The Best Jeep Build Thread of all time -
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post #1 of 65 Old 03-13-2010, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
Mighty Thor
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Location: Great Falls Montana
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The Best Jeep Build Thread of all time

I always wanted to do one of these, but I already had several Cherokees in various build stages before I found this site. Then along came #5 and I decided to take some pictures from the start and keep track of things as I went, so here for your consideration is my fifth Cherokee and first build thread.

I got this 91 four door from a friend who bought a Rubicon and wanted to concentrate on it. I paid $600.

Its a 1991 with 170,000 miles. 5 speed AX15, 4.0 Liter No rust (or so I thought) with several issues:

The heater did not work
Tilt steering was all loose
Windshield is cracked
Clutch would engage then quickly leak down and move the rig
Seat belt had been cut because the button would not release the buckle
Side trim was starting to peel
Won't start on the first turn of the key
Tires are shot
Shifter knob was a rock
no sound system

First job was to fix the heater. That turned out to be easy because the problem was the connector on the control. The clips just needed to be squeezed closed a little so they maintained contact. The next job was the steering column and that just required reattachment of the retaining screws down inside the column. The threads on this forum made that job easy.

Pulled the seat belts out and replaced the cut one. Found two quarters jammed in the latch. Replaced the clutch master cylinder and solved the bleed off problem

It was about this time that my 17 year old daughter started to take an interest in this jeep. She has driven the others and stated she wanted to have use of this one but wanted it lifted before she would be seen in it. so here she sits stock height. 15 inched from the the ground to the bottom of the rocker panels

I bought a Rough Country 3" lift with rear add a leafs and it raised the jeep exactly 3 inches. I will have to add that picture later.

When I went to reattach the side trim I found out that the passenger door had been replaced and that the new door had serious rust under the trim with at least three nickle sized holes.

I decided to plug the holes and use Herculiner to cover the rust. First I cleaned all the bad bondo and loose rust down to the actual metal. Then treated it all with Ospho rust converter. Then cleaned it up, roughed it up and taped it off.

Next was two coats of Herculiner with about 2 hours between coats.

While things were still wet I pulled the masking off and I am pretty satisfied with the results. You can also see the results of the lift in these pictures.

Next I will likely add wheels and tires.

Last edited by Mighty Thor; 03-29-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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post #2 of 65 Old 03-13-2010, 07:44 AM
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nice, are u gonna put herculiner in the doors, it looks silly when u can see the colors in the door jams.

l_---l_l__l---[ ]llllll[ ]

i hope this isnt a major problem if so i hope its cheap
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post #3 of 65 Old 03-13-2010, 12:37 PM
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Good start ! I would say at least paint the inner doors black behind the Herculiner, it is the first thing that catches your eye when you look at it. I would also use black paint or Herculiner the fender flairs unless you plan on removing them and doing some trimming for bigger tires. Sound's like a nice starter jeep I wish mine was mostly rust free, good old Michigan winters and salty roads
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post #4 of 65 Old 03-13-2010, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
Mighty Thor
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Yeah, I am gonna change the color of the door jambs. It is really noticeable in the pictures because the doors are not fully closed. These pictures were taken right after I took the latex gloves off so I didn't mess with anything while it dried.

I also expect to add flares at some point. I have bushwhacker cut outs on my 99 and I like them so I will probably do a repeat on this jeep too.

I should add that we took this jeep on a road trip last week, after the lift but no tire change and drove over 300 miles, ran over one dead skunk, got 18 miles to the gallon with highway and city driving and discovered that the low beams suck since they were not re-adjusted after the lift.
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post #5 of 65 Old 03-13-2010, 02:10 PM
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Looks like a good start.

  1. '95 XJ country edition, 4" coils/3/4" spacers, HD leafs with extra main added in, Ironman adjustable control arms, rough country shackles, aussie locker, JK rubicon shocks, 35" mudder's, soft 8's, cobra cb
  2. Sold'99 WJ limited, 4.7L, 3" IRO lift. Bilstein shocks, JK rubicon wheels, 255/70/17's, carolina driveshaft, IRO adjustable control arms, IRO adjustable A-arm
  3. Sold '00 TJ, 4" lift, rusty's adjustable control arms, skyjacker shocks, rock krawler adj. trac-bar,rugged ridge SYE and RE driveshaft, soft 8's, 35" mud king xt's,XJ HP D30 w/aussie locker, 4:88 yukon gears, hella 500's, rock crusher diff covers
4. 04 Dodge ram 1500 quadcab, yes, it has a hemi.
5. '08 BMW X3, Mods in progress.
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post #6 of 65 Old 03-13-2010, 02:40 PM
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How do you readjust the head lights/low beams
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post #7 of 65 Old 03-13-2010, 04:33 PM
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Personally I wouldnt herc anything since it will just fade. It looks better though, love to see more!

Kyle - I mod stuff®
2005 Subaru Legacy GT

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post #8 of 65 Old 03-13-2010, 04:41 PM
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Lookin good. I agree with everyone else on herculining the inside of the door.

My Build-
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post #9 of 65 Old 03-29-2010, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
Mighty Thor
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Fun with a tire changer

The tires on this rig were trashed, I have my own tire machine so I decided to swap some tires I had onto some rims I got. I decided to mount the tire machine on a little trailer so it could be used in several places. (lousy pic)

Since I had the jeep up and I had some of my old 33s around I decided to put one on and show how it fits with a 3 inch lift. So here is what it looks like with a 33 X 9.50 sitting on the ground.

Not much room front or back

Some one else on the forum asked about mounting 33 X 12.50 on factory rims so I decided to try that too.

Finally I put on the wheels I am gonna drive on for a while.

The tires that came off were 215 75R 15. The new tires are 235 75R 15. This raised the jeep to 19 1/4 in the front and 19 3/4 in the back. Later this month I will be taking another road trip with this rig and I will track the mileage with these tires. Previous trips gave me an average of 19 miles per gallon on the highway at speeds around 70 MPH up and down the hills hereabouts. To track mileage I use my GPS and compare mileage to the odometer so I think it is pretty close to accurate.
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post #10 of 65 Old 03-29-2010, 11:57 PM
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Better subscribe to the best build thread of all time

Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
Sometimes a restoration project is a labor of love, at which point cost, time, and labor involved become irrelevant.
Originally Posted by BorderC View Post
I see you also twizzled your scart lead. Well done! :thumbsup:
92 XJ with ARB's, 5" lift, too much armor, 33's and some other garbage
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post #11 of 65 Old 03-30-2010, 09:32 AM
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Awesome man...this is literally the best build of all time

'99 XJ Sport
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Thank You Hooligan!!!

[SIZE="4"]XJ Dana 44, Yukon 4.56 D44 Gears, LeBaron hood vents for sale
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post #12 of 65 Old 03-30-2010, 09:42 AM
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Its like the wolf shirt only about a Jeep!

Seriously though those 33s look obscene at 3"

Current: 99XJ 6.5 lift-Bought 2015
Sold: Patriot Blue 00 XJ.
'sploded: 01 stock-0331 head victim
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post #13 of 65 Old 03-30-2010, 10:06 AM
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I'm still waiting for this to become the "best jeep build thread of all time".

I don't even understand what's going on here....3 different wheels with 3 diff tires? Over a month to Rhino line the lower doors...C'mon man!

Wait until mid-summer to revive this thread.

Scott-Crawlorado Native
I have an addiction.....
*00' XJ_T-n-T Y-Link/6" RE_OME's_33" KM2's
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**84' CJ7 4"BDS 33's
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post #14 of 65 Old 03-30-2010, 10:10 AM
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i dont know.. but i think this is way better than erics thread.. since this is the best build thread of all time.. lol.
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post #15 of 65 Old 03-30-2010, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
Mighty Thor
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There is no way the 33's will work on a 3 inch lift without a fender trim. The 9 1/2s came off my wrangler with a 3 inch lift and they work on the YJ cause they are inside the stock flares. they will touch on the Cherokee if you try to turn while moving. The 12.50s came off my 99 with 3 inches and bushwhacker cutouts they will not work on this rig cause they will touch all kinds of stuff. I expect to step up to 31's at some point, but right now this is my highway rig and I want to see what different sizes do for driveability and mileage.
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