and Ive got a few simple questions and opinions for you XJ experts out there that I would like to share.
So I was always looking on and off for another Cherokee to replace my 03 liberty which has been a nightmare, and after looking at a few and loosing out on one I came across this one and had to have it.
It is in great shape as is, basically no problems yet mechanically speaking. It is basically rust free with only a few small spots were its starting to bubble like on the rear hatch and underneath some of the doors, but hasn't even started to flake. Its in great shape for a Michigan jeep and only has 132k miles.
I would like to put a small lift on it to give it a bit of appearance, but keep it close to stock as can be, as its going to be my dd.
As because I only going to run 30" tires max, and maybe I might even just keep the tires on it now as there actually decent, the rear leafs are sagging to. there's only like 2.5" between the tire and the fender. So idk how well it would look after the lift is installed but either way tell me what you guys think of that.
Also was interested in know more about undercoating, since underneath is also in great shape. But I know from my last cherokee rust is a disease and spreads fast, especially if your like me and never take your car to a wash during the winter. I've read of POR 15 but am new to undercoating and have only ever done minor body work before. Tell me more about some options regarding undercoating, because all in all I think it desrerves it and Ive always been a fan of the cherokee.
I also have a set of old steels from my last Cherokee that I am going to blast and have properly painted black(not by me). I think it will look nice after if all the above is done.
I guess another option is OME full leaf pack, its pricey but I bet its the best way to go and probably makes it ride really nice. Either way I probably would have to buy 30" tires, or else it would look foolish but not really sure, those are good tires on it now with like 60% ish tread left.
I have bought a similar kit. Rough Country BB and my rear sags a bit too so I bought some 1-2 inch drop shackles to level it out to the front. Shackles may interfere with your exahaust if it turns out to the passenger side like mine did. I have to cut about 3 inches of the tailpipe.
I am now at about 4.5 inches because the BB wasnt enough for me. Now im thinking about buying 4.5 leaf packs and going back to stock shackle so I can buy a the Dynomax Turbo Catback and not have to chop the stainless tip!
Hope any of this was helpful. These are just things I didnt think about before I started my lift and had to modify things as I built it.
Personally if the rears are already sagging i would not do an AAL as most likely in about a years time if that they will be sagging again if not worse. Just spend the extra money on a full leaf pack.
For undercoating there are a bunch of options. Por-15 is pretty expensive. I was going to undercoat my jeep, but never got around to it. If you do under coat it, make sure you scrap all the surface rust off and prep it really good so the undercoating sticks.
Even if you don't plan on offroading your jeep, i wouldn't do a lift kit that is just AALs and coil spacers. I would spend the extra money and get a lift that includes full packs, new control arms, and some nice shocks. (Don't be afraid to not buy the shocks with the lift kit. Most shocks they sell with kits are garbage. Spend the extra money on good shocks.) I would personally lift your jeep three inches.
Live To Die. You're Not Going To Get Out Of This One Alive.
Yea I am looking for something that just gives it a bit of appearance and keeps it close to stock, as I intend to not really wheel with it (occasional 2 track here or there). So im not really sure what im going to do, i guess alot of it depends on how much money you wanna spend ha.
that really does look nice. i wish my cherokee was blue but i got a marroon one. its not bad but i do love blue cherokees. expecially with black wheels and paint everything in the wheel wells black oh and tint..
first thing to do since you do have an 01, you should really do a compression test. very simple to do dont let it intimadate you. the tool is 50 bucks from advanced auto or other parts store near you, write ups here. reason i say this is because your motor has a 0331 casting head and are very prone to cracking right around 120,000 miles by them selves or the minute it over heats. search here and cherokeeforum and you will find plenty of threads. always check your coolant and ifits gettingused up somewhere more then likey you will hae a cracked head. who knows you might be lucky like me, i have just over 235,xxx some odd miles and shes now starting to run bad.
about your add a leaf question. a advertised 2 in lift add a leaf will add 2 in to a new leaf spring. not a sagging leaf spring. if added to a old sagging leaf spring it will not give you 2 in lift over the stock factory height and will not last long at all. all the weight of the rear of the jeep will be loaded onto that one new add a leaf since its new and stiff and be flat with the others in no time. you could buy new leafs around 100 a piece, 20 or more in shipping and be at around 220, add in the add a leaf price and your close to what it costs to get 2 in full leaf packs.
old man emu is a top notch brand expically when it comes to our xj's. thing about them is there hard to figure out what you want. they really only build 2 in lift springs but theres 3 different types. or more? light load, med load and heavy load. there made in australia and from what i have read about the company is they build lift kits for expedition exploring and cross country type stuff. With that style of off read comes weight. hundreds of pounds of gear like tents, fuel, food, water, clothes, etc. everything you could need for being out weeks at a time . a light duty spring will give a xj 2-2.5 in lift, a med duty spring will give a stock xj 3-3.5 in and heavy 4-4.5. im not certain but thats what i come up with on a quick search. as soon as you start adding bumpers, full size spare, roof racks, tools, more people, basically "weight" that will always be there is what they mean by light med or heavy duty 2 in springs. if you see a xj with 4 in of lift on a old man emu lift they are combining parts to achive that. check out dpgoffroad.com. this company builds "HYBRID" old man emu lift kits. check them out. they inclued everything you would need in a lift kit basically. they really are the best on road quality tho. ive never seen a single post where someone says they just installed a old man emu lift and the ride quality is junk like the way they do with rough country and skyjacker.
again thats a nice xj you got. how do you like the switch from a small liberty to a med sized xj. ive owned two tjs before the xj and its so nice with all the extra room and flat folding rear seat.
We used POR-15 on my son's Wrangler before we repainted it. Works great on rusty steel.
We just touched up areas of rust. Wire wheel, clean with lacquer thinner and let dry. Paint with a DISPOSABLE brush and wear gloves - this stuff doesn't clean off the brush or your hands.
It's also not really a paint to put on nice painted steel. It's really thin. It seems to work best on the roughness of rust.
So if you have rust spots underneath, use it....but its not really a general undercoating.
Yea that would be a good idea sometime, I read up on that and it seems to be a logical thing, apparently a number of Cherokees of this year range were actually manufactured with **** metal castings basically from what I understand and are prone to cracking.
As far as lifts go I guess it depends on how long I keep it and the use Its going to see, as well as how much money I want to spend. I had my old one like 3 years and it was solid as can be. I bet I could have milked it out and kept it going.
Underneath isnt really rusty, so idk how far POR 15 would work if the what your painting isnt flaking or rusted yet, perhaps it just needs something else? With the lift Idk how far an AAL would get if there already sagging. Don't most XJ's leafs sag in the rear anyway? most ive seen that are similar with what I want mine to look like just did AAL, so I guess my point is whats the main advantage of an AAL that makes people do them? All I ever hear about them is that they sag later on.
I guess if I planned on keeping it a long time like 3 or more years, I should just do a full spring and leaf lift like OME. I might actually consider this because it might be worth it, I bought it with the intention of getting 2.5-3 years out of it min. With it looking decent still by then.
Ive been reading a bunch of reviews on OME suspension systems, and they all seem to be great reviews and fit what I am looking for.
What are the differences between the 3 loads when it comes to the 1.5 " OME lift kit? I dont plan on putting a bumper or rack on it or anything. Its just gonna be stock and maybe occasionally toe a small boat around.