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Project for the Winter "Oh Susie II"

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Project for the Winter "Oh Susie II"

Old 09-25-2016, 05:56 PM
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Default Project for the Winter "Oh Susie II"

A few weeks ago, I got my hands on this 98 XJ and will be slowly turning it into a weekend warrior daily driver. For now it is my daily driver and I am learning that makes things a lot more time consuming when it has to be road worthy at the end of every day. It is a Vermont rig and like most vehicles that age, I will spend a fair amount of my time fighting with rust, be it rusted fasteners or rust holes. The body definitely has its fair share, but the unibody seems to be quite sturdy so I'm gonna give it the effort.

My goal is to have it up on 35's by memorial day, but lift and tires will be waiting til spring. In the meantime, I've got plenty to keep me busy. I am a town employee doing road maintenance so the snowfall this winter will determine how much money I have for lift and tires in the spring. Of course, it will also dictate how much time I have for tinkering over the winter as well.

As for the name "Oh Susie II", 25+ years ago when I met my wife, I was the proud owner of a 1970 J20 Camper Special used only for the trails. As any young man in love would do, I named it after my girl so this project will pay homage to that.

Here's a picture of what I am starting with



Its your typical 98 4 door, 4.0 auto. Dana 30/35 NP242
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:05 PM
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So I got started by getting rid of the rear bumper and trailer hitch to try to gain a little clearance and give me access to the rear quarters which have some serious rust holes.


Since the bumper is gone and I want to make my own custom bumper, I got started on the mounts. I definitely want it to be sturdy because I've been known to need a tug out of a mud hole or two. This is what I came up with:



As you can see they utilize the original 4 mounting holes as well as replace the nut strip that help on my hitch. The bumper is only temporary because I have to drive it to work tomorrow, but it will be the base for the rear bumper.
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:14 PM
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I also had time to get one rear corner cut and folded, though I didn't have a lot of material to fold so I had to cut and patch. What a fabulous way to fix a rusted out quarter panel.




The patch is going to be seam sealed and riveted in place. I did get it cut and fit, but I am coating everything with POR 15 before I assemble it to try to fight any rust I may have missed. Just my luck it was a cool day today and the POR 15 wasn't drying so I will have to rivet the patch in after work tomorrow. My bumper looks like it will line up perfectly with the new quarter. After a bit more shaping, I will bring the bumper around the corner to the edge of the wheel well.


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Old 09-27-2016, 04:05 PM
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And these came in the mail today, some incentive to get to work on that bumper.


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Old 09-27-2016, 07:15 PM
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Looking good so far. What are the latches on the hood? Hood pins or something else?
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bad_idea View Post
Looking good so far. What are the latches on the hood? Hood pins or something else?
Thanks. They are hood pins from the PO, all of the hood latch hardware has been removed and I will replace it at some point.
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Old 10-02-2016, 06:27 PM
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Well the weekend didn't go as planned. I got bot rear quarters cut and folded, riveted and seam sealed. They came out great. Of course, I didn't have a chance to get any pictures. Also got the bottom of both pillars beside the hatch rebuilt. Things were pretty rusty around the base of them, I wish I had a spare jeep around to cut the parts out of, but its done and came out ok. Hopefully gonna feel like working on my bumper after work this week, I would really like to get that finished up before I pull out the seats and start on the front floor boards.

I took the Cherokee out on the power line with one of my buddies and his wrangler with 39's today. He had a lot of fun laughing at me, but then he got high centered and I had to pull him off haha. His wife got some pics and I will post the as soon as I get them.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:59 PM
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Its been a little while, but I have made a little progress. I got the seats and carpet out this week and found out I need floor pans for both sides.


Drivers side roached...



Passenger side not quite as bad, but will be replaced.

Tomorrow I go to the steel supplier over an hour drive and pick up 2x6 rock slider rocker replacements. I didn't want to spend time on this this fall, but the inner rockers are in poor condition as well and I need something to weld the floor panels to. I am also expecting the delivery of my driver side floor pan tomorrow. I just ordered the passenger side this afternoon, so that will be a few days. At least I've got plenty to do.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:02 PM
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I got the stock flares off. Like everything else, the brackets were rusted away and replacements are not as easy to get as I presumed. Not sure what I will do here, but I'm in no hurry to get them back on.
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:37 PM
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I've made some progress since the last update. I'm liking the way its looking more and more. The drivers side floor pan is in, I had to make a new mount bracket for the seat as rust had overtaken the old one, pan was welded and seam sealed, primed and painted so hopefully it will last as long as I own the Jeep.


its dirty from the drive home, but its new and rust free!



I also got the 2x6 rock slider rocker panel installed on the drivers side. I really like the look of this mod. It was much easier to do than I anticipated.




Many I have seen started behind the front fender, I opted to cut the bottom off the fender and run the slider to the front for ultimate protection.

I'm sick of rust repair and will take a break for a week or so before I tackle the passenger side.
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:10 PM
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OK, my week long break turned into 3 or so weeks. I got the passenger side floor pan cut out today as well as the rocker. I also got the 2X6 rocker cut and capped and ready to be welded in tomorrow. No pictures again, but I will take some tomorrow.
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Old 11-13-2016, 06:01 PM
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Busy day today. Passenger side floor pan welded in as well as the 2x6 rock slider. Now most of the rust repair is done, just a couple small holes left. I will need to remove the rear door to fix one spot on the pillar, and it doesn't look like the hinge will unbolt easily. Time will tell, but for now I'm done patching. Next week I'll need to replace a brake line and then maybe get back to fabricating the rear bumper.
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:19 PM
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Haha, I just realized how long it had been since I have updated, though not a lot to report. I've been driving the XJ back and forth to work through the winter and has been pretty good. I've had some "bucking" going on at cruising speed and a pretty rough idle. Complete tune up with Accel cap and rotor and 8mm wires. Champion spark plugs, Mopar TPS and an oil change. I've only driven it 3 miles since and it does seem better, time will tell.

I have my lift kit on order as well, due to my budget, I went with the rough country 6 1/2" X series kit(short arm). I've read all of the opinions and for the price decided to form my own opinion. I don't need a cadillac ride as long as it is functional, I'm happy. Plans will be to install this sometime early spring when work slows down. I am also considering fabbing my own cross member and long arms sometime during the coming summer.
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:36 PM
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I forgot to mention I scored a front driveshaft on ebay for $20 and will use that with a hack 'n tap.
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:43 PM
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Why do you want to be so high? 6.5" is very tall, especially with short arms.
What size tires and gears will you be running?
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