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Unread 02-27-2014, 09:55 PM   #1
WhammyXJ
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WhammyXJ's Journal Thread

Recently I decided to pick up a '99 XJ with a fresh 200,000mi on the clock as a second vehicle. My prior Jeep was a Wrangler (TJ) which I still miss to this day, however I needed a little bit more space. The only three requirements I had for an XJ were 5sp manual, 4.0L, and 4dr. Ideally I wanted to spend under $4000 but that could have been hard since manual transmission is hard to find. Luckily, I found an XJ which needed a bit of love for a steal of a price. Since people are making their own journal/build thread, I thought I would create my own.

First a picture when I bought it.


Since then the following things have been done:
  • Rear Main Seal & Oil Pan Gasket
  • Fluid Change (Oil/Trans/T-Case/Diffs)
  • Bilstein 4600 shocks

Below is a picture with the bilstein shocks installed. Sadly, it did not change the height of the rear end.





Below is a list of repairs/to do list of thing which still need to be done. As I work on the XJ, I will be journaling all of this. Anything which is outside of my pay grade, I will gladly pay someone else to do.
  • Spark Plugs - *Done!
  • Air filter - *Done!
  • Window Regulator - *Done!
  • Door Lock Actuator - *Done!
  • Driver-side Door Hinge Repair - *Done!
  • Valve Cover Gasket - *Done!
  • Steering Refresh (Tie-Rods/Draglink/Trackbar/Stabilizer) - *Done!
  • New Leaf Springs and control arms - *Done!
  • Front Brakes (Raybestos Pads/Rotors) - *Done!

Since this is my winter car, I am trying to figure out what I want to do. This will not be a huge build/crawler/mudthrowin' XJ. I do not/need a money pit. Below are some things I have thought of:
  • CB Radio and Antenna - *Done!
  • 8.25 Rear Disc Brake Conversion from KJ w/Raybestos Pads/Rotors
  • D30 / C8.25 3.55 Re-Gearing or axle swap from auto XJ
  • 2" Lift w/ Add A Leaf
  • New Rims
  • BFG AT 30s
  • Radio/Speakers
  • H4 lighting

Cheers to wrenching!


Last edited by WhammyXJ; 03-09-2014 at 09:25 PM..
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Unread 02-28-2014, 07:40 AM   #2
DNFJ
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Just gonna say that shocks do not have any impact on ride height, only ride quality.
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Unread 02-28-2014, 08:12 AM   #3
WhammyXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNFJ View Post
Just gonna say that shocks do not have any impact on ride height, only ride quality.
Noted. Thanks!
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Unread 03-09-2014, 12:56 PM   #4
WhammyXJ
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Today's work: New spark plugs and wires


And radiator cap and air filter.
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Unread 03-10-2014, 04:32 AM   #5
green97xjsport
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Good score, looks like my 97, as does your signature line ASCII jeep pic, stole mine did ya, I stole it from someone else then modified it a lot, I think I'm the only one who has the doors and windows right.

when I bought mine;
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Unread 03-10-2014, 08:02 AM   #6
WhammyXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green97xjsport View Post
Good score, looks like my 97, as does your signature line ASCII jeep pic, stole mine did ya, I stole it from someone else then modified it a lot, I think I'm the only one who has the doors and windows right.

when I bought mine;

I....um....may have....
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Unread 03-10-2014, 10:22 AM   #7
uberxj92
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Sweet ride. Sounds like you've got a good plan.
On the steering refresh, swap in the tie rod out if a v8 zj. Its direct bolt in and is solid nor hollow like the xj.
you mentioned the front axle shafts and Regearing. It will be easier and surely cheaper to swap both axles with ones from an auto xj. Direct bolt in and 3.55 gears. I shouldn't say that its cheaper here where I live in Florida. Tons of xj parts here and Regearing costs like $500 per axle.
8.25 disc conversion. Good man! Have you looked into the zj 35 disc to 8.25 conversion? It maybe cheaper and easier.
The headlights are bad ***. I run them in both of my rigs. Had to upgrade my harnesses. The stock harness held them but barely and I didn't like pushing wires like that.
May I suggest on your runs that you look into 17". 15" tires are hard to find used or new for that matter. But 17" are everywhere.
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Unread 03-11-2014, 06:54 AM   #8
WhammyXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uberxj92 View Post
Sweet ride. Sounds like you've got a good plan.
On the steering refresh, swap in the tie rod out if a v8 zj. Its direct bolt in and is solid nor hollow like the xj.
you mentioned the front axle shafts and Regearing. It will be easier and surely cheaper to swap both axles with ones from an auto xj. Direct bolt in and 3.55 gears. I shouldn't say that its cheaper here where I live in Florida. Tons of xj parts here and Regearing costs like $500 per axle.
8.25 disc conversion. Good man! Have you looked into the zj 35 disc to 8.25 conversion? It maybe cheaper and easier.
The headlights are bad ***. I run them in both of my rigs. Had to upgrade my harnesses. The stock harness held them but barely and I didn't like pushing wires like that.
May I suggest on your runs that you look into 17". 15" tires are hard to find used or new for that matter. But 17" are everywhere.
Thanks Uber. I already order all of the steering parts. All are the heavy duty version. I thought a axle swap would have been the easier choice. Gears alone new are $800. Considering the amount of autos here, I am sure I could find complete axles for about the same price or hopefully cheaper. Swapping them myself is a different discussion.

I am not sure if I want 17s. The larger rim, the harsher the ride. Moabs would be fun to have, however if I could find a lighter rim that I liked and were inexpensive, I would use that (hence getting black steelie rims).

Thanks for the info/suggestions!
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Unread 03-21-2014, 10:13 PM   #9
WhammyXJ
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Last weekend, the XJ steering got completely refreshed as well as a new valve cover gasket.



Next up in a few weeks (unless I am forced sooner) will be D30 u-joints, ball joints and a window regulator.


I am hoping I can get my car back from the body shop before starting this work. I do not need two vehicles not functional.
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Unread 05-14-2014, 08:35 PM   #10
WhammyXJ
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Small update....

I have replaced the rear brakes and started disassembling the differential to remove the axle shafts and replace the u-joints. One side was pretty straight forward while the other I could not separate the hub from the rotor. With that said, I think something is either wrong with the hub or I started destroying it while I was hitting the rotor with a 3lb hammer.

Guess I need to go buy even more parts......
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Unread 05-20-2014, 07:37 PM   #11
WhammyXJ
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XJ is now driveable. Feeling very happy I was able to disassemble the D30 and replace the brake pads, rotors, wheel hubs by myself. Only needed a mech to re-press the u-joints as I didn't feel comfortable doing it/didn't have the real tools to do it.

Finished product below:


Lastly, I am going to drive the XJ a bit and determine if the clunk I hear is still there and if I should go after the ball joints.
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Unread 08-05-2014, 06:32 AM   #12
WhammyXJ
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Small update: Since the last post I started receiving death wobble while driving the XJ. I recently had a friend look at it who's a jeep mechanic. With his help, we replaced the trackbar bracket considering the movement he saw while I moved the wheel. We also re-tightened all of the control arm bolts as one or two were loose. This for now solves the death wobble and the front end drives much better. However, front control arms and rear leafs will definitely need to be replaced before winter comes.
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Unread 08-16-2014, 05:28 PM   #13
WhammyXJ
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Today was a productive yet frustrating day. I changed the fuel injectors on the XJ without completely removing the fuel rail. In the process, I lost two of the fuel injector retaining clips and had to go to the dealer to get new ones ($11 each). However, I was able to get everything installed. If I would do it over again, I would have disassembled the throttle body as well to allow complete removal of the fuel rail.



Also, yesterday a bunch of parts came in the mail. Operation Jeep Restore will begin in early Sept when I can get in a friends shop where he and I can do the work together.
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Unread 08-24-2014, 10:21 AM   #14
WhammyXJ
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Today I installed my CB, antenna, and mount.






I used the cig lighter as a power source (switched power) and the fact that I did not feel like dealing with the firewall. I have to see how much alternator whine I get. If it is too much, I'll go directly to the battery.

Antenna mount: http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f73/sta...mounts-177870/
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Unread 08-24-2014, 10:28 AM   #15
JeepN4KC
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It appears you misunderstand the point of the antenna spring, but I do like the mount.
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