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"Sal" the expedition xj

Old 08-13-2015, 02:41 PM
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Default "Sal" the expedition xj

So my wife and I are planning on doing a cross country trip overland style. After much research and compromise we decided to buy an xj. I then spent about a month pouring over craigslist and eBay in Maryland and surrounding states to find a good truck for a good price. After having several jeeps bought out from underneath me I finally stumbled upon "Sal" (named by my wife) in the land of suntan lotion and glitter (New Jersey).She is a 1996 xj which we bought for $1700 with 160xxx miles. She also has next to no rust and had no ac.
The guy told me it was the blower motor that made the ac not work but I looked at it all and all the ac components were brand new including the blower motor/resistor. All new brake lines and master cylinder so I thought it was a good deal.


























So I got her home and found out that it had a tear in the radiator overflow hose where it connects to the radiator. Fixed that by slicing the hose about 1in shorter and clamped it on. The ac and heat were fixed by simply cleaning out the control box on the inside of the jeep.
The plans(as of now/for this trip) are as follows:
1) Lift kit as the stock suspension is basically shot
2) 31in all terrains
3) front runner roof rack(wanted a gobi rack but I'll save the extra 500 for other upgrades)
4) ARB Simpson III rooftop tent
5) build a cargo storage solution
6) poss dual battery system

Once all that is done she needs new bumpers/tire carrier
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:58 PM
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So today I ordered the 3in rough country lift which should be here next week. I have a new problem however.

Like 2 days ago it rained pretty good and I found water (like a lot) draining into the passenger side floorboard. I have tracked it back to the clean air intake in the compartment that houses the windshield wiper motor. I have a few ideas on how to fix it but would greatly appreciate any help if anybody has had problems with that before.
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:42 PM
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I don't get the "compromise". That's what people do when they can't get an XJ! I find it amusing how perspective what constitutes just a little rust throughout the country, guess I've just been spoiled in SoCal my whole life!
Anywho...sounds like you have solid plans and I'm looking forward to this build, I like expedition type rigs. What's the final destination of the trip (not back home, the turnaround point).
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:09 PM
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Lol I love the truck the compromise was do we want a car payment or not. We looked at getting a JKU but didn't want a payment. The rust is just a few spots of surface rust under the floorboard on the outside of the jeep. I pulled the rugs and nothing inside.
We plan on going SW to visit family in San Antonio and across Texas (my home state! or one of them anyway) through El Paso to the Grand Canyon/painted desert. Then on to Yosemite and the redwood forest and up to Mt Ranier. Then back east to Yellowstone and then to Mt Rushmore. Last stop is home. We want to hit a couple more but that will be saved for another trip.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:59 PM
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Sounds like an awesome trip! Good looking XJ too!

I'm a fan of expedition rigs myself, so I'll be following. Please make sure to post plenty of pictures as you move forward with the build.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:02 PM
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I just picked up a 2000 for 1400$ ... Me and the misses plan on doing the same type of off roading ... How does she drive
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 4cyturbowrx View Post
I just picked up a 2000 for 1400$ ... Me and the misses plan on doing the same type of off roading ... How does she drive
$1400 is a great deal!
She drives great! Omw back to md from New Jersey I put her through the paces. Accelerates with plenty of power and had no problem going 55-85mph on the highway. No death wobble *thank God* either. The only thing is at slow speeds (like 5-10mph) the steering wheel pulsates just a bit when turning a corner. I'm thinking it may be the power steering pump as it whines and it has plenty of fluid. Also could be the u-joints but it's not bad enough that I'm going to worry about it just yet.
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:16 AM
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So today's goal is to refurb the old oem wheels. We've got a lot to budget so I'm going to keep them stock for now and just put bigger tires on for now. I just got a couple wire wheel brushes from sears for like $10 and cleaned them up.

Before:


After:


Not as nice as brand new but it'll do for now
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:06 PM
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looks like a good buy. That Lapis Blue color is fairly rare
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:35 PM
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Yea I had looked at a ton of trucks in pa,nj,de,me,wv,dc,va and I hadn't seen one before this one. At first it threw me for a loop but I actually like the color quite a lot
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:46 PM
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I ordered the lift on Thursday from rough country through Amazon with an expected delivery date of next Wednesday. My wife and I got home on Saturday around 6pm and look what was waiting for me at the door!



Looks like I'll be doing the lift this week instead of next
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:09 PM
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So Monday I got started on the lift. Disassembled and reassembled the front driver side with no problem except my sway bar link busted cause it was so rusty (just a reason to upgrade ). Got started on the front passenger side and all hell broke loose. The lca was seized in the bushing and required cutting. It was late so I left her on jack stands overnight. Next morning I began cutting out the bolt. Took 5hrs to get out as I had only a battery powered saw zall and a Dremel with tiny cutting wheels. Then the new lca refused to line up...another 2 hrs...then the spring refused to line up in the bottom groove...2 more hours...luckily after that it was smooth sailing on the front. Gonna do the rear on Monday most likely but here she is as she sits till then.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:00 PM
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Don't you just love amazon... Looking good ... Got my zone lift off eBay for way cheaper ...
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:04 PM
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Looking good! If the front was that much of a pain, try and be prepared with everything you could possibly need for the rear. Odds are good you'll need a grinder and a couple cutoff wheels. If your not already, start spraying everything with PB plaster a couple times a day.

All that being said, it could go smooth. You never know!

Either way, looking forward to seeing the final product. Any ideas on what tires you want to go with?
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:22 AM
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So I tackled the back earlier this week. I took the time to spray every bolt and bushing with pb blaster the day before and again on the day of. Let me say it went way way smoother. Not a single broken bolt or seized bushing!!! Thank the Lord! Lol











This next month I'm going to be ordering the roof rack and doing a few cosmetic things like the headliner, radio, floor mats/steering wheel cover and just a good wash down inside and out.
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