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cdyt7717 09-03-2013 08:26 PM

The (Hopefully) Cheap Jeep Build
Hey, guys! So first off, I got this 98 XJ from a friend of my dad's, who had it, and went out cutting down trees in a hurricane, and a tree fell across the hood. Well, needless to say, its not street legal like this, so he gave it to my dad, and now i got it, for a trail jeep! Since Im a college student, and like all others, have no money, Im trying to see how little I can spend on this Jeep, while still having it being in good working condition. Between this and my DD ZJ I will have absoloutley no money for anything else :laugh: hahaha. Anyway here are some pics of it at the moment. It has 4 - 5 inches of lift on it already. Needs a motor, track bar, motor mounts, tires, windshield, radiator, and muffler. All before the October Big Dogs event up in Gore, Va. There might also be plans for fabbing up a front bumper and tube doors, since there's 2 good machinists in the family!

Already purchased an engine for about $200 w/ only 83k miles on it :2thumbsup: and a Rubicon Express Track bar & bracket on Amazon for $180, I think.

cdyt7717 09-03-2013 09:32 PM

The engine was out of a 93? zj going into an xj and there are a few differences in brackets, the valve cover is different, and intake had a few more sensors. We got the engine in the garage and started pulling it apart to replace the intake and exhaust,

Since the motors been sitting for about 6 months, before we picked it up, most of the valves weren't sealing great, but still usable. Te exhaust had a big crack in it, but we just decided to use the exhaust that was on the XJ that was in better condition.

And then there was this good looking stuff!

My dad had a brand new water pump laying around so we put that on and I had to go out a buy a new thermostat & gasket, intake / exhaust gasket, and (JY) valve cover and gasket were about $55.

AAAAANNNNDDDDD got the new water pump, New(er) intake, and Valve cover on!
Almost looks like a new motor :p

We will also be getting a set of used 33's from a friend in Delaware for FREE! :highfive: Which is awesome, except they are in Delaware...

Next up will be going on over to the jy and getting some motor mounts so that we can finally get this thing running!

drseus38 09-03-2013 09:59 PM

Looks like you have a great start on this keep it up

Muddy97Cherokee 09-03-2013 10:52 PM

haha. You can say hopefully cheap but it'll burn a hole in your pocket quick. I tried starting out cheap but it has turned into a money pit, mainly adding unneeded but need parts!

cdyt7717 09-04-2013 06:21 AM


Originally Posted by Muddy97Cherokee (Post 15869618)
adding unneeded but need parts!

yup! hahaha

With my ZJ its one thing after another all the time... and its not like important stuff, well, my cat is going, but mostly like headliner, rear hatch supports, a/c parts, new windshield, blah blah blah. thats all like the past 3 weeks of stuff, i wish things would just stop going wrong!! :mad: but oh well

Anyway, i think we are just going to beat out the hood, and put some hood pins in it and see it there's anything we can do to fix that whole area around the driver side wiper. Also, it looks like where the frame and rear bumper meet, is broken, apparently, he tried to pull something or someone tried to pull him out of something, so theres that to weld back up now.

cdyt7717 09-14-2013 09:55 PM

Went ahead and got the radiator today. :D That and the cap was like $87. :( I also need an engine mount. I dont know why, but apparently dad threw them away after he swapped out the previous engine :confused: , but we have one that was "Beefed up" since my brother's mounts kept breaking on his XJ. We ended up getting a tranny and t case from my brother since he had one that he took out of his XJ, so now we have a backup in case that ever goes bad. Should be getting tires in the next week and putting on the track bar tomorrow. T-minus 4 weeks till Big Dogs! WOOHOO

cdyt7717 09-15-2013 08:11 PM

Got the XJ pulled around the front of the garage today.

We put the Rubi Express track bar on and took the sway bar off, since it wont be on the road at all.

Nice and shiny... for now :D

.... and took the plastic bumper pieces off the front and back and the license plate piece . It looks like its so much taller now!

Im probably going to end up cutting the back fender and the rear a little. It just looks like its hanging down so much now w/o the bumper... its just begging me, but I'm not sure yet.

Lastly we also got the hood beat back straight a bit,and took the latches off since my hood release cable is broken. It looks a little better... :dunno:

And Anyone with the experience or that knows, is there any easy way to beat this back out without pulling the whole dash out? I'd really like to not do that. :help: Please!

Anyway, next thing is to get the motor in and start hooking things up! I plan on getting some tow hooks and mounting them to the frame for now. Hey, its better than nothing right?

cdyt7717 10-06-2013 11:45 AM

Alright, its been awhile, I've been busy with school and all. But we've got a lot done!

We got the engine and tranny hooked up, it runs and drives! Imagine that :p
We ran into some problems with the tranny we got from my brother, so we had to pull the one that was in this jeep out of the garage. The plugs were different on the other tranny.

After we go the right tranny in, we got the radiator in and got everything hooked up. IT RUNS!

I wish we could just leave it with the straight pipe, and not put a muffler on, oh well. I ended up getting some cheap Thrush welded muffler for like $35

We put the 33's we got from a friend on, and put the drive shafts in aaannnddd, it didnt move...

Quick trip up to Advance to pick up some trans fluid fixed that though. that stuff is ridiculously expensive $$$, I think it was like $25 for 4 bottles :eek:

We also got the fenders cut out yesterday and got a windshield put in it. We had to actually take a piece of metal and make a new pinch weld down the driver side roof support, since we couldn't get it straightened back out all the way. It looks kinda weird, but it works!
So far I think I've only got about $500 in a fully running capable offroad Jeep! :D

Off Topic: My friend's Liberty's engine is shot, i found out you could put a 4.7L V8 & an Eaton Supercharger, off of the SVT Cobras, in a Libery and i begged him to do it.
I mean seeing that under the hood, if you could get a hood to fit around it, of a Liberty would be... hilarious :laugh:

One guy was saying he was doing like 0 - 60 in like 4.8 seconds in a WJ with that engine and SC, and with a bunch of other stuff too, but still!! That'd be ridiculous in a Liberty

cdyt7717 10-06-2013 11:59 AM

Also, I want to do this, for some D-rings, but i don' t think we'll have time before we go.
saw this and it looks great! May want to do something like it in the future!

drseus38 10-08-2013 06:39 PM

looks sick keep up the good work

steiny93 10-15-2013 12:21 PM

Could you grab some pics of how you fixed the windshield? I'm looking at a donor that needs the same type of tlc :)

cdyt7717 10-15-2013 12:35 PM

Yeah definitely, I'll post em on here next time I'm over my dad's.

chris87xj 10-15-2013 08:46 PM

Good start to a nice trail rig there. There's a lot can be done to an XJ while still keeping the investment reasonable.
Check out this thread when you get time. Budget builds: What Junkyard Parts will fit an XJ?


Originally Posted by cdyt7717 (Post 16037057)
Anyway, next thing is to get the motor in and start hooking things up! I plan on getting some tow hooks and mounting them to the frame for now. Hey, its better than nothing right?

No, not better than nothing. :nono:
XJ's don't have a frame and the uni-body is too thin for that. The first time you really need them they'll rip right out, go flying through the air to maim and kill every man, woman, and child in sight. Okay maybe not every one, but seriously you'll need some "frame" tie-ins to spread the load forces out over more area. I can't get your D-Ring plates link to work but I think you're on the right track there. :thumbsup:

cdyt7717 05-23-2014 10:06 AM

Hey sorry i haven't been on for soooo long. I got busy and caught up in life, school and work... Anyway, here are those images of the windshield!

We just built the urethane up to the windshield. and made a new groove for the windshield to sit in with a small piece of aluminum we had.

The time now is 05:36 PM.

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