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Mild Grand Cherokee WJ build

10215 Views 36 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Jeep_XJ

It's a dark purple (kinda rare color... I think) 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ 4.0 4X4.
I purchased this WJ about a month ago with the intention to build a mild, weekend warrior / overland rig.

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Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Automotive side marker light Car

Overall the jeep is bone stock, no rust, good shape. It needs some cleaning, paint correction, general tune-up, fluids change, stuff like that.

The plan for this one is:

- small lift, maybe 4.5"
- 33" tires
- front steel bumper
- roof rack
- some offroad lights
- Raptor liner paint job on the lower parts of the vehicle
- general maintenance and cleaning

I started by taking the whole front suspension and axle out. I need to clean everything, and prep it for all new parts. The jeep is rust free, but of course, since it's a WJ it had both front springs perches rusted out. I have a fix for that, so no big deal.

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After I got the axle out, I cleaned all the wheel wells and undercarriage and painted it nicely with some anti-corrosion paint. Also, when I was there, I made a list of parts needed, such as sway bar bushings, new bump stops, etc.

For the wheels and tires, I went with some brand new, straight out of the dealership Wrangler JL Rubicon wheels and tires. JL wranglers and JT gladiators have an option for A/T or M/T tires. I went with the M/Ts. Also, I really like the Falken wild peak tires. I think they're going to look really good on the WJ :smile2:

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Axles are getting cleaned up, serviced and painted. After that, they're going back under the jeep, along with some new lift.


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sub'd!! this thing is looking great!
Thanks! :)
Finished the interior swap this week.*

Came out just about perfect.*

I spent about four days cleaning the seats to make them look like the do now. Seats were taken out of one of my parts jeeps, and they were nasty haha*

The foam on driver seat was kinda worn out, so I changed it ( I took the foam from the factory passenger seat that came with the jeep). Now the bolsters are like new, no flat spots.*

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I installed the new headliner, along with all the missing plastic panels that can't go in before the headliner. Added some new Quadratec floor liners (passenger are and trunk)
Now the jeep smells like new, literally. Awesome smell of leather mixed with fresh fabric. Haha I just really enjoy it. The jeep smelled like death when I bought it... I couldn't even seat in it for longer than two minutes, it was that bad.

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Also installed some side LED lights. They are Rigid Ignite series. I believe they are 2"x2" little cubes. For as small as they are, they put out a lot of light.
I installed them on both sides in the exact same spot. One is gonna give me some additional light under the tent, and the other one, under the awning.

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Thank you!

There will be a lot of pictures from our trip. I'm gonna post them here, so stay tuned ;)
You got an Instagram page?
You got an Instagram page?
This thing is looking awesome!
What diff cover did you put on the rear diff.
There is not a lot available for the 44A
What diff cover did you put on the rear diff.
There is not a lot available for the 44A
It's a Chassis unlimited diff cover. We always use them on WJ's because there are like two available on the mraket lol

Her's the link:

Quality is good too.
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One of the bigger problems after installing the 4-link on the back was to somehow fit a decent sounding exhaust in very limited space. I didn't want an obnoxiously loud straight pipe or anything like that. This jeep will be a daily driver and must be comfortable to drive.
I bought some exhaust components, and my brother built the exhaust.
The thing was to fit it high enough to clear the new skid plate, don't hang up on every rock, make it as short as possible to end before the rear links and make it as quiet as possible.
We accomplished all of that.

We used a Magnaflow universal cat, thrush turbo muffler and some additional 2.5" exhaust pipe and turndown.
it's really tight, but it fits like a glove!

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I and my brother were working on some misc stuff all two last weeks to get the jeep up and running properly.
My brother fabricated a nice flat belly skid plate, and I was working on some smaller stuff such as mounting the fire extinguisher ( it's required to go on an overland adventure ), hooking up the transmission temperature gauge, and topping off all the fluids.

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I took the jeep around the shop to test it and discovered that the rear quadra drive axle was not working right. The whole quadra drive set up was messed up, which was not visible at first sight... There was no time for fixing it, so I called East Coast Gear Supply, and had them overnight me an Aussie locker along with the lube locker gasket.
I took a good open differential from one of our other jeeps, quickly swapped all the parts, put a locker in and put it under the jeep. Yeah... that was not a planned upgrade lol
But we're at least gonna have some traction with the locker.

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After that, we measured for driveshafts and had them priority shipped to us from Oliver's Driveline and Gear.
They have jeep specific driveshafts at good prices!

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We installed everything and took the jeep for a little stretch to check for any interference. There is none, it looks like we are good to go.

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Today, I took the jeep for a 100-mile test drive, and everything works perfectly so far. The next thing on the list is to clean the jeep, somehow pack everything (I doubt we're gonna have any spare space haha) and off we go!
Can't wait to do some wheeling with this thing.
But stay tuned, this is not the end of story for that jeep ;)
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The Four Wheeler Overland Adventure East 2019 was a BLAST!

We (I and my brother) started our trip on Sunday, October 6th from Clermont, Florida. We packed the jeep with all the gear (surprisingly we were able to fit everything and still had space), got about 3 to 4 hours of sleep, and then left at 4:30 am. The first stop was in Georgia for some breakfast and fuel, because we started with only a half of a tank. The jeep was averaging 18 miles per gallon, so about 400 miles per tank.
We stopped about 4 times on some rest areas along the way.
We arrived at our hotel in Virginia at 9 pm.
The next morning we left the hotel at 7 am and drove the rest of the way, about 350 miles. The drive was not fun lol we drove thru Washington DC and Maryland in the morning hours on Monday.
It started raining in Pitsburg, PA, and it was raining for the rest of the day.

We arrived at the Raush Creek Off-Road park, the starting point of the adventure at 2 pm. We checked in, got our swag bags and sponsor sticker put on.

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Trent McGee from Fourwheeler took some pictures of the jeep for the future use in the magazine. The rain was not helping...

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Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle

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The next day, we started at 8 am and did some green and blue trails in Rausch Creek. Trails were mostly very easy with few optional rock obstacles (we did all of them). There was a small water crossing on our way as well. Of course, the trails took as much longer than they normally would, just because the Fourwheeler crew was taking pictures and filming with drones, and we had 35 rigs to go through each obstacle.

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We were on the trail until 2 pm, and then we had lunch. Since neither I nor my brother can cook, the mac and cheese we had, was not really good haha
No big deal, we filled our stomachs with snacks lol

After lunch, we hit the road. We had about a 2-hour drive to our first camping spot in some small town in Pennsylvania. We arrived around 6 pm to the campground. Everybody started setting up all the tents, trailers, etc.
Later that night we had a nice dinner, provided by the fourwheeler crew.

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* On our way to the camp, a silver Cherokee XJ had some problems with the steering. We found out that it was missing both jam nuts on the tie rod. We temporary fixed that problem with some hose clamps and tape measure lol
The XJ drove 2 hours with no problem.


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The next day we woke up, ate breakfast and hit the road. Our first destination and a lunch spot was at the lake, I don't know where it was exactly or the name of the lake. All I know is that it was in a very remote area in the mountains.
The group drove through some beautiful, scenic roads. There were steep hill climbs, switchbacks, and awesome, colorful trees along the way.
Probably the nicest and most scenic roads I've ever driven through.

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Car Tire Vehicle Land vehicle Wheel

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After lunch, we hit the road again. After a few hours, we ended up in West Virginia. Somewhere... There was nothing around, except a few old farm houses every few miles. A lot of corn everywhere, and that's about it haha
It was already afternoon, and it was getting dark.
The road changed the elevation frequently. Some hills were up to 13% grade. The drive itself was awesome! however, filled with the lovely smell of burning brakes and sparks flying from under the cars. Yes... sparks, just to give you an idea of how steep these hills actually were.

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Our second destination for the day and our camping spot was a Twin Mountain Adventure Off-Road Park.
Our group leader got lost in the middle of nowhere, so we arrived at the camp at 10 pm instead of 5 pm... oh well.
We knew that the camp was very high in the mountains, but it was really dark so we couldn't see anything.
Well, we had a little surprise in the morning.

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Our last day was straight highway driving to Arrington, Virginia and Overland Expo East 2019.
We arrived in the afternoon and had an official banquet.
We were parked in the exhibitor area, so that was pretty cool to be a part of the display.

The next day we woke up early in the morning to go and check out all the vendors and vehicles on the display. We had time to do so until noon because at noon we headed out to do some wheeling!

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We did a Bold Mountain trail in Virginia. It took us 10 hours from start to finish. We left the trail at 9 pm and were back at the camp by 10 pm.
The trail was really long, really rocky. Maybe not huge rocks, but big enough to slow you down to pretty much 0. There were some big rock obstacles on the way too.
Everybody really enjoyed the trail and the quality time together.

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