1995 XJ Build - BDS Long Arm, Cage, Durabak, etc - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 10:02 PM   #1
Buggy_Tim
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Default 1995 XJ Build - BDS Long Arm, Cage, Durabak, etc

Ok, this will be the official thread for this. We are moving lots of pics around and stuff (moving to a new server) so give me some time to get the pics we have till now up and get you caught up with the progress.

This all started with the old trusty Yj finally rusting to the point that it needed a new body. So after talking thinking about it and talking it over, we thought it would be a good time to go a different direction and build a vehicle with more room for passengers, gear, tools, parts and what not.

I say we in many places because this Jeep is being partially built by high school students and they are calling the shots. They chose the vehicle, colors, mods, lift, lighting, etc. When completed, this vehicle will be used in the same way as the YJ was. Students get to drive it in the local mud drags, parades and off road events and competitions. We also take it to car and truck shows, visit other schools with it and use it for general PR for the Career Center. In the winter, many times we have been called to help get hospital staff to work and we always use it to get students out of the ditches around the school.

Plans:
Convert to 4wd
BDS True 4 link Long Arm http://www.bds-suspension.com/
8.8 rear, HPd30 front, both alloy, both locked
Kalkaska Fab front bumper
Essentially Off Road full internal cage http://www.eoronline.com/
Bunch of stuff from Jeeperz Creeperz http://www.jeeperz-creeperz.com/
Bunch of stuff from North West 4x4 http://www.northwest4x4.com/
Durabak partial exterior and cargo area http://www.nonslipcoating.com/

This is what we started with. A 1995 2 wheel drive XJ. Saved from the salvage yard. Yes, it was in the junk yard. Said to have a bad motor. Vehicle had a Missouri plate on it and it was last registered 2 years ago.



The day it made it to the shop.



So the inside is a bit rough. We'll see what we can do with it.






The inside cleaned up pretty good but it is all still soaked and smells SUPER bad since it was sitting there for a while with a busted window. We will gut the inside and do some inspections, cleaning and other things.




Cargo area will be stripped of carpet, a reinforcement will be welded/bolted in, and the rear shocks will be in boarded to this. Then the whole cargo area will be covered with Durabak. The spare will be stored inside, as well as a toll/parts storage device.



Very very little rust on this thing.




Removed the seats




Drivers side floor great



Passenger side floor slightly damaged from running it with the exhaust busted right at the cat and sitting with the passenger front window busted out. A few small pin holes and some surface rust. Nothing big.



The engine, needs some cleaning, new fluids, new battery, air filter etc. The normal stuff. The AC clutch is busted but the system is still charged. We will swap the clutch off the other XJ I have that will play donor for parts.



Engine power washed



Did the carpet too



Paint is really sun faded but buffs out great



Updates as we can get stuff uploaded. We are much further along than this.


Last edited by Buggy_Tim; December 4th, 2007 at 11:13 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 10:23 PM   #2
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This is the donor XJ. Yea yea, I know, it looks good. Everything from the rockers down is GONE. Rust has been really hard on this machine.









So we parted it out for the good stuff. Front axle, trans and tcase for the 4x4 conversion. Some of the interior parts, tinted windows, dash parts....all kinds of misc stuff. Stripped any parts that could be used for trail spares or to replace normal trail damage also.



Yanked the motor. This motor will be rebuilt as I have money to do so, into a 4.7 stroker. For now, it will just sit in a corner of my garage.




Stripped to the bone

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 10:52 PM   #3
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Gutted the inside in prep for Durabak, mods and the Cage and started to pull other stuff off for paint and other mods.



Pulled all the crappy glass. The glass in this one had that cheap stick on tint...actually 2 layers of it and it was all scratched, bubbled and missing in spots. The green XJ has factory tint. Way nicer.





We're also swapping in much of the interior trim from the green XJ. It was a Country and had a nicer interior. Front seats will come from the parted out YJ...they were those GM seats that someone on here sold a million of. Nice suspension type seats. Rear seats and door panels will come from the green XJ.

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 10:55 PM   #4
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Nice Project, Can't wait to get my Xj done
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 10:59 PM   #5
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Ripped all the suspension out of the rig in prep for the lift and the 8.8 install.









Estimated ride height. Yea, there will be some trimming.

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 11:15 PM   #6
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Little interior fixing



Then I spent about 2 hours power washing the bottom to knock all the old undercoating off.



Then re-coated it and got the trans and tcase in. Refreshed the trans.

Added a SYE from Jeeperz Creeperz and swapped in the gears and chain from a chevy np231. They are about 1/2 inch wider.



Ditched the plastic "skid plate"



Coated the gas tank and added a skid that I bought from Blue XJ.


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Old December 3rd, 2007, 12:27 AM   #7
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this is now being named the "red rocket"
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 05:25 PM   #8
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Going to have to clean up the winch and change the colors. The YJ was blue and black, so we'll do something different with this one. It needs some general cleaning and stuff. The Superwinch EP9.0 has served me good for the last 5 years or so but it needs some new paint.



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Old December 3rd, 2007, 05:50 PM   #9
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Collecting parts.

So there is a pick up bed of parts from my garage and basement that I added to the the pile....then the other stuff started to show up.

Got a package from Jeeperz Creeperz....always great to do business with Kevin down there. Got gears, install kit, etc etc shipped to me from him and then when I was down for Thanksgiving I picked up a few other things like grab handles, bumpstops and stuff from the store.



This is the heavy duty track bar bracket we will be using.



So then I had to deliver parts that I sold off the YJ to people down in Traverse City so I stopped into NorthWest4x4.



Man do they have a nice place. And a great bunch of guys there also. They gave me a tour around the store and then the shop area and let me peek in on some of the projects they have going.

I had never heard of this place till I was on the BDS website and looked up distributors of their lifts. After chewing the fat with these guys for a couple of hours, I went home with the new BDS True Long Arm kit. Now this lift is pricy but call NorthWest and see what they can do for ya.

The BDS long arm was chosen because it is a true 4 link and it does not use radius arms. We have seen many radius arm designs leave people stranded in the woods when one mount breaks. This setup is easier to get out of the woods with on something that has broken. And if something does bust....who can beat the BDS "no fine print" warranty? No one can.

This kit is by far the most complete and well thought out kit I have seen, although there are many places where it wants you to re-use stock hardware. We won't be doing that. All stock hardware will be replaced with new grade 8 hardware.

Finally finished with picking up stuff and almost done with my ebay buying spree.



BDS lower arms, way bigger. Super beefy. I Opted for the Super Flex system.



Upper arm...same thing, Super Flex



Just noticed......this doesn't seem like it's going to fit. More on that later.

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Old December 3rd, 2007, 05:57 PM   #10
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why not go spicer u joints?

nice pile o parts, btw :envious:
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 06:03 PM   #11
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Spicer joints in a d30 IMHO are overrated. I like the brute force solids. Lifetime warranty. Same with the ball joints. I am going wear this crap out, so I want lifetime warranty stuff.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 06:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyPaws View Post

Just noticed......this doesn't seem like it's going to fit. More on that later.

BUT PLUG !!!
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 08:18 PM   #13
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Getting the rear set up. Ford 8.8 from an Explorer. Locker from Jeeperz Creeperz.



The BDS kit came with some killer extended stainless braided brake hoses and the coper washers to boot.





Picked up a set of perches and u-bolts off ebay. God I love ebay. Just about built the YJ completely off ebay.

Very nice welds if you ask me.



Testing height....



With my 6 year old for size comparison.

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Old December 3rd, 2007, 10:49 PM   #14
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Crossmember pics.








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Old December 3rd, 2007, 10:53 PM   #15
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That's a nice looking setup.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #16
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yes very nice
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Old December 4th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #17
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I hope you never have to pull the trans for any reason.

Nice xj
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Old December 4th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #18
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I've been looking at the T&T customs longarm and the BDS longarm, I like the T&T a little better because of the big skid plate that covers up all of the T-case. How do like BDS kit so far.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 07:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99grandtj View Post
I hope you never have to pull the trans for any reason.

Nice xj
Other than pulling the trans that BDS looks frickin sweet

That is going to be one awsome XJ
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Old December 4th, 2007, 08:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99grandtj View Post
I hope you never have to pull the trans for any reason.

Nice xj
I thought about that too, but in reality, it only adds a couple extra steps to removal. With the XJ, there isn't much choice. Almost all of the kits have the same issue, and all of the 4 links do.

It was a fair amount of work to get the trans out of my YJ with the belly up skid plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zanderman90 View Post
I've been looking at the T&T customs longarm and the BDS longarm, I like the T&T a little better because of the big skid plate that covers up all of the T-case. How do like BDS kit so far.
The TNT kit is nice and I really looked hard at it but the raduis arm thing just ran me off in the end.

As far as skid plating, I would reserve judgment till you see the completed kit. There is an additional part of the crossmember that goes on that covers the t-case.
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