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Unread 11-04-2009, 07:43 AM   #1
Vikingman
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Converting XJ Unibody into a Tubed Frame

Hey Guys,

I have been toying with the idea of stripping down my entire XJ to the Unibody and cutting the frame rails off the bottom. Then, I wanted to build a custom frame out of 3" x 4" square tubing approx. 3/16" thick to make a super strong frame. I want to stiffen the XJ frame so I can directly weld to the frame a custom long arm kit with D60's front and rear.

My main goal is to be able to lift the truck to fit 35 inch tires with out raising the center of gravity of the xj. I can use a body lift to achieve the desire height, and I think it will make it much easier to retro fit a 4bt Cummins Turbo Diesel with a GM turbo 400 tranny to make one sick off road machine.

I know it will take a lot of fabrication along with some blood, sweat, and tears, but I have a 4 month vacation coming up. I think that would be the perfect time to undertake this adventurous endeavor like this one.

I just want to find out it anyone has done anything like this??? Let me know what your thoughts and opinions are on the project. The more feedback I get the better off I will be. I think it will also make one hell of a Build Thread for our forum.

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Unread 11-04-2009, 07:48 AM   #2
ehall
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What is it about the XJ dashboard or seats or whatever that you love so much you would do all of this work to keep them? Lots of framed vehicles out there... get an LJ and be 90% done?
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Unread 11-04-2009, 07:50 AM   #3
AllXJ96
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http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/x...-build-741237/

Check this guys XJ out, he's doing a very similar thing... 4 month vacation, is this what they are calling getting laid-off now, jk lol
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Unread 11-04-2009, 08:02 AM   #4
Vikingman
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I will be taking 4 months off after working 8 months straight on a ship in the Persian Gulf. They would be doing me a favor if the would lay me off...hahaha.
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Unread 11-04-2009, 09:01 AM   #5
justanotherjpr
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Sounds like you'd be better off building a tube buggy, than trying to make an XJ into one. You would probably be fine to plate the frame from nose to tail with commercially available 3/16" frame stiffeners. The XJ unibody structure is very stout.

Unless you really love the XJ, I would say skip this project. You're taking away from everything that makes an XJ attractive. A cheap, easy, light, reliable all in one package.
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Unread 11-04-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
wil badger
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Why all the haters.......? I was going to do the same thing. The XJ sad to say is like a bic lighter. You use it till it's wasted and throw it away. Making a frame would only make it that much easier. I was going to build a frame and hang everything from it. Then find a way of mounting the body easily so that when it got all beat up you could just go and place a new body on and go. Make it plug and play for the most part. My newest build is going to be kind of along those lines but I plan on trying to keep this body intact.

Current build that is on hold currently
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/s...s-chin-468938/
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Unread 11-04-2009, 09:27 AM   #7
Vikingman
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The reason I am untaking this project is the fact that I really love the XJ style, but I need to build it for a specific purpose. I am planning to take the XJ to Africa and drive from Port Suez, Eygpt to South Africa.

It has to be strong enough to make the journey, and my life will depend on the dependability of my rig. I was thinking about using a Land Rover Defender 110, but they are hard to find on top of being extremely expensive. The jeep would be the perfect platform for the journey because i will have to fit the vehicle in a shipping container. I also need to convert the XJ to diesel because it is much easier to find in most parts of Africa. Building a stronger frame will allow me to carry more fuel, water, provisions, parts and other equipment that I will need to make the trip. The stronger the suspension the more capable it will be in the end. I wont to take out every weak link to avoid problems down the road.

Lets just say I have to pack 10 pounds of **** in a 5 lb bag.
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Unread 11-04-2009, 09:31 AM   #8
justanotherjpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikingman View Post
The reason I am untaking this project is the fact that I really love the XJ style, but I need to build it for a specific purpose. I am planning to take the XJ to Africa and drive from Port Suez, Eygpt to South Africa.

It has to be strong enough to make the journey, and my life will depend on the dependability of my rig. I was thinking about using a Land Rover Defender 110, but they are hard to find on top of being extremely expensive. The jeep would be the perfect platform for the journey because i will have to fit the vehicle in a shipping container. I also need to convert the XJ to diesel because it is much easier to find in most parts of Africa. Building a stronger frame will allow me to carry more fuel, water, provisions, parts and other equipment that I will need to make the trip. The stronger the suspension the more capable it will be in the end. I wont to take out every weak link to avoid problems down the road.

Lets just say I have to pack 10 pounds of **** in a 5 lb bag.

Well, in light of that, go for it!
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Unread 11-04-2009, 09:34 AM   #9
ReconMill
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I dont understand the mentality some people have to take the easy way out all of the time. If I had the time, skills, and money I would do it to just to say I did it!

If you do it start a build thread, also finish it so we can see the outcome
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Unread 11-04-2009, 10:18 AM   #10
Vikingman
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Yeah, I will be doing a build thread. I think it would be good for people to see what it actually takes to do a project like this, and it is always good to get the advice from more than just a few people. I still have 2 months before i get off my ship and head home, but I am just weighing my options to see what will work the best.

We still have spots available if someone wants to make the trip with us in 2011. We will be taking 8 guys and 4 trucks on this little adventure. I have six people confirmed already, and it is just a process of building the trucks that will take most of the time.
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