed liner. I've been playing with the idea of bed lining the fender flares, bumpers, end caps, and door trim all the way around the Jeep. To test out the bed liner I was thinking of using I figured I'd go ahead and nip some rust on the rocker panels. Me and a buddy sanded it down and I got a good 3/4 coats of the stuff on there and I'm pretty happy with how it looks. I'm now waiting to see how it holds up. I've decided to save and replace the entire lift at once.

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Old 10-06-2014, 07:42 PM
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sweet looking XJ. let me know how those tires do in snow!
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:48 PM
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Thanks axial! I ran KM2s last winter and they're good in snow but they get pretty squirrely on ice. If I have problems with these I have another set of tires ready to go with studs.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:31 AM
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So today I decided to fix some little problems while I had time.

The first thing was turn signals that would blink once or twice and then shut off. My hazards were also inop. After some research here on the forum I went out a bought a flasher relay for 15 bucks at the auto part store. I took some pictures during the install to help people out.

First you remove these 3 screws on the kick panel underneath the steering wheel.
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Then you remove the top two screws on the metal piece behind that.
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The relay will be secured to the left, underneath the headlight switch.

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When I pulled mine out you could hear some pieces rattling around inside it and when I took it apart you could see the contacts from the relay had given out. The new relay pops in and you put it back together in the same order. Turn signals and hazards work great now!
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:47 AM
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The second little project from today was replacing a faulty blower motor resistor. My heat and A/C only work on the highest setting and the resistors are known to fail. I picked my new one up with a lifetime warranty for 55 bucks.

Here's how I got to the resistor:

First take out the glove box with these three screws


You may not need to follow this step but I did this because I hate working with such little room. I took off the kick panel to the right of the passenger seat. I removed these two screws
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And this nut (11mm)
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Next you separate the light bulb from the small kick panel the resistor is hiding behind.


The small bubble like kick panel is held on by (4) 5/16 nuts. These two-
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And two more that I couldn't get a good picture of. They're on the bottom with the heads of the nuts facing the floor.

Once you remove that you will see this
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You remove the (2) 5/16 nuts holding the resistor on and then slide the red locking tab back so that you can press down on the black tab and disconnect the resistor.
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As you can see, the old resistor had some issues lol
All four power settings on the climate control work great now! All you need to do is put it all together in the reverse order and you're good to go!

Last edited by msb0103; 10-07-2014 at 12:50 AM.
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