Wow, sweet build man! I just looked through your whole thread. I like the alternator discovery. I am going to keep that in mind for mine...an easy bolt-on upgrade. I just hope Advance has it or I will order via O'Rielly via the web. If you get time, check out my thread...maybe you can catch an error before my investment goes boom!
Had yet another late night working on the jeep. What was supposed to be a night welding up my modified hitch, turned into an impromptu alternator change/upgrade to the 136A ZJ. I would have loved to have had a little heads up and gotten the 136a alt for the 97-98 XJ with the correct pulley, but the ZJ one was in stock and $30 cheaper, and the only difference is a pulley swap all take it. I knew I was probably on borrowed time when I did my fan swap, every time the high speed fan would kick on, I could watch the volt gage drop to about 12v.
There was a lot more grinding needed than I had been led to believe. Always read that with just a little grinding to the alternator bracket, it was an easy bolt in. So knowing that this mod was on the short list I grabbed an extra alternator bracket so I could do all of the grinding on the bracket before hand, making instal as easy possible, it wasn't that cut and dry though. The timing cover and sheet metal bracket in front of the alternator needed to be clearanced as well. Other than that, yes it was a bolt in affair, even with the pulley swap.
Got the hitch 90% modified, just need to grab a 3/16" plate for a little extra bracing. I'm not going to be towing anything crazy, just a tag-along trailer every once and a while, and it's plenty strong for that, but I will also be using this as a rear recovery point, and the little bit of over kill is welcome.
So I've spent the last week doing some much unexpected bartering.
I've been speaking with Imped several times over the last few years about doing a few transfer case upgrades. Last week I finally got him to bend to my will and decided to do the same upgrades I tackled on the transfer case I built to go in my MJ(http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1095725). After some talking I decided to offer him my transfer case, in exchange for his transfer case, with SYE, and the Tera 2LO he has waiting to go in his case, and use this as a way to finally pay for the Metalcloak Duroflex joints for my control arms that I'm buying off of him.
Fast forward to today. I've been helping my buddy Martin build his Jeep, and his next phase includes an SYE and front locker. After a lot of talking he decided to do a 2LO kit the same time as the SYE. Since I don't need the 2LO in the XJ, and he's tight on money right now, he's going to get Impeds t-case w/SYE, t in exchange for his transfer case, a new SYE, and he's going to buy me the Poly Performance long arm brackets in exchange for the 2LO I'm getting from Connor(I don't need it, plans have changed) and a 6 pinion planetary gear I have a lead on, installed.
So, aside from a little bit of labor:
rebuilt NP231, wide chain, 2LO, 6 pinion planetary, without SYE
another 6 pinion planetary set
Low-ish mileage 231
new JB Conversions SYE
6 Metalcloak Duroflex joints
Poly Performance long arm brackets
Just nabbed a 4 y/o 34/78 Red Top from work, someone turned it in as a core at work. So now I'm on the lookout for a dual battery tray, going to relocate them to the cargo area to try and free up some space in the engine compartment. Been looking at Ballistic. Now I just got to figure out the wiring.
Decided to forgo the dual battery set up, sold both Optimas for the price of a new Die Hard Platinum Marine battery I was able to pick up on sale this weekend, 20% off
I'm gonna pick up a battery box from either Ruff Stuff or Ballistic later this week so I can mount it in the rear.
Had to work on the header panel a little bit, 75% of the work will be able to be fixed with high build primer, I will need to do a little bit of touch up with some spot putty. Biggest problem areas are where the mounting screws across the top that bolt into the top of the core support, the finish is flawed on the front side where each of them are at. The other is the finish of the edge across were it meets the hood, there is a lip that needs to be filed smooth, the biggest problem is where they tried to knock it off at the factory, and dug to deep every time, so what they did touch needs to be filled in, the rest of it needs sanded down. I've been playing with high build primer to get the low spots, then sanding it down with 600 grit to try and level out the high spots.
Also, my battery box from Ruff Stuff showed up, my Dad's got a load of parts getting ready to go to powder coating, I'm going to see about throwing it in with his stuff to help save costs.
Here is an example of the header panel, and what I meant by the flaws in the mold. Most of it I didn't notice until I started sanding the high build primer to take care of the couple very noticeable ones.
Finally got the green light for tires and wheels, between finding that three of my tires are cracking from dry rot, and I have a nail in the 4th. Not to mention they suck big balls in all this snow we've had. We've got the money to do it now between our tax returns, my pay raise, and the extra money I'm getting from the GI Bill since I started going back to school. That and I reminded her how much I spent on her car this fall on new tires, brakes, and quick struts on her car, so I had it coming.
I've been waiting for the tires and wheels to put the lift on the Jeep and start mounting the fiberglass..... Really looking forward to getting this project started.
In other news... Bought another XJ this weekend. 99 4 door, 4.0L, AW4, 231, 30, 8.25, etc
Me and 3 other guys bought it to part out, $600 split 4 ways isn't too bad.
It's bad, unibody is done, front passenger side door is jammed shut
Radiator got into the motor pretty good, waiting to see what condition the block is in
The power steering pump is trashed, but that's about all we have been able to see without pulling the radiator back. My guess? All of the accessories and brackets are toast, as well as the timing cover, water pump, t-stat...
Engine, trans, headliner, carpet, and a few other odds and ends are mine. I plan on taking the top end for a later project, but based on the condition of the radiator, I don't think the block is a good candidate for anything other than a piece of furniture.....
That's not a jeep engine(something BMW) but it was enough to give me motivation to make one myself.
Yes, I will have a mini-build tread when I start work on it.
Ok count down has begun: I'm shooting to have the jeep on 33's and running for the IndyORV open run next month. I've got a few big items to buy, tires/wheels, leafs, Poly brackets, SYE, shocks.... And then find the time to instal it all between working full time, and school full time...