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Stainless Steel Door Hinge PinsPoly Door Hinge BushingsIntroducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line

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Unread 07-26-2012, 09:55 AM   #1
SheHulk
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
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Rocky: My XJ Build

Hello all. I just sold my TJ and bought an XJ. I didn't do it because I wanted to by any means. It was the right decision for where I am in my life right now. Anyways, I want to document the build process on the XJ. I named hime Rocky.

7/26/2012
I am anxiously waiting for a few things to come in the mail:

-3" Skyjacker Lift with full leaf replacements
-Skyjacker Steering Stabilizer
-Centric Drums, shoes, and wheel cylinders (they are shot)
-Universal Window Actuators (I failed state inspection because the power feature does not work on all windows...thanks Maryland. I found a thread the Cherokee Forum where someone used $3 universal door actuators and worked perfectly. Its better than buying the $60 factory replacements. http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f51/doo...verhaul-59201/)

I found a set of 31x10.5x15 BF Goodrich All Terrains on CL for a decent price and will be picking them up tonight.

I am looking for a deal on a roof rack also. If anyone knows of a place, let me know.

Here is how the Jeep sits today...

1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport


7/30/2012
I attempted to install the universal door look actuators. I only tried one door. At first I have the wires backwards and the lock button was unlocking and vice versa. It blew a fuse in the problem shooting stages. After I switched the wires to the correct way, it worked the correct way....and then it blew the fuse. Anyone have suggestions on how to stop it from blowing fuses?

Before Installation


After installation
/

8/1/2012
Since I wasn't shipped the correct parts for the lift and I can't do that. 4wd didn't send me half of the parts for the lift and then wanted to charge me another $300 for the missing parts because they listed it incorrectly and for the wrong price. I told them the only solutions were to send me the parts, or send me the 3.5 Rubicon Express lift with full leaf replacements, 4 shocks, and the u-bolts for the Chyrsler 8.25 rear end for no extra cost. They decided the send me the other lift instead of sending me the parts listed on the site. I am happy with this outcome because that is the lift I originally wanted.

Today, I decided to paint the calipers. Still haven't figured out the door actuator issue.


9/24/2012

Its been a while, but life got in the way. So I ended up getting the other lift swapped out for the RE 3.5 Super Ride lift because 4wd's website was screwed up and they didn't charge me for the right amount/ship the right parts.

Since then, the only things I have done to the jeep are install a Pioneer head deck, and replaced the drum brakes (drums, shoes, springs, wheel cylinders).









I finally got my jeep through the inspection here in Maryland and am ready to build my Jeep!!

9/24/2012

I decided to revive my fenders a bit tonight. I bought a can of penetrol from Home Depot for about $10 and a cheap sponge brush. I taped off the fenders and molding and painted it on. Then, I wiped the excess oil from the fender with an old towel. Looks pretty good! Here's the before and after. No worries about chipping paint. Quick and easy!





9/24/2012
I got tired of looking at my faded fenders so I revived them a bit tonight. I painted on some penetrol with a cheap sponge brush after taping off the fenders and molding (bought from Home Depot for $10) and wiped the excess oil with an old towel. Not too shabby.






Last edited by SheHulk; 08-01-2012 at 07:22 PM.. Reason: adding to the build
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Unread 07-27-2012, 08:52 AM   #2
NW99XJ
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Great platform to start off of.
You're first phase of the build sounds pretty good.
Do a ton of research before starting in on the lift install, prepare yourself for things to come, and what can potentially go wrong.
XJ's are different breed of animal than the TJ's when it comes to installing a lift, they usually present a list of issues and hurdles to overcome when you start turning nuts/bolts. PB Blaster and a lot of patience will be your best friend.
Good luck, it's gonna be cool seeing the progress on this one.
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Unread 07-27-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
dillonreid
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That and a small torch helps loosen some bolts haha
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Unread 07-27-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
SheHulk
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Awesome! Thanks for the advice! Any odd tools that you recommend?
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Unread 07-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #5
NW99XJ
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The leaf spring eye bolts will prob be ONE the toughest parts of the job.
There's a metal sleeve in the middle of the bushing, which over time fuses with rust to the bolt.
You may be able to back the bolt (hopefully without breaking) out of the weld nut in the frame, but often times thats as far as it goes.
The bushing and bolt will just spin together as one.
If you dont catch it at this point and keep turning you'll strip the threads in the weld nut - ask me how I know. (this is obviously bad)

I had this happen to me when I did my lift years ago, and here's the trick... (note this will destroy the bushing in the existing leaf pack)
-HEAT- Get a torch going on it, and heat everything up - basically to the point that the rubber of the bushing is either really fricking soft, or nearly melting, if not on fire ...dont burn your Jeep!
-use a long blade (sawzall would work fine, or a crappy knife from goodwill), and trim away some of the protruding/melted/soft rubber to expose as much of the sleeve/collar/bushing as you can. –this will get messy-
-if this doesn't work, get in there with a pair of large needle nose vice grips, you may have to reset them a couple times to get a good bite on the bushing but it will happen.
-you’ll need the needle nose style, because they have a skinnier profile, and can get into the area that you wont have a lot of clearance for to begin with.

Thats the key - Get a set of vice grips on the bushing, this will keep it from spinning and will allow you to back the bolt out.
You may still have to have some force prying on the head as you back it out, but it may just come out on its own as you twist it out.

I would HIGHLY recommend replacing the bolts. A company called Jack-It sells some great replacements. That’s where I got mine from and I’m glad I did!!!
(it made things SOO much easier on the installation)
http://www.jackit.com/suspension-par...s/jac1022.html
If you haven’t already, (I’m sorry if I missed this) I would seriously recommend (as will most people here) that you look into full leaf pack replacement.
Even if its OEM, it’s a way better platform to build off of.…and down the road will make a lot of things a lot easier.

The other most common issue is the upper rear shock mounts. The bolts almost ALWAYS snap off in the body.
You can TRY to drill them out or use easy outs, but often times its just easier to knock out the weld nuts, and bolt down from the top. (see my build thread for a full, pic-heavy write up on this procedure.)
Bottom line, start drenching (and I mean SOAKING) every bolt and nut that will see a wrench/socket with PB blaster at least once a day for at least a week in advance, before you begin your install.
Get your hardware for replacements in order ASAP.
Tools: a good torx set is good to have for every jeep owner. HEAT is a must, green propane cylinders and a $13 torch head from Harbor Freight works just fine. A decent socket set is a must have as well, you will alos DEFINITELY want to have a good 18"+ breaker bar on hand. Trust me you'll need it sooner or later. A torque wrench for finishing off the install properly. Pry bars are handy to have around for manipulation, at least one if not two floor jacks, these will help with manipulating the axle(s) as you work on them.

For the front of the jeep, get the body as high in the air as you possibly can, and let that axle droop. Removing the track bar from axle will help with this, as well as removing the brake lines (or just the calipers - so they dont act like limiting straps.)
-THE POINT OF THIS IS: so that you dont have to rent a spring compressor to get the new coils in.

There is a ton more, but just spend some time researching. I did 6months of research before I even BOUGHT my jeep, and another 6 months of research before I did my lift. Granted, I learned some lessons the hard way, and learned a lot more as the years have passed. But I've done several lifts now on several Jeeps, and various other mods/projects/upgrades/etc, on mine and other Jeeps as well.
NOTE: I was where you are now a few years ago, and since then have documented everything I've done to my 99 XJ in my build thread with write ups, LOTS of pics, and links. I have had several technical write ups stickied across a few different forums.
There are a few of us who know a fair amount about the late model Cherokees, and give great advice. CJ7-Tim and TJwalker are two who I consider the most knowledgeable on here.
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5" of lift, 33's. Armored, Lighted, Chipped, & Locked up Front. Soon to come: winch, gears, axle shafts, and more...
My Build Thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/f...-build-970888/
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Unread 07-27-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
SheHulk
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NW99XJ, Thank you for taking the time to give me all of the pointers. I will have to start spraying everything down when I get off of work. I am doing the full leaf replacements. The stock ones are in pretty bad shape and I didn't want to mess with add-a-leaf of 14 year old leafs. I will look into the replacement hardware. I started researching and I think you nailed all of the problem areas that I have seen in other threads. I will have to check out your other write-ups. Looks like I will be going to harbor freight to pick up a few things.
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Unread 07-28-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
SheHulk
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Between last night and today, I have sprayed down all of the bolts twice. I jump like a little kid every time the doorbell is rung. No lift kit yet though! I am making a list for harbor freight and my boss has a few tools, including an impact that his is lending to me. Until then....I just wait.
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Unread 07-29-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
SheHulk
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Found a roof rack for a decent price online from some other thread I was reading. Anyone have any experience with these guys?

http://discountramps.com/roof-cargo-rack.htm
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Unread 07-30-2012, 02:55 PM   #9
SheHulk
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I got the universal door actuators in the mail today. I am about to go give it a shot!
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Unread 07-30-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
SheHulk
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I got most of my lift kit today! It is missing pretty much all of the hardware.
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Unread 09-24-2012, 04:29 PM   #11
SheHulk
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Its been a while, but life got in the way. So I ended up getting the other lift swapped out for the RE 3.5 Super Ride lift because 4wd's website was screwed up and they didn't charge me for the right amount/ship the right parts.

Since then, the only things I have done to the jeep are install a Pioneer head deck, and replaced the drum brakes (drums, shoes, springs, wheel cylinders).









I finally got my jeep through the inspection here in Maryland and am ready to build my Jeep!!
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Unread 09-24-2012, 04:39 PM   #12
whyohwhy
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door actuator problem

The lock actuators not working is a "fail" item? Seems like bunk to me. There is always the manual override (pulling the button up yourself) What if they are no longer installed and you cannot lock the doors? A door that anyone can open then becomes a non-issue for entrapment.
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Unread 09-24-2012, 04:45 PM   #13
SheHulk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whyohwhy View Post
The lock actuators not working is a "fail" item? Seems like bunk to me. There is always the manual override (pulling the button up yourself) What if they are no longer installed and you cannot lock the doors? A door that anyone can open then becomes a non-issue for entrapment.
Yeah, that was a "fail" for inspection. I found some Jeep friendly inspectors and had no problem today though!
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Unread 10-06-2012, 03:25 PM   #14
SheHulk
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So I bought the roof rack from discountramps.com. I am pretty satisfied for the price. Only $144 shipped! Here's a pic of it installed.

I also received the new leaf spring replacement bolts, so now I just need to find a place to do my lift and I am good to go.

Today, I got tired of the worthless crackling speakers so I picked up some 6" Kickers from Best Buy. I think I am going to trim my door panel to expose the speaker. Anyone done ever that before? If so, any advice?
roof-rack-installed.jpg   kicker-front-speakers.jpg  
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Unread 10-23-2012, 04:23 PM   #15
SheHulk
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I took off the ugly side molding today and bedlined the rockers. Lift day is this Saturday!!! Getting excited!
rockers-bedline-complete.jpg  
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