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Unread 2018-02-10, 10:15 AM   #1
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Default Jeep Cherokee XJ build

I figure it's about time to make a thread about it...

My Jeep (dd) has 360,000 miles on it. She still runs great, but I am about to convert it into an Overlanding rig and so it's gonna get all of the new things. I have a trip to Moab planned in June, hitting a shit load of 4x4 trails on the way through CO, so it all needs to be done before then.

Order of operations:
Engine
Brakes
Suspension/steering
Armor
Misc cosmetics and cargo shit

I got a spare engine with the Cherokee when I bought it with unknown origins, so I decided to go dick deep and do a full overhaul.

I just got the short block back from the machine shop (Vee Village). Once I get a warm weekend I will start assembly, but right now I'm stoked to have the first major expense done so it is all downhill from here to get the long block together.

Vee Village bored it out .030", new pistons, 10/10'd the crank, installed a new cam and assembled. We magnafluxed the head and realized it was trash, so we got a new core and put new valves, springs, seals, etc. Super happy with their work and the customer service there!




Upskirt:


Wrapped it in plastic in the mean time.. i have new lifters, push rods, rockers, oil pump, and felpro gaskets ready and waiting. Bring on the warm weather!
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Unread 2018-02-11, 10:31 AM   #2
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Will be following
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Unread 2018-02-11, 12:40 PM   #3
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How's the shape of the body?
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Unread 2018-02-11, 07:31 PM   #4
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Meh... Elbows are a little pointy, but she looks good from 10 feet





Shot from test fitting the 31" MTs and wheels I got for it:


Not too bad for a $1000 Jeep.

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Unread 2018-02-11, 10:07 PM   #5
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Got antsy, needed something to do that's cheap... So wiring stuff, it is!

Wrote out my schematic and ordered everything to make it happen:


I went thicker than I needed with wiring so I can expand later without having to redo anything.
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Unread 2018-02-14, 09:06 PM   #6
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Quick Valentine's day update... Some people out on dates, I'm here wiring shit on my Jeep

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Unread 2018-02-15, 11:27 AM   #7
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Love the XJ's. Following.
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Unread 2018-03-10, 08:31 PM   #8
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Almost finished assembling my engine today. Just need hardware to bolt the thermostat housing, water pump, intake manifold and header on and it's ready to drop in!

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Unread 2018-03-10, 09:15 PM   #9
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You going to paint the engine.
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Unread 2018-03-10, 09:37 PM   #10
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You going to paint the engine.
It has some high temp paint on it now. I'm not going to paint it any more than it is, IDGAF... It's going in a shitty Jeep, not a show car.
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Unread 2018-03-11, 09:12 AM   #11
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I can has ride?
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Unread 2018-03-11, 12:31 PM   #12
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I can has ride?
It won't be very exciting... Definitely not as quick as a minivan
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Unread 2018-03-11, 01:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
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It won't be very exciting... Definitely not as quick as a minivan

I was more interested in the company than the ride
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Unread 2018-03-11, 05:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I was more interested in the company than the ride
Well when you put it that way....
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Unread 2018-03-14, 10:04 PM   #15
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And it's ready to drop in! I plan on starting the tear down process on my Jeep good Friday weekend.


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Unread 2018-03-19, 08:54 AM   #16
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Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfK7ZJDVK14

Filmed the assembly process and made a video out of it... finished editing it between basketball games the past couple days.

I have Good Friday off this week, so I'm beginning the tear down process on my Cherokee on Thursday night. Pull the front end apart, drop the driveshafts, transfer case, exhaust, and pull the engine and tranny. I plan on spraying any rust with POR15 and painting the underside of the car while everything is off to clean it up and hopefully slow down any cancer going on under there.

Stay tuned for pictures of me bumbling around an engine bay this weekend!
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Unread 2018-03-20, 07:58 AM   #17
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What'd you go with for the header? I remember looking around through them when the manifold cracked on my old ZJ. I decided it wasn't worth the money and just welded it and reinstalled.
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Unread 2018-03-20, 08:36 AM   #18
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What'd you go with for the header? I remember looking around through them when the manifold cracked on my old ZJ. I decided it wasn't worth the money and just welded it and reinstalled.
ATP. It was $180 shipped... I'm putting Brown Dog motor mounts on it, which everyone says is really helpful in preventing the headers from cracking in the future. Contemplating putting a flex pipe in after the cat, too. Not certain on that though.

I might want someone to touch up the welds on where the tubes are attached to the plate that mounts against the head.. the inside of the tube is welded all the way around, but the outside, they aren't welded all the way around (as you can see in the picture above). Overall, it seems pretty decent, that's the only issue I have found with it, though I am not sure if it is necessarily an issue.

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Unread 2018-03-26, 09:51 AM   #19
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Engine swap is underway. I spent Friday evening and all of Saturday labeling all of the wires, tearing down the front of the jeep, and removing the old engine. Sunday midday, we got the new engine in and bolted to the transmission and called it a day. I'm waiting for my Browndog engine mounts to come in before going further. They're nice and accessible right now and I want to put them in while its easy. It's sitting on the old, busted mounts for now.. once the new ones come in, I'll replace those and the transmission mount and start bolting everything else back together.

Tear down process:




New engine is in!



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Unread 2018-03-26, 12:40 PM   #20
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Looks good but also looks like a lot of work.

Did you miss out on the BB games this weekend?
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Unread 2018-03-26, 01:29 PM   #21
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Looks good but also looks like a lot of work.

Did you miss out on the BB games this weekend?
It is.. especially not having a transmission jack. That was one of the more dangerous things I've done in a minute, but all of us survived with all our fingers and lives intact!
A lot of time spent labeling everything, putting bolts in bags, etc. to stay organized so it's not a PITA going back together. Also a fwe sanity checks a day on tools, regrouping and putting everything away when we started having to track down sockets, etc. One of my least favorite things is wasting time, wandering around the shop looking for a goddamn tool.


But Heeeeeeeell no I didn't! We brought a TV out to the shed and plugged a lappytop into it. I got my Jeep fix and March Madness fix in at the same time.

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Unread 2018-03-26, 04:35 PM   #22
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I got my Jeep fix and March Madness fix in at the same time.
Good for you.
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Unread 2018-04-02, 09:42 AM   #23
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Finished putting the new engine and jeep back together and got it running over the weekend! took about 48 hours of actual work time, most of the time with one or two people over helping me... A couple of hiccups getting it running correctly, but it's good now. Drove it ~25 min last night, drove it into work this morning, fires right up and runs smooth.

With the brand new engine, I also took the tranny pan off and cleaned it out, put a new filter and gasket on it. Surprisingly clean in there, I was happy. Also installed a transmission cooler while everything was apart and easily accessible. New u joints on the driveshafts while they were off the car (technically still have to do the front one, it's not in the jeep quite yet).

Also used Brown Dog heavy duty engine mounts to keep that bad boy in place. The rotation of the engine with the stock mounts tends to cause the exhaust manifolds to crack (no flex pipe in the system). Off roading is also hell on stock mounts, so this should help prevent the engine from tilting forward into the radiator which can happen from a stock unit wearing out.

Went with upgraded injectors. the stock injectors only have one hole in the nozzle; I upgraded to 19lbs. 4-hole injectors that were rebuilt from K Suspension Fabrication. They should vastly increase the efficiency of my fuel delivery and combustion. I'm excited to see how that impacts my fuel economy (and power).

Everything else on the engine/coolant system that I replaced is OE spec.

All that said... I'm ready to take a break from turning wrenches for a couple weeks

Next on the list: brake system overhaul and aux. electronics wiring!




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Unread 2018-04-02, 01:54 PM   #24
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Awesome work! I was going to ask about the injectors. The 4 holes are the way to go.

That thing should be good for another 300k now.
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Unread 2018-04-02, 04:28 PM   #25
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It has a bit of hesitation when I first get on the throttle and a bit of a rough idle I am sorting out... just bought new O2 sensors for it and a fuel filter. Accelerating and cruising it is great.

...anddd this is where my lack of knowledge resides. Troubleshooting shit like this
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