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XJ_NorCal
October 24th, 2017, 20:31
I recently bought a 1998 Cherokee Sport that is bone stock with ~ 113K miles. Aside from admiring nice rigs from a distance and reading random threads I am new to the XJ scene. In the next 2 weeks Iíll be draining and replacing all fluids. I also need to develop a game plan for which brands I should look at for the modifications I want to do and in which order I should do them to fit my needs and my budget. This is the main objective of this thread. Iím hoping I can get some help from the XJ community.

My goal is to build something capable of going off road for camping trips and some moderate to easy rock climbing and off road trails. Iím not trying to build a full on rock climbing rig. I've listed some trails in my area for reference below. This jeep is not my daily driver but I do plan on cruising it around town after work. I never plan to run anything larger than 33Ē tires and would be just fine maxing out at 32Ē tires.

Currently, my plan is to prioritize getting it trail ready by adding armor (TC skid, gas tank skid, rock rails, and Rear Diff armor), new tires and a lift in that order. I had a $1500 budget to get this done but I scored 31Ē tires and wheels, a TC skid plate and RC lower control arms and brackets (I may or may not use these) for $300 so Iím down to $1,200 for the rest. Which parts should I invest most of my budget in and where can I save money?....I anticipate having another $500ish dollars added to the budget at the end of January (tax return!!) for what itís worth.

Also, I am comfortable doing most mechanical and bolt on stuff but no welding. I'm new to this so all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Trails in my area:
Frank Raines OHV
Hollister
Carnegie
Slick Rock
Lake Tahoe

XJ_NorCal
October 25th, 2017, 19:37
I figured this information would be helpful as well....

1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport
113K miles
I6 4.0 litre
Automatic Transmission
NP231 Transfer Case

Goose_XJ88
October 25th, 2017, 20:21
I'd recommend front and rear diff armor, sliders, and a gas tank skid like you have planned. Plan on spending some if not all of your cash on black Friday and cyber Monday as a good amount of companies will have sales going on.

I always try and buy as much as I can from one retailer to save on shipping or at least factor that into the price of the items you're buying and where you buy from.

Before you lift the rig, take it out to Hollister stock but with armor and get familiar with what it is capable of. It will do a lot more than you think.

Front tow points are also a good idea and the Boostedworks ultimate steering brace stiffens the chassis while also providing tabs for shackles to hang off of.

Check out the Sierra Chapter for sale, lots of good stuff just posted.

Green XJ Jeep
October 25th, 2017, 20:21
This should give you an idea

700ish for a 4" zone lift
200 for an sye
50 to 70 for a front driveshaft for the rear
spend the rest front, rear, axle shaft u joints and supplies to install the sye and tow points

XJ_NorCal
October 29th, 2017, 22:53
I'd recommend front and rear diff armor, sliders, and a gas tank skid like you have planned. Plan on spending some if not all of your cash on black Friday and cyber Monday as a good amount of companies will have sales going on.

Before you lift the rig, take it out to Hollister stock but with armor and get familiar with what it is capable of. It will do a lot more than you think.


TC Skid, Front and Rear diff. armor secured!
I'll be hitting the junkyards for a ZJ gas tank skid and an exhaust manifold next weekend.
I've settled on Affordable Offroad Rock Rails that I'll get on Black Friday.

I really need some advice for my lift. I've looked long and hard at lifts from Rubicon Express (3.5" & 4.5"), Zone (4.5"), Iron Rock Offroad (4") and Rough Country (4.5"). Full Leaf packs, quick discos and adjustable trackbars put all these lifts over $1k except the rough country lift. Ruled out RE's 4.5" and IRO. I'll be running 31" tires for at least the next year and will max out at 33" tires, maybe even 32".

RE's 3.5" Super Flex kit comes out to about $1,324 but doesn't include upper control arms, TC drop or drop pitman arm.

Zone's 4.5" lift comes in at $1,101 but doesn't include upper control arms or drop pitman arm.

Rough Country's 4.5" comes in at $950 and has everything...but it's a rough country kit. It's hard to look past that price point though, hell for $1,180 I could get this kit with Billstein 5100's.

Any thoughts considering the trails I plan on frequenting and the tire sizes I'll be running?

XJ_NorCal
October 31st, 2017, 11:16
I replied to this a couple days ago. Who's the moderator?

XJ_NorCal
November 4th, 2017, 18:33
bump

sinat01
November 6th, 2017, 12:01
If you know someone that can weld, you can do 2x6 1/4" steel rock rails that replace your rocker panels for cheaper than bold on rocker armor. I run a IRO 3" lift with 1.5" lift pucks up front, their full leaf pack with boomerang shackles for a total of 4.5" of lift.
figure on getting an adjustable track bar (core4x4, IRO, ironman4x4fab)
Riddler diff covers are nice and don't break the bank too bad.
I have a 99 on above mentioned 4.5" lift with 33x10.50 KM2s on stock alloy wheels, it rubs at full lock, but I can remedy that. mine is a daily and a weekend warrior. biggest thing for a setup like mine is not cheaping out on important parts.
if you do a t-case drop instead of a SYE just find a crossmember off a 5 speed Cherokee, they give a 1" drop w/out losing ground clearance.
a H&T SYE works good, some people bash them but I have not had issues with mine what so ever. a piece of advice, any bolt you take out, either put anti-seize or locktite on it, youll appreciate it when you gotta take it apart again.

sinat01
November 6th, 2017, 12:03
http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiml-Xz3qrXAhWCPRQKHcUrDhQQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thepicta.com%2Fuser%2Fxjsnimp orts%2F4206417225%2F1575180921795257525_4206417225&psig=AOvVaw1U4UVd7mLvftxHU97zi6fY&ust=1510084919970451
if this pic works, this is mine

Bent
November 6th, 2017, 13:26
http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiml-Xz3qrXAhWCPRQKHcUrDhQQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thepicta.com%2Fuser%2Fxjsnimp orts%2F4206417225%2F1575180921795257525_4206417225&psig=AOvVaw1U4UVd7mLvftxHU97zi6fY&ust=1510084919970451
if this pic works, this is mine

It didn't so it's not.

Try THIS (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiml-Xz3qrXAhWCPRQKHcUrDhQQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thepicta.com%2Fuser%2Fxjsnimp orts%2F4206417225%2F1575180921795257525_4206417225&psig=AOvVaw1U4UVd7mLvftxHU97zi6fY&ust=1510084919970451) or more specifically THIS (http://www.pictame.com/media/1557649993787330809_4206417225).

:)

sinat01
November 6th, 2017, 14:36
It didn't so it's not.

Try THIS (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiml-Xz3qrXAhWCPRQKHcUrDhQQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thepicta.com%2Fuser%2Fxjsnimp orts%2F4206417225%2F1575180921795257525_4206417225&psig=AOvVaw1U4UVd7mLvftxHU97zi6fY&ust=1510084919970451) or more specifically THIS (http://www.pictame.com/media/1557649993787330809_4206417225).

:)

that works, Thank ya lol. when im at work its hard to put any pictures up cuz a lot of sites are blocked.

(btw I don't have any swaybars in that pic)

need-a-bow
November 6th, 2017, 14:37
Just a thought, I found 2 separate RE3.5 leaf springs for $ 80 and $90 respectively on eBay that were scratched up but new. Add a new pair of 4.5 RE Coils from amazon adds another $90. Id get a shackle relocation bracket like HD Offroad($130) or IRONMAN4X4($130). Add Some RC discos($69), and a set of bilstien shocks($350). For under $ 900 you have a great lift. You can get a decent set of LCAs with Heim joints for $ 160 or so from several sponsors.

sinat01
November 6th, 2017, 14:50
core 4x4 and ironman4x4 both have good control arms that don't break the bank.
either of those SRBs are good, the slider boxes are supposed to be good, my buddy has them, and loves them. doestech shocks are good for $190/4 too, not gonna ride quite as good as bilsteins, but are longer and well built

XJ_NorCal
November 7th, 2017, 08:31
so many options....:dunno:

Green XJ Jeep
November 7th, 2017, 10:26
http://dpgoffroad.com/products/rubicon-expressdpg-hybrid-4-inch-kit/


Or when you an add your extra 500.

http://dpgoffroad.com/products/44-5-inch-super-ultimate-xj-old-man-emu-hybrid-kit/

sinat01
November 7th, 2017, 13:25
Does DPG actually make good stuff? they have super low prices, but ive never seen anyone use it. I've been eyeballing their bumpstop plates for a while now, and their transfer case skid. but I'm Leary about ordering it.

RCP Phx
November 7th, 2017, 15:04
I don't know that Dirk makes anything, I've bought several lift kits from him though, great guy, I went and visited him about 10yrs ago!

Bent
November 7th, 2017, 16:00
I don't think I saw longer shackles on this thread yet. One inch straight or boomerang is plenty; not adjustable, though.

sinat01
November 7th, 2017, 16:21
If you go adj shackles, id do Ironman4x4fab, ive seen them in person, they are beefy. I personally have DBmetalworks boomerang shackles and they are well built. Boostwerks has their comp shackles too, dunno how well they work, but they look good

XJ_NorCal
November 12th, 2017, 19:18
I scored a ZJ gas tank skid plate for $15 from the JY. Does anyone know if an install thread exists with pictures? Everything I've found has dead photobucket links.

XJ_NorCal
November 27th, 2017, 10:36
Ok so I've picked up the following parts since starting this thread:

JCR Offroad Rock Sliders
JCR Offroad Transfer Case Skid Plate
ZJ OEM Gas Tank Skid Plate
G2 Dana 30 Diff. cover
Solid Chrysler 8.25 diff cover
RC X-series 4.5" lift (can't beat free, gifted from my uncle)
Adam Driveshaft and SYE kit
RC Steering stabilizer
RC LCA drop brackets
IRO Heavy Duty OTK Steering
31" tires with steelies (another gift)

Next Phase:
Front bumper
Rear bumper
ZJ seat upgrade
Hood Louver
electric fan upgrade
LED interior lights

any recommendations for the next phase parts?

RCP Phx
November 27th, 2017, 11:18
Get a real lift kit !!!

sinat01
November 27th, 2017, 13:27
Ksuspension for the fan kit. Led interior lights, amazon or advanced. front bumper depends on what style you like and how much you wanna shell out. rear bumper I really like the dirtbound tire carrier, and will be doing a DIY kit when my wallet allows me to. while your at it, snag a set of injectors, and a headlight harness from Ksuspension. and check out the IRO 3 link they recently released.
for my LED dome lights I used the LED panels off amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SGOMMDK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and then wired in the 6" LED strips you can get at advanced. it has plenty of light.

http://www.ksuspensionlifts.com/

XJ_NorCal
November 27th, 2017, 16:31
Get a real lift kit !!!

No offense but this really isn't all that helpful. I understand there's better lifts out there but this will get me by for now and the best part is it was free. I can wheel the RC lift and learn what I truly need from my lift and upgrade if and when necessary.

Ksuspension for the fan kit. Led interior lights, amazon or advanced. front bumper depends on what style you like and how much you wanna shell out. rear bumper I really like the dirtbound tire carrier, and will be doing a DIY kit when my wallet allows me to. while your at it, snag a set of injectors, and a headlight harness from Ksuspension. and check out the IRO 3 link they recently released.
for my LED dome lights I used the LED panels off amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SGOMMDK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and then wired in the 6" LED strips you can get at advanced. it has plenty of light.

http://www.ksuspensionlifts.com/

Definitely want a tire carrier rear bumper. I'm undecided for the front at the moment. I've got a brush guard installed for the time being though.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll add them to my research links list. its starting to add up lol

RCP Phx
November 27th, 2017, 16:57
Why not sell it now(non installed) as NIB and use that money to get the good stuff!

sinat01
November 28th, 2017, 12:06
I have a non winch bumper on mine for a few reasons, A: I don't like how most winch bumpers stick way out. B: mine is a weekend warrior, and I have yet to need a winch. C: that's an extra 100lbs to lug around. With that being said mine also has frame tie ins and has a 2" receiver in the center of the bumper. I just gotta run the wire and get a winch and cradle for it. then when I go out I can just grab the winch and hook it up on either end. plus its harder to steal. and personally im not a fan of RC stuff, but if it was free, run it for now then save up for the other goodies (3 link etc) later on down the road.

XJ_NorCal
November 29th, 2017, 08:24
My jeep will be a weekend warrior as well. luckily everyone I'd go offroad with have winches so I can wait a bit. The free RC kit (not new by the way but less than 1k miles on it) made it so that I could get the SYE kit and OTK steering upgrade. I'll ride it until it fails me and move on. No big deal.

sinat01
November 29th, 2017, 13:35
Sounds like a decent plan, I always like to upgrade things lol. but if you DD it, just gotta make sure everything is done right. that's why I was picky about a lot of my parts, I wanted it to be tough, and safe on the road, but also to be extremely capable off road.

macgyver_7_6
November 29th, 2017, 16:54
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06xrxtx32/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Check out these hdlts. I love em. no wiring harness needed. no anti-flicker adapter needed. DOT approved. LED. Great pattern. 20 minutes and you are up and running. Daytime running light function works on my 99 Sport. plug n play and bright white light. less than $100 for the pair.

XJ_NorCal
November 29th, 2017, 20:10
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06xrxtx32/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Check out these hdlts. I love em. no wiring harness needed. no anti-flicker adapter needed. DOT approved. LED. Great pattern. 20 minutes and you are up and running. Daytime running light function works on my 99 Sport. plug n play and bright white light. less than $100 for the pair.

These look great! How long have you had these?

macgyver_7_6
December 1st, 2017, 04:09
Bought them in August b4 a trip to CO.
One of the purchases I have made for my XJ.

macgyver_7_6
December 1st, 2017, 04:57
One of the "best"...I meant to say.

XJ_NorCal
December 1st, 2017, 14:48
One of the "best"...I meant to say.

No issues with condensation? some of the reviews mention this problem....

macgyver_7_6
December 1st, 2017, 15:55
None so far...can't remember if it says anything about a hole in them to prevent that.
I know I read that on one or more of the models I was researching.
I also love the smoke tint...they have the chromed version you can see on that link... but I don't like those. Thinking of trying to open up my led light bar and tame down the chrome background to match.

XJ_NorCal
December 4th, 2017, 09:16
I said I'd slow down on parts for a bit but I somehow managed to buy a Banks Revolver header, Borla 40942 XR-1 Muffler and Bushwacker Flat Fender Flares yesterday. :dunno:

I think I've got the bug.