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Unread 04-03-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
Giviner
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: AB, Canada
Posts: 1,216
88 XJ Build up

Wait, why is the guy with a TJ building an XJ?

I picked up this old 88 XJ for $0 from a local guy. It didn't run and he just wanted it out of his driveway.

Here's the specs:

88 XJ Laredo
4.0L (non HO)
AW4
D35 rear
3.55 gearing

So I flat towed it home and stuck it in the driveway to wait for some warmer weather so I could work on it.








The good:

- zero body damage, not even so much as a dent
- visually, nothing wrong under the hood
- interior in ok shape
- decent motor/transmission
- never been off road
- undercoating had kept the underside from rusting

The bad:

- steering column was messed, badly
- igniton wouldn't turn (related to column problem)
- some rust on body
- ugly *** aluminum side steps
- driver and passenger seats are messed (won't adjust)
- center console cracked
- shifter was messed up (also related to column problem)
- hood latches not working
- dead battery
- at one time it had a body mounted spare tire carrier that has since been hacked off but the mounts are still there
- needs new windshield
- power locks not working, some power windows not working

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2010 WK
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Unread 04-03-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
Giviner
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: AB, Canada
Posts: 1,216
The plan is to turn this into a mild trail rig for my fiancee so she has her own Jeep to beat on.

When the weather let up a few weeks ago I went out and messed with the column. I had it totally torn apart and found the 4 bolts that were causing the wobble were totally unthreaded. I put it back together and now everything is tight, the ignition works, and so does the shifter. I boosted it and it fired right up and I was able to drive it around the block.

Needs some parts but that being said, this build will be done with budget in mind as I dont' want to dump a bunch of cash into a rig this old.

Went to the junkyard last saturday and picked up the following:
- 2 front seats
- center console and shifter bezel
- horn cover
- turn signal arm
- S10 rear leaf springs (shoud give about 4" lift)
- F150 coils & isolators

I'll also be putting 32" Procomp MT's and black steelies off my Tj, as well as the front spacers from my BB.



old junk seats



drivers seat installed

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Unread 04-03-2008, 11:54 AM   #3
Giviner
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Now that this thing runs, I have been able to further determine what it needs. The good news is that it doesn't need too much. Needs a new cat, muffler, and tailpipe. It also has a recall out for the O2 sensor that I will get DC to take care of once I have it inspected and registered. I also realized that the speedo and odometer are not working either

The plan is ultimately to inspect and change all the fluids, install the replacement parts, then lift it up. Not sure yet if it's going to need a SYE.

Soooooooo..........it was moderately warm on the weekend so I removed the 4,593 hex bolts holding the gross looking side steps on and removed them, changed the oil to some 5w30 synthetic, checked the tranny fluid which was bright red (good sign!), shimmed the hood latches so they would catch on the pins and dropped in the old battery from my TJ after charging it up.

Here's how it sits now:





I'll be picking away at it as I get the chance. I'm also building up my TJ so I don't want it to feel neglected either.
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Unread 07-20-2008, 11:14 PM   #4
Giviner
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: AB, Canada
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Finally made some progress:

- Fixed the speedometer
- Solved the battery drain problem (damn dome light was staying on)
- moved the licence plate holder back to the stock location
- Figured out what is causing the oil in my air filter
- Removed stock cat converter & exhaust

and finally.......got the front suspension completed.

Here's a pic before the tire was put back on:

http://img2.putfile.com/main/7/20200051535.jpg

I used coils from a '75 F150, the shocks and coil spacer is from my Rubicon Express budget boost that I used to have on my TJ. I was also able to use my JKS disconnects from my TJ (they are for 0-2" of lift) but I had to adjust them to be as short as possible. I also relocated the brake line mount so I could avoid buying longer front lines. You can see the 2 stock holes up and to the right of where it is mounted now.

And here it is with my old Procomp MT's from my TJ mounted up. I see some fender trimming in my future.

http://img2.putfile.com/main/7/20123304712.jpg
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Last edited by Giviner; 07-20-2008 at 11:19 PM.. Reason: ...can't figure out why the pics aren't working
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Unread 07-21-2008, 12:14 AM   #5
JeEpErWaNaBe
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So far looks great! any pics with all four tires and wheels on? those tires look awesome!
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Unread 07-21-2008, 07:28 AM   #6
Giviner
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Haven't done the rear suspension yet. I've got some S10 leafs ready to go on but as of right now it's still stock in the rear.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 03:30 PM   #7
LillyK
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Just a question, how long had it sat in the guys yard?
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8/18/09 Purchased my own '96 Cherokee Sport.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 04:10 PM   #8
-Shoey-
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2003 KJ Liberty 
 
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Location: Harrisville, West Virginia
Posts: 1,675
Kudos on using the search LillyK!
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Unread 09-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #9
Giviner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LillyK View Post
Just a question, how long had it sat in the guys yard?
Bit of an old post but i'll answer anyway. The guy I got it from told me the last time it had started was about 3 months prior to me getting it, so not very long really.

BTW here's a few pics of how it currently sits.





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Unread 09-09-2009, 03:29 PM   #10
ArrizX
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Sick....... I love threads like this.
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Unread 09-09-2009, 10:20 PM   #11
Giviner
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The pics were taken on a recent wheeling trip. I drove it about 1000 km there, wheeled it for 3 days straight and drove it back. Had a few cooling issues and blew a hole in the rad that we had to patch with JBweld and Bars Leaks but it survived.

I figure I've dumped about $1000-1500 on it up to this point. Here are the mods as of right now. I don't really have any plans for further changes at this time.
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