Long time reader, finally signed up. Just picked up my latest Jeep in a series of Jeeps (97 TJ, 04 TJ, 85 CJ7, 01WJ, 97XJ). Low an behold the newest addition 1996 XJ.
I picked this guy up Saturday. Previous owner ran into some difficult times and I snatched it up for $1000. Here is the current status according to the previous owner:
96 XJ (not sure of trim)
Brand new motor with ~4500 miles
Brand new transmission with ~4500 miles
Brand new clutch
Brand new offbrand 33" mud terrains
2" Rough Country Suspension lift
Horrific paint job (not sure which owner did this.
As you can see from the picture, previous owner attempted to do the chop. He did not have time to finish before I purchased. When driving this thing the down the road the whole body shakes, needless to say, I will be fixing the chop and doing some other modifications. Front end is also kind of smashed in, not sure if I will be fixing and replacing with stock parts. or upgrade to a 97+ front end. I plan on doing everything for as cheap as possible, this means junkyard parts and custom fabrication. Here is what I have planned:
Finish the chop. I need to salvage a 97+ rear hatch (according to my research al other hatches 84-96 are fiberglass). Cut the hatch in half weld the top half to the c pillars and create a reverse opening tailgate with the bottom half.
stiffen the rest of the uni-body
Install roll bar at the c pillar location.
Install a "notch back" style soft top.
Fabricate new front and rear flat fenders
Rewire the cabin
Install 97+ center console
Fabricate or install new door panels
Fabricate roof rack
Bed line interior and underbody
Flat tan paint job
This will be a long process, hopefully I can remember to take pics of progress. I have built and modified numerous vehicles but I always seem to have trouble documenting my progress. There are a lot of other WTF? things done to this jeep that I will be addressing but if I am missing something please let me know
This Saturday the 23rd, my friend and I will start disassembling and banging out dents. I hope to create a parts list for the junkyard, as it is 2 hours away and I only want to go once. We may even start mocking up the front flat fenders and clearancing the inner fender wells.
I hope to also snatch up a few more pics over the course of the week to give you an idea of how rough it is.