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  #1  
Old August 17th, 2018, 20:28
anxjous anxjous is offline
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4 what it's worth

A long while ago, I had a dream to own a 4wd truck and go on epic offroad adventures on roads that mere stock vehicles could hardly fathom. Pockets of the state and country that hadn't been discovered by hoards of tourists, and roads so remote that the dust kicked up and you couldnt tell where the trail ended and the sky began.

This dream was realized early Feb 2017 with the purchase of a '98 xj from @@ron off this forum. Ive gotten a ton of info on building xjs from this site and wanted to give back as best I could to offer any insights Ive picked up along the way. I fall somewhere in the middle of sketchyfab and perfectionfab and I hope most people can relate to the stuggle and joys.

Sorry for the lame intro, I know the only interesting thing is the pics:
The glorious "before" stance.
HPD30 front, XJ44 rear, 3.55 gears, IRO long arm kit, SYE, 33 KM2s, and a front bumper with a winch! Might look familiar to some folks around here.
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  #2  
Old August 18th, 2018, 09:56
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blondejoncherokee blondejoncherokee is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Nice! Whats the plans for it?
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As soon as I crest the top i'ma turn driver and floor it!

1998 4.6 stroker , aw4 XJ on 60/14b , 5.38s, grizzly/detroit, cage, 40s, psc big bore box , assist, 3 link,transgo aw4 reprogram
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  #3  
Old August 18th, 2018, 14:16
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sdspearo sdspearo is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

I like the stance, but I'm partial to red Jeeps. Needs a big ass stinger in the front!
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'96 XJ: Locked up D44's on 35" Milestar Patagonia's, ChroMo axles, 6" lift w/ 3 link front, 4 link rear, AX15, Atlas 5.0, Internal cage, DIY beadlocks, hydro assist, big ass stinger!, ...
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  #4  
Old August 19th, 2018, 12:49
anxjous anxjous is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

To be clear, most of the big ticket items that were planned for this thing, have been completed. (I hope I didnt jinx myself by writing that.) This thread will document the build, what worked/didnt work, and maybe some of the adventures. For thread entertainment reasons, no further details will be released! Gotta stay tuned...
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  #5  
Old August 19th, 2018, 15:16
anxjous anxjous is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

So originally I wanted a 4x4 to go overlanding. I was imagining trips out by 395 and death valley. All the toyotas that are much better suited to that kind of driving were way out of my price range. A good buddy had an xj and helped to research what a good starting rig would be.

Well after picking it up, it didnt take many highway miles to realize maybe 5.5 in lift on a solid axle rig is maybe not the easy cruisin highway machine I was hoping for. I will never forget the drive home from my parents house 2 days after buying the jeep. 2 hours at night in the pouring rain with a bunch of play in the steering wheel had me a little worried whether I bought the right type of vehicle.

Nontheless, it still got used for a summer hitting up Big Sur and Hollister Hills.







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  #6  
Old August 20th, 2018, 11:14
XJ_NorCal XJ_NorCal is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Sweet ride. Kinda similar to my Jeep.

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  #7  
Old August 20th, 2018, 12:54
anxjous anxjous is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ_NorCal View Post
Sweet ride. Kinda similar to my Jeep.
Haha well those are my old wheels/tires! Im jealous of your paint tho, mine only seems to get worse.
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  #8  
Old August 20th, 2018, 15:37
XJ_NorCal XJ_NorCal is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by anxjous View Post
Haha well those are my old wheels/tires! Im jealous of your paint tho, mine only seems to get worse.
Ha I didn't even realize it. Looking forward to what you've got planned for this build.
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  #9  
Old August 20th, 2018, 17:42
BigKintheXJ BigKintheXJ is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Glad to see this one still around,
lookin forward to seeing what you do with it
Whats the mileage?
How does it pull with the 3.55's?

I think this is also the new:
Sierra Chapter
Red Jeep Appreciation thread


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  #10  
Old August 21st, 2018, 20:09
anxjous anxjous is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Mileage is like 125k? With 33s and stock gears, it drove fine. Downshifted on the hills, but all Jeeps with bigger tires do that.

Anyway, around this time my buddy picked up the cheapest Jeep he could find with f&r lockers. Since theyre not the most reliable units, we got it stuck pretty quick.


Came across some folks having a bad day.


And for the most part, I just drove around the rocks.
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  #11  
Old August 21st, 2018, 20:58
anxjous anxjous is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Also, figured Id say a word about the only mod I did to the Jeep at this point: installing a Smittybuilt rear tire carrier bumper. I didnt want to keep the tire on the roof, and the thought never even crossed my mind to keep it inside. I didnt realize how dirty it would get inside the cab and I thought I could keep it nice and clean and easy for people to jump in the back seats.


First one I got had lots of fitment issues: tire carrier hit the bumper & latch didnt work. Note that they dont go on easy if you have a gas tank skid.


This one ended up going on the ZJ after some mods with the plasma torch. If you have a ZJ and are wondering, since you really want to go cheap: should be easy to mod it with a cutoff wheel and a few other tools. You'll need to drill the unibody for the XJ nutstip pattern. Also, fit at the lights might not be spot on and the hatch will have to be dented around the tire carrier, but if you own a ZJ you clearly dont care about looks, so this shouldnt be a problem.


Also, its not small. Im sure its protecting the body in some way, but what that means is you hit every ledge you drop off (at least I do on 5.5" lift).


It is nice to have gas and hilift outside of the Jeep. But, according to Amazon, the bumper weighs 126lbs and the carrier is about the same. Smittybilt customer service was great, so if youre ready to potentially have to go through all that, the thing will work just fine.
It all comes down to priorities I guess. At this point, Ive got plans to remove it and just store the spare inside.

Last edited by anxjous; August 21st, 2018 at 21:13. Reason: ZJ fitment issues
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  #12  
Old September 5th, 2018, 21:44
anxjous anxjous is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

I didnt think Id talk so much about the trips, but they all ended up influencing my build, and the pics are good!

During a friends bachelor party, we were looking for snow free wheeling and ended up on Billy Bob's trail. This was by far the hardest trail Id driven and thankfully we had all day to get my open diff'd rig through.

I tried for as long as I could to drive around the rocks.


Got solidly hung up like this a few times.


Finally learned how to use a little momentum.


The jeep was so scared it wetted itself.


The other guys made it look easy, I was quite jealous. Also, youre not allowed to ask me about these rigs. THIS THREAD IS ALL ABOUT ME!


Ill just post cool pics of their jeeps. One day we will make it out to a sierra chapter event.


It was pretty embarrassing to get schooled by a zj.


After this trip I was hooked on crawling, overlanding is dead. I also wanted a more balleur rig so I simultaneously posted my jeep for sale while researching ways to build it into what I wanted.
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  #13  
Old September 5th, 2018, 22:00
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twinhauler twinhauler is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Looks like the bug has bitten you. Rig looks good!
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  #14  
Old September 5th, 2018, 22:15
anxjous anxjous is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

We hit the Rubicon not long after. While I didnt bring the xj, I learned quite bit that influenced the build. Mainly, that breaking sucks.

Do zj's have a longer wheelbase than xj's? This thing climbs pretty decent. (Wait Im only supposed to make fun about zjs...)





Things went real well the first day, we camped at Buck.


Turned around and drove out the next day.


The zj was having too much fun.


After a loud pop on the next obstacle, we pulled him up and off the trail. Pitman arm had let loose AND a rear shaft had popped. We got super lucky and someone on the trail had a spare pitman arm, then we limped back in 3wd.


As we were working, an xj drove up and bounced his driveshaft into the rock.


Needles to say, it was a long night.


But at least I got this picture. Right where you belong!
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  #15  
Old September 19th, 2018, 22:11
anxjous anxjous is offline
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Re: 4 what it's worth

Even though my jeep was still up for sale after the above trip, I went out and bought a bigger front axle! I got a 44 off someone who I believe is/was a member here. I was a bit paranoid about breaking stuff after the trip and I saw myself stepping up to 35s, it also matched the rear 44 that I had. It came with kromolly shafts and the spring perches welded on.



Ill pick up with the install of that later. I did want to put up some pics of how I took the doors off, aka finally show some xj tech and stop giving the zj guys free advice.

Initially, I thought I could keep all the door wiring, so I went looking for a quick disconnect. I went to the JY and grabbed the door connectors from a zj with the infinity sound system. Well the evil zj electrons that had been dormant in the wires decided to attack my electrical, and after the install I couldnt roll my windows down or use the power lock/unlock.



At this point I tossed the wires and went out and found doors from a 97 cherokee with manual windows, I gave up and decided on ditching all wires in the front doors. BTW the infinity connector also requires that you open up the holes in the A pillar substantially, and I wasnt keen on removing material if I didnt need to.

After cutting out the door pins, one of the hinge bushings fell out, so I removed the rest. I also needed to do a little trimming.



Then I welded in a long bolt on the bottom and a short pin on top, now the door pops off in just a few seconds.




For the 97 door, the hinge is slightly different, but the latch will work with 98+ jeeps.



Since the fronts were originally green, I went and spray painted them with the closest color I could find at home depot. This thing wont win any beauty awards.

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