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Unread 12-20-2010, 07:37 AM   #1
mjkissel
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Towing Rig Build (planning stage)

Well I feel like I have had every jeep model under the sun and I keep going back to an XJ. I currently have a 99 xj I use for a dd and work vehicle. Since the work part has beat the crap out of this jeep I am looking to make it into a straight Work Vehicle and build a XJ DD.
Now here is the twist to this build. I want it to be built with mild towing in mind. I have a 1964 Shasta 16' camper that I restored. I have towed this camper with my 99 XJ and got 14 mpg while towing. I have also towed it with my wife's 06' Grand Cherokee and only got 9 mpg. So the XJ looks like a good choice to start with. The Shasta is around 1800 lbs. I tow it once or twice a month. So the new XJ will need to be a good DD first, towing second, off road (trail riding) third.
I want to start with a high mileage 99-01 XJ. I am looking at possibly a stroker build options, possible diesel conversion or the elusive 2.5 diesel, and finally sticking with the stock motor and maybe doing a top end rebuild with cam and head work and a bunch of bolt on parts. I do want to maybe put a 3" lift with only 30" tires.
I want all this and to improve the mpg while towing. If I could get 17mpg while towing I would be thrilled. I say high mileage because I am going to rebuild the suspension and trans so that I am starting from scratch.

Let me know if I can have a good DD with enough torque to tow and get good mileage while doing so.

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Unread 12-20-2010, 03:51 PM   #2
egodfrey
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put lower gears in your axle
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Unread 12-20-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
furius
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if you don't care for speed, and you want reliability i don't know the mph i just heard that jeep released a new 4.7 stroker I6 you might want too look into that. plus you would have gobs of torque for towing or trails. just make sure to get an OD for highway.
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Unread 12-20-2010, 04:35 PM   #4
mjkissel
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Originally Posted by egodfrey View Post
put lower gears in your axle
Yep that would work for the "torque" part but it will put my MPG in the tank.
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Unread 12-20-2010, 04:39 PM   #5
mjkissel
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Originally Posted by egodfrey View Post
put lower gears in your axle
Quote:
Originally Posted by furius View Post
if you don't care for speed, and you want reliability i don't know the mph i just heard that jeep released a new 4.7 stroker I6 you might want too look into that. plus you would have gobs of torque for towing or trails. just make sure to get an OD for highway.

I am looking pretty hard at a stroker. On my way home tonight I was getting 24 MPG at 60mph. So if I went with a stroker and kept it above 20 mpg I would be happy with that for DD. I would guess that due to the extra torque that my towing MPG would still be around that 14MPG mark I am seeing now
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Unread 12-20-2010, 06:05 PM   #6
mjkissel
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Here is what I am towing around.
image.jpg   photo.jpg  
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Unread 12-21-2010, 01:25 AM   #7
jeepkid46
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if you wanna look into doing it yourself this is pretty good info Stroker's - Jeep Cherokee Forum plus the tv show trucks has a stroker rebuild show on there cheep cherokee project
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Unread 12-21-2010, 05:12 AM   #8
Mikeand
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jeepstrokers.com great forum for stroker info. Ive only gotten 15mpg with my stroker.
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Unread 12-21-2010, 06:34 AM   #9
mjkissel
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Mike
Did you upgrade your head when you did your stroker?
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Unread 12-21-2010, 07:21 AM   #10
Mikeand
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Upgrade to what? Its got larger chevy valves in it. ported and all the works.
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Unread 12-22-2010, 07:40 AM   #11
furius
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looks like your set up is pretty nice as it is, that trailer should only be putting 10% of its weight on your hitch if it is set up right. i am wondering though would putting a little more suspension to stiffen up the rear help his towing mph.
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Unread 12-22-2010, 08:35 AM   #12
furius
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i just had a thought your jeeps are pretty new you could have the option of performance chips. those can always be changed back. they are probably worth looking into.
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Unread 12-22-2010, 10:04 AM   #13
mjkissel
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i just had a thought your jeeps are pretty new you could have the option of performance chips. those can always be changed back. they are probably worth looking into.
Yep I am looking at that as well. From my limited research here on the forum it looks like so,e of this chip end up getting overridden by the factory computer. So I am trying to fin a "good one"
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Unread 12-22-2010, 10:09 AM   #14
mjkissel
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Originally Posted by furius View Post
looks like your set up is pretty nice as it is, that trailer should only be putting 10% of its weight on your hitch if it is set up right. i am wondering though would putting a little more suspension to stiffen up the rear help his towing mph.
The grand Cherokee in the picture towed the Camper like a dream, but on long runs it only gets the 9mpg and since it is 4wd the front differential over heats and requires a fluid change after towing. The front diff oil change is around $50 in material plus my time.
So that is why the XJ is a better rig plus the drivetrain is more rugged and easier to work on, plus cheaper to maintane.
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Unread 12-23-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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Alright so the plan has changed. My current 99 XJ DD blew up the water pump and radiator on the way home yesterday. So I ordered a "sever duty" water pump and CSF 3 row radiator. So the tow rig build begins.

My 99 XJ has 222k miles on it. The trans was replaced at 130k, so it will be the weak link I will be keeping my eye on. Since it was my DD I need to go through the suspension completely. The rear spring sags even with a bag of groceries in the back
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