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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Cherokee & Comanche Forums > XJ Cherokee Non-Technical Forum > Callelle's 1997 Cherokee Country - Zombie Hunter

Eliminate Hood Flutter!!!WJ Shackle Tabs: Tow-Hook Replacements2014 Spartan Locker Special - While Supplies Last! Dana 3

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Unread 02-01-2014, 03:41 PM   #1
Callelle
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Attica, NY
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Callelle's 1997 Cherokee Country - Zombie Hunter

So after lurking around with an occasional post here and there, and being extremely bored today, I figured I'd do something semi productive and do a build thread. Also because this winter I'm doing a major overhaul, so I should have plenty of pics and progress updates. Up until it's current status, I'll just post up some of the Milestones.

Here she is, the day I brought her home. It's a 97 Country with a 4.0, AW4, and 231. She was my high school graduation present in 07 and at the times, had 32k on the clock


I drove it like that for a year until I landed a half way decent job and wanted to get her in the air. So I installed a Superlift 4" short arm and some 31x10.5 Maxxis Bighorn shoes.


First time wheeling


After instaling a Hanson front bumper, JKS discos and shackles, Rusty's T case skid, Tomken Gas tanks skid, 2x6 Rockers, LeBaron hood Louvers, SYE, H4s, 8.25 Aussie, and trimming the fenders.


First trip to Rausch Creek


That trip I'd actually damaged a few things, probably due to being in stuff with 31s that I really shouldn't have been. I was soon upgraded with TnT long arms and frame stiffeners and back for an October trip.


After that October, I got laid off from my job and was in a slump for most of 2013 and didn't really do a whole lot of anything with the XJ. But this summer, I got another job and was immediately back into it again. First thing I did was get a front Aussie, Longer front shocks, proper bump stops, and a set of 35x12.5 Goodyear MT/R Ks.


And make a trip to Rausch


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Unread 02-01-2014, 03:51 PM   #2
Callelle
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Which brings me to today. Currently, it's sitting on the lift in my shop undergoing a complete over haul. Part of this is restoration/rust prevention since, for a 17 year old New York vehicle, it's in really good shape. I'm stripping everything out from under it other than the engine and transmission, replacing the driver's floor pan (which is the only one with any rot), cleaning and painting everything with POR15 / Chassis saver. Skids and linkages are going to be getting painted as well. In terms of actual modifications, I'm installing new spring hangers, shackle relocation brackets, IRO 3.5" leaf packs and track bar, rear frame stiffeners, a Dirtbound Offroad cut and fold rear bumper w/ tire carrier, and a couple other doodads. As of now, I've got everything taken off other than the transfer case. Hopefully this weekend I'll have the new spring hangers installed as that's kind of the road block for everything else at the moment. I'm sure that more will come up as I go, but that's the attack plan for now.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 06:02 PM   #3
Callelle
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Got one side of the spring hangers burned in. The original hanger are a pain in the arse to remove, especially when they are welded to frame stiffeners as well. Gonna whittle away at the driver's side until my friend can be back over with the welder. With any luck, I'll also have my bumper kit by then and we can start working on that as well.

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Unread 02-02-2014, 07:38 PM   #4
VegasGT
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Great work man! When I seen your rig in COTM contest a while back I was hoping youd do a build thread. Nice looking setup!
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July 2013 COTM
July 2014 COTM
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Unread 02-18-2014, 07:55 PM   #5
Callelle
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Driver's side hanger installed and burned in


And driver's side rear frame stiffener burned in


Friend is coming over next week to help finish up welding on the passenger side stiffener and he should be bringing his plasma cutter to cut the old shackle buckets out.
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Unread 02-21-2014, 09:08 AM   #6
Callelle
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Gotta love tax returns.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 08:21 AM   #7
Callelle
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Still waiting on friend with the welder to help finish the passenger side rear stiffener, gotta love depending on people. On a side note, my IRO double shear track bar and 3.5" leafs arrived.
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Unread 03-13-2014, 05:47 PM   #8
Callelle
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Looking for opinions/prefered choices on coil springs. The rear leafs and JKS shackle should net me about 4.5" total but I've been really undecided on what coils to get. So far the ones that I've found in that size are BDS, Rubicon Express, Rock Krawler, and Rusty's. I like RE but my worry is getting 4.5" coils and having them lift me a good amount more, and I really don't want to run spacers with smaller springs. So if anyone has any opinions or preferences to share, it would be most appreciated.
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Unread 03-13-2014, 06:08 PM   #9
VegasGT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Callelle View Post
Looking for opinions/prefered choices on coil springs. The rear leafs and JKS shackle should net me about 4.5" total but I've been really undecided on what coils to get. So far the ones that I've found in that size are BDS, Rubicon Express, Rock Krawler, and Rusty's. I like RE but my worry is getting 4.5" coils and having them lift me a good amount more, and I really don't want to run spacers with smaller springs. So if anyone has any opinions or preferences to share, it would be most appreciated.
In my opinion, I think RE's 4.5" are more of a true 4.5" lift coil. Ive run Rough Country 4.5's in the past and they yielded a good bit more lift than advertised initially. Im on RE's 4.5" coils now, pretty content with them.
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- '99 XJ Sport -
Lifted, Locked, Stiffened
4.5"/35's
July 2013 COTM
July 2014 COTM
Build Thread
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Unread 03-14-2014, 02:58 PM   #10
Callelle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasGT View Post
In my opinion, I think RE's 4.5" are more of a true 4.5" lift coil. Ive run Rough Country 4.5's in the past and they yielded a good bit more lift than advertised initially. Im on RE's 4.5" coils now, pretty content with them.
Being that you're the only person that's responded, I'm gonna give the RE coils a shot, that and they're only $76 on amazon with free shipping. If I end up not liking them, I can always swap them out without it hurting too badly. I'm still sorta concerned about the number of reviews I've read that they can give up to 5.5" of lift, but I have a big steel bumper and will have a winch soon, so that should help with that. The only other thing I'm sorta not sure about is the spring rate (based on http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/s...-rates-613756/ ). I don't want my front end to do all the work while my rear just goes with the flow. Granted 164 lb/in is more than the 147 factory springs, it's not that much of an increase. I'm probably just worrying too much and making myself run my head in circles, after my garabage Superlift set up, I really want to get this right.
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Unread 03-14-2014, 04:09 PM   #11
VegasGT
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The "Aww its less than 80 bucks, might as well" logic is how I ended up with them as well, I also bought mine from Amazon. I dont have a winch but I do have a pretty heavy bumper/hoop setup and I think it sits just right.
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- '99 XJ Sport -
Lifted, Locked, Stiffened
4.5"/35's
July 2013 COTM
July 2014 COTM
Build Thread
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Unread 03-16-2014, 01:14 PM   #12
Callelle
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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I really hate relying on people. Set back again by unreliable friends. Someday I'll wise up and invest in a welder instead of buying Jeep parts that need to be welded.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 07:05 AM   #13
JeepN4KC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Callelle View Post
I really hate relying on people. Set back again by unreliable friends. Someday I'll wise up and invest in a welder instead of buying Jeep parts that need to be welded.
Or find more reliable friends...............
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Unread 03-18-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
Callelle
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Originally Posted by JeepN4KC View Post
Or find more reliable friends...............
True story. You'd think offering friends to pay them in greasy food and alcohol would make them wait at my door step.
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Unread 03-20-2014, 04:47 PM   #15
Callelle
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Location: Attica, NY
Posts: 318
Does anyone know the actual length of Rubicon Express' 4.5" coils (RE1310)? I just got mine today and they just seem smaller than I pictured. The only thing that I've found that shows the dimensions were on amazon saying that they are 24" long and mine measure to 21". Also there was no packing slip in the box and the only numbers on the springs themselves is RM60010-1744, which Google reveals to mean nothing. One again, I'm probably fretting over nothing, I just want to be sure I got the right thing.
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