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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Cherokee & Comanche Forums > XJ/MJ Cherokee Non-Technical Forum > The Snail Build

Rockridge 4WD IS Taking Zone Offroad Suspension Lift Kits JEEP Gear Change Packages From ROCKRIDGE 4WD. We Are DIFFIron Cross Customer JK and TJ Wrangler Bumpers now at ROCK

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Unread 07-12-2014, 04:27 PM   #1
xjlife101
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Newark, Ohio
Posts: 467
The Snail Build

I picked up my 1998 cherokee xj about 2 weeks ago. When I got it it had no lift, fenders trimmed in the rear, no flares, 30/9.50r15 on a soft 8 rim.

So my rusted out 94 will serve as parts.

So I'm going to start with repairs that need done..

It had a bad wheel stud and a missing wheel stud.
-After a couple drinks a buddy taught me how to replace them
It leaks a small amount of oil from the valve cover so that is going to happen very soon.

The header is cracked so I'll pull that and replace the old brittle gasket that is in there.
-JB Weld is an amazing thing
The windshield is cracked so hopefully I can replace it from the 94.

Replace the thermostat to help keep temperatures down on the trail
-Done. Running a 160* right now, and will see how i like it
Figure out why the hatch won't open and fix that issue

And replace rockers (literally the only rust on this jeep)


My plan for upgrades at this point consists of.....

4.5" RE coils from amazon
-Done and a real PITA
Bastard pack and shackles in the rear (using my 94's leaf pack)
-Done, but using blazer springs
HD Offroad rear frame stiffeners

Frame stiffeners for the middle section (brand is TBD)

Ditch the 30s and go to 33s or 35s

TC drop (temporarily)

SYE in due time

Homemade Rock sliders

Home-brew front bumper

Rear hitch

Lockers way down the road


That is the current plan, and all will get done as the funds allow.

Any comments/suggestions about any of this will be greatly appreciated!

And like the title says, this is going to be a nice slow build since it is my dd

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1998, 4.0, AW4.

94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 07-16-2014, 10:05 PM   #2
xjlife101
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Newark, Ohio
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Today she started shaking at 50-60 MPH. Took a look and it's the frame side trac bar is loose or sloppy. I get about 1/4" of up travel from it when cranking the wheel.

The shake isn't bad, so I'm gonna look at it Friday night.

Planning on installing my 4.5" RE coils and bastard pack Friday as well. Along with extended sway bar links.

If all goes well 35's will be on by Monday.
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1998, 4.0, AW4.

94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 07-18-2014, 12:06 AM   #3
AKIQPilot
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Sounds good, well except for the death wobble part.

Just a little FYI. You might want to address the death wobble first or soon after you put the lift on. Big tires and a lift will make the death wobble worse and could lead to a bad situation. I would look closely at both ends of the track bar and consider replacing it all together with a much better double sheer style track bar.

Post some pictures of your progress. Everyone likes to see pictures. Thats why VegasGT is so popular and has a 134 page build thread .........
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Unread 07-20-2014, 07:28 AM   #4
xjlife101
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Decided last night to replace these "Super Flex" Shackles

Hopefully gonna get that finished today, and coils installed Monday. Slowly but surely she is coming along

Edit- I tried posting a pic via photobucket and I'm not sure if it went through properly. If someone could chime in and tell me that'd be awesome
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94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 07-20-2014, 07:26 PM   #5
xjlife101
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Got my full lift put on. Rear sits about 1" lower than front. Gonna throw an extra leaf in the packs from my donor cherokee.

Still have to put on shocks and sway bar links.

Any suggestion on junkyard shocks that will work for 4.5" lift?
[IMG][/IMG]
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Unread 07-20-2014, 07:33 PM   #6
N3WAGO
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Looking forward to seeing this build!
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My build on a budget!

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/1996-makeshift-xj-build-2582778/
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Unread 07-20-2014, 07:58 PM   #7
xjlife101
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I have a lot of pictures of the work done today. Guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow when I can use a computer.
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Unread 07-22-2014, 04:40 PM   #8
xjlife101
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Ok, already noticing sag in my leaf springs with the shackles, so I'm going to throw in a couple leafs from a blazer. Ran into a snag getting my u-bolts off. Busting out the torches tomorrow unless anyone has a better solution than PB blaster and a 3' beaker bar.
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94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 07-23-2014, 08:33 PM   #9
xjlife101
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Ok guys, finally got access to a computer! Here's a couple pictures, gonna get more up in an edit ASAP.
(In no particular order)
New 4.5" coils vs Stock
Rear after shackle lift
Pre-install of coils
Mid-install of coils

tomorrow i plan to recruit the help of my younger cousin (who does in fact want a Cherokee instead of a wrangler for his first car ) and we are going to do front shocks, sway bar links, and start pulling parts from the 94. its almost a shame, except for the unibody being rusted out everywhere i would have drove it till the motor gave out and it only had about 160,000miles.

hopefully i can decent progress on this build and get it back on the road. which i should before i really NEED it. work gave me two weeks VTO, so I've got nothing but time at the moment.
jeep_zps64116858.jpeg

jeep2_zpse7a4f1b2.jpeg

jeep3_zpsbed7ed25.jpeg

jeep4_zpsc43ca643.jpeg

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94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 07-23-2014, 08:38 PM   #10
xjlife101
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Oh yeah, and anyone in or around newark ohio get in touch with me. i have access to some trails, on private property. they aren't much but I'm sure it could entertain for an afternoon. nothing crazy just some trails, creek crossing, and a marsh. gonna be hitting that as soon as the jeep is up and going!

and for all you MudFunkers don't forget about Mudfest this weekend!

http://www.wvracing.com/index.php/ev...-entertainment


15137 Brushy Fork Rd 43055 Newark, OH
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1998, 4.0, AW4.

94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 07-28-2014, 09:35 PM   #11
xjlife101
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35s are on! Pictures tomorrow.. Along with my first trip to the woods in my new jeep!
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1998, 4.0, AW4.

94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 07-29-2014, 10:19 AM   #12
xjlife101
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As promised here are the pictures.

My Death-Wobble was caused by my old 30/9.5 tires
One on the front was a different tread pattern and just every so slightly smaller than the rest.

She drives nice down the highway and i can hardly tell a difference while driving.

now i just need to figure out how far off my speedometer is and get it corrected.

gonna get out on the trails this afternoon and see how she does!
cad2e69d-259a-44e0-aeaf-a19f2abb3eba_zpssgqfssax.jpg   3e998184-885b-40a5-bcfb-03c574279e9b_zpsib6soixq.jpg   56eeba1f-eacf-42ed-be16-d7cdc73d8f06_zpsxc77tn3y.jpg   22d89e8d-04ae-4068-ac43-fb552c37467a_zpselibgxm4.jpg   4f5914f5-3fa7-41e6-bdee-35078ef9828e_zps7150wnyv.jpg  

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94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 08-02-2014, 01:06 PM   #13
xjlife101
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Right now I'm in the process of pulling my brand new alternator and starter from the '94 to replace the factory original on the '98. It looks like I may be heading across the country this week.

Got some unexpected unpaid vacation from my old job. So after looking I found a pipeline that needs welders in North Dakota (where if you've followed along with my threads I talked about doing a while back). So that has become a possibility again, they want me by next Monday... One week after my 18th birthday.
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1998, 4.0, AW4.

94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 08-07-2014, 10:17 PM   #14
xjlife101
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Well I haven't gotten much done. But I've been pricing out the cosmetic stuff I need. Need a header panel. The PO used one off of a pre 97 on the 98. And I need a driver side fender.

Looking into replacing my rockers like VegasGT. Looks like a great idea
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1998, 4.0, AW4.

94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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Unread 08-13-2014, 12:02 PM   #15
xjlife101
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Location: Newark, Ohio
Posts: 467
Looking at burning in my HD Offroad rear unibody stiffeners, and never really paid much attention too it. But in the rear wheel well right before the axle it looks like there is a cab mount. Such as there would be in a traditional vehicle with a frame. What do you guys do about that? Take it off or notch the stiffener to go around it?
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1998, 4.0, AW4.

94 motor, 4.5" and 35s
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