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Unread 12-12-2013, 08:38 PM   #1
bob082484
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mars, PA
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Ruby, Chili Pepper Xj build

So here's the start of a mild build thread of my 99 xj. Last October I found myself in need of a new vehicle. My last ride was a 95 yj (which sadly succumbing to rust from the PA winters) was not going to be inspectable due to frame holes. I found Ruby on craigslist south of Pittsburgh for $1500 in non running condition. I got it for $1300 pretty much knowing I'd be in for at least a head job. Only reason I paid that much was that the PO had receipts for $1900 in a new exhaust, new tires, brakes, tie rod, and ball joints.





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Unread 12-12-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
00XJMikey
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Nice looking XJ.
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Unread 12-12-2013, 08:42 PM   #3
ParkerXJ
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Yeah great looking one
Whatre the plans for upgrades and whatnot?
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Unread 12-12-2013, 08:53 PM   #4
bob082484
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Thanks guys! I actually wanted a firebird but the cherokee was the more practical choice. lol. Now first on the agenda was to see if I could get the jeep running so I picked up a used starter from Davey's Jeeps for $25. Here the battery was dead because the jeep sat not running on the side of the road for 6 months. It ran good with a little loopy idle but the oil pressure was at 60 so that was my main concern. I checked the oil cap right after and found the oil all coffee colored so my bad head suspicions were correct.



So soon after:

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Unread 12-12-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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Well, Ruby's got a lot of upgrades since last october so I'll be trying to catch up in the next few posts. I promised myself I wasn't going to go nuts with this jeep but we all know how that goes. It's turned out to be a mild build and I won't go too big because this is my daily driver now.

So the head on it was badly overheated and hopelessly warped and cracked in numerous places. Dang 0331 head. So I lucked out big time and found a 0630 head for $20 on craigslist. That one checked out good and got the overhaul treatment with some touching up of the valve seats and new seals with a light truing up of the head deck. Only difference was to plug up the temp hole in the back of the head. My only other concern was the new intake/exhaust gasket had a lot of overlap. I didn't trim it due to the 35-40 degree temps outside and no garage, plus I needed it together because my inspection for the wrangler was up in December.





I give all the credit to Bolland machine for doing a good job with the head work. They even saved me a little cash by saving my old valve springs by shimming them up.
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Unread 12-12-2013, 09:16 PM   #6
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Well the end of 2012 finished with me parking my old buddy the Yj. I felt really bad parking my daily driver of 10 years but necessity for a reliable daily driver takes premise. I will get my wrangler back but only when the xj is able to take on the load of driving me back and forth to work reliably. A couple shine up pics of Ruby in my outdoor garage, spring of 2013.





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Unread 12-12-2013, 09:37 PM   #7
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Some things I've done since then:

-new door wiring 6.5" Alpine door speakers and 5.25" back Kickers.
-window actuator Steiger performance kit to replace the door stopper keeping my windows up. lol.
-WJ lower control arms.
-new drivers seat (broken seat back)
-new windshield (old one leaked like crazy!)
-windshield sprayer motors
-new wiper blades (old ones fell apart first time I tried them)
-front door hinge pins and bushings
-new front door checks
-transmission filter and fluid flush
-front and rear diff gaskets and fluids
-rear hatch struts
-rear brakes, hardware, wheel cylinders, and rear axle brake lines
-oil filter adapter gasket
-new water pump and thermostat with the head swap
-crankshaft position sensor and missing plastic sensor guard piece
-camshaft position sensor
-4wd indicator sensor
-disengaged the overly annoying door buzzer
-replaced broken fan shroud
-replaced broken factory electric fan
-homebrew cold air intake
-msd coil and accel 8mm spiral core wires with champion plugs gapped to .045".

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Unread 12-13-2013, 12:14 PM   #8
bob082484
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So my rear springs were all sagging and some of the leafs were missing chunks and cracked. I weighed the options of replacing factory springs to a lift and found that the trailmaster 3" kit was only $75 more.



You can see how bad the springs really were. I had to cut off the main eye for the front of the leafs to get them off. The whole lift took about a day to do. I broke every rear shock mount bolt off too. I got way more lift than I wanted. The back ended up at about 4.5" while the front was the advertised 3". I put some more coil spring isolators on the front to level it out. It looked dumb with the 235's so I stole the 31" BFG AT's from the wrangler. Dang jeep is growing faster than my wallet again.



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Unread 12-13-2013, 12:18 PM   #9
bob082484
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Another problem I ran into was the lift was so high it threw my driveshaft angle's all wonkey. Not a lot of cash after the lift was done so I made a transfer case drop from some grade 8 nuts. Cost me about $5. I found some flange nuts to press into the new spacer nut and zipped out the threads so the new ones stay centered around the bolt. It still has a slight vibration on acceleration but I don't want to drop the case more than an inch. Full tank of gas makes the vibes stop for a while till the tank gets low.

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Unread 12-13-2013, 05:47 PM   #10
bob082484
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Got to break in the Cherokee this summer at Jeepfest! It wheeled pretty good. I wish it had the 4.10 gears that my wrangler had and turned better but it went through everything I threw at it. Couldn't pass up this pic with my cousin's black Cherokee in front of the castle at coopers lake.



I got one of my instructors to fly over and he got us in a pic! Were at the right side waiting to go into the obstacle course.



One heck of a turnout.

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Unread 12-15-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
Camfam07
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wow nice looking jeep man, good work!
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Unread 12-24-2013, 07:48 PM   #12
bob082484
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Thanks! Its been a lot of work but I got almost all the bugs worked out of it.

Heater core blew in it and was the single most horrifying thing I've ever had to do with any vehicle I've worked on. The closer I got to the heater box, the more stuff I had to take off.

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Unread 12-25-2013, 12:12 PM   #13
Rustlin
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Nice
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Unread 12-25-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
bob082484
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New tow hooks for Christmas!

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Unread 12-26-2013, 07:03 AM   #15
DNFJ
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I don't envy you having to do the heater core.

You going to jeepfest again this year?
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