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Revival from the woods

Old 09-22-2012, 11:04 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Bradford, PA
Posts: 4
Year: 1994
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L
Default Revival from the woods

Hey everyone. I'd figured I should start a build thread since I've had my xj for about two months now. I've rebuilt and restored a '88 wrangler before and currently working on a '79 camaro with my dad but this is my first xj. It's a 94 4 door sport. 4.0L. 3in RC lift with 31 M/Ts and the rear is locked.

One of my friends owned it in high school and when we left for college most of us that had jeeps all sold them, but he decided just to keep it and get a different car for better gas mileage. So with the exception of his family driving it now and then, the jeep sat in the woods for four years, weeds and brush growing all around it.

Flash to present time and I find myself moving for a job (I'm a Welding Engineer) to the coldest part of PA that gets a lot of snow. Since I only have a civic, I would like something that does better in the snow, I just want a project, AND my job is paying for my move which would relocation of my stuff and my vehicles. So I decided I want another jeep for the winters and keep my civic for long drives. After looking around my area and online at what was available I decided i'd give my friend a call to see if he still has his xj. He did and he said it was in the same spot he parked it four years ago, and he doesn't know what it needs but if I want it he'd sell it to me dirt cheap and that he would rather give it to me than scrap it.

So I went over to his place to look at it and it was in pretty rough shape, worse than I remember but not bad enough to steer me away. The best part was his dad gave me the keys and said it should start right up. He only uses it once in the fall to get firewood and thats it. Lone behold, the jeep started right away with the same fuel and battery that it had when it got parked. Needless to say I brought it home a few days later.

My house was only a few miles away and it was a good thing. I got it home in one piece. Made sure to drive it home at night so there was less traffic since it wasnt inspected and I didnt know how it would drive. The motor ran great, a little misfire now and then but overall it was awesome. The brakes were rough. It felt like the pedal was solid and wouldnt move, not really a surprise. The fuel/speed gauges or the gauge lights wouldnt work. The headliner hung so low that it touched my head while I would drive.

I had about two weeks to work on it and get it inspected before my move so I first started on cleaning out all the goodies that were left in it and the 4 years of dirt that have accumulated on it. I did a bunch of tune up work on it, changed all the plugs and wires (the cap and rotor just needed cleaned up), changed the front brakes (the rotors were pretty much rusted to the pads), all new fluids and fuel filter, headlights, etc. Normal tune up stuff. Every electrical connector I come across I clean out and reconnect with dielectric grease. The ground connector was broken off my head for the gauges so a new terminal with a longer wire fixed my gauges. I even had to rewire the head unit because when the stereo was on and you turn on the headlights the fuse for the headunit would blow. I just ran new hot inline fuse and ignition wires from the fuse panel and its worked fine. I had to reweld the exhaust back on because the muffler literally fell off the car. My friends dad picked it up off the ground when he pulled it out of the woods for me when I bought it. But everything went well overall and my mechanic passed it even though theres alot of rust under the jeep, the frame and all major components are solid.

Since my move I've been working on it quite a bit and its running absolutely great. First I had to wire the garage for overhead lights, build a workbench, and run some outlets. I scored some parts for the jeep including two drivers side doors, new grille and headlight surrounds, wiper cowl, and a few other odds and ends from someone parting out a 96 cherokee. I just hit the doors with rattle can but it came out pretty good for something temporary. I may do the whole jeep in bedliner but I havent decided yet. Theres some pictures of the new headliner and I rewired all the speaker wire for the headunit and since there was no speakers in the back sound bar (there were speaker grille covers but no speakers....idk) I installed 6x9s in the hatch.

I had a problem with my oil pressure light coming on and strobing but I got a new pressure sender and when I swapped them, the old one had a whole bunch of oil inside the connection and was leaking from the seal. I cleaned out the connector, put some dielectric grease on the terminals and installed the new one. Since then I havent had it come on at all.

Like I said I want to paint the whole thing with bedliner since it would be easy, itll cover up all the dents and since its gonna be in the woods alot its gonna be beat up so in my mind I dont want to pay for a good paint job. For the future Id like to get some new fog lights up front and build some nice custom bumpers for it, possibly a roof rack spare tire holder...

I hope this was a good enough intro. Ill try to keep it posted with pictures as much as I can.
capbri52 is offline  
Old 09-23-2012, 06:47 AM
AirborneDeth's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 225
Year: 1998 Sport
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0

It 'looks' to be in decent shape on the outside. Hopefully the rust underneath isn't too bad. Good luck with your build.
AirborneDeth is offline  
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