Ok, so the story starts a little over a year ago.
A good friend of mine traded his Yamaha scooter for a full sized chebby blazer, something about tired of being almost run over because people dont pay attention.
We went with him a couple times at a small offroad park mainly designed for quads and atv's, but had a pretty good time. So natural progression was to find my own small 4x4 something to go and play around in.
And thats where the story takes an odd turn. Since we live in oil country, everyone thinks that their used vehicles are worth their weight in gold. I looked at s-10's and rangers, and nissans, and nothing that was anywhere near my price range ever popped up.I was trying to avoid going jeep because my younger brother is a freakin jeep fanatic.
However, i started looking at xj's, and still, everyone wanted way to much money for them.
So i made the call.
"Damn Jack, xj's are waaay to freakin expensive anymore!"
To which he responds, "well, i know where there is one cheap that needs a little work."
Famous last words.
A guy he know in Amarillo started a 4.0 HO swap into his 90 xj, and lost interest. "it just needs some wiring finished up, they told me it should take a weekend to have it running."
Anyone have any property they'd like to sell me?
i bit, hook line and sinker.
A thousand bucks, and Jack delivered it to my back yard.
'90 xj, 4.0ho aw4 and 231 with sye, waggy d44's front and rear. 6" lift with brand spankin new swampers and some pro comp wheels, and mx6 shocks up front.
All things considered, not a bad price. My buddy, who is a mechanic at a Dodge dealership, told me he'd help me get it running. Again, gullible me fell for it.
It sat in the back yard, and id mess with it here and there, changed the flywheel, cause it still had a 98 model one in it, swapped in a new cps, new cap and rotor, still wouldnt fire. No matter what we did, or what we tried, i just couldnt get it going.
well, last October, Jack invited me to Grand Slam in Hidden Falls, told me i could wheel his jk, so we went down, had a blast and met some great people.
Really had a blast. Got me hooked really good on crawling. While we where there, super cool guy Jeremy said "Hey, my buddy has a "96 2 door for sale for $150..."
So its off to the races once again. I got the vast amount of cash required for the transaction, they tell me "It only needs a starter and a battery"
Once again im thinkin imma get hosed, but we get together, get a trailer, grab my spare battery and head over.
Jack got in and put the key in the ignition and it started with that annoying *** door buzzer.... welp, we dont need no stinkin batties, so we wrapped a tow strap around the axle, hooked it to the jk, and Jack pulled me and we pull started it, so i drove it onto the trailer. Then began the exited journey home, as i had just purchased a running driving vehicle for a measly $150.
Jack even let me drive the jk around again.
Ok, here we go again.
We get the thing home, and unload, and pull start it one more time, so i can get it around to the back yard to introduce it to its big brother...
i think its a bit intimidated.
It does have a bit of growing up to do.
so a few details on the new one, '96 2.5 ax5 4.11 rearend.
So a trip to Vatozone, and $80 later, I have a new starter, and battery cable end, whoever decided e torx bolts where a good idea, i hope they have fingernails growing out of their nose that require bolt cutters to clip, i hate those things.
The next day, i got the starter put on and the jack stands pulled out, and go to start the thing... no dice, just cranks and never fires. One phone call to my older brother later, hes over at the house and we pull start it once again, with one small mishap.
Ronnie thinks its absolutely hilarious to floor his truck while we are trying to pull start mine, trashing the pass side bumper bracket. So we push the bumper back into place, and away i go. Jeep runs just fine, sounds like a dozen midgets in the engine compartment beating it to death with hammers, but it runs fine. Needs a timing set by the way.
So off to Vatozone once again, time for a tune up. Man o man, do i hate the counter monkeys at that place, they dont know their *** from a hole in the ground. They didnt have a wireset, or a dist cap, or a rotor... so off to oriellys. Those guys have everything i need in a one stop shop.
home again home again jiggity jig, pushed the jeepmobile into the middle of the back yard and got to work, pulled the battery, pulled the belt, pulled the ac compressor, just to get at the front plugs.
these things had to be the originals...
They where worn down to a .054 gap, so i gapped the new plugs, and tossed em in. then comes the fun part, i started pulling alll the wires off the dist cap to put on the new one, all 4 cyl wires came off nice and easy, but when i grabbed the coil wire and pulled... dust came out...
wonder if this is why it wont start on its own?
So reassembly begins, new rotor, cap, wireset, plugs, and put it all back together... reach through the drivers window, checked to make sure its in neutral, and bumped the key...
sweet music to my ears, fires up and runs like a kitten, well...an epileptic kitten in a stew pot, damn that clattering from the timing set.
So after some joyriding down residential neighborhoods, no registration or inspection yet, it was time for a bit of a clean up.
Drove it to the front yard and got out the shop vac, it had sat for a year or so and was dusty and dirty.
Got it all cleaned up and dust free on the inside, and decided i didnt like the goofy 8 ball shift knob, so i got a goofy skull....
it adds 15 hp.
Now for the fun part, the plan is, to strip all the goodies from my 4 door, and put them on the 2 door... so i need a 4x4 ax5 to finish my swap, and I'll have d44's front and rear, which I'll have to re gear to prolly a 5.88, just so my 4 banger will have a chance and a little more low end.
Thats pretty much it for now, the oil pan and valve cover gaskets both leak like the Exxon Valdez, and the timing set sounds like gremlins trying to escape the front of the motor, but it runs, drives, steers, and stops, and im pretty happy with than so far.
ok, so... my buddy Sam had a pair of coil spring spacers for dirt cheap, so I paypalled him some money. I can at least have it a little taller while i finish getting all my parts together for the 4x4 swap. i convinced the wife to go to the j/y with me tomorrow to grab a few things as well. hopefully i can find a 97+ console. im also grabbing a few door lock sets so my buddy Todd can re key the xj to use the key i have for my ram and durango, its amazing only having to keep up with one key for everything.