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  #1  
Old December 18th, 2015, 11:58
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dan1977p dan1977p is offline
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Introducing the SeXJ

Sorry for the long post. Giving all the details I can think of.

It got it's name because I bought it from a high school kid's dad who was selling it out from under him. The first time my wife got in, she said it smelled like sex and we suspect it was a shag wagon in it's previous life.

It was essentially a stock '91 with 204k miles when I got. The kid had installed a JeepSpeed style front bumper, broken posi lock and had a rebuilt engine installed around 130k. Was told it was well maintained and asked what that meant. His answer was changing the oil every 3k miles and that was it. He wanted $950 and I offered $750 after the test drive and once over and he took it and gave me a set of 4 honeycomb wheels.

I was talking to a local builder who is a member of the Rocky Mountain Rebels 4x4 club about what to do since I'm new to building jeeps and wanted a solid rig for SAR and playing. For him, going 4.5" LA and all the other stuff to put 33x12.50's wasn't a big deal and I assumed it wouldn't be for me since I've been working on cars with a couple rebuilds most of my life. Just for cost savings, I wish I would have stayed in the 2-3.5" range to avoid all the geometry related stuff I didn't realize would be such a pain when going higher. I love the height and I think the tires are perfect for what I need but that 4.5" decision completely blew my $1500 budget. Though, another good note is I 'had' to buy some new tools I've wanted to have around so...

What's done:
  • Rough Country 4.5" LA
  • SYE and new rear driveshaft
  • Hack job of a fender trim on the front (Need to do rears)
  • 5 new Mickey T Deegan 38's 33x12.50x15
  • All but PS fluids changed
  • New transmission filter and pan gasket
  • Cooling system flush (Surprisingly clean but I overheated a few times so it was mostly new from me)
  • New thermostat (that and proper coolant ratio fixed my overheating issues)
  • New plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor
  • New O2 sensor (Bosch, though if it really matters)
  • New calipers, rotors, pads front
  • New wheel cylinder, shoes and hardware in the rear
  • 98-99 Grand MC and booster swap (still spongy at the bottom but stops much better)
  • New Optima battery
  • 4.88 gears
  • Gas tank patch (temporary until Christmas settles down)
  • Shimmed the rear axle 6* (still a tiny bit of harmonic vibe at speed. should have ignored the shop I got the shims from and gone higher)
  • Moved the front axle forward about 1.5" to straighten coils some
  • New ball joints on D30
  • Permanently locked the CAD with washers on the yoke shaft (Posilock cable was melted to the exhaust and wouldn't work)
  • Threw the steering stabilizer in the trash

What I want to do:
  • Upgrade brakes further to dual piston up front and disk in the rear
  • Upgrade all axle shafts
  • Replace two piece passenger shaft with one piece shaft
  • Lock front and/or rear (probably do shafts when I do this since I would need to upgrade to higher spline count anyway)
  • Compact bumpers front and rear (want a winch, recovery points, hitch and tire mount)
  • Frame reinforcement
  • 1 ton and OTK steering and upgraded steering box
  • LED lighting in and out except for headlights. Want to stay safe and street legal with the headlights. When I need more light on the trail, the lightbar will be fine.
  • Replace/renew all the interior
  • Repair all rust damage (roof and floor)
  • 2x6 rock sliders (will get rid of the rust there) and a cage eventually
  • Rebuild the engine with all new accessories (or get a crate and sell this one. Its in good shape but needs some love)
  • Rear storage for spare parts, SAR/climbing gear and family things when on the trail or camping
  • Bore out throttle body
  • Replace injectors with 4 hole ones
  • High flow cat and exhaust
  • Cone AC that will take up less space
  • Dual batteries
  • Compressor
  • 41 tooth speedo gear

Issues I'm facing
  • Front drive line vibes above 55mph. Been playing with pinion angle and anything from higher than straight down to stock is helping. Probably out of balance drive shaft but I can disconnect for long trips until I have time/money to replace/repair)
  • Still burning some oil. Head gasket is good (compression averages 127 and barely fluctuates between cylinders). Only notice on startup so probably leaky valve pooling oil on the piston to get burned on startup
  • Braking in reverse coming off obstacle in 4L is uesless. I overgeard my brakes
  • Leaking gas tank at the strap. Will need to look at the effort involved in dropping it, sanding, fixing the leak and priming it vs buying a new one
  • Steering is starting to stick. Only on startup but happening more and more lately (Maybe the 20* weather making it worse)
  • Passenger rear door lower hing pin rusted and broke.
  • Water/air coming in front doors at hinge since I cut fenders. Not sure how to seal that back up. Pool noodles?

Anyone have any opinions I'm happy to hear them. My intended use is to do Search and Rescue in northern Utah, wheeling here as well as some trails in Moab that the stock guys can't but not so extreme that I'll NEED D60's and such. If the bug bites me real hard, then I'll get into building a trailer buggy for that kind of stuff.

I can't add attachments and don't have any photo sharing accounts that make sharing photos inline easy so here is a link to a Google+ album I put together: 91 SeXJ

Thanks for looking
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  #2  
Old December 20th, 2015, 19:16
SandySteve SandySteve is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

You are correct that this is a long post. I've been through it twice and mostly you are on the right track, but that's just an old fart who has only owned XJ's for about a dozen years. A couple of things are if you want highway manageability, why trash the steering stabilizer? That helps a lot with the vibration on the highway.

The shimming to get the pinion angle is also a good start. When you can, balance the drive shaft.

Are you burning oil, or losing it? The oil pressure sensor on the 4.0 L engine is much like an old Harley Davidson, it always leaks. Also, other club members can point out other weeping seals.

Brakes are never as good in reverse. I don't know your situation, so I'll not comment further.

If you can afford it, replace the tank. It's a safety issue. You don't want the former sexmobile to become a funeral pyre for you and your wife on some run into the mountains.
Steering and hinge pin no comment.

With regard to the doors not sealing, I have not had that problem and I have cutout front fenders and Bushwacker flares. In general, I use fiberglass on things that need to be sealed permanently, silicone if they need to be sealed and bend, and duct tape if they need a temporary repair.
Finally, welcome to the website. There are a bunch of other more qualified wheelers here, but they are all busy. My response may start a dialogue, who knows.

SandySteve, Secretary-Treasurer, IC
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  #3  
Old December 21st, 2015, 09:03
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dan1977p dan1977p is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Thanks Steve.

For the stabilizer, I'm in the camp of thinking if the geometry is set up right, there is no need. I ran an experiment and had no difference after tossing it but it could have just been because it was the OE stabilizer.

My upper and lower CA's are adjustable so it's really easy to dial it in. Not going to do anything else until I pull a used front DS at the junk yard, rebuild it and get it balanced so I have my current front for a spare.

I'm burning oil for sure since I can smell it on startup. I have a new oil pan gasket and rear main seal and will change them if I pull the engine but I think I may have been chasing my tail on a possible oil leak. I think what was happening was my overheating issue was actually steaming the oil crud off the engine and dripping it down the bell housing making me think it was the rear main seal. I think all the crud is from the PO changing the oil filter and being lazy and dumping all the oil down the engine.

Brakes were way better on the stock gears and 33" tires after I upgraded booster and MC and as soon as I regeared, I can't even think of stopping if I need to drop off a rock in reverse. I can always put it in neutral and let gravity do the work till I upgrade the brakes further.

Tank will be ordered as soon as Christmas is past. I put a temp patch using gas tank epoxy but it didn't hold up since the strap just rubbed it off after a couple hundred miles.

Door seals are shot and I'll pull them soon. Low priority so I haven't really looked at any seals in the junk yard or pricing at rock auto. I'm just surprised at how much the plastic shroud was blocking and with it gone, I'm getting all kinds of penetration. Hopefully door seals will take care of it all but the door open switch. That switch is in the body and is grounding when I'm driving in the rain so the door seal won't help here.

Again, thanks for looking, Steve.
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  #4  
Old December 24th, 2015, 19:36
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David_Bricker David_Bricker is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Yes, I would get the driveshaft checked for balance before chasing your tail on a vib issue. Try to find a place that will actually tell you whether it's out of balance (and how far).

I an running 4.5"-ish lift (maybe 5 1/4 after removing a 6 ton bumper and winch), with adjustable upper and lower Rokmen control arms. I have no vibes to 90 mph. However, the inner Cs on my axle have been rotated, so my alignment if still correct.

If this is a daily driver, you really don't want to stray must from 4-7 degrees of caster, but without rotating the Cs, that can be difficult. Hence, make sue the driveshaft is balanced, then get as close to correct caster without having vibes. While they're checking the balance, make sure the centering ball and ujoints are in prime shape, or replace them.

On the subject of brakes, WJ conversions are popular, but you can also get Black Magic pads. Blaine tends to recommend Centric rotors, but if you've just replaced them, use what you have for now. It is rather stunning the difference just the Black Magic pads will do. Just make sure you follow the break-in instructions to the letter.

Rear discs will help stopping in reverse. Just like the front brakes do 70% of the work going forward, the rears will do 60% or more in reverse, The trouble is, a drum doesn't work anywhere near as well when rotating the opposite direction. For me, that is one of the prime reasons for a rear disc conversion.

You look well on your way.

David Bricker / SYR
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  #5  
Old December 25th, 2015, 12:03
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Cottontail Cottontail is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

For the water penetration in the trimmed front fenders, what a lot of guys do around here is grab a pool noodle from the toy section of Walmart, trim it to fit, and shove it into the gap. I'm doing that and have no issues.
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  #6  
Old December 28th, 2015, 08:20
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dan1977p dan1977p is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Thanks guys. I looked for noodles but they aren't in any stores I looked in last week. Probably something to do with all the snow on the ground and < 10* temps.

I plan on pulling a DS from the JY soon and rebuilding it before getting it balanced and use my current one as a spare. U-joints are shot in it so I know it's not helping any.

David, did you turn the c's on a 30? I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to do it. I grew up around race cars and really like the positive steering but more importantly, I want my wife to be able to drive it on the road and she won't be comfortable without positive feedback in the steering wheel. So, I want as much caster as I can get. It will be a no brainer if I happen upon an axle I can work on while I still have my current 30 under the jeep. A non CAD 30 has been a hard find around here but would be best so I don't need to buy new gears.

I also went with the cheap OE replacement pads, rotors and shoes to get me past inspection. I don't know why I expected more but before these shoes wear out, I'll have all the parts I need for a disc conversion. Hopefully I'll have my axles situated by then too and can upgrade to dual piston calipers up front and crossover steering since I'd need WJ knuckles for the brakes anyway.
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  #7  
Old December 28th, 2015, 10:25
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Dan, I rotated the inner C's on my D30 and I'm glad that I did. I daily drive my rig with 6" of lift, so being able to dial in the caster around 5.5* (stock is 7.5*) makes a big difference on how it handles at speed. Lots of details on my build thread here:
http://www.naxja.net/forum/showthrea...=913774&page=2
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Last edited by XJEEPER; December 28th, 2015 at 10:35.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 11:55
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dan1977p dan1977p is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJEEPER View Post
Dan, I rotated the inner C's on my D30 and I'm glad that I did. I daily drive my rig with 6" of lift, so being able to dial in the caster around 5.5* (stock is 7.5*) makes a big difference on how it handles at speed. Lots of details on my build thread here:
http://www.naxja.net/forum/showthrea...=913774&page=2
Thanks, I've seen your other thread when I've done searches too but I'll have to wait till I have a newer D30 non CAD axle before I dive into this. I'll need to take it to my father in law's to weld it and don't think I want to try to balance that on the motorcycle.

This one had a lot more detail on the rotation but both threads are great resources.
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=935127&highlight=knuckle+rotation &page=4
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  #9  
Old December 30th, 2015, 23:33
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David_Bricker David_Bricker is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1977p View Post
David, did you turn the c's on a 30? I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to do it. I grew up around race cars and really like the positive steering but more importantly, I want my wife to be able to drive it on the road and she won't be comfortable without positive feedback in the steering wheel. So, I want as much caster as I can get. It will be a no brainer if I happen upon an axle I can work on while I still have my current 30 under the jeep. A non CAD 30 has been a hard find around here but would be best so I don't need to buy new gears.
Yes, the Cs are rotated such that at current ride weight, with the axle pushed forward almost 1", the DS yoke is pointed directly at the transfer case, and caster is at 6 degrees. With short arms and drop brackets, I have no issues whatsoever driving it on the highway. Others that have driven it have been surprised that it handles as well as it does, particularly with no sway bars. Steering does return to center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1977p View Post
I also went with the cheap OE replacement pads, rotors and shoes to get me past inspection. I don't know why I expected more but before these shoes wear out, I'll have all the parts I need for a disc conversion. Hopefully I'll have my axles situated by then too and can upgrade to dual piston calipers up front and crossover steering since I'd need WJ knuckles for the brakes anyway.
The Vanco brake setup is not cheap, but does work extremely well. The nice thing is that all the parts are new, rather than a scattering of used components on a WJ swap. But, price is certainly a consideration. Regardless, Black Magic pads make a world of difference.

David Bricker / SYR
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  #10  
Old December 30th, 2015, 23:35
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NW-ZJ-SCOTT NW-ZJ-SCOTT is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

So many words


So few pictures
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Old January 11th, 2016, 08:38
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dan1977p dan1977p is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-ZJ-SCOTT View Post
So many words


So few pictures
It's just an old XJ with a bunch of bolt on parts and crappily cut fenders. I haven't done anything unique or cool with it so I figured anything more than what I had would be overkill.

Update:
Replaced my combo valve with the one I took from the ZJ when I took it's MC and booster. I noticed that the line for the rear brakes from MC to combo was leaking at the flex joint so I made new all hard lines. Pedal doesn't go all the way to the floor anymore and it stops way better than before. Still can't lock up on dry pavement but it digs very well on gravel. I think I can still adjust the rears again now that I'm getting power to those brakes and they will stay adjusted and get even better brakes. All the original equipment was gunked up with sludge and I suspect the old combo valve was the same.

New carrier for the front is in the garage ready to be installed.
Spartan locker for the rear is coming today so I can install my 29 spline shafts as well.
JCR shipped the DIY rear bumper so I may get to do some welding soon.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 18:19
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Jared Jared is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Let me know what you think of that JCR and how easy it is to finish. I'm interested in going the same route.

Jared
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Old January 15th, 2016, 08:28
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dan1977p dan1977p is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

I got it yesterday and it took me all of 30 minutes to unpack and bend the plates into their rough positions. Word of advice, there are no instructions so if you want to do it in your garage, you need to print them out or take a laptop with you. No hardware either so you need eight new bolts if yours were rusted like mine were. Take care not to break the existing bolts. I assumed it was using upgraded nuts and bolts so you'd be knocking off the old welded nuts and you are expected to use the same.

Depending on how good you are with a welder and grinder, it could take an hour or eight to weld it all together but I think it's worth it to save $200+. I don't have the best stuff for cutting the metal so precut is the best way for me and unless you want something really custom, this is the way to go.
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Old January 26th, 2016, 19:10
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DeweyXJ DeweyXJ is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Sounds like you are off to a good start! I started at 2.5" lift & 32" tires,then cut what hits!

FWIW, & it already may be to late, for the front fenders, I made a vertical cut between the inner & outer fenders & a horizontal cut at the bottom as far back as I thought it needed.

Then I pounded the inner fender back out of the way, made some slash cuts in the outer fender & pounded it into shape over the inner.

I welded the spots where I had good metal to metal contact, to stop any rattles, & smeared silicone in the holes that were left!

It's been working for 10+years
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  #15  
Old February 1st, 2016, 11:42
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dan1977p dan1977p is offline
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Re: Introducing the SeXJ

Finally got the bumper welded and painted. 30 minutes at a time makes it feel like forever once you're done. Came out well. Broke three bolts and I don't have nut strips so I won't be snatching anyone out with it yet but I saw an idea to cut a larger window and weld a bracket onto the back of the mounting plate for the nut strips to tie it in way better than the unibody tie in's from JCR. If I can get that to work, I'll see about returning the extra hardware for some money back.
Pics since we all love them. Needs some touch up but at least it's on the SeXJ and not on jackstands taking up floor space.


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