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Project Red Pepper

Old 08-28-2012, 12:43 PM
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Default Project Red Pepper

Hey everyone, been waiting to find time to start a thread on my XJ so here it is.

It took months of searching but it was all worth it. My brother and I made the 300 mile drive on July 25th to Kentucky to pick this up..

1999 Cherokee Classic
144k miles

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(My brother Jim posing)
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On the way back we stopped in Louisville to check out the city and get some pizza. We couldn't get over how nice the people were down there. Nothing like the Chicago area. And the previous owner and his family were pretty cool as well.

It was a great trip. Felt pretty sweet to pull this up in the driveway too.

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Last edited by CrawlinPepper; 08-28-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:49 PM
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Looks sweet...so 5.5 RE LA? Thats a BA lift.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:14 PM
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Before I bought this one I was looking at another one in chili pepper red with about 6" of lift on it. The guy who was selling it was a complete POS and kept holding off on selling the truck. Finally I got fed up, continued my search, and ran across this one.

Now originally we were going to call the first one the pepper if we had purchased it due to the name of the color. But we decided to call this one the pepper instead (the Red Pepper to be exact). The name fits this one better, regardless if the paint color is named flame red. Peppers are red, not maroon. Sue me.


On to what needed/needs to be done.

Yes I know, a lot of you are thinking "how can he have a build thread if it's already pretty built?" - building these things is a journey in itself, there is no final destination. The Jeep does need a few things (plus I never stop modding anything I have) and I am hoping to make some good write ups to help others along if they need guidance with similar projects. Plus it will be fun to journal the upgrades and progress. So here we go.


Mod list when I bought it:

- 5.5" RE Long Arm lift
- JKS quick disco sway bar
- Ford 8.8 rear
- 4.10s
- Aussie Locker
- SYE
- JCR front bumper
- JCR sliders
- 33x10.5's on 15s
- MSD ignition
- TB spacer

Probably forgetting a few things but for the most part those are the main mods it came with.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Xj88 View Post
Looks sweet...so 5.5 RE LA? Thats a BA lift.
Yessssir, thanks


So when I brought the truck home I needed to replace this:

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That beautiful tie rod.

Decided to do the JCR 1-ton UTK upgraded steering. While I was waiting for the JCR parts in the mail I threw a couple of Hella 700s on the front bumper.

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UPS dropped off my JCR steering kit and I went to work. Man that was a trip. It took about a day and a half but finally got it done. It was a combination of not having the right drill bit, trying to find the right drill bit, trying to drill through the fkn invincible dropped pitman arm this thing has on it, etc.

I don't have much of a write up for this but I do have a few pictures:

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(Yes I know the TRE has way more thread on the driver side than the passenger side, all thanks to the worthless shop I took it to for an alignment. Working on getting that taken care of this week since it will have to be realigned if I do it).

I also sanded, prepped, and painted my steering stabilizer beforehand because I figured I'd use it, but it figures that I'm not.

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Last edited by CrawlinPepper; 08-28-2012 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:34 PM
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Next on the list was a trailer hitch. This was a necessity in order to pull this



Ended up with a Curt class 3 hitch. Install was OK, although I had to shim the bumper out about 2-3 cm in order for it not to rub.

Afterwards there was only one thing to do..

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Last edited by CrawlinPepper; 08-28-2012 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:51 PM
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Alright, now that I am all caught up to where I am with the red pepper I will try to start making more detailed write ups. Here are a list of things I plan to do.

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- Undercoating the entire undercarriage
- Rolling the fenders
- Bushwacker Flats
- Top rack with 4 Hellas with all new wiring for the front Hellas as well
- Repainting coils and shocks
- New exhaust from the header down (hopefully around next spring)
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:41 PM
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great buy this one should come along nicely
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mcguyver_xj View Post
great buy this one should come along nicely
Thanks, I might mount a Hi-lift under the back seat like you did. Great idea.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:27 AM
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That is one beautiful xj, it just gleams! Nice find.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:10 AM
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Very proud sir
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:36 AM
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Well it looks like I have my work cut out for me next week.

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:43 AM
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You need a winch to go with that front bumper!
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Xj88 View Post
You need a winch to go with that front bumper!
I know, I know but funds are a bit tied up right now. Plus I need to prep this thing for the ****ty winters here in the midwest. Maybe later on.

Besides, when I'm working on it that's a good spot to set down my tools!
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:02 PM
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The rain ruined my work day so I decided to get going on the Bushwackers. It turns out the PO cut my front fenders a little too much so I am going to have to fab them about an inch up or so. These things are made to wrap themselves around the style creases so it's a pain in the ***. Anyway, started on the rears since they were not already cut. Finished all of the cutting and painted the lip with primer/POR-15 undercoating to give the cut lip more protection. Didn't get too crazy with doing a perfect lip paint job since it is going to be covered by the Bushwacker mounts anyway. On to the pics..


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Found some rust:

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Ground it out a bit. Hopefully with paint it stays sealed.

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Took a break, had an IPA:

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Then ****ed up a section on the driver's side. Nothing major, just cut into a spot where I was supposed to bend. I rolled the inner part that was still intact, sanded and trimmed it nicely, and I am going to fill it with some type of epoxy or sealant tomorrow to seal it up nicely. Still pissed me off. Don't have a pic of it yet, might snap one tomorrow.

I'm beat. Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully I can finish up the rear and get moving on the front. I have a 1.5 mile swim race tomorrow so no promises.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:04 PM
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Finished up painting the rear fenders today. Few Pics:

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Now I'm working on getting these prepped for paint:

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Hoping to have the rear flares on tonight once the paint fully cures and I'm trying to get the coils prepped now so I can get going on that. Pics to come.
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