97 XJ Sport Ultimate Daily Driver Build - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-06-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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1953 M-38 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Farmville, Virginia
Posts: 238
97 XJ Sport Ultimate Daily Driver Build

This build up will hopefully encompass my progress to the ultimate daily driver XJ. In an effort to keep miles off my pick-up truck I will be working towards a comfortable, yet highly capable on and offroad Jeep.

I'm beginning the journey with a bone stock 97 Cherokee Sport that I bought from my neighbor for $500. His fiance wanted "the eyesore" out of their driveway and were willing to part with it quickly. I see it as a deal so good I almost felt bad handing him what he was asking for it...almost.


-Near flawless interior except for some minor issues and stains on the carpet
-153k miles on the original motor and tranny
-8.25 rear end with a minor fluid leak
-Strong motor with no smoke or oil burning
-Near straight body with the exception of both bumpers and the front left quarter panel
-Never driven offroad (neighbor only bought it to commute to work and school)
-Keyless entry
-Good tires
-Power everything
-ALL paperwork came with the vehicle (original window sticker $24,204 , every record of oil change and service, original shipping papers, and even a Virginia State summons for dead inspection in 2004)


-one ripped armrest on the driver's door
-grinding on the front left rotor/hub
-leaking 8.25
-oil pressure and gas gauges are accurate about 75% of the time
-major peeling on the clear coat which will need to be fixed
-Rear power windows do not work either from the rear switches or the driver's switches

Plans include a RE 3.5" lift with the stock wheels and then Uniroyals that are on my 92 right now. Front and rear bumpers will be replaced with something that has recovery points and the ability to hold a winch. I have considered a set of sliders but I see this as far off down the road as other things will need precedent. The interior will stay mostly stock for now although I have a slide out drawer system planned for the cargo area for secure tool storage. I also have satellite radio/Ipod hookups to install for road trips.

Today pretty much comprised of insurance, registration, title, etc. After work I did an extensive once over to try and knock out some problems. I managed to get the oil changed, air filter checked, and front tires and brakes off to diagnose my grinding noise.

97 and 92 looking lonely without plates or a grille.


I removed both of the calipers, brake pads, and rotors and found a fair amount of rust which may be contributing to the grinding noise on the front left corner. I think I'll run the rotors down the street tomorrow and have them turned.



While everything is apart I'm thinking of pulling the hubs and replacing the u-joints and examining everything just to be sure the hub assembly is up to par. Lots of rust on the suspension components.


1979 CJ-7
1978 CJ-5 (Wrecked Awaiting Rebuild)
Willys M38A1 - project vehicle
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-06-2009, 05:01 PM
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: wildwood
Posts: 331
My hubs and rotors look just as bad. everything rusts so quickly where i'm at theres no point in replacing it.

beware if the right wing extremists, you know who you are the self appointed moral compass of jeep forum.

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post #3 of 3 Old 02-07-2009, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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1953 M-38 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Farmville, Virginia
Posts: 238
Nothing much to report today. I went down to the local autoparts place (small town place where they actually will be truthful about parts they sell you) and he suggested new rotors as opposed to turning the composite rotors as I will have problems with warpage in the future. I ended up leaving with a new set of rotors and pads which I believe is going to be the best in the long run. Other than that, I only managed to adjust a sticky hood latch and glue some of the rear speaker bar headliner back up. Most of the day was spent on the Willys (sand sand sand prime prime prime).

1979 CJ-7
1978 CJ-5 (Wrecked Awaiting Rebuild)
Willys M38A1 - project vehicle
AbsolutXJ is offline  

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