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WeatherWarrior 11-10-2011 12:45 PM

WeatherWarrior's "you better not call it a build" build thread. (XJ)

Yup...I said it....this is NOT a build. Rather this is just a series of modifications and such that I see as needed/wanted for my newly acquired (Nov. 2, 2011) 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport. AND YES...I'M A JOOP (Noob + Jeep = Joop, lol).

Purpose of this vehice: I am trying to enter the world of filmmaking and do a bit of videography (and some photography). Most of my business now is centered around severe weather (hence the name). I drive out to capture tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, lightning, hail and more). This vehicle is mostly geared toward that. It is NOT a crawler. It is better to have something adapted for more higher speed off-road use. We're not talking Baja racing, but more toward that front than rock crawling. I probably will hardly ever have it in 4Lo.

First the basics. It is RED (best color IMO), although not a requirement for the purchase, I have a long history with red vehicles. It is 4wd, with the Chrysler rear (damn...and I thought I was getting ABS with this one). It came with a ghetto block lift that is already about to be removed. More on that in a second. I bought the Jeep for a reasonable price ($2,700) and has 138,700+/- on the odometer. It has a known misfire, missing left rear suspension, and horrid alignment. However, it runs, drivers and does find on the local roads. It does have harshness (likely the ghetto lift and issues related).

In the week I've owned it:
-CEL came on, confirmed the misfire suspicion with a P0301 Cyl1 misfire code
-the right rear miss shock is due to a f'k'd up broken bolt and apparent attempt weld a bracket in it's place (photo below).
-completely cleaned and waxed the car (exterior, interior, engine, chassis, and it's not bad, quite clean in fact).
-already installed laptop stand on the interior (needed for work).
-bought K&N OEM replacement filter
-bought Champion spark plugs & wires (wires go back..not needed)
-bought and recieved Rough Country 3" lift Series II
-bought and recieved BDS transfer case drop kit (just arrived)
-bought Davis CarChip Pro (for code reading and driving documentation)
-bought used spidertrax spacers ($100 for a set)
-about to buy tires (can't decide which, and from where)
-need to buy SYE ( I think, still reading on it)
-need to fix/buy exhaust
-need to pass MD inspection (bumpers hts. fine) as of Nov. 29, just a few things left
-bought and installed suspension (3" Rough Country Series II Lift)
-need a warm place to work (I life in an HOA that sucks for doing work).
-need lights, rack (bike kayak stuff), etc.

and now looks like I need a new motor. Ouch!

Pictures: Here's a few to start:


with panels pulled away for cleaning and modifying:

with the laptop stand and primary vertical arm assembled:

I have much more full information on this webpage:
but I will share many things here, and will ask open questions, etc. as can't be done with the webpage above.

You can also follow me on twitter, where I tend to update, post stuff (mostly weather) about the Jeep: (

WeatherWarrior 11-10-2011 12:46 PM


Always looking ahead. I have to be careful not to overspend. I am building a new company, so majority of my income/funds will go into camera equipment, editing decks, computers, software, etc. etc.

High Priority:
- 3" lift (well, actually putting a legit lift, fixing existing 3" lift)
- new tires (currently 265/75 r15) to either 30 or 31 inchers
- spacers or new wheels with proper offset
- fully wired for cameras, laptops, communications
- two front off-road lights
- exhaust (headers on back) for improved MPGs over performance.

Medium Priority
- Brake system upgrade (for the larger tires, reliability w/ heavy use, effectiveness).
- Rear Diff. locker
- LineX/Rhino roof (color matched)
- Custom front bumper
- Custom rear bumper
- winch (front only)
- side rail bars (NOT running board, but the kind that protect the sills
- underside pans and protective

Low Priority:
- front diff. locker
- pet divider
- black headliner
- black floor carpet
- roll bar
- snorkel (low priority until next hurricane season)
- diamond plate interior panels and cargo area
- sunroof install

Fantasy Land:
- Land Rover Discovery roof (either hand made, or cut and weld from a 90s Discovery itself).
- V8 engine with cyclinder shut off (for hwy cruising high MPGs)
- barn door rear tailgate mod.

Not included here is the various off-road improvements because I'm still learning. Various things like steering upgrades, transfer case upgrades and more will be listed as I learn the proper ways to do it.

WeatherWarrior 11-10-2011 12:46 PM

reserved for future updates and information (1 of 2):

WeatherWarrior 11-21-2011 03:26 PM

reserved for future updates and information (2 of 2)

WeatherWarrior 11-29-2011 05:24 PM

Just had it inspected. Went in knowing it wouldn't pass, but didn't want surprises. No surprises.

Items remain:
- new windshield ($210)
- front pads (rotors and pads already purchased)
- drive Shaft U-joints (haven't priced yet...might combine with a better drive shaft).
- front alignment
- tires (I knew they were low)
It also failed for a hood latch (forgot to mention that you have to push the pull handle issues) and the gear shift lever indicator is off (I'll have to adjust the laptop stand mount, which shifted the console. Easy fix.

Still need to find a motor solution...and soon.

Gh0st 11-30-2011 08:21 AM

Have you ever though about doing a jeep pc?

NJXJ91 11-30-2011 10:59 AM

This is a pretty cool "documentation" :laugh:

WeatherWarrior 11-30-2011 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by NJXJ91 (Post 12591661)
This is a pretty cool "documentation" :laugh:

It takes time to put a good thing together. Video editing time, pictures editing and I'm also producing a webpage which will have more details. I just wanted to start the thread so I have places to dump the stuff and edit it as needed, as it happens and discuss items if anyone was interested. It's a big site...and not every thread will entertain every person.

WeatherWarrior 12-01-2011 12:24 AM


Originally Posted by Gh0st (Post 12590810)
Have you ever though about doing a jeep pc?

Missed your post earlier.

Nah...that looks OLD. Windows XP...hell...I'll likely start playing with Windows 8 here soon (see it...looks pretty cool...but it really too buggy for me at this point...I'm sucko IT wise).

That system looks way too much work for what one can easily just get a Jotto desk and a laptop of what ever size they desire. Besides...I don't like leaving the equipment in the car (and I have an XJ). I take it out and secure it. I'm even considering a lock box inside the truck for when I have to leave them in.

Everything I need is run through the laptop. GPS/Nav, radar, internet, communication, live video web streaming, etc. I use to have ham radio stuff...but that got old, so I'm debating even putting it in my truck. Ham is no longer the "when all else fails" option. I pretty much have comms via the internet for what I need. USB, eSata, etc cables are the only thing I have to run related to the computer. KISS is the way to go now. Hell...I'm almost ready to skip the laptop and go touchpad (iPad prefered).ss

The real challenge is rigging the various camera wiring and power for other accessories.

WeatherWarrior 12-12-2011 04:20 PM

Updates coming. Done repairs and such. I need to edit up some video too (that'll come later). But the big thing is...passed Maryland Safety Inspection and now the hunt for a motor is on!

rebolc 12-12-2011 05:31 PM

love that model!

The time now is 04:48 PM.

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