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VegasGT 01-16-2013 10:05 AM

VegasGT's "Clifford The Big Red Unibody"
EDIT. Current Photos as of 10/31/14:

Not new to XJ's by any means, Ive had several and I had no intent on making a build thread for my latest. I have no extreme plans, as the Jeep is my primary DD. Things never go as planned though, and my original plans of Rubi wheels and no lift were quickly tossed out. However the new XJ is pretty clean (dent and mostly scratch/rust free), so the build will be based around the ideaology of a mild yet capable rig thats easy on the eyes without going all out on spending.

Jeep is a solid '99 XJ, 4.0/AW4 with hp30 and 8.25. Bought it off an old man that took good care of it and stayed up on maintenance for the most part. Has lots of new gaskets and everything is in nice shape in and out.

Heres a few pics to get started from the day I got it.

More to come!

VegasGT 01-16-2013 10:16 AM

Wasnt long until I had it up in the air to start the teardown. :D

Luke95 01-16-2013 10:31 AM

Needs updates.

VegasGT 01-16-2013 10:35 AM


Originally Posted by Luke95 (Post 14799620)
Needs updates.

Lol I just posted 15 minutes ago.

Im tooling around at work for the moment, will be adding more progress when I get a time gap. Do not fear haha.

paintball10148 01-16-2013 11:09 AM


Originally Posted by Luke95
Needs updates.

Hahaha xD that's funny... I agree, this build thread is taking too long... Haha but seriously.. That's a good looking jeep to start with!

moses21 01-16-2013 12:43 PM


Originally Posted by VegasGT (Post 14799558)
Wasnt long until I had it up in the air to start the teardown. :D

I wish my jeep was that clean!

VegasGT 01-16-2013 01:01 PM

Haha thanks^

For the sake of keeping this moving, heres some more progress.

I went cheap on the lift as Im not 100% certain that I wont upgrade to 4.5" down the road. Used FatBobs garage 3" spacers (same as I used on my 01 with good results) and a long add a leaf. Until I track down fair priced JK Rubi shocks I just spaced up my lower front shock mounts for now.

Prior to tearing anything down I PB Blasted all the bolts for a few days. My last 99 XJ was options wise the same exact Jeep but a lot rougher, and I named it "Resistance" because it fought me the whole way through. Seemed like I broke every bolt I touched on that Jeep. Broke trackbar bolt, u-bolts, swaybar links, LCA bolts, nearly everything. With how clean this Jeep was I expected things to go much smoother.

Starting with the trackbar I noticed it was wore out badly so I pulled the frame side off first. Took a BFH but it came out without too much fuss. By taking frame side off first this guaranteed me that the axle side bolt would not be under any extra pressure. I put a lil pressure on it and broke the head off almost instantly. Piss. Cut the old bolt out and replaced it with 10mmx75mm 1.5p metric grade 12.9 bolt and grabbed a new tracbar. With exception to one swaybar endlink the front end went smooth otherwise.

The rear went downhill. The Hulk torqued down my u-bolts, so I had to slowly muscle those off, but otherwise all was ok until i got to the shocks. Rear upper shock mount breakage has been well documented, and lets just say ive been there a time or seven. I left those alone since I did not have any replacement shocks at the time. I went to unbolt the nut on the lower mount and snapped all the threads off. Uhhh ohhh. Other side? SNAP.

Checked the forums to see others with the problem cut and drilled it all out but thats a big job. The load bearing shank was still instact, only the threads were absent. Ill get pics of my fix later on but I just grinded the remaining threads away, welded threads from a grade 8 bolt back on and put it back together. Holding up great. To sum it all up, the rear end had the sparks a-flyin'.

Finished height on training wheels. :D

VegasGT 01-16-2013 01:56 PM

The height was right now, but it definately needs more appropriate shoes. In the meantime however I had some other things to address. Bumper caps and trim were faded so I put them in my little "has no use at all" pile with a couple rear swaybars. :D
Painted the bumper caps with Duplicolor Trim Paint. Nice finish for the job. At the time of photo I had yet to gain the motivation to remove the door trim tape.
And fixed here:

After that I placed another order to jegs. Overused rims but they just work and I dig the look/backspacing (4").

ibjeepin95 01-16-2013 01:57 PM

Needs more dents .!.:D.!.

VegasGT 01-16-2013 02:12 PM


Originally Posted by ibjeepin95 (Post 14800671)
Needs more dents .!.:D.!.

Haha one of these days Im going to have a trail only rig and Im gna beat the everliving **** out of it just for you lol. :D

This one will likely see some damage in time. My lil girl is big enough to go along on rides now so I can get around to wheeling more often. Im going to try and snag some ungodly wide sliders to do the tree pivoting for me. From past experience after the first dent you just dont care anymore haha.

NJXJ91 01-17-2013 09:52 AM

I like the way this build is headed :thumbsup:

VegasGT 01-17-2013 10:12 AM

^ Thanks man! Better things to come!

Forgot to mention but somewhere along the line I added Autopal H4 lights and clear marker lights. I am going to wait til it warms up some for a harness upgrade. The housings alone increased usable light enough to keep me happy for now.

VegasGT 01-17-2013 10:18 AM

Also, ive got 3 Firestone Destination MT's of the 31" variety Im going to pull out of retirement to mount on the Cragars. Ill just order a 4th one to fill the set out. The others are 50-60% tread, they wear really well so Ill likely buy one or two at a time til I end up with an all new set. Keep from having a big hit at once and Ill have several good spares that way.

This is what they look like for those not familiar.

VegasGT 01-17-2013 04:48 PM

Moarr junkk mounted up!

biggn235 01-17-2013 07:29 PM

You go through more Jeeps than I do haha. Moar!

The time now is 03:35 AM.

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