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Unread 07-14-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
overlandchris
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Best xj for a build

I have been considering getting another Xj for a long time now and I have always been partial to the 94 or 96 and older models. I found it really easy to work on. Are there any advantages to the second gen. Xj's ? I just want to make into a trail vehicle and something that I don't have to be so careful with. Also how is the coast difference if any?

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Project "Shamrock": 96 Cherokee country, black, I6 HO, ZJ 242, 4.5 Rustys, 33" Mud terrains
My build: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/96-xj-shamrock-build-1250478/[/url]
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Unread 07-14-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
FleshEater
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If you're looking for a "trail rig" I'd go with whatever is in decent shape and cheap. If you don't watch Xtreme 4x4 on Spike you should check out some of their "low dollar wheeler segments". They got an older XJ on trade for some axles and stuff and are building it for as little as possible (I believe the episodes are repeats...not sure though). If I remember correctly (don't quote me) they put $2,000 or $3,000 into it which included a welded rear axle, 33's, bead lock rims, 5.5" lift, winch bumper, winch and a couple other things.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 12:26 PM   #3
Kevin108
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96 and 99 are the best years according to most sources.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 01:29 PM   #4
Luke94XJ
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I wouldn't say '96, why '96? do you mean '97? The advantages of the '97+ are that they have the 29 spline axle, and better creature comforts. the late '99 had an upgraded intake manifold that added a 3 horses and like 8 lbft. The later '96 did have the larger front u-joints. As fat as price goes If you are building one I'd grab a 91+. The 91-96 are going to be cheaper than the 97-01, because people generally like the looks of the newer ones. It depends on how you are building it.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
overlandchris
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I hate the look if the newer Xj I much prefer the old box with the 3 spoke steering wheel, fiberglass front and rear, and no air bags. The biggest issue I am having is finding one in new England that is cheep and not a pile of junk that needs more repairs than upgrades to make it a trail rig.
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4.7 V8 H.O. The Chevy 302 of Jeep Engines. Roar...

2004 Grand Cherokee Overland, Midnight Blue Pearl.
Rusty's 2" Budget boost, It Goes fast
Project "Shamrock": 96 Cherokee country, black, I6 HO, ZJ 242, 4.5 Rustys, 33" Mud terrains
My build: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/96-xj-shamrock-build-1250478/[/url]
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Unread 07-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
Luke94XJ
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Go south! you'll find ones in better condition, not sure if you use salt up there in the winter.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 02:16 PM   #7
overlandchris
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Oh yes we are big fans of road salt here I NE that's why all cars from here will have rusted rockers and lower doors in there description
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4.7 V8 H.O. The Chevy 302 of Jeep Engines. Roar...

2004 Grand Cherokee Overland, Midnight Blue Pearl.
Rusty's 2" Budget boost, It Goes fast
Project "Shamrock": 96 Cherokee country, black, I6 HO, ZJ 242, 4.5 Rustys, 33" Mud terrains
My build: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/96-xj-shamrock-build-1250478/[/url]
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Unread 07-14-2011, 03:41 PM   #8
FleshEater
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Cut the rockers off and build boat sides. Cut the bottoms of the doors off and use thicker steel...doesn't have to look pretty just function well. Are you looking for a tow to the trail rig or a drive sometimes and wheel sometimes rig?
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Unread 07-14-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
cbenez1
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Whoops double posted
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Unread 07-14-2011, 03:48 PM   #10
cbenez1
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I would go older and also manual trans if you can find one. They seem to tolerate more lift before needing driveline mods like SYE's
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Unread 07-14-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
Kevin108
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SYEs are fairly cheap though. What you save not doing a SYE you're likely to spend much more getting and older rig up to par.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 09:36 PM   #12
doogie
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I say go 97 or newer. Parts are getting harder to find for the older ones and even aftermarket nor Jeep make certain things. Fuel sending unit for example. One thing about both my older ones that just gets on my nerves....even though the 96 I have now is in very good shape....the dang thing leaks everywhere. Everytime I fix one I find another and I'm not talking about oil, I'm talking about water. Door seals, fire wall pass thru's, windshield seals, it never ends. I like mine, it's not going anywhere but there are alot of issues that a newer one wouldn't have had and I'm only talking a couple years newer. And price difference in a nice 98 and a nice 96 isn't large enough to bother with the older one. If you can't stand the style then swap on an old front clip, I know tons of guys who'd gladly swap an old front fenders grill etc for new style ones.....hell call me and I'll come swap you.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 09:58 PM   #13
youngjeepguy
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I am a big fan of the earlier 2 door models with the 4.0L and 5speed. A friend had one back when I was in highschool, I don't know if I just liked it because it was a 2 door or what.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 10:04 PM   #14
Luke94XJ
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Doogie you should have bought a better early model xj. I don't know what you are talking about when you say parts are hard to find. Considering 90% of the parts are the same from early to late. As I have found working on several of both models, early xjs are more plentiful in junkyards, and parts are actually (barely) cheaper.
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Unread 07-15-2011, 07:18 AM   #15
doogie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke94XJ View Post
Doogie you should have bought a better early model xj. I don't know what you are talking about when you say parts are hard to find. Considering 90% of the parts are the same from early to late. As I have found working on several of both models, early xjs are more plentiful in junkyards, and parts are actually (barely) cheaper.
Could have been a generalization on my part. Chalk it up to my hunt for a fuel sending unit. NO ONE sells them. Places online that show them available, after a phone call, can't get them. I've tried junk yards but the one I did get picked was also bad. I'm learning to live with just going by the odometer though. I still say buy newer model.
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Current = 1996 XJ, 2.5, 2-Door, 5-Speed, 4.88's, 3.5" Mix-N-Match, Black 15" KMC XD122's, 31" BFG AT's, RE QD's
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