Overland Build: Yellow Jeep XJ - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 63 Old 08-24-2014, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Woodsville
Posts: 94
Overland Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

 photo 2219-cropped_zpsuh6vgffi.png

This is my XJ Expedition Project.


That was my stock 2001 Jeep XJ...

When I got the jeep the previous owner had installed a 3inch Suspension lift with 2inch spacers on the front and 2 inch Lift Shackles on the rear, sitting on 31inch tires.
Everything else was stock, including the broken Sway Bar links.
It had a death wobble from hell, found that out the hard way on the highway coming home after buying it.
Once we hit 40 mph and a bump, it shock extremely violently until it came to a complete stop.
The experience was like an 8.7 on the Richter Scale, inside a giant paint shaker, while trying to steer.
Any of you that have experienced an actual legit full fledged Death Wobble in all it's glory know what I'm talking about.
And I still had a 2 hour drive home from the sellers house...
So it was at this point that I decided to strip it down and start from scratch in regards to the steering and suspension components.

3 Inch Rough Country Lift Kit Plus Coil Spacers and Leaf spring Shackles

Phase 1

We worked on it slowly, a little bit each day.
I don't have a shop, so we worked in my driveway, weather permitting.
We diagnosed many of the causes to the "Death Wobble" symptoms through trial and error.
One of the by-products of lifting a Jeep Cherokee 5 inch with no modifications or upgrades to the stock steering or suspension.
We would be removing the present lift in favor of a long arm lift kit.
I also started prepping for some of the exterior mods we would be putting on as well.

Front/Rear Bumper Removal

Parts List

I started ordering parts, and one by one they began collecting on my front porch.
Once my porch was full, parts began collecting inside.
We were living in a Jeep Parts Shop, and kind of interesting.
Here is my part's list bellow


RC 4.5 inch Long Arm Lift Kit.
(comes with:
Lifted high flex coil springs
Long arm Crossmember
Adjustable upper control arms
Adjustable lower control arms
Transfer case skid plate
Sway-bar quick disconnects
Adjustable track bar
Pitman arm
Stainless steel braided brake lines
Full Leaf Spring Packs
Performance 2.2 Series Shocks)
Rear Leaf Spring Shackles


New bearings,
Moog upper and lower ball joints.
Currie Currectlync Heavy Duty Tie Rod and Drag Link.
Steering Box Brace.
Upgraded Heavy Duty 2.2 Steering Stabilizer.


New Rotors, Calipers and pads in front.
Drums and shoes in rear

Tune up:

Air Filter
Champion Copper Plugs, and wires.
Oil change Mobile 1
Change transmission fluid
Coolant flush and fill
New Thermostat


Slip Yolk Eliminator
Custom Tom Woods Rear Driveshaft


ARB HD Bull Bar with Warn 8000 Winch and 2 IPF Spot Lights..
JCR HD Rear Bumper/Tire Carrier
AJ's Super Rails Rock Slider
Roof Slider
JCR Gas Tank Skid Plate


5 Cragar Soft 8 rims and 5 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac 33x12.5 inch tires
Gorilla Chrome Lug and Lock set


Bushwacker Flat Fender Flares
Custom exhaust from the headers back, Flowmaster Super 44 Muffler.
Lower Rear Quarter plated on both sides, underneath re-coated...


Fixed wiring on driver side door, passengers can now control power windows again.
Fixed Rear Wiper.
New Windshield Wipers


Phase 1: Completed

Everything installed and tested.
After a little tinkering it road great.
Great articulation, good clearance, and no vibration at all.
The only thing steering/Suspension related that is still OEM in the vehicle is the actual sway bar itself, everything else was removed and upgraded.
The roof sliders had a bend to it, so we flipped them in the meantime until we straighten them out.
They are actually supposed to come down just above the door to protect the sides.
We had help from a shop installing the Lift and some of the equipment because we simply ran out of time.
The weather was upon us and we were working out of my driveway. So we put the project on hold and finished it in the spring.

Currie Currectlync Heavy Duty Tie Rod and Drag Link

Rough Country 4.5 Inch Long Arm Lift Kit

JCR Gas Tank Skid Plate

2001 Jeep XJ after Phase 1 of the Expedition Build...

More to come...

Last edited by chris87xj; 09-10-2015 at 11:48 AM.
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post #2 of 63 Old 08-24-2014, 03:07 PM
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Palmer
Posts: 1,229
That was quite a parts pile! Looks great, I like everything but the center caps

2001 Silverstone Metallic Classic XJ
Build Thread
April 2014 & 2015 COTM
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post #3 of 63 Old 08-26-2014, 01:34 PM
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2000 TJ Wrangler 
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Looks Great! I am partial to yellow.
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post #4 of 63 Old 08-31-2014, 09:15 PM
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: 3rd rock from sun
Posts: 10,549
That's a sexy XJ.


"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."


COTY 2009

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post #5 of 63 Old 09-02-2014, 07:11 AM
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When you say "porch" you mean "garage"....

Nice work
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post #6 of 63 Old 09-03-2014, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Woodsville
Posts: 94
Originally Posted by jeep50 View Post
When you say "porch" you mean "garage"....

Nice work
Ssssh... if I call it a porch, my girlfriend will think it's just a temporary thing

Thanks man, glad you like it
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post #7 of 63 Old 09-03-2014, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Woodsville
Posts: 94

Bumper Mounted LED Reverse Lights

Installed LED spot lights in the JCR Rear Bumper, wired to my reverse lights.
Stock reverse lights were too obstructed by the JCR Rear Bumper to be of much use.
Decent lighting upgrade with major improvement for night visibility while backing up.

LED Reverse Lights

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post #8 of 63 Old 09-16-2014, 12:00 AM
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Well executed build. Very clean look for the XJ.
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post #9 of 63 Old 09-16-2014, 12:14 AM
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,231
Man that looks sick! Was just looking at another yellow 01 today at my schools parking lot, unfortunately it was a little rougher than yours. Love of that rear bumper. Its too bad you didnt get the pre 96 ARB bumper, as it it shorter where it hits the flares.

In my experience, the 2000+ coil rail 4.0L engines eat regular copper plugs very fast. Next time around get the Champion double platinum plugs. Not too expensive from rockauto. Something to do with a hotter spark.

One day id like to build a daily driver just like that. That ARB bumper is just so classic looking on a cherokee!
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post #10 of 63 Old 04-01-2015, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Woodsville
Posts: 94
Intertior Upgrades

Interior Upgrades

Smittybilt G.E.A.R. MOLLE Seat Covers, Quadratic Heavy Duty all weather floor and cargo mats, and started outfitting the interior of the rig.
Decided to go with MOLLE gear since it was the best way for me to maximize space, organize equipment, and customize on the fly.
Went with the floor mats because they can handle all elements in all seasons. Easy to clean, regardless of terrain. Very low maintenance.

Smittybilt G.E.A.R. MOLLE Seat Covers:

MOLLE Gear Outfitted with:

Ka-bar and assorted knives, Axe, Hatchet, Kukuri, Spetsnaz Trench Shovel, Maglites and various flash lights (battery operated and manual wind up), canteens, maps, compass, ponchos, Fire Starters (Flint and steel, wind proof matches, lights, etc) Med Kit, Multiple Tool sets, Jumper cables, Survival gear, bungees, ratchet straps, recovery equipment (Tree saver, snatch strap, tow straps, snatch block, d-rings) and a lot more. Just to give you a general idea of the setup.
Customized seats, and made some alterations.

In back a Mechanic's Tote that includes: (Coolant, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, PB Blaster, Spark Plugs, oil filter, Duct Tape, Electrical tape, fuses, assorted wrenches and screwdrivers, electrical/crimp tool, Quick Steel, Super Glue, zip ties, tape measure, scissors, bottle opener, etc etc)

Equipping MOLLE Gear

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post #11 of 63 Old 04-02-2015, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Woodsville
Posts: 94
Partial Exhaust and Cooling System Replacement

Partial Exhaust and Coolant System Replacement

Replacing the Radiator, water pump, thermostat and thermostat housing, thermostat inlet tube.
Also doing an A.C. delete; removing the compressor, condenser and canisters.
Replacing with an A.C. bypass pulley temporarily until I relocate the alternator to the former A.C.'s location.
Then replacing the pre-cats, the 4 O2 sensors and the front pipe.


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post #12 of 63 Old 09-21-2015, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Woodsville
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Re-gear: 4.56

Decided to re-gear to 4.56 on the front Dana 30 and rear Dana 35.
Added some "Solid" Differential Covers as well.
I had a shop do the re-gear as I have no experience whatsoever, and had no-one at my disposal which had much experience either.

Re-gearing the Dana 35, while not my first choice was something that will at least hold me over until I can get my Front Dana 44/Rear Ford 8.8 swap next year.
The Dana 30/35 combo has held up well on a cross country road trip that included hitting trails across the U.S. in places such as Moab and Sedona with no issues.
While I will be upgrading, the Dana 35 is not the Jeep's "Achilles Heel" as I had previously heard.
It has it's limitations, but in my experience if driven with control it will perform just fine under load and on trails.

Solid Differential Covers

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post #13 of 63 Old 09-21-2015, 09:41 PM
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Posts: 969
Lookin good man, Any good trails in your neck of the woods?

01 TJ with some stuff
77 SJ Cruzer

Lifes to short for bad coffee and bald tires
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post #14 of 63 Old 09-22-2015, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tofuzeppelin View Post
Lookin good man, Any good trails in your neck of the woods?
Absolutely, we've got a bunch of trails up here.
I'll show some pics sometime in a trail thread at some point.
They just opened a legit one at Jericho State Park in Berlin NH.
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post #15 of 63 Old 09-22-2015, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Woodsville
Posts: 94

Rear Cargo Area MOLLE Gear Attachment Mod

I wanted to open up my cargo area for my gear and maximize space.
So I felt some MOLLE attachment points on the sides of the interior rear cargo area would be beneficial.
Looked up a couple of forums and found some walkthroughs from people that had already done this mod.
As there is already in-depth tutorials available, I will be brief.
So I got some supplies and got to work.

Pull back the sound dampening insulation on the back side of trim before drilling.
Otherwise it will gum up your drill bit.

Removed Rear Quarter Interior Cargo Panel

Drill Holes 2 Inches Apart

Attach nylon straps with round head machine screws and washers

Secure bolts with Wingnuts

Leave slack between screws in order to fit MOLLE gear straps through.

Final Result:

Stress Tested

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