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Two XJs...but only building one

Old 10-13-2015, 12:50 PM
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Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0
Default The Temp Rig and the "Keeper"

So I started with two Jeeps, a 91 and a 94. The 94 was the nicer one of the two (the turquoise one) with a 4.0, AX15, HP Dana 30 (non-disco) out front, Chry 8.25 in the rear, 4.10 gears, 33/12.50/R15s, and Lockright lockers front and rear (the lockers turned out to be a lie)

The 91 (the red one) was the crappier one of the two with a 4.0, Aw4, HP Dana 30 (non-disco) out front, tired Dana 35 in the rear, 3.55 gears, stock size crap tires, and open diffs.

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I bought the red XJ for a song about a month ago and drove it home from it's place of rest of more than a year. Needless to say that was a sketchy drive home even on all he back roads as the hwy was a no go with a horrible wobble and vibration.

Once I got it home I took an inventory of what was wrong...

Track bar bracket axle side (broken drop bracket)
Jacked up straight pipe exhaust
No ebrake
No keys
Toggle switches running major electrical including a push button start with a hint of really...really bad wiring
Rust holes in floor both front and rear some with half assed patches some without
Speedometer works when it wants to
No dash lights
Aftermarket lights don't work
Pretty leaky valve cover gasket
Pics for proof...

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I removed the column ignition as it wasn't doing anything anyhow and added in a spare ignition I had sitting around until I can hunt down a used column with keys.

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The wiring that was in this Jeep as a "solution" from the PO was just a joke. The headlights, wiper, and ignition were all run through toggle switches and a push button. The wire used was the wrong gauge and was just globed all together behind different connections with evidence of touching/shorting out which is just nuts considering how thick the wire was.

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I rewired the headlights at the front header and fixed the headlight/dash light issue.

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I dropped the bracket for the track bar and just re-drilled the hole over to fix the wobble

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I've since put an exhaust on (bugger welded the **** out of it...lol), pressure washed the Jeep in and out, and took it on a shake down run.

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And what it looked like when I got home from the shake down run, all in all it did pretty good for a cheap *** jeep. Drove 1.5 hours up, wheeled all day, and drove 1.5 hours home.

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After the shake down run I had a couple more things to add to my list...

Rear axle is making noise
Rear brakes are shot (like spitting fluid till they're dry)
Aux fan doesn't work
Idiot lights don't worn of overheating
Need a new thermostat due to overheating...
IT GETS FREAKIN HOT IN THERE WITH NO INSULATION!!!
Doing a check of the brakes led me to this as well, this isn't quite right is it?

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All of this took place over a three week period while I was on break from school (30 year old college sophomore...yeah I know). I haven't done anything with it for a few weeks because shortly after I took it on it's shake down run my pops found a much nicer XJ that already had quite a few mods for a really good deal, sadly I had spent most of my budget on the red XJ but pops was looking to relive some father son project memories so we struck a deal to go in on it together.

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The tires were the first thing to be replaced as they were just shot...completely uneven wear, chunks missing, slices in them along the tread area, and the drive home was filled with vibrations galore.

With getting the tires replaced we were made aware of a serious issue that needed to be taken care of asap...

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The passenger upper ball joint is very worn showing two different symptoms. It allows for a good amount of side to side play with weight on the tire and even more so when you put it in the air. The other issue is that it will essentially "fall out" of itself when the tire is in the air and you give it a wiggle allowing the bottom ball joint to actually fall out of it's location on the axle C.

Now the concern is that it's been this way for a while and has "wallowed" out the lower ball joint press fitting...so we'll see when the new ball joints get here in the next couple days.

Speaking of ball joints, we ended up going with a set of Alloy USA joints found here. I'll be sure to chime back in once we've installed them and again once we've put some miles on them with a review.

So after that issue is fixed the immediate plans are as follows...
Shackle relocation brackets in the rear as my lift is slightly higher in the front and as we all know the stock location for the rear springs doesn't lend well to flex or ride (I like the Rough Country version for now, there are other options though) Done and Done
Napier Precision Pocket Flares (I like them because of the size and obvious price savings)
HD Sye kit (like the one found here from Rough Country) Done and Done
HD Steering kit (possibly a hand me down but if not, it will be a heim joint custom job)
After we address the short term and enjoy the XJ for a bit the long term plans are as follows...
Front bumper with winch mount (something low, slim, and not hanging out there)
Rear bumper with integrated tire carrier (along with some other goodies)
Sliders that tie into the sub-frame (possible stiffeners as well)
Long arm lift around 5 inches or so (I've been eyeballing this kit here from Rough Country)
Internal cage that ties into sub-frame
Onboard air system with york style compressor
Roof rack slider box (we've got trees around here damn it!!)
And then some other nick nacks like better stereo system, interior mods for storage, hood vents, cowl intake.

Last edited by Joshua White; 08-02-2017 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:56 PM
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Default

The 94 looks pretty nice. I would call it blue
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 93_xjcherokee View Post
The 94 looks pretty nice. I would call it blue
I would as well, but was corrected this morning by another member that seems to know quite a bit more about this specific color...lol
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:01 PM
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Alright, I've completed the first post with where we are now and our plans through the future.

Thanks for stopping in and I hope you enjoyed the post.

Feel free to pass on your ideas/experience.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:41 PM
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Default Ball Joints - Exhaust Mani - Fenders Trimmed

Well a good amount of work happened this past weekend. I've got to give a big thanks to my Dad for driving over the pass to stay here and help me out with not only the work but also bringing the proper tools.

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I still need to get the factory flares trimmed to fit and mounted back on but at least now I don't rub my tires under normal driving...lol

I also tightened down the track bar to factory specs as it had loosened up, so that helped with my "dead spot"

All in all it drives pretty damn good for a lifted Cherokee with a mismatched lift kit of unknown age and abuse!!

Last edited by Joshua White; 12-09-2015 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:33 PM
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Well the red jeep went bye bye yesterday, and today this happened :-)

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Old 10-26-2015, 10:36 PM
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Oops, I double posted...got to excited and posted about buying parts twice.

Last edited by Joshua White; 10-26-2015 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:59 AM
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Sweet. Order parts for me too
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Joshua White View Post
Well the red jeep went bye bye yesterday, and today this happened :-)

You can divert that order to Colorado. I wouldn't mind.
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 93_xjcherokee View Post
Sweet. Order parts for me too
Sell a Cherokee and I'd be happy to fill a cart and then empty it for ya...
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by JandDGreens View Post
You can divert that order to Colorado. I wouldn't mind.
I'll get right on that
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:19 PM
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Well a broken bit and a slashed thumb later and we've got flares back on (front bumper too)

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Old 10-28-2015, 08:15 PM
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The flares turned out great, Did you still have to install bump stops to keep your tire from hitting anything?
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:46 PM
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I got some bump stop extenders for sale if you need some
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by JandDGreens View Post
The flares turned out great, Did you still have to install bump stops to keep your tire from hitting anything?
I haven't gotten a chance to take it out yet to test flex and such. I'll be doing some flex in my driveway just to check but that's not like the real thing. If I don't get any responses from my post asking for some company this Sunday on the trail I'll most likely make a short run down some easy trails myself to test.

Originally Posted by 93_xjcherokee View Post
I got some bump stop extenders for sale if you need some
I'll keep that in mind, from what I've seen and read I don't believe I'll need to extend the bump-stops. We're planning a long arm lift kit down the road.

Last edited by Joshua White; 10-28-2015 at 10:17 PM.
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