Hey everyone, I just figured I would introduce myself on here as I am sure I will have some questions popping up in the next few months on my soon to be purchased XJ. My brother is buying a new car and the dealers pretty much said they didn't want it and would only offer $2-300 for it. He is too lazy to sell it on CL, so I made him an offer for $500 and it will be mine. It is a 98 XJ with the 4.0, black exterior, gray cloth interior, is an auto with cruise and has around 165K on it. The interior is in excellent shape, but the exterior has some scratches and dings on it here and there. It runs, but not very well. The car has no heat right now and sounds like crap at idle. I have been trolling some forums for the last few weeks looking for DIY's to get 'er in tip top shape and this forum seemed to consistently have the best info on it.
The airbag and abs light stay illuminated and the horn doesn't work, so it sounds like I need a new clockspring. The brakes are just about done, so those need to be replaced, and the car has no heat right now. I am going to put in a new clockspring, flush the heater core and do a full coolant flush, and replace the waterpump. The serp belt seems to howl and makes a grinding noise, so I am thinking either the bearings in the water pump or idler pulley are done, so I am going to be swapping to belt and most likely the pulley as well.
I am pretty excited to get wrenching on this thing and get it into good shape since I know it is a fun little truck. It seems to be much more basic and easy to work on than my current 04 Audi A4 Avant. I had never worked on a car before buying it and have since learned how to do a full coilover and control arm swap, motor and tranny mounts, headgasket and timing belt, and just helped a friend do a cam swap on his. So I think I should be good to go skill wise to dive into this thing and am excited for the project. I will try to get some pics of the XJ soon, but until then here are some of my current car.
Welp, finally took delivery last weekend. I am going to start slowly diving into things on it soon. Probably won't drive it until this winter just to be cheap on insurance. One of my better $500 purchases.
Thanks guys, yeah I am very excited. This forum definitely seems like the best one for Jeep DIY's and info I have found. I have spent the last few weeks searching and bookmarking all of the pertinent threads for fixing the issues the car has. The XJ is going to be my winter car mainly, and originally I was thinking about flipping it after a year of use, but now I really think I want to keep it. It was just such a great deal and I know how bullet proof those 4.0's are.
It will get minor mods here and there as most of the money will be spent on the Audi, but the plan before October/November when I register it and get it up and going is the following: New front pads and rotors, new clockspring which I just ordered, upgraded headlights, refinished plastic trim, replace the catalytic converter, and maybe some other small things here and there. It mainly just needs to be a safe semi-daily driver rig to get me to and from in the beginning and then hopefully down the road I can do some minor suspension and tire mods and things like that once funds allow.
I have already replaced the water pump, thermostat, serp belt, idler pulley, starter and battery, and will soon be doing the valve cover gasket, plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor. I think my favorite part about working on the Jeep so far is it far less of a process and ordeal. I can just crawl or slide under the car in the garage, swap a part and call it a day. My Audi has 2" of ground clearance so getting it onto jack stands or ramps is a pain in the *** and when it is "up in the air" I still can barely even get under it.
Anyway, thanks to those who have contributed and made this an excellent resource. Hopefully I can add some mini DIY's and how to's for small projects that don't have much info yet.
There is also Cherokee forum and Cherokee talk that are great forums also. They all contain the same basics and same members but each group has a better feature than the other. You should check then it if you haven't already.
It sounds like you have most things under control. Yes it is a lot easier to work on than a car. Besides everything being mechanical and not electrical, there is space between things so you don't have to tear down an entire area to replace one single part.
And don't think that you won't want mods! I knew I wanted to lift mine when I got it but I never knew what I actually got into after a few months. Just let it sink in and then it'll hit you!
__________________ 1997 XJ Sport
6.5" with 31's
Built to CRAWL BUILD THREAD IG: zack_hstadt
And yeah, trust me I know the mod bug will hit, and hard. I don't dare count the money I have spent on my Audi. I have put easily 1-1.5x what I bought it for in the 2.5 years I have owned it in both mods and maintenance.