Welcome to the World's Slowest Build
. No seriously though. This build will be slow, but a lot of it will be detailed with write-ups to hopefully facilitate those of you in need of help. So, before I begin...
First and foremost let me introduce myself. My name is Matt. Im from upstate NY and I am currently residing in Hampton, VA. This is my current duty location (Air Force). This is my second XJ and Jeep. The first was a white, 96 Sport with a mild 2" BB and 30" Dakota A/T's. That bad boy could do some work... then came tragedy. I blew the head gasket, had a rear main seal leak, and a slew of other issues. So, being right out of high school, I sold it for around what I paid for it, which wasnt much. That was roughly 4 years ago. Enough though, onward...
What Im aiming for with this build is a well endowed XJ. Basically enough to go play and not get stuck, but enough to get me from A to B, no matter what the distance. We all know however, this could change. So as of right now the goal is
-3-3.5" Total Lift Height
-Full undercarriage armor
-Front and rear bumpers
-Swing out tire carrier from the hitch
-Enough lights, not many though
The idea is, I want to maintain a level of stock feel. Im aiming to have the 31's mounted on stock Moab's. The bumpers will be mild, nothing crazy, and the lights will be few, but effective, possibly LED's. First and foremost Im going to be restoring it as best I can to factory look. I want someone to think when they see it, "Did he get that from the factory?"
The Way I Bought Him:
Sweet and simple. Its a stock 2000 XJ Sport. Had 156,200 miles when I bought it 9 months ago, it only has 156,600 now. I live and work on base luckily, 2 miles round trip. When I purchased it I was under the impression that all was wrong was a bad brake setup in the front which was all I could find. Came with a tow package, installed from the dealership sometime after purchase as far as I can tell. Stock CD player, and everything worked... except for the windows. The switches on all the doors were inop except for the drivers panel. The only body defects it had were a faded header panel and trim. Aside from that, everything was in really awesome shape, I was rather surprised
. If youre wondering why I call him JJ, it is a name given to him by my girlfriend. She calls her Cobalt (terrible, I know) CC. So the name stuck.
So it begins....
About 3 weeks after purchasing JJ I noticed some of the coolant was magically disappearing. Didnt think much into, just filled the radiator back up, put the cap back on. Took off about 5 miles down the road to go to Lowe's when *POP*. Saw the temp gauge shoot up and the check gauges light come on. So I quickly pulled into the nearest gas station and bought some coolant. Let it cool down so I could try to limp home. WRONG. Got about a mile down the road when it happened again. Lucky for me, there was an AutoZone in the complex where it happened. Asked one of the guys, thinking it was a blown gasket, and he said it was more than likely a cracked head which caused the gasket to blow. Called up the insurance company, had em tow JJ to the shop...
Turns out it was a cracked head and blown gasket. Only cost about $900 to get it done after machining, and it was a job well done.