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Old September 10th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #1
4Bangler
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Default Weak-ass driveway budget build***UPDATE/PROJECT ABANDONMENT PAGE 2***

I'm tired of all my long-term projects tying up my wheelin time, so I went out and bought another pseudo-trail rig...a '97 XJ. First, a little history on it:

I actually bought this rig back in July of '07, for $500, with a torn-off lower control arm, bent upper control arms, home-made shackles bolted to the stock shackles, 3" Skyjacker + 1-3/4" spacers, lock-rite front, open rear, lots of booty-fab wiring, (2) wasted 31" TSL radials, (2) 70%, ripped-off flares and moulding, (1) semi-funtional door latch, lots of minor trail rash...just my style..




...I parked it at my property and didn't touch it for about a year before selling it to my G/F's brother for $1200 (what do you mean karma?). He fixed A LOT of little things on it over the next year, put real lift shackles out back, welded on new HD lower CA brackets, new stock upper CA's and boxed them in, fixed the doors so (3) out of (4) work quite well, plus a bunch of normal maintenence. He also wheeled it quite a bit, on the 31's (he bought (2) new ones)...



... and eventually on some 33's borrowed from my Grand Cherogeek...



...in addition to trimming the fenders up, boxing the rear quarters, and welding in some tube rockers. An XJ Dana 44 got swapped in out back and the diff welded, new shock mounts, Rusty's HD steering...lots of stuff.

Then I bought it back...less the winch, which got burned up (Chicago Electric junk), for $1800 (what does karma have to do with this?)

Anyway, I bought it, drove it on the trailer, installed a license plate, the winch off my trailer, and gave it a beatdown on Drummond Island a couple weekends ago...
Pic Thread



Now we're up to present day, the half-assed Heruliner job on the doors and rockers always bugged me, so I took care of that today...

Before:


After:



Not perfectly straight, but better than the pictures make it look...next up will be the 34x9.50 TSL's I'm picking up tomorrow, which will temporarily go on the rims that are on it now, but eventually go on some 15x7 wagon wheels with some DIY beadlocks I've had sitting around for a few years.

I'm going to try to keep the "build" limited to just things that can be accomplished in the driveway with minimal downtime and VERY minimal $$, this is a trailrig and certainly not a DD, but it is plated and insured and I intend to drive it once in a while. The real goal is to have a half-assed trail rig available to wheel whenever the fancy strikes me and not a half-built killer rig sitting the garage collecting dust while I make up my mind which way I'm going and what the next $1000 will buy for it.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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not to shabby dude!!I say take it out and beat the shit out of it!!
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Old September 10th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #3
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Heading out this Saturday for another beatdown....and to try out the new skinnies, if I get time to mount them up.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #4
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Nice... I want to see pics with the 34's on it!
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Old September 13th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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Picked up the tires on Friday and mounted them up first thing Saturday morning....I'm not crazy about having them on 8" wheels, and they were difficult to bead up (my novice tire mounting skills may be to blame) with some of the bead damage from the previous owners. I am now much more motivated to weld up the DIY beadlock rings I've had sitting around forever....just need to find the right wheels...thinking 15x6...5 on 5.5 or 8 on 6.5...we'll see.

Anyway...



They don't look bad on the 8" rim, but I'd be worried to air them down all that much..



I loaded it up on the trailer to take it out to a local annual mud-fest...I really don't like running in mud, and I need a good reminder of why at least once a year...the skinny swampers OWNED the mud field, and I wheeled circles around much bigger rigs with MUCH bigger motors....till she started getting hot, not charging, and not making oil pressure.



Phase 1 of the cleanup process...shovel and broom



Phase 2 was the 1st trip through the coin-op on the trailer, Phase 3-5 will take place during the week, along with swapping out the clogged alternator and diagnosing the motor issues...hopefully not terminal, but I'm prepared to find bad news.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #6
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it looks good now. congrats on a sweet little trail rig. i make things harder then they need tobe as well.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #7
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exactly what im looking to do pretty soon once i find a cheap heep... i mean jeep. cool trail rig
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Old September 14th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #8
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blown motor? I smell part out and field rot in the near future. Perhaps before snowfall.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #9
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i like it alot, good job on the bedliner.. looks much better!
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Old September 14th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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The comments below are my thoughts as I read through here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Bangler View Post

I'm going to try to keep the "build" limited to just things that can be accomplished in the driveway with minimal downtime and VERY minimal $$
Great idea! I need to take that approach one of these times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Bangler View Post
while I make up my mind which way I'm going and what the next $1000 will buy for it.
What are you trying to say? my excuse is time.... no really!


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Bangler View Post
till she started getting hot, not charging, and not making oil pressure.
plan backfired...


Good luck with the inspections, even if it is toast, get a new engine and get it going again! You cant quit so soon after getting back into it!!!
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Old September 14th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #11
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Charged the battery all day yesterday, started it at lunch today, idles smooth, volt guage good, oil press not good (zero), slight knock between 1500 rpm and 2000rpm when the oil pressure picks up to a whopping 10lbs.

Fired it up after work to drive it down to the parts store to test the alternator that I suspect is toast, volt guage not good, oil press ok (well, like 2lbs). Drove fine, slight knock under load, like when the trans upshifts too early, seems to knock right at premium death-wobble speed. While at the parts store it got up to temp enough for the thermostat to open up and coolant started pouring out the front of the motor...then it stalled and would not start. Started it with the jump-pack and drove it 3-blocks shy of home...it's charging in the driveway now, and I'm searching for my spare Nippondenso...until I got side-tracked by the interweb...but I'm pretty sure I'm burning coolant once she's up to temp and when I change my oil I bet it's sparkley.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
blown motor? I smell part out and field rot in the near future. Perhaps before snowfall.

I hate you. I smell newlywed-pregnency-induced rig for sale, perhaps before snowfall...

Already have no less than (4) replacement motor candidates lined up and not one of them is a 502 big-block...but one of them is a 4.3L/700R4/NP231C...I'm trying hard to talk myself out of that one.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #13
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What are the chances i randomly stumble across this thread only two days after snapping a quick pic of this jeep with my phone...

Well the chances must be pretty good...



Wish i would have brought my camera..Anyways the jeep did damn good whether it was rod knockin or not!
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Old September 15th, 2009, 12:01 AM   #14
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Quoted from you: "I wheeled circles around much bigger rigs with MUCH bigger motors"

Why not keep with the 4.0 then? Simple swap that would take a day. Why make things more complex when your goal is to keep this simple? It's your rig and you can do whatever the Hell you want, I just know that myself I need a reminder every now and again
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Old September 15th, 2009, 04:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrclean View Post
Quoted from you: "I wheeled circles around much bigger rigs with MUCH bigger motors"

Why not keep with the 4.0 then? Simple swap that would take a day. Why make things more complex when your goal is to keep this simple? It's your rig and you can do whatever the Hell you want, I just know that myself I need a reminder every now and again

My thoughts on the motor exactly....but I've always had lurking suspisions about the transmission, so while the motor's out I'm going to have a friend take a "peek" at the trans and see what kind of shape it's in, if the AW-4 is on it's way out, I'd rather have a 700R4, if I gotta replace the motor and trans, I'll do the 4.3L. If the trans it good, I'll just replace the 4.0.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 07:48 AM   #16
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Used aw-4s are like $100.??? Also, do aw-4's have a vent on the top? If not, that would probably explain what took this one out. I vented my 727 behind the torque concerter and up to the top of the engine bay.

I like this low budget build also, hope to have my own after finishing the stupid "takes to long build".
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Old September 15th, 2009, 11:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Bangler View Post
I hate you. I smell newlywed-pregnency-induced rig for sale, perhaps before snowfall...

Already have no less than (4) replacement motor candidates lined up and not one of them is a 502 big-block...but one of them is a 4.3L/700R4/NP231C...I'm trying hard to talk myself out of that one.
I've been talking about selling the buggy for a while, I just can't do it, or I've never been to the point I need the money I guess. I only ran it once this summer, for about 8 minutes...
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Old September 15th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHARPMACHINE View Post
Used aw-4s are like $100.??? Also, do aw-4's have a vent on the top? If not, that would probably explain what took this one out. I vented my 727 behind the torque concerter and up to the top of the engine bay.

I like this low budget build also, hope to have my own after finishing the stupid "takes to long build".

I went the used AW-4 route before while maintaining my mother's postal XJ...went through quite a few of them and never found one for less than $300, so I guess that's what I was thinking, what a pain to constantly swap out transmissions...but that was for a DD, so downtime was a big problem. I guess I could stand to burn up a few cheap AW-4's on this trailer-queen before the need to upgrade is too strong...
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Old September 15th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #19
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the 34's look sweet
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Old September 15th, 2009, 06:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
blown motor? I smell part out and field rot in the near future. Perhaps before snowfall.
Field rot = another featured beater in 4Bangler's Field of Broken Dreams / Jeep decomposition trail?
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