2drx4 'build' - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 145 Old 08-31-2008, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: North
Posts: 320
2drx4 'build'

I acquired this XJ through a bunch of schinanigans. It belonged to a co-worker's girlfriend, and I had made some drunken deal that when she bought a new vehicle I'd buy this pile. Granted I'd never even seen it when I agreed to this. Being a man of my word, when I got the phone call I headed over with cash in hand.

Did I get ripped off? Uhhhhhhhhhh......

Not the worst looking from here.

Swing out spare - doesn't interest me.

Rockers were optional I guess.

The B-pillar took a hit and is dented in, the door frame is twisted, and generally there's dings all over the place.

The good stuff:

4.0L/AX-15/NP231. Not a bad combination. Personally I'm more of an AW4 guy, but whatever.
1990 - it's a renix, I understand it.
2drs, since I'm young and stupid.

The bad:

The rust, dents, dings, ugly paint.
Clutch slave or master is out.
Water pump MIA.
No AC, although I only want it for the pump. It's probably a good thing actually...
10 000 other things.

My 'Plan' (like I really have one)
Build a 'mild' wheeler for camping/expiditions. I no longer live in an area where there is estabilished hard-core wheeling, and you can't do that alone. I'm thinking I will probably run about 2-3" of lift and some 33s, along with some body mods. The back seat and cargo area interior will be axed in favor of making enough space that I can sleep, and some storage. I'm planning dual batteries but haven't entirely sold myself on how they should be done. OBA is needed, and I will run a sanden style compressor out of convenience. However, the biggest emphasis of this build will ultimately be the reliability of the rig as a whole (more on this later).

So, the first order of business was to change the water pump and serpentine belt. The old belt got eaten as the water pump had played up to the point that the belt got thrown into the mechanical fan. I changed the lower rad hose while I was at it, the old one looked rough.

Serpentine belt shredded around fan:

Since I need a new belt, I did the idler pulley delete. No sense keeping a useless pulley. Which I've had fail before, not a good thing.

Reference picture of belt routing minus the idler:

Part number for the belt (upside down so it's easy to understand)

Then I did my first major mod. I plan to turn this one into a write up. I think many would benefit from it.

Yeah, the gas struts are worn out, the 2x4 keeps the hatch up... No, I won't actually write a how-to on it, sorry. So I changed them. Apparently the parts store wants $60 each for the struts here (jerks).

Started pulling out the interior junk. Found that the roof braces had de-bonded, probably as a result of whatever had hit the B pillar on this thing before. I think I'll just use some 3/16" bolts to re-attach it, and seal them with poly or something. I'm undecided, but definatly not going to bother replacing the roof to fix the dent.

Rust, rust, rust...

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post #2 of 145 Old 08-31-2008, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: North
Posts: 320
Started pulling the rear bumper off... I said I didn't like the swing out - so off it came. I broke EVERY bolt that held it on. And while I'm sure you could just unbolt the bumper from its brackets, I was not interested in that game (torx). So I just cut it apart...

Bumper removed, only snapped two of the bolts that hold the brackets on. Trailer hitch/boat anchor removed mostly - I had to cut one of the tabs off it as the bolt was not removable yet (still getting to that)

I have to comment on who-ever the genius was that had installed this aftermarket hitch... Put some damn anti-seize on the bolts, I only broke 4 of the 5 that I removed (with the 6th still in place, as they installed it in a creative manner, I will remove it whenever I have more stuff out of the way). And that was after I heated them cherry-red with the torch.

Began the first of the sheetmetal mods... This part was all rusty, and really doesn't do anything for me. So, I butchered it off. Just the inital cut.

Before you jump on how I cut all of this, I just went for it. Later I'll clean it up, I was just concerned with getting it out of the way for now.

View from inside... I'll weld in some 22ga or something in the hole.

The pretenda-rockers had to go next... I'm going to weld in some 2x6x.188 in their place, I think.

Mostly cut out in rough...

All cut out. Other than the end there. I need to figure out exactly what my plan is there. I was going to use some MJ rear flares over the rear (cut and fold it), and see if that part was 'covered'. But that's kidna hack. I might just have to cut a bunch more out, and maybe patch it (heaven forbid).

Took off most of the junk from the front that doesn't interest me... Vacuum bottle and horn will get relocated. There's more work to be done here, but not for tonight.

I won't work on it tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get the other side all cut monday. Along with the front flares cut out, and the front pinch cut and folded. Then I can pick up my welder and compressor and clean up the remaining rust and see how much worse it is. Who knows.
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post #3 of 145 Old 08-31-2008, 05:57 AM
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Off to a great start.

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post #4 of 145 Old 08-31-2008, 03:37 PM
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
Posts: 1,145
How much did you pay?

1999 XJ
4.5" BDS and Stuff.
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post #5 of 145 Old 08-31-2008, 06:26 PM
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: High Point, North Carolina
Posts: 1,939
Where do you live? North What? If its North Carolina, ill be glad to take that swing out tire carrier off your hands...

97 XJ 4.0 Auto D30/29 Sp. 8.25. Yukon 4.10's
4.5" IRO Long Arm Kit - 33x12.50x15's
HD Offroad Engineering Shackle Relocation Brackets
Bilstein 5100's - Magnaflow Exhaust.
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post #6 of 145 Old 08-31-2008, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: North
Posts: 320
North, as in really far north... Northern BC to be a little more specific. So, sorry.

And I payed $500. Which really is only the first payment, and it does have most of things I wanted. So I can't complain too much. Although I would have preferred a straighter body, just so later on down the road I can claim all the damage as my own.
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post #7 of 145 Old 08-31-2008, 11:22 PM
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1989 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: Washington
Posts: 1,022
dang i reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally want that tire carrier.

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post #8 of 145 Old 09-01-2008, 01:17 AM
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Location: Aldergrove , British Columbia, Canada
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off to a great start and why buy new gas shocks a pair of vicegrips is waaayyy cheaper and its good to see some more BCers on here

89 wagoneer LTD. , 32x11.5R15 wild country RVT, 15x8 AR baja rims , surco safari roofrack w/spare tire kit , cobra 19 DXIII w/ high gear mic. 4' whip on a 3" heavy-duty spring , 4.5" rough country full leaf pack lift kit

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post #9 of 145 Old 09-04-2008, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: North
Posts: 320
Did some more work....

This area had to be cut out... I was about half done at this point, all of it had to go. Oh yeah, there's a few cracks there, don't mind those, they're on the list.

At this point I figured I was about done cutting this side. Yeah...

I cut out the back of the uniframe rails to put my bumper mounts in (2x3x.188).

Yeah, I cut that one very square... Shh. The top shackle bolt extends too far and is in my way. Luckily it has about 20 threads more than it needs.

So I pulled it out, cut off about five threads, then ground the end to a bit of a point so it would self centre.

Threw some anti-seize on and reinstalled. Plenty of clearance.

(I know that's a picture of the other side, just imagine everything backwards if it's a problem)
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post #10 of 145 Old 09-04-2008, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: North
Posts: 320
Test fitting the new rocker/slider. Looks like it'll work... Of course I had to cut way more stuff off.

More test fitting...

You can see how it doesn't extend too far back. More on that later...

Capping the ends.

Ugh. Was still dialing in the welder (haven't welded in 2 months), then realized it was spooled with crappy wire (I lend it to a friend when I'm at work). Of course, had I looked before I started welding, this wouldn't have happened. Anyways, I ground that part out and re-welded it.

I cut the front of them on a 40* angle, then capped them too. At this point I was getting a little more comfortable.

Ground smooth (same with the rear). Then I RO sanded the entire thing to promote paint adhesion.

Shimming it all into place for welding...

Welded most of it up. Had a minor, almost major, fire in the interior. Apparently this foam lights up really easy. Considering I was welding on the other side of the A-pillar when it lit off.

Welded all around the top... Ain't done, but I was sick of welding. Thick steel to thin sheet it trying of one's patience. The welds vary from decent looking to horrible. I think I'm going to put a sealer of some sort over them anyways, so nobody will really see...
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post #11 of 145 Old 09-04-2008, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: North
Posts: 320
And I partly built both rear bumper mounts... Just some 2x3x.188 with some nuts welded in it. They aren't as hardcore as some people's, but I pick up 4 place on the uniframe per side, plus the 4 stock holes per side (other than the ones that have broken bolts in them, something to do sometime...) I used 1/2" GR8 hardware for no reason other than it fit the holes in the frame nicely, and GR8 has a nice plating on it so it doesn't rust as quick.

I'll get the other side mostly welded on tomorrow, I think. And maybe get the rear bumper tacked together. Maybe.
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post #12 of 145 Old 09-04-2008, 03:49 AM
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Location: Los Lunas NM
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Dude I hope you don't mind but I'm gonna pirate you idea, man those are NICE!
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post #13 of 145 Old 09-04-2008, 06:04 AM
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: Toonnerville, GA
Posts: 2,062
Are you going to run some braces to the "frame" rail on those?

Looks good and so do the welds. What's next?

-1998 XJ Sport 4.0L-
-6.5" RE/Rustys/RC lift, Custom Y-link LAs, custom shackle relocation boxes, Pro Comp/RE monos-
-315/75/16 Toyo MTs on Moabs-
-Shaved 8.25 w/HD shafts/Auburn LS/4:10s, HP30 w/ Lock-right, sliders, HD track bar bracket, AA SYE, AppA TC skid, AFE intake, Magnaflow exhaust, Bored TB-
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post #14 of 145 Old 09-04-2008, 10:47 AM
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1989 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: pitman, nj
Posts: 766
i like your idea for the rockers... o yeah u forgot to cut the top off

1989 jeep cherokee 2 dr. 5inch lift 36x14.5 tsl swampers- never complete
1992 chevy black 454ss- daily driver
1967 baja bug- resto project
project build thread

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post #15 of 145 Old 09-04-2008, 12:27 PM
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: East Pittston, Me
Posts: 140
hey man great job so far i cant wait to read more!

1996 Cherokee Sport
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