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Project Spartacus

Old 01-03-2017, 03:02 PM
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Default Project Spartacus

Welcome to the Project: Spartacus Build Page
I figured it was time to start on of these build threads to act not only as way to share my project with the community, but to also document and journal repairs, mods, routine maintenance and upgrades. I will keep this first post updated with the most up-to-date pictures.

History:
In October of 2015 my best friend invited me to ride along in his TJ at Rausch Creek ORV. After that day, I was bitten by the Jeep bug. I began scouring the internet for every piece of info I could gather on Jeeps.

In the beginning I was interested in acquiring a TJ. After, more research and trying to plan ahead for starting a family the XJ seemed like a better fit. I saved all my overtime and bonus from work until May of 2016. I was on the prowl for a clean 99 XJ. I had looked at about three 99s, all where beat to ****. My wife and I agreed that I needed to purchase something soon. As our son was coming in October of 2016 and we were starting to hunt for our second home.

Finally at the end of May, I found a really clean 2001 XJ with 132K. I already knew about the "Achilles Heel" i.e. the 0331 head. I was willing to live with this defect because of time constraints. The 2001 was owned by a Ford Factory Diesel Mech. He purchased it from a local Jeep dealer. According to him, the local dealer wanted a lifted 4X4 to sit out on the lot. The dealer installed a 4.5" Zone lift w/ full leafs, steering stabilizer, D-Window wheels, 32" BFGs and an RCD Off-road front bump (no winch version) and flowmaster exhaust. I pulled the trigger and picked it for $4,300.

Build Thread Goals:
I love to make people laugh. I really want this thread to be entertaining to read. I hope to have some insightful and fun moments writing this. Please enjoy my thread, whom ever is reading this.

Project Outlook:
I want to take a realistic outlook for this project. The goal is for it to be a moderate off roader but be able to have somewhat good road manners. The lift and items it came with are definitely a step in the right direction, but it is far from what I would consider a moderate off-roader. Right now, I consider it mostly looks. The old lady from Wendy's would say "Where's the beef???"

Project Needs:
  • Fender Flares
  • 784 4-Hole Injectors
  • Heat Soak Prevention Kit
  • OneWay Light Instrument LED Kit
  • Sway Bar Quick Discos
  • Head Light Harness
  • Steering Upgrade
  • NP231 Shift Linkage
  • Gears
  • Lockers
  • Roof Basket
  • Full Size Spare
  • Some sort of spare tire storage
  • Rear Off-road Bumper
  • Roof Ladder
  • Armor
  • Sye & Driveshaft
  • I'm sure there is more to come. Will add when I think of it.

=done









As of September 2017


Last edited by CurrySoSpicy; 04-22-2018 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:33 PM
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6/07/16-06/08/16
Someone at one point painted the fender flares and bottom of XJ near the rockers. Paint was faded and needed re-done. Also the XJ was missing a flare. I called our local Jeep salvage yard and picked one up for 20 bucks. End results of painting featured in first post.




Last edited by CurrySoSpicy; 01-03-2017 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:35 PM
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6/20/16
Performed Oil change
6 quarts of Amsoil XL Full Synthetic 10W-30
Wix Filter

Also installed a new bluetooth head unit for wireless streaming of music

Soldering iron and heat shrink ready


Finished wiring harness


Old radio hanging by it's entrails


New head unit in and functioning

Last edited by CurrySoSpicy; 01-03-2017 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:46 PM
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10/12/16
Rebuilt and examined differentials. I noticed a slight drop in level in my coolant reservoir. Maybe around 1cm since May. I started checking for leaks, I placed my hand below the water pump. Surface felt wet, possible bad water pump (weep whole leak). Also, I am having temp creep at stop lights. XJ will go a little over 210 then e-fan kicks in and brings temp back to normal. Probably a great time to rehab the cooling system.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:03 PM
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12/26/16-1/02/17
Let the cooling system rehab begin!
The following parts were ordered:
  • Napa Fan Clutch
  • Mopar Radiator Cap
  • Mopar Water Pump
  • Mopar 195F T-Stat
  • Mopar Upper and Lower Radiator Hoses
  • Dorman Water Pump Inlet Tube
  • Continental Elite Poly-V Belt

Had to break this project up into several days with the holidays and such. Plus I tend to get distracted and end up taking forever. LOL.

Water pump installed, onto the t-stat


Everything back together


LOL, found a funny way to balance the coolant funnel, works like a charm


After project was completed I added coolant, shook the XJ a few times to get some air out of the radiator. Started him up and let him get to temp. So far so good, no more temp creep. Took him out for a test drive, seems to be performing quite well. Temp is now just a hair below 210 and does not rise above 210. No more temp creep at stop lights.

Although, Spartacus is need of a couple good flushings, spring work I say!

Last edited by CurrySoSpicy; 01-16-2017 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:46 PM
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1/3/2017

Most important mod yet...installing my son's Chicco car seat base, so he can ride with dad in his XJ. Proud moment!

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Old 01-03-2017, 07:13 PM
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Congratulations on the son. Your first? I have a two year old daughter. When she was born I was driving a 02 Z28. The XJ is much easier to get her in and out of.

Jeep looks good. I like the front bumper, I just built one similar to it. Did you coat it yourself? What did you use, and how did you apply it? How long has it been on and how is it holding up?
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bad_idea View Post
Congratulations on the son. Your first? I have a two year old daughter. When she was born I was driving a 02 Z28. The XJ is much easier to get her in and out of.

Jeep looks good. I like the front bumper, I just built one similar to it. Did you coat it yourself? What did you use, and how did you apply it? How long has it been on and how is it holding up?
yes my first! He is only two months old, born on November 1st. He missed being a Halloween baby by about 2 hours.

On to the bumper, the bumper comes factory powder coated like that, it does have a really cool webbing texture on it. Really have to see it to fully appreciate it! Spartacus is garage kept, but the bumper is holding up nicely.

You can find the it here:

http://www.quadratec.com/products/72303_8001_07.htm

The bumper will eventually be for sale as I would like to upgrade to their winch bumper.

close up:




Last edited by CurrySoSpicy; 01-03-2017 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:43 PM
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Nice work on the cooling system. Seems like thats a common issue with the XJ's.

I like your Jeep! Looking forward to seeing more progress.

Last edited by cbs_24; 01-03-2017 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cbs_24 View Post
Nice work on the cooling system. That was one of the first things I had to do to my XJ when I got it from my sister after four years of her DD'ing it. This is what I discovered first time I popped my radiator cap.


I like your Jeep! Looking forward to seeing more progress.
Thank you kind sir! Holy Cow, that looks like my son's doo-doo. When i undertook the cooling system project, i found a good layer of rust silt in my overflow reservoir. Also, some in the radiator fill neck. I'm not spraying water all over the place when its 35-40 degrees out. I will wait till spring!
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:18 PM
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1/03/16

So my next project, i believe, is going to be undertaking the task of installing some fender flares on the front of Spartacus. At full turn my 32s rub against the bottom of the front flares.

I have decided with advice from foxmxrcer to purchase some Hooligan Offroad Fender Flares. I was torn on getting Napiers or Bushwackers. However, I was never really crazy about either look. I really dig the metal flare and how the armor covers the entire fender.

Right now, i have the funds to purchase all four. However, I am only going to purchase the fronts at this point. That way, I have a some cash left over to get some other needed parts. I would like the Spartacus ready for some light duty offroading at Rausch Creek ORV by spring.

Also, for an extra $75 Hooligan will CNC a custom logo into the flare for you. I thought this was an excellent time to bring forth some self-expression and uniqueness to my Jeep.

I found a picture of the flares on google images and decided to drum up some concept art for Spartacus. I will use the concept art to help Hooligans with placement and sizing. What better than a spartan helmet and crossed swords?

concept art


logo


Last edited by CurrySoSpicy; 03-05-2017 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:00 AM
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I'm not a fan of the appearance of the large black panel bolted to the Jeep. I would suggest you paint the panel to match the body and paint the flare portion black. I like the cutout of the logo, a black vinyl behind the logo on the fender to make it stand out. My two Lincolns.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bad_idea View Post
I'm not a fan of the appearance of the large black panel bolted to the Jeep. I would suggest you paint the panel to match the body and paint the flare portion black. I like the cutout of the logo, a black vinyl behind the logo on the fender to make it stand out. My two Lincolns.
hmm I may take that into consideration. My rockers are painted black and the panels may "match" more than a conventionally painted XJ. Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:25 AM
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looks like your off to a good clean start. I love those Hooligan fenders! Now would be a good time for steering upgrades to at least the ZJ setup, box spacer and a cross brace/sector shaft brace
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by WyoCherokee View Post
looks like your off to a good clean start. I love those Hooligan fenders! Now would be a good time for steering upgrades to at least the ZJ setup, box spacer and a cross brace/sector shaft brace
that sounds good, to a least "beef" up Spartacus a little until i can get a steering package.
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