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Unread 10-10-2010, 12:58 PM   #46
Eggdashure
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Quote:
Great looking XJ.
Thanks man!

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Unread 11-13-2010, 09:34 PM   #47
Eggdashure
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Took all summer, but I finally have a set of Control Arm Drop Brackets on the way. Scored a set of Rubicon Express DB's with the braces for $100 shipped off Craigslist. I've heard they are not the easiest to install, but should work perfectly with my lift! My hope is that they will take some of the harshness out of my daily driver. Maybe this spring I will splurge on some shackle relocation brackets for the rear, which should make for a flexy and nice riding Heep!

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Unread 11-14-2010, 09:58 AM   #48
Vassago
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Location: Toms River, NJ
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make sure you got the support brackets for those!
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Unread 11-14-2010, 12:35 PM   #49
Eggdashure
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Quote:
make sure you got the support brackets for those!
Yea, that was my first question for the seller!
He said it's a complete kit, guess I'll know mid week for sure.
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Unread 12-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #50
Eggdashure
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Preparation of the Drop Brackets for installation.

These guys were pretty rusty and had lost almost all of their original paint. So I cleaned off as much of the old flaky paint as I could and then hit everything with a thick coat of hammered Rustoleum. Here's some pics.

Before:




And After:






Now I just need to head to a hardware store and get all the necessary nut's n' bolts. Install will hopefully happen this weekend. I know it's going to be tough as I already have a broken stud to fix on the cross member (Drill and Tap forthcoming). Most of the Control Arm bolts have recently been removed, so it shouldn't be too hard on that end of things.
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Unread 12-04-2010, 01:30 PM   #51
Eggdashure
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Passenger side is almost done. Biggest problems came from attaching the braces to the crossmember. I couldn't get the stud out, I tried a bolt extractor, two nuts together, heating it. The Effing thing wouldn't budge! It eventually snapped off, so I'm going to have to drill and tap it now, too.

I wanted to get the passenger side done before moving on to the drivers. So I put the bolt in to the crossmember and tightened it up and of course I hear a SNAP!!! Broke off the welded nut in the frame. That was all I could take for last night.

Here's some before and after pictures of the angles.




Hopefully I can finish up tonight!
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Unread 12-04-2010, 09:47 PM   #52
Eggdashure
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It's finally done!!! Well almost, still need to trim the bumper end caps, but that won't take long.

It's always great when a hair-brained scheme works...am I right?!

The install of the drop brackets on the drivers side went off without a hitch, but something kinda lucky happened. As I was lining up the axle (pushing it slightly forward with a jack) the passenger side crossmember all of a sudden snapped. The bolt that got stuck yesterday just fell out. Go figure!

So I finished up the drivers side and began plotting how I was going to tackle the passenger side crossmember bolt issue. I got so frustrated I started digging through my tool chest looking for something that might work. I found an old trackbar nut the on with the welded L bracket on it. So a light went off, maybe I could fish it through a cut in the frame and get lucky enough to catch it above the old nut. I found some old speaker wire to fish with, tied a very loose knot in the end of it and pulled it through. Half expecting that with my luck it would snag on something. A miracle occurred! It worked, first time!!! I couldn't believe it!! I still don't know how it managed to stay on top of the old nut long enough for me to thread it. But it's done and I'm a happy Jeeper now!

The ride is much improved! The front end actually absorbs bumps now. The back end...yea...not so much. But hopefully this spring I can correct that with some shackle relocation brackets.

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Unread 12-14-2010, 07:31 PM   #53
HikerX
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Really enjoying the build! You've done some things I'd like to do to my XJ someday (HnT, rear discs). Not sure I'm quite as brave as you were...

Oh, and add me to the list of people jealous of where you live. Visited in '04 and fell in love with the state. Came back and ended up falling in love with my wife. Ah, the choices we make.
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Unread 12-15-2010, 12:45 AM   #54
Eggdashure
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Quote:
Really enjoying the build! You've done some things I'd like to do to my XJ someday (HnT, rear discs). Not sure I'm quite as brave as you were...
Thanks...and it's not so much bravery as it is confidence after research.

Quote:
Oh, and add me to the list of people jealous of where you live. Visited in '04 and fell in love with the state. Came back and ended up falling in love with my wife. Ah, the choices we make.
I'm rather lucky. After I graduated high school I had to move away from CO with my parents because I really didn't have sufficient funds to be on my own. Moved to northern Minnesota where I met my wife...who subsequently didn't care much for the Minnesota weather. I brought her to CO one summer and she was hooked. 2 years later we moved out here and have been here for a little over 8 years now. I especially like it right now when I hear about sub zero temps, miss that about as much as I miss a migraine.
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Unread 12-18-2010, 05:25 AM   #55
jkherd
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Nice looking project, shows what good projects you can do on budget. Please keep us posted on additional projects.
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Unread 12-18-2010, 09:07 AM   #56
Eggdashure
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Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Quote:
Nice looking project, shows what good projects you can do on budget.
Thanks! Project on a budget and a lot of Craigslist patience!

Quote:
Please keep us posted on additional projects.
For sure!
Next project is the trimming of the front bumper end caps. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I want to trim them while keeping a stock look. After that...depends on...well the budget!

H.D. Engineering shackle relocation brackets will be the next purchased item.
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Unread 12-18-2010, 10:58 PM   #57
65th
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That silver dash looks great. Haha ive got one in my Jeep since its the 65 anniversary edition, so im used to lookin at them.
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Unread 12-19-2010, 09:14 PM   #58
Eggdashure
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Rough night...I finally got around to tearing apart the front bumper! It was difficult because as I have previously mentioned, I whacked a fool that stopped short on me up in the hills. The bumper was all mangled at the connections on the passenger side and was bent in such a way that removing it was tricky. Thankfully, the braces that hold the bumper in place were still in perfect condition.

Once I got the bumper off I grabbed a bench vice and straightened the bumper as best I could...turned out alright if I do say so myself. I decided I wanted to move the vacuum ball to a more secure location, so I followed sanchezcruz 20's idea of mounting to the triangle brace behind it's original location.


Though my vacuum hoses weren't as "pliable" as his. While trying to remove the elbow, the plastic hose cracked in half and hissed at me for a second.

So, next I plan to cut my bumper end caps, fix the vacuum ball connection, cut holes for fog lights in the bumper and paint the bumper. Then re-install everything of course!

Before and after pics forthcoming.
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Unread 12-20-2010, 05:22 AM   #59
HitmanJustin
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Never though Id ever like the silver-chrome look on a Jeep grill... But you've proved me wrong, the sliver on black looks damn good! and love the build, I just got Bilstein Shocks too, its like night and day for me, The Jeep rides over 100% better then the old dead crap I had
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Unread 12-22-2010, 12:01 AM   #60
Eggdashure
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Location: Grand Junction, CO
Posts: 261
Quote:
Never though Id ever like the silver-chrome look on a Jeep grill... But you've proved me wrong, the sliver on black looks damn good! and love the build, I just got Bilstein Shocks too, its like night and day for me, The Jeep rides over 100% better then the old dead crap I had
Yea, old dead crap ride sucks! Ask me how I know!


Ok, I finally finished up my front end. As I stated above, tires were rubbing on the bumper end caps before the drop brackets and I knew it would be even worse after them. Rather than cringe on every bump I just pulled them off until I decided what to do with them.

First things first, I had to straighten my bumper. After much toil and turmoil, I managed to get it completely off the vehicle. It had bent in such a way that it was almost crimped onto the bumper braces. Once off, I grabbed my bench vice (not attached to a bench...) and squeezed the bends back into shape. Turned out better than I had hoped!

Then I shot the bumper with my patented nickel color spray paint as well as a couple coats of clear protectant. It had a lot of chips in it originally and looked terrible as it was.


While the paint was drying I starred at my bumper end caps trying to decide where to cut them. Here's what I settled on:


Then it was just a matter of throwing everything back on and check the results. And here they are:








I'm still considering the fog lights, I tried to tie my after market cheapo's into the factory system but it wasn't working...not sure why. Project for later. On the test drive I was able to make a U-eee left and right without any rubbing anywhere and full lock steering.

I wasn't too sure about painting the bumper...kinda thought that might be too much, but the end caps really tone it down and I like the result. Might have to do it to the rear one now! Will it never end?!

Who says you can never get enough of a good thing huh?!
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