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biggn235 05-10-2011 06:58 PM

biggn235's XJ Sport build
I was going to wait till I was finished with my lift and tires before I started a build thread but I decided it was time to get it going.

My XJ is a 1999 Sport, Gun Metal Blue.
Body has 176k miles, engine was replaced in 09 (have receipts) and has 95k.

She has been used and abused by her PO and needs a little love. Here it is the day I got it home. (April 29th)

That last pic is kinda dark but you can see the broken leaf that is hanging down on the driver's side. Sooo much sag.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:03 PM

She was suffering from (among other things) a broken tail light, a broken leaf spring, a missing fender flare, a broken oil cap, low fluids, and just general neglect. Not to mention the Jeep was dirty dirty filthy DIRTY.

First thing I did was try to get it looking a little better and make it street legal. I vacuumed and scrubbed the interior. It is MUCH better but still needs some attention in places.

Removed the Mopar bug deflector from the front.

Scratches all along the sides.

Temporary fix of the tail light till my new one from eBay arrived.

This was before the vacuuming and scrubbing.

Removed the ball from the hitch to clean up the rear end a little, also removed the spare from the back because I wanted to get as much weight off of the broken spring as possible.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:07 PM

My preparation for new suspension. Two cans of this.

I soaked every bolt everyday for a week prior to starting the lift. I'm sure it helped but the bolts still put up a huge fight.

Also got a new oil cap to replace the broken one.

Around the same time I bought a pair of Daystar greasable shackles locally from a guy off of craigslist. Brand new for $43. These things are beefy.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:10 PM

I had intended to salvage my side trim and try to restore it a little, but it was so far gone that I decided to just rip it off. It was falling off anyway and I barely had to pull to get it to come off.

While I was cleaning it up I took a picture of the inside of the rear driver's side door. I forgot why...

A little while later my new tail light showed up and really helped the overall look of the Jeep.

Much better.

More to come.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:12 PM

On my way to Wal-Mart one day I decided to take a detour and go on a short trail that I knew of. Her first time offroad!

It isn't much but I haven't driven off road since I sold my YJ last year and I really missed it. Feels so good to have a 4x4 again.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:18 PM

Started raining the next day so I snapped a picture from my apartment door. It also feels good not having to worry about my car leaking during a storm.

Pulled into my friend's garage so that I could get under the Jeep really good with the PB.

That is his XJ in the next bay. It is a freakin' beast. It's still not done though. If you want to see a REAL XJ build, check his out-

Went out exploring with my friend Stephen (the friend with the garage) and took a picture while gassing up. Put in $40 worth and only got half a tank. I hate these ridiculous gas prices. You can see his dog, my furry friend Alexis sitting in the drivers seat.

Saw this guy in my apartment complex and became extremely jealous. One day... very soon...

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:22 PM

Oh and I forgot to mention, I bought the RC Series II 3" lift kit about two days after owning the Jeep. My YJ was lifted 5" with 33s, so I had to do more than just fix the suspension, I had to upgrade!

Oh happy day

Also ordered a set of Cragar Soft 8s, 15x8 with 4" BS to replace my beat up mismatched wheels. I figured a Jeep with new suspension deserves some new shoes.

I ziptied the broken leaf spring so that it would stop flapping around while I was driving. I could hear it even with the windows up and couldn't stand it anymore.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:23 PM

I apologize for the blurry, crappy pictures. Everything was photographed with my cell phone.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:27 PM

Backed into Stephen's garage, started lifting the rear!

I got tired of messing around with the sway bar and took an angle grinder to it. It won't be going back in anyway and is currently in the trash.

Stephen cutting the leaf and torching the shackle bolts. HUGE shoutout to him for all the help, I definitely couldn't have done it without him.

Even though I had been soaking the nuts and bolts for days with PB, they were so rusted and corroded that they simply wouldn't come out like they should. We had to get radical with some steps and it took much much longer than it should have to finish the rear, but it is done except for the shocks. I have to get the upper shock bolts out since all 4 broke.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:31 PM

This is a picture of my factory shackles, the shiny part is all that was holding them together, they were unbelievable rusted out.

While messing around with installing the rear springs, the brake line (hardline) literally fell out. It is so rusted. Add that to the list of things to replace.

New line compared to old.

Also found a rust hole behind the passenger side rear bumper cap. I have since cleaned off all the rusted metal and sprayed Rustoleum on the exposed surfaces. I will eventually go back and weld some sheet metal on it since it's covered up by the end cap anyway.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:33 PM

The upper shackle bolts were completely trashed by the time they came out, and the weld nuts inside the body were busted and laying inside the rail. I took the rear bumper off, cut out the access hole, and got a new nut on the end of a new Grade 8 bolt.

No more worries.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:38 PM

The rear is buttoned back up and looks good, but now my exhaust hits the new shackle so I will have to figure something out for that. I want to get a good cat-back anyway because my muffler has a leak and is rusty anyway. So I'll just deal with the rattle for now.

Also bought some Krylon Fusion for the end caps and fender flares. I bought a used flare from a wrecked XJ but it is silver, so I decided to paint all of them black. I also used Rustoleum textured paint for the rockers and lower doors. I sanded everything with 160 then 400 grit and used primer for the doors. I absolutely love the way the textured Rustoleum looks on the door. It is very durable and looks great. I may go back over the end caps and flares with it since I still have so much left over.

Some surface rust that I took care of before painting over it.

Also got a picture of the new brake hardline.

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:43 PM

And that brings us to today. I haven't made much progress lately because of work and Stephen being out of town, so I've been doing little things.

My front coil spacers came in today too, they are 1". I bought them because I figured it would level the Jeep out since I have 1" lift shackles in the rear.

Also my new bulbs for the center console came in, now I have working lights!

And I bought a new set of acorn bulge lug nuts to replace the crap factory ones. They will look better when they are holding on Soft 8s.

This is a close up of the textured Rustoleum. The pic doesn't do it justice, it looks amazing.

So this is how she sits as of this very second. I took these pictures about an hour ago. I still have to get the new flare on and when Stephen gets back in town we are going to finish the lift. But until then I'm rolling around in a dragster-styled Jeep haha.

More progress will be made soon!

biggn235 05-10-2011 07:47 PM

Let me know what you think. After the lift is finished and the budget is refreshed, I will be getting a set of 31x10.50x15 Goodyear DuraTracs. I do a lot of highway driving and MTs are useless on ice, so I'll be going with a good set of ATs and DuraTracs are my first choice. After that it will be a SYE to get rid of the TC drop that is on there now as a temporary fix, and then little accessories like a CB and new headunit etc etc.

ahuf 05-10-2011 07:54 PM

Nice start. :PopCorn: I'm liking it so far

What your long term goals? Hope to see some good trail shots and more updates:2thumbsup:

The time now is 03:01 AM.

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