1990 Jeep XJ Build Thread - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 58 Old 04-27-2017, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
tstock0885
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1990 Jeep XJ Build Thread

A few months ago I purchased a 1990 jeep cherokee with 81,000 miles for 3,000. The money i spend on the jeep literally closed my bank account. After I purchased the xj, It sat for a month or two as i was saving a little money. When i purchased it, it already had some of the basic things done to it (will list further down). This jeep is being funded on a minimum wage job, and a "high school budget", so there might be some time between the posts. I expect this project to go slowly, but since i got it, it is really starting to look less like a piece of junk The jeep is gray, so I am trying to put as much black accents as i think they look great on gray. Sorry if this first post is more like a list and not too into depth, but there was a lot to catch up on. My future posts will be focused on one specific new part and will be more descriptive.


What was on it when i Purchased it:

-3 inch rough country lift kit

-4x4 posi-lock axle engagement (yes i know they are weak, will be replacing eventually)

-31 inch federal couragia m/t tires

-New front axle U joints

-New driveshaft U joints

-dynoflow exhaust (sounds real mean and has a real deep, rumbly tone)

-K&N Air filter

-Throttle body spacer (heard these really dont do much)

-New valve cover gasket



What I have put on in the couple months I have Owned:


-new turn signal (when i purchased jeep, stock one was cracked)

-Temperature sensor (got previous owner down $100 because temp gauge did not work this 20 part was the fix)

-Hood release cable
the common xj problem happened to me.... i went to open the hood and the handle came off in my hand... had to take the whole front end apart to open hood.

-Put a 50 inch light bar up top. The thing is ridiculous!

-had to put outer window seals on both doors, the stock ones were pretty much gone...

-The horn did not work, so i saw this as my chance to get an aftermarket horn. I went to amazon and picked up a semi truck horn and mounted it right under the hood. (its so loud )

-went out one day and noticed a huge puddle of oil under it, turns out the power steering pump was shot. Got the new one in and its been good since.

-got an affordable offroad front bumper. The thing is beefy! i was really suprised by the quality. For the price, I would buy one any day.

- and last thing for now is the headlights. the stock ones were way to dull for me. i purchased some led headlights and threw them in.


Future plans:

- I really want an aftermarket back bumper, but i would rather spend the big money on other things at this time.

- Im real close to buying some fender armor to give my xj more of an "offroad look"

- Eventaully going to go to a jy and pick up a Chrysler 8.25 and really upgrade that (lockers, upgraded axle shafts, ect.)

-Looking into lunchbox lockers now for the front and rear, any suggestions? (i know they are clicky and noisy, but they are fairly cheap)

-definitely want bigger tires. The 31's on it now are good, but who dosnt want to be running 35's or 37's.

-It really needs a paint job. the guy before me gave me 6 quarts of paint matched color. Im not going to pay hundreds to get it painted. Any painting tips?

- There are some cheap universal roof racks on amazon, and i think those make jeeps look awesome! I really like the safari style roof rack on any xj.

- Eventually when all of the priority's are done the interior can start changing to aftermarket.

I will post some pics when i get home later tonight, as i dont have access to them now.

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post #2 of 58 Old 04-27-2017, 02:48 PM
un4gvn1
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Sub'd.

A couple of suggestions, take 'em with a grain of salt.

1) Cheap LED headlights are universally crap. Trucklites & Speakers are the only LED headlights worth running on the street and most of us are unwilling to part with the coin for either of them. (at least I've been too cheap to do this "upgrade")

Much better light pattern can be had with a Putco (or equivalent) relay harness and a decent set of housings. I'm running the Autopals, but have heard good things about the Hellas and Cibies as well. Google "Danial Stern lighting" for some real good information on this subject.

2) Lunchbox lockers turn up used from time to time as people upgrade to selectables. I had a Spartan for a while, sold it to a good friend for a serious discount, so I know it happens. The front locker will probably turn up first, as there are more Dana 30s than anything else on the planet. I don't recommend locking the D35 unless you upgrade shafts at the same time, and that's generally considered throwing money down a rat hole. You can build a tough Dana 35... but why would ya'?

Try to keep some cash rat-holed, preferably on hand. Often the guy with folding money can score parts for a discount that the guy that has to "run to the ATM" won't get. "Cash talks, bull**** walks" is still true today.

Working with cars is a little like a really awesome date: you start out expecting this to be something simple and straightforward; four hours later you're laying under her, panting and cursing, and things are a lot more complicated than you thought.

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post #3 of 58 Old 04-27-2017, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
tstock0885
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Dont really know if this link will work, still a little confused how to post pics...
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post #4 of 58 Old 04-27-2017, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tstock0885 View Post


Dont really know if this link will work, still a little confused how to post pics...

didnt work.... if anyone knows please help me out. Still new to this... Thanks
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post #5 of 58 Old 04-28-2017, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by tstock0885 View Post
didnt work.... if anyone knows please help me out. Still new to this... Thanks
If you are using an image hosting site (I highly recommend Postimage.org) all you gotta do is follow these simple steps.

After uploading your images to the host site, select the image you want to post. The different sites have different ways of getting the correct code. With Postimage you click the "share" icon.










This brings up a list of link codes. You want to click on the "Direct" code.









This will copy the code to the Windows Clipboard. Click close & come back to Jeepforum. Click on the "Insert Image" icon.








This brings up a pop-up box.







Hitting Ctrl-V will paste the code in the window. Click OK, this will insert the code with correct tags in the body of your post.








A couple of details to note, the image code will paste into the edit window wherever the cursor is blinking, you can copy-n-paste to move the image code as long as you make sure you grab everything. I also strongly suggest liberal use of the "preview post" button under the editor. This will allow you to fine-tune your post before uploading.

Working with cars is a little like a really awesome date: you start out expecting this to be something simple and straightforward; four hours later you're laying under her, panting and cursing, and things are a lot more complicated than you thought.

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post #6 of 58 Old 04-28-2017, 11:56 AM
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I like imgur, but that's about the oknly difference from above. They also give you a text box populated with a bbcode link (what the forum uses) so you just copy that and paste it into your thread. That or take a direct image link from anywhere and put it in image tags. So it looks like
<img>direct link</img> except you use square brackets where I put <>

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post #7 of 58 Old 04-28-2017, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
tstock0885
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finally got some time to post up the pics. Thanks to un4gvn1 for helping me out!


This is 2 pictures i have before i started doing stuff to it. Sorta wish i took more... as you can see, pretty much stock everything except tires and lift.







This is a pic from when the hood cable relase broke and the hood got stuck... not fun.





First thing I really did to it besides basic maintenance was the light bar. The wiring in these pics are not complete so they are just hanging there. Like i said in the last post, the thing is ridiculously bright! It is a 50 inch curved light bar.







I then painted the wheels. It has the stock steel wheels, and I really wanted to see what they looked like flat black. Took a chance and i think they came out great!






Then to the front bumper. I went with an affordable offroad bumper because of my budget. I was really supprised by the quality of it! For the price, IMO you really cant beat it. I bedlined it black, as it came unfinished, and i think it looks good. These pics show the headlights my previous post was talking about also. If you look under the jeep, you can also see the power steering fluid on the ground form the pump.












And as you can tell from most of these pics, the paint is bad! It will need some work, but after time and lots of money, it will be what i wanted

Sorry if there are a little too much pics, but again, just trying to get a little caught up.
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post #8 of 58 Old 05-11-2017, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Went to go for the first drive with the new power steering pump installed. I got about two miles down the road and the belt just shredded it self. It did not snap, it pretty much just cut in half long-ways. I drove it home with half the belt and ordered a new one. What could cause this? The belt did not seem overly tight, but it did look pretty old, so im hoping that was the problem and not the new power steering pulley not being in line (which it looks to be straight with the others). I have never seen a belt break like this. Any Ideas?
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post #9 of 58 Old 05-11-2017, 08:28 AM
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Sure you got the belt on every pulley straight? Sure sounds like an old belt got up onto the shoulder of one of the grooved pulleys and then got ripped down the middle. Could be a belt installation issue or the new PS pump pulley being out of alignment. Check both carefully when you install a new one and make sure to just watch the belt idle for a while before test driving.

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post #10 of 58 Old 05-11-2017, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bluejunior View Post
Sure you got the belt on every pulley straight? Sure sounds like an old belt got up onto the shoulder of one of the grooved pulleys and then got ripped down the middle. Could be a belt installation issue or the new PS pump pulley being out of alignment. Check both carefully when you install a new one and make sure to just watch the belt idle for a while before test driving.
Im hoping I just didnt put the belt on right, i only glanced at each of them, so its very possible that was the reason. If the pulley happens to be out of alignment wouldn't i have to take the whole pump off to adjust it?
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post #11 of 58 Old 05-11-2017, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tstock0885 View Post
Im hoping I just didnt put the belt on right, i only glanced at each of them, so its very possible that was the reason. If the pulley happens to be out of alignment wouldn't i have to take the whole pump off to adjust it?
Unfortunately either that or you'd have to pull the front end apart to get enough clearance for a tool, yeah.

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post #12 of 58 Old 05-22-2017, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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any suggestions on what to do next? There are sooo many things you can do for under around $600. What would you guys recommend I do?

For right now I am thinking about:
-Roof rack
-33 inch tires
-rear bumper
-lockers
-8.25 axle
-fender armor with tube flares ( http://www.dirtboundoffroad.com/cata...p-cherokee-xj/ )

Thanks
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post #13 of 58 Old 05-22-2017, 01:01 PM
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Front locker or 8.25+rear locker.

Lockers are pure awesome.

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post #14 of 58 Old 05-23-2017, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bluejunior View Post
Front locker or 8.25+rear locker.

Lockers are pure awesome.
Would locking the front first make sense? When i do the rear end swap, the plan is to "build" it then put it in complete with a locker, stronger axle shafts, ect.
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post #15 of 58 Old 05-23-2017, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tstock0885 View Post

Would locking the front first make sense? When i do the rear end swap, the plan is to "build" it then put it in complete with a locker, stronger axle shafts, ect.
My front is locked and rear is LSD. Love that combo. Night and Day difference from open diff 4x4 or just the rear LSD and open front.

Unless you're spending a lot of your time on pavement with patchy ice (front auto lockers are squirrelly in that situation) it makes perfectly good sense to lock up the front while you build the rear.

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