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Unread 07-19-2014, 08:52 AM   #1
Wolf427
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Mississauga, ON
Posts: 77
Wolf's "Broke" Betty build

Hey guys, this is the build thread for my 1996 Cherokee Sport 4dr. Her name is Betty. I'm broke right now, due to being jobless (20 living with parents), so this is going to be a cheap as possible build. I'm trying to get her into running shape, and able to pass a safety test. Once I start working again, I'll start with some aftermarket stuff(exhaust, tires/rims, bumpers).

So I bought her from a local July 15th for $400 with 273k KM, she was sitting for a year, apparently due to an overheating problem. Previous owner said he though its a head gasket, but there is no oil in the coolant, and vise versa. It looks like the radiator is leaking though, so that is most likely the cause.
For the most part she looked pretty good. The paint was good, no crazy rust, no damage aside from one small dent, no cracked or chipped windows, and the interior was SUPER clean.

Here is where she was sitting for a year.


Getting her towed to her new home.


Once I got to the lot I'm storing her in, we unloaded and got to work. First thing was a really rough idle, but it got better quickly. The battery is at like 6 volts right now, so I have to get a jump to get her going, but it wont idle due to what I assume is a low battery, if you rev her, she runs though.
Then I noticed a broken connection to the muffler. The tailpipe was sticking out a bit, and there was no seal to the muffler, so it just comes out. Not sure what I'm going to do to fix it, but I'll figure it out.

Next issue was a droopy headliner. I'm just going to pull it all down and redo it myself with some desert camo fabric.

After giving the car a better look, I found some holes in the floor on the passenger side.
Here's one underneath the bench seat:


And here's another massive hole I found under the front passenger side:


That front hole upset me, I can definitely fix the hole under the bench seat, but this one is going to take some more work.

After calming down, I got to work removing the garbage the previous owner did a terrible job installing. There was a mobile phone signal booster I removed from under the bench seat. Then I got rid of what looked like a power line with a socket for trailer lights/brakes. He did such a terrible job wiring it. All of this stuff went to underneath the dash, and now I have a bunch of random wires that were cut, having no idea what they're for or where they go.

Other than that I lubricated everything I could see. Thats all I've done so far.

Updates to come!


Last edited by Wolf427; 07-22-2014 at 04:00 PM..
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Unread 07-19-2014, 08:54 AM   #2
Wolf427
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I'm going to keep most of my questions in this thread rather than starting a new one.

Cylinder 2 and 3 are running rich, but 1,4,5,6 are all running lean. What could this be from?
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Unread 07-21-2014, 05:35 AM   #3
Wolf427
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Charging up my battery today, going to see if I can get her to run for a bit. Hopefully it will idle properly.
Also started on the rust on the floors. I sprayed down some wd-40 and hit it with a wire brush. Then used brake cleaner to clean it all off, and painted it with some black anti-rust paint. will take some pics today.
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Unread 07-21-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
AKIQPilot
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Looking good Wolfie. You always find something to do on your Jeep. Lots of things may make it run rough at idle. I would pull the spark plugs and look them over. Don't lose track of spark plug wire #1. the firing order is on the intake manifold. Looking at the plugs will give you a good idea as to the condition of the motor and will likely reveal if there is actually a head gasket leak.

These little 4.0's run hot. Heat kills them quicker than almost anything. Make sure the radiator is clean and you can see through the fin tubes of the exchanger. It may be full of dead bugs and debris so it needs to be very clean. A good cooling system flush never hurts either. You would be amazed what the inside of these cooling systems can look like if they have been abused.
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Unread 07-21-2014, 01:29 PM   #5
Wolf427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKIQPilot View Post
Looking good Wolfie. You always find something to do on your Jeep. Lots of things may make it run rough at idle. I would pull the spark plugs and look them over. Don't lose track of spark plug wire #1. the firing order is on the intake manifold. Looking at the plugs will give you a good idea as to the condition of the motor and will likely reveal if there is actually a head gasket leak.

These little 4.0's run hot. Heat kills them quicker than almost anything. Make sure the radiator is clean and you can see through the fin tubes of the exchanger. It may be full of dead bugs and debris so it needs to be very clean. A good cooling system flush never hurts either. You would be amazed what the inside of these cooling systems can look like if they have been abused.
Thanks!
I did pull the plugs earlier. Cylinders 1,4,5 & 6, are all running correctly. But 2 & 3 are running rich.

I noticed when I started it before I towed it, there was a pool of coolant underneath the car, so I'm thinking the radiator might be busted. I got the battery charged, so I'm going to try filling the radiator and starting it up to see if it leaks again. I'm going to order a new radiator when I can afford it because this one looks rough anyways.
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Unread 07-21-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
AKIQPilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf427 View Post
Thanks!
I did pull the plugs earlier. Cylinders 1,4,5 & 6, are all running correctly. But 2 & 3 are running rich.

I noticed when I started it before I towed it, there was a pool of coolant underneath the car, so I'm thinking the radiator might be busted. I got the battery charged, so I'm going to try filling the radiator and starting it up to see if it leaks again. I'm going to order a new radiator when I can afford it because this one looks rough anyways.
2 and 3 were rich? As in dark colored and wet looking or rich as in a powdery black colored.

This is a rich looking spark plug.



If they looked more like this, that indicates a mechanical problem. If the plugs looked wet at all then you may need to look into a head gasket. A head gasket issue will also cause a rough idle but it will clean up some when you rev the motor. Typically, when a head gasket goes it affects two adjacent cylinders.

These plugs indicate a possible mechanical problem.



http://www.fixkick.com/fresh-air/sparks-flooded1a.jpg



Well flicker won't embed but you can click on the link.
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Unread 07-21-2014, 04:08 PM   #7
Wolf427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKIQPilot View Post
2 and 3 were rich? As in dark colored and wet looking or rich as in a powdery black colored.

This is a rich looking spark plug.



If they looked more like this, that indicates a mechanical problem. If the plugs looked wet at all then you may need to look into a head gasket. A head gasket issue will also cause a rough idle but it will clean up some when you rev the motor. Typically, when a head gasket goes it affects two adjacent cylinders.

These plugs indicate a possible mechanical problem.
Ah, sorry, they were dark and wet. I'll order a head gasket, and replace it asap.



I got to work on Betty for a couple of hours today, just got back now. My battery wasn't charged fully, so I couldn't get her started. I did refill the rad, and it has a very small leak. I might just throw some of that radiator leak fixer garbage for the time being. Its getting replaced anyways.

What I did manage to accomplish was taking out the two front seats. I sheared every bolt off haha. With the seats out, and the center console removed, I got to ripping out the carpet... Found a lot more holes. The whole driver side floor is gone. All the supports are great though. Looks like I'm going to need to invest in a welder haha
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Unread 07-22-2014, 04:09 PM   #8
Wolf427
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Okay so finished ripping out the interior today. I could NOT get those dang seatbelt bolts out, not a single one. So I just left all the seatbelts in. Made things a little tougher since I couldn't remove all the trim.

Found some more rust, and holes. Its actually a little better than I previously thought.

Driver's side floor:



Passenger side floor:







I've decided I'm going to bedline the interior once I patch up the floors, then get some custom fit Husky floor mats for the whole truck. Should look pretty sweet, and protect the floors.
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Unread 07-22-2014, 10:14 PM   #9
Wolf427
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Decided to get some late night work in, managed to remove the power steering pump, a/c compressor, intake and exhaust manifolds, fuel rail, valve/rocker arm cover, etc. Going to order a head gasket soon, and get a 12 point socket for the cylinder head bolts.

There was one odd thing I did come across though, there was coolant in the intake manifold.
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Unread 07-24-2014, 03:55 PM   #10
Wolf427
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Alright, got the cylinder head off today. I was surprised I could lift it right off, I heard they were heavy haha.

Found the damaged portion of the head gasket, right between cylinders 2 & 3.



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Unread 07-28-2014, 07:35 PM   #11
Wolf427
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Got some boring work done on Betty today.
Cut out the old muffler because the tailpipe broke off the end of it. Cut the nasty welds off the tailpipe. Planning on swapping in a thrush welded muffler.
Found(made) a hole in the passenger side rear quarter panel. There was no metal left, just a thick layer of paint haha.

Also, I broke this while removing the cylinder head, guess the plastic was really brittle. Anyone know what its called?


Once funds allow, I will be ordering all the gaskets I need for the engine. I'm going to get started on cutting out the floors this week.
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Unread 07-30-2014, 09:36 AM   #12
Wolf427
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Got all the parts yesterday! Also got a new torque wrench, and some xl length combo wrenches.



Engine will be finished today, providing the rain holds off!
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Unread 07-30-2014, 07:43 PM   #13
Wolf427
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Got lots done today!!
All new gaskets in, everything reassembled, its beautiful.
Found out my battery is toast, and I have no spark. Can't check anything yet because I don't have a voltmeter. (tested with a friend's car battery)

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Last edited by Wolf427; 08-02-2014 at 04:55 PM..
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Unread 08-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #14
Wolf427
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Figured out the problem, the wires going to the distributor were not ground. Started right up. Lots of white smoke from the exhaust, and the radiator was spewing out of the overflow. After a little bit the white smoke was gone, and the radiator stopped spewing coolant. Going to drain the radiator and fill with 50/50.

Yesterday I took all the interior out and brought it all home.
Bondo'd the doors on the passenger side, and painted it with black rust preventing paint, then painted both sides of the car(lower portion of the doors) with dupli-colour spray on bedliner. Looks fantastic! However, stupid me didnt tape enough of the door, so there is overspray on the doors

Today I cut out all the rust with a reciprocating saw, and vacuumed up all the loose stuff. After that I used a wire brush to clean any surface rust, which I then sprayed down with brake cleaner, and painted with the black rust preventing paint.

The plan for now is going to be to buy sheet metal, cut it to size, then lay it down with RTV around the edges underneath, and pop-rivet it in. Don't worry, this is only temporary considering I won't be able to afford a welder for some time. Once I can, they are getting properly welded. I don't mind doing the job twice, I love doing it anyways.

Also got a set of Kelly Safari TSR's for $50. They are used, but have at least 70-80% tread left.

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Last edited by Wolf427; 08-02-2014 at 04:56 PM..
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Unread 08-05-2014, 08:11 PM   #15
Wolf427
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Finished cutting out all the rust today. Found even more rust of course. Really wish I had a welder.

Driver's side


Pass side


Pass side trunk


Driver's side trunk
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