Jeep Enthusiast Forums banner
1 - 20 of 300 Posts

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so it's finally time to attempt a build thread.

We've got some catching up to do.

Two reasons I didn't do this sooner:

1) When I bought this XJ, I had no idea it was gonna turn out this way. Someone shoulda warned me.
2) Still didn't have a clever name for my Jeep. Got one now...Brodie. (look him up, he was a Scotsman who was believed to be the inspiration for "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde") I'm old enough that "brodie" has a double meaning to me, it used to be slang for "cutting cookies", something we're all too mature to do today, LOL.

So, here is where we started. Bone stock, unmolested, <90k on the odometer. Thought I was buying a "hunting rig" and that it'd stay close to stock (a few minor mods, but nothing much).



 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One of the first projects wasn't even really a Jeep project. Had this old hi-lift jack that someone gave me ~35 years ago. For whatever reason, it's followed me around ever since. But now it was laying out alongside the garage with weeds growing up through it.

Here's a "before"


And an "after"


Everybody knows a Jeep needs a high-lift! (have yet to use it...) :rolleyes:
 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Drove it stock, on iffy tires, through a winter with way more snow than this area is used to. Punched through everything I asked it to. OK, I'm convinced.

One lesson I did learn that winter, don't trust the PO's antifreeze! One fine morning, it's a refreshing -5 f or so (rare in these parts). Got headed to work, made it abut 4 blocks & it was starting to overheat! :eek:

Damn!

Back home before it boils, take Saab to work. Long story short, coolant was slush at -5 f. Flushed everything, new antifreeze, all good now.

Learn from my mistake, check the antifreeze no matter what color. No lasting damage, but could have been the end of a good engine.
 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, back to Brodie.

By this time I've started checking out various XJ related forums. Been offroad a few times, I know there is more to be had from this rig.

Gotta start somewhere. Lets get the front swaybar disco'd!





For the time being, just went with super easy & cheap discos. Two bolts with heads cut off & cross drilled for spring pin. Still have to unbolt link, but goes quick w/ 13mm ratcheting end wrench.



About this same time, the rear swaybar fell off... ;)
 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One fine day I decided I needed tow points up front. The plan was shackle lugs protruding trough the OE bumper.

First you need frame plates.



So, now I have the bumper off, figuring where everything needs to line up. Curiosity led to laying a piece of 2"x4"x1/4" tube across my frame plates... hell, that don't look too bad, where can I take this?



Wanted a receiver up front, picked up a chunk of receiver tube at a local parts house. Prototyping as I go.



Didn't like the look of the straight tube, coped to sort of follow body line.





Lower tube is 2"x3"x1/4" Receiver mocked up.



These small pieces were a fitter's nightmare.



Couple of pieces of 3/4" flatbar for shackle points (finally got to where I was heading).



Poser pic w/ unfinished bumper.



Not planning on this ever coming apart.



Some reinforcement on backside of receiver.



Weighed it at this point, 97lbs! Pure beef. Look close you'll see I flush-mounted the receiver. This is one of the reasons for the open design, reach between tubes to access hitch pin. I just hate the look of a receiver tube sticking out of the bumper.



On the rig, at last.



 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's about this time I score a 3" BDS lift off Craig's. Time to install.

A little difference between stock & aftermarket rears.



Rears installed.



And fronts.





Artsy poser pic.

 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Traded my stock rear leafs and some cash for this... 8k Milemarker.



Won't bore you with details of building the winch mount. (I heard that collective sigh of relief!)

Out where we belong. Still on iffy tires though.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Beautiful welding, a skill I have always wanted to acquire but never have gone for it. Never too old to learn they say so now that I am retired, maybe it is time. Again, the fabricating & the welding is really fantastic!
 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Beautiful welding, a skill I have always wanted to acquire but never have gone for it. Never too old to learn they say so now that I am retired, maybe it is time. Again, the fabricating & the welding is really fantastic!
Do it, you won't believe the things you can do.

"Learn to weld & your XJ can weigh too much"

Seriously, most of the stuff I end up building for myself is beefier than most of what you can buy. My rock sliders for instance, 1/4" wall stainless steel seamless tube. Came out of the scrap pile @ work. (to be featured in a future post)
 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice Renix XJ, what year? Looks like an '88 or '89.
Yeah, I kinda skipped that part, didn't I?

Vital stats-

1988 Laredo (PO started de-badging, missing most of the markings)
4.0 Renix
AW4
D30 non-disco
D35 LS (this is changing soon, stay tuned)
242

What other stats am I forgetting?
 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This roof rack was a lot more work than it looks. Started as something else, warped the wrong direction, wrong size, too tall, and not square. Had to take it almost completely apart & put it back together. Would have been a lot easier to start with new tubing. One of the hardest parts of the job was matching the curve of the XJ roof. If you look closely, the rack is curved slightly.

 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally! New shoes. 31" DuraTracs. Ordered these from 4wheelparts, was told 7-10 days. Two weeks later I call, backordered. Ok, what do ya' have in stock? Changed order to Crushers. Two weeks later, another call, well we have 2 in stock, the other 3 are backordered. Cancel my order.

Shopping around, America's Tire had 7 in stock. I took 5 of 'em.



Much better.

Yet another poser pic.



Found a stocker to park next to. (Oh come on, we all do it)

 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nice rig. I love the look of 31s on an XJ.
Then you'll really love it when I get the 4.88s installed & on 36s! LOL

I've got air lockers for both ends, gears & install sets in hand. Trying to decide if I want to tackle the job myself or hire it done.

You'll have to watch on "what did you do..." if you want to see this change any time soon, it'll probably take me a few months to get this thread caught up to date. :rofl:
 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just entered the June COTM and realize just how badly behind this build thread is. So, some catching up...

Here's the high-lift mounted. No fancy mounts, just double-nutted 3/8" bolts. Most tweaks don't carry two 9/16" end wrenches.



About this time I rewired my battery cables with welding cable. Ran 2/0 welding cable to both ends of Jeep for power sockets. Winch or jump cables can come off either end of rig.



If anyone is curious, the battery is a Sears Die-Hard Platinum AGM (made by Odyssey), group 65 battery fits (just barely) if you trim the lip off one end of the battery tray.

Closeup of the "switch" that allows power to the sockets. They're dead until this buss-bar is thrown.



Yes, you can mount a 5 lb fire extinguisher where it's easy to get at.

 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One attempt at controlling the clutter in the "way-back", rigging rack for straps, etc.



After wheeling with my in-laws, while cleaning up I found mud in the front diff!

Turns out the axle breather was gone, missing, AWOL. Nothing left but an open hole.



Found out the factory hole is exactly the right size for an 1/8" pipe tap. Pack the tap with grease to catch the chips, thread the hole and now I have this.



The other end is temporally tied off under the hood.

 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Scored some Hella fogs, built mounts out of SS square tube.



Note to builders, stainless and aluminum both take on a nice matte finish when bead blasted.



Looking at that last pic reminds me I haven't mentioned the Putco clone headlight relay harness, Autopal H4 housings & Hella bulbs. Probably the single best "bang for the buck" mod anyone can do to an XJ!
 

·
-N7PBJ
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Decided I'd better build some sliders before I mash my rockers.



Later these got drilled & tapped to use as air tanks...

What you can't see is I connected to the pinch seam full-length and to the "frame" four places each side. I thought I had some pics of the fab, but can't find 'em now.



Feeling better about the rockers already. lol
 
1 - 20 of 300 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top