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Steinjager TJ tube doorsJK Front Lower Adjustable Control Arms!JK Rear Adjustable Control Arms!

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Unread 09-06-2010, 02:13 PM   #136
Kevin108
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Posts: 3,549
I was supposed to be doing Shoe Creek this weekend with VBJO but I'm still getting some code issues and I it cut off on me once lately so I didn't want to press my luck making a big trip out of down while expecting problems. I found an article on here that I wished I'd saved the link to about how to fully reset the computer. CJ-7 Tim wrote it and basically you removed the positive cable, contacted it against the alternator housing for 30 seconds, reconnected it, turned the ignition switch on but without starting the engine, turned the headlights on and off, and turned the switch off. After completing the reset, I hooked the scanner up and got a random misfire code, like 0300 or something, from time to time. Everything was running much better though and since I've already replaced the CPS, I suspect the coil pack now.

Anyway, since it was running better I took it out to my friends' house and met up with with my buddy Jay and we wheeled the hills. I was told that multiple times I had one of the front wheels off the ground 4" to 6". Hooray for a rear locker! Also, I'm stoked to have such a close from back building a 4x4 that's into trail riding and general modifications. There will be many more pictures to come of these two rigs.





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Unread 09-23-2010, 10:21 PM   #137
Kevin108
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My POS is running like crap the last couple days. If I wasn't still paying off the loan I bought it with, I'd pull the rear locker and my personal belongings from inside and scrap it.

Since that isn't an option...

After reading up in this thread how to bypass the two prongs where the built-in switch is on the rear light, I decided to take another route. I liked the idea of being able to cut the light off and leave the rear hatch open, but obviously the OEM switch is not up to the task. I added a nice aftermarket rocker switch in the right hand cubby hole. I used a section of wire from an old alarm system. It had a random plug on it that fit perfectly on the two prongs for burned up OEM switch. I ran wires through the overhead trim and down the rear pillar.

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Unread 10-10-2010, 09:47 PM   #138
Kevin108
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I finally fixed my Heep! I had to reindex the camshaft position sensor. Consider this a placeholder for additional info.

Update: here's the additional info. I started this thread here and hedged my bets with a similar post over at NAXJA. A member there gave me a link to this article. A mechanic and teacher with a lot of time, a lot of experience, a lot of diagnostics equipment and some spare parts checked every possibility for why a Cherokee would run like mine. Apparently the timing chain stretches out and at some point it gets the magnet for the camshaft position sensor outside of the range that the computer can correct for. Mine got there at about 130,000 miles. You can either manually adjust the magnet to align with the pickup in the CPS at TDC or you can pay to have someone with a DRB scan tool reprogram the computer to correct for the physical misalignment. I think actually fixing it is the better route.

I posted the full procedure for another member here so I'm going to be lazy and just paste.

The process is easy. You need a helper, a toothpick or small drill bit, some basic hand tools and a "mirror on a stick" so you can see the timing marks on the bottom of the cover.

Remove the coil rail, the first spark plug and the camshaft position sensor.
Carefully place a finger of the spark plug hole.
Have your helper bump the starter a little at a time until you feel pressure.
Break out your mirror and check your timing marks.
Use a ratchet or wrench, 19mm I think, to turn the crank backwards or forwards to the zero mark.
Loosen the retaining fork that holds in the oil pump drive shaft that sits under the camshaft position sensor.
DO NOT REMOVE THE OIL PUMP DRIVE SHAFT!
Find the small hole in the outside of the housing for the oil pump drive shaft.
Find the small hole on the magnet inside that indicates camshaft position.
Carefully turn the oil pump drive shaft housing until you can align those two holes and insert a toothpick or drill bit straight through them.
Tighten down the retaining fork, reinstall the camshaft position sensor, spark plug and coil rail.

This process is basically the modern iteration of setting the timing on something you're led to believe you don't have to set the timing on.
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Unread 10-11-2010, 05:38 AM   #139
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I while back I realized how every time I played around offroad, the air dam integrated into the factory fog lights was catching hell. About 3 weeks ago, I decided to ditch the factory fogs, trim off the air dam and bumper end caps and mount some generic driving lights on top of the bumper. I bought some generic 55 watt driving lights and started researching for the rest of the project.

I started this thread looking for tips. I couldn't come up with a satisfactory way to carry the line straight around the corner of the end cap, so I built a jig that let me mark it the way I wanted it to be cut. I toyed with the idea of building a jig to hold the saw instead, but this is what I wound up with.





It worked great and I just had to work out a few minor imperfections with a sanding wheel on my Dremel when I was done.




Today everything came together where I was ready to put everything back together. It took me about an hour to straighten the bumper out from a little nose-into-a-ditch action at the beginning of the summer. In the midst of everything, I stopped and got cleaned up to go to a wedding and later on stopped for dinner and a parts run, so I worked on it throughout the day even though it didn't take all that long.

The first thing I did was to slide the end cap in place and mark where they fit on the bumper.



From there, I picked an arbitrary number that let my lights fit and I drilled two holes. The front hole is for the mounting post and the back hole is for the wires.



I reused the plug from the factory fog lights for this project. I spliced, soldered and heat shrunk everything together.



The finished light with plastic cladding on the wires.



I was able to reuse the factory wiring completely. All I had to do was flop it over inside of the "frame rails" and down behind the grille. This shows the current and original locations of the plug. This makes the new lights operate off the factory fog light switch.



The finished installation with everything bolted up tight. The end result is an improved approach angle as I've shaved 4" off under the bumper and a tremendous amount of additional lighting.



And here's a few daylight pics of better quality.







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Unread 10-12-2010, 05:08 PM   #140
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Yesterday started out great. After months of mechanical problems, lack of time, bad weather, etc., we finally had a beautiful day to go riding. I was especially happy because being able to tow our ATVs was one of the 3 reasons I bought the Cherokee in the first place. We loaded up the ATVs and pulled them out to Slade's Park in Surry, VA without issue.

The XJ doesn't tow the load quite as easily as my old Silverado but it lets us secure our gear and, for the most part, the Jeep is in better shape and more comfortable than the old truck.



We enjoyed an absolutely great day of riding. We only had to turn back from an impassable point on one trail although many trails were missing their directional arrows. There's been a fair amount of trail maintenance there since our last visit plus the summer drought dried things up quite a bit making the park safer and more fun than many of my previous visits.

For lunch we enjoyed a picnic in the shade with cold water, PB&J and chocolate chip cookies.



The return trip, however, was a massive failure. The Jeep was running a little warm but I wasn't overly concerned until the gauge suddenly maxed out and the engine started running rough. I pulled over and as suddenly as it heated up, it cooled down. I kept one eye on the gauge as we continued on our way.

I only wanted to make it a few more miles to my parents' house but it wasn't to be. As we came down one of several bridges between where we were and where we were going, the gauge maxed out again and the engine cut off. I coasted down the bridge and into the median and began weighing my options and making some calls.

First we talked to AAA. We both have memberships but neither of us could convince them to have whoever picked up the Jeep also tow the trailer. I called a few friends with trucks but everybody was at work.

The day was saved by Chevrolet. Dad came and brought us his S-10 Blazer. He called AAA to come get the Heep and stayed to wait for them and to babysit the ATVs while we went to our house, where I got my Silverado. I went to meet Dad while Shannon went to my parents' house to drop off the Blazer. The wrecker was just finishing loading up when I got there. As soon as it moved, I grabbed the trailer and took Dad home.

Shannon and I came home and put away the ATVs. I went back to my parents' place to wrench on the Jeep. I didn't see any massive amount of coolant loss so I assumed that either the thermostat had gotten stuck or the radiator cap wasn't holding pressure. I replaced both and refilled the radiator to find a nice pin hole on the passenger side. I considered just driving the truck for a few days but with the 8 mpg it gets, it doesn't take long for the 18 mpg Cherokee to pay for itself. Back when I bought it, some quick math showed that every time I filled up the XJ, I saved around $60 versus driving the truck the same distance.

With that in mind, I went online to look up radiator prices. I've always installed upgraded radiators in my other builds but the nice 3-row was more than twice as much for the OEM replacement with a lifetime warranty. I may live to regret it, but this time I just replaced it with a stock-rated unit.

Dad and the kid from down the street both pitched in to help out. They got the old radiator pulled in the time it took me to go get the new one. The 3 of us had the new one installed and the Jeep back together in no time.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of of $150 later, I've got a completely new cooling system, save the water pump. The test drive and the ride home both showed the needle on the temperature gauge steady to the left of the 210° mark, so that was cool. Pun intended. The engine seems to be fine despite its two blasts of extreme heat. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Unread 10-17-2010, 03:03 PM   #141
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Broke out the camera for some new pics today.


Here's one of my rear organizer while empty.



For my birthday, my girlfriend got me the badass Quadratec front floor mats.



I sliced up my old mats to fit the rear.



I want to get the Husky Liner mats for the rear eventually but this is a vast improvement over nothing. That's it for now.
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Unread 10-21-2010, 07:41 PM   #142
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I just bit the bullet and renewed my membership here. I've gotten enough help, education and friends out of this site to show it some support every now and then.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 07:15 PM   #143
Kevin108
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The crossed fingers didn't work. Friday morning on the way to work I noticed I got a little over 210° when I was idling. With this Jeep, that was usually because of low coolant. I topped it off at lunch and checked the oil. Nothing looked too suspicious at that point. Saturday I checked again and had a 10w40 milkshake.

Today we pulled the valve cover, pumped up the radiator and I became the proud new owner of yet another failed 0331 head.

You can see the water weeping from a hairline crack on cylinder 4.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 08:21 AM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin108 View Post
The crossed fingers didn't work. Friday morning on the way to work I noticed I got a little over 210° when I was idling. With this Jeep, that was usually because of low coolant. I topped it off at lunch and checked the oil. Nothing looked too suspicious at that point. Saturday I checked again and had a 10w40 milkshake.

Today we pulled the valve cover, pumped up the radiator and I became the proud new owner of yet another failed 0331 head.

You can see the water weeping from a hairline crack on cylinder 4.
welcome to the club!
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MY BUILD THREAD: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/...lding-1575841/

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Unread 10-25-2010, 08:43 AM   #145
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Man this is a nice build, nothing was rushed, all nice and clean. Looks really good! Sorry to hear about all the trouble recently, I went through a month or so of problems where I was just like "screw this thing, I'm selling it" but when I actually got around to posting it, I'd take it back down the same day. haha
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Unread 10-26-2010, 11:14 AM   #146
Kevin108
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Thanks man! Yeah, it's been sorta slow. Buying the house in May and having a whole house, garage and yard to accessorize has taken most of my extra money but the house stuff is finally slowing down some. The girlfriend still wants new furniture, I'd like to get a nice TV for the living room but that can wait.

The plus side to building slow is you have plenty of time to research what you want next.

In the past few days I've shopped a number of options for replacing my cracked head. I've heard recommendations for Clearwater and Alabama. Clearwater wanted extra money for a warranty. Their web site was crap and I'd heard they were selling some "repaired" stock 0331s. Alabama had a 1 year warranty and didn't offer easy info on shipping on their website. Locally I could pick up a new head with a year warranty for $475.

I finally found Old Yeller on eBay. They're out of Florida. For $440 they'll ship an upgraded 0331 with new bolts and a 3 year warranty. I just clicked through that purchase.

The girlfriend was about to buy a new couch. I got a new cylinder head instead. You can bet she's happy with me right now.
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Unread 10-28-2010, 11:21 AM   #147
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Man, I'm really glad I stumbled upon this build thread! I'm only on the third page so far but I'm going to be using a bunch of these ideas for my own XJ. Thanks a bunch for the inspiration and keep up the good work!
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Unread 10-28-2010, 12:57 PM   #148
Kevin108
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It gets worse before it gets better.

Thanks for reading and I'm glad you're enjoying it and finding useful ideas. My ideas have come from a lot of different places and from the various vehicles I've owned and modded over the years. Like a lot of things, I've tried to make each version a little better. Sometimes I'm too much of a perfectionist with some things but I don't think I've ever had to redo anything.

Hopefully you'll do a build thread as well that I can follow.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 07:22 PM   #149
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We finished the head install tonight. Starting over again at 131,959 miles. I found a slight seep at the top of the water pump but that's another project for another time. Water is cheap and my parts budget is hurting after this one.

Now for the (crappy) pics.


I found milkshake on the dipstick first then had a look in the valve cover. I got the Motts!



Yet another faulty 0331. Thanks for the unexpected expense, Chrysler!



The head wasn't very clean but other than some carbon in dropped in the cylinders, they were pretty spotless.



I blew the carbon off with some air and all six pretty much looked like this.



Just as I finished cleaning the valve cover and the top of the block for the new head gasket, brown showed up.



The new lung, ready for the transplant.



Finally, reassembly begins!



It takes some finesse to gently place 78 lbs of steel where it has to go.



Torque a little, torque a little, torque a little, check.



My dad, my hero, my mechanic, my teacher, my friend. More about him at http://kevin108.com/?p=759



I got the rockers and push rods spotless but nearly burned the skin off my fingers with the cleaner I used.



Then I put them back where they belong.



As we filled the radiator, I heard water hitting the floor and had an OH **** moment. There's an extra port for something at the back of the new head.



It's officially resurrected.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 04:28 PM   #150
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Sometimes I wonder if I should have gotten a small truck instead.



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