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Old 10-06-2013, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default Synergy [XJ] Fabrication

What's up Cherokee Forum? I've had this XJ for over 10 years, but haven't gotten on the forums yet because I'm bad at keeping up with forums and social media. I have read the forums a lot, being top search results to Googling "Jeep Cherokee how do I fix _______". So finally here I am and building a build thread.


2000 Cherokee Sport
4.5" mix and match lift
31" mix and match tires (some AT's, some MT's, I'm a broke start up entrepreneur)
Powertrax lunchbox locker in the rear diff
Homefab bumber and rockers
Homebrew fiberglass fender flairs
4" or so trimmed off the fenders/wheel wells
Removed rear anti-sway bar, homemade disconnects on the front, which remain disconnected
Transformable roof rack (usually leave the basket off and the mounting rails & fairing on)
Sweet computer setup for GPS/GIS, OBD-II, music

I have a lot of stuff planned, so maybe I'll be better at foruming and post some stuff. Thanks for checking it out!

Future Plans:
8" Rusty's Long Arm Lift & SYE
33" or 35" tires
Regearing
Chopin the top
Exoskeleton

Oh hey! Anyone in Denver / Northern Colorado, feel free to post or PM me, I'm up for a trail ride almost any day!

Here's how the XJ stands today:


Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-15-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
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Rear Bumper w/ Tire Swing
Going way back into time on this post: the winter break of my freshman year of engineering at Virginia Tech (I think, circa '03 or '04), I designed and built this rear bumper with a tire swing. It's basically a steel box welded onto the trailer hitch, designed with my student version of Inventor. The goal was to build a tire swing and hope that it lasts at least 5 years until I had time, money and knowledge to improve the design. I didn't really know what I was doing back then; this was my first welding project. Turns out the tire swing lasted about 7 years (failure point being the strap hinges from Home Depot) and the bumper lasted over 10 years until I plasma cut it up last weekend.

Inventor Design:


Old nut strips were rusted out, here's the new ones:


Made some shackle mounts from scrap 1/2" steel plate:


Test fit shackle mounts:


Almost complete box:


Painted, lights installed, weigh in at 94lbs:


Tire swing coming together:


Completed and installed:


Yeah, there's a little patch work where I cut the wrong lines, whoops. Tire swing mounts with some strap hinges and secures closed with wing nuts.

Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-08-2013 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:43 PM   #3
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Rock Rails
Somewhere around that same time, I made some rock rails. They use 1" square tube and in retrospect, I definitely would have gone bigger, but I still didn't really know what I was doing 9 years ago.

Inventor Design:


Installed:


Installed and showing the trail damage that motivated the project:


They're kinda small, but they've held up and protected against subsequent damage. I'm planning on replacing with bigger rectangular tube welded right there to the body.

Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-08-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:27 AM   #4
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Trimming the fenders/wheel well:

Before and After:


Cut the fenders, slice into strips, bend strips up, weld:


Cover in Bondo then underbody coat:


Easy as that. I also cut several inches off the front, but that was just with a reciprocating saw and not that interesting.

Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-08-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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Nice looking rig man love the different tires! Lol. I go to school at UNC in Greeley so next time I get a free day we will have to wheel. Keep up the good work!
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #6
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Thats awesome! I love seeing a fellow inventor guy build what he imagines.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:35 PM   #7
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Thanks guys!

Here's some more:

Transformer Roof Rack
I got a Surco roof rack at some point that mounted to the stock holes in the roof. The weight of my spare tire dented the roof and hosed up the mounting threads, so I made my own transformable roof rack. The idea is to make these little steel dinguses and weld them to the rain gutters then I can mount whatever to that. I kept the aluminum Surco rails because they have a T-slot which is nice for mounting whatever to them - bike rack, basket, light bar, fairing, etc.

Rain Gutter Dinguses (with Rice Krispies looking spattery welds):


Bike Rack components (pretty simple!):


Bike mounted, with basket on:


Made a fiberglass fairing for when the rack isn't in use:


More to come!

Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-08-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:30 PM   #8
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Fiberglass Fender Flares

DIY free fender flares using scrap fiberglass.

BTW I have a TON (okay, more like 90lbs) of fiberglass mat and weave, if anyone needs some, I'll sell it really cheap! PM if interested!

I started off by masking off the fenders then taping cut up cereal boxes to the fenders in the shape I wanted. Then I laid up fiberglass mat on the top and bottom and brushed on the epoxy, encapsulating the paperboard:


Took them off to do some finishing coats and paint:


Then mounted them with some Home Depot L brackets & #8-31 stainless hardware and used black silicone caulk to fill the gaps:


I didn't sand them all that well and I really don't care, they look pretty good, work really well and cost me nothing more than a few hours!

Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-15-2013 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:22 PM   #9
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I don't think i've seen your rig around town, what part of foco are you in?
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfajita View Post
I don't think i've seen your rig around town, what part of foco are you in?
I'm over by City Park, saw you on Heart Attack Hill last month.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SynergyXJ View Post
I'm over by City Park, saw you on Heart Attack Hill last month.
That's right...derp. Did you have those fender flares then? I don't remember them and they're definitely unique
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfajita View Post
Did you have those fender flares then? I don't remember them and they're definitely unique
Yeah man, I've been running those flares since 2005 or so. Unique indeed.

Rear Leaf Install:

A leaf pack from my first 3" lift broke, leaves slid out, it was crazy. In retrospect, I probably could have fabbed up something to fix them with, but in the interest of time, I got a pair of RE 4.5" packs. Of course it happened around the last day of class before winter break from college, so I was stuck in an empty Blacksburg VA until I could get it fixed to go home for the holidays.


And of course the shock mount bolt sheared off, so I welded a new one on.


Haha, my little buzz box MIG welder with like three extension cords running to my apartment.


Sitting pretty after the install


Used the old leaf springs for the top rim of this coffee table:

Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-15-2013 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:18 AM   #13
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that mig...hahaha....awesome!
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCarOffroad View Post
that mig...hahaha....awesome!
I love that MIG! Welds way better than I'd expect a 120v machine to, I've welded some really thick material with it, even thick cast iron.

Truck Bed Liner

This mod was motivated by my worst/best stuck story. While wheelin with a buddy in the middle of the night in the snow, I hit a deep puddle with several inch thick ice. Broke through the ice pretty quick and experienced hydrostatic locking with water half way up the doors. I tried starting a few times (before I was sure it was hydrolocked), which killed the battery, probably in combination with the headlights while hooking up for a tow.

I grabbed my strap, climbed out my window and across the hood and strapped up to my new tow hooks, installed merely 4 days prior. Had I not installed these tow hooks, I would have been swimming three feet deep in the dark to strap to the axle, in the below freezing cold of midnight snow. My friend successfully recovered my XJ with his near-stock S-10 and towed me the next couple miles out of the trail and several miles back to town while I rode the brakes without power anything, including lights.

Fortunately, this friend was a mechanic, so we towed it to his shop and I let him do most of the fix. A few days later, got it started up and it shot mud out the exhaust across the shop. After dealing with that much mudwater in the cabin, I decided to pull the carpet and put down truck bed liner. There's much more road noise now, but definitely worthwhile.



Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-15-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:21 AM   #15
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Car Audio Installs:

The first setup was nearly straight out of my old Volvo: three 15" MA Audio subs on a 3,000w peak amp and a 1,000w amp on the component speakers. That thing ROCKED HARD. It made a guy throw up when it was installed in the Volvo, which was in a box that was made out of and completely filled the trunk.


However, the box was HUGE and I hated not having a trunk, so I went down to two in a smaller box. They were the new version of that sub which had a smaller volume requirement too. So I built a fiberglass box to fit the contours of the interior.


Amp rack (front right) and trap door storage (back)


All installed (didn't bother fully sanding this project either)


Some recovery stuff under the trap door:

Last edited by SynergyXJ; 10-16-2013 at 12:46 AM.
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