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Re-build 99XJ

Old 02-11-2018, 09:46 AM
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Default Re-build 99XJ

Ok, so this is my 99XJ, first Jeep I've ever owned. I'm not a hard-core off road guy (actually I'm into the early Fox-chassis Mustangs 79-86).

Anyway, this thread will my show work on XJ - nick named "pavement princess". The goal is to provide a reliable vehicle for my daughter who will soon get her drivers license.

So I bought this one back in late Aug-2017. It came from CT, where there is no safety inspection. Pic from CL ad:


It had normal rot associated with a vehicle from this area. To get it through Mass vehicle inspection, I had to repair all the rust/rot. Here is the pic from when I brought it home:
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:50 AM
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Floors needed some love:

Used scrap fenders (actually from a Mustang) to make the repair patch panels. Mostly welded, but I did use some rivets in areas where I didn't want to take a chance with the welder (like up by the fuse box):


Had to add supports to the seat brace:

Driver's side is rusty, but no rot, so I cleaned up this area:
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:51 AM
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Here is the final product, all cleaned up and painted:


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Old 02-11-2018, 09:55 AM
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Rocker panels were next. I bought a set of replacements on line. They are "slip-on" but I wasn't real happy with the fit, so I cut them up to make replacement panels as necessary. Pass side (rotting from the inside out):


Here is the RP cut out:



Cleaned up and hit with a shot of rust converter/primer:


Replacement being installed:
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:58 AM
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Driver's side was worse with much more damage, so I cut out all the really bad spots including the sill by the rear door:


Again, using the slip on rocker panel, I cut patch panels as required:


Here is the panel almost done:

Both sides got a quick coat of plastic filler to smooth out my "expert" welds
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:02 AM
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After completing all the rust repairs, I took my buffer to the paint and cleaned it up pretty well:



So I got the XJ through Mass inspection in early Sept and started to daily drive it. Still had to fix some other minor issues, but really pleased with this Jeep.

Even took a small excursion to a nearby area and took this pic:
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:09 AM
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So I've put about 5k miles on this XJ since I bought it. There are 2 major upgrades that I wanted to do. First was the front hubs, second are the rear springs. Well the front hubs have been getting louder and louder to the point where they were starting to mask the engine noise.... So I took the plunge this weekend and got those replaced:


Ended up getting them all the way torn down with the exception of the 3 x 13MM retaining bolts. Of course I didn't have a 12pt 1/2 drive socket and the box end wrench wasn't cutting it.

So yesterday off to HF to get a socket set (I generally have craftsman, but didn't want to trek to Sears). So I added a little "insurance policy" to make sure I didn't destroy the new socket:


Here the hubs are removed and I cleaned up with a wire wheel on my 4" grinder:

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Old 02-11-2018, 10:10 AM
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Hit the knuckles with a quick shot of paint and re-assembled:


I even sprung for a new set of backer / dust shields since the original ones were in pretty bad shape:
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:13 AM
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And I took this pic after the test drive. Sounds like a new vehicle.


Springs can wait for warmer weather. I'm going to try to mimic the Up Country look with small spacers on the front coils and the HD leaf's in the back. Stay tuned for that later this year. In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy the XJ until my daughter starts driving it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:33 AM
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Grrrr, one of the front inner axle seals is now leaking.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:01 AM
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Fix one thing, something new happens. It's a jeep thing. Looks good so far!
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CantDrive55 View Post
Fix one thing, something new happens. It's a jeep thing. Looks good so far!
Thanks - pulled the Jeep in the garage tonight. In about 1.5 hours I had the entire thing pulled apart. Pass side seal was def shot. Parts ordered last week from Quadratec. UPS shows delivery tomorrow so I'll be back at it tomorrow night. In addition to new inner seals, I ordered a set of Ten Factory Front Axle Tube Seals to help keep all the gunk out of the axle tubes.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:04 PM
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From my work last night....


Carrier out:


The culprit:

Note the seal is ever so slightly deformed at the top (that was actually the bottom when installed).....
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:01 PM
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Daughters Jeep?? right
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Slackdaddy View Post
Daughters Jeep?? right
Yes, but I am enjoying the Jeep experience in the interim. She just got her learners permit this week. She’s going to have a hard time getting the keys from me. Great vehicles, really impressed with this XJ.
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