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post #1 of 20 Old 10-10-2013, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
Specs: 1997 XJ SE, 4.0, 4x4, AX15, 3.07, NP231, D30 front, C8.25 rear

I've had my XJ for two years now but have only just started thinking about investing some money into things that aren't broken. I don't "wheel" my XJ really, but I do need to access some remote job sites during Maine's rough winters.

When I bought the Jeep for $1,200 two years ago the rear leaf springs were sagging pretty well. Six months ago I had a spring snap on both sides in the same week and knew I had to do something quickly. I couldn't afford to lift it the way I wanted so I started with a 3" RC lift with the full leaf packs, front coils, and 4 of the "upgraded" shocks available in the kit at the time. I figure this is really my starting point:
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I ran into a myriad of vibrations after the lift. I hadn't touched the track bar, tie road, sway bar links, etc... because I didn't really understand what they did. Here's what we started with under there:

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I installed a double shear track bar from Iron Rock Offroad, a HD tie rod, new drag-link, and steering stabilizer.

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The plastic trim and bumper end caps covering the lower portion of the rear quarter panel was only covering some major rust damage. I don't weld, so I cut and folded what I could and patched the rest with small sheet metal patches riveted into place. This picture also shows the new rubber, Toyo Open Country A/T 31x10.5x15.

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I'll get some pictures of my hand-throttle as well. $12 at the local bike shop.

On my to-do list:
- Swap in 3.55 axles from an automatic XJ to bring me up from 3.07. My axles have 213,000 miles but the "new" ones are at 120,000. I'd like to put a limited slip in the 8.25 at the same time and do the disc brake conversion.
- Install air compressor capable of running air tools for short periods of time, inflating standard truck tires, and filling portable air tanks.
- H4 harness/housing upgrade
- Rooftop storage for Stabila levels, transit poles, etc... Perhaps inside a cushioned PVC pipe with screw-cap ends
- 4 pintle injector upgraded
- 63mm bored out throttle body
- Install new media deck - I've been whining about the PO's cheap deck for too long
- Install leaf spring sliders from Liquid Iron Industries along with a rear AAL.
- Somehow incorporate a small CB radio subtly into the interior - which may lead to building a custom center console out of fiberglass
- Install exterior work lights with in cab and exterior switches.

---

Open to criticism.

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post #2 of 20 Old 10-11-2013, 07:11 AM
cbenez1
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bucks County
Posts: 1,914
We only criticize after you install stuff. Looks like a fine plan of attack and a good starting point to me.

A nation that forgets it's defenders will itself be forgotten

01 Up Country 6.5 long arm
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post #3 of 20 Old 10-11-2013, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
Hand throttle pictured below. I picked up the parts at the local bike shop. I think the friction shifter was $8 and the cable was $4. The bike tech threw in some various washers and crimp pieces once I explained what I was doing.

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post #4 of 20 Old 10-11-2013, 07:40 PM
troydg
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 166
I like the hand throttle! Looks good man
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post #5 of 20 Old 10-11-2013, 09:37 PM
ZSXJ430
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2015 KL Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The Northwoods of Minnesota
Posts: 272
Looking good. I envy your price tag for the XJ and you have a stick. It is my preference.

Question for you. Where did you get your sway bar end links from? I looked at the Iron Rock site and did not see them. Fun fact, I used to live 15 min from them and never knew they were there!

'15 Trailhawk - Eco Green, V6, Nav, Tow, Cold Weather. Wrangler All-Terrain ProGrades 245/70R17.
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-12-2013, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZSXJ430
Question for you. Where did you get your sway bar end links from? I looked at the Iron Rock site and did not see them. Fun fact, I used to live 15 min from them and never knew they were there!
Sway bar quick disconnects are from Zone, they ran about $100 with fast, free shipping via Amazon Prime. I don't really need the "quick disconnect" option but with the entry level price I was curious enough to buy. They were easy to install and are perfectly quiet so far but are not very quickly disconnected without some leverage or quick use of a jack.
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post #7 of 20 Old 10-16-2013, 07:13 PM
ZSXJ430
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2015 KL Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The Northwoods of Minnesota
Posts: 272
Thanks. They looked longer than the new ones I picked up from from Advance. Are they longer than stock for the lift? Did you get the 3" lift ones?

'15 Trailhawk - Eco Green, V6, Nav, Tow, Cold Weather. Wrangler All-Terrain ProGrades 245/70R17.
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post #8 of 20 Old 10-16-2013, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZSXJ430
Thanks. They looked longer than the new ones I picked up from from Advance. Are they longer than stock for the lift? Did you get the 3" lift ones?
They are a bit longer. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0021IXSN0
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post #9 of 20 Old 10-19-2013, 11:29 AM
LukeADukes
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Wayne
Posts: 556
Quote:
Originally Posted by XJmaine97 View Post
They were easy to install and are perfectly quiet so far but are not very quickly disconnected without some leverage or quick use of a jack.
Good thing they're called quick discos right? Like what you did getting rid of the rusty parts. Also you're lucky enough to have your truck come with a D44 and you want to swap the axels take pity on us guys who get stuck with the turd!
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post #10 of 20 Old 10-19-2013, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeADukes
Good thing they're called quick discos right? Like what you did getting rid of the rusty parts. Also you're lucky enough to have your truck come with a D44 and you want to swap the axels take pity on us guys who get stuck with the turd!
I think they are quick discos only because I can disco them with a piece of wood or a rock instead of some wrenches.

Unfortunately I don't have the D44, I have the 8.25. I'd like to swap axles because mine are 3.07 and I know the D30 up front has some pretty good wear on the ring and pinion. I'm not sure I'm up for a straight gear swap on my DD so I thought I would get some younger axles, at least 3.55, and work on them in the basement instead of under the Jeep.

More and more I'm thinking that the swap will happen after the winter, however, as I try to figure out an OBA system that would give me sufficient supply for light mechanic work and/or intermittent use of a nail gun.
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post #11 of 20 Old 10-26-2013, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
I put together a new 10 gauge wiring harness for the Rampage H4 housings and Hella 100/55W bulbs I have in the mail. Here is the harness, just missing the ceramic headlight sockets.

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Wiring Harness Materials:
- (2) 5-pin relay
- (2) fuse holder
- 15' red10 AWG wire
- 8' black 10 AWG wire
- 5' green 10 AWG wire
- (10) female slide terminal
- (2) male slide terminal
- (4) 1/4" ring terminal
- (2) 3/8" ring terminal
- (1) pair ceramic headlight sockets (NOT SHOWN)
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post #12 of 20 Old 10-27-2013, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
Ceramic headlight sockets should arrive tomorrow. Today I confirmed my lengths and wrapped the harness in self-fusing silicone stretch tape. One 1"x12' roll wrapped everything up.

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And here is a before picture of my current head lamps (unknown brand or specs) in the stock wiring harness:

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Rampage housings and Hella bulbs coming later this week.
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post #13 of 20 Old 10-30-2013, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
The harness works! I went with a 4-pin relay from RadioShack after all. Apparently I didn't properly understand how the 5-pin relay works.

Wagner sealed unit in the stock wiring harness:
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Wagner sealed unit in the 10 gauge harness:
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post #14 of 20 Old 10-30-2013, 03:07 PM
ParkerXJ
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Portland
Posts: 277
Lookin good! Keep me posted! Maybe we can do some work together and check out eachothers rigs

2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ Limited -3.5" Rubicon Express Super-Ride kit, H4 headlights
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-01-2013, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
Agility
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland
Posts: 286
I went through the junkyard yesterday to find a less used oil pressure socket (found one) and couldn't help but hack out an A/C manifold matching mine (Sanden U4691). The conversion to OBA has begun.

I cut the manifold down and tapped the inlet to 3/8" NPT and the outlet to 1/4" NPT.

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I'll tie the A/C system, including the existing manifold, out of the way until I'm ready to ditch it completely. All my various parts have been ordered except for the tank and hose, I haven't decided on tank size or placement.
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