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xj sport build, I hope.

Old 02-09-2016, 03:45 AM
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Default xj sport build, I hope.

I owned a 98 sport a few years ago and fell in love with it but had to part with it due to financial issues so I decided to get another one. I found a 95 Sport that runs and drives great. When I went to look at it I noticed that there was some rust on the frame but it all looked repairable so I bought it for $1350. After driving it for a few days now it seems that the repairable frame has become much worse than I thought. Much worse. The drivers side frame is not an issue but the passenger side is a nightmare. The main problem is where the front shackle mount is, there is very little to no metal holding it in place. I thought about a repair but I am not sure it is possible. most of the floor boards are weak or non existent. The body panels and the interior are all in very nice shape with just a few minor rust spots here and there. my dilemma is weather I fix the frame (if possible) or do I buy a new body and use this xj for parts. I cannot find any 95's around here that are in my price range and I am not sure what parts are direct swap and what may need some finagling. I am going tomorrow to look at a 2000 that was in a Jeep vs. deer collision. I am told it runs and drives and the frame is good but I really like how solid the drive train I have is. Any advice?

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Passenger side frame rail and lack of floor board.

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You can see here where the shackle is not connected to the frame rail.
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Shackle mount. Once again not connected to the frame rail.



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Old 02-09-2016, 06:16 AM
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I went through this same dilemma last fall. Bought a rust free 2wd and installed my 4x4 parts on it. Now I have a solid jeep.

BTW, I have a nice shop and years of mechanical experience, so a swap wasn't overwhelming.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:30 AM
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That's a bummer, and another example of why a thourogh inspection should be done before purchasing. From the simple fact that you are asking I'm guessing that you don't plan on doing the work yourself? That rust is pretty bad, probably cost a bit to fix if it's even repairable since you'd have to cut out quite a bit. I don't even see anywhere to weld to.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:51 AM
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i am sorry for your loss.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:25 PM
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BTW, I have a nice shop and years of mechanical experience, so a swap wasn't overwhelming.[/QUOTE]

I do not have a shop but I have changed engines and transmissions, etc.

Originally Posted by jay_sco View Post
That's a bummer, and another example of why a thourogh inspection should be done before purchasing. From the simple fact that you are asking I'm guessing that you don't plan on doing the work yourself? That rust is pretty bad, probably cost a bit to fix if it's even repairable since you'd have to cut out quite a bit. I don't even see anywhere to weld to.
I did inspect it pretty good, the shackle was in place when I bought it. I am guessing that it came loose from me driving it.

Originally Posted by caged View Post
i am sorry for your loss.
Lol, I am trying to stay positive here hoping that I can find a decent body that needs engine, trans, etc.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:09 AM
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Default Got a 97 Base

When I began looking for Cherokees the first one I looked at was a 97 with 256k on it. Aside from some pretty bad rust on the rear hatch, the body and frame was rust free. Guy wanted 700 bucks for it but I passed on it because I was afraid it may have a blown head gasket. The radiator had been change and it had trouble idling. It also had the nss problem, I believe.
After I picked up the 95, and realized the body was junk, I contacted the guy to see if he still had the 97. To my dismay he informed me he had sold it. A few days later he called and told me the sale fell through so I went and picked it up for 650. Now that I have a 95 drivetrain and other misc. parts I wasn't to worried about the mechanical problems.
After cleaning the distributor pickups and checking all the fluids I chose to drive it 47 miles home, double pedaling the whole way. It made the trip without a problem.
Since I have had it home it has not had a problem idling and runs pretty good. 2k in to it so far. I originally planned on swapping the motor immediately, but since it seems to run ok I am hoping to drive it until I get some warmer weather. I have not had the chance to work on it because I am in the final steps of remodeling my living room and dining room.
I am hoping to get some pictures later today and maybe get the nss pulled and cleaned.
I was hoping to be able to swap out the rear hatch but it seems it may be a bit more of a project than I am willing to take on right now.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:57 AM
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I didn't feel like climbing under it again to take pics of the underside. It is in great condition though. Still factory white paint on the frame in many spots and undercoating in others. All the floor pans are rust free and solid.
The rust on the rockers is all surface and I hope to take care of it this weekend.
The only problem area is the back hatch. There is a large rust spot that is very deep and irreparable. The seal around the glass has pulled away and I fear it has had water running inside for god knows how long. I may look into welding some sheet metal in to repair the damage but it may be more efficient just getting a different hatch.
I pulled the nss to clean it but I assume it was the original and the threads broke when I was prying on the nut to pull it off. I still took it apart to clean it and found that it was broke on the inside too. I bypassed it until I can get under the 95 and pull that one and clean it.
Found that the air blows cold too.
Either the transfer case or the rear end has a hum so I plan to change the fluids in both just to get me through for a few months until I can pull them from the 95.
The header is cracked on the down pipe where the two sides come together so I am going to try and use some exhaust putty as a temporary fix.
I don't want to put a lot of time, effort and money into the drivetrain, etc. on this since everything is in order on the 95 and will be swapped in a few months.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:48 PM
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Default Flare

I lost the drivers front flare driving down the expressway today. Does anyone know what all i would have to do to swap on all the flares from the 95? I know the bumper corners would have to be swapped too but are the mounting brackets the same?
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:38 PM
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The pic where you say the shackle hanger came loose...that ain't no shackle hanger, that's the front leaf spring mount. BIG difference.

Not to insult you, but changing engines is 1 thing, rebuilding a frame safely & correctly is another, and if you don't know what the correct names/terms are for what you are looking at.......may want to pass on it or pay someone to do it for you.

Your best bet is swapping bodies....that 1st one it shot plain and simple.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TRCM View Post
The pic where you say the shackle hanger came loose...that ain't no shackle hanger, that's the front leaf spring mount. BIG difference.

Not to insult you, but changing engines is 1 thing, rebuilding a frame safely & correctly is another, and if you don't know what the correct names/terms are for what you are looking at.......may want to pass on it or pay someone to do it for you.

Your best bet is swapping bodies....that 1st one it shot plain and simple.
That is, obviously, why I bought the 97. And yeah, I mistakenly typed shackle. It was late and I was tired, lol.

Last edited by ledangel; 02-21-2016 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:20 AM
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I have been sick so I have not posted much here. I have done a lot though.
I fixed a the tranny leak, got the hatch to open, changed the heater core, swapped the idle control from the 95 to the 97 and installed my stereo.

After installing the heater core it seems the vacuum line that provides vacuum to the climate control is now plugged. I think I may just run a new line. Has anyone done this without removing the whole dash and heater box?

When I bought the 97 it only had the passengers front door speaker working.
After installing the new stereo it is still the only one that works. The jeep only came with front speakers so I pulled the soundbar from the 95 and planned to install it into the 97. I am unable to find where the wires are run. I believe they run through under the rear seat but cannot find where they go from there. I can run new wires but was hoping to tie in somewhere further back to save on time and wire. If anyone knows where the wires may lead I am all ears, lol.
The jeep still stalls sometimes when I am doing stop and go type driving, have not really tried hunting it down much but was thinking it may be the TPS.
Any tips are welcome.
OHh, yeah, I managed to replace the heater core without removing the steering wheel or the seats. It really was not that hard to get to the "box". Once I had everything for the dash removed on the passenger side, I removed most everything from the drivers side and lifted the dash on both sides and then pulled it out on the passengers side and set it on the seat. I then pulled the box away from the firewall, angled the end nearest the passenger door towards the seat and pulled it all out the passenger door.
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:41 AM
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I would not drive that til it's fixed.. That's not safe.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:22 PM
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Pics like this makes me glad I live in the South now. I just bought an XJ that came from Western NY, I don't know how it didn't blow away on the trailer on the way to my shop. LOL


I wouldn't even attempt to repair an XJ with a rusted unibody. It isn't like a solid frame vehicle that has thick metal you can repair if it gets rusted. Unibody is just a bunch of sheetmetal folded and welded together so rust hides EVERYWERE.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:48 PM
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3/16 plate. Plate the **** outta it and make it a trail rig
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Old 03-11-2016, 03:54 PM
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I don't need to plate it, I don't drive it. As I said before I purchased The 97 for the body. The 95 has less mileage and runs/drives better than the 97 so I am going to swap the drivetrain.
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