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Unread 05-23-2014, 11:34 AM   #1
Hazard85
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Thinking of buyng an XJ...any tips?

Hello everyone!

I've been playing in the mud for several years now, but in 4x4 trucks and ATVs, but now, with a family, I'm thinking it's time for a four-door trail rig. I settled on an XJ because they are plentiful, cheap, and parts are widely available. The rig I buy will be offroad only (it will be trailered there and back). I'm thinking of going with an automatic, purely because it's easier to "rock it" out of a mud hole. With that being said, here is the list of mods I'm thinking of:

Weld both front and rear diffs.

Redneck intake snorkel (PVC pipe run out the fender and up the A pillar)

Cat delete, glasspack muffler, and exhaust snorkel.

Fender cut

4" lift

33" Mud tires

6,000 lb winch with appropriate bumper

This will be a trail/mud rig; no rock crawling.

I'm asking for input on my ideas, as well as if there are certain years or options to look for or avoid. Thanks in advance!!

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Unread 05-23-2014, 12:16 PM   #2
foreveryoung001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazard85 View Post
Hello everyone!

I've been playing in the mud for several years now, but in 4x4 trucks and ATVs, but now, with a family, I'm thinking it's time for a four-door trail rig. I settled on an XJ because they are plentiful, cheap, and parts are widely available. The rig I buy will be offroad only (it will be trailered there and back). I'm thinking of going with an automatic, purely because it's easier to "rock it" out of a mud hole. With that being said, here is the list of mods I'm thinking of:

Weld both front and rear diffs.

Redneck intake snorkel (PVC pipe run out the fender and up the A pillar)

Cat delete, glasspack muffler, and exhaust snorkel.

Fender cut

4" lift

33" Mud tires

6,000 lb winch with appropriate bumper

This will be a trail/mud rig; no rock crawling.

I'm asking for input on my ideas, as well as if there are certain years or options to look for or avoid. Thanks in advance!!
Sounds like a fun project. I own a 96 and had I to do it again, I would have gone earlier or later. 96 is an goofy year as they were switching everything over to OBDII but on early models, they just made the 95 parts work.. on later models they switched out some of them to the 97 parts... and then are a few parts that 96 specific and some are getting hard to find. That said, its not that big of deal, but you do need to put a little extra effort in to buying the right parts to avoid multiple trips to the parts store to exchange them.

I would also avoid the 2000/2001 models with the 0331 head. The forums are full of horror stories of this particular head cracking. Its possible that you might find one that has already had the head replaced with a tupy head, but you'd want to check that before dropping any cash on the thing.

My daughter has a 90 renix, and it is a great vehicle, but some of the parts for her XJ take some work to track down too.
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Unread 05-23-2014, 12:43 PM   #3
wizardPC
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If you want to do a snorkel, you'll want to avoid 97+ models with antliock brakes. maybe the older ones, too, but I can't remember.
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Unread 05-23-2014, 01:05 PM   #4
Ratrod
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92-96 were the years I was recommended when I was looking.
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Unread 05-24-2014, 06:24 AM   #5
jhickman1
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This is the link for when I asked a similar question a while back and got some good advice....I went with a 99 in large part because of the info and opinions in this link. Good luck with your search.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/...94/?highlight=
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Unread 05-27-2014, 08:33 PM   #6
Kevin108
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Originally Posted by wizardPC View Post
If you want to do a snorkel, you'll want to avoid 97+ models with antliock brakes. maybe the older ones, too, but I can't remember.
Don't all the ABS models also have D35s in the rear?
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Unread 05-27-2014, 08:42 PM   #7
VegasGT
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Don't all the ABS models also have D35s in the rear?
I believe so.
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Unread 05-28-2014, 01:48 PM   #8
Kevin108
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Yet another reason to avoid it.
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Unread 05-28-2014, 02:22 PM   #9
pismo61
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Get one with no Ca. emissions and no power windows.They are headaches.2000-2001,Ive had two and two cracked heads.But I was not the origonal owner,so dont know if it was overheated or not.
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Unread 05-28-2014, 02:34 PM   #10
rugsucka
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Get whatever XJ you can find with a good running motor, a 29spline 8.25 rear ('97+), and a 231 Tcase. Better transfer case - simple, stout. Strongest stock axle in an XJ w/o ABS (not that it matters when you're hammering the throttle)

Some of the information in this thread is BS and misguiding.

-Snorkel vs ABS has no correlation. Only the D35 had ABS and you won't want that axle if you're welding the rear with bigger tires anyways, but the ABS doesn't care if you have a snorkel.
-The forums are littered with 0331 head crap - it's mostly from lack of maintenance and butt hurt, and the other 99% of the heads have had no issues. Most Ford Exploders didn't flip because of Firestone tires either.
-The advantage of the 00 and 01 XJ is the coil pack ignition which would be much more tolerant of wet and muddy conditions than a distributor based ignition. They can be water proofed too so pick the best rig you can find in your budget and beat it.

-No power windows and CA emmisions is actually a very good point - will save on weight and simplifies your under carriage.
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Unread 05-28-2014, 10:35 PM   #11
Kevin108
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Between the issues with the 0331 head, oil pump driveshaft, and low pinion D30, I would highly recommend not getting an 00-01. A 96 if you don't need cup holders and a 98-99 if you do.
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Unread 05-28-2014, 10:47 PM   #12
S8NNG8
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'96's have the issue of being a mismatch of the generations. That would be one I'd stay away from. If you like the older style, get a '95.
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Unread 05-29-2014, 05:50 AM   #13
Kevin108
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I dislike the 95s because they're not OBDII. Also, I don't think they came with the 8.25" rear either.
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Unread 05-29-2014, 07:11 AM   #14
VNilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugsucka View Post
Get whatever XJ you can find with a good running motor, a 29spline 8.25 rear ('97+), and a 231 Tcase. Better transfer case - simple, stout. Strongest stock axle in an XJ w/o ABS (not that it matters when you're hammering the throttle)

Some of the information in this thread is BS and misguiding.

-Snorkel vs ABS has no correlation. Only the D35 had ABS and you won't want that axle if you're welding the rear with bigger tires anyways, but the ABS doesn't care if you have a snorkel.
-The forums are littered with 0331 head crap - it's mostly from lack of maintenance and butt hurt, and the other 99% of the heads have had no issues. Most Ford Exploders didn't flip because of Firestone tires either.
-The advantage of the 00 and 01 XJ is the coil pack ignition which would be much more tolerant of wet and muddy conditions than a distributor based ignition. They can be water proofed too so pick the best rig you can find in your budget and beat it.

-No power windows and CA emmisions is actually a very good point - will save on weight and simplifies your under carriage.
^This guy gets it.

I have a 98 and granted it hates me but I love it. After my research I found that a 98 or 99 was best for me.

I'd recommend the same for you. My selling points were the HP d30, 8.25 rear, newer style interior and a newer style body. Just avoid the renix models and you'll be fine with whatever you get. Good luck.
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Unread 05-29-2014, 10:25 AM   #15
Kevin108
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97s have a reputation for wiring issues but they're an okay choice as well.

We're just suggesting the 98-99 to try and save you some money and work. The best axles, the best options, etc.
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