'99 Sport Build Thread: Grocery Haulin' With Panache
Yes, as you may notice I've been a member here since '04. So why is my XJ still so pathetically stock? Well, I had a fairly built up '93 YJ then which was stolen in early '07 (still no word on it to this day). For the better part of the next year and a half I couldn't decide what I wanted to replace it with. I toyed with the idea of cars, motorcycles and trucks before I found my XJ while browsing aimlessly on craigslist. Since I was still sans wheels at the time, (this was when gas prices really took off and I decided to commute via bike) I took 6 buses and walked the last 2 miles to the used lot. After a thorough looking-over (ignoring the 3 mismatched tire brands) and a quick test drive, I signed the papers and drove home with a huge grin on my face.
110K miles and about as clean as you can get for a 9 year old vehicle. Immaculate interior with a few minor cosmetic blemishes. The 4.0 was still full of power and the AW4 (strangely this is my first ever automatic) shifted as smooth as silk. The entire powertrain felt near-new. No rust to worry about since we don't believe in salt up here in the PNW. Looking back, my YJ was very impractical and I didn't enjoy driving it nearly as much as the XJ. Sure, topless and doorless are fun in the summer but trying to haul around camping/skiing gear, friends and a 140-lb Alaskan Malamute was never going to happen in that thing; the XJ is far more ideal.
After socking away some cash and benefiting from my company's profit sharing plan, I've decided to finally get some **** done. Ultimately I'd planned for at least 33's but no larger than 35's on an 8.8 with TnT's Y-link kit, but I went a little crazy getting other nice pricey things so that I could simply get out and play this year. So, I tried to plan this 'beta' build carefully so that I could carry over as many parts as possible when I'm ready to move up in lift and tire size. Over the next few weeks I'll have a lot of goodies rolling in and will try to take some pics of each mod as it's installed. Feel free to comment, question or critique.
Here's what I've done so far to this point:
Tinted front windows - To match factory rear tint
Yakima FreshSesh ski rack - Yeah, I like to ski and board
63mm bored throttle body w/brass butterfly - Quite an unexpected boost!
Hayden 405 trans cooler - Good enough for EriksXJ, good enough for me :)
Painjectors Bosch 4-hole fuel injectors - Smoothed out the idle and increased throttle response
Alpine head unit w/6.5" Inifinity Kappa's - Good enough for now until I can get an amp/sub
Viper alarm w/2 way remote and remote start - Also added a proximity sensor. Remote start owns in the winter
eAutoWorks H4 headlight harness - for some headlights coming soon...
Husky floor mats
Monroe SensaTrac shocks - Great, cheap upgrade from the shot factory ones
TnT Customs unibody stiffeners - Really tightened up the handling; solid mounts for the rocker guards too
AJ's SuperRails - Glad I bought these when they were cheap!
Die Hard Platinum battery - Got it from a buddy parting out his TJ
15x8 Cragar Soft 8's w/4" backspacing - I know, I know, but I like the look and they are cheap
31"x10.50" BFG KM2's - ALWAYS CHECK CRAIGSLIST! I got these for $500 with 1800 miles on them because the guy decided to go bigger...33's on his 2-door Rodeo :laugh:
TnT Customs 1.5" shackles - From a buddy's abandoned XJ project
1.75" coil spacers - JF classifieds special!
Flowmaster Super44 Off Road - 14 gauge steel and adds some rumble; sets off car alarms with ease
Magnaflow cat converter
Removed: tailpipe, (have turn-down now) front bumper caps, rear bumper caps, fog lights, valance, factory front skid, door trims, overhead console
On the way:
Old Man Emu 3" leafs, coils, NitroCharger shocks, leaf bushings and new u-bolts
Iron Rock Off-Road double-shear track bar; 3.5"-7"
JKS quicker discos; 4"-6"
AJ's SlikRok front winch bumper w/3-bar guard
AJ's Tanker rear bumper w/tire carrier, hi-lift and Jerry-can mounts
Hella H4 VisionPlus (DOT appv) lamps
Warn 9.5ti winch
Amsteel Blue 100' 3/8" synthetic line
Poison Spyder aluminum Hawse fairlead
Brown Dog motor mounts (poly)
Once I get the lift on, then I'll figure on the SYE/CV from Tom Woods. Then after I get the core back from that, it'll be going towards TnT's Y-link upgrade (just the skid and control arms). After talking with them, 3.5" lift is enough to fit the arms so I'll stick it out with the factory arms for a bit, not that I intend on getting too crazy or anything. The factory suspension doesn't look too sagged, but I'm really curious how much the OME lift will add. I hope doesn't make the 31's look too tiny...
This is gonna be a good project. I like where its going so far. :2thumbsup:
remember me from the YJ forum? We used to talk YJ...then we talked bikes...then we talked bike commuting. I remember when yours got stolen and we started talking rotten weather bike commuting gear.
Now look at us. :laugh:
Hah, I completely forgot that you had a YJ back then. Good memory. :) Is that blue XJ your RHD one? Any particular reason you bought it other than to get weird looks or confuse people at the drive-thru? It looks like my XJ's mirrored twin.
I know, I never thought I'd end up in something with four doors and the intention to take it on trails either. It's going to be like my YJ was - a weekend warrior - but will be more than capable to handle most stuff the PNW has to offer without looking all ghetto-fabbed. I'll likely keep the HP30 and 8.25 underneath with upgraded shafts when I move to 35's, and I think that'll probably be where I call it quits since everything included above that seems to be the point of diminishing returns. I went everywhere in my YJ on the open 3.07's and only got stuck once - because my untrimmed front u-bolt sunk into a rotted stump.
Well, just about everything has shipped except for the bumpers. I imagine AJ is pretty swamped, so it may be a while before I get to the write-up on those (and the winch since I'll have nothing to mount it to). I was buying so much stuff that the bank froze my card, assuming that it was stolen for an internet shopping spree. So, my lift order got delayed a day until it could be re-billed and processed because of that...I just hope it gets here by Saturday so that I have something to do this weekend.
My biggest concern is driveline vibe. Since I have the newer style t-case, it's got that extended output housing on it. I'll be installing 3" springs to go along with my 1.5" shackles; I hope the temporary t-case drop will manage things until the end of the month when I can cough up $900 for the SYE and CV combo. I know all about the hack-n-tap, but I'd rather do it right the first time.
I have no reason for the RHD other than the fact that I thought it was so cool. It gets crazy looks. And there must be a trail somewhere where it will be an advantage. I will find this trail, and I will dominate it. :laugh:. Yours will be sick with that combo. I think you will have driveline issues before the SYE though...that's a lot of lift for a TCase drop...it will depend on what you actually get out of those springs.
I know most RHD countries are anal about LHD's and make you convert them to RHD but that's a pretty cool find. There must be some real wide eyes on the freeway when your passenger is taking a nap in the normal driver's seat. :laugh:
Fortunately I don't have to drive a lot and when I do it's rarely above 50 MPH. Maybe I'll toss some brand new u-joints in there and put a bunch of tools and the dog in the back when I go anywhere. If it's still bad after the t-case drop I'll pick up some stock shackles; that should do the trick for a few weeks.
I thought the UPS guy was going to get a hernia carrying this up to the door, but to his credit it feels a lot heavier than 99 lbs. I like the newer style remote with this. The old one had a tiny little metal dip switch that would hurt your thumb after a bit. Also, this one features an LED flashlight in the base.
I must have looked at 20 different websites trying to find a good deal on it. Finally found it for $1017 shipped (about $200 cheaper than anywhere else) from autopartsdealer.com and it came directly from Warn in Oregon. There's a lot of good deals on that site, but you have to search manually as clicking through the categories doesn't list everything in stock. I hate ordering most stuff online because it always comes from the east coast and takes forever via ground and has a higher probability of weather delay or getting lost at junctions.
Now I just need a bumper to mount it to. :(
Good to see your xj finally growing up too. :cool:
I'm liking the looks of this!
That is a sexy rig.
Thanks! She's getting there slowly but surely. I'm trying to build something extremely capable without turning it into a beater. Then again we have mostly dirt and mud up here, so rocks aren't much of a concern really. There's plenty of trees, however...
Well some parts rolled in this week, but I can't really do anything until I get my coils. The IRO track bar showed up on Monday, the leafs, shocks and discos all came together on Tuesday and the new bushings showed up today. Hopefully tomorrow is the last of it and I can get on with the lift.
I got some other goodies too:
Installed these the other day. What a difference (with the upgraded harness). Just using the stock bulbs for now, but I want to get ones that are a little more white.
Scored a nice synthetic winch line from http://dontfearthejeeper.com. I was just hours away from getting an AmSteel Blue but found 11Rubicon's great sale on some Viking stock they picked up a while ago. This stuff is insanely light, it's amazing to think that it's breaking strain is over 10 tons! So glad I won't have to use slivery, bent, twisted, pinched, heavy cable ever again. Looks like they just got more in, but with safety thimbles. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f43/v...icing-1003809/
Also, an OME stabiliser to match my shocks and a Poison Spyder aluminum hawse. Feather-light and it's one of the cheaper ones out there, actually.
And since it was semi-nice out, I decided to install these. The paint still smelled fresh! The most affordable bomb-proof mounts out there, from http://browndogindustries.com. Look him up, he's a vendor on here. :)
The passenger side was a pain with all the AC lines, overflow bottle and wiring harnesses in the way. Pulling the battery made things a little easier though. Cameo appearance by the new oil pressure sending unit.
The driver's side was cake after removing the air filter.
Yeah, I think it was about time for an upgrade.
Looks right at home in there. Lining everything back up was a bit of an effort since my driveway has a little grade to it, but eventually enough swearing got the bolts to go where they needed to go. Matches nicely with the yellow OME stabilizer, too.
All tightened down and she's done. I haven't done a highway test yet but there's definitely some torque restored; the 4.0 seems a bit peppier. I got the poly mounts instead of the rubber so there's a little bit of vibration, but not as much as I was expecting.
Looking great man!
I might be heading down to Tacoma soon for a visit with Mom and Step dad. I will make sure to give you a call this time and we can get out for that beer I promised you like last year! lol
Nice kit man!
That'd be fun! :cheers2: Hopefully I'll have my lift on by then...still missing my coils and spacers for the front end. I need to get in touch with 4WD.com tomorrow and figure out why they didn't show up on the full parts list of the initial invoice. According to their list, all that's left is the front leaf bushings which will be here Tuesday. Hmmmm.
You don't happen to have your stock shackles laying around, do you? I have 1.5" TnT's on right now and I just know that's going to cause vibration problems even with the temporary TC drop. I'm too lazy to go hunting around in muddy junkyards. It'll probably be a month or two until I sock away enough cash for a full SYE kit (not hack n' tap) because of that $400 core charge. Ugh.
Did you get your 63mm bored throttle body w/brass butterfly done locally?
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