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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default The "Cheap" XJ Build....now 5.3L XJ build

I am not sure how much of a build thread this is going to be. It may end up more of a spot to just keep track of where I am at in this Jeep.

Lets start off by saying I sold my 95 YJ on fullwidth 60's and 39.5 Iroks, due to it never leaving the garage. I wanted to build something to use for the next couple years and then buy a JK. This Jeep will remain very road friendly, economical, and family friendly.

I bought the 1997 XJ Country with 198,000 miles at the end of Dec. 2012 for $1,000. The body is pretty rough and it has been in a slight rollover. It already had a brand new Rustys Offroad 3" lift installed. I should have taken some pics when I first picked it up but, I didn't. The motor is a reman and has 10,000 miles on it (with paperwork) which is the main reason I bought the Jeep.

The first thing I did was to remove the rear sway bar and start trimming the fenders for 31"-33 tires".








The next thing I did was buy some DIY bumpers from JCR Offroad. This was done to save cost but, it also meant I was going to be busting a** to get the Jeep ready for Snofari.




While building these I had to start searching for tires. I searched for a good two weeks or so. I found tires all over the place but most were sold by the time I called or were completely bald. I finally found some 33/12.5/15 MTR with decent tread on here for $200.

With the tires found it was time to look for wheels. Again I was looking for used to save money but stumbled across some Cragar Soft 8 on Summit Racings site. A set of four cost me $152.00 to my door.

Time to get them mounted:


Its starting to look like a Jeep

I finished up the bumpers and painted them up just in time for Snofari.



I had a blast at Snofari! I think this Jeep was even more fun than the old YJ






Running total so far:

JEEP: $1,000
WHEELS: $152.00
TIRES: $200
BUMPERS: $622
ROCK SLIDERS (Not pictured) $225
MISC TOOLS AND SMALL PARTS: $60
REAR DISC BRAKE CONVERSION PARTS (not pictured) $150
CB RADIO, CABLE, AND MOUNT $63
ROCKER PANELS: $165
USED HATCH AND FENDER: $100
PAINT AND SUPPLIES: $125

Grand Total So Far: $2,862

Future Plans
Lock front and rear axle
Adjustable Front Lower Control Arms
Stiffen Unibody
Stay under $4,000 budget and have a capable wheeler

Wheel the snot out of it.

I will keep this thread updated with a running cost and future mods
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Last edited by Why YJ?; November 13th, 2013 at 07:09 PM.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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Very nice. Prefect rig for a budget build.

Best of luck
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Old February 1st, 2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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Nice start, kind of like mine. Probably have around 3K or so in it, over a 5 year build.
My XJ
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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:26 PM   #4
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It's amazing how well a locked cherokee on 33's works offroad. Nice job so far.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:54 PM   #5
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I like it! curious what kind of sliders you went with?
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Old February 1st, 2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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JCR ultimate deluxe sliders. They were returned by a customer because they didn't fit perfect. They posted them on Facebook and I jumped on them. Al brought them up to Snofari to save on shipping.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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How do you like them? Drop it on a rock yet? lol
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:19 PM   #8
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I haven't installed them yet. I am going to patch up the stock rocker panels first. I can tell you they look plenty beefy!
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:24 PM   #9
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Any other ones iv looked at mount to the pinch seem and if you come down hard enough it just pushes the seam right up. The deluxe's look badass just contemplating if they are worth the $$!
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Old February 1st, 2013, 10:04 PM   #10
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I seen a pair being carried in the hallway at snowfari definately looked very well built
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Old February 1st, 2013, 10:55 PM   #11
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That was me :). They are heavy duty for sure!
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Run of the mill YJ with Dana 60's and Irok's..SOLD
96 XJ on 38's...SOLD
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 12:34 PM   #12
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Like the "cheap wheeling" mentality of this build. Love the bumpers. Wish they made them for Rangers.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 06:22 PM   #13
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Nice build. I dig cheap!!
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 10:45 AM   #14
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Looks like fun.

I need to get back out on the trails.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 08:28 PM   #15
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love it
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Old May 20th, 2013, 09:16 AM   #16
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A little update:

Rocker panels are on their way, I will be installing the JCR sliders once I get them installed. I also replaced the rear hatch and passenger fender.

I will be ordering a new header panel and picking up some paint. I am going with Rapco on the paint. If anyone has experience with it please let me know.
This is what I will be ordering:
http://www.rapcoparts.com/336tancsucud.html

I am also in the process of removable doors. I miss that from the old YJ.
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Run of the mill YJ with Dana 60's and Irok's..SOLD
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Old May 20th, 2013, 03:02 PM   #17
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Awesome build.


I love my cheap junker XJ. Proud to show off all the dents and trail rash! she's a tank.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 03:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Why YJ? View Post
I am also in the process of removable doors. I miss that from the old YJ.
You know that removing the doors is like pulling half of your "cage" out from a structural integrity standpoint right? Pet Peeve of mine. If you want to pull the doors, put a cage in first.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 03:36 PM   #19
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Doesn't adding unibody stiffeners, and adding rock sliders make up for some of that? That is kind of what I was thinking. Although I was eyeing the D&C cage kit as well.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #20
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How does adding weight that is going to be on the roof in the event of a roll over add to the strength? The doors help support the roof in a roll over, if you remove them, the windshield frame is all that's left..........not good.
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