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Jeep Cherokee XJ Build So Far


MCQBushcraft

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I've been working on the Jeep Cherokee 2.5td for almost two years now and thought it would be nice to cover what I have done so far. I'm no expert when it comes to mechanics and have been learning as I go. Still plenty to do, and learn, but here she is, the pocket drainer.

 

When I bough the Jeep it was in fairly good condition. About 80k on the clock which is pretty low for a diesel of its age. Had some nasty remold 31" tires on it that were falling apart and a RC 4.5" lift with full leaf pack. It drove like a magic brick due to the control arms angles and rear shackle angles. I new I had some work to do especially with a my ocd.......... deep breaths. 

 

This is the Jeep as I bought it. (Some images have blurred plates, some do not as they were used for different things)

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The first thing I did was remove almost all of the plastic trim inside and out. I stripped it down at a friends garage so we could get a good look at what it was really like. floor pans had no rust which was a huge bonus.

rear arches and sills needed some touching up, so I cut out all of the metal that was too far gone and replaced it. I was lucky with the Jeep as it had been Waxoyled by the previous owner. Not great for welding so a wire wheel had to be used to clean areas ready for welding.

After several days with various tools including a shot blaster it looked real clean underneath and the majority of restoration work were done......for now.

I sprayed most of the underside with wd40 to displace any moister within rust then treated the whole Jeep with Dinitrol 3125 Cavity Wax which creeps into the cracks and seams sealing any rust I couldn't see. Its very good stuff for box sections but requires a heavy coat of Tetrosyl over the top of it to protect the metal.

 

 

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One big job was the drip rails and roof rack mounting holes. There seems to always be a bit of rust around these areas. It took about four days to do this job properly as body filler, primer, paint and clear coat had to dry but it came out very well. At a later stage I decided to key up my finish and spray bed liner over it all. Been about one and a half years now, no rust coming through so hopefully its done for a while. After this the door trim, seals and windows all came out, took a while to get through it all, but was good to get rid of any small signs of rust for the future and repaint it all.

 

After body work it was brakes, pads, oil changes, filter change, axle seals, bearings, bushings, ball joints, calipers and Uj's. Probably a lot more but all the little jobs blend into one!

 

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At this stage the Jeep was running and looking pretty good. I added in some new front axles. Cleaned the axle tubes with a brush on a long shaft in a drill and packed the tubes full of grease (an idea given to me by another forum member, sorry I cannot remember who!), The added some outer seals on the end to keep the grease in and water out.

 

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Added some welding to the lower control arm mounts on the D30 front axle housing. Stops the mounting points from bending when using after market control arms that don't flex as much as the stock ones. Changed the bushes while things were out.

Also added a Bar Pin Eliminator at the front. Still not convinced with this but i'm still running it.

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One big job that will intern save on future jobs is the removal of the spot welded seam on the rear arches along with the removal of the rear quarter panel.

I had to grind away the seam sealer inside the boot, remove the rear seat belts and separate the two panels.

Welded inside the boot along were the arch joins the boot pan then ground off the lip on the outer so no water or dirt can get into any gaps and cause rust.

 

I don't have photos of the rear quarter panel but you can see it near the end of the build. I also took of the plastic arches and got rid of the facelift ones due to the horrible metal plate that clips them on, traps water and just riots over time. I got a set of pre facelift arches and bedlined them. After cleaning up the metal arches on the Jeep much like the drip rails I bolted the older arches on with nylon studs with rubber washers. Its hard to explain but its really all about making these things easier to clean and eliminating mud traps. Spacing the arch away from the body stops arch vibration which creates the classic rust line you see on these older trucks.

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Around this stage I got rid of the remolded 31x10.50R15 mud tires and put on some 32x11.50R15 BF Goodrich AT Ko2's.

Really like the tire, not as good in the mud 'obviously' but so much better on the road! I can hear the radio again!!

I put them on some 15x10 steel rims and got myself the C-rock steering brace to aid in strengthening the front end were the steering box lives. I then later added a Rough Country Lower Control Arm Relocation Bracket to get the factory angles back and to avoid unnecessary trimming of the front arch.

 

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At this stage I was really happy with the build off and on road. Steering is still factory and not good but it works for now. The jeep came with Rock Crusher diff covers front and back which was great. I later added a winch bumper and custom tire carrier which added in weight but didn't impact my performance in any noticeable way.

I quickly realised that the new bumper did not work well with the outer plate of the C-Rok kit and had to remove the outer part of this plate. I did however work very well for the inner part of the passenger side of the vehicle meaning the bumper sandwiched the frame rail both sides. 

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Great work!  Always good to see how someone else has tackled various problems on a project like this.  :great:

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I used to have rear mud flaps like yours until one day when I forgot to take them off. I had to reverse out of a rut and the flap went between my tyre and the rut ramp. The Jeep drove over the mud flap and it's support arm was bent to the point of snapping. I have never bothered repairing them to put them back on since.

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I used to have rear mud flaps like yours until one day when I forgot to take them off. I had to reverse out of a rut and the flap went between my tyre and the rut ramp. The Jeep drove over the mud flap and it's support arm was bent to the point of snapping. I have never bothered repairing them to put them back on since.

 

I've always been in two minds about them to be honest. I don't like the way they look and have ripped one in the past. I just think drivers behind me must worry about stones as silly as it sounds and it stops the mud from caking the truck. They are off at the moment as I'm stripping the truck down for some tlc, perhaps they will stay off. Thanks, its getting there slowly! 

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  • 1 year later...
  • Platinum Member

Great post. I'm hoping to find a semi decent XJ to start a project ASAP. The pictures are a big help. I do like the name "Pocket Drainer"  :icon_lol: :icon_lol:

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