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Bought my first XJ

Old 12-26-2017, 11:16 AM
  #1  
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Default Bought my first XJ

so i picked up a really clean 2WD XJ a little over a week ago for my GF who just turned in her lease.
(please dont shame me on the 2WD. all the 4WD prices within 150 miles of So-Cal are insane. 200k-250k miles for 6500-7500)

anyway this one did need a bit of TLC but had a really great list of recent work including:

new radiator & electric fan
head gasket
oil pan gasket
rear main seal
valve cover gasket
transmission output seal
front and rear brakes
3 new tires (2 rears are mounted and i have 1 loose new tire but someone stole the 4th tire the PO bought before he could get them installed)

bright side:
power windows and locks work
all doors open and shut smooth (no body twist)
ac works
really clean interior
cruise control works



So ended up picking it up and of course the AC wasn't working and it was throwing a CEL but a quick search and found it was literally just changing a fuse

So no more CEL.
AC is ice cold.

Replaced a headlight ballast
Replaced the buggered up battery terminals
Threw on a cheapo light bar with windshield mount ($89 via Amazon)
Wired the light bar to the factory fog switch
eBay roof rack ($112)
Installed some low milage take off XJ Rubicon shocks ($25)
Raised the rear to highest setting on the shackles

i think the rear leaf packs are tired and i should look into picking up a bastard pack or at least another stock set
also may grab a set of black AR-23 wheels and 31" tires locally this week for a deal too good to pass up


anyway we decided to spend Christmas at Joshua Tree National Park and camped on BLM land in the XJ.
needless to say we love this thing!!!

pics from the weekend

XJ was great. no issues at all.


abandoned truck on the trail


sunset at barker dam on Sat


waking up Sunday on BLM land north of the park




Jumbo Rocks


Desert Queen Mine


found a couple of mines we could get into...didnt go very far since its 100 years old and creepy AF




Sunset at Keys View on Sunday


and of course...


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Old 12-26-2017, 01:12 PM
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Great pics and a good looking XJ.
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Old 12-27-2017, 03:51 PM
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Sharp looking XJ, maybe in the future you will get the "mod" bug and swap in front axle from another Cherokee. That would probably be pretty cheap, even with the So-Cal jeep tax


Don't forget to change all the fluids (trans and rear axle I guess), and bleed the brakes to get fresh fluid in the lines. Maybe power steering fluid too, and a quick tune up (NGK copper spark plugs, clean the throttle body and IAC). Throw some new 4-hole injectors in there if you feel the need. Then just upgrade and fix as things come up

Last edited by investinwaffles; 12-27-2017 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:15 PM
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I'm diggin the wheels that's on it now, I wouldn't change them.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:26 PM
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this weekend we took a trip to Red Rock Canyon State Park area.

Did some reading about the Burro Schmidt Tunnel and Walt Bickel Mining Camp on BLM land a bit north of the park.

It was roughly 10 miles of very light 4WD trails with no problems at all. Mostly just light rocky climbs and loose sand in the wash areas., either way the 2WD XJ did great





set up camp Sat near the Schmidt cabin

Schmidt campsite" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4686/39455282541_b9e5ded014_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/237wCU6%5dBurro
Schmidt campsite
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





Schmidt Cabin (Schmidt spent 38 years digging a 1/2 mile long tunnel through solid granite with only hand tools and dynamite)

Schmidt's cabin" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4728/25584822798_f2e456cc57_z.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/EYQUss%5dBurro
Schmidt's cabin
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





Red Rock Canyon State Park

Rock canyon State Park" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4645/39455320291_31eaedb0a2_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/237wQ7X%5dRed
Rock canyon State Park
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





stopped to explore a few ghost towns nearby.

this is whats left of Garlock, CA

[ame=https://flic.kr/p/234MEF1][img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4681/39424265702_91bcec79d4_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/234MEF1%5dGarlock%5b/url
] by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





[ame=https://flic.kr/p/JaMbH2][img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4729/27677648779_0c3a335fbd_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/JaMbH2%5dGarlock%5b/url
] by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





[ame=https://flic.kr/p/237wW2c][img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4599/39455340141_5c6c28d4f7_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/237wW2c%5dGarlock%5b/url
] by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr







then went to go check out Randsburg, CA

this town isnt as deserted as the ruins in Garlock. i would say there are about 20 "homes" around the area and a general store and a saloon.

[ame=https://flic.kr/p/222UWc9][img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4681/38746693934_7eb9ae76b8_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/222UWc9%5dRandsburg%5b/url
] by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr



Randsburg jail museum

jail" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4599/38576240655_402e5b26be_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/21LRjnv%5dRandsburg
jail
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr







Sunday we decided to switch it up and climb in elevation. turned off rt395 and headed up to the Inyo/Sequoia national forest.

found a great campsite near Kennedy Meadows.

Meadows" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4637/25584894338_eaae4c5f2c_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/EYRgHU%5dKennedy
Meadows
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





Meadows" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4726/39455406071_e554bc3a78_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/237xgBV%5dKennedy
Meadows
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





Meadows" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4600/38746787544_09569e9ca2_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/222Vq27%5dKennedy
Meadows
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





Meadows" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4685/38576331975_70f812b3b6_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/21LRMvZ%5dKennedy
Meadows
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





Meadows" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4587/25585011708_822959a42d_b.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/EYRSBw%5dKennedy
Meadows
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr





Meadows" target="_blank">[img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4734/38746867644_b08a4e70fe_k.jpg%5b/img%5d%5b/url%5d%5burl=https:/flic.kr/p/222VPQ9%5dKennedy
Meadows
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr









overall we had a great new years holiday weekend. couldnt be more smitten with the XJ purchase. :wave::heart:
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:58 PM
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Beautiful XJ and pics! Thanks for sharing.

That pic of the old truck on the trail looks surreal. Like a set for a TV show or something.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:27 PM
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Living the dream!
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:31 AM
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Sweet. You have picked some really great spots to go explore, glad you and the GF are utilizing the Jeep!

There's a TON of great spots out here. Have you been to Death Valley yet? We took a trip out there a little more than a year ago, to go see Barker Ranch, where they caught and arrested the Manson family. It was pretty cool, and your rig will make it NO problem. Here's a link to our trip...

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f34/de...-house-231189/

It was surreal sitting in Chuck's loveseat drinking a beer, and cooking lunch in his fireplace, LOL
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:52 PM
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nice pics and adventure.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbone289 View Post
Beautiful XJ and pics! Thanks for sharing.

That pic of the old truck on the trail looks surreal. Like a set for a TV show or something.
yeah it was surprisingly in tact too which was neat


Originally Posted by jordan96xj View Post
Living the dream!
yeah life is good here for sure. moved here from buffalo ny about 5 years ago



Originally Posted by roninofako View Post
Sweet. You have picked some really great spots to go explore, glad you and the GF are utilizing the Jeep!

There's a TON of great spots out here. Have you been to Death Valley yet? We took a trip out there a little more than a year ago, to go see Barker Ranch, where they caught and arrested the Manson family. It was pretty cool, and your rig will make it NO problem. Here's a link to our trip...

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f34/de...-house-231189/

It was surreal sitting in Chuck's loveseat drinking a beer, and cooking lunch in his fireplace, LOL

actually death valley was already our next spot to check out on our list. we will prob head there the weekend of 1/19-1/21

Originally Posted by RocketMouse View Post
nice pics and adventure.
thanks ill just keep updating this with all of our jeep adventures and repairs...

this weekend im doing transmission shift solenoids and a fluid flush
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:38 PM
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my current list of upcoming things i would like to do in no particular order are...

-new crowne HD rear leaf springs and bushings as the stock leaf pack is sagging as you can see in the pics
-have the drooping headliner done
-rear spartan locker and rear wheel bearings
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by XwalkerX View Post
my current list of upcoming things i would like to do in no particular order are...

-new crowne HD rear leaf springs and bushings as the stock leaf pack is sagging as you can see in the pics
-have the drooping headliner done
-rear spartan locker and rear wheel bearings
Lift kits work on the 2wd XJ too.
Get a pair of coils off amazon, add a leaf to the rear or use a leaf from a chevy truck.
Check local jeep groups always someon that did a lift on a Rubicon JK/JKU and get the old shocks from them for cheap and you have 3" lift shocks.
Have to add your cross bar pins to them.

Then hit local u-pull-it and get an axle 3.55's I bet if its a 4.0 automatic, and get a front axle.
Looks like you all had a great time.
Be surprised what a 2wd can do if you add a locker or limited slip to the rear.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Caish View Post
Lift kits work on the 2wd XJ too.
Get a pair of coils off amazon, add a leaf to the rear or use a leaf from a chevy truck.
Check local jeep groups always someon that did a lift on a Rubicon JK/JKU and get the old shocks from them for cheap and you have 3" lift shocks.
Have to add your cross bar pins to them.

Then hit local u-pull-it and get an axle 3.55's I bet if its a 4.0 automatic, and get a front axle.
Looks like you all had a great time.
Be surprised what a 2wd can do if you add a locker or limited slip to the rear.
the crown leafs will give about 1.5 inches over stock... no need for rough add a leafs.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Caish View Post
Lift kits work on the 2wd XJ too.
Get a pair of coils off amazon, add a leaf to the rear or use a leaf from a chevy truck.
Check local jeep groups always someon that did a lift on a Rubicon JK/JKU and get the old shocks from them for cheap and you have 3" lift shocks.
Have to add your cross bar pins to them.

Then hit local u-pull-it and get an axle 3.55's I bet if its a 4.0 automatic, and get a front axle.
Looks like you all had a great time.
Be surprised what a 2wd can do if you add a locker or limited slip to the rear.

the truck already has a front 3" or 3.5" coil spacer and a lift shackle on the rear.
the rear is on its highest setting and its about 1"-1.5" lower than the front.
my plan is to put the crowne leafs on and drop the setting on the shackle and it should give me a good height setup in the rear.
also i already did the JK shocks within the first week haha

also why would i go get another rear axle?
i have no plans to swap this to 4x4

like i said im just considering a spartan locker in the rear since i think i have to pull the back apart for the wheel bearings sooner than later
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:29 AM
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just ordered

-rear wheel bearings and seals
-new windshield wipers
-2 qts of mobil 1 synthetic 75w-90
-spartan locker


hopefully that stuff comes in this weekend and i can do the rear end along with the trans service the same day
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