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project optimus

Old 07-15-2012, 05:37 PM
  #1  
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Location: lancaster pa
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Model: Grand Cherokee
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Default project optimus

finally starting to do some real work on my 96xj... background story first tho!

I'm Jared, graduated from Lancaster Mennonite highschool in 2011 and attended my freshman year of college at PSU York campus.I will be taking this next year off because I am newly engaged!! after i get married to my beautiful fiance we will move to state college and she will finish her schooling and i will attend a tech school for automotive and welding.
The 1996 Cherokee was my first car, purchased 3 years ago for 1050 with 140k miles. the shocks were all bad so we put roughly 500 into it, for a total of about 1600 for the jeep(pretty damn good deal). when i got it the rust wasn't that bad. i drove it all though high school dreaming of stuff i wanted to do but never had more than 20 bucks to my name to do anything.wrecked it twice! haha(jeeps=beasts)
1st wreck- the brake lines for the back exploded and i panicked and rear-ended a minivan. jeep=fenders crinkled and bumper pushed down minivan=since my jeep is lifted a little i slide right over their rear bumper and pushed in the rear hatch and sides about 2 feet(totaled!)
2nd wreck-a woman ran a stop sign in heavy heavy rains and i hit her drivers side door. minor damages, just bent my fenders more and her door was unable to open.
the nickname for the jeep came from my fiance, she said no way in hell i can name our kids optimus, then suggested i name the jeep optimus. haha

future plans that i know of right now:
-new paint job(same color.. might go with a rough finish[like bed-liner])
-drivers side front fender(in the mail right now!!!
-possibly passenger side front fender
-hood vents
-new grill
-homebrew front bumper(I will go ARB style)
-homebrew rear bumper
-new floor pans(holes are rusted in)
-homebrew rocker panels
-cold air intake
-new tires(still looking around)
-new rims(i really want those OEM rubicon moab rims)
-misc performance parts(to help MPG as much as i can)
-misc front suspension parts(to help a slight wobble at 55)

[SIZE="5"]!!!this will be a slower build because im also paying for a wedding!!!


now for pictures :icon_cheesygrin :

i will show my jeep and some of the stuff i plan on replacing.
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my dads jeep is the red one(he just got it 3 weeks ago)
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you can see the crinkle in the fender
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and the rusted rocker panels(drivers+passengers)
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and the rusted floorpans (drivers+passengers)
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Thanks for reading
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:11 PM
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Looking good I'm about to be in the same boat with being engaged but also joining the Navy. Good luck with the wedding and the Jeep.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:06 PM
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Joining the navy? Niiice and thank you. What role will you have? I'm excited for this fender to arrive so I can officially start my build!
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:19 AM
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Nuclear engineering. When's the fender supposed to be coming in?
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:47 AM
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Nice looking jeep, same color as mine, now I can see how mine will look before I do stuff lol.
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:19 AM
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Thank you partsguyct! I like this color and the fan is unique, alb bough I'm looking at doing one of those Bedliner paint jobs. ima buy a quart of the grizzly Bedliner and sand down the fender I'm replacing and test it to see how I'll like it.

Concretecowboy, I orderd the fender on Sunday from discountautoparts.com, as of yesterday when I checked it still hadn't shipped
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:00 AM
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My drivers side fender has arrived!!
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but before I replace that side I am waiting on my passenger side fender which should be here by next weekend! and also my drivers side headlight bezel(should arrive sometime this week also) because the one i have now looks like this!
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and now before I go out and replace my rear main seal and oil pan seal(might as well replace the oil pan seal since it has to come off to reach the rear main seal anyhow) I have a question!


so my inner passenger fender under where the battery sits looks like this:
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my question is can i just cut out the rusted hole and bend a piece of metal and weld it back in place? it wouldn't be the exact bend as there is on the fender(I' not that good haha). but would just a patch work instead of my buying a whole new part.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:26 PM
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well since im still waiting on body parts i did a little bit omre tinkering around in the engine. there was a small leak somewhere(ended up fixing it when i replaced the oil pan gasket) but on sunday i replaced the header gasket and cleaned it like new! it only took 2 hours with all the cleaning involved and did a much needed oil change. the jeep runs much better now!
the only problem i ran into was that i got all the bolts back into the header to find out i was missing one. looked everywhere for it. then for some reason i decided to look back under the header, so i took it all off and BAM! the missing bolt was laying right ontop there. phew glad i looked there or else something bad woulda happened... haha

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Old 08-21-2012, 09:05 PM
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Hey fix those holes pa inspection sucks ha I'm up in Erie

Must be a pa thing or just Cherokee because I just patched my rockers, rear wheel well, and floor board. And I need to replace my rear seal and head gasket.

Hey let me know how the cold air intake works out for you, I was thinking about getting or making one.
And the front fender mine is starting to rust
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:24 PM
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Ye I'm picking up a cheap welder next week to finally get something done. It sucks that everytime I finally get some extra cash in my hands my fiancÚ shows me another wedding expense that I had forgotten about. Maybe this was a bad time in my life to start a build. But from what I'm told by my parents: I have to get use to this haha.

Side note. I just cleaned the whole jeep and it looks nice (my girl did most of the cleaning haha..) and I tested the bedliner paint on the fender and I like it. Next is sometime doing the whole vehicle. I want grey/black. Still trying to think of a design or if I am even Gunna try a design or not(I don't want it to look tacky..)
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:23 AM
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i know its way too long since ive done anything, thats if anyone is actually following my build but i finally found some time away from work and a tad bit of money to do SOMETHING to my jeep haha.

cowl intake:
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Rustty96
i know its way too long since ive done anything, thats if anyone is actually following my build but i finally found some time away from work and a tad bit of money to do SOMETHING to my jeep haha.

cowl intake:
Just a thought but for where you send it into the cowl, have you looked into the mounting plate for intakes from spectre? Might make a cleaner seal
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:17 PM
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next time im out by autozone i'll stop in and see about those mounting plates. right now its just kinda "screwed" into the cowl because the hole and pipe have such a tight fit. its kinda surprising how nicely it fit.
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Rustty96
next time im out by autozone i'll stop in and see about those mounting plates. right now its just kinda "screwed" into the cowl because the hole and pipe have such a tight fit. its kinda surprising how nicely it fit.
Autozone is a bad word for me lol I'll just pretend I didn't hear that lol
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:30 PM
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Let's pretend I said napa? Haha
But now I'm curious, what did autozone do to you?
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