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Unread 04-08-2009, 08:06 PM   #1
firebear
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Black 99 XJ Build Thread

I have been scouring the jeepforum threads for the past few months collecting information to make a few modifications to my xj. So, I have decided throw up some pictures and text.

Prior to own this jeep, I had a blue 1986 I4 5 speed XJ. I drove it a while but after running into some significant drive train issues I decided I wanted an I6, since they get the same gas mileage, and have more power (in my experience). I then searched out for another 5 speed, which is a heck of a lot harder than I thought it would be. And so I ended up with my black 99 XJ that even had a metal hatch, imagine that!

Ok, onto my modifications, I ordered up a RE 3.5" Super-Ride from jeepinoutfitters. Before I got it in the mail, I drove down to the Hoosier National Forest for some camping. While down there I suppose I hit a pot hole a little bit too hard and blew a hole in the side wall of my driver's side front tire. No big loss, I was not going to drive around with 225's on a lift anyways. It turns out the nasty wobble I had on the way home was my rear driver's side tire out of round. So you can see my wanna be dragster jeep with spares in the front here.



You can see the Cherokee rear butt sag. Butt even without a lift the XJ kicks arse.



And the kit arrives.



Who needs jack stands when you have logs?



And here is the "Back to the Future" hover-xj.



As you can tell, I started with the front. Both of my sway bar links broke, but I don't need those any longer, as the RE kit replaced those with next gen.

Getting the shocks out was at first annoying because they just kept spinning and spinning when trying to loosen the top nut. But then I cut off the plastic sleeves and made use of my vice grips, and the shocks were soon at my mercy.



I took off my driver's tie rod end (not sure if I really needed to), but the castle nut just spun and spun. So I took a hammer and chisel to the nut. I picked a new one up at O'Reilly.
( http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/tie-rod-bolt-castle-nut-spin-together-734978/ )



Getting the lower sway bar links bolts out was a royal pain. It turns out they are hot stamped or something. So I pulled out propane torch, heated for 5 minutes, and then wailed on it with a big freakin hammer.

( http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/trying-remove-front-sway-bar-bolt-735571/ )

Taking the lower control arm bolts out had to be the most exhausting part. I was using the biggest break over bars I could find and using then with longest cheater bars I could find. I found new parts of the Cherokee to prop my feet up against to get leverage than I ever knew about. I cannot believe I did not break any of those bolts. Once I got the old LCAs off and the new ones on, the old coil springs came right out and the new ones slipped right in.



Which reminds me, I need to reconnect my brake line mounts sometime.



After I removed everything, I decided to paint the front axle to see how long the paint stay on. I made sure to put anti-seize on every bolt upon reassembly.



And with the front end done, it looks retarded.



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Unread 04-08-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
leftlanetruckin
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welcome to the lifted black xj club.....
xjdirty-web.jpg

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Unread 04-08-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
firebear
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The next day my tires came in. 31" BFG A/T.



The rear end is less complicated. But ended up being harder. At first I couldn't get the sway bar bolt that connected it to the leaf springs off. But I found I could just bend that metal thing open and pull them out.



But I had two upper shock bolts break off, and on front leaf spring bolt seize to the metal sheath inside the rubber thing. I originally thought that the bolt had broken off inside the frame. So after cutting a hole inside under my back seat, I found that not to be the case. I pulled out the handy grinder and after considerable burnt rubber, cut the bolt off on both sides of the front end of the leaf spring. The end of the bolt fell out of the nut, so I was able to reuse the nut.

Putting the rear together was cake. I painted the rear axle as well.



Here is the Jeep Dragster look.



And then all the wheels.



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Unread 04-08-2009, 08:25 PM   #4
Kpat
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Looks good so far!

BTW thats one hell of a flashy front diff lmao!!

On and you did not need to take off your front tie rod end like that.
You should do the ZJ V8 Tie rod conversion since you already have a new tie rod end :P The ends are interchangeable and it is much beefier!

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/about-swap-zj-v8-tie-rod-but-need-some-opinions-first-742159/
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Unread 04-08-2009, 08:37 PM   #5
firebear
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Quote:
You should do the ZJ V8 Tie rod conversion since you already have a new tie rod end :P The ends are interchangeable and it is much beefier!
That wouldn't be a bad idea, I noticed my tie rod isn't exactly straight any longer, it is a sorta wave shape. ;P I guess it just didn't get along with those "small" trees I was driving over.
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Unread 04-08-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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After I got the lift on, I took it for a test drive. I had considerable driveline vibration, it got worse the faster I went. So I moved on to the next project, my SYE. I got a RE hack n tap. Picked up a front drive shaft from a guy parting out his 95 cherokee, and picked the Spicer #211229x from a local clutch shop.



Pulling out the old rear drive shaft was easy. I fired up the Jeep and put it in reverse and used a grinder to hack off the shaft. The hard part in drilling was the intial hole, I just worked my way up with 5 bits from there. I found cutting the threads pretty easy. I just used lots of oil and cleaned often.



I had to use a block of wood and a BFH to get that disc onto the driveshaft, tight fit.



Getting the rest of the drive shaft on was easy, except for when it falls on my head and the constant getting out from under and back under to switch in and out of gear.



After I got that installed I test drove it and heard a real nasty sound. Took the DS out and found it to be stiff in the double cardan area. Took it apart and found a few fallen over bearing and a bent spring in the ball joint thing. Fixed that and put together, no more stiffness. I test drove it again to find an improvement in driveline vibs.

I then put in 3.5 degree shims. After I test drove it, I found a significant decrease in drive line vibs. I bumped it up from 3.5 to 5.5 degree shims. Even more improvement in vibrations. There is now no vibrations while coasting, but stiff slight vibs while maintaining or accelerating. I think I will put in 7 degrees and see how it responds.

Looking at the front of my Jeep, I am noticing the camber angles on my front wheels to be off, especially the drivers.

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Unread 04-08-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
connor0770
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nice jeep and bumper. that bumper looks like it came off the trucks from the Indiana jones ride at disneyland. and i am also going to be doing the same lift and tire combo as you as soon as i get the money. btw wat shocks did you use?
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Unread 04-08-2009, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebear View Post
That wouldn't be a bad idea, I noticed my tie rod isn't exactly straight any longer, it is a sorta wave shape. ;P I guess it just didn't get along with those "small" trees I was driving over.


Trees tend to do that
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Unread 04-08-2009, 11:57 PM   #9
suprdave80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebear View Post
And with the front end done, it looks retarded.

I had to drive mine around like this for 2 days when I did my lift because I only had some spare time here and there to work on it and my xj is my only vehicle. So I did the front lift, then 2 days later did the rear. Sure felt weird and overly conspicuous driving around like that. Not to mention my headlights were aimed, well, "slightly up"? hahaha. I avoided driving at night those 2 days.

and I got laughed at by the people i knew who saw me driving it. probably got laughed at by any random strangers that saw me, too......

anyway, lookin good, 3.5-31's is where i want to go with mine when I no longer use mine for work and won't worry so much about mpg's..... I really didn't even want to go up to 30's because of that, but I just couldn't stand the stocker look, and I did want a little better off-road ability.
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Unread 04-09-2009, 12:03 AM   #10
Supahfly113
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I'm lovin that bumper. I like the Re axle as well. I painted mine yellow recently =).
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Unread 04-09-2009, 12:12 AM   #11
Crunch
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Nice build so far. Looks like your ball joints and/or hubs might be bad up front, making your jeep smile. Had the same problem with mine.
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Unread 04-09-2009, 10:43 AM   #12
firebear
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Anybody ever use the adjustable ball joints? Of course, maybe regular ball joints would just fix the problem right away. My hubs "sound" ok. I replaced my drivers hub two years ago, it was grinding real bad like. So that should be ok... Well, at least I won't have to try and bend the axle
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Unread 04-09-2009, 11:51 AM   #13
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Just curious about the sway bar, did you not put it back on. My jeep is a daily driver and for the moment I only have lift blocks in the back, new packs are on the way, is the sway bar really necessary? For a while I had it off and it felt sloppy, the tires were rubbing with my stock steelies, now I've got a set of cragar soft 8's, so I reinstalled the sway bar and the slop went away, so when I get new packs do I need a new sway bar?
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Unread 04-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #14
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Ohhh man.........you should have left the 4 SEPERATE wheels on with the new tires....now THAT's making a statement.

I like your hardwood jackstands....multipurpose, lift the XJ, toss them in the fire to heat the house.

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Unread 04-09-2009, 01:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebear View Post
I then put in 3.5 degree shims. After I test drove it, I found a significant decrease in drive line vibs. I bumped it up from 3.5 to 5.5 degree shims. Even more improvement in vibrations. There is now no vibrations while coasting, but stiff slight vibs while maintaining or accelerating. I think I will put in 7 degrees and see how it responds.
Just set the rear diff pinion to be 1 or 2 degrees below inline with the drive shaft. There is no need to guess. And 7 degrees of shims is a lot. That could be dangerous. Don't you think you should just move your spring perches when you find out the correct rear pinion angle? You put so much work in it already it seems like you would want to do it all the right way.

At least be sure the center bolt goes through the shim and that the shim is bolted to the spring pack.
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