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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Cherokee & Comanche Forums > XJ/MJ Cherokee Non-Technical Forum > Century & a half build thread

Rough Country 2.5" long arm suspension systemDan's 15% Birthday Sale!FS: Wrangler RGB Multicolor Fog Light LEDs: Awesome Effect

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Unread 07-28-2015, 11:29 AM   #1
XabuJr
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Xj Century & a half build thread

I figured it was a fitting title given I spent $150 to buy the Jeep. A little backstory: I've been around since 2006, started with a TJ, it got jacked, so then found a YJ a few years after that. I had plans to make it the beast, since it didn't have to be a DD. But it came with the 4.2 and a crappy carb. Blew that motor and took some time to come up with a plan to put a 4.0 then a stroker in it. I found a '95 4.0 in a junk yard that ran awesome that I picked up, computer and harness, has an aftermarket header & I have all new gaskets for it as well as an aluminum valve cover & a newer intake manifold & throttle body.

Then life got interesting. We had a baby & someone approached me about parting out his old XJ. He knew I had started a Jeep company and ran that for a while, so he figured I'd be interested. Gave him $150 & had AAA bring it to my house.



As you can see, it doesn't look like it's in bad shape.








It was a 2 owner, 1992 XJ. I asked him what was wrong and why it needed to be parted (vs driving it) and his list included:
  • His daughter said it didn't feel safe when driving
  • The windshield wipers were too slow when it rained
  • The radio clock kept resetting
  • The water pump was leaking

I told him the chances of me parting it were dropping the more I checked it out and he got excited at the fact the vehicle that got him and his kids around during his divorce wasn't going to die after all. Both of his kids learned to drive in this Jeep, so he asked for pics as it grew into what I was building as he thought they'd all get a kick out of it.

Knowing I'd have to rewire the 4.2 YJ front to back, do a ton of work to make it where I wanted it and having a baby to keep the project days to a minimum, I made the tough choice to part the YJ to fund the XJ build. Best idea I've ever had. I've also decided to sell the stroker parts I had accumulated, but I'm keeping the 4.0, as that's just a weekend swap when the XJ one blows.

Things I'm keeping out of the YJ for the XJ: Seats, CB, Stereo, 33" tires/wheels, and speakers.

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Unread 07-28-2015, 11:29 AM   #2
XabuJr
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Seeing as it was a 2-owner, there's a whole lot of stock going on, including 200k+ on the stock 4.0.











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Unread 07-28-2015, 11:30 AM   #3
XabuJr
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As I previously stated, I started a Jeep company a while back, but after a while, realized that it was a crowded market. So while I can still sell things to people, we just kind of stopped pushing it near as much as we used to. But what that means is that I get a lot of parts at cost. When I got the XJ home, first thing I wanted to do was get it running and see how that worked. Test the transfer case (242), the transmission (AW4) and see if I needed to swap that motor sooner than later.

Battery was dead, so I put in my old YJ battery after trickle charging it over night. Jeep started right up and I took it down the private road I live on. The 4.0 had plenty of life, the TC was solid (though it did have a bit of a problem shifting out of 4wd), & the trans shifted just fine. What was wrong with it? The stock 23 year old shocks, springs, & coils were all shot. It feels like a boat, like there's no sway bar on a TJ kind of ride.

That's it.

$150 for this? Yeah, time to build.

So the plan is this:
  • Iron Rock Offroad 5.5" Long arm kit.
  • Monstalined Interior
  • 8.25 rear axle (has a d35 stock, even w/ the tow package)
  • New seats
  • New stereo
  • New speakers all around
  • 10" sub in the back
  • On-board air using the old AC pump
  • Winch
  • Bumpers
  • LED lighting
  • In-cab winch controls
  • Armor
  • and whatever else needs to be addressed as it gets built.
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Unread 07-28-2015, 11:39 AM   #4
DNFJ
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Subbed. What are your plans for it?
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Project Leviathan
'00 XJ 8.5" on 35s

Previous:
'00 TJ 2" on 33" Grabbers
'00 XJ 6.5" on 35" KM2s
'96 ZJ 2" on 31" Baja Claws
'93 ZJ - Stock, Totaled
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Unread 07-28-2015, 11:45 AM   #5
XabuJr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNFJ View Post
Subbed. What are your plans for it?
Just edited the 2 posts above to include that..
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Unread 07-28-2015, 11:54 AM   #6
XabuJr
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I've researched a few XJ's through here, plus PhilipJ just happens to be a buddy of mine, so I've got a great resource right there.

First thing first is cleaning that bad boy out. There were socks, papers, all kinds of things that were left inside there. There was also the stock manual and a Haynes.



So the tear down started.






But on the bright side, I was able to cut the cost of the Jeep purchase.



The only rust in the interior that I've got to address is on the passenger side floorboard:


I've got Chassis Saver for that though, so it's extremely minor in the grand scheme.
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Unread 07-28-2015, 12:08 PM   #7
XabuJr
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The very first thing I bought for this was a stock 8.25 axle with LSD. (No pics of it yet) First thing I ordered was a new battery. The old YJ battery that had been sitting for 2 years wouldn't hold a charge and then started leaking, sooo, yeah it was a good temp solution. I decided on Optima, despite popular belief that they have lost quality. Sears seems to be back on the kick of Diehard Platinum's going away & I got tired of trying to find one around. Plus, back to being able to cut costs, it was quite a bit cheaper for a yellow top vs the Die Hard with the business license. With the battery, I also purchased a Poison Spyder D30 diff cover, a Riddler 8.25 diff cover, and then a Smittybilt XRC Gen 2, 9500lb waterproof winch.





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Unread 07-28-2015, 12:12 PM   #8
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I ordered the IRO lift without shocks as I can get those cheaper through myself. Decided that I would go with a set of Fox shocks all the way around, as well as a Smittybilt front bumper w/ bull bar.





I'm pretty sure the IRO coils for their 5.5" kit are taller than my stock tire still on the XJ:
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Unread 07-28-2015, 12:18 PM   #9
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Since this is a fun vehicle and something I have to stretch the budget on as I sell more of my YJ, I'm choosing where to put the money and where I can get away with a little bit cheaper (Smittybilt bumper, but Fox shocks for example).. On the electrical side, I picked up a few things that were nice and cheap on Amazon:



4-channel amp for the regular speakers. I have a Rockford 2-channel that will power my 10.


I also have in my inventory a ton of 074 LED dash lights, so I started swapping those as well, since I was pulling everything out.

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Unread 07-28-2015, 12:26 PM   #10
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I need to take some more pics of things I've gotten, but on the way are Brown Dog motor mounts, a 200psi hose kit for OBA, some new Kicker Tweeters, a set of Kenwood 5.25's (not sure if those or 6x9's will be put in the rear hatch), & some misc electrical parts.

I've gotten the Viair 2.5G air tank:


My security system to be put together:


And I bought some door speaker enclosures. Given that they were like $8, I figured it was worth trying them out. They wouldn't make it any worse, so what the heck.
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Unread 07-28-2015, 12:35 PM   #11
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I have to attack the whole project until I get to the lift, by what time I have to spend that night. If I only have an hour, I can't prep for Chassis Saver, etc. So the build will be all over the place as things get installed with the timing I can get with an almost 3-month old

So with a small break, I tore down the driver's side door. The window seems to get stuck down if I take it all the way to the bottom. Seeing how I can't figure out what was doing it, I thought I'd just stop it from being able to go all the way down.




And I figured while I was there I'd put the component speakers I had in my YJ in the door. Including the tweeters (which I had to replace after breaking one of them.. haha!)




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Unread 07-28-2015, 12:39 PM   #12
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The one market that got extremely congested was LED lighting. Everyone and their mom can get them from China and sell them cheap. So I found a set of 4 on Amazon for less than $40. They are the 3x3:



So I figured I'd wire one up and see how it looked last night after it got dark.





That's just one. I think when I get all 4 wired up and mounted with everything, that it will be insane in the amount of light they will put out together.
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Unread 07-28-2015, 12:46 PM   #13
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I like the rocker switches (like winch control one I bought), but I really like the old school flip switches too. And since I bought a vinyl sticker cutter for the Jeep company, I can make my own labels for each one for either the cover or on the switch panel it gets mounted to. So I ordered 15 of these, 5 of each in 3 colors, blue w/ blue light, carbon fiber w/ red light & red w/ red light. I will also be doing custom stickers for the Jeep too. I will be taking all of the badges off and replacing them with vinyl. I'm not a big fan of the fake gold badges and I want to use matte black decals.

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Unread 07-28-2015, 12:48 PM   #14
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That's all for this round of updates, I need to take more pictures tonight when I get home..
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Unread 07-28-2015, 09:30 PM   #15
MOBBiN
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watching and waiting for more
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