I got my 01 XJ in 06 or 7 if I remember correctly. It was a helluva vehicle. Back in 2013 or so, I was pulling my little Pop-Up camper over the Rockies, and it was basically terrifying. The ol six banger just wasn't up to the job. So, I started doing some research as soon as I got back home.
Fast forward a few years. I LS1 swapped it and got it completed summer of 2015. Then the fun started.
It turns out, there's not much room for a decent radiator in an XJ. The units Novak sells as V8 swap replacements, while decent quality, just aren't up to the task if You're running A/C, multiple coolers, and pulling a trailer. In walks C&R Racing of Indianapolis. I talked to an engineer there about what I wanted, and they sent me a technical drawing. I made some revisions, and sent it back. They made the changes, and I approved their design. It's a badass, absurdly expensive, custom radiator with 24 fins per inch, and a core so wide, I had to trim the headlight housings for it to fit. For bombing around on the trail, and driving here at home it's the shiznit. However, still not big enough for high altitudes, and pulling a trailer. I kept at it. Trying different fixes here and there, Vents. Fans. Never give up.
Life happens. Family tragedy puts a halt to things for a while. Mom had been sick a while, and My Brother was diagnosed with cancer at 58. They both passed away on the same day in 2016. I don't feel like dong much for a while.
Crashed My motorcycle in 2018, and got banged up pretty hard. I was 54 at the time, and old bones don't heal as fast. Some time went by.
Tried to take (Jeepzilla) to Moab in 2018. Silly name really, but my Mom gave it to the Jeep, so it stays. She loved riding in it, as well as my Brother. Gave them both their last rides in the Jeep. My brother, just a few days before He passed. He was smiling. Anyways, on the way to Moab, it tried to overheat again. Never even.made it to the Rockies. Turned around in Kansas and came back to Clarksville. More upgrades incoming.
I started tearing it completely down last fall. Engine out. It had been swapped with a 6.0 since the last trip. Transmission out. I discovered severe rust in the floors. Replaced both sides. Lots of welding. It was tough going. I'm old, and my hands hurt a lot. I decided that while it was apart, I'd chuck the Delphi PCM, and replace it with a Holley Terminator X Max, and put it under the passenger seat. Moved all the fuses, and relays to under the back seat. Holley's wiring harness is good quality. and just long enough to need no splicing.
The dual exhaust I had on there needed some sprucing up, so I welded in some V-band clamps to hold everything together, and make it more adjustable. Really seals up great at the headers. Makes it a snap to take back down, if I need to. It sounds great as well. Running 4 mufflers. Two Dynomax Super Turbos, and two small perforated stainless bullet mufflers in the tailpipes to knock out the low frequency drone on the highway.
Engine out. Replaces a bunch of seals and gaskets. Tore down the transmission, and checked the clutches for wear. Replaces the frt and rear seals. Put tranny fluid resistant silicone on the T-Case adapter, and clocked the Case up 20 degrees to keep it outta the rocks. I don't take it on anything extreme, but it's a free mod so wth. Got all the wiring harness laid where I want and back in with the engine. Meanwhile, winter hit's and I knock off until this past March.
At this point I was thinking about How to solve the heat problem. I found an auxiliary radiator made by CSF for supercharged applications. I tapped into the upper and lower radiator hoses to run it in parallel with the main unit. I have a restrict or in the upper hose going to the aux cooler to force the majority of the coolant to go through Rad 1.
Now, back on the road, and test driving it, it's staying at around 165 on the highway, and will warm up to a whopping 180 in town, and red lights. It's working decent so far. There's times I'd have probably traded it for a cheeseburger. But now....I think I'll keep Jeepzilla. Oh. And it's fast. Really fast. LOL