View Full Version : My introduction.

September 21st, 2017, 21:45
Hello everyone,
After visiting and lurking for a while on this site I finally decided to join this forum. I have been 4wheeling and owned many different rigs for years. I have wanted to build a "overlander" for years. Something different than my truck and camper. The truck/camper works great for what it is, but not for all the places I want to go.

I started thinking I would build my 97' Landcruiser, then found what I hope to be a better SUV for me. A 95' Jeep Cherokee XJ. The guy I bought it from did a lot of the hard work and did a nice job. He took a stock rust free Cherokee from Texas and starting building a nice SUV. The Cherokee Sport did come stock with 4.0L motor and AX15, 5 speed, 231 t-case, and d30 front, d35 rear axles with 3.07 gears. Now the work he did! He completely rebuilt an 85' 617 Mercedes, 5 cylinder, turbo diesel, and mated that to the stock AX15, 5speed transmission. Set up the injection nozzles to run vegetable oil or diesel. Winch bumper on the front, with winch. And matching off road bumper in the rear. Also, ran the exhaust up and to the roof, along with the air intake to the windshield of the SUV. Lots more work too, but that is the bones of the Cherokee.

It runs a drives okay, but I wanted more. So now I am starting "my build". I am having a shop in Wenatchee, WA. Rockridge 4x4 doing lots of work.
I found a 96' Ford Explorer 8.8 rear axle with disk brakes. The shop is rebuilding the axle to fit under the Cherokee with New 3.73 gears, OX air locker, Yukon axles shafts, no more c clips, going in.
New 3.73 gears, Ox air locker, Yukon axle shafts and spicer ujoints, in the front d30.
I have a new ARB twin air compressor that I have been saving for a build that will go in the Cherokee, to power lockers and fill tires, and air up after wheeling as needed.
The Cherokee came with a winch, but I have a brand new Warn Zeon 10s winch, again that I have been saving for a build.
Next up is Goodyear DTs, 235/75/15s, on steel wheels.
I have some parts, like CB radio, lights, fridge, need to build a sleeping platform and more that I have saved up too. Does it ever really stop?

So, that is the start of my build on my Cherokee. More to come for sure. Hope to get many more Ideas from the members here. Thank you for the information I have read as a non- member too. Vance.

September 21st, 2017, 21:47
Did some planning for my electrical system for on board electrical assories like my ARB twin air compressor, lights and the like. Rough Country, makes a cheaper copy of the s-pod setup. Has all the wiring, fuses and relays, plus I can set it to turn off things if I run my batteries down, set it to a certain % of my choice. Be nice for my fridge and lights when camping. Getting my solar system planed out too. My Cherokee will be in the shop soon for some work, one part of that is the air lockers. More to come soon.

September 21st, 2017, 22:12
Post up some pics.

I want to see how that Mercedes Diesel fits.

I would love to do a diesel conversion, but Kali makes it challenging.

September 21st, 2017, 22:49
You going to want to lift it? Would only want to pay for gears once.

Green XJ Jeep
September 22nd, 2017, 06:17
I would love to do a diesel conversion, but Kali makes it challenging.

If you re power a pre 97 with diesel do you still have to do emissions?

September 22nd, 2017, 07:34
If you re power a pre 97 with diesel do you still have to do emissions?

I don't think so, but I would have to get it past the referee in order to get it officially converted to a diesel as far as Kali is concerned. I think I would have to convert it to a '96 Mercedes diesel (can't go backwards), and then once smog exempt I could play with it if I wanted to.

September 22nd, 2017, 07:45
Hey, so I'm doing a diesel swap in Cali. They do make it difficult. Last year of smog free was 97, and all the OM617s are 85 are older, so that throws that out. The next would be an OM606, but they were NA and didn't make any hp until 1998, so you're really stuck with smog. My plan as of now is to swap the motor & register it out of state as a diesel, then after a while bring it back and just say its a diesel at the dmv, they check and no need to referee it, but that's probably not gonna work that way, lol. BTW, the motor must be your year or newer, and must pass the smog of the car that it came out of.

September 22nd, 2017, 10:56
4wheelspulling, not sure how much experience you have with veggie oil systems, but I'd be pretty cautious running straight veggie in that thing. The MB diesels are better able to handle it than some others, but you're still much more likely to run into fuel system issues (degraded lines, injection pump, etc) on veggie than you would on diesel.

I spent the last several years working in a shop that specializes in veggie and there is a lot more that goes along with a veggie conversion than most folks realize. If you have any questions about how that all works, I'd be happy to answer anything you've got.