I may not be very good at updating my build thread, but I have been doing plenty of work on Dixie. Since the lift, trackbar, and brake lines I have replaced all the U-joints and added a Ram Mount with a tablet running an OBD monitoring and diagnostics app. I added a subwoofer to fill in the lower end of music that was missing with the standard stereo setup, as well as installing new front speakers and fixing the broken speaker wire in the driver's door. I used the "XJ Pod" enclosure and while it's not perfect, it works well for the small application I was looking for. I made a few minor aesthetic changes: Removing the plastic trim down the sides and painting the stock wheels black until I get the new wheel/tire combo ordered. Most recently I added Napier Precision recessed hood vents.
The trackbar and the resulting front axle relocation didn't get rid of my vibrations, however it moved them just out of the speed range I normally stay in while on the freeway so I've decided to hold off on the SYE and related mods. Eventually I will have to address the vibrations, but for now I can play ignorant. I am one rotation too far out on the trackbar setting anyway, and laziness has made me not want to take things apart to fix that minor issue.
Since I'm only lifted 3 inches, the brake lines are, as expected, a bit too long. they are rigid enough to stay in place during street driving, however at full lock the fronts just barely rub the tire. With the current street tires this is only a minor concern, however when I am running luggy tires this could go badly very quickly. I've been trying to think of a good solution.
Horrible picture (sorry) of the tablet mounted and running the software. I'm not sure its my final software choice but it does what I want.
And a close-up of the mount. I am not crazy about how far forward the pole is, it is right at a passenger's knee. Eventually I will bend the plate and use the holes the bracket mounts to to mount directly to the seat bolts, that will pull it back a few inches.
So the hood vents were the first irreversible mod I did. Nothing like cutting two 10"x14" holes in your hood to say you're committed to the project!
First I taped a square of the hood and laid the vents out to get a rough idea of where I wanted them.
With the locations marked and measured I removed the hood and moved it to the front lawn for easier access. I traced the outline of the vents then measured in from that outline to mark the cut lines. In the rear I measured in .75 inches, and 1" the rest of the way around. The extra lines were a failed attempt to follow the instructions that came with the vents. These instructions were general to all of their vents and the 1.5" measurement they suggested did not leave clearance for the recessed slats of these particular vents. In case you're interested, the outline of the vent sits 2 inches from the body line. It follows this line. the closest point to the rear of the hood is 4 inches away. if i did it again I would go 3.75 inches. At 4 I nicked the flange of the diagonal hood support on each side. this extra .25" would clear that.
Once I was confident with the measurements I went for it. Using a 1" hole saw I cut out the corners. This was partly structural and partly for my own selfish need for every hole I cut to look good, whether it will be covered or not.
Using a jigsaw with a metal blade I carefully cut along my lines. The jigsaw made quick work of the extremely thin Cherokee metal. After cutting I used a metal file to clean up the cut edges. I repeated this for the second vent.
Evidence of crappy late-90's paint and the temperatures the hood itself reaches. While cutting the passenger side hole the tape started peeling up it wasn't until removal that I noticed it took the paint with it.
Once installed and the Hood back on the Jeep. The ABS plastic vents are flat, unlike the hood, this lead to the outer edge on both vents standing off the hood slightly. The combination of that and my displeasure with the screws used to mount the vents lead to a decision to rivet the vents on at a later time. For now I will deal with the less-than-perfect fit.
Now I need to get out on a trail and see how the underhood temperatures go. My last trip out, while admittedly on a very hot day, I had intake temperatures approaching 200 degrees. I hope that is reduced drastically.
A bonus picture of the side with the trim gone.