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Hi everybody, another newbie for you


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Hi, I have always been into 4 wheel drives, since i started work as an apprentice mechanic many, many years ago (or so it feels). I owned a couple of Land Rovers and a Range Rover and really liked them, but I always really fancied a Jeep, I like the look of them, their abilities, and the extra comfort they always seemed to have over the Land Rovers.

I finally bought my self a 2003 2.7 CRD Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ in 2015, and i wish i'd bought it years ago. It has an admirable off road ability, and so much more comfort than the average Land Rover, that my Jeep (Kassy) has become the absolute best family vehicle that I have ever owned. Me and my kids have been on holiday with it, it is a daily driver, and we go off road in it aswell, it is pretty much the ultimate 'Do Everything' car, for us any way.

I have made a few changes to Kassy over the last 3 years, she has a 2" suspension lift, 265 75 16 Cooper STT Pro mud terrains for the fun stuff, and a set of road tyres on different wheels for the normal stuff. I have re-wired the light electrics (after a few of the relays shorted out) and made a new dashboard panel for a new stereo and toggle switches for the light, she has a light bar on front, 2 little spot lights on the back, and orange recovery lights back and front, and two much stronger recovery points added to the front.

As far as the engine goes, I have had the injectors (yes all 5, horrible job!!!) re-sealed, 3 injectors replaced, K&N air filter (slightly better mpg), and just regular servicing, and so far, she has been really good.

I have got a new serpentine belt to fit fairly soon, not sure if i'm looking forward to it, but i'll let you know how I get on with that.

Although I wont be able to go to the Summer Camp this year, I am really looking forward to meeting up with a lot of you other members, and seeing all of your Jeeps. I saw the Jeeps at America Speedfest, and rode in the very nice orange 4 door Jeep (Stewart, I think??) and I was amazed at how comfortable it was even having fun off road, sounded great aswell. A bit different to my lovely old truck Lol.

I have attached a couple of pictures, one with the original stereo & panel, and another showing the hand made panel & stereo. It wont be to every ones taste, & that's ok, but i like it, let me know what you think.


Old Dash Panel.jpg

New Dash Panel.jpg

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Hi V,

The main things that I have planned next are making some rock sliders and side steps, and fabricating some under body protection, especially as the transfer box hangs pretty low, and I definitely don't want to crack the casing.

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If you are making a transfer case skid plate consider HDPE over a steel tube frame or Duraluminium (Duralumin, Dural) to save weight. Keep HDPE away from hot exhausts as it will melt/burn. Mild steel is fine and easy to work with if you have access to a mig welder and cutting tools.


HDPE/UHMW/HMPE comes in lots of colours if you want to avoid the kitchen chopping board look.




http://www.thinair4x4.com/Upgrades/hdpe skids/skid5.jpg


The one shown above is a skid plate made by ThinAir4x4.com for the Nissan Xterra.


Edited by V
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Thanks for the info and the picture, I hadn't thought of going down the plastics route.

Looks very good, but fairly expensive to buy a sheet with a decent thickness sadly. I may stick to some steel or aluminium and my welder, may not be as pretty, or as light, but a lot cheaper possibly.

From your picture, your Jeep looks quite well modified, what have you done to yours so far?

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The silver XJ was built for rock crawling expeditions in the USA. It has a Clayton long arm suspension, 8" lift, coil sprung rear, 35" tyres, 4.88 gears and ARB lockers, axles, brakes...

The blue XJ has a UK custom built 5.5" suspension lift but it has sagged an inch or so over the last 16 years. It's on 33" tyres with 4.56 gears on TruTracs. I have been toying with the idea of making them mechanically similar moving up to 37"-40" tyres but there's really no point. I actually like their differences and I could build the expedition buggy of my dreams instead by leaving them be. Also had a JKU, TJ, WG and CJ.

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