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Unread 08-08-2014, 08:33 PM   #1
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 98
I'm back in an XJ!

I bought my second XJ yesterday. It's a 96 Country edition. Dark blue with gray trim. My budget for everything is $4000 and I mean EVERYTHING including title and registration. My wife has given the green light for 4K so that's what I'm spending. I spent $2700 on the XJ itself. It has 140,000 miles on the 4.0 inline 6 with an automatic AW4 tranny. Dana 30 up front and the 8.25 in back. No lift, nothing extra. It did come with power everything, cruise, roof console, etc.

The good: In the past year it's had a lot of work done to it such as a new power steering pump, new water pump, new plugs, wires, distributor, new rear tires, new battery and cable, and some other things that I'm forgetting. The transmission goes into gear quickly and shifts smooth as butter. The engine runs like a sewing machine with no ticking or knocking. It doesn't leak a drop of fluid anywhere. Rust isn't too bad given the age and where I live. Rocker panels are solid. Just some spots behind the rear wheels. Winters here are white with snow AND salt so I was expecting this.

The bad: First, I had to buy tools like a jack, jack stands, creeper etc. Not terrible but it comes out of the 4K budget. It needs new front tires before winter. I have the dreaded "no cruise and my air comes out of the defrost" problem so I've already ordered new vacuum lines. The seats are nasty and the driver's seat is broken down. I've already been to the boneyard and picked out some nice cloth seats from a 94 ZJ. I got front and back seats for $125. The radio apparently isn't connected to the antenna because I can barely pick up any stations and when I do, they fade out in a few minutes. The rear wiper arm is broken so I also grabbed one of those when I found the seats. The rear hatch gas cylinders are shot. The guy selling it wasn't sure when the diff fluids had been changed and seemed like they probably hadn't been opened in 70K miles. I already ordered the gaskets and fluids for that from Napa. The driver's door has something wrong with the hinges. It pops really loud and there is a cotter pin in the arm that keeps the door from going open too far. There is something wrong with the wipers. Yesterday they wouldn't work when they were on intermittent so I checked the wiper module under the steering column. It seemed like the wires were loose so I plugged them in tighter. Now the wipers go the same speed no matter what. The rear bumper on the driver's side is bent in. I need to take a wire brush to the underside and spray some rock guard or something under there. Also, it has some assorted dents and scratches.

My 4 year old is totally excited and wants to get to work ASAP.

So far here is the running total: $3,500+
Jeep: 2700
Parts: 175
Tools: 120
Title and registration: 170
Tires: 184 plus 125 for mounting and alignment
More stuff: $???

I'll keep updating this until $4000.

And maybe beyond...?






Last edited by Amesbear; 08-08-2014 at 09:12 PM..
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Unread 08-09-2014, 10:16 PM   #2
rubiprime
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bend, Oregon
Posts: 506
Clean lookin ride
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Unread 08-10-2014, 08:58 AM   #3
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 98
I went to a pawn shop yesterday and picked up an air compressor, a pneumatic torque wrench and impact wrench, and a set of impact sockets all for $100. Pretty happy with that deal.

I took the radio out to see if the antenna cable was unplugged but it wasn't. Checking the other end is gonna be a beech. I looked at the air filter and wow, it's nasty so that's another Napa item.
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Unread 08-10-2014, 06:58 PM   #4
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 98
New air filter, new fuel filter, and a can of sea foam in the tank. We'll see if there is any noticeable difference.

Old Filter:


New Filter:
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Unread 08-11-2014, 11:37 PM   #5
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 98
Tonight I had some time so I tried the ZJ seat swap. I only did the driver's seat but I have all of the seats out of a 94 ZJ. This seat is a huge upgrade, wasn't too difficult, and is a perfect fit. I totally recommend this to anyone who has broken down seats in their XJ.

Side by side comparison




The ZJ seats came out of the donor car with the mounting rails still attached so I removed those first. Only 4 nuts and they were off.

Before:




After:




After that, I just unbolted my seat from its rails and put the new seat in place. Easy job that takes however long you need to undo and retighten some nuts.

In the XJ

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Unread 08-11-2014, 11:55 PM   #6
DunmerBoy
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Tucson, Arizona
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those seats are the best mod I ever made
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Unread 08-12-2014, 12:02 AM   #7
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ames, Iowa
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I drove it around the block after I had the new seat bolted in. I HAD TO! It was great so I'm going to do the passenger and rear seats later this week. I'm going to drain the front and rear diffs tomorrow night.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 06:03 AM   #8
caronaxtr
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Hamburg, NY
Posts: 263
XJ looks clean. Nice buy. I've been searching for leather seats out of an XJ but no dice, now I'm debating going the ZJ seat route. Interested in how you do the back seats. Post up a bunch of Picts & info.

I'll be watchin, where do you live where the roads are either white with snow or salt? I'm in Buffalo NY & the salt use here turns my stomach....
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Unread 08-12-2014, 06:42 AM   #9
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ames, Iowa
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I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to do the rear seats. My old one is a single bench while the new one is a 60/40 split. I didn't realize it was a split seat when I picked it out. The boneyard I went to doesn't let you pull the parts yourself so I got a chance to see the seat but I didn't think to check that it was a whole bench.

I live in the middle of Iowa. We probably don't get as much snow as the Northeast but we get a lot of sleet so they put brine on the streets all the time.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:40 AM   #10
jeepkid03
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This will fix the popping from your doors.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/84-01-Jeep-C...1ea979&vxp=mtr


Clean looking Jeep, that is one of my favorite color combos!
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Unread 08-12-2014, 11:55 AM   #11
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepkid03 View Post
This will fix the popping from your doors.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/84-01-Jeep-C...1ea979&vxp=mtr


Clean looking Jeep, that is one of my favorite color combos!
Thank you! I was just showing my wife last night that the popping was coming from that spot. It looks like the pin broke or fell out so the previous owner just stuck a cotter key in there.

She agrees with you about the color combo too. And it's my school colors!

Also, I've decided to re-cover the head liner. It's falling apart at the back and this thread (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/...liner-1010274/) made me decide to go for it.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 09:08 PM   #12
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 98
Tonight was rear diff night. It was NASTY! The gear oil stunk like something I can't describe. It did smell a little like burnt oil but I didn't see any metal flakes and the gears looked good so I guess it's okay. There was some concern because I spun one wheel and it rotated fine for about a half a rotation and then stopped. I had to turn it with more force to get it the next quarter turn but then it was easy again for the next 3/4 rotation. I called my step dad who was a mechanic and he said it might be a warped drum brake and not to worry as long as the gears looked ok. I was liberal with the brake cleaner and it cleaned everything pretty well. I got new lube in there and the wheels turned easier than before. It still got stuck but I could hear one of the brakes dragging. I'll be looking into that soon.

I drove it around the block and then went out to check it an hour later and no drips.

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Unread 08-13-2014, 10:18 PM   #13
Amesbear
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Ames, Iowa
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Tonight I changed the oil in the front diff. It was not nearly as bad as the rear which is what I expected so nothing big there. I did however notice that I have some coolant slowly leaking from the radiator and I can't really tell if it's coming from the radiator or the drain plug at the bottom on the passenger side. It kind of looks like the seal around the drain is cracked and that's what is leaking but I also noticed that on the engine side of the radiator at that same bottom corner, there is some mineral deposits and it's kind of green and seems wet. I didn't take off the fan to get a good look.

Here is a picture with the front grill taken off so I could look directly at the radiator:



Here is a picture of the engine side of the same corner. Sorry for the pic, I took it with the fan still in so I couldn't get a good angle:

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Unread 08-14-2014, 01:07 PM   #14
vodka
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amesbear View Post
Tonight I had some time so I tried the ZJ seat swap. I only did the driver's seat but I have all seats out of a 94 ZJ. This seat is a huge upgrade, wasn't too difficult, and is a perfect fit. I totally recommend this to anyone who has broken down seats in their XJ.
I want to replace my seats too, especially the driver's which is broken on the left side... weird place, but I've seen this as it's common.

My 2000 XJ seat has a cable underneath that connects to a cable that comes in from under the carpet. Is this some sort of airbag connection?... anyone know anything about this?

Thanks!
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Unread 08-14-2014, 01:20 PM   #15
DunmerBoy
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vodka
I want to replace my seats too, especially the driver's which is broken on the left side... weird place, but I've seen this as it's common. My 2000 XJ seat has a cable underneath that connects to a cable that comes in from under the carpet. Is this some sort of airbag connection?... anyone know anything about this? Thanks!
Is that for the seat belt light maybe?
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