Well.... I had hoped to get some of the XJ stuff on the truck today, but last night I contacted a guy on craigslist and picked up this 'chunk-o-beef':
Yup, a Dana 44 and driveshaft out of a 91 MJ. The guy was going to put it under his YJ a few years back but found a 9inch instead. $200 bones delivered fairly local. Now I need to clean it up and bolt in. Yaaahhhooo, no more ticking time bomb D35!
And I realized it has been a while since I have posted eye candy. Current picture of the truck:
The bed should have entered the paint booth, or darn close to it. I have been cleaning up the D44 and prepping for POR15 and obtaining U-bolts and brake lines. I am also contemplating installation of Grand Cherokee D44 Disk brakes on the rear. Once I obtain a 97+ XJ antenna mount and wire I can begin getting the modern sheet metal put on the truck
I am also locating some gray XJ buckets and center console pieces. My bench is so far gone. This is something that will be done after the floor pans, rockers, and cab corners are replaced.
June 17, 2009
BED IS HOME FROM THE PAINT SHOP!!!!
Got a call this morning that a red comanche bed was taking up space in the paint booth.
The inside of the bed was not painted, just had the factory paint pulled off. I am going to use the UPol-Raptor spray in bed liner for this. The UV protection is primarily why I am going with it.
Time to get the rear frame cleaned up, POR15'ed, and get the bumper installed
Tailgate sitting in the house. Waiting to get the J E E P stickers on the back.
The D44 is almost ready for POR15. Also received serviceable Spicer U-Joints/ straps today.
The collection of XJ body parts collecting dust and grime in the corner. Finally getting the missing antenna wire/mount. Then I will work on getting this sheet metal installed.
After the 97+XJ sheet metal is installed, the truck will go to the body shop and get the floor pans, rockers, and cab corners replaced then shot with more shiny paint
Sweet, I love those Pickups! Just finished one myself a couple months back. 1987 converted everything to 97-01 style XJ - All interior, doors, firewall, running gear, even workable airbags. Was a pain, but looks bad ***! Donor was a 1999 Cherokee.
To anybody even considering an MJ... Make sure you have had your 7-10 year Tetanus Shot before touching the darned thing!
Not much has been happening to the truck. It is pulling DD status and tree hauler on the farm. I did pick up an undamaged Header Panel, Gray bucket Seats, and Console from a 98 XJ. I also got my modern style stickers from jeepsticker.com and the tailgate stickers/handle hardware installed:
Soon the truck will be stripped down to the shell. Going to sand blast the whole thing and replace any holes that start to form in the metal. Figure if I am going to do it, I am going all the way U-Pol Raptor bed liner will be purchased soon to "finish" the bed.
I am currently searching for a wrecked (aka, CHEAP) 2000 or 2001 XJ donor rig. Plan is to take the following parts and install them in the MJ:
- Transfer Case
- Engine and Interior Wiring harness
Looking at building a comfy 2000/2001 MJ Daily Driver. Also considering the Downey slant tonneau cover to give it a more streamlined look:
Okay, yes... it has been several month since the last update I am SLOW!!!!!
November 08, 2009
The new bed is lined!
With fantastic weather and some spare time (recovering from sickness) I decided to prep and spray that shiny red bed with bed liner. I used the U-Pol Raptor liner kit. It comes with 4 quarts of liner, hardener, an air gun to apply it, and it it UV stable... all for about $130. Thanks to the many reviews of U-Pol here on JF, I decided it should fit my needs
I worked on prepping the surface. Generally all you would need to do is scuff, clean, and spray. This bed has several to the metal scratches and scrapes, so I sanded them down smooth, cleaned with acetone, masked the bed and sprayed the areas with self-etching primer as suggested by the U-Pol instructions.
Then I started with the bed liner. I was very nervous about doing this since I have never used an air gun to apply any sort of paint. Luckily it was a piece of cake. Dump 250ml of hardener into a quart of liner, shake, screw it to the gun and apply between 40-70psi of pressure. The more pressure, the finer the texture. Set the regulator to 70psi and went to town. Be sure to wear some sort of mask, the fumes are insane. I applied two cost of this stuff, and still have a 1 quart bottle left for touch ups later on down the road.
After the first coat:
The texture is very nice. I ran the gun at 70psi wide open and got a nicely textured, hard as a rock finish. It is just a touch more textured than plastic drop in liners.
Once it was well set up, not tacky to the touch, I removed the masking to see how well I did at taping. Not half bad. Also took the opportunity to hang the tailgate and set the unit in the garage just in case it tried to rain.
Next step is to POR15 the inner fender wells, install the bed rubber pieces, install my 4.0 and 4wheel Drive stickers, and run the bed wiring harness. Hope to get the rusted bed off of the truck soon so I can blast, treat, and improve the rear end. Yank the drive train, then it will go to the body shop for floor, rocker and cab corner replacements as well as the 97+ front end and doors.
Today I got the last two stickers stuck on the tailgate. I replaced the chrome/black 4.0 badge with a vinyl cut out for a smoother look and added a 'retro' style 4wd in the same.
For the first time in my life, I have felt how smooooooooth an MJ tailgate can operate... ahhhh
The D44 housing and tubes have been coated in POR-15 for some time. I still need to re-work the brake lines, obtain new drums and rebuild the drum assemblies before it can be called done. If a D44 ZJ bites me in the butt I will get the disk brake backing plates and build accordingly. I have also been uncovering part numbers to replace my 17 year old leaf spring bushings. I will be keeping the factory leafs if they are not cracked upon removal.
FWIW, the ZJ D44a rear discs are no different than the 35 discs, but FOrd Explorer or Crown Vic rear discs are an easier swap given the odd bolt pattern on the axle housing flange. I have Explorer discs on my 44.