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*VOTE NOW Help Metalcloak Giveaway an XJ Suspension*Stainless Steel Door Hinge PinsPoly Door Hinge Bushings

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Unread 09-26-2009, 01:36 AM   #1
Cliff333
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394
Project Redrock Rampage

Well after owning my jeep for a couple years now I figured I would throw together a build thread for it. Due to the fact that it’s my daily driver and lack of funds I have kept it pretty conservative so far as far as mods go but I have some bigger plans for it in the future. I bought the jeep when I lived back in Connecticut. I ended up finding it on Auto Trader and picked it up for 4,500 bucks. It came with a 2.5" Old Man Emu lift on 31" BFG tires, JKS discos and a Yakima roof rack which is now on my dads jeep. It had 92,000 miles on it when I bought it and it just rolled over 120,000 a few weeks ago. Here is a pic a couple weeks after I bought it.



Also one old bad quality pic of me flexing it the first time out wheelin.


A lot of the upgrades I have done so far were done because the old part was broken or in bad shape and hey you just can't replace them with another stock part First off I replaced the exhaust since the old one was pretty rusty and had some holes in it. I got a Flow Master cat back setup with a Super 40 muffler from Rusty's along with a new K@N high flow air filter. I liked the sound of the setup... it’s got a nice low tone to it but nothing to crazy.



Next I wanted more space in the rear so I decided to invest in a roof rack and throw that spare on top. I ended up with a Surco rack since it seemed to be the best rack for the price. So far it has held up very good. I also picked up a Hi Lift jack at Cabela's for around 70 bucks and threw it up there as well. Sorry no install pics of either of these since I didn't bother taking pics at the time "not to exciting anyway". Here are some more random wheelin pics with the then new rack on.

Playing In the snow


River Crossing


Sorry some of these are really bad quality... "old camera".





Next I ended up getting side swiped in the right front corner but a SUV I got lucky thought, it could have ended up a lot worse. Now that the jeep was all banged up in the front it just made me wheel it harder











I had better wheelin pics from back in CT but they were on my other comp which ***** the bed. After a while I got really sick of looking at the beat up front end so I got a new fender and header panel painted them and threw them on. Since it was pretty crunched on one side I had to do something with the front bumper. Not wanting to get another stock one I went online and started looking at aftermarket. I was eventually planning on getting a winch so I wanted a bumper that could allow that. Also I wanted one with a clean finished look to it. A lot of the ones I looked at didn’t have the look I wanted so I ended up with an ARB. Now a lot of people think ARBs are overkill and cost way to much. I partially agree since it is very hard to swallow and 800 dollar bumper when you bought the jeep for 4500. Also there are a lot of other cheaper options out there that are decent but I just liked ARB so I went with it. Now that I am living out west in a town with a large deer population where you hear about someone hitting a deer almost weekly it’s kind of nice to know I have that big beefy bumper on there lol Right after I ordered the bumper I found a really good deal online for a Warn MX8000 winch. I wasn't going to get the winch yet since I had other things on my upgrade list first but I couldn’t pass up the deal so I ordered it. Now I will say this, here is one downfall of an ARB Cherokee bumper that I didn't know at the time I ordered it. In order to remove the winch from the bumper you actually have to take the bumper off the jeep and let me tell you to mount and un mount that heavy bumper with a winch installed in it not an easy task I haven’t had to remove it for anything yet but getting it mounted on there was a 2 man job that took quite a bit of work. Another process I neglected to take pics of. After I got that mounted up it was time to wire the winch. I didn't like the recommended location of the control box on the front bumper. I figured it would look nicer to keep it clean so I fabbed up a little bracket and mounted it under the hood right near my air filter. It was kind of a pain since I had to extend all the wires to accommodate the new mounting location but in the end I think it was worth it. Plus if I go through any large puddles or mud it will have a lot better chance of staying dry and protected. I then drilled a hole in the firewall and ran the controller wire in under the dash. I ran the wire through the slot in the dash on the left side of the steering wheel. It actually stays put pretty good considering there is really no way to mount the controller to the dash unless you came up with some other kind of bracket. Here are a few pics...

Controller


The Control Box... there was just enough room in there!




__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds

Last edited by Cliff333; 12-24-2009 at 10:32 PM..
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Unread 09-26-2009, 01:39 AM   #2
Cliff333
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394
Finally here are a few pics of the jeep taken just after the damage was fixed and the bumper and winch installed.





Those pics were taken late last summer in Connecticut. Since then I have moved within 20 miles of Moab Utah and have come up with some bigger plans for the jeep to suit some of the trails around here Stay tuned... more to come when I get a little bit of free time.
__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds
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Unread 10-31-2009, 09:48 PM   #3
Cliff333
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Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394
Next we moved 2230 miles across the country to Castle Valley Utah which is about a 20 minute drive from Moab. The Cherokee made the journey with no trouble just as I expected. Although I did change the oil, fluids, diff oil, tranny fluid, and transfer case oil before I left. One thing I will mention is I switched most things over to Royal Purple which has treated me very good since. When we first got here to Utah nobody had a job for the first 6 months or so so we took that time and did a bunch of wheelin. Here are some pics from random trails around the area.





























__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds
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Unread 11-01-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
Swagger_Wagon
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Location: Oak Lawn, IL/South GA
Posts: 1,538
Sick Jeep man, looks pretty similar to mine lol. Good taste. Those wheeling pictures from Utah are beautiful. That scenery is just amazing. I really want to move out there after school.
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The Jeep is a manly device. And a womanly device. An American device. Itís a fitting instrument to transport the free people of a free nation with the respect to which we are entitled and the dignity that we deserve. Okay, weíre a little crazy to have a Jeep for a daily driver. But if we go off our meds, we might wind up in a Prius
Go to Heaven for the climate, go to Hell for the company.
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Unread 11-03-2009, 12:41 AM   #5
Cliff333
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394
Through out the past year living here I have done some smaller stuff to the Cherokee. I put a fire extinguisher in just in case.


I do quite a bit of fishing and got sick of my rods getting broken when I piled everything into the jeep so I bought a rod rack made by Berkley and mounted that to the roof. It was kind of tricky mounting it due to the fact that there are not many areas under the headliner that have metal thick enough to mount it to but I manage to make it work.




I scored an awesome deal on some Hella Lights "38 bucks new, shipped to my door" so I mounted those on the front bumper along with some D rings.


__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds
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Unread 11-03-2009, 02:14 AM   #6
The_Blacksmith
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nice looking rig.
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Unread 11-04-2009, 12:21 AM   #7
Cliff333
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394
Next I picked up a set of diamond plated door thresholds made by Howler_GT from Cherokee Forum. I got so sick of trying to clean the mud out of all the little ridges in the stock ones. These screw right in place using the existing screw holes.














I had an old CB for a while that had broken a couple months before so I figured it was time to get a new one. I headed down to Rat Shack and picked up a Cobra CB and new magnetic antenna. On my previous CB I had just stuck it between my seat and center console but it was kinda in the way and I didn't like the cords hanging all over the place. So while I was in town I picked up a piece of metal strapping found at any hardware store. I then bent it around the CB and made a bracket for it. I put some allen bolts through the bracket into the CB and then got some longer screws and used the existing holes that hold the plastic cover on the dash to mount the bracket to. I then ran all the wires under the dash and inside the trim on the pillar and ran it out the top of the door and up to the antenna. I mounted the mic to the right of the steering wheel. There is just enough room where me feet and legs donít hit it at all under the dash and itís a lot neater than before.



__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds
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Unread 11-04-2009, 12:27 AM   #8
Renegade88
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Nice XJ man, real clean.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 08:24 PM   #9
Cliff333
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Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394
Thanks! All those pics were taken in the fall of last year or early spring of this year. Here is a bunch from this past summer from different trails around Moab.

Top of The World








Fins & Things








Poison Spider Mesa




















Hells Revenge


__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds
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Unread 11-26-2009, 08:25 PM   #10
Cliff333
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394


















Elephant Hill




Strike Ravine






Wipe Out Hill








Steel Bender


__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds
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Unread 11-26-2009, 08:26 PM   #11
Cliff333
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394








Cliff Hanger






__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds
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Unread 11-26-2009, 08:31 PM   #12
Mark4883
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Man that must be ridiculously cool living that close to Moab, it looks awesome.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 08:55 PM   #13
MXCarson92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark4883 View Post
Man that must be ridiculously cool living that close to Moab, it looks awesome.
And not having jobs for 6 months!
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Unread 11-27-2009, 12:56 AM   #14
bmxrules39
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great wheelin pics man. I can't wait to get back out to moab
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Unread 12-02-2009, 10:23 PM   #15
Cliff333
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 20 Minutes From Moab!
Posts: 394
Alright here is an update on the jeep. This is a project that I have started but not gone that far on yet. A few weeks ago I took out the rear bench seat along with the driverís side rear seat belt. I picked up half of the rear seat out of a 2000 WJ. The plan is to mount it behind the passenger seat so there can still be room for 3 people in the Cherokee. Then I am going to mount a tool box behind the driverís seat to store all my tools and other stuff along with a couple more draws I am going to build into the back. If I get the right sized tool box and mount it high enough I believe and can make it so you open the rear door and then pull out the draws to the box. Although due to the small size of the rear door openings it may have to be mounted so the draws pull out in a different direction. I haven't picked out a box for it yet so I am not sure about the size and stuff. Here is a pic of the rear seat out. You can also see the WJ seat sitting in there which still needs to get bolted in.


Also the time has come where I have hit a crossroads with the jeep. My 31s are getting on the bald side so its time to buy new tires. I have always said if you have to replace something don't just replace it upgrade it. I have had a great time wheeling the jeep with the current setup and it has been a blast taking it on some of the tougher trails around here just to see if I could make it with open diffs and a small lift. But since I need new tires why not get them bigger and add some more lift. This is where it would be great to hear everyone's opinion on what you guys would recommend. Here is what I was thinking... I still want to keep the jeep as a daily driver for a while but I don't drive that far ďmostly just around the valley and to Moab which is around 25 milesĒ. There fore I don't really care if it rides really nice on the road. I mean I still want to be able to drive it but I am willing to give up some ride / handling for a bigger lift and better off road performance. The plan is to keep it for a daily driver for a while and when it gets up a bit higher in miles buy another vehicle for a DD and turn it into a total trail rig. I also know everyone says buy a lift that clears the size tires you want to run. So I was thinking of maybe purchasing a lift that could eventually clear 35s down the road but just put 33s on it for now. I have been looking at everything from 4.5" - 6.5". What does everyone think? Also what brand lift does everyone have and recommend? So far I have mostly looked at Rubicon Express, Rough Country and Rusty's. My goal is to figure out what lift I want in the next few months and then order everything I am going to need. Then hopefully I can have it installed by spring. I would greatly appreciate everyoneís suggestions and opinions Thanks guys!
__________________
1998 Cherokee Classic
Current Mods
6.5" Rough Country Long Arm Lift on 33s - SYE / CV Drive Shaft - Wheel Spacers - adj. Track Bar - Sway Bar Discos - Surco Roof Rack With Hi Lift jack - ARB Front Bumper - Warn MX8000 Winch - Flowmaster Catback - Upgraded Stereo System - Hella Lights - Custom Seat Covers and Door Thresholds
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