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  #1  
Old March 28th, 2012, 18:20
frijolee frijolee is offline
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Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

Hi y’all.

I’m SoCal resident and professional engineer but I’m still a little new to the world of Jeeps in general and XJ’s in particular… That’s just my way of asking forgiveness up front if some of this build comes across intelligent and some of it is pretty ignorant. I’ve been lurking on here for a while now and I’ve been reading a lot. Figured it was time to get a thread started... I would have put this into advanced fab and engineering but as a newbie apparently I don't have rights yet, we'll see if I'm worthy after this gets going.

Step one: Find a vehicle that I can use to:
-Serve as back-up vehicle when my daily is under the knife
-Carry 4 people in relative comfort (family man)
-Take camping / throw a mtn bike in the back
-Haul a car trailer in a pinch
-Build some cool *ish and take it wheeling, but keep it looking nice enough to be respectable
-Find something interesting so I won’t regret selling my motorcycle (again family man)

Winner: 1999 XJ, black on black on black…



Paid a little more than the typical going rate, but it was built very close to exactly what I wanted, 96+ meant it had the slightly more modern styling, and it was in stellar condition inside and out. I was also glad it’d had a lot of routine service done because I have enough projects that I didn’t feel like chasing oil leaks and the like. Finally, from what I read, ‘99 is the money year to have: something about head cracking issues on the 00/01s due to different castings with a coil on plug setup?

Dig the Rigid bumpers:





Now that’s a clean interior!







Obligatory engine bay and suspension shots:







Full specs as purchased:

Year: 1999
Model: XJ Cherokee Sport 4x4
Black with black interior
Power windows and locks
Cruise w/ steering wheel controls
Cold AC
Tinted windows

Drivetrain:
- 4.0 L L6 motor, 170,000 - Amsoil full synthetic oil
M.O.R.E. "BombProof" motor mounts
New rear main seal and oil pan gasket, no leaks anywhere
New serpentine belt
New idler pulley
New auxiliary cooling fan
New exhaust manifold
Mopar cap, rotor, wires, plugs
K&N filter
Interstate battery
- AW-4 automatic transmission - Amsoil synthetic
Auxiliary transmission cooler
- NP231 Part-time transfer case - Amsoil synthetic
SYE w/ CV Tom Wood's driveshaft
- HP D30 front axle
Solid diff cover
Yukon 4.10's
Yukon master install kits with Timken bearings
Spartan locker
Spicer 5-760X U-joints
Moog balljoints
New unit bearings, both sides
New pads and rotors
Rugged ridge crossover steering
Gusseted and plated control arm mounts
Amsoil Severe Gear oil
- Chrysler C8.25 rear axle
Rockcrusher diff cover
Yukon 4.10's
Yukon master install kit with Timken bearings
Detroit Truetrac
New shoes, drums, hardware, wheel cylinders, wheel seals

Lift:
BDS 4.5" longarm with full leaf packs
BDS monotube shocks
Bar pin elimnators

Armor:
BDS transfer case skid
Rigid front winch bumper
Smittybilt XRC8 winch
Rocker replacement sliders
Rigid rear bumper with cut rear quarters

Wheels/Tires:
32x11.5x15 BFG KM2's
15x8 M/T Sidebiters
Full size spare

Other:
M.O.R.E. steering brace
Polyurethane swaybar bushings
Alpine Cd player
Pioneer speakers


Bought the car in Iowa on the return from a business trip and drove it straight out to Cali. I almost went straight through and ended up driving 26 hours in a 30 hour period, slept in the back for a couple hours (and froze my tail off somewhere in the Rockies.)

13 mpg on the freeway, yikes, wonder what it gets in the rocks. All that for a lousy 190 hp? Ugh… If the I-6 ever lets go I’m yanking that lump and finding an alum v8. Mine has some miles so it’s a real possibility, unfortunately the more I read the harder it looks to kill these things.

Given the build specs above anyone have any obvious recommendations?

FWIW I’m already a big fan of LS1’s. Here’s the daily driver:






A last note:

If anyone wads up a built XJ and has a matching set of hardcore axles to sell I’m interested, particularly if you’re also in SoCal. Presently debating whether I lightly polish the dana 30 turd, or just save the money for a d60/d60 setup that I could throw some HP at someday.

Bought the Jeep about a year and a half ago. All the stuff I’ve done since comes next…

Last edited by frijolee; March 28th, 2012 at 18:34.
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  #2  
Old March 28th, 2012, 18:49
Milford Cubicle II's Avatar
Milford Cubicle II Milford Cubicle II is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

You should be getting at least 20mpg highway, somethin's wrong there. Maybe start with o2 sensors - how old are they? Other than that, congrats on your new ride. You won't regret it
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  #3  
Old March 28th, 2012, 19:11
DeftwillP's Avatar
DeftwillP DeftwillP is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milford Cubicle II View Post
You should be getting at least 20mpg highway
lol
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  #4  
Old March 28th, 2012, 19:11
hubs97xj's Avatar
hubs97xj hubs97xj is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

I. Want. That. Car.
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  #5  
Old March 28th, 2012, 19:37
zachandandy zachandandy is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

These fuel economy guys need to come back to earth. A stock xj with the straight 6 auto and 4wd was rated at 18 highway. Lifts and bigger tires do not increase fuel economy period. 13 combined sounds about right if you drive it. Hyper mile your ass off, following big rigs at 60 and you might see 20.
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  #6  
Old March 28th, 2012, 19:39
CAPE83 CAPE83 is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

^^^ Yup
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  #7  
Old March 28th, 2012, 19:40
CAPE83 CAPE83 is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

I meant yup on the wanting the car
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  #8  
Old March 28th, 2012, 21:07
VAhasnoWAVES VAhasnoWAVES is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

might want to rethink what ever that plug is under the bumper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frijolee View Post
and step to a double sheer track bar...






but great build none the less. i like the RX even better.
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  #9  
Old March 28th, 2012, 21:15
bluejeepkid bluejeepkid is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

i love the rx! i wanna do similar to a clean 240 =]
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  #10  
Old March 29th, 2012, 05:33
sunburned sunburned is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

Damn son, you found a super clean, well built XJ with a lot of nice parts.

The only thing it looks like you need is a double shear trackbar, which a ton of companies sell.

As far as building the axles, how much are you going to rockcrawl in this thing? Remember, it won't be nearly as clean after, ask me how I know... Those axles have some decent work in them already, so it wouldn't be much to just add some decent shafts to them and wheel as is. Personally, I liked 4.56's with my 32's better. If you go to bigger tires, different gears are definitely necessary, especially for crawling.

LS1 swaps have definitely been done and Novak sells a bunch of swap parts if you are interested. There are a few build threads on this forum. If you do plan on the motor swap, I'd plan on bigger axles to hold up to the stress. A friend of mine put a LM4 in his wrangler and his D30/D44 stood up to it for a year or two before he swapped in a D60/14b.


And damn, the motor swap in that FC is clean as hell. Nice car!



Quote:
Originally Posted by VAhasnoWAVES View Post
might want to rethink what ever that plug is under the bumper.
Dude, those are bolt heads. The bolts that hold on the end plates for the Rigidco bumper.
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  #11  
Old March 29th, 2012, 08:06
Vanimal's Avatar
Vanimal Vanimal is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

that thing is too clean! i bet you get through maybe 4-6 wheeling trips before it's not so pretty that thing is pretty capable with that build, you'll eventually want to test it out.
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  #12  
Old March 29th, 2012, 08:30
Luke Graham Luke Graham is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

Nice Jeep! Where's the updated pics??

-Luke
Frontier 4x4
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  #13  
Old March 29th, 2012, 08:35
mako my day's Avatar
mako my day mako my day is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

Perfect. Sell it to me!!!!!!!
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  #14  
Old March 29th, 2012, 08:44
fallacist fallacist is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

being an engineer, I'm sure you'll figure it out and make me look foolish, but I had to fold down the rear seat, take my front wheel AND my seat off to fit my bike in the back of my xj....

otherwise, nice XJ, look into some new injectors for improved mpg. and ditto on the DS track bar(and tie rod)
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  #15  
Old March 29th, 2012, 09:15
Vanimal's Avatar
Vanimal Vanimal is offline
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Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

yea, xj's are horrible for hauling bikes. my saturn has far more cargo room unfortunately. i tried it once and never again lol of course my frame is an xl and there's a lot of seatpost sticking out...
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